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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2

by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2003

HMS LOWESTOFT (L 59) - Grimsby-class Sloop
including Convoy Escort Movements

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

GRIMSBY-Class Sloop ordered from HM Dockyard Devonport under the 1932 Programme on 1st May 1933 with HM Sloop WELLINGTON. She was laid down on 21st August 1933 and launched by Mrs Henderson on 11th April 1934 as the 5th RN ship to carry the name introduced in 1697 for a 5th Rate. It was previously used for a cruiser built in 1913 and sold in 1921. Her build was completed on 22nd November 1934 and she served exclusively on the China Station until December 1939 when recalled to UK for war service. She had not returned to refit or re-commission since build. In October 1941 the ship was adopted by the civil community of Lowestoft and Lothingland after a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

QUEBEC 1759 - GENOA 1795 - MINERVE Action - HELIGOLAND  1914 - DOGGER BANK  1915 - ATLANTIC  1940-45

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Black a Lowestoft plate proper, surmounted by

an oriental crown Gold.

 

M o t t o

Pont  de Jour:  'Turn out early'

 

M a n n i n g    P o r t

Devonport

 

S u m m a r y   o f   S e r v i c e    b e f o r e   S e p t e m b e r   1 9 3 9

 

1 9 3 4

 

October                  Dockyard trials

 

November              Commissioned for Acceptance trials

                20th        Commissioned for service on China Station.

 

December              On completion of Acceptance Trials

                                Carried out Shakedown and prepared for foreign service.

                                Visited Lowestoft before return to Devonport.

                12th        Sailed from Plymouth for service at Hong Kong.

 

1 9 3 5

 

January                  Passage to Hong Kong via Mediterranean.

                                During passage developed defects in boilers

 

February

                15th        Arrived at Hong Kong with serious defects to boilers.

                                Taken in hand for repair by HM Dockyard, Hong Kong.

 

March                    Under repair

to

April

 

May                        On completion carried out post-repair trials before commencing operation service

 

June                        Deployed for patrol including support of mercantile traffic in China Sea and visits

to                            to ports in China and French Indo China.

December              (Note: RN ships were deployed at Wei-hai Wei during summer months for Fleet

                                harbour and sea exercises with Fleet units including submarines.)

 

1 9 3 6

 

                                Patrol and visits programme in continuation

                                (Note: Visits were paid to Borneo, Sarawak and Hainan in January.

                                and Japanese ports in August)

 

1 9 3 7

 

 

January                  China Station patrol, visits and exercise programme in continuation

to                            (Note: Re-commissioning arranged on Station with new crew arriving

March                    by sea.)

 

April

4th                          Re-commissioned at Singapore.

 

May                        Resumed duties and rejoined Fleet programme

 

June                        China Station deployment in continuation based at Hong Kong

to                            (Note: Routine dockings were carried out at Hong Kong.)

December

 

1 9 3 8

 

January                  Deployed on China station for patrol, visits and exercises with Fleet units.

to                            Nominated for refit in Singapore.

August

 

September             Taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard.

 

October                  Under refit

 

November              On completion of dockyard work carried out post refit trials

                                Passage to Hong Kong to resume operational service.

 

December              Deployed at Hong Kong for patrol and defence of British Flagged mercantiles.

 

1 9 3 9

 

January                  Hong Kong deployment in continuation

to                            Nominated for refit and modification of main armament by HM Dockyard,

June                        Hong Kong.

 

July                         Taken in hand for fit of twin 4in HA weapons in place of original single 4in

                                LA mountings

 

August                  Under refit

 

 

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             Under refit in Hong Kong.

to                            Nominated for return to UK for convoy defence on completion

November

 

December

                8th          Carried out post refit trials off Hong Kong

                                On completion took passage from Hong Kong to Gibraltar.

 

1 9 4 0

 

January                  Arrived at Gibraltar

                13th        Joined escort for Convoy HG15F at Gibraltar for passage to UK.

                21st         Detached from HG15F and took passage to Devonport.

 

February

                5th          Docked at Devonport prior to deployment with Rosyth Escort Force.

 

 March

                3rd          Deployed at Rosyth for convoy escort from Forth area through NW Approaches.

