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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 LAPWING (U 62) - Modified Black Swan-class Sloop including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Lapwing (Navy Photos/Bob Hanley, click to enlarge)

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Modified BLACK SWAN-Class ordered from Scotts, Greenock under the 1940 Build Programs on 27th March 1941 and laid down on 17th December 1941. The ship was launched by Mrs Evelegh en 16th July 1943 and was the 11th RN warship to carry the name. It was first used in 1764 by a Cutter built at Broadstairs and lastly by a WW1 destroyer sold in 1921. In February 1942 this ship was adopted by the civil community of Saffron Walden. Essex after a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign. Build was completed on 21st March 1943 and armament included the new design Type 276 radar in place of Type 272 for surface warning, Type 285 for fire control and Type 291 to give warning of aircraft and surface targets (See RADAR AT SEA by D Howse).

 

B a t t l e  H o n o u r s

 

HELIGOLAND 1914 - BELGIAN COAST 1914 - DOGGER BANK 1915 - JUTLAND 1916 - NORMANDY 1944 - NORTH SEA  1944 - ARCTIC 1944-45

 

He r a l d i c   D at a

Badge: On a Field White, a lapwing in flight proper.

 

 

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 4

 

March                    Contractors trials and commissioning.

                21st         Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

                                On completion of trials and storing took passage to Tobermory.

 

April                       Carried out work-up for operational service at Tobermory.

                                On completion deployed in Western Approaches for convoy escort.

 

May                        Nominated for service with 111th Escort Group for support of allied landings in Normandy

                                based at Plymouth

                                (Operation NEPTUNE - For details of naval activities before and during NEPTUNE see

                                OPERATION NEPTUNE by K Edwards and LANDINGS IN NORMANDY, June 1944

                                (HMSO).

                                Convoy defence in continuation.

 

June

                                Joined Group at Milford Haven for escort of Convoy EBP1.

                                (Note: Other ships in this Group were HM Sloop PELICAN, HM Destroyer MENDIP, HM

                                Frigates NARBROUGH and RUPERT.)

                4th          Operation delayed by 24 hours

                5th          Joined Convoy EBP1 with Group in Bristol Channel.

                                (Note: EBP1 was made up of 4 ships carrying Pre-loaded US Build-up Division and two Depot

                                Ships for passage to beach head in Western Task Force Area for US Army landings.)

                7th          Arrived in beach head with EBP1 after passage through swept channel.

                                Took passage to Plymouth with Group to continued escort of follow-up convoys.

                27th        After termination of NEPTUNE remained in Channel area for convoy escort and anti-submarine

                               operations.

 

July                         Channel deployment based at Plymouth in continuation. Nominated for transfer to 8th Escort

 to                           Group for convoy defence in NW Approaches.

August

 

September             Passage to Clyde to Join new Group.

                                Deployed with Group in NW Approaches.

 

October                  Detached for Russian convoy escort duty with Home Fleet.

                                Deployed with HM Destroyer WALKER, HM Sloop LARK, HM Corvettes CAMELLIA,

                                OXLIP and RHODODENDRON as Close Escort for Convoy JW61 during passage to Kola

                                Inlet.

                                (For details of Russian convoy operations with names of mercantiles and escorts see

                                CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by RA Ruegg, CONVOY! by P Kemp, ARCTIC CONVOYS by

                                R Woodman and THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS by B Schoefield.)

 

November

                1st           Took part in anti-submarine operations against U-Boats assembled off Kola Inlet for attack on

                                return convoy to UK.

                2nd         Part of escort returning Convoy RA 61 with same ships.

                9th          Detached from RA61 on arrival at Loch Ewe after uninterrupted passage.

                10th        Under repair of weather damage in Clyde shipyard.

                26th        On completion prepared for further convoy defence duties in Home Fleet.

                28th        Involved in collision with HM Mooring Vessel MOORBY when leaving Clyde on passage

                                No serious damage sustained.

