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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     

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

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 transferredto 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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