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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 BIDEFORD (L 43) - Shoreham-class Sloop
including Convoy Escort Movements  

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

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

SHOREHAM-Class Sloop ordered under the 1929 Programme from HM. Dockyard Devonport and laid down on 10th June 1930. The ship was launched on 1st April 1931 as the 5th RN warship to carry the name which was introduced in 1695 and last used in 1756 for a 6th Rate. She was completed on 27th November 1931 and deployed as a Sloop on the East Indies Station until 1938 when she went to the China Station. In December 1939 she returned to UK. After a WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in February 1942 was appropriately adopted by the civil community of Bideford, Devonshire.

 

B a t t l e†† H o n o u r s

 

ATLANTIC 1939-45 - DUNKIRK† 1940 - NORTH† AFRICA 1942 - BISCAY†† 1943 - ENGLISH† CHANNEL†† 1945

 

H e r a l d i c†† D a t a

Badge: On a Field Blue, a Bridge silver,† beneath it a ship silver

upon 2 wavelets gold and green.

 

M o t t o

 'Bide your time'

 

 

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 3 9

 

September             Deployed on contraband control and patrol on China Station.

to

October

 

November              Nominated for return to UK for deployment in Home Waters.

 

December              Passage to UK for deployment in Home Waters as an Escort.

 

1 9 4 0

 

January                  Passage in Mediterranean.

                5th          After arrival at Gibraltar joined HM Sloop ABERDEEN and HM Destroyer VIDETTE as

                                escort for inward Convoy HGF14 during passage to UK.

                15th        Detached and took passage to Plymouth.

                                Taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard Devonport.

 

February                Passage to Liverpool to join 1st Escort Division at Liverpool for convoy defence in Western

                                Approaches Command.

                11th        Joined outward Convoy OG18F on formation in WS Approaches with HM Sloop LEITH

                                As Ocean Escort during passage to Gibraltar

                                (Note: HM Destroyer VERSATILE was Local Escort a detached same day.)

                17th        Detached with HMS LEITH and joined inward Convoy HG19 as Ocean Escort during passage

                                to Liverpool.

                24th        HM Destroyers MACKAY, WALPOLE and WHITSHED joined HG19 as Local Escort in SW

                                Approaches

                27th        Detached from HG19 with escorts and returned to Plymouth.

 

March

                14th        Deployed with outward Convoy OG22F in SW Approaches as escort during passage to

                                Gibraltar with HM Sloop FOWEY.

                19th        Detached from OG22F on arrival at Gibraltar

                                Joined HM Destroyers VELOX and VIDETTE as escort for Outward Convoy OG23F during

                                passage in Atlantic from Liverpool

                28th        Detached from OG23F on arrival in Gibraltar.

 

April

                5th          Deployed with HM Sloop FOWEY and HM Destroyer WATCHMAN as escort for inward

                                Convoy HG25 during passage from Gibraltar to Liverpool

                15th        Detached from HG25 on arrival at Liverpool and returned to Plymouth.

                22nd       Joined outward Convoy OG27F on formation in SW Approaches with HM Sloop LEITH

                                as escort during passage to Gibraltar.

                24th        HMS LEITH detached during passage and returned to Plymouth.

                28th        Detached from OG27F on arrival at Gibraltar.

 

May                        Detached FROM Western Approaches Command to assist in evacuation of troops from

                                Dunkirk (Operation DYNAMO).

                                (For details see TWELVE DAYS AT DUNKIRK by D Divine, Naval Staff History and

                                BEF SHIPS by J de Winser.)

                29th        Sustained serious damaged in air attack during evacuation operations.

 

June                        Under repair.

to                            Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to U43.

December              Carried out post repair trials

 

1 9 4 1

 

January                  Passage to resume convoy defence

                               

February

 

March                    On completion of post refit trials carried out work-up for operational service at Tobermory

 

April                       Rejoined Sloop Division at Liverpool for service as escort for OG series outward convoys

                                to Gibraltar and HG series inward convoys to Liverpool.

 

May

                31st         Deployed from Gibraltar with HM Corvette ALYSEE and HM Trawler IMPERIEUSE

                                in support of escort of convoy under attack by group of Italian submarines.

                                (See CHRONOLOGY OF THE WAR AT SEA by Jurgen Rhower (2005) for details.)

 

June                        Deployed with EG40 for Atlantic convoy defence

to                            (For details of Atlantic convoy defence and tactics see U-BOAT WAR IN THE ATLANTIC

July                         (HMSO), THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC by D Macintyre. SEEK AND STRIKE by

                                W Hackmann and above reference.)

