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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 HOLLYHOCK (K 64)  - Flower-class Corvette including Convoy Escort Movements

 HMS Honeysuckle, sister-ship (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

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FLOWER-Class corvette ordered from J Crown of Sunderland on 31st August 1939. She was laid down on 27th December that year and was launched on 19th August 1940 as the second RN ship to bear the name. It had been first used in 1915 at the launch of an ACACIA-Class Sloop sold in 1930. Build of this ship was completed 19th November 1940. After a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings Campaign in March 1942 this Corvette was adopted by the civil community of Abergele in Denbighshire. The loss of this corvette so soon afterwards will have prevented the establishment of close links with the community.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r

 

ATLANTIC 1940-41

 

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

In common with many other warships commissioned for service

during WW2 and which carried a name not previously borne by

a warship no formal approval was given by the Admiralty for use

of a Ships Badge. Many ships did however use an informal Badge.

 

 

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 0

 

November               Contractorís trials and commissioned for service

          19th               Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

                                On completion of trials taken in hand for degaussing in Middlesbrough.

                                Returned to Sunderland prior to taking passage to Tobermory for work-up.

 

December               Worked-up at Tobermory for operational service with 3rd Escort Group.

            20th             Passage to Greenock to join Group for convoy defence in Western Approaches Command.

            26th             Sailed from Clyde and joined escort  for Convoy OB267.

 

1 9 4 1

 

January                    Detached from OB267 in 19 Degrees West and joined inward bound Convoy SL59 as

                                 escort for passage to Clyde.

 

February                  Joined escort for Convoy OB279.

           3rd                 Convoy under attack by U107 during which a freighter of 4,700 tons was sunk.

.                                (See HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR, Volume 1 by C Blair)

           4th                 U107 having shadowed the convoy since the first sinking carried another attack sinking a

                                 second ship of 5,00 tons. See reference above.

                                 On release from OB279 deployed for escort of Convoys  HX104, and OB285, HX107.

                                 (Note: Ships from HX107 which had left this convoy fell victim to submarine attacks.

                                              See reference.)

 

March                      Deployed for escort of Convoys OB292 which had no losses.

                                 During escort of Convoy SC23 sustained structural damage in heavy weather.

         10th                 Taken in hand for repair

         28th                 Deployed as escort for convoy to Methil from Clyde and under unsuccessful air attack.

 

April                         Return passage to Clyde from Forth and transferred with Group for Atlantic convoy

                                  defence based in Iceland

                                  Passage to Iceland.

         13th                  Deployed for escort of Convoys HX122, HX119 and.HX124

 

May                           Iceland deployment in continuation and joined Convoys OB 318 as escort with ships

                                  of Group which joined ships of B7 Group already with convoy.

                                  (Note: B7 remained with OB318 because of known threat of U-Boat attack.)

           7th                  During escort of OB318 south of Iceland took part in extensive

            to                   operations against attacks by U94, U110 and U210. See above reference.

          10th                 Detached from escort to stand-by torpedoed merchant ship.

                                  (Note: Merchant ship was later towed to Iceland by Dutch Tug ZWARTE ZEE.

                                              This may have been ss EMPIRE CLOUD as recorded in HITLER'S U-BOAT

                                              WAR, Volume 1 by C Blair)

                                  Returned to Iceland to rejoin Group.

                                  Special Note on Convoy OB318

                                  During May 9th when convoy was under sustained attack by U110, this submarine was

                                  forced to surface after being extensively damaged by depth charges from HM Destroyers

                                  BULLDOG, BROADWATER and HM Corvette AUBRETIA stationed on

                                  the other side of the convoy. U110 was subsequently boarded by a party from HMS

                                  BULLDOG and the ENIGMA coding machine with associated documentation were

                                  recovered before U110 sank whilst in tow. For details of this significant event in the

                                  prosecution of the Battle of the Atlantic see above reference and BREAKING THE

                                  ENIGMA by D Kahn. Many lives were saved by the capture of this equipment as it

                                  enabled German signals relating to attacks on convoys to be de-encrypted.

                                  HMS HOLLYHOCK was deployed on the other side of the convoy and took no part

                                  in the capture or later escort of U110.

          24th                 Part of escort for Convoy SC31 during eastward passage to Clyde.

                                  Later detached and returned to Hvalfjord, Iceland for refuelling.

          28th                 At Hvalfjord.

