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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2
by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2005

HMS SENNEN (Y 21) - ex-US Coast Guard Cutter
including Convoy Escort Movements

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Sennen (Photo Ships, click to enlarge) return to Contents List
 

US Coastguard Cutter USS† CHAMPLAIN built by Bethlehem Shipbuilding, Quincy, Mass. The ship was laid down on 23rd May 1923 and launched on 11th October 1928. Build was completed on 24th January 1929;  †transferred to the Royal Navy on 3rd April 1941 under the 1940 UK/USA Lend/Lease Agreement and renamed HMS SENNEN, when commissioned.† She was the first RN ship to bear this name, that of a British Coastguard Station like those given to other US Coastguard Cutters transferred

 

B a t t l e†† H o n o u r s

 

ATLANTIC† 1941-43 - NORTH AFRICA† 1942-43

 

H e r a l d i c†† D a t a

No record of an officially approved Crest is included in the Admiralty Record

of Heraldic Crests but any US Navy Badge will have been used where fitted to

shipís boats.

 

 

D e t a i l s†† o f†† W a r†† S e r v i c e

 

(for more ship information, go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search

 

 

1 9 4 1

 

May                        Transferred to Royal Navy at New York

                12th        Commissioned for RN Service.

                20th        Took passage from Halifax for Clyde with HM Cutter SENNEN.

 

June

                10th        Damaged in collision with drifter ANIMATE in Clyde.

                12th        Under repair in Clyde shipyard

 

July                         On completion Joined Western Approaches Command at Londonderry for convoy escort

                8th          Sailed from Londonderry to join Convoy HX139.

                                Nominated for refit in London commercial shipyard

 

August                  Passage to London for modifications to suit RN escort duty.

                4th          Under modification in Thames shipyard.

                                (Note: Depth Charge equipment fitted comprised four Throwers and two sets of Rails.)

                30th        Rejoined Western Approaches at Londonderry.

                                Nominated fro escort of OS Series convoys to West Africa and return SL Series convoys

                                to Liverpool.

                31st         Sailed with HM Cutters GORLESTON, HARTLAND and LULWORTH for escort of Convoy

                                OS4 to Bathurst

                                Detached from OS4 to join military convoy WS11 with HMS TOTLAND as part of Ocean

                                Escort during passage to Freetown.

 

September

                4th          Detached with HMS TOTLAND and HM Indian Sloop SUTLEJ to join SLOW Section of WS11

                                as escort during passage to Freetown when WS11 divided.

                15th        Detached from WS11 Slow on arrival at Freetown and took passage to Gibraltar as escort for

                                two tankers.

 

October                  Passage to UK from Gibraltar.

                28th        Under refit at Belfast for fit of additional equipment.

 

November

                14th        On completion rejoined Western Approaches at Londonderry.

                                Joined 42nd Escort Group with HMS GORLESTON and HMS TOTLAND for escort of convoys

                                between UK and West Africa.

                                (For details of tactics and weapons used during Atlantic convoy defence see SEEK AND

                                STRIKE by W Hackmann, THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC by D Macintyre, U-BOAT WAR

                                IN THE ATLANTIC and HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR by C Blair.)

                                Escorted outward Convoy OS12 to Freetown with HMS TOTLAND.

 

December              Escorted return Convoy SL95 to UK with HMS TOTLAND and later by HMS GORLESTON.

 

1 9 4 2

 

January                  Deployed as escort for outward Convoy OS17 to Freetown with HM Cutters GORLESTON,

                                HARTLAND and TOTLAND to Freetown.

 

February                Deployed as escort for return Convoy SL10 with HMS GORLESTON and HMS TOTLAND.

 

March                    Escorted outward Convoy OS 22 with HM Cutters GORLE3TON, HARTLAND and TOTLAND.

 

April                       Escorted return Convoy SL106 with HMS GORLESTON and HMS TOTLAND.

                                Nominated for refit after arrival in UK

 

May                        Passage to Hull.

                4th          Under refit at Hull.

                                (Note: Radar Type 271 for surface warning and Type 286M were fitted.

                                For details see RADAR AT SEA by D Howse.)

 

June                        Under refit.

                29th        On completion rejoined 42nd Escort Group at Londonderry.

 

July                         Deployed at Londonderry with 45th Escort Group.

 

August                  Escorted outward Convoy OS39.

 

September             Escorted return Convoy SL1213 to UK.

 

October                  Transferred for escort duty with military convoys to North Africa for allied landings

                                (Operation TORCH).

                                (Note: For details see The Naval Staff History, ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY

                                by C. Barnett and for information about all mercantiles and warships involved

                                BRITISH INVASION FLEETS by J de Winser.)

