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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  LANCASTER CASTLE (K 691) - Castle-class Corvette including Convoy Escort Movements     

HMS Lancaster Castle in foreground with HMS Hadleigh Castle alongside (Navy Photos/Bob Hanley, click to enlarge)

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CASTLE-Class Frigate ordered on 19th December 1942 from Fleming and Ferguson SC, Paisley  and laid down on 10th November 1943 as Job Number 1546 (Yard Number 653). The ship was launched on 14th April 1944 as the 1st RN ship to carry the name. Build was completed on 15th September 1944.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

 

ARCTIC 1945

 

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

 

Badge: On a Field Blue, based on the Arms of John of Gaunt who restored

the Castle, and the red rose of the house of Lancaster.

 

 

S u m m a r y   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 4

 

September              Contractors trials and commissioned for service in Western Approaches Command..

             15th            Build completion and accepted for service after work-up.

                                On completion of trials and storing took passage to Tobermory.

 

October                  On completion of work-up for operational service carried out weapon trials and calibrations.

 

November               Joined 31st Escort Group.

                                 (Note: Other ships in Group were HM Corvettes BERKELEY CASTLE, CARISBROOKE

                                            CASTLE, DUMBARTON CASTLE and HADLEIGH CASTLE.)

 

December               Deployed with Group in NW Approaches for convoy defence.

                                (Note: For details of anti-submarine weapon development including anti-submarine mortar

                                            (SQUID) and  High Frequency Direction Finding Outfit FH4, see SEEK AND

                                            STRIKE  by W Hackman and BUSINESS IN GREAT WATERS by John

                                            Terraine.)

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                   Atlantic and coastal convoy defence in continuation.

to                             (Note: During this period SCHNORKEL-fitted U-Boats were concentrating their

February                             attacks on coastal shipping especially in SW Approaches as Atlantic convoys

                                            had been re-routed through English Channel after the removal of the air threat from

                                            bases in  France.. See U-BOAT WAR IN THE ATLANTIC (HMSO), HOLD THE

                                            NARROW SEA by P Smith and HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR by C Blair.)

 

March                      Detached for Russian convoy defence with Home Fleet units.

                                 (For details of all Russian Convoy operations and names of all warships and mercantiles

                                 taking part see CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by R A Ruegg, ARCTIC CONVOYS by R

                                 Woodman, THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS by B Schoefield and CONVOY! by P Kemp.)

             11th             Deployed with HM Corvettes ALLINGTON CASTLE, ALNWICK CASTLE,

                                 BAMBOROUGH CASTLE, CAMELLIA, HONEYSUCKLE , OXLIP, HM Destroyer

                                 MYNGS, HM Nor. Destroyer STORD and HM Sloop LAPWING as Close Escort for

                                 Russian Convoy JW65 during passage to Kola Inlet.

              12th            HM Cruiser DIADEM, HM Escort Carrier CAMPANIA joined JW65 with destroyers of

                                 Home Fleet and HM Corvette FARNHAM CASTLE.

             15th            HM Escort Carrier TRUMPETER joined JW65 with two Hone Fleet destroyers.

              20th            Under attack by group of six U-Boats off Kola Inlet.

                                 (Note: During these attacks HM Sloop LAPWING was sunk by a homing torpedo and

                                             US mercantile THOMAS DONALDSON.

                                             Another US mercantile HORACE BUSHNELL was torpedoed and despite being

                                             towed to Kola Inlet became a total loss.)

                                 Detached from JW65 on arrival at Kola Inlet.

              23rd            Sailed from Kola Inlet with HMS FARNHAM CASTLE and Close Escort for JW59 to

                                 carry out anti-submarine operations against U-Boats waiting for departure of return

                                 Convoy RA65

                                 (Note: Nine submarines were known to have assembled.

                                             Four of the Fleet destroyers were also deployed in support of the corvettes.)

                                  On completion joined RA65 as part of Close Escort during return passage.

 

April

                1st             Detached from RA65 on arrival at Scapa Flow after uninterrupted passage.

                                  Resumed convoy defence duties with Group in coastal waters.

 

May

                8th             On cessation of hostilities with Germany released from convoy defence duties.

                                  Deployed in Hone waters for support of occupation forces and collection of

                                  surrendered

                                  U-Boats.

 

June                          Home Waters deployment in continuation.

to

August

 

P o s t   W a r   N o t e s

 

HMS LANCASTER CASTLE remained in commission until 1946 when she Paid-off and was reduced to Reserve status at Portsmouth. Whilst laid-up at Portsmouth the ship refitted at Cardiff before being transferred to the Reserve Fleet Division at Harwich in 1949. After the Harwich Division closed in 1953 this corvette was transferred to Hartlepool where she was laid-up until being put on the Disposal List in 1957. Although offered to Norway in 1957 this was not accepted and the ship was sold to BISCO for demolition by J J King of Gateshead. She arrived in tow the breakerís yard on 6th September 1960.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS LANCASTER CASTLE

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

 

 

 

 

 

30/10/44

unknown

HX 317

unknown

13/11/44

28/11/44

30/11/44

ONS 037

01/12/44

21/12/44

07/02/45

unknown

HX 337

unknown

21/02/45

16/02/45

17/02/45

ON 285

18/02/45

05/03/45

21/02/45

21/02/45

ON 286

22/02/45

09/03/45

11/03/45

11/03/45

JW 065

21/03/45

21/03/45

23/03/45

23/03/45

RA 065

01/04/45

01/04/45

06/04/45

20/04/45

SC 172

20/04/45

22/04/45

18/04/45

unknown

HX 351

unknown

03/05/45

23/04/45

unknown

HX 352

unknown

08/05/45

26/04/45

27/04/45

ON 299

28/04/45

13/05/45

29/04/45

29/04/45

RA 066

07/05/45

08/05/45

02/05/45

02/05/45

OS 126KM

05/05/45

08/05/45

05/05/45

10/05/45

MKS 099G

12/05/45

12/05/45

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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revised 31/5/11
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