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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 PELICAN (L 86) - Egret-class Sloop

 Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Auckland, sister-ship (Photo Ships, click to enlarge)

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EGRET-Class Sloop ordered on 19th March 1937 from John I Thornycroft at Woolston under the 1937 Build Programme. The ship was laid down on 7th September 1937 as Yard No 1177 and launched by Mrs. W Rogers on 12th September 1938. She was the 19th RN ship to carry the name, and last used for a WW1 destroyer sold in 1921. After a series of charges to future deployment, which included use as a Survey Ship, the final build requirement decided was that the ship should be completed as an Escort Sloop. She was to be fully armed to specification. The build was finally completed on 2nd March 1939. Intended for deployment in the West Indies but, owing to the deteriorating political situation she was retained at Home in the Fishery Protection Squadron. Following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in February 1942 she was adopted by the civil community of Welton, Lincolnshire.

 

B a t t l e† †H o n o u r s

 

KENTISH KNOCK 1652 - PORTLAND 1653 - GABBARD 1653 - SCHEVENINGEN 1653 - QUEBEC 1759 - ST LUCIA 1796 - ST LUCIA 1796 - DESIRADE 1808 - CHINA 1839-40  - †JUTLAND 1916 - NORWAY 1940 - ATLANTIC 1942-44 - NORTH AFRICA 1942† - NORMANDY 1944 - ENGLISH CHANNEL 1944

 

H e r a l d i c†† D a t a

Badge: On a Field Green, upon water in base barry wavy White

and Blue a Pelican Proper.

 

M o t t o

'What I have I hold'

 

 

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             Nominated for service with Rosyth Escort Force

                3rd          Commenced convoy defence duties in North Sea.

                5th          In collision with British freighter STARLING.

 

October                  North Sea deployment in continuation.

                10th        Collided with wreckage.

 

November              North Sea convoy defence in continuation.

to

December

 

1 9 4 0

 

January                  North Sea convoy defence in continuation.

to

March

 

April

                9th          Transferred for AA defence duty with Hans Fleet during Norwegian campaign.

                                Deployed for escort of military convoy to Norway.

                                Provided AA defence of anchorage off Narvik

                21st         Embarked naval party for passage to Molde.

                22nd       Hit on quarterdeck during air attack during passage to Romdalsfjord.

                                Sustained major damage including total loss of main electrical supplies.

                                Withdrawn from operational duties.

                24th        Taken in tow by HM Sloop Fleetwood for repair.

                                Passage to Chatham in tow.

                                (For details of disastrous naval operations off Norway see CARRIER GLORIOUS by J Winton,

                                NARVIK by D Macintyre, THE DOOMED EXPEDITION by J Adams and Naval Staff History).

 

May                        Under repair by HM Dockyard Chatham.

to                            Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to U86.

October

 

November              Carried out post refit trials and prepared for operational service.

 

December              On completion resumed convoy defence duties.

                5th          Damaged in collision with trawler CAPE PORTLAND and taken in hand for repair in

                                commercial shipyard in London.

 

1 9 4 1

 

January                  Under repair.

 

February

                9th          Returned to operational service on completion.

                19th        Damaged by mine on passage.

                                Taken in hand for further repair in London commercial shipyard..

 

March                    Under repair.

to                            (Note: Work done included installation of Type 285 Fire Control Radar.

October                  For details of development and use of radar in RN see RADAR AT Sea by D House).

 

November              On completion of port repair trials took passage to Tobermory to work-up for operational

                                service.

 

December              Under air attack whilst on passage and sustained slight damage.

                                Carried out work-up at Tobermory.

 

1 9 4 2

 

January                  On completion of work-up took passage to Londonderry

                                Joined 45th Escort Group for defence of OS Series of convoys to Freetown and return SL

                                Series convoys to Liverpool.

 

February                Deployed for escort for Atlantic convoys

to                            (For details of U-Boat deployments against convoys in Atlantic see U-BOAT WAR IN THE

June                        ATLANTIC (HMSO), HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR by c Blair.).

 

July                         Part of escort for Convoy OS33 to Freetown.

                11th        Took part in sinking of U136 in position 33-30N 22.52W (N W of Madeira) with HM

                                Frigate SPEY and French destroyer LEOPARD.

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

August                  Freetown route convoy defence in continuation.

to                            Nominated for defence of military convoys to Gibraltar in preparation for planned allied

September             landings in North Africa (Operation TORCH)

                                (Note: OS series envoys were to be suspended.

 

October                  Transferred to UK for escort of military conveys to Gibraltar

                26th        Sailed from Clyde with HM Sloops LEITH, LONDONDERRY, ROCHESTER, SANDWICH

                                and SCARBOROUGH as part of escort for follow-up military convoy KMS2 during passage

                                to Gibraltar. (Operation TORCH- See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett,

                                Naval Staff History and for information about all mercantiles and warships involved BRITISH

                                INVASION FLEETS by J de Winser for details).