                                (Note: Enemy air attacks were frequently made on these convoys.)

 

April                       Convoy Escort based at Rosyth in continuation.

 

May                        Rosyth deployment in continuation.

                                Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to U59 (May).

 

June                        Deployed in North Sea for coastal convoy defence and patrol.

to August              Transferred to Western Approaches Command for Atlantic convoy defence

 

September

                2nd         Joined escort for Convoy SC2 in NW Approaches for the final stage of passage from

                                Halifax. Lost 5 ships in U-Boat attacks.

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

                                D. MacIntyre, U-BOAT WAR IN THE ATLANTIC (HMSO) and HITLERíS

                                U-BOAT WAR by C Blair.)

                20th        Deployed with HM Destroyers SCIMITAR and SKATE to regroup ships of Convoy HX75

                                on passage from Halifax which had dispersed during bad weather and U-Boat attacks.

                                11 ships were sunk during passage.

                                Engaged U32 by gun action in defence of convoy. See above references.

 

October                  Resumed escort of North Sea convoys to and from Thames.

to

December

 

1 9 4 1

 

January

                5th          Mined during defence of East Coast convoy and sustained major damage.

 

February                Under repair at HM Dockyard Chatham.

to                            Radar Type 286M (Modified RAF ASV Mk III) and 20mm Oerlikon guns fitted.

September             (See RADAR AT SEA by D Howse for details of development and use of radar in RN).

 

October                  On completion  (3rd October) rejoined Rosyth Escort Force for East Coast convoy defence.

to                        

December

 

1 9 4 2

 

January                  Continued convoy defence in North Sea.

to                            (Note: Despite extensive service on this duty the award of Battle Honour NORTH SEA

March                    1940-45 was not made.)

 

April                       Transferred to Western Approaches Command and joined 45th Escort Group based

                                in Londonderry.

 

May                        Deployed on escort of convoys to and from Freetown.

to

June

 

July

                12th        Damaged in collision with Free French destroyer LEOPARD.

 

August                  Under repair at Gibraltar.

to                            Four 20mm Oerlikon guns fitted to increase close range defence.

October

 

November              Completion delayed by lack of materials and work load in Gibraltar by TORCH

                                landings in North Africa.

                                (See Naval Staff History and ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett).

                                Transferred to UK for completion.

 

December              Under repair at Falmouth.

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  Under repair and refit at Falmouth.

to                            Surface warning radar Type 271, surface and aircraft warning radar and HF D/F

March                    outfit fitted to improve anti-submarine efficiency (See SEEK AND STRIKE).

 

April                       On completion went to Tobermory for work-up prior to convoy defence duty.

 

May                        Joined 42nd Escort Group at Londonderry for Freetown route convoy escort.

                19th        Deployed with HM Aircraft Carrier UNICORN, HM Destroyers ACTIVE,

                                CLEVELAND and Polish ORP SLAZAK, HM Sloops WELLINGTON and WESTON,

                                HM Frigates EXE and NESS, HM Cutters GORLESTON and TOTLAND as Ocean

                                Escort for the joint military convoy WS30 to Middle East and Convoy KMF15 to North

                                Africa during passage from Clyde.

                25th        Detached from joint convoy with Ocean Escort and resumed Freetown route duties.

 

June                        Deployed on convoy defence on Freetown route.

to                            (Note: Award of Battle Honour ATLANTIC 1940-45 reflects contribution made in

July                         actions against U-Boats and aircraft in defence of Atlantic convoys).

                                For details of weapons and tactics used in the Atlantic battle see SEEK AND STRIKE

                                by W Hackmann, THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC by D MacIntyre and U-BOAT

                                WAR IN THE ATLANTIC (HMSO)).

 

August                  Transferred to West African Command at Freetown for coastal convoy escort.

                                (Note: HEDGEHOG Anti-Submarine mortar was fitted during this period.

                                See above references).

 

September             Escort of local convoys off West Africa.

 

October                  Detached to join ships of British 5th Escort Group and 8th Escort Group as                           

                                escort for convoy taking personnel and stores to Azores for establishment

                                of air bases (Operation ALACRITY).

 

November              Returned to Freetown and resumed escort duties.

 

December              Local convoy escort duty in continuation at Freetown.