 

November              Deployed with escort for Convoy KMF2 to Algiers with HM Cutter BANFF arriving on 11th.

                                Escorted return Convoy MKF2 to UK.

 

December              Deployment for defence of convoys to and from Gibraltar.

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  Continued Gibraltar convoy defence.

                23rd        Escorted return Convoy MKS6 during passage to Clyde.

 

February                Transferred to 1st Escort Group for Atlantic convoy support and defence.

 

March                    Passage from Dakar to UK

 

April                       Deployed for convoy defence in North Atlantic with Group EG1 operating in the support role.

                                See above references.

                15th        Deployed with HM Sloop PELICAN, HM Frigates JED, WEAR and SPEY for support of

                                escorts of Atlantic convoys when under threat of attack by U-Boat Groups.

                                Provided additional support to Convoy ONS4 which was escorted by ships of Escort Group

                                B2 and under attack by MEISE Group of U-Boats.

                                Air cover was being provided by HM Escort Carrier BITER.

                                (Note: This was the first participation of an Escort Carrier in sinking of a U-Boat.

                                U203 was sunk by HMS PATHFINDER after attack by SWORDFISH aircraft from HMS

                                BITER

                                The convoy arrived in Canadian waters without loss.

                                For details of the transit of ONS4 see U-Boat WAR IN THE ATLANTIC (HMSO),

                                HITLERíS U BOAT WAR and THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC by D Macintyre.)

                26th        Supported passage of Convoy SC12Twhich avoided attacks by AMSEL Group of U Boats.

 

May                        Sailed from St Johns for support of Convoys CN84 and ONS5 with HM Sloop PELICAN, HM

                                Frigates JED, WEAR and SPEY

                6th          Carried out Made gun attack on surfaced U267 which was able to escape with damage.

                19th        Took part in sinking of U954 with HM Frigate JED in defence of convoy.

                                (Note: There were no survivors from U954 amongst whom was Leutnant Zur Zee Peter Donitz,

                                son of Grosssadmiral Karl Donitz.)

                                This submarine sinking was previously credited to Liberator T aircraft of 120 Squadron

                                RAF, but post war analysis showed the U-Boat attacked by this aircraft was U753 which

                                escaped. See U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp.)

                20th        Deployed with ships of 1st Support Group in support of passage of Convoy SC130 under

                                attack by U-Boats of the ODER Group.

                                Carried out attack in U209 with HMS JED using HEDGEHOG mortar and avoided torpedo

                                attack by submarine.

 

June                        Nominated for escort duty in Indian Ocean.

                                Under refit at Grimsby for service with Eastern Fleet.

 

July

                                Carried out post refit trials on completion of shipyard work.

 

August                  Deployed at Tobermory to work-up for operational service.

 

September

                14th        Sailed for passage to Kilindini through Mediterranean after call at Gibraltar.

 

October                  Passage in Indian Ocean

                26th        Joined Kilindini Escort Force.

 

November              Deployed for convoy defence between Kilindini and Aden.

                                Escorted Convoy DKA4 to Aden and returned with Convoy AKD6 with HMS LANDGUARD.

                                Escorted Convoy DKA7 to Aden with HMS LANDGUARD.

                                Escorted returning Convoy AKD11A with HMS BANFF and HMS LANDGUARD.

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Deployed at Kilindini.

 

February                Escorted Convoy DKA12 to Aden.

 

March                    Escorted returning Convoy AKD17

 

April                       Deployed at Kilindini for convoy defence.

 

May

                11th        Under repair at Diego Suarez.

                15th        On completion rejoined Escort Force at Kilindini.

 

June                        Escorted Convoy OM5(?) to Aden.

 

July                         Passage to Kilindini.

 

August                  Deployed at Kilindini for convoy defence..

 

September             Escorted Convoy CM58 from Durban to Kilindini.

                29th        Under repair at Durban.

                30th        Repair work completed,

 

October                  Passage to Capetown for refit.

                10th        Under refit

                                (Note: During this refit a British 4in mounting and additional 40mm weapons were fitted

                                to improve close range defence.)

 

November              Under refit.

to

December

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Under refit

to

March

 

April

15th        On completion of post refit trials took passage to Trincomalee

 

May                        Deployed at Trincomalee for defence of convoys in Bay of Bengal,

                                (Note: Extensive convoy traffic was in progress to support occupation of Rangoon

                                See WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO) and THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by J Winton.)

 

June                        Deployed for convoy defence in Bay of Bengal.

 

July                         Nominated for escort of assault convoys for planned landing in Malaya (Operation ZIPPER.)

to                            (Note These landings were delayed due to |US insistence and implementation of the PYTHON

August                  Scheme to repatriate long serving personnel from service in SEAC. See above references

                                and the Final Report of the Supreme Commander SEAC (HMSO)

                                Passage to Madras for escort of assault convoy to landing area near Port Swettenham.