                                  (Note: HM Battleship PRINCE OF WALES, damaged in the action against German battleship

                                              BISMARCK was at Hvalfjord under repair to allow return to UK.)

 

June                           Iceland deployment for convoy defence in continuation.

            8th                 Part of escort for OB331 in NW Approaches.

                                  On detachment took passage to join Convoy OB340 and then transferred for escort of

                                  inward Convoy SC33 to UK.

                                  Deployed with ships of Group and based at Greenock.

 

July                           Deployed as part of escort for Convoy HX134 during passage from Halifax in NW

                                  Approaches.

            8th                 Under refit in Clyde commercial shipyard prior to foreign service.

 

August                     Refit in continuation

to September           Nominated for convoy defence based at Freetown.

                                  (Note: During this refit radar equipment for detection of surface targets and land was

                                               fitted. Structural changed were made to focísle which was lengthened to provide

                                               additional accommodation and improve habitability

.                                              For further details of the development and use of radar by the RN see RADAR AT

                                               SEA by D Howse. Information about Type 271 radar is also available in SEEK

                                               AND STRIKE by W Hackmann. Minesweeping equipment was also fitted.)

 

October

           10th                On completion of refit carried out post refit trials and prepared for foreign service.

           14th                Joined HM Cutter BANFF and HM Cutter FISHGUARD for escort of outward Convoy

                                  OS9 to Bathurst

                                  Detached from OS9 escort and returned to Clyde for repair of machinery defects.

           15th                On completion took passage from Greenock to rejoin OS9.

           25th                Detached from escort of OS9 and took passage to Ponta Delgado in the Azores with

                                  HMS LAMERTON to refuel.

                                  (Note: HMS LAMERTON may have joined from Gibraltar during Atlantic passage.

                                              Neither of these types of escort were intended for Ocean passages and no

                                               replenishment at sea was practiced at this period.)

           17th                Passage from the Azores to rejoin OS9

 

November

             5th                Detached from OS9 on arrival at Freetown and joined Local Flotilla for defence of

                                  convoys on passage locally to and from ports in West Africa.

           16th                Part of escort for Local Convoy ST8 during passage from Freetown to Takoradi.

           17th                Took passage from Takoradi to return to Freetown.

           20th                Nominated for Ocean Escort of military convoy WS12Z with HM Destroyers

                                  DULVERTON, SOUTHWOLD, HM Sloop MILFORD and HM Corvette VERBENA.

                                  (Note: HM Battleship ROYAL SOVEREIGN was attached to WS12Z Ocean Escort.

           25th                Retained at Freetown.

                                  (Note: This may have been due to defects.)

           27th                Took passage to join WS12Z.

 

December                  Escort of WS12Z in continuation.

                                   Detached from WS12Z to refuel at Pointe Noire, Belgian Congo and returned.

            15th                Detached from WS12Z on relief by  HM Corvettes ASTER and MARGUERITE.).

                                   Took passage to Simonstown.

                                   On arrival taken in hand for defect repair and boiler cleaning.

                                   Retained at Cape and deployed for Local Escort with HM Corvettes VERBENA,

                                   HELIOTROPE, TULIP and ASTER. See ESCORT by DA Rayner)

 

1 9 4 2

 

January                      Nominated for convoy defence in Indian Ocean

            9th                  Joined military convoy WS14 as part of Local Escort during passage from Cape of Good

                                   Hope with HM Corvette VERBENA

                                   (Note: HMS ROYAL SOVEREIGN provided battleship cover.)

           10th                 Detached from WS14 and took passage to Simonstown.

                                   Under repair at Simonstown after damage to rigging when mast was brought down by

                                   wire from neighbouring ships whilst in alongside in harbour during gale conditions.

February                  

             4th                Took passage from Simonstown to Durban on completion of repairs.

              7th               On arrival at Durban transferred to Colombo

              8th               Took passage from Durban to Colombo with call at Mauritius

             16th              Boiler cleaning at Colombo after arrival

             28th              Deployed at Colombo for convoy defence in Indian Ocean.

 

March                        Nominated for Local Escort of military convoy SU1 during passage from Colombo.

                1st              Joined SU1 on departure from Colombo.

