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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2

by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2002

HMS SANDWICH (L 12) - Bridgewater-class Sloop
including Convoy Escort Movements

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

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

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BRIDGEWATER-Class Escort Sloop ordered from Hawthorne Leslie, Newcastle on 19th September 1927 under the 1927 Build Programme with sister ship HMS SANDWICH as replacements for the FLOWER Class built during WW1. The ship was laid down on 9th February 1928 and launched without ceremony on 29th September that year. She was the 6th major RN warship to bear this name, introduced in 1679 for a 2nd Rate, possibly after Edward Montague, first Earl of Sandwich (1625 72). This ex soldier later became a general-at-sea and was killed at the Battle of Solebay. It was also used for four minor auxiliary warships. The last use was for a hired Lugger taken out of service in 1814. On completion of build on 23rd March 1929 this Sloop was immediately deployed on the China Station and did not return to UK until after the outbreak of WW2. In March 1942 she was, most appropriately, adopted by the civil community of Sandwich, Kent after a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign.

 

B a t t l e H o n o u r s

BEACHY HEAD 1690 - BARFLEUR 1692 - BELLEISLE 1761 - USHANT 1778 - ST VINCENT 1780 - ATLANTIC 1939-44 - NORTH AFRICA 1942

H e r a l d i c D a t a

Badge: On a Field Party per fess Red and Blue, a demi-lion, Gold

conjoined with a ship's stern Silver.

 

M o t t o

Fronte leonis: 'With a lions face'

 

 

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             Deployed at Hong Kong

                                (Note: The ship had re-commissioned in Hong Kong on 21st March 1939 for further service on

                                the China Station.).

                                Took up war station in Straits of Tsushima, Japan to intercept German mercantiles on passage

                                in the area.

                                Nominated for refit prior to future deployment as an anti-submarine convoy escort.

 

October                  On completion of refit work resumed interception patrol off Japan

                                Recalled to Hong Kong for return to UK for convoy defence in Home waters.

 

November              Passage to Mediterranean with calls at Singapore, Colombo and Aden.

                                Transit of Suez Canal

 

December              Passage to Gibraltar.

                18th        Sailed from Gibraltar with HM Destroyer DOUGLAS and two French destroyers as escort for

                                inward Convoy HG11 during passage to UK.

                19th        Remained with HG11 when HMS DOUGLAS detached.

                24th        Detached from HG11 in SW Approaches and took passage to Plymouth

                25th        At Devonport for Leave and preparation for convoy defence duties in Western Approaches

                                Command.

                                (Note: This ship had not returned to UK since completion.)

 

1 9 4 0

 

January                  On completion of dockyard work and work-up nominated for escort of outbound Convoy

                                OG16F during initial stage of passage to Gibraltar

                28th        Joined HM Destroyers VELOX and WISHART for escort for outbound Convoy OG16F during

                                initial stage of passage to Gibraltar in SW Approaches

                31st         Detached from OG16F and joined HM Destroyer WOLSEY and HM Sloop LOWESTOFT in

                                escort for inward convoy HG17F from Gibraltar during passage in SW Approaches.

 

February

                5th          Detached from HG17F and returned to Plymouth

                                Deployed for local escort duties.

                28th        Deployed with HM Destroyers VANOC, VELOX and WHIRLWIND to join inward Convoy

                                HG20F from Gibraltar as relief for two French destroyers.

                                (Note: HMS VANOC and HMS WHIRLWIND detached later.)

 

March

                3rd          Detached with HMS VELOX and took passage to return to Plymouth.

                5th          Deployed with HM Destroyers VOLUNTEER, WHIRLWIND and HM Sloop ENCHANTRESS

                                as escort for outbound Convoy OG21F during passage to Gibraltar..

                8th          Remained with OG21F as escort when HMS VOLUNTEER and WHIRLWIND detached.

                9th          HM Destroyer DOUGLAS joined OG21F escort.

                11th        Detached from escort for OG21F with HMS DOUGLAS and HMS ENCHANTRESS on arrival

                                at Gibraltar.

                28th        Joined inward Convoy HG24 at Gibraltar with HM Sloop ENCHANTRESS as escort for passage

                                to Liverpool.

                                (For details of naval activities in Home waters during the period September 1938 to April 1940

                                see the Naval Staff History and HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR by C Blair.)

 

April

                4th          HM Destroyer WAKEFUL joined escort for HG24.

