BELMONT-Class destroyer Ex-USS McALLA built
by Bethlehem Steel at Quincy. Massachusetts
USA. The ship was laid
down on 25th April 1918 and launched on 28th
March 1919. Commissioned on 19th
May 1919 for service in the US Navy she had
been transferred to Reserve by 1939
and laid -up. This destroyer was transferred
to the Royal Navy on 3rd September
1940 under the UK/USA Lease Lend Agreement
and commissioned as HMS STANLEY at
Halifax on 23rd October 1940. She was the
2nd RN ship to carry this name
introduced about 1778. In common with other
ships of the Class she was named
after a town in the USA and of Urban
Districts in Durham, Yorkshire as well as
a village in Perthshire, Scotland.
a t t l e H o n o
e r a l d i c D a
On Field, Blue, an eagle's leg erased Gold,
with a hurt thereon a
e t a i l s o
f W a r S e r v i c
Naval History Homepage
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1 9 4 0
Commissioned as HMS STANLEY at Halifax.
Prepared for passage to Devonport with call
at St Johns, Newfoundland.
During Atlantic passage from St Johns developed machinery defects and had to
return to Newfoundland
Taken in hand for repair at St Johns.
Took passage from St Johns after post repair
Delayed at Belfast.
Passage to Devonport after delay
Arrived at Devonport and taken in hand for
repair and modification to suit RN
use as a convoy escort.
(Note: State of equipment required
extensive work and ship selected for use as
a Long Range
Two other sister ships HMS BRADFORD and HMS
CLARE were also selected for
similar conversion, the later being done
later by HM Dockyard at Devonport.
This work involved removal of the two
forward boilers and the associated funnel so
additional fuel could be carried in
additional tanks. The space saved at higher
used to provide additional accommodation and
stowage for stores.
This type of conversion reduced boiler power
and therefore speed to 25 knots but
increased the ship's endurance which was an
essential requirement for escorts deployed
for ocean passages
The conversion work also included fit of a
new design of Bridge similar to that in RN
Nominated for escort of Atlantic convoys to
and from West Africa.
(See Note above.)
On completion of conversion carried out post
refit trials and took passage
to join Liverpool
(Note: Later this became 40th Escort Group.)
Worked-up for operational service.
Nominated for escort of military convoy in
Radar Type 271 had been fitted. See RADAR AT
SEA by D Howse.
Joined Convoy WS12 with HM Destroyer
(Note: The Local Escort also included HM
Cruiser CAIRO, HM Destroyers
SIKH, BADSWORTH, BRADFORD*, BRIGHTON*, LANCASTER*,
NEWARK*, VERITY, WHITEHALL and WITCH. *
Sister Ex US Navy Destroyers)
Detached from Escort with HMS BLANKNEY.
(Note: The other escorts detached earlier.
HM Cruiser DEVONSHIRE was deployed as Ocean
Escort until 12th October and
was relieved by HM Cruiser DORSETSHIRE.
This may have been part of the work-up
After detachment took passage to Liverpool and joined the Ex US Navy Coastguard
Cutters for deployment in 40th Escort Group.
(Note: Ships in Group included HM Cutters
CULVER, GORLESTON, LANDGUARD,
LULWORTH and HM Sloop BIDEFORD.
Deployed as part of escort for Convoy OS 10
of 34 ships with HMS GORLESTON,
HMS LULWORTH and HM Corvette VERBENA for
passage to Freetown..
Under attack by U96 which was successfully
driven off by the escort.
Drove off second attack on OS10 by U96 with
HMS GORLESTON and HMS VERBENA by
depth charge and surface gunfire.