                                   (Note: This convoy of 12 troopships was taking ANZAC troops from service in the

                                               Middle East back to Australia after the threat to Australia and New Zealand by the

                                               Japanese. The Ocean Escort consisted of HM Battleship ROYAL SOVEREIGN,

                                               HM Cruiser CORNWALL, HM Destroyers EXPRESS, VAMPIRE (RAN)

                                               NIZAM (RAN)) and HM Armed Merchant Cruiser MANOORA (RAN).

                                               For details of formation of the Eastern Fleet see Naval Staff History

                                               Battle Summary No 15, THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by J Winton and)

                                               WAR WITH JAPAN , Volume2 (HMSO).

                                   Detached from SU1 and returned to Colombo.

                2nd             Deployed at Colombo for Local convoy defence

                7th              Escorted HM Armed Merchant Cruiser RANCHI.

               11th             Arrived at Colombo after detaching from HMS RANCHI

               13th             Deployed with escort for Convoy C7 for passage to Trincomalee.

               20th             Arrived at Colombo on release from C7.

                                   Nominated for special duty as escort for ships carrying out minlaying operation

               31st             Called at Trincomalee on passage to carry out minelay.

 

April                           Deployed for defence of ships carrying out minelay in Palk Strait between North coast of

                                   Ceylon and mainland of India.

                                   (Note: This is not recorded in Naval Staff History (Mining) and it may be

                                                 assumed this was arranged by local authority.)

                                   Returned to Trincomalee independently on release.

                                   Deployed for escort of  ss ATHELSTANE a tanker requisitioned for

                                   support of Fleet units during Indian Ocean search for Japanese force.

             9th                 Sunk in attack by aircraft from Japanese aircraft carrier SORYU 30

                                   miles SSE of Batticaloa, Ceylon in position 7.30N  81.56E with loss

                                   of 53 of the shipís company. ss ATHELSTONE was also sunk in the

                                   Japanese air attacks. One source indicates that 14 of the survivors

                                   from the ship and other from ATHELSTANE crews were able to reach

                                   the coast of Ceylon in a boat from the tanker.

                                   (Casualty List - note on casualties)

                                   (Note: Japanese aircraft attacked Colombo on 5th April and

                                               Trincomalee on 9th April and had sunk HM Cruisers

                                               CORNWALL and DORSETS HIRE on 5th April south of

                                               Ceylon. HM Aircraft Carrier HERMES and HM Australian

                                               Destroyer VAMPIRE were also sunk off Batticaloa on 9th

                                               April by aircraft from other Japanese aircraft carriers. See References.)

 


 

Addenda

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS HOLLYHOCK

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

 

 

 

 

 

30/12/40

30/12/40

OB 267

02/01/41

02/01/41

15/12/40

02/01/41

SL 059S

05/01/41

07/01/41

12/01/41

12/01/41

OB 273

16/01/41

16/01/41

05/01/41

17/01/41

HX 101

21/01/41

22/01/41

28/01/41

28/01/41

OB 279

02/02/41

02/02/41

21/01/41

03/02/41

HX 104

08/02/41

08/02/41

11/02/41

11/02/41

OB 285

unknown

17/02/41

03/02/41

17/02/41

HX 107

20/02/41

28/02/41

27/02/41

27/02/41

OB 292

06/03/41

06/03/41

18/02/41

06/03/41

SC 023

10/03/41

09/03/41

13/04/41

14/04/41

OB 310

unknown

18/04/41

06/04/41

19/04/41

HX 119A

22/04/41

22/04/41

23/04/41

28/04/41

OB 314

30/04/41

30/04/41

20/04/41

29/04/41

HX 122

04/05/41

08/05/41

02/05/41

07/05/41

OB 318

10/05/41

10/05/41

30/04/41

11/05/41

HX 124

14/05/41

20/05/41

09/05/41

21/05/41

SC 031

24/05/41

30/05/41

08/06/41

08/06/41

OB 331

12/06/41

19/06/41

01/06/41

15/06/41

SC 033

20/06/41

21/06/41

27/06/41

27/06/41

OB 340

03/07/41

13/07/41

20/06/41

04/07/41

HX 134

09/07/41

09/07/41

20/06/41

04/07/41

SC 035

09/07/41

09/07/41

13/10/41

14/10/41

OS 009

05/11/41

05/11/41

11/11/41

11/11/41

ST 008

16/11/41

16/11/41

01/03/42

01/03/42

SU 001

03/03/42

15/03/42

13/03/42

13/03/42

C 007

15/03/42

15/03/42

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys) 

 

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revised 31/5/11
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