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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2

by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2001

HMS BRIDGEWATER (L 01) - Bridgewater-class Sloop including Convoy Escort Movements  

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Bridgewater (Photo Ships, click to enlarge)

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BRIDGEWATER-Class Escort Sloop ordered from Hawthorne Leslie, Newcastle on 19th September 1927 under† the 1927 Build Programme with sister ship HMS SANDWICH as replacements for the FLOWER Class built during WW1. The ship was laid down on 6th February 1928 and launched without ceremony on 14th September that year. She was the 5th RN ship to bear this name, introduced in 1654 for a 52 gun ship, to commemorate the capture of the Somerset town, actually named BRIDGWATER, by the Parliamentary army in 1645. This ship was renamed ANN in 1660 and the name last used in 1754 for a 6th Rate built at Southampton which was run ashore at Cuddalore in† April 1758 to avoid capture by the French and deliberately set on fire. Build of this Sloop was completed on 14th March 1929 and before the outbreak of war in 1939 had been deployed on the China Station for six years followed by service based at Simonstown. In March 1942 she was adopted by the civil community of Westhoughton, Lancs. after a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign.

 

B a t t l e†† H o n o u r s

 

PORTO FARINA 1653 - SANTA CRUZ 1657 -  CALCUTTA 1757 - NORTH SEA 1942 - ATLANTIC 1942-43

 

H e r a l d i c†† D a t a

Badge: On a Field Gold, three castles on a bridge. all Silver, below

a star and a fleur-de-lys Gold.

 

M o t t o

Stet fortuna nostra: 'May our fortune stand'

 

M a n n i n g   P o r t

Devonport

 

 

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

 

August                  Arrived at Simonstown after passage from UK with calls in West African ports after

                                recommissioning at Devonport for further period of foreign service.

                                Took passage to Freetown to take up war station.

 

September             Deployed at Freetown for trade defence and patrol.

                                Nominated for return to Simonstown.

 

October                  Passage to Simonstown for trade defence.

to December          Deployed in South Atlantic.

 

1 9 4 0

 

January                  Took passage to Freetown for convoy defence duties.

                                Deployed at Freetown

 

February                Convoy escort and patrol based at Freetown in continuation

to April                  (Note: Extensive fouling of underwater structure required attention

                                Docking arranged at Simonstown.)

 

May                        Passage to Simonstown for routine docking and refit

                                Taken in hand for refit and docking by HM Dockyard.

                                Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to U01.

 

June                        Under refit

to August              Nominated for escort duty in support of planned Free French landings at Dakar.

 

September

                23rd        On completion of post refit trials took passage to resume convoy defence duty

                                at Freetown.

                                Deployed for escort of military convoy on passage for planned Free French

                                landings in West Africa supported by Royal Navy warships (Operation MENACE).

                                (Note: To be confirmed and possibly associated with later landings at Libreville.

                                Further research is needed.)

 

October                  Deployed at Freetown for local convoy escort and patrol.

to December.

 

1 9 4 1

 

January                  Freetown deployment in continuation.

                8th          Deployed with HM Sloop MILFORD, HM Destroyers VELOX and VIDETTE,

                                HM Corvettes ASPHODEL and CALENDULA to provide Local anti-submarine

                                escort for military convoy during initial stage of passage from Freetown to Cape

                                of Good Hope.

                                (Note: This convoy had been attacked by German cruiser ADMIRAL HIPPER

                                during passage to Freetown from UK. See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE

                                CLOSELY by C Barnett and the Naval Staff History.)

February                Passage to Simonstown for refit and docking.

 

March                    Under refit and docking.

                                Passage to Freetown to resume convoy escort duties.

 

April                       Freetown deployment in continuation.

to August

 

September

                26th        Deployed as escort for HM Aircraft Carrier EAGLE during passage to Gibraltar.

                                (Note: HMS EAGLE had been carrying out anti-submarine operations in Atlantic.)

 

October                  Freetown deployment in continuation.

to November

 

December              Part of escort for Convoy SL10 during passage to Freetown.

                25th        Deployed with HM Destroyer BEAUFORT and HM Battleship RAMILLIES as

                                escort for military convoy WS14 during passage from Freetown to Cape of Good

                                Hope.

 

1 9 4 2

 

January

                4th          Detached from WS14 on arrival off Simonstown.

                                Taken in hand for docking.

 

February                Took passage to Freetown to resume convoy escort duties.

 

March                    Deployed at Freetown.

                6th          Joined HM Destroyers BRILLIANT and WILD SWAN, HM Corvettes JASMINE

                                and NIGELLA as escort for military convoy WS16 during passage from Freetown

                                to Cape of Good Hope

                18th        Detached from WS16 on arrival off Cape of Good Hope.

                                Return passage to Freetown.

 

April                       Deployed at Freetown.

                                Nominated for return to UK.

 

May                        Deployed as part of escort for Convoy SL114 from Freetown during passage

                                to UK.

 

June                        Taken in hand for refit in Tyne commercial shipyard during which Radar Type

                                271 was fitted to provide surface warning cover and Close Range defence improved

                                by installation of 20mm Oerlikon weapons

                                (Note: For details of development and use of radar by Royal Navy see RADAR

                                AT SEA by D Howse and SEEK AND STRIKE by W Hackmann.)

 

July                         Under refit

to August

 

September             On completion of post refit trials took passage to Clyde for return to Convoy defence

                                deployment at Freetown.

                                (Note: The award of Battle Honour NORTH SEA 1942 suggests that this ship

                                was deployed as a convoy escort on passage to or from Tyne refit and

                                was involved in defence of a convoy against air or E-Boat attack.)

                                Joined Convoy OS42 as part of escort in Atlantic during passage to Freetown.