                29th        Joined escort for Russian convoy JW62 with HM Sloops CYGNET and LARK

 

December

                1st           Main escort and covering ships from Home Fleet joined JW62

                                (Note: Heavy escort was provided despite the elimination TIRPITZ by bombing attacks

                                on 12th November 1944).

                7th          Detached on arrival of JW62 at Kola Inlet after unscathed passage,

                9th          Deployed with other escorts for attacks on U-Boat assembly off Kola Inlet before

                                return convoy sailed for UK.

                10th        Joined escort for Convoy RA62 with same ships.

                19th        Detached from RA62 on arrival in NW Approaches.

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

                                HM Sloops CYGNET, LARK and three CASTLE Class corvettes.

 

1 9 4 5

 

January

                8th          Detached from JU&3 on arrival at Kola Inlet after safe passage.

                11th        Joined escort for Convoy RA63 with same ships.

                21st         Detached from RA63 after an exceptionally stormy passage which had forced convoy

                                to take shelter when NE of Faeroes.

                24th        Taken in hand for rep-air of weather damage repair in Clyde shipyard.

                                (Note: Many other escorts also sustained structural damage,

 

February

                2nd         Passage to Scapa Flow to resume convoy defence duties.

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

                                and four corvettes for passage to Kola Inlet.

                15th        Detached from JW64 on arrival at Kola Inlet.

                11th        Joined Close Escort for Russian Convoy JW64 with HMS LARK, HMS WHITEHALL and four

                                corvettes for passage to Kola Inlet.

                                See U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp.

                13th        HMS DENBIGH CASTLE was torpedoed by U993 and sustained major damage

                                The abandoned ships was taken in tow and beached but slid into the sea and sank.

                                See above HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR by C Blair and above references.)

                15th        Detached from JW64 on arrival at Kola Inlet.

                                (Note: This convoy had been under heavy and sustained air attacks during passage with one

                                escort.)

                16th        Deployed with other escorts to carry out anti-submarine hunt assisted by Russian aircraft to

                                attack U-Boats assembled outside Kola Inlet in wait for returning convoy to UK.

                                ( Note: During these operations U425 was sunk by HMS LARK and HM Corvette ALNWICK

                                CASTLE.)

                17th        During U-Boat attacks HMS LARK was hit by a Homing torpedo from U968 and

                                abandoned.

                                (Note: This ship was taken in tow to Kola Inlet, beached and de-equipped

                                Although declared a total loss she was salvaged by the Soviet Navy and later put into

                                service.)

                                HM Corvette was also sunk by U711 using the same type of weapon.

                                Only 12 survivors were rescued.

                19th        Collected ships of convoy after dispersal by very heavy weather.

                20th        Under sustained air attacks which were driven off by AA fire from escorts and aircraft from

                                HM Escort Aircraft Carrier NAIRANA.

                                See above references.

                23rd        Hurricane force winds again dispersed convoy which was reassembled.

                                Enemy aircraft failed to find convoy.

 

March

                1st           Detached from RA64 escort on arrival in NW Approaches.

                11th        Joined close escort for Russian Convoy JW65 with HM Destroyers MYNGS, Norwegian

                                STORD and seven corvettes for defence during passage to Kola Inlet.

                20th        Hit amidships by T5 homing torpedo fired from U968 off Kola Inlet in position 69 26N 33.44E.

                                Ship broke in two but stern section remained afloat for 20 minutes which enabled some 

                                survivors to be rescued.

                                (Note: Post war research suggests U968 was responsible but U716 is also recorded as the

                                attacker. See references.)

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS LAPWING

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

 

 

 

 

 

11/06/44

11/06/44

FCM 001

12/06/44

12/06/44

20/10/44

20/10/44

JW 061

28/10/44

28/10/44

02/11/44

02/11/44

RA 061

09/11/44

09/11/44

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

06/02/45

JW 064

15/02/45

15/02/45

17/02/45

17/02/45

RA 064

28/02/45

28/02/45

11/03/45

11/03/45

JW 065

20/03/45

21/03/45

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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revised 31/5/11
further editing and formatting is required