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Deployment as escort for West African coastal convoys continued.

to

May

 

June        11th        Returned to UK as part of escort for Convoy SL161.

                20th        Remained with escort for joint convoy MKS52 on merger with SL161.

 

July

                2nd         Detached from joint convoy SL161/MKS52 and took passage to refit.

                                Taken in hand for refit at Dunstaffnage, near Oban, Argyll.

 

August                  Under refit

to

October

 

November              On completion worked-up at Tobermory.

 

December              Passage to Freetown to join 57the Escort Group for local convoy escort.

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Transferred to Gibraltar with Group.

to                            Deployed on escort of Atlantic convoys.

May                        (Note: No significant threat of submarine attack off West Africa.)

 

June                        Returned to UK to reduce to Reserve at Devonport.

                                Paid off and de-stored prior to being laid up.

 

July                         Laid up at Milford Haven.

 

P o s t   W a r   N o t e s

 

HMS LOWESTOFT was sold for use as a mercantile in October 1946, renamed MIRAFLORES and was used commercially until August 1955 when she was sold for breaking up at Zeebrugge. This name was given  to a Type 12 Anti-Submarine Frigate when launched by Alex, Stephens at Govan on 23 June 1960.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS LOWESTOFT

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

 

 

 

 

 

29/01/40

29/01/40

HG 017F

07/02/40

07/02/40

04/03/40

04/03/40

FN 0111

06/03/40

06/03/40

11/03/40

11/03/40

FS 0119

13/03/40

13/03/40

18/03/40

18/03/40

MT 033

19/03/40

19/03/40

19/03/40

19/03/40

FS 0124

21/03/40

21/03/40

23/03/40

23/03/40

FN 0127

24/03/40

24/03/40

24/03/40

24/03/40

TM 032

24/03/40

24/03/40

26/03/40

26/03/40

MT 038

26/03/40

26/03/40

29/03/40

29/03/40

FN 0132

31/03/40

31/03/40

05/04/40

05/04/40

MT 045

06/04/40

06/04/40

09/04/40

09/04/40

FN 0141

11/04/40

11/04/40

07/06/40

07/06/40

FS 0190

09/06/40

09/06/40

07/06/40

07/06/40

MT 084

07/06/40

07/06/40

15/06/40

15/06/40

FS 0196

17/06/40

17/06/40

18/06/40

18/06/40

FN 0199

19/06/40

19/06/40

29/06/40

29/06/40

FN 0208

01/07/40

01/07/40

03/07/40

03/07/40

FS 0211

04/07/40

04/07/40

06/07/40

06/07/40

FN 0215

08/07/40

08/07/40

10/07/40

10/07/40

FS 0218

11/07/40

11/07/40

13/07/40

13/07/40

FN 0221

15/07/40

15/07/40

21/07/40

21/07/40

FS 0227

22/07/40

22/07/40

23/07/40

23/07/40

FN 0230

25/07/40

25/07/40

27/07/40

27/07/40

FS 0234

29/07/40

29/07/40

30/07/40

30/07/40

FN 0237

01/08/40

01/08/40

03/08/40

03/08/40

FS 0241

05/08/40

05/08/40

06/08/40

06/08/40

FN 0244

08/08/40

08/08/40

12/08/40

26/08/40

HX 065

27/08/40

27/08/40

02/09/40

02/09/40

OA 208

unknown

unknown

25/08/40

07/09/40

SC 002

10/09/40

10/09/40

17/09/40

17/09/40

OB 215

21/09/40

21/09/40

09/09/40

21/09/40

HX 072

21/09/40

21/09/40

10/09/40

23/09/40

SC 004

26/09/40

