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 HYACINTH (K 84), later HHelMS APOSTOLIS - Flower-class Corvette
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Mallow, sister-ship (Navy Photos/Peter Smith, click to enlarge)

return to Contents List 

 

FLOWER-Class Corvette ordered from Harland and Wolff at Belfast on 19th September 1939. The ship was laid down on 20th April 1940 and launched on 19th August 1940. She was the 6th RN ship to bear the name, introduced in 1692 when given to a French Privateer taken as Prize, and last borne by a 2nd Class cruiser built in 1893 and sold in 1923. Build was completed on 3rd October 1940. This corvette was adopted by the civil community of Wymondam, Norfolk after a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in March 1942. (Note: This ship, built to the original design with a short focísle, was fitted for minesweeping using wire sweeps and also had fitting to enable towing operations to be undertaken.)

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

 

CHINA 1841-41 - SPARTIVENTO 1940 - GREECE 1941 - MALTA CONVOYS 1941 - LIBYA 1941-42 - MEDITERRANEAN 1942-43 - SICILY 1943

 

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

 

September                  Contractors trials and commissioning

                                    Commanding Officer: Lt. Cdr. F B Proudfoot, RN (Rtd)

 

October

                7th               After completion of trials carried out repairs in Clyde.

               19th              On completion took passage to Tobermory to work-up for operational service.

 

November                   Nominated for service in Mediterranean for convoy defence.

                 1st               Passage to Liverpool to prepare for foreign service.

               16th               Took passage from Liverpool with HM Corvettes GLOXINIA, PEONY and SALVIA

                                      to join 10th Corvette Group, Mediterranean Fleet based in Alexandria.

                23rd              Arrived at Gibraltar

                25th              Deployed as Close Escort for ss CLAN FORBES, ss CLAN FRASER and ss NEW

                                      ZEALAND STAR during passage to Malta, covered by ships of Force H.

                                      (Operation COLLAR - For details see THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN

                                      by D Macintyre, MALTA CONVOYS by R Woodman and Naval Staff History.

                26th              HM Cruisers MANCHESTER and SOUTHAMPTON deployed with Close Escort.

                                     (Note: These two ships had embarked troops at Gibraltar for passage to Malta.)

                27th              On approach of Italian Battle Group including 2 battleships, six cruisers and screen of 14

                                     destroyers, joined by HM Cruisers MANCHESTER,  SOUTHAMPTON and

                                     COVENTRY,  HM Destroyers DEFENDER, DIAMOND, GALLANT, GREYHOUND

                                     HOTSPUR and HEREWARD as escort for mercantiles when ships of Force

                                     H from Gibraltar and Force D from Alexandria detached to engage enemy warships.

                28th              Under night attack by Italian torpedo boat CALLIOPE during transit of Sicilian Narrows

                                     but torpedoes failed to hit any ship.

                29th              Detached with cruiser escort, CLAN FRASER and CLAN FORBES for passage to Malta.

                                     After disembarkation of troops from cruisers took passage as escort for Convoy ME4

                                     with Mediterranean Fleet ships.

                                     (Note: ss NEW ZEALAND STAR joined ME4 for passage to Alexandria.)

                                     Formed 10th Escort Group with the other three Corvettes.

 

December                     Detached from ME4 off Crete and took passage to Alexandria.

                                      Deployed with 10th Escort Group for convoy escort in Eastern Mediterranean based at

                                      Alexandria.

                                      Escorted Convoys AN10 and AN 11 to Piraeus from Egypt

                                      (Operation LUSTRE Ė Provision of military aid to Greece. See following references

 

1 9 4 1

 

January

                  7th               Escorted RFA Tanker BRAMBLELEAF to Suda Bay.

                                      (Note: This was part of major Mediterranean Fleet operation (EXCESS)

                                                  See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett and above

                                                  references.)

February                        Mediterranean convoy escort deployment with Group in continuation.

                                      Carried out minesweeping operation to clear harbour at Benghazi

 

March                            Escorted Convoy AS15 from Piraeus to Egypt.

 

April

                  1st                Escorted Convoy ANF24 to Piraeus with HM Destroyer NUBIAN and other ships.

                  4th                Carried out anti-submarine attack on sonar contact.

                  9th                At Piraeus and carried out minesweeping operations during which her sweep was

                                       damaged when ss CLAN FRASER was hit by bomb in an air raid and blew-up.

                 20th               Deployed to carry out minesweeping and support evacuation of troops from Greece.

                  to                  Escorted evacuation convoys to Suda Bay.

                 27th               (For details see Naval Staff History and ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY.)

                 28th               With HM Sloop AUCKLAND evacuated troops from Kithera (Operation DEMON).

 

May

                                       Deployed at Suda Bay, Crete for convoy escort until area was occupied by German

                                       troops. See above references and CRETE by SW Pack.)

                                       (Note: Did not take an active part in the evacuation and for that reason may only

                                                   have been used for escort of ships returning to Egypt.)

 

June                                Deployed at Haifa for minesweeping duties

                                       (Note: Operation EXPORTER Ė Attack on Vichy French forces in Syria was mounted

                                                    on 8th and involved significant traffic to and from Egypt which required

                                                    escort and mine clearance support.)

.                 15th              Grounded during minesweeping operation.

                  30th              Passage to Famagusta, Cyprus.

 

July

                    1st               Grounded again off Famagusta.

                    4th               Came under bomb and torpedo air attacks

                    5th               Refloated by HMS Corvettes PEONY and SALVIA.

                                        (Note: Damage included loss of A/S Dome and underwater structure.)

