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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 CYGNET (U 38) - Modified Black Swan-class Sloop including Convoy Escort Movements 

HMS Cygnet (Navy Photos, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 
 

Modified BLACK SWAN-class Sloop ordered from Cammell Laird, Birkenhead under the 1940 Build Programme on 27th March 1941. Laid down on 30th March 1941 and laid down on 30th August 1941.The ship was launched by Mrs Simpson on 28th July 1942 as the 20th RN warship to carry the name, introduced in 1585. It was last used for a destroyer built in 1931, later in 1937 transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy and renamed HMCS ST LAURENT. The build of this sloop was completed on 1st December 1942 and she had been adopted in March that year by the civil community of Northfleet, Essex.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

 

ARMADA 1588 - CADIZ 1587 - PORTLAND 1653 - HAVANA 1762 - GUADALOUPE 1810 - ALEXANDRIA 1882 - SUAKIN 1884 - SICILY   1943 - ATLANTIC 1943-44 - ARCTIC 1944-45

 

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge:  On a  Field Black  a Cygnet Silver on avelets Gold and Blue.

 

M o t t o

Inter pares  insignis:   'Notable amongst her  fellows'

 

 

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 2

 

November              Contractors trials and commissioning.

                                (Note: Fitted with Surface Warning Radar Type 272, Fire-control Radar Type 285 and Air

                                Warning Radar Type 291 during build. For details of development and use of radar in RN see

                                RADAR AT SEA by D Howse).

 

December

                1st           Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

                                On completion of trials and storing took passage to Tobermory for work-up.

                9th          Damaged by grounding during work-up.

                19th        Taken in hand for repair in Clyde commercial shipyard.

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  Under repair.

 

February                Resumed work-up at Tobermory.

 

March

                15th        Joined 2nd Escort Group based in Liverpool.

                                Deployed with Group as part of escort of military convoy to Gibraltar and returned with routine

                                convoy to UK.

 

April                       Transferred to 7th Escort Group based at Greenock for support of convoys under threat of

                                attack by U-Boats in North Atlantic.

                                (For details of convoy defence in Atlantic see THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC by D

                                Macintyre, U-Boat WAR IN THE ATLANTIC (HMSO) and SEEK AND STRIKE by W

                                Hackmann.)

 

May                        Detached for duty with 2nd Escort Group in support of passage of Convoy ONS8

 

June

                3rd          Taken in hand for defect repair in Clyde shipyard.

                25th        Rejoined 7th Escort Group and nominated with Group for defence of military convoys

                                during passage to Mediterranean for planned allied landings in Sicily (Operation HUSKY).

                28th        Deployed as part of escort for Convoy KMF18 during passage to Gibraltar                           

 

July

                5th          Passed through Strait of Gibraltar.

                7th          Detached from KMF18 on arrival at Bone.

                9th          Deployed as part of escort for Follow-up Convoy KMS19 during passage to Beach Head.

                13th        Detached from KMS19 on arrival at BARK Beach.

                                (For details of HUSKY see Naval Staff History, ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY

                                by C Barnett and for information about all warships and mercantiles involved, BRITISH

                                INVASION FLEETS by J de Winser.)

                                Deployed for convoy escort in Mediterranean.

 

August                  Mediterranean deployment in continuation.

                                Nominated for return to UK .

 

September             Deployed with escort for military XK convoy to UK from Gibraltar.

                24th        Withdrawn from operational service on arrival for repair of an accumulation of defects.

                                Taken in hand for repair work at Dunstaffnage, near Oban.

 

October                  Under repair.

to                            The extent of this period under repair suggests that significant difficulties had been

November              experienced in a new ship.

 

December

                26th        On completion of repair carried out further work-up at Tobermory.

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Transferred to Home Fleet for convoy defence.

                12th        Joined HM Destroyer INCONSTANT, HM Corvettes POPPY and DIANELLA for Local Escort 

                                of Russian Convoy JW56A for part of passage to Iceland.

                                (For details of all Russian Convoy operations see ARCTIC CONVOYS by R. Woodman,

                                CONVOY by P Kemp and CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by RA Ruegg.)

                15th        Detached from JW56A and returned to Loch Ewe.

                22nd       Joined HM Destroyers WHITEHALL and WESTCOTT, with HM Minesweeper SEAGULL and

                                HM Corvette OXLIP for escort of Russian Convoy JW56B to Kola Inlet.

 

February

                1st           Detached from JW56B on arrival.

                3rd          Part of Close Escort for return Convoy RA56 with HM Destroyers WESTCOTT, WHITEHALL

                                HM Corvettes DIANELLA, OXLIP, POPPY and RHODODENDRON.

                11th        Detached from RA56 on arrival at Loch Ewe and rejoined 7th Escort Group.

 

March                    Deployed with Group for defence of North Atlantic convoys.

 

April

                8th          Shared credit for sinking of U962 with HM Sloop CRANE during defence of Convoy SC156

                                There were no survivors . (See U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp.)