                7th          HM Destroyer VENETIA joined escort for HG24.

                                Detached from HG 24 with escort on arrival at Liverpool.

                                Transferred to Liverpool Escort Group.

                                (Note: Headquarters of Western Approaches Command transferred from Plymouth to Liverpool.)

 

May                        Escort of convoys in OG and HG series in continuation.

                                Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to U12.

                17th        Transferred to escort of convoys in NW Approaches

                24th        Deployed as part of escort of Convoy OB154 during outward passage to Canada in NW Approaches.

 

June                        Convoy escort in NW Approaches in continuation.

 

July                         Transferred to Rosyth for escort of convoys between Forth and Clyde.

to September

 

October

                1st           Part of escort for Convoy OA223 from Methil to dispersal point in NW Approaches.

                5th          Detached from OA223 on dispersal and took independent passage to Sydney, CB

                15th        Joined Convoy SC8 at Sydney as part of escort during passage to Liverpool.

                31st         Detached from escort of SC8 on arrival in Liverpool.

 

November              North Atlantic convoy escort in continuation based in Liverpool.

                23rd        Rescued survivors from mercantiles KING IDWAL and ANTEN.

                                (Note: KING IDWAL had been escorted with Convoy OB244 which dispersed on 22nd

                                and was sunk as an independent on 23rd by U123.

                                ANTEN is not recorded as a British mercantile and may have been sunk as an

                                independent from OB244.)

December              Nominated for refit in commercial shipyard at Tilbury, Essex,

                                Passage to Thames estuary from Liverpool and taken in hand on arrival at Tilbury.

 

1 9 4 1

 

January                  Under refit

to March

 

April                       On completion of refit carried out work-up prior to resuming service at Liverpool.

                15th        Joined Convoy OG59 as part of escort during passage from Liverpool to Gibraltar.

                28th        Detached from OG59 on arrival at Gibraltar.

                                (Note: This convoy arrived without loss.)

 

May

                6th          Sailed from Gibraltar as part of escort for Convoy HG61 during passage to Liverpool

                19th        Convoy under attack off Bloody Foreland during which mercantile EMPIRE RIDGE

                                was sunk by U96

                20th        Detached from escort on arrival of HG61 at Liverpool.

 

June                        Resumed duties for defence of convoys in NW Approaches

to July                    Transferred to escort of convoys to and from West Africa.

 

August

                3rd          Joined Convoy OS2 at Liverpool as part of escort during passage to Freetown/

                22nd       Detached from OS2 with escort on arrival at Freetown without loss.

                25th        Part of escort for return convoy SL85 during passage to Liverpool (to be confirmed)

 

September

                15th        Under air attack in NW Approaches during which ss DARU was sunk

                17th        Detached from SL85 on arrival at Liverpool.

 

October                  Deployed with 43rd Escort Group for convoy defence to and from Freetown.

to December          Nominated for refit at commercial shipyard in Belfast

 

1 9 4 2

 

January                  Under refit during which ships company were exchanged

to March                                (Note: During this refit Radar Type 271 was fitted for detection of surface craft and land.

                                For details of development and use of radar in RN see RADAR AT SEA by D Howse.)

 

April                       Resumed convoy escort duties with 43rd Escort Group at Liverpool after post refit trials

                                and work-up at Tobermory for operational service.

                                (Note: Other ships in Group were HM Frigate ERNE and HM Sloop ROCHESTER.)

 

May                        Freetown route deployment in continuation

to June

 

July

                21st         Joined outbound Convoy SL35 with HMS ERNE and HMS ROCHESTER as escort for passage

                                to Freetown.

                31st         Under attack by U213 south of the Azores.

                                Submarine located ahead of convoy and sunk by ships of Group in depth charge attacks.

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

                                (Note: For details of U-Boat deployments see U-BOAT WAR IN THE ATLANTIC

                                (HMSO) and above reference. For information about tactics and weapons used for

                                defence of convoys see SEEK AND STRIKE by W Hackmann.)

 

August

                10th        Detached from OS35 on arrival

                14th        Joined as SL119 with ships of Group as escort during passage to Liverpool.

                28th        Under submarine attack during which two mercantiles were sunk

 

September

                4th          Detached from SL119 on arrival at Liverpool.

                                Took passage to Belfast for refit.

 

October                  Under refit in Belfast during which 20mm Oerlikon guns were fitted to improve

                                defence against air attacks.

