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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 WILD GOOSE (U 45) - Modified Black Swan-class Sloop including Convoy Escort Movements

 HMS Wild Goose (Navy Photos/Mark Teadham, click to enlarge)

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Modified BLACK. SWAN-Class Sloop ordered from Yarrow SB at Scotstoun under 1940 Build Programme on 13th April 1940. The ship was laid down as Job No 1862 (Yard No 1762) on 28th January 1942 and launched on 14th October 1942 by Mrs Yarrow as the 1st RN ship to carry the name. Build was completed on 11th March 1943 and an anti-submarine ahead throwing mortar (HEDGEHOG) was fitted as well as radar equipment for surface warning radar ,Type 272, and fire control radar, Type 285. Following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in February 1942 the ship had been adopted by the civil community of Worsley, Lancashire. This Sloop was part of the 2nd Escort Group commanded by Captain F J Walker, RN the most renowned of all anti-submarine specialists who died during his service in sister ship HMS STARLING as Senior Officer of the Group in July 1944. See RELENTLESS PURSUIT by Captain D E G Weymss who succeeded him in command of the Group and was in command of this ship

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

 

ATLANTIC 1943-44 - BISCAY 1943 - NORMANDY 1944 - ARCTIC 1944 - ENGLISH  CHANNEL 1945

 

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field White, a wild goose in flight proper

 

M o t t o

'Alert to evil'

 

 

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

 

March                    Contractor's trials and commissioned for service in 2nd Escort Group.

                11th        Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

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

 

April                       Joined Group at Liverpool on completion of work-up

                                (Note: For details of improved weapons and tactics used for convoy defence see SEEK AND

                                STRIKE by W Hackmann, THE TORPEDOMEN by A Poland and RELENTLESS

                                PURSUIT).

 

May

                22nd       Deployed with HM Sloops WREN, WOODPECKER, CYGNET, STARLING and KITE of

                                Group for anti-submarine operations in support of passage of Convoy ONS8 during outward

                                passage in North Atlantic.

                                (Note: For details of operations by Group see FIGHTING CAPTAIN by Burns).

 

June                        Passage from Iceland to support passage of inward Convoy HX241.

                1st           After interception of wireless transmissions from U-boat by HMS STARLING took part in

                                search operation by ships of Group which followed bearing indicated by HF D/F

                                signals.

                                (Note: Submarine located by sonar and carried out depth charge attacks with ships of Group.)

                2nd         After an 18 hour operation U202 forced to surface and sunk by HMS STARLING in position

                                56.12N, 39.52W.

                                (30 of submarine crew were rescued. For details see U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp

                                and HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR by C Blair.)

                16th        Transferred with ships of Group to Plymouth Command for joint operations with RAF Coastal

                                Command n the Bay of Biscay to intercept U-Boats on passage to and from French bases

                                (Operation MUSKETRY - For details see CONFLICT OVER THE BAY by N Franks.)

                24th        Following sonar detection by HMS STARLING took part in attacks with HM Sloops

                                STARLING, WOODPECKER, WREN and KITE

                                U119 was sunk in position 44.59N 12.24W with no survivors.

                                (Note: Ramming attack by HMS STARLING was made and fatally damaged submarine which

                                was finally destroyed by depth charges from HMS WOODPECKER.

                                HMS STARLING sustained serious damage to underwater fittings and took no part in

                                later operations.)

                                See U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp and HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR by C Blair

                                Following sinking of U119 took part in attacks on another submarine detected by sonar and 

                                carried out directing operations by HMS WOODPECKER and HMS KITE which sank U449 in

                                position 45.00N 11.59W with no survivors

                                (Note: Captain Walker joined ship from HMS STARLING and took charge of the operations

                                which sank U449. See references for details.)

 

July                         Bay of Biscay operations in continuation.

                30th        Detected wireless transmissions from submarine and joined in search by ships of Group and

                                aircraft

                                Carried surface gunfire attacks on three submarines under air attacks.

                                Took part in sinking of U504 with HM Sloops WOODPECKER, KITE and WREN in position

                                45.33N 10.56W

                                There were no survivors from the submarine.

                                (Note: See references. U451 and U462 were also sunk.)

 

August                  Bay of Biscay operations in continuation with significant support from aircraft

                9th          Directed by Catalina aircraft to dinghy with survivors from crew of RAF Liberator of 224

                                Squadron RAF shot down by Ju 88's over Bay of Biscay on 2nd Aug.

                                (Note: Two of the six airmen rescued died during passage to Liverpool.

 

September             Deployed with Group for Bay of Biscay and Atlantic convoy support.

                                Subjected to air attacks

                                Supported passage of HX258.

 

October                  Deployed with escort for Convoy ON207 with ships of 1st (Canadian) Escort Group

                21st         Joined escort for Convoy HX262 with HM Sloops STARLING, MAGPIE, KITE and

                                WOODCOCK of Group supported by HM Escort Aircraft Carrier TRACKER.