                13th        Damaged by grounding when entering Belfast.

                15th        Taken in hand for repair in Belfast.

 

May                        Under repair

to

June

 

July

                13th        Rejoined Group in continuation of Atlantic convoy defence duty.

 

August                  Detached for Russian Convoy escort duty with 8th Escort Group.

                15th        Part of Close Escort for Russian Convoy JW59 with HM Frigate LOCH DUNVEGAN, HM

                                Corvettes BLUEBELL, CAMELLIA, CHARLOCK, HONEYSUCKLE and OXLIP

                                (Note: This convoy included the Russian battleship ARCHANGELSK (Ex H M S ROYAL

                                SOVEREIGN, eight TOWN Class destroyers (Ex USN Lease-Lend) and Ex USN PT

                                boats being transferred to Soviet Navy.).

                25th        Detached on arrival at Kola Inlet.

                26th        Part of escort for returning Convoy RA59A with same ships.

 

September

                6th          Detached from RA59A after arrival at Loch Ewe after unscathed passage.

                15th        Joined Russian Convoy JW60 as part of Close Escort with HM Destroyers BULLDOG,

                                KEPPEL, WHITEHALL, HM Corvettes ALLINGTON CASTLE and BAMBOROUGH CASTLE

                                of 8th Escort Group.

                23rd        Detached from JW60 on arrival at Kola Inlet.

                28th        Joined Close Escort for returning Convoy RA60 with same ships.

 

October

                4th          Detached from RA60 with ships of Group before arrival at Loch Ewe.

                6th          Deployed for escort of convoy to and from Iceland.

                25th        Under defect repair in Clyde shipyard.

                31st         After completion of repair joined HMS BEAGLE, HMS WESTCOTT and HM Frigate NENE

                                (RCN) as local escort for liners EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA and SCYTHIA taking 11,000

                                Russian nationals captured in Normandy back to Murmansk from Liverpool.

                                (Note: This was the initial stage of Convoy JW61A).

 

November

                2nd         Detached when relieved by Ocean Escort.

                29th        Deployed with 20th Escort Group as part of escort for Russian Convoy JW62 with HM Sloops

                                LAPWING, LARK and 14 other frigates and corvettes.

 

December

                7th          Detached on arrival at Kola Inlet without direct enemy interference.

                10th        Part of escort for returning convoy RA62 with same ships.

                19th        Detached from RA62 on arrival at Loch Ewe.

                                (Note: During the passage HM Destroyer CASSANDRA was damaged by U-Boat attack

                                and had to return to Murmansk.

                                HM Norwegian Corvette TUNSBERG CASTLE was lost after striking a mine).

                30th        Joined escort for Russian Convoy JW63 with HM Destroyers KEPPEL, WESTCOTT,

                                WALKER, HM Sloops LAPWING, LARK and three corvettes.

 

1 9 4 5

 

January

                8th          Detached from JW63 on arrival at Kola Inlet after unscathed passage.

                11th        Escorted returning convoy RA63 with HM Destroyer SCORPION and same ships.

                21st         Detached from RA63 on arrival at Loch Ewe after stormy passage which prevented enemy

                                attacks but forced convoy to scatter and later re-assembled.

 

February

                3rd          Joined Close Escort for Russian Convoy JW64 with HMS WHITEHALL, HMS LARK of 7th

                                Escort Group and four corvettes of 8th Escort Group.

                10th        Under air attacks by torpedo bombers which were repulsed.

                13th        Under submarine attack during which HM Corvette DENBIGH CASTLE was hit and was towed

                                to Kola Inlet where she subsequently grounded and capsized.

                15th        Detached on arrival on JW6M at Kola Inlet.

                16th        Carried out anti-submarine operations outside Kola Inlet with HMS LARK, HMS LAPWING,

                                HMS ALNWICK CASTLE and HMS BAMBOROUGH CASTLE before departure of convoy

                                RA64.

                                Stood by HMS LARK which was torpedoed by U963 during this operation.

                                (Note: HMS LARK was towed to Kola Inlet but subsequently became a total loss)

                18th        Rejoined HMS LAPWING, HMS WHITEHALL, HMS ALNWICK CASTLE and HMS

                                RHODODENDRON in Close Escort for RA64.

                                (Note: HM Corvette BLUEBELL had been torpedoed and sunk by U711during A/S hunt.)

 

 March

                1st           Detached from convoy on arrival in Clyde.

                                (Note: This convoy was subjected to extreme weather conditions, air and U-Boat attacks

                                which resulted in extensive damage to many escorts.

                                Two mercantiles in convoy were lost

                                For full details see above references.)

                5th          Taken in hand for refit and repair at Clyde shipyard.

 

April                       Refit and repair completed by ships staff at Corpach near Fort William.

                                Resumed operational duty with 8th Escort Group on completion.

                16th        Joined Close Escort for Russian Convoy JW66 with HM Corvettes ALNWICK CASTLE,

                                BAMBOROUGH CASTLE, FARNHAM CASTLE, OXLIP and RHODODENDRON.