                                Nominated for escort duties in support of planned allied landings in North Africa

                                (Operation TORCH - For details see Naval Staff History.)

                26th        Joined escort for military convoy KMS2 for defence during passage to Gibraltar.

 

November

                10th        Detached from KMS2 on arrival at Gibraltar and deployed for local escort of convoys

                                in western Mediterranean for support of allied landings.

 

December              Gibraltar deployment in continuation.

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  Convoy escort duties based at Gibraltar in continuation.

                                Nominated for return to UK and to be refitted

 

February                Taken in hand for refit at Tyne commercial shipyard

 

March                    Under refit

to June                   Nominated for service with 38th Escort Group .

 

July                         Post refit harbour and sea trials.

 

August                  On completion of trials and work-up joined Group for operational service.

                                (Note: Other ships in Group were:

                                HM Frigate FAL, HM Sloops ENCHANTRESS, BIDEFORD, LEITH,

                                HM Corvettes ANCHUSA, COLUMBINE, COREOPSIS and VIOLET.)

 

September             Passage to Freetown for local escort duties.

                                (Note: If part of escort for Convoy OS54, this sailed from Liverpool on 27th August

                                and arrived at Freetown on 17th September. To be confirmed)

                                Based at Freetown and deployed for escort of convoys to and from Gibraltar.

                23rd        Part of escort for Convoy SL137 during passage to join Convoy MKS26 for joint

                                passage to Liverpool.)

 

October

                5th          Passage to Freetown to resume local duties on release from SL137/MKS26

                                Deployed at Freetown for convoy defence.

 

November              Freetown deployment in continuation

to December

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Deployed at Freetown for local escort and for OS and SL series between Freetown

to May                   and Gibraltar.

                                Condition of hull and machinery required survey and refit

 

June                        At Gibraltar pending decision relating to refit

                                Refit arranged at Brindisi and took passage from Gibraltar.

 

July                         Under refit at Brindisi.

to October

 

November              Passage to Gibraltar for completion of work.

to December          Under survey and awaiting decision for future deployment

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Paid off and placed in care and maintenance.

                                (Note: It may be presumed that this was due to age of ship and deterioration

                                after significant use since 1939.)

 

February                Passage to Bizerta to be laid-up.

                                (Note: Passage under tow to be confirmed.)

 

March                    Laid-up at Bizerta.

to August

  

P o s t W a r N o t e s

 

HMS SANDWICH remained at Bizerta after VJ Day and was placed on the Disposal List. She was sold locally for 3,050 and intended to be converted for use as a mercantile. This intention was later abandoned, presumably in view of her state and she was demolished.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS SANDWICH

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

 

 

 

 

 