                                (Note: Other ships in EG40 included HM Cutters LANDGUARD, WALNEY and HM

                                Destroyer STANLEY)

August

                23rd        Deployed for escort of outward Convoy OS4 during passage from Liverpool to Freetown

                                Other ships deployed included HM Destroyers VANOC, WALKER with another Destroyer.

                                another Sloop and two Trawlers.

                26th        Sighted by U557 of the CENTRE Group and reported to U-Boat Headquarters at Kerneval.

                                Seven other submarines were instructed to join U557 for concerted attacks.

                27th        Under attacks by U557 during which four mercantiles were sunk

                                Took part in counter attacks in heavy weather some of which were driven off.

                                (See HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR by C Blair, THE REAL CRUEL SEA by R Woodman

                                and ALLIED CONVOY SYSTEM by A Hague.)

                28th        After mercantiles on passage to Panama were detached, British mercantile OTAIO was sunk

                                by U558.

 

September

                11th        Detached from OS4 on arrival at Freetown.

                14th        Deployed as escort for inward convoy SL87 from Freetown to Liverpool with HM Cutters

                                LULWORTH, GORLESTON, Free French Patrol Vessel COMMANDANT DUBOC and

                                HM Corvette GARDENIA.

                21st         Convoy sighted by U107 and other submarines ordered to take part in attacks on SL87.

                22nd       Carried out A/S operations against U68, U103 and U107 in defence of SL87.

                                (Note: Two mercantiles were sunk and another damaged and abandoned

                24th        Carried out further attacks against reinforced U-Boat Group during which four more

                                mercantiles were sunk.

                                (Note: For details see above references.

 

October

                6th          Detached from SL87 on arrival in Liverpool.

                17th        Board of Enquiry held at Londonderry on board HM Sloop EGRET into the conduct of defence

                                of this convoy. As a result the Senior of The Escort Group in HMS GORLESTON was

                                disciplined.

                                Deployed as escort for outward convoy OS10 during passage from Liverpool to Freetown

                                with HM Cutters LULWORTH, GORLESTON, HM Corvette GARDENIA and French

                                Patrol Vessel COMMANDANT DUBOC of Group.

                                (Note: One source records corvette was HMS VERBENA)

                31st         Convoy under attacks by U96 which were driven off by surface gun and depth charge

                                attacks but one mercantile was sunk. See above references.

 

November              Drove off further attacks by STOERTBECKKER U-Boat Group formed to reinforce

                                U96. No other ship of OS10 was sunk. (See ALLIED CONVOY SYSTEM.)

 

December              EG40 deployment in continuation

 

1 9 4 2

 

January

                15th        Deployed with HM Sloop LONDONDERRY, HM Cutters LANDGUARD, LULWORTH

                                CULVER of Group and joined on sailing from Freetown as escort for SL98 during passage

                                to Liverpool.

                25th        HMS CULVER detached to escort mercantile ss NURTURETON to Funchal, Madeira for

                                repair to boiler that had developed defect since joining SL98.

                26th        HMS CULVER Rejoined SL98 escort from Madeira.

                31st         Convoy under attack by U105 during which HMS CULVER was torpedoed and sunk by

                                U105. Submarine sustained damaged during depth charge counter attacks

                                (Note: Magazine exploded after ship hit by two torpedoes and sank in about one minute.)

                                (See above reference and WARSHIPS LOSSES OF WW2 by D Brown.)

                                HMS CULVER was one of the first Atlantic escorts to be fitted with HF/DF

                                equipment for locating source of wireless transmissions. (See SEEK AND STRIKE.)

                                Radar Type 271 was unserviceable at the time

                                Rescued 12 of the shipís company.

                                For details see above references.

 

February

                5th          Detached from SL98 on arrival at Liverpool

                                (Note: None of the 26 ships in convoy was lost.)

 

March                    Under refit at Hartlepool. Involved in minor collision with ss PETROPHALT but

                                completion not delayed.

                                (Note: Radar Type 286M (Ex RAF equipment ) modified for ship installation fitted.

                                For details of the development and use of radar in RN see RADAR AT SEA by

                                D Howse.)

 

April                       On completion of work-up at Tobermory resumed deployment for escort of UK Ė West

                                Africa route convoys.

                                Nominated for service with EG42.

 

May                        Deployed for Convoy escort with 42nd Group

to                            High Frequency Direction Finding Equipment fitted, (See SEEK AND STRIKE by

June                        W Hackmann.)

