Naval History Homepage and Site Search

 

 

SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2
by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2002

HMS  LAUNCESTON CASTLE  (K 397) - Castle-class Corvette including Convoy Escort Movements   

HMS Launceston Castle (Navy Photos/Bob Hanley, click to enlarge)

return to Contents List 

 

CASTLE-Class Frigate ordered from Blyth Shipbuilders on 19th January 1943 and laid down on 27th May that year. The ship was launched on 27th November 1944 and was the 1st RN ship to bear this name. Build of this new design Corvette was completed on 20th June 1944. She was not adopted by a civil community in UK in 1941-42 following a National Savings WARSHIP WEEK campaign.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

 

ATLANTIC 1944

 

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Blue, a Lionís head erased Gold, issuing

from a mural crown and between two feathers White.

 

 

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

 

June                          Commissioned for service in Western Approaches Command.

         20th                 Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

                                 (Note: For details of new SQUID Anti-submarine weapon

                                             see SEEK AND STRIKE by W Hackmann.).

 

July                          On completion of trials and storing took passage to Tobermory

                                 to work-up for operational service.

 

August                     Joined 30th Escort Group for Atlantic convoy defence.

                                  (Note: Other escorts in this Group were sister ships:

                                             HMS PEVENSEY CASTLE (SO) (completed June 1944)

                                             HMS PORTCHESTER CASTLE (completed August 1943)

                                             HMS KENILWORTH CASTLE (completed November 1943))

 

September                Deployed with Group for defence of Atlantic convoys.

                                  (For details of weapons and tactics used by U-Boats and by

                                  Escort and Support Groups see the THE BATTLE OF THE

                                  ATLANTIC by D Macintyre and BUSINESS IN GREAT

                                  WATERS by J Terraine.)

 

November                Group deployment in SW Approaches for anti-submarine search

                                  operations to intercept U-Boats attempting to attack convoys

                                  entering and leaving English Channel.

        11th                  Took part in anti-submarine operations with Group when submarine

                                  was contacted by sonar after radar detection..

                                  Submarine identified later as SCHNORKEL-fitted U1200 was sunk by

                                 SQUID projectiles in series of attacks by Group.

                                 (For details see HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR by C Blair and U-BOATS

                                 DESTROYED by P Kemp.)

 

December                Atlantic convoy defence and anti-submarine search duties in Western

                                 Approaches.

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                     Deployed with Group for anti-submarine patrol and convoy defence

to                              of coastal convoys around UK.

April                         (Note: German submarines fitted with Schnorkel-equipment were

                                              being extensively deployed to attack coastal traffic which

                                              included Atlantic traffic re-routed through English Channel

                                              following removal of air threat from French bases.

                                              For details of German submarine activities in UK coastal waters

                                              see HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR by C Blair, U-BOAT WAR IN

                                              THE ATLANTIC (HMSO) and The Naval Staff History.)

 

May                          After VE Day deployed with Home Fleet to take part in transfer of

                                  surrendered U-Boats in Norway.

         25th                  Deployed with HM Cruiser BERWICK, HM Canadian Destroyers

                                  HAIDA, HURON and ships of 30th Escort Group at Trondheim.

 

June                           Deployed for escort of captured submarines and support of re-occupation

to                                forces.

August                      Visited Home ports as part of Victory celebrations.

 

 

P o s t   W a r   N o t e s

 

HMS LAUNCESTON CASTLE remained in service after VJ Day and was used for anti-submarine sea training until Paid-off. Six of the Class were still in Commission in 1956. As part of the reduction in the Reserve Fleet in 1957-8 all the ships in RN service and those in Reserve were placed on the Disposal List. Three of the Class were sold to the Air Ministry for use as Weather Reporting Ships in the Atlantic. This ship was sold to BISCO in 1959 and arrived at the breakerís yard at St David's in tow for demolition by JAS White, on 3rd August 1959.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS LAUNCESTON 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

 

 

 

 

 

21/07/44

24/07/44

OS 084KM

01/08/44

01/08/44

01/08/44

01/08/44

KMS 058G

02/08/44

02/08/44

08/08/44

08/08/44

MKS 057G

09/08/44

09/08/44

09/08/44

09/08/44

SL 166MK

18/08/44

20/08/44

13/09/44

14/09/44

ON 253

15/09/44

28/09/44

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

27/02/45

28/02/45

ONS 043

28/02/45

16/03/45

02/03/45

03/03/45

ON 288

05/03/45

19/03/45

25/02/45

12/03/45

SC 168

12/03/45

13/03/45

12/04/45

14/04/45

WN 685

15/04/45

16/04/45

17/04/45

17/04/45

EN 487

18/04/45

19/04/45

28/04/45

12/05/45

SC 174

13/05/45

14/05/45

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

back to Contents List
or Naval-History.Net

revised 31/5/11
further editing and formatting is required