 

November              Under repair in Belfast.

to                            (Note: During this period at least two sabotage incidents were reported including damage to

December              gun-sights.

                                Surface warning radar Type 271 was probably fitted. See above reference).

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  On completion of post repair trials resumed convoy defence and took passage to Gibraltar.

                                (Note: Further sabotage to gyro compass was discovered after arrival )

 

February                Transferred to 1st Escort Group for convoy defence on Freetown route

                                (Note: OS series had recommenced.)

 

March                    Transferred with Group for deployment as a Support Group in defence of North Atlantic

                                convoys.

                                (For details of Support Group deployment using improved tactics and with improved weapons

                                see SEEK AND STRIKE by W Hackmann and THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC by D

                                Macintyre).

 

April                       North Atlantic convoy support with Group in continuation

 

May                        Despatched from St John's Newfoundland to reinforce escort of Convoy SC128 which was

                                under series of sustained attacks by U-Boats of FINK and AMSEL Groups.

                6th          Joined SC128 with HM Cutter SENNEN, HM Frigates WEAR, SPEY and soon after arrival

                                detected submarine by radar.

                                Sank U438 in position of Cape Farewell in position 52.00N 45.20W

                                There were no survivors from the submarine. See U-BOATS DESTROYED.

                                (Note: 12 ships ware lost from this convoy with 9 U-Boats sunk and five badly damaged.)

 

June                        Atlantic convoy support with Group in continuation.

                14th        Located and sank U334 in position 56.13N 28.20W with HMS JED during support and cover

                                operations for passage of Convoy ONS10, SW of Iceland.

                                There ware no survivors from the submarine.( See U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp.)

 

July                         Deployed with Group in escort role for military convoys to Mediterranean prior to planned

                                landings in Sicily (Operation HUSKY).- See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C

                                Barnett, Naval Staff History and for information about all mercantiles and warships involved

                                BRITISH INVASION FLEETS by J de Winser for details).

 

                20th        Joined combined military convoys WS32/KMF20 with HM Sloop EGRET, HM Frigates JED,

                                ROTHER and WEAR for escort during Atlantic passage.

                25th        Detached when WS32 ships for Indian Ocean divided from joint convoy and deployed as

                                escort for ships of KMF20 for passage to Gibraltar.

                                Returned to UK on arrival of KMF20 ships at destination.

 

August                  Group transferred to Plymouth for escort military convoys to Mediterranean.

 

September             Part of escort for Convoy KMF24 to Gibraltar.

 

October                  Deployed with Group for convoys on UK- Gibraltar route.

to                            Nominated for refit

November

 

December              Taken in hand for refit at Milford Haven.

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Under refit

 

February                Carried out post refit trials.

                                Nominated for service with 27th Escort Group for convoy defence in SW Approaches.

 

March                    On completion worked-up at Tobermory.

                                Joined 7th Escort Group for convoy escort and support in SW Approaches.

                                Deployed for anti-submarine operations in Bay of Biscay to deny use of Spanish coastal

                                waters by U-Boats on passage to and from Atlantic convoy routes.

 

April                       Deployed with 7th Escort Group in support role for Atlantic convoy defence.

                9th          Sailed for anti-submarine support operations north of Azores with the 9th Escort Group

                                (Note: Other ships in Group were HM Canadian Frigates MONNOW, SWANSEA,

                                STORMONT and HM Canadian Corvette OWEN SOUND.

                14th        Took part in sinking of U448 with HM Canadian Frigate SWANSEA in position 46.22N

                                19.35 W, NW of Cape Ortegal during support operations.

                                (Note: Submarine located after detection of wireless transmissions and additional support from

                                HM Escort Carrier BITER aircraft and ships of 7th Escort Group in the vicinity.

                                Attacks made by ships of Group initially unsuccessful but creeping operation damaged

                                submarine which was forced to surface.

                                Crew abandoned and 42 were rescued.( See U-BOATS DESTROYED.)

 

May                        Nominated for support of planned allied landings in Normandy and detached for service in SW

                                Approaches to carry out anti-submarine operations to prevent passage of U-Boats through

                                Bay of Biscay to attack assault convoys.

                                (Operation NEPTUNE - For details of naval activities prior to the landings, see OPERATION

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

 

June                        Passage to Milford Haven to join HM Sloop LAPWING, HM Frigates NARBROUGH.

                                RUPERT and HM Escort Destroyer MENDIP as Escort Group 111.

                4th          Joined Convoy EBP1 with Group as escort for passage to beach head.