26/09/40

03/10/40

03/10/40

FS 0299

04/10/40

04/10/40

06/10/40

06/10/40

FN 0301

08/10/40

09/10/40

11/10/40

11/10/40

FS 0306

14/10/40

14/10/40

14/10/40

14/10/40

FN 0308

16/10/40

16/10/40

19/10/40

19/10/40

FS 0314

22/10/40

22/10/40

23/10/40

23/10/40

FN 0317

25/10/40

25/10/40

10/11/40

10/11/40

FN 0331

12/11/40

12/11/40

14/11/40

14/11/40

FS 0335

16/11/40

16/11/40

17/11/40

17/11/40

FN 0336

19/11/40

19/11/40

26/11/40

26/11/40

FS 0346

28/11/40

28/11/40

30/11/40

30/11/40

FN 0347

02/12/40

02/12/40

04/12/40

04/12/40

FS 0353

08/12/40

08/12/40

09/12/40

09/12/40

FN 0355

11/12/40

11/12/40

13/12/40

13/12/40

FS 0360

15/12/40

15/12/40

25/12/40

25/12/40

FS 0371

28/12/40

28/12/40

03/01/41

03/01/41

FS 0378

05/01/41

05/01/41

05/11/41

07/11/41

WN 202

08/11/41

08/11/41

23/03/42

24/03/42

WN 261

25/03/42

25/03/42

22/04/42

24/04/42

WN 273

24/04/42

24/04/42

24/04/42

25/04/42

WN 274

26/04/42

26/04/42

02/05/42

04/05/42

OS 027

19/05/42

19/05/42

13/05/42

13/05/42

LS 005

20/05/42

20/05/42

24/05/42

24/05/42

SL 111

16/06/42

16/06/42

01/07/42

02/07/42

OS 033

12/07/42

20/07/42

27/11/42

27/11/42

MKS 002A

03/12/42

07/12/42

19/05/43

25/05/43

KMF 015

28/05/43

27/05/43

28/05/43

28/05/43

MKF 015

05/06/43

05/06/43

20/06/43

20/06/43

KMS 018A

29/06/43

29/06/43

06/07/43

06/07/43

RS 008

12/07/43

12/07/43

22/07/43

22/07/43

TS 048

28/07/43

28/07/43

07/08/43

07/08/43

OSS 052

14/08/43

12/08/43

27/08/43

27/08/43

TS 051

01/09/43

01/09/43

10/09/43

10/09/43

STL 001

15/09/43

15/09/43

19/09/43

19/09/43

LTS 002

24/09/43

24/09/43

27/09/43

27/09/43

STL 002

02/10/43

02/10/43

05/10/43

05/10/43

LTS 003

10/10/43

10/10/43

15/10/43

15/10/43

STL 004

21/10/43

21/10/43

03/11/43

03/11/43

LTS 004

10/11/43

10/11/43

13/11/43

13/11/43

STL 006

18/11/43

18/11/43

21/11/43

21/11/43

LTS 006

28/11/43

28/11/43

10/12/43

10/12/43

TS 054

16/12/43

16/12/43

20/12/43

20/12/43

STL 008

28/12/43

28/12/43

31/12/43

31/12/43

LTS 008

04/01/44

04/01/44

22/01/44

22/01/44

SL 147

25/01/44

02/02/44

22/02/44

22/02/44

STL 012

01/03/44

29/02/44

04/03/44

04/03/44

LTS 012

11/03/44

11/03/44

19/03/44

19/03/44

STL 015

25/03/44

25/03/44

30/03/44

30/03/44

LTS 015

06/04/44

06/04/44

18/04/44

18/04/44

STL 020

23/04/44

23/04/44

01/05/44

01/05/44

LTS 019

09/05/44

09/05/44

26/05/44

26/05/44

ST 082

31/05/44

31/05/44

31/05/44

31/05/44

TS 059

02/06/44

07/06/44

02/06/44

02/06/44

LTS 022

06/06/44

06/06/44

11/06/44

11/06/44

SL 161

22/06/44

21/06/44

22/06/44

22/06/44

SL 161MK

02/07/44

02/07/44

22/11/44

22/11/44

OS 095

26/11/44

26/11/44

21/01/45

21/01/45

MKS 078G

23/01/45

29/01/45

30/01/45

03/02/45

KMS 081G

05/02/45

05/02/45

01/03/45

01/03/45

MKS 086G

03/03/45

09/03/45

01/03/45

03/03/45

KMS 087G

06/03/45

06/03/45

25/03/45

26/03/45

KMS 091G

26/03/45

26/03/45

26/03/45

26/03/45

MKS 091G

27/03/45

03/04/45

20/04/45

20/04/45

MKS 096G

23/04/45

28/04/45

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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