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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 REDPOLE (U.69) - Modified Black Swan-class Sloop including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Redpole as navigation training ship, c1957 (Gordon Smith, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 
 

Modified BLACK SWAN-Class ordered from Harrow's of Scotstoun, Glasgow in 1940 Build Programme on 23rd March 1941 and laid down on 18th May 1942. The ship was launched on 25th February 1943 by Mrs Mitchell. She was the fifth RN warship to carry the name dating from 1808 and previously used for a destroyer built in 1910 and sold in 1921. She had been adopted by the civil community of the Rural District of Kettering, Northamptonshire in March 1942 following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign. Build was completed .on 26th June 1943.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

 

BASQUE ROADS 1809 - ATLANTIC 1943-44 - NORMANDY 1944 - BURMA 1944-45

 

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field White, a Redpole Proper upon a branch of a tree also 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

 

June                        Contractors trials and commissioned for service in 7th Escort Group.

                26th        Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials

 

July                         On completion of trials and storing took passage to Tobermory to commence Work-up for

                                operational service.

                                Carried out work-up at Tobermory

                                Passage to Scapa Flow to complete work-up with ships of Home Fleet.

 

August                  On completion took passage to Greenock

                                Joined Group based at Greenock for convoy escort and support in Atlantic.

 

September             Detached for service at Gibraltar for convoy escort and support in Mediterranean and Atlantic.

 

October                  Deployment at Gibraltar in continuation

to

December

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Nominated for return to 7th Escort Group.

 

February                Passage to UK to rejoin Group and deployed on convoy defence in Home waters.

 

March                    Deployed in NW Approaches and UK coastal waters for convoy defence.

to

April

 

May                        Nominated for duty with Support Force G during Assault Phase of planned allied landings

                                in Normandy (Operation NEPTUNE).

                                For details of naval activities before and during landings see OPERATION NEPTUNE by

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

                3rd          Took part in Final Rehearsal for NEPTUNE landings with ships of Force G

                4th          Took part in Exercise FABIUS at Hayling Island with ships and craft of Forces G, J and G.

                                See references.

                18th        Took part in Defence exercise off Brighton with Forces S, G and J.

                21st         Preparation for NEPTUNE.

 

June                        Passage to Solent.

                                Nominated for escort of Assault Convoy G5 to Gold beach head

                                HM Trawler BOMBARDIER joined

                5th          Passage through swept channel with Convoy.

                6th          On arrival at Lowering position detached and returned to Portsmouth to join HM Sloop

                                STORK and HM Escort Destroyer EGLINTON in 116th Escort Group for defence of follow-up

                               convoys.

                27th        On termination of NEPTUNE deployed for Channel convoy escort and patrol.

 

July                         Nominated for duty in Eastern Fleet on completion of refit.

                5th          Passage to Clyde

                6th          Taken in hand for refit in Clyde commercial shipyard

 

August                  Under refit

 

September             On completion of post refit trials took passage for work-up.

                                Passage to join military convoy in Clyde on completion of work-up.

 

October

                1st           Sailed from Clyde as part of escort for Convoy KMF35 during passage to Port Said.

                11th        At Gibraltar and joined escort of Convoy KMS65 during passage in Mediterranean to Port

                                Said.

                21st         Arrived at Port Said and detached from KMS65.

                                Canal transit and passage in Red Sea.

 

November              Passage in Indian Ocean

                6th          Joined Eastern Fleet at Trincomalee.

                                Transferred to East Indies Fleet of formation when some Eastern Fleet ships transferred to

                                British Pacific Fleet

 

December              Deployed for convoy defence.

                                Prepared for support of planned landings in Burma.

                                (For details of Eastern Fleet activities see OPERATION PACIFIC BY E Gray, THE

                                FORGOTTEN FLEET by J Winton and WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO).)

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Joined Task Force 64 for support of landings in Burma

                16th        Provided gunfire support with Bombardment Force during landings by British 4th and

                                Indian 71st Brigade in northern part of Ramree Island (Operation MATADOR).

                                (Note: Bombardment Force included HM Battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH, HM Cruiser

                                PHOEBE, HM Destroyers PATHFINDER, RAIDER and RAPID, HM Sloops

                                FLAMINGO and KISTNA (RIN).)

                                Transferred to British Pacific Fleet and Took passage to Sydney.

 

February                Passage in Indian Ocean

                17th        On arrival at Sydney required refit prior to operational service with BPF.

                                Refit arranged at Auckland, New Zealand by HM Dockyard.

 

March                    Passage to Auckland.

 

April                       Under refit

to

June

 

July                         On completion of post refit trials took passage to Sydney for BPF service.

 

August                  Passage to forward operational base at Manus, Admiralty Islands.

 

P o s t   W a r   N o t e s

 

HMS REDPOLE reverted to RN control after arrival and was deployed with the British Pacific Fleet at Hong Kong for support of repatriation operations. She remained in the Pacific until returning to UK in 1946 to Pay off into Reserve at Harwich. Three years later the ship was brought forward for duty as Navigation Training Ship attached to HMS DRYAD at Portsmouth and re-commissioned. Her armament was removed during an extensive refit including fitting of a tripod mast and providing facilities for practical instruction of Junior officers in navigation. On 12th July 1957 she was involved in a collision with the Gosport Ferry VADNE causing one fatality and badly damaged the Ferry. In 1958. The ship was withdrawn from her training role to Pay off and  was remained in Reserve until 1960.  She was sold to BISCO on 11th November 1960 for demolition by J A White and arrived in tow at the breakerís yard at St Davids on 20th November that year.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS REDPOLE

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

 

 

 

 

 

08/08/43

09/08/43

OS 053KM

17/08/43

17/08/43

05/09/43

05/09/43

KMS 026G

17/09/43

18/09/43

25/09/43

25/09/43

MKS 025G

01/10/43

08/10/43

26/09/43

02/10/43

KMS 028G

06/10/43

07/10/43

15/12/43

01/01/44

OS 062KM

01/01/44

02/01/44

03/02/44

15/02/44

MKF 028A

16/02/44

20/02/44

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

01/10/44

01/10/44

KMF 035

11/10/44

11/10/44

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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revised 31/5/11
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