                                (Note: This convoy comprised four personnel ships and two other mercantiles carrying

                                pre-loaded US Build-up Division and depot ships to the Western Task Force area

                                as part of the Build-up Phase)

                5th          Operation delayed 24 hours.

                6th          Passage through swept channel to beachhead.

                7th          Detached from convoy on arrival and resumed anti-submarine operations.

                                Based at Plymouth.

                                (Note: Several Escort Groups were deployed to deny access to Channel for attacks by U-

                                Boats on invasion traffic.

                                Area of operations was changed during the month to suit the tactical requirements).

 

July                         Anti-submarine patrol and convoy defence in continuation.

                31st         Withdrawn from NEPTUNE support and took passage to Clyde for refit.

August                  Under refit in commercial shipyard.

                                Nominated for service in Eastern Fleet.

                                Carried out post refit trials and prepared for foreign service.

                                Took passage to join Eastern Fleet

 

September

                2nd         Grounded at Aden on entry and sustained damage to hull structure under water.

                                Repair arranged at Bombay.

                                Passage to Bombay

 

October

                17th        Arrived at Bombay and taken in hand for repair by HM Indian Navy Dockyard.

 

November              Repair work in continuation.

                17th        Extent of structural hull damage found beyond local resources.

                                Further repair work arranged at Taranto.

 

December              Passage to Taranto.

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Under repair at Taranto.

to                            Further repair to be carried cut in Malta.

July

 

August

                3rd          Took passage to Malta.

                7th          Under repair in HM Dockyard Malta.

 

S y n o p s i s    o f    P o s t    W a r    S e r v i c e

 

September             Nominated for service with 33rd Escort Group based in Malta.

                                Joined Group on completion of post refit-trials.

 

October                  Worked-up with Group for Fleet service.

 

November              Deployed with Group for Fleet and other exercises in Mediterranean.

to

December

 

1 9 4 6

 

January                  Deployed in Mediterranean for Fleet duties, visits and exercises.

to

May

 

June                        Transferred to 4th Escort Flotilla, Destroyer Command, Mediterranean Fleet.

 

July                         Mediterranean deployment with Flotilla in continuation

to                            (Note: During this period Destroyer Command ships were deployed on patrols to intercept

December              ships carrying illegal immigrants into Palestine.

                                Guardships were also provided in the Adriatic for support of military units.)

 

1 9 4 7

 

January                  Flotilla and Fleet duties, visits and exercise programme in continuation.

to

September

 

October                  Transferred to aid Frigate Flotilla, Mediterranean Fleet.

 

November              Flotilla deployment in continuation.

to                            Immigration Patrols and Guardship duties at Trieste and Aqaba were being carried out ships

December              of Destroyer Command.

 

1 9 4 8    t o    1 9 5 0

 

                                Flotilla duties including patrols, visits and Fleet AD Flotilla Exercise Programmes

                                in continuation.

                                (Note: Palestine Patrol duties terminated after establishment of Israel as an independent

                                State

.                               During the patrols 40 ships were intercepted and only 4 reached their destination

                                Guardship ware provided at Alexandria, Aqaba and Trieste.

 

1 9 5 1

 

January                  Mediterranean duties in continuation.

to                            Nominated for return to UK to Pay-off and reduce to Reserve status.

April

 

May                        Passage to Chatham to pay-off

 

June                        Paid-Off at Chatham and de-stored.

 

July                         Accepted into Reserve Fleet, Chatham Division.

 

August                  Laid-up at Chatham.

to

December

 

1 9 5 2    to    1 9 5 5

 

                                Laid-up at Chatham.

 

1 9 5 4

 

January                  Laid-up at Chatham

to                            Nominated for re-commissioning after refit.

March

 

April                       Taken in hand for refit.

 

May                        Under refit.

 

June                        Re-commissioned for service in South Atlantic.

 

July                         On completion of post refit trials worked up for operational service.

 

August                  On completion of work-up prepared for foreign service.

 

September             Passage to Simonstown to join Squadron.

 

October                  Deployed in South Atlantic and Indian Ocean.

                                (Note: RN ships carried out extensive visits programmes and exercised with ships of the

                                South African Navy.

 

1 9 5 5    t o    1 9 5 6

 

                                South Atlantic and Indian Ocean Deployment in continuation.

                                (Note: During this period HM Dockyard at Simonstown was handed over to the South

                                African Navy. Visits and exercises involved passages as far north as West Africa

                                and Mozambique. A threat of interference the Falklands by Argentina required

                                special precautions during 1955.

                                RN Frigates and   Sloops were transferred to 7th Frigate Squadron and were under

                                command of CinC South Atlantic baaed at Simonstown.)

 

1 9 5 7

 

January                  Nominated for return to UK to Pay-off and reduce to Reserve.

                                Took passage to Chatham.

 

February                Arrived at Chatham

                13th        Paid-Off and destored.