 

July

                5th          Deployed with HM Sloops LONDONDERRY, HASTINGS and HM Cutter LULWORTH

                                of Group as escort for inward Convoy SL115 during passage from Freetown to Liverpool.

                15th        Under torpedo attack by Italian submarine CALVI which failed.

                                (Note: HMS LULWORTH later sank CALVI in surface gun duel.)

                                See CHRONOLOGY OF THE WAR AT SEA BY J Rohwer.)

                27th        Detached from SL115 on arrival at Liverpool

                                (Note: No ship of the 27 in convoy was lost during passage )

                                Nominated for support of joint anti-submarine operations with RAF in Bay of Biscay area.

 

August                  Deployed with 38th Escort Group in support role off Finisterre.

                1st           Rescued crew of RAF CATALINA aircraft

 

September             Nominated for escort of military convoys to Gibraltar for North African landings.

                                (Operation TORCH - See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and Naval Staff

                                History).

October

                25th        Sailed from Clyde as part of escort for follow-up military convoy KMS1

                                during passage to Gibraltar (Operation TORCH).

 

November              Atlantic convoy duties in continuation.

 

December              In collision with HM Canadian Frigate LOUISBERG.

  

1 9 4 3

 

January                  Under refit and repair to collision damage at Avonmouth.

to                            Surface warning radar Type 271 fitted and radar type 291 replaced Type 286M.

March

 

April                       On completion of post refit trials worked-up at Tobermory for Escort duty.

 

May                        Rejoined Western Approaches Command for Atlantic convoy escort and support.

 

June                        Escort and support of Atlantic convoys in continuation.

to                            (For details of the development of new weapons and anti-submarine tactics see

July                         SEEK AND STRIKE.)

 

August                  Deployed for Anti-submarine operations in Bay of Biscay with 40th Escort Group.

                                (Operation MUSKETRY - see CONFLICT OVER THE BAY by N Franks).

                25th        During Bay of Biscay operations attacked by Glider Bombs and damaged by three

                                near misses.

                                Casualties included one killed and 16 injured.

 

September             Under repair at Londonderry.

 

October                  On completion joined 41st Escort Group for convoys between UK and Freetown.

 

November              Convoy defence in continuation with Group.

to

December

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Transferred with Group to Gibraltar for convoy escort.

to

March

 

April                       Joined 44th Escort Group in continuation of Mediterranean convoy escort duty.

to                            Nominated to return to UK for refit and to join 41st Escort Group.

December

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Passage to Devonport and under refit.

to

March

 

April                       Joined 41st Escort Group at Devonport for convoy defence in SW Approaches

                                (Note: During this period SCHNORKEL fitted U-Boats were concentrating their attacks on

                                coastal convoys in focal points. Ocean Convoys were also being routed via the English

                                Channel because the enemy air threat from French bases had been removed).

 

May                        Part of escort of Convoy MKS100.

 

June                        Nominated for transfer to Reserve.

                                Passage to Cardiff to Pay-of and de-stored.

 

July                         Reduced to Reserve.

 

August                  Laid-up at Milford Haven.

 

P o s t†† W a r†† N o t e s

 

HMS BIDEFORD remained in Reserve at Milford Haven and was placed on the Disposal Lost. She was sold to BISCO for demolition by T W Ward at Milford Haven. Later that month the ship was towed to the breakerís yard.

 

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS BIDEFORD

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

 

 

 

 

 