                25th        Detached on arrival at Kola Inlet without major interference.

                29th        Joined escort for returning convoy RA66 with same ships.

                                (Note: A Group of U-Boats lying off Kola Inlet were attacked by ships of 19th Escort Group

                                prior to departure (Operation TRAMMEL)

                                U307 was sunk during this operation.).

 

May

                8th          Detached from RA66 on arrival in Clyde (VE-Day).

                                Under repair to weather defects.

                                Nominated for service in Pacific after refit.

 

June

                1st           Taken in hand for refit at commercial shipyard in Leith.

 

July                         Under refit

to                            (Note: Two twin and four single 20mm guns fitted for Close Range AA defence.)

August                  Carried out post refit trials.

 

September

                3rd          During post refit sea trials damaged by grounding and taken in hand for repair.

 

P o s t   W a r   N o t e s

 

After repair HMS CYGNET Paid-off and reduced to Reserve at Devonport. The ship was brought forward for service in the Fishery Protection Squadron in 1948.and in 1951 again re-commissioned for foreign service with the 5th Frigate Flotilla in the Mediterranean. She transferred to the 2nd Frigate Flotilla the next year and Paid off in 1954 at Chatham where she  reduced to Reserve status and was laid-up in the Medway. Placed on the Disposal List in 1956 she was sold BISCO for demolition by Shipbreaking Industries at Rosyth. The ship arrived in  tow at the Breakerís yard in Rosyth on 16th March that year.

 


 

Addenda

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS CYGNET

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

 

 

 

 

 

15/03/43

21/03/43

KMF 011

23/03/43

23/03/43

25/03/43

26/03/43

MKF 011

05/04/43

05/04/43

24/04/43

01/05/43

HX 236

05/05/43

09/05/43

03/05/43

06/05/43

SL 128MK

14/05/43

14/05/43

17/05/43

22/05/43

ONS 008

25/05/43

01/06/43

19/05/43

27/05/43

HX 240

04/06/43

04/06/43

28/06/43

28/06/43

KMF 018

07/07/43

11/07/43

18/07/43

18/07/43

GUS 010

22/07/43

09/08/43

18/07/43

18/07/43

MKS 018

22/07/43

23/07/43

14/07/43

24/07/43

MKF 019

29/07/43

30/07/43

17/08/43

17/08/43

KMS 024G

30/08/43

30/08/43

05/09/43

05/09/43

XK 011

14/09/43

20/09/43

12/01/44

12/01/44

JW 056A

15/01/44

28/01/44

22/01/44

22/01/44

JW 056B

01/02/44

01/02/44

03/02/44

03/02/44

RA 056

11/02/44

11/02/44

02/03/44

09/03/44

MKF 029

16/03/44

16/03/44

15/03/44

16/03/44

ON 228

unknown

01/04/44

18/07/44

18/07/44

KMF 033

19/07/44

31/07/44

15/08/44

15/08/44

JW 059

25/08/44

25/08/44

28/08/44

28/08/44

RA 059A

05/09/44

05/09/44

15/09/44

15/09/44

JW 060

23/09/44

23/09/44

28/09/44

28/09/44

RA 060

04/10/44

05/10/44

14/10/44

14/10/44

DS 058

17/10/44

17/10/44

17/10/44

17/10/44

SD 058

20/10/44

20/10/44

31/10/44

31/10/44

JW 061A

02/11/44

06/11/44

29/11/44

29/11/44

JW 062

07/12/44

07/12/44

10/12/44

10/12/44

RA 062

19/12/44

19/12/44

30/12/44

30/12/44

JW 063

08/01/45

08/01/45

11/01/45

11/01/45

RA 063

21/01/45

21/01/45

03/02/45

03/02/45

JW 064

15/02/45

15/02/45

17/02/45

17/02/45

RA 064

28/02/45

28/02/45

16/04/45

16/04/45

JW 066

25/04/45

25/04/45

29/04/45

29/04/45

RA 066

07/05/45

08/05/45

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 


 

APRIL 1945 MOVEMENTS of HMS CYGNET

by Thomas Weis (16 Feb 2009)

Your entry shows:

April             Resumed operational duty with 8th Escort Group on completion.
         16th      Joined Close Escort for Russian Convoy JW66 with HM Corvettes ALNWICK CASTLE,
                      BAMBOROUGH CASTLE, FARNHAM CASTLE, OXLIP and RHODODENDRON.
         29th     Joined escort for returning convoy RA66 with same ships.


According to "Chronology of the War at Sea" by Jurgen Rohwer, CYGNET was leading the 7th EG (instead of 8th EG) in April 1945. 8th Escort Group was escorting convoy BB.80, when LOCH GLENDHU detected U1024 and took part in attacks with HM Frigate LOCH ACHRAY (following your own information about these vessels). 7th EG was escorting convoys JW-66 and RA-66 together with 19th EG.

 

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