 

September

                1st           Sailed from Madras as part of escort for Convoy JME15 during passage to Beach Head

                9th          Detached from JME15 on arrival and deployed for support of operations in Indian Ocean and

                                Dutch East Indies.

  

P o s t ††W a r ††N o t e s

 

HMS SENNEN remained in the Indian Ocean after VJ-Day until 16th December 1945 when she returned to UK from Aden. The ship arrived at Chatham on 16th January 1946 and after de-storing and completion of repair she took passage for Boston for returned to the US Coastguard Service. She Paid off at Boston on 20th March and later that year resumed coastguard service as USS CHAMPLAIN. This ship was sold on 25th March 1948 after being taken out of US Coastguard service.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS SENNEN

by Don Kindell

 

These convoy lists have not been cross-checked with the text above

 

 

 

 

 

Date convoy sailed

Joined convoy as escort

Convoy No.

Left convoy

Date convoy arrived

 

 

 

 

 

18/05/41

18/05/41

BHX 128

20/05/41

27/05/41

20/05/41

20/05/41

HX 128

06/06/41

06/06/41

07/07/41

07/07/41

OB 344

16/07/41

16/07/41

16/07/41

18/07/41

HX 139

29/07/41

31/07/41

23/08/41

31/08/41

OS 004

09/09/41

11/09/41

05/10/41

21/10/41

SL 089

unknown

26/10/41

18/11/41

19/11/41

OS 012

08/12/41

11/12/41

12/12/41

15/12/41

SL 095

31/12/41

31/12/41

18/01/42

21/01/42

OS 017

05/02/42

07/02/42

09/02/42

11/02/42

SL 100

03/03/42

04/03/42

13/03/42

14/03/42

OS 022

01/04/42

01/04/42

09/04/42

09/04/42

SL 106

29/04/42

02/05/42

15/07/42

30/07/42

SL 116

03/08/42

04/08/42

29/08/42

31/08/42

OS 039

16/09/42

18/09/42

23/09/42

23/09/42

SL 123

14/10/42

14/10/42

01/11/42

01/11/42

KMF 002

12/11/42

12/11/42

15/11/42

15/11/42

MKF 002

22/11/42

23/11/42

10/12/42

12/12/42

MKF 004

18/12/42

18/12/42

07/01/43

08/01/43

KMS 007G

18/01/43

21/01/43

19/01/43

23/01/43

MKS 006

01/02/43

01/02/43

14/02/43

15/02/43

OS 043

04/03/43

04/03/43

12/03/43

12/03/43

SL 126

02/04/43

01/04/43

16/04/43

24/04/43

SC 127

25/04/43

03/05/43

13/04/43

26/04/43

ONS 004

28/04/43

05/05/43

21/04/43

06/05/43

ONS 005

08/05/43

12/05/43

11/05/43

19/05/43

SC 130

22/05/43

26/05/43

18/09/43

18/09/43

KMS 026

29/09/43

29/09/43

10/10/43

10/10/43

AKD 003

20/10/43

29/10/43

16/10/43

28/10/43

DKA 004

05/11/43

05/11/43

11/11/43

11/11/43

AKD 006

20/11/43

29/11/43

16/11/43

28/11/43

DKA 007

07/12/43

07/12/43

12/12/43

12/12/43

AKD 009

21/12/43

21/12/43

09/01/44

16/01/44

AKD 011A

23/01/44

23/01/44

05/02/44

05/02/44

KR 008

11/02/44

14/02/44

21/02/44

21/02/44

DKA 012

01/03/44

01/03/44

05/03/44

05/03/44

AKD 017

14/03/44

23/03/44

22/03/44

06/04/44

DKA 016

12/04/44

12/04/44

05/06/44

09/06/44

CM 054

11/06/44

11/06/44

14/06/44

14/06/44

AK 010/2

27/06/44

27/06/44

25/07/44

25/07/44

CM 057

01/08/44

01/08/44

18/08/44

18/08/44

AK 012/2

25/08/44

25/08/44

27/08/44

27/08/44

MC 012

03/09/44

03/09/44

12/09/44

13/09/44

CM 058

20/09/44

20/09/44

06/05/45

06/05/45

KRS 001/

08/05/45

08/05/45

16/05/45

16/05/45

KRS 005/

19/05/45

19/05/45

30/05/45

30/05/45

KRF 007/

02/06/45

02/06/45

01/07/45

01/07/45

KR 014/1

03/07/45

03/07/45

12/07/45

12/07/45

RK 011/1

14/07/45

16/07/45

26/07/45

26/07/45

KR 022A/

28/07/45

28/07/45

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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