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

                                safeguarded.

                                (For details of U-Boat operations In the Atlantic see U-BOAT WAR IN THE ATLANTIC

                                (HMSO) and THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC by D Macintyre).

 

November

                1st           Detached to support escort of HX264 with same ships of EG2 and HMS TRACKER.

                                Convoy is threatened by attacks from TIRPITZ group of U-Boats.

                6th          Deployed with Group for anti-submarine operations SE of Newfoundland and took part in

                                that which U226 was sunk by HMS WOODCOCK

                                Located U842 and carried out A/S attacks directed by HMS STARLING.

                                (Note: Air support was provided by HM Escort Carrier TRACKER.)

                                Submarine sunk in position 43.42N 42.08W without survivors.

                8th          During passage to refuel in Argentia under acoustic torpedo attack by U648.

                                This failed.

                27th        Reinforced escort for military Convoy MKS31/SL140 with snips of 4th Escort Group.

                                (Note: Convoy on passage to Gibraltar was under threat from WEDDIGEN group of U-Boats.)

                28th        Took part in anti-submarine hunt with Group during which U843 driven off.

 

December              Atlantic convoy support in continuation.

                18th        Taken in hand for repair in Liverpool.

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Under repair.

                28th        On completion of post refit trials deployed with HM Sloops STARLING, WOODPECKER,

                                KITE and MAGPIE supported by aircraft from HM Escort Carriers NAIRANA and ACTIVITY

                                to safeguard passage of convoys west of Ireland from threat by IGEL group of U-Boats.

                31st         Sank U592 in position 50.20N, 17.29W with HMS STARLING and HMS MAGPIE.

                                There were no survivors from the submarine. (See references for details.)

 

February

                7th          Redeployed to support passage of merged Convoy SL147/MKS38 under threat from IGEL

                                Group with HM Sloops STARLING, MAGPIE, KITE, WOODPECKER and carrier aircraft.

                8th          Carried out hunting operations against IGEL group.

                                Located U762 and sank it in position 49.02N 16.58W with WOODPECKER.

                                There were no survivors from the submarine.

                9th          After unsuccessful attacks by acoustic torpedoes from U238 and U734 carried out extensive

                                hunt operations with HM Sloops STARLING, KITE and MAGPIE.

                                Initial contact was made with U734, 10 miles from SL147 followed by a series of 'Creeping'

                                attacks. See SEEK AND STRIKE.).

                                Submarine sunk after attacks lasting 3 hours and 25 minutes in position 45.44 N 16.20W

                                without any survivors.

                                (Note: U238 was later sunk by HM Sloops KITE, STARLING and HMS MAGPIE after series

                                of attacks lasting 8 hours in position 49-44N, 16.07W).

                11th        Carried out attacks with HMS WOODPECKER on U424 of IGEL group.

                                Submarine sunk in position 50.00N 18.14W with no survivors.

                17th        Deployed with 7th British Escort Group and own ships to support passage of Convoy ON224

                                against attacks by HAI group of U-Boats. Convoy is diverted.

                19th        Took part in search operations after sonar detection of submarine by HMS

                                WOODPECKER.

                                (Note: U264 forced to surface and placed scuttling charges                        

                                before abandoning ship.

                                Some of 41 survivors were rescued by this ship.)

 

March

                7th          Carried out support operations with ships of Group and HM Escort Carrier VINDEX in NW

                                Approaches.

                15th        Sank U653 in position 53.46N 24.35W with HMS STARLING and SWORDFISH aircraft of

                                825 Squadron from HMS VINDEX.

                26th        Returned to Liverpool with Group.

                                Group transferred for duty with Home Fleet for convoy defence in Arctic.

                29th        Joined Russian Convoy JW58 with HM Sloops STARLING, MAGPIE, WREN and

                                WHIMBREL to supplement anti-submarine defence for passage to Kola Inlet.

                                (Note: This convoy included USS MILWAUKEE being handed over to Russian Navy.

                                U961 was sunk by HMS STARLING . See references.)

 

April

                2nd         Under unsuccessful U-boat attacks by THOR, BLITZ and HAMMER groups for two days.

                7th          Provided A/S support for returning Convoy RA58 with Group, four Fleet destroyers and two

                                corvettes.

                14th        Detached on arrival of convoy at Loch Ewe without interruption.

                28th        Deployed with Group and ships of 5th Support Group supported by aircraft from HMS

                                VINDEX in series of A/S operations based on interception of U-Boat radio signals

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

                                ARCTIC CONVOYS by R Woodman, THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS BY B Schoefield,

                                CONVOY! by P. Kemp and ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett).

 

May                        Resumed Atlantic anti-submarine operations.

                5th          Carried out sustained anti-submarine operations lasting 18 hours with HMS STARLING and

                                HMS WREN.