16/12/39

16/12/39

HG 011

24/12/39

24/12/39

26/01/40

26/01/40

OG 016F

31/01/40

01/02/40

29/01/40

31/01/40

HG 017F

05/02/40

07/02/40

05/02/40

17/02/40

SL 019F

20/02/40

20/02/40

24/02/40

26/02/40

OA 098GF

27/02/40

27/02/40

22/02/40

28/02/40

HG 020F

03/03/40

03/03/40

05/03/40

05/03/40

OG 021F

11/03/40

11/03/40

28/03/40

28/03/40

HG 024

07/04/40

07/04/40

14/04/40

14/04/40

OG 026F

20/04/40

20/04/40

07/05/40

07/05/40

HG 029

17/05/40

17/05/40

24/05/40

24/05/40

OB 154

27/05/40

28/05/40

16/05/40

27/05/40

HX 043

30/05/40

31/05/40

01/06/40

01/06/40

OB 159

04/06/40

04/06/40

24/05/40

05/06/40

HX 045

07/06/40

08/06/40

09/06/40

09/06/40

OB 164

12/06/40

12/06/40

02/06/40

14/06/40

HX 047

17/06/40

17/06/40

17/06/40

17/06/40

OB 169

20/06/40

22/06/40

09/06/40

20/06/40

HX 049

24/06/40

24/06/40

25/06/40

25/06/40

OB 174

28/06/40

28/06/40

16/06/40

29/06/40

HX 051

02/07/40

02/07/40

07/07/40

07/07/40

OB 180

10/07/40

10/07/40

29/06/40

11/07/40

HX 054

14/07/40

14/07/40

17/07/40

17/07/40

OA 186

21/07/40

21/07/40

11/07/40

23/07/40

HX 057

26/07/40

26/07/40

30/07/40

30/07/40

OA 192

03/08/40

03/08/40

23/07/40

04/08/40

HX 060

07/08/40

07/08/40

15/08/40

15/08/40

OA 199

19/08/40

unknown

08/08/40

20/08/40

HX 064

23/08/40

23/08/40

29/08/40

29/08/40

OA 206

03/09/40

unknown

18/08/40

03/09/40

SL 044

07/09/40

07/09/40

14/09/40

14/09/40

OA 214

19/09/40

unknown

02/10/40

02/10/40

OA 223

06/10/40

unknown

15/10/40

15/10/40

SC 008

31/10/40

31/10/40

17/11/40

17/11/40

OB 244

22/11/40

22/11/40

04/12/40

04/12/40

OB 254

07/12/40

08/12/40

15/04/41

15/04/41

OG 059

28/04/41

28/04/41

06/05/41

06/05/41

HG 061

20/05/41

20/05/41

08/06/41

10/06/41

OB 332

19/06/41

23/06/41

20/06/41

24/06/41

HX 134

04/07/41

09/07/41

30/06/41

13/07/41

HX 136

unknown

18/07/41

01/07/41

13/07/41

SC 036

17/07/41

19/07/41

03/08/41

04/08/41

OS 002

19/08/41

22/08/41

25/08/41

28/08/41

SL 085

11/09/41

17/09/41

02/09/41

11/09/41

HG 072

17/09/41

17/09/41

03/10/41

04/10/41

OS 008

20/10/41

26/10/41

27/10/41

27/10/41

SL 091

08/11/41

08/11/41

08/11/41

08/11/41

SL 091G1

12/11/41

12/11/41

12/11/41

12/11/41

SL 091GS

19/11/41

19/11/41

30/11/41

01/12/41

OS 013

18/12/41

20/12/41

26/12/41

28/12/41

SL 096

13/01/42

13/01/42

24/03/42

25/03/42

OS 023

11/04/42

11/04/42

16/04/42

16/04/42

SL 107

05/05/42

07/05/42

22/05/42

22/05/42

OS 029

10/06/42

11/06/42

15/06/42

15/06/42

SL 113

29/06/42

05/07/42

21/07/42

25/07/42

OS 035

12/08/42

10/08/42

14/08/42

14/08/42

SL 119

05/09/42

04/09/42

19/09/42

20/09/42

OS 041

01/10/42

01/10/42

23/09/42

04/10/42

SL 123

10/10/42

14/10/42

25/10/42

26/10/42

KMS 002G

12/11/42

12/11/42

28/11/42

28/11/42

TE 007

unknown

03/12/42

30/12/42

30/12/42

GUF 003

01/01/43

13/01/43

01/01/43

05/01/43

CF 010A

08/01/43

08/01/43

18/01/43

18/01/43

GUS 003

19/01/43

07/02/43

07/02/43

08/02/43

MKS 007

17/02/43

17/02/43

31/08/43

31/08/43

ST 075

unknown

unknown

08/09/43

08/09/43

LTS 001

15/09/43

15/09/43

10/09/43

10/09/43

STL 001

15/09/43

15/09/43

23/09/43

23/09/43

SL 137

05/10/43

05/10/43

05/10/43

05/10/43

SL 137MK

17/10/43

17/10/43

27/10/43

31/10/43

OS 057KM

09/11/43

09/11/43

09/11/43

09/11/43

OS 057

18/11/43

19/11/43

23/11/43

23/11/43

SL 141

04/12/43

04/12/43

19/12/43

19/12/43

OS 061

29/12/43

29/12/43

01/01/44

01/01/44

SL 145

12/01/44

12/01/44

26/01/44

26/01/44

OS 065

06/02/44

06/02/44

11/02/44

11/02/44

SL 149

22/02/44

22/02/44

05/03/44

05/03/44

OS 069

15/03/44

15/03/44

22/03/44

22/03/44

SL 153

02/04/44

02/04/44

16/04/44

16/04/44

OS 073

25/04/44

25/04/44

01/05/44

01/05/44

SL 157

10/05/44

11/05/44

23/05/44

23/05/44

OS 077

02/06/44

02/06/44

11/06/44

11/06/44

SL 161

22/06/44

21/06/44

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

 

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