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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 MAGPIE (U 82) - Modified Black Swan-class Sloop including Convoy Escort Movements 

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

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Modified BLACK SWAN-Class Sloop ordered from John I Thornycroft at Woolston as Job No 6082 (Yard No 4016) on 27th March 1941 under the 1940 Build Programme. .Laid down on 30th December 1941 as Yard No 4016 she was launched on 24th March 1943 by Mrs Turner. This sloop was the first major RN warship to carry the name which previously had been used by a  Survey Ship and two smaller  vessels. Following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in March 1942 the ship was adopted by the civil community of Amersham, Bucks. Build was completed on 30th August 1943 and her armament included a HEDGEHOG (Ahead Throwing Anti≠submarine Mortar). Her radar outfits included Type 285 for fire control, Type 272 for surface warning and Type 291 to provide 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

 

BALTIC 1855 - BENIN 1897 - ATLANTIC 1943-44  - NORMANDY 1944  - ARCTIC  1944

 

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Whitte within an annulat

Black, a magpie 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 3

 

August                  Contractors trials and commissioned for service.

                30th        Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

 

September             On completion of trials and storing took passage to Tobermory.

                                Commenced work-up for operational service at Tobermory.

                                On completion took passage to Liverpool

 

October                  Joined BM Sloops STARLING, WILD GOOSE, WOODCOCK. KITE and WREN in

                                2nd Escort Group based at Liverpool for convoy defence in North Atlantic.

                                Deployed with escort for Convoy ON207 with ships of 1st and 2nd Escort Groups.

                21st         Joined Convoy HX262 escort with HM Sloops STARLING, KITE, WOODCOCK and WILD

                                GOOSE, supported by HM Escort Carrier TRACKER.

                                (For details of development and use of new weapons used in the defence of convoys

                                and deployment of U-boats see SEEK AND STRIKE by W Hackmann , U-BOAT WAR IN THE

                                ATLANTIC (HMSO) and HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR By C Blair.)

                25th        Convoy diverted because of known threat by SIEGFRIED group of U-boats and convoy

                                passage safeguarded.

 

November              Detached to reinforce escort of HX264 with same ships of Group and HMS TRACKER.

                6th          Carried cut anti-submarine operations against TIRPITZ group of U-Boats waiting to intercept

                                HX264.

                                As a result convoy passed safely.

                                (Note: U842 and U226 were sunk during these operations by HMS STARLING, HMS KITE

                                and HMS WOODCOCK).

                8th          During passage to refuel in Argentia came under attack by acoustic torpedoes from U648

                                which failed.

                27th        Part of escort for joint inward Convoy MKS31/SL140 from Gibraltar threatened by WEDDIGEN

                                group of U-Boats.

                28th        Took part in anti-submarine hunt operations with EG2 ships during which U843 was driven off.

                                (For details of Atlantic convoy dates see ALLIED CONVOY SYSTEM in WW2 by A Hague.)

 

December              Atlantic convoy defence in continuation.

                20th        Taken in hand for refit at Liverpool in commercial shipyard.

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Under refit

                20th        On completion of post refit trials rejoined EG2 in continuation.

                30th        Deployed with Group in support role for protection of inward convoy SL147 west of Ireland in

                                conjunction with aircraft from HM Escort Carrier NAIRANA

                31st         Participated in sinking of U592 in position 50.20N, 17.29W-with HMS WILD GOOSE and

                                HMS STARLING.

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

 

February

                8th          Took part in anti-submarine operations in defence of convoy routes during which U762 was

                                sunk by HM Sloops WILD GOOSE,, STARLING and WOODPECKER in position 49.02N

                                16.58W without survivors. (See above reference.)

                9th          Came under attack by acoustic torpedoes.

                                Participated in sinking of U238 with HMS KITE and HMS STARLING in position 49.44N

                                16.07W after lengthy search operation.

                                There were no survivors. See above reference.

                                Later joined in further search for U734 which was sunk by HMS WILD GOOSE and H M S

                                STARLING.

                                (Note: For details see BUSINESS IN GREAT WATERS by J Terraine and HITLER'S U-BOAT

                                WAR by C Blair.).

                17th        Deployed with group and joined EGB7 to support passage of Convoy ON224 which was under

                                threat from HAI group of U-Boats.

                18th        Carried out anti-submarine operations after ON224 had been sighted by aircraft.

                19th        During the continued search operations U406 and U386 were sunk by HMS KITE.

                                HMS WOODPECKER and HMS STARLING also sank U264,.

                                (Note: This was the first to be be fitted with SCHNORKEL device.

                                The attack by acoustic torpedoes was responsible for loss of HMS WOODPECKER

                                during passage on 27th after being torpedoed on 20th February).

                                See above references.)

 

March                    Detached with Group from Western Approaches Command for detached duty for support and

                                escort duty with Russian convoys.

                                (For details of all Russian convoy operations, see CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by RA Ruegg,

                                CONVOY! by P Kemp, THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS by B Schoefield and ARCTIC CONVOYS !

                                by R Woodman.)

                20th        Joined Russian Convoy JW58 with HM Sloops STARLING, WILD GOOSE, WHIMBREL and

                                WREN to supplement anti-submarine defence during passage to Kola Inlet.

                                Took part in anti-submarine attacks during which U961 on passage to Atlantic was sunk by

                                HMS STARLING. (See U-BOATS DESTROYER and HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR.)

 

April

                2nd         Convoy came under series of unsuccessful U-boat attacks till 3rd April.

                7th          Provided anti-submarine support for returning Convoy RA58 with ships of Group, four Fleet

                to            destroyers and two corvettes.

                13th

                14th        Detached from RA58 on arrival at Loch Ewe.

                15th        Under weather damage repair in Liverpool.