                                Forced U473 to surface and sank it in position 46.29N 09-20W by gunfire despite acoustic

                                torpedo attack. Some survivors were rescued from submarine which had been acting as

                                weather station.

                29th        Deployed in A/S support of convoys in Western Approaches.

                31st         Taken in hand for repair in Liverpool.

                                Nominated for support of planned allied landings in Normandy (Operation NEPTUNE).

                                (For details of naval activities prior to and during NEPTUNE see the Naval Staff

                                History LANDINGS IN NORMANDY, June 1944 (HMSO), OPERATION NEPTUNE by K

                                Edwards and D-DAY SHIPS for information about all mercantiles involved.)

 

June                        Under repair.

                                On completion rejoined Group in Bay of Biscay and west Channel area for operation to

                                prevent U-Boats attacks against Invasion convoys.

                                Remained in Channel area for A/S operations and escort duty

 

July

                1st           On release from NEPTUNE Returned to Liverpool.

                5th          Taken in hand for refit in Belfast.

                9th          Commander D E C Wemyss succeeded Captain F J Walker Royal Navy as Senior Officer of

                                2nd Escort Group (See above references.).

 

August                  Under refit.

 

September             On completion of post refit trials worked up for service.

 

October                  Deployed in SW Approaches with Group for support and escort of convoys against a series

to                            of attacks by SCHNORKEL fitted U-Boats especially in coastal waters.

December              (See BUSINESS IN GREAT WATERS by J Terraine).

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Coastal convoy defence with Group in continuation.

 

February                Deployed in English Channel.

                27th        After sighting report by aircraft took part in attacks on U327 with ships of Group.

                                (Note: Submarine was sunk in position 49.46N 05.47W by HM Frigate LABUAN.

                                There were no survivors from the submarine. See references.)

 

March                    Channel deployment in continuation.

                12th        Sank U683 off Lands End in position 49.52N 06.31W with HM Frigate LOCH RUTHVEN

                                There were no survivors. See references,)

 

April                       Coastal convoy defence with Group in continuation.

 

May

                6th          After VE Day nominated for service with British Pacific Fleet after refit

 

June

                12th        Taken in hand for refit at Leith.

 

July                         Under refit

to

August

  

P o s t   W a r   N o t e s

 

HMS WILD GOOSE was not required for deployment in the Far East after VJ-Day and the ship Paid-off and reduced to Reserve on completion of refit in September. However in 1946 she was brought forward for service in the Persian Gulf. Apart from refit and re-commissioning periods the ship was deployed in the Middle East until 1955 when she returned to UK to finally Pay-off. Placed on the Disposal List the ship was sold to BISCO for demolition by P and W Maclellan in February 1956. This Sloop arrived at the breakers at Bo'ness, on the Firth of Forth near Edinburgh on 26th February 1956.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS WILD GOOSE

by Don Kindell

 

This convoy list has not been cross-checked with the text above

 

 

 

 

 

Date convoy sailed

Joined convoy as escort

Convoy No.

Left convoy

Date convoy arrived

 

 

 

 

 

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

01/06/43

04/06/43

25/05/43

02/06/43

HX 241

06/06/43

10/06/43

22/09/43

30/09/43

HX 258

02/10/43

06/10/43

18/10/43

23/10/43

ON 207

25/10/43

04/11/43

18/10/43

28/10/43

HX 262

29/10/43

02/11/43

31/10/43

05/11/43

HX 264

08/11/43

17/11/43

24/11/43

27/11/43

SL 140MK

02/12/43

07/12/43

02/12/43

12/12/43

SC 148

12/12/43

16/12/43

02/12/43

12/12/43

HX 269

12/12/43

16/12/43

30/01/44

04/02/44

ON 222

05/02/44

16/02/44

02/02/44

07/02/44

SL 147MK

12/02/44

13/02/44

05/02/44

14/02/44

HX 278

17/02/44

20/02/44

14/02/44

18/02/44

ON 224

19/02/44

02/03/44

13/03/44

17/03/44

ONS 031

19/03/44

30/03/44

27/03/44

29/03/44

JW 058

04/04/44

04/04/44

07/04/44

07/04/44

RA 058

07/04/44

14/04/44

29/09/44

30/09/44

ONS 033

02/10/44

14/10/44

14/10/44

15/10/44

ONS 034

17/10/44

01/11/44

29/10/44

30/10/44

ONS 035

01/11/44

15/11/44

28/11/44

30/11/44

ONS 037

01/12/44

21/12/44

15/01/45

22/01/45

MKS 077G

23/01/45

23/01/45

23/01/45

unknown

HX 334

unknown

06/02/45

18/02/45

unknown

HX 339

unknown

03/03/45

03/05/45

unknown

HX 354

unknown

18/05/45

22/05/45

22/05/45

TBC 166

25/05/45

25/05/45

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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