 

October

                9th          Resumed convoy defence and patrol duties based at Freetown on arrival of OS42.

 

November              Freetown Escort Force deployment in continuation.

 

December              Nominated for detached service from Freetown Escort Force.

                2nd         Joined HM Cruiser PHOEBE as escort during passage from Freetown to Trinidad

                                (Note: HMS PHOEBE had been seriously damaged by a U-Boat attack in South

                                Atlantic on 23rd October and was taking passage to USA for repair.)

                                Took return passage from Trinidad as part of escort for Convoy TF1.

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  Resumed convoy defence duties at Freetown on arrival of TF1.

 

February                Freetown deployment in continuation.

to August              (Note: This ship was frequently deployed for escort for coastal convoys between

                                West African ports and for passage to and from Gibraltar in SR and RS

                                Series.)

 

September             Nominated for return to UK

                                (Note: Increase in defect rate due to age of this ship made deployment away from

                                base dockyard support and was a factor in withdrawal from foreign

                                service. Other new escorts were becoming available.)

                                Passage to Liverpool as part of escort for Convoy SL136 which was joined by

                                Convoy MKS24 at Gibraltar.

                25th        Detached from SL136/KMS24 on arrival at Liverpool.

 

October                  Deployed in Western Approaches for escort of convoys between UK and Gibraltar

to November         pending refit.

                                (Note: These included Convoy OS56 to Freetown combined with military convoy

                                KMS29 to Gibraltar.)

                                Nominated for refit at commercial ship yard at Southampton.

                                Taken in hand for refit.

 

December              Under refit at Southampton.

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Under refit and nominated for service in 40th Escort Group, Western Approaches.

 

February                Planned deployment cancelled and to be withdrawn from operational duties

                                (Note: By this date ship had been fitted with HEDGEHOG Anti-submarine

                                Mortar, Radar Type 291 for surface/aircraft warning and a High

                                Frequency Direction Finding outfit for use in convoy defence.

                                See above references.)

                                Allocated for service in 3rd Submarine Flotilla based in Clyde

                                (Note: This decision was made in view of poor condition of hull structure.)

 

March                    Joined 3rd Submarine Flotilla for duty as Target Vessel during submarine

                                training and escort for submarines during surface passage in NW Approaches.

 

April                       Clyde deployment with 3rd Submarine Flotilla in continuation.

to December

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Submarine Training and escort duties in continuation based in Clyde.

to                            Nominated for reduction to Reserve status after end of hostilities.

June

 

July                         Paid off and reduced to Reserve in Category C.

 

August                  Laid-up at Ardrossan.

 

P o s t    W a r    Notes

 

HMS BRIDGEWATER was used for static bomb trials during 1946-47 before being placed on the Disposal List. The ship was sold to BISCO on 22nd May 1947 and broken-up by Howells for demolition at Gellesick Bay.† She arrived at the breakerís yard in tow on 25th May 1947.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS BRIDGEWATER

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

 

 

 

 

 

01/03/40

12/03/40

SL 022F

15/03/40

15/03/40

21/11/40

21/11/40

SL 056

22/11/40

12/12/40

12/11/40

25/11/40

SL 055

04/12/40

02/12/40

28/11/40

28/11/40

SL 057

30/11/40

19/12/40

07/12/40

07/12/40

SL 058

08/12/40

28/12/40

22/12/40

22/12/40

SL 060

24/12/40

13/01/41

22/12/40

24/12/40

SL 060S

24/12/40

15/01/41

29/12/40

03/01/41

HG 049

03/01/41

15/01/41

18/06/41

18/06/41

SL 078

21/06/41

12/07/41

14/07/41

31/07/41

OB 346

01/08/41

01/08/41

23/09/41

23/09/41

ST 004

28/09/41

28/09/41

17/10/41

17/10/41

ST 006

22/10/41

22/10/41

11/11/41

11/11/41

ST 008

16/11/41

16/11/41

04/12/41

04/12/41

ST 010

09/12/41

09/12/41

25/04/42

25/04/42

LS 003

26/04/42

30/04/42

13/05/42

13/05/42

LS 005

20/05/42

20/05/42

25/06/42

01/07/42

SL 114

17/07/42

17/07/42

29/09/42

29/09/42

OS 042

09/10/42

09/10/42

16/10/42

19/10/42

SL 125

21/10/42

09/11/42

04/11/42

04/11/42

CF 007A

12/11/42

17/11/42

26/11/42

26/11/42

FTT 003

30/11/42

01/12/42

15/01/43

15/01/43

TF 001/2

16/01/43

16/01/43

10/02/43

10/02/43

SR 001/1

16/02/43

23/02/43

11/02/43

16/02/43

RS 001

19/02/43

19/02/43

24/02/43

24/02/43

SR 002/1

03/03/43

08/03/43

26/02/43

03/03/43

RS 002

08/03/43

08/03/43

21/03/43

21/03/43

SR 003/1

02/04/43

02/04/43

22/03/43

28/03/43

RS 003

31/03/43

31/03/43

03/05/43

03/05/43

ST 063A

07/05/43

06/05/43

05/05/43

05/05/43

TS 038

10/05/43

10/05/43

30/05/43

30/05/43

TS 042

02/06/43

02/06/43

23/06/43

23/06/43

ST 070

29/06/43

29/06/43

03/07/43

03/07/43

TS 046

08/07/43

08/07/43

11/07/43

11/07/43

ST 072

20/07/43

20/07/43

07/08/43

07/08/43

OSS 052

14/08/43

12/08/43

03/09/43

03/09/43

SL 136

25/09/43

14/09/43

14/09/43

14/09/43

SL 136MK

25/09/43

25/09/43

18/09/44

25/09/44

SL 170MK

26/09/44

26/09/44

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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