                24th        On completion rejoined group for anti-submarine operations in SW Approaches.

                                (Note: Other escorts of Western Approaches Command were also deployed to carry out

                                extensive anti-submarine operations).

 

May                        Atlantic anti-submarine support operations in continuation.

                                (Note: This crucial period in the Battle of Atlantic is covered in the above operations.)

                                Nominated for service in support of Assault Group G during the allied landings in

                                Normandy (Operation NEPTUNE).

                                (For details of naval activities prior to and during the landings see OPERATION NEPTUNE by

                                K Edwards and LANDINGS IN NORMANDY, June 1944 (HMSO).)

                3rd          Deployed with HM Escort Carrier TRACKER and ships of 2nd and 5th Escort Groups

                                in support role.

                                Searched for U-Boats in SW Approaches after attacks on convoy.

                5th          Joined lengthy search by ships of Group after which U473 is sunk by surface gun action in

                                position 49.29N 15.22 W , West of Cape Clear, by H M Sloops STARLING, WILD GOOSE and

                                WREN.

                                On release from anti-submarine operations took passage to join Force G.

 

June                        Nominated for service in Escort Group 112 with HM Sloop HIND, HM Escort Destroyer

                                HAMBLEDON and HM Frigate SPRAGGE for escort of Build-up phase convoys after first

                                being deployed with Force G during assault phase.

                                Joined Assault Convoy G4 in Solent.

                4th          Operation postponed for 24 hours.

                5th          Escorted Convoy G4 through swept channel to GOLD beach head.

                                (Note: Convoy comprised 23 landing craft).

                6th          Detached from convoy on arrival at lowering position and took passage to Plymouth to join

                                112th Escort Group.

                                Escorted Build-up Convoy EBP2 from Bristol Channel to Western Task Force area.

                                (Note: HM Sloops HART, WHIMBREL, HM Escort Destroyer BLENCATHRA, HM Frigates

                                WHITTAKER and WALDEGRAVE of 113th Escort Group were also part of the escort.

                                Convoy comprised five mercantiles taking pre-loaded US Build up Division to the

                                beachhead, HQ ship for MULBERRY A and three miscellaneous ships.)

                8th          Detached from Convoy EBP2 on arrival and deployed for convoy defence in Channel.

                to            (Note: Amongst duties was cover for vessels laying petrol supply piping to French coast

                27th        (PLUTO) the first line being completed on 29th June)

                                On termination of NEPTUNE remained in English Channel and SW Approaches.

 

July                         Convoy defence and cover operations in continuation

 

August                  On release from Channel duties taken in hand for refit at Chatham.

to                            Nominated for service in 22nd Escort Group on completion.

September

 

October                  Carried out post refit trials and joined 22nd Group for Atlantic convoy defence.

 

November              Convoy defence in continuation

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Deployed in Channel and SW Approaches for convoy defence.

to                            (Note: During this period Atlantic convoy traffic to Thames was re-routed to use English

April                       Channel after removal of air threat from bases in France. U-Boat activity was

                                however concentrated on focal points of coastal convoys and defence was increased

                                by additional escorts to also carry out anti-submarine patrols.

                                See HOLD THE NARROW SEA by P Smith and ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE

                                CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett).

 

May                        Nominated for service in Mediterranean after refit.

                13th        Taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard Portsmouth.

 

June                        Under refit.

 

July                         Passage to Mediterranean after post refit trials.

                26th        Commenced work-up in Mediterranean for operational service.

 

August                  Deployed in Mediterranean.

 

P o s t   W a r   N o t e s

 

HMS MAGPIE continued working-up initially at Gibraltar and later in Malta. On completion she joined Destroyer Command in Malta where the ship remained until 1954. One of her commanding officers was HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. On return to UK she served in the Home Fleet and her last service was in the South Atlantic for about a year .This ship was Paid-off and reduced to Reserve status in 1956 at Devonport. Placed on the Disposal List in 1958 she was sold to BISCO for demolition by Hughes Bolcow in May 1959 and arrived in tow at the breakers Yard in Blyth on 12th July 1959.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of  HMS MAGPIE

by Don Kindell

 

Date convoy sailed Joined convoy  as escort  Convoy No. Left convoy Date convoy arrived 
         

18/10/43

23/10/43

ON207

25/10/43

04/11/43

18/10/43

28/10/43

HX262

29/10/43

02/11/43

31/10/43

05/11/43

HX264

08/11/43

17/11/43

24/11/43

27/11/43

SL140MK

02/12/43

07/12/43

02/12/43

12/12/43

SC148

12/12/43

16/12/43

02/12/43

12/12/43

HX269

12/12/43

16/12/43

24/01/44

25/01/44

ON221

25/01/44

11/02/44

30/01/44

04/02/44

ON222

05/02/44

16/02/44

02/02/44

07/02/44

SL147MK

12/02/44

13/02/44

05/02/44

14/02/44

HX278

17/02/44

20/02/44

14/02/44

18/02/44

ON224

19/02/44

02/03/44

13/03/44

17/03/44

ONS031

19/03/44

30/03/44

27/03/44

29/03/44

JW058

04/04/44

04/04/44

07/04/44

07/04/44

RA058

14/04/44

14/04/44

29/09/44

30/09/44

ONS033

02/10/44

14/10/44

07/02/45

unknown

HX337

unknown

21/02/45

21/02/45

22/02/45

ON286

22/02/45

09/03/45

23/02/45

unknown

HX340

unknown

10/03/45

28/02/45

unknown

HX341

unknown

15/03/45

29/03/45

unknown

HX347

unknown

14/04/45

17/04/45

18/04/45

ON297

18/04/45

02/05/45

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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revised 31/5/11
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