 

March                    Accepted into Reserve at Chatham.

 

F i n a l†† P h a s e

 

HMS† PELICAN was placed on the Disposal List as part of the Defence Review In 1957. She was sold to BISCO in 1956 for demolition by T Ward at Preston, Lancs. The ship arrived in tow at the Breaker's yard on 29th November 1958.

 


 

Addendum

 

Convoy Escort Movements of HMS PELICAN

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

 

 

 

 

 

19/11/39

19/11/39

FS 0039

21/11/39

21/11/39

11/12/39

11/12/39

FS 0053

12/12/39

12/12/39

20/12/39

20/12/39

FN 0057

22/12/39

22/12/39

30/12/39

30/12/39

FS 0061

31/12/39

31/12/39

04/01/40

04/01/40

FS 0064

06/01/40

06/01/40

15/01/40

15/01/40

FS 0073

17/01/40

17/01/40

28/01/40

28/01/40

FS 0083

30/01/40

30/01/40

07/02/40

07/02/40

MT 005

07/02/40

07/02/40

08/02/40

08/02/40

FS 0091

10/02/40

10/02/40

15/02/40

15/02/40

FS 0097

17/02/40

17/02/40

15/02/40

15/02/40

MT 011

15/02/40

15/02/40

19/02/40

19/02/40

FN 0098

21/02/40

21/02/40

28/02/40

28/02/40

FS 0108

01/03/40

01/03/40

07/03/40

07/03/40

FS 0115

09/03/40

09/03/40

07/03/40

07/03/40

MT 025

07/03/40

07/03/40

10/03/40

10/03/40

FN 0117

12/03/40

12/03/40

14/03/40

14/03/40

MT 030

14/03/40

14/03/40

18/03/40

18/03/40

FN 0123

20/03/40

20/03/40

27/03/40

27/03/40

FS 0131

29/03/40

29/03/40

03/04/40

03/04/40

FS 0137

05/04/40

05/04/40

03/04/40

03/04/40

MT 043

03/04/40

03/04/40

07/04/40

07/04/40

TM 040

08/04/40

08/04/40

11/04/40

11/04/40

MT 049

12/04/40

12/04/40

12/04/40

12/04/40

FS 0144

14/04/40

14/04/40

24/12/40

24/12/40

FS 0369

26/12/40

26/12/40

10/01/42

10/01/42

OG 078

24/01/42

24/01/42

23/02/42

23/02/42

OG 080

08/03/42

08/03/42

14/03/42

14/03/42

HG 080

17/03/42

26/03/42

03/04/42

03/04/42

SL 105

22/04/42

22/04/42

02/05/42

03/05/42

OS 027

19/05/42

19/05/42

24/05/42

24/05/42

SL 111

16/06/42

16/06/42

01/07/42

02/07/42

OS 033

20/07/42

20/07/42

25/07/42

25/07/42

SL 117

15/08/42

15/08/42

29/08/42

31/08/42

OS 039

16/09/42

18/09/42

23/09/42

23/09/42

SL 123

14/10/42

14/10/42

01/11/42

01/11/42

KMF 002

12/11/42

12/11/42

15/11/42

15/11/42

MKF 002

22/11/42

23/11/42

07/01/43

07/01/43

KMS 007G

18/01/43

21/01/43

19/01/43

23/01/43

MKS 006

01/02/43

01/02/43

14/02/43

15/02/43

OS 043

04/03/43

04/03/43

12/03/43

12/03/43

SL 126

02/04/43

01/04/43

16/04/43

24/04/43

SC 127

25/04/43

03/05/43

13/04/43

26/04/43

ONS 004

28/04/43

05/05/43

21/04/43

06/05/43

ONS 005

08/05/43

12/05/43

29/04/43

09/05/43

ONS 006

10/05/43

17/05/43

13/05/43

21/05/43

HX 239

24/05/43

28/05/43

31/05/43

09/06/43

HX 242

12/06/43

15/06/43

08/06/43

12/06/43

ONS 010

18/06/43

27/06/43

27/06/43

01/07/43

SC 135

03/07/43

11/07/43

19/07/43

19/07/43

KMF 020

28/07/43

28/07/43

31/07/43

03/08/43

MKF 020

09/08/43

11/08/43

15/09/43

15/09/43

KMF 024

22/09/43

29/09/43

17/09/43

28/09/43

MKF 024

06/10/43

07/10/43

16/10/43

16/10/43

KMF 025

25/10/43

30/10/43

17/10/43

27/10/43

MKF 025

04/11/43

04/11/43

15/11/43

15/11/43

KMF 026

26/11/43

30/11/43

17/11/43

30/11/43

MKF 026

09/12/43

09/12/43

15/03/44

16/03/44

ON 228

unknown

01/04/44

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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