05/01/40

05/01/40

HG 014F

15/01/40

15/01/40

26/12/39

10/01/40

SL 014

15/01/40

15/01/40

08/02/40

10/02/40

OA 088GF

11/02/40

11/02/40

11/02/40

11/02/40

OG 018F

17/02/40

17/02/40

17/02/40

17/02/40

HG 019

27/02/40

27/02/40

28/02/40

28/02/40

OA 100G

01/03/40

01/03/40

29/02/40

29/02/40

OA 101

01/03/40

03/03/40

14/03/40

14/03/40

OG 022F

19/03/40

19/03/40

21/03/40

unknown

OG 023F

28/03/40

28/03/40

05/04/40

05/04/40

HG 025

15/04/40

15/04/40

22/04/40

22/04/40

OG 027F

28/04/40

28/04/40

07/05/40

07/05/40

HG 029

10/05/40

17/05/40

20/05/40

20/05/40

OG 030

23/05/40

26/05/40

20/05/40

26/05/40

HG 031F

28/05/40

29/05/40

15/05/41

15/05/41

OG 062

29/05/41

29/05/41

04/06/41

04/06/41

HG 064

19/06/41

19/06/41

04/07/41

04/07/41

OG 067

20/07/41

20/07/41

28/07/41

28/07/41

HG 069

11/08/41

11/08/41

23/08/41

23/08/41

OS 004

09/09/41

11/09/41

14/09/41

16/09/41

SL 087

06/10/41

06/10/41

25/10/41

26/10/41

OS 010

15/11/41

18/11/41

18/11/41

18/11/41

SL 093

10/12/41

10/12/41

23/12/41

24/12/41

OS 015

11/01/42

13/01/42

15/01/42

18/01/42

SL 098

05/02/42

05/02/42

12/04/42

23/04/42

OS 025

29/04/42

29/04/42

04/05/42

04/05/42

SL 109

18/05/42

28/05/42

21/05/42

21/05/42

HG 083

07/06/42

07/06/42

11/06/42

11/06/42

OS 031

27/06/42

30/06/42

05/07/42

05/07/42

SL 115

25/07/42

26/07/42

10/08/42

11/08/42

OS 037

27/08/42

29/08/42

03/09/42

03/09/42

SL 121

21/09/42

21/09/42

26/09/42

09/10/42

SC 103

14/10/42

14/10/42

25/10/42

25/10/42

KMS 002G

12/11/42

12/11/42

15/11/42

15/11/42

MKS 001X

23/11/42

23/11/42

11/12/42

11/12/42

KMS 005G

24/12/42

27/12/42

22/12/42

26/12/42

MKS 004

06/01/43

06/01/43

25/04/43

09/05/43

SC 128

10/05/43

13/05/43

18/05/43

27/05/43

SC 131

28/05/43

31/05/43

28/05/43

02/06/43

ONS 009

04/06/43

09/06/43

26/05/43

04/06/43

SC 132

06/06/43

11/06/43

01/06/43

06/06/43

ON 187

09/06/43

15/06/43

16/06/43

20/06/43

ON 189

22/06/43

01/07/43

15/06/43

23/06/43

HX 244

26/06/43

30/06/43

07/10/43

07/10/43

OS 056KM

18/10/43

18/10/43

18/10/43

18/10/43

OS 056

29/10/43

29/10/43

02/11/43

02/11/43

SL 139

16/11/43

14/11/43

28/11/43

28/11/43

OS 059

08/12/43

08/12/43

12/12/43

12/12/43

SL 143

25/12/43

25/12/43

07/01/44

08/01/44

OS 063

17/01/44

17/01/44

22/01/44

22/01/44

SL 147

02/02/44

02/02/44

07/02/44

12/02/44

KMS 040

18/02/44

18/02/44

24/02/44

28/02/44

GUS 032

07/03/44

23/03/44

23/02/44

10/03/44

UGS 034

20/03/44

20/03/44

30/03/44

31/03/44

MKS 045

11/04/44

11/04/44

17/04/44

17/04/44

KMS 047

27/04/44

27/04/44

04/05/44

05/05/44

GUS 039

15/05/44

29/05/44

14/06/44

14/06/44

KMS 053

23/06/44

24/06/44

28/07/44

29/07/44

MKS 057

08/08/44

08/08/44

13/08/44

13/08/44

KMS 059

23/08/44

23/08/44

02/09/44

03/09/44

GUS 051

08/09/44

28/09/44

23/08/44

12/09/44

UGS 052

17/09/44

17/09/44

26/09/44

27/09/44

MKS 063

08/10/44

08/10/44

11/10/44

11/10/44

KMS 065

21/10/44

21/10/44

01/11/44

02/11/44

GUS 057

07/11/44

30/11/44

22/10/44

12/11/44

UGS 058

18/11/44

18/11/44

01/01/45

01/01/45

MKF 037

04/01/45

06/01/45

02/03/45

02/03/45

ON 288

07/03/45

19/03/45

23/02/45

07/03/45

HX 340

10/03/45

10/03/45

22/03/45

22/03/45

OS 118KM

25/03/45

29/03/45

21/03/45

25/03/45

MKS 090G

28/03/45

28/03/45

07/04/45

07/04/45

OS 121KM

10/04/45

14/04/45

05/04/45

10/04/45

MKS 093G

13/04/45

14/04/45

12/04/45

12/04/45

ON 296

14/04/45

30/04/45

17/04/45

19/04/45

OS 123KM

20/04/45

23/04/45

15/04/45

21/04/45

MKS 095G

23/04/45

23/04/45

11/05/45

12/05/45

OS 128KM

14/05/45

15/05/45

10/05/45

15/05/45

MKS 100G

17/05/45

17/05/45

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

 

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