(Note: U-Boat Group STOERTEBECKER Group
which had been formed specifically for
concerted attacks against OS 10 after
sighting by U96 was unable to carry out the
intended offensive due to the weather
After arrival of OS 10 at Freetown deployed with ships of Group for escort of inward convoy
SL73 to UK
Took passage to Gibraltar with escort of
(For details of U-Boat deployments see
U-BOAT WAR IN THE ATLANTIC (HMSO)
For information about Atlantic convoy
defence weapons and tactic see SEEK AND
by W Hackmann and THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC
by D Macintyre,)
Dates of sailing of convoys are given in
ALLIED CONVOY SYSTEM IN WW2 by
After arrival at Gibraltar nominated with
ships of Group for escort of Convoy HG76 and
attached to 36th Escort Group
(Note: This Group was commanded by Commander
F J Walker.
See Final Special Note below.
Departure of this convoy had been delayed
pending the arrival of additional escorts.
Sailed with the 58 ships of HG76 as part of
escort from Gibraltar.
(Note: The other ships in the escort
included HM Escort Carrier AVENGER,
HM Sloops STORK (SO) and DEPTFORD, HM
Destroyers BLANKNEY and
EXMOOR (ii), HM Corvette PENTSTEMON.
Eight U-Boats had been formed as the
SEERAUBER Group to carry co-ordinated
attacks on this convoy.)
Passage as escort to HG76 with air cover
provided by HMS AUDACITY.
Sighted KONDOR aircraft carrying out
observation for future U-Boat attacks.
Ships of Gibraltar Escort Force detached.
First report of U-Boat activity in
preparation for attack received from
decrypted ENIGMA signals intercepted in UK.
Following sighting of submarine by MARTLET
aircraft from HMS
with HMS BLANKNEY, HMS EXMOOR (ii) and HMS
PENTSTEMON to carry out anti-
submarine operation in reported position.
Carried out depth charge attacks and joined
by HMS STORK.
Anti- submarine sweep carried with the other
ships during which firm contact was made
further depth charge attack carried out.
Submarine, identified later as U131 surfaced
and attacked by surface fire from the five
escorts and MARTLET aircraft which was shot
down by return fire from the submarine.
After several hits pressure hull was holed
U131 was abandoned by crew and scuttled in
position 34.12N 13.35W off Cape St Vincent.
Took part in rescue of 55 German survivors
with the ships from HG76 escort.
(Note: The body of the MARTLET pilot was
recovered by HMS STORK.)
Returned to convoy which was being shadowed
by rest of SEERAUBE Group and took
up position in screen.
Sighted surfaced submarine and took part in
anti-submarine hunt with HMS EXMOOR (ii),
HMS BLANKNEY and HMS DEPTFORD.
(Note: Submarine dived when attackers
sighted but sonar outfit defective and
After submarine detected by HMS BLANKNEY
took part in depth charge attacks which
forced U434 to surface.
Ramming attempt by HMS BLANKNEY abandoned in
order to board but scuttling charges
had been activated and submarine sank in
position 36.15 N 15.48W before arrival of
boarding party from HMS BLANKNEY
Returned to HG76 and took up allocated
Whilst deployed astern of convoy sighted
submarine on surface and fired flare to
position to HMS STORK.
Hit by torpedo fired by U574 and sank in
position 38.12N 17.23W after a violent
(Note: Only 25 of the ship's company
U574 was sunk very soon after this loss when
rammed by HMS
STORK which had
carried out depth charge attacks and forced
the submarine to surface.
For details see HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR by C
Blair, THE BATTLE OF THE
ATLANTIC and U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp
HMS STORK sustained major structural damage
to bow and her Sonar Dome was broken
away from ship's structure by U574 when it
sank after the ramming.)
of HG76 was of very great significance since
it proved the advantage of
having air cover provided by an auxiliary
aircraft carrier attached to an
Escort Group. It also fully justified the
deployment of a long range escort
with any ocean convoy. Most importantly it
demonstrated the value of the
anti-submarine tactics practiced by
Commander Walker which formed the basis of
future training. Later promoted Captain he
was the most renowned U-Boat Hunter
of WW2. For details see FIGHTING CAPTAIN by
A Burn and SEEK AND STRIKE.
of HMS STANLEY
convoy lists have not been cross-checked
with the text above
convoy as escort