                    7th               Passage to Alexandria for repair with call at Haifa.

                  13th               Under repair.

                  15th               On completion resumed duties with Group and took passage to Haifa.

                  20th               Deployed for Local Escort duties at Haifa.

 

August                            Haifa escort and patrol duties in continuation.

 

September

                  28th               Attacked and sank Italian submarine FISALIA off Haifa in position

                                        32.19N  37.17E in defence of convoy after A/S contact.

 

October                           Haifa deployment in continuation

to                                     (Note: Haifa was in extensive use for support of military operations in Palestine

December                                    and Syria as well as for reinforcement of Cyprus.)

 

1 9 4 2

 

January                           Transferred to Alexandria for defence of convoys between Alexandria and Tobruk.

                    6th               Deployed with HUNT Class Escort Destroyers based at Alexandria for escort of

                                        Convoys TA10, AT18, AT19 and others taking supplies and personnel to Tobruk.

 

February                         Tobruk route deployment in continuation with HM Destroyers HEYTHROP,

                                        AVON VALE, SOUTHWOLD and HM Auxiliary AA Ship MALINES.

                    9th               Carried out A/S attack in defence of convoy with HM Destroyer AVON VALE.

                                        (Operation RIVET)

                  15th                Under repair at Alexandria

 

March                              Under repair

 

April                                (Note: By this period ship had been fitted with Radar Type 286M to provide

                                                     surface and air warning cover. This equipment was an RAF outfit modified

                                                     for naval use and not very satisfactory compared with RN equipment

                                                      being introduced. See RADAR AT SEA by D Howse.)

                  20th               On completion resumed convoy defence in Eastern Mediterranean.

 

June                                 Eastern Mediterranean deployment in continuation.

                                         (Note: Ship may have been deployed for escort of convoys to and from Tobruk

                                                     No record of participation in Operation VIGOROUS, passage of a relief

                                                     convoy to Malta from Alexandria, which proved a disastrous failure.

                                                     See references which do not show the ship as part of the escort for any

                                                     of the three MW11 series convoys for this Operation. The only reference

                                                     traced is that she was in Tobruk when a merchant ship, AAGTEKERK

                                                     detached after machinery defects from MW11 was sunk in air attacks on

                                                     passage from MW11 to Tobruk escorted by HM Destroyer TETCOTT,

                                                     HM Corvettes  ERICA and PRIMULA. This ship may have gone to assist

                                                     when the air attacks were made.)

                  16th                Passage to Alexandria from Tobruk, arriving on 16th.

                  30th                Resumed escort and patrol based at Haifa.

 

July

                    9th                Deployed as escort for ss WOLBOROUGH and carried out anti-submarine operations

                                         against detected contact. Italian submarine PERLA was forced to surface after depth

                                         charge attack. Submarine was captured with 25 survivors and taken to Beirut

                                         (Note: Some cryptographic material was obtained but this related to Italian codes

                                                     and was of little use to Bletchley Park who were mainly concerned with the

                                                     ENIGMA documentation, See HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR by C Blair. Ship

                                                     did however receive congratulatory signal from the Admiralty.)

                  10th                Passage to Beirut escorted by HM Corvette GLOXINIA.

 

August                             Levant convoy escort in continuation.

to                                      (Note: An unsuccessful attack  on a U-Boat was made in position 31.42N  25.00E

October                                         with HM Corvette SNAPDRAGON was made in this period.)

 

November

                  22nd               During deployment with HM Whaler FALK carried out anti-submarine operations

                                         against a submarine in position 43.32N  35.49E

 

December                        Levant duties in continuation.

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                                Transferred to Alexandria for convoy defence off North African coast.

 

February

                  19th                   Carried out attack on U-Boat reported by aircraft with HM Destroyer ISIS

                                            (Note: HMS ISIS later sank U562 with HM Destroyer HURSLEY.)

                  21st                   Carried out attack on U-Boat off Derna with HM Whaler PROTEA (SANF)

 

March                                  Nominated for refit in Alexandria.

                   6th                    Taken in hand for refit

                                            (Note: During this refit Radar Type 271 for surface warning may have been

                                                         installed and additional 20mm Oerlikon weapons fitted to improve AA

                                                         defence.)

 

April         25th                    On completion carried out post refit trials before resuming operational duties.

 

May                                     Deployed for escort of convoys in Eastern Mediterranean.

                                            (Note: Regular sailings had been introduced for through Mediterranean traffic

                                                        and escorts exchanged at Tripoli with ships from Gibraltar or Malta.)

 

June                                     Convoy escort in continuation including military convoys prior to planned landings

                                             in Sicily (Operation HUSKY)

                  16th                    Part of escort for military convoy MKS16 from Gibraltar during passage from

                                             Sicily to Alexandria prior to HUSKY. (See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE

                                             CLOSELY.)

 

July

                    1st                     Stood by damaged RFA Tanker OLIGARCH west of Tobruk pending tow for

                                             repair

                                             (Note: This ship had been torpedoed by U453 on 30th June

                    8th                    Deployed in Malta to prepare for escort of convoys for HUSKY landings

                  10th                    Part of escort for military convoys during passage to Sicily

                                             Escorted Convoy MWS38

                                             On release from HUSKY took passage to Benghazi for repairs.

 

August

                  25th                    Passage to resume escort and anti-submarine patrol duties.

                  30th                    Deployed as part of escort for military convoy GUS14

                                             (Note: GUS14 was on passage from USA to Gibraltar.

                                                          See HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR.)

 

September

                    8th                    Detached from GUS14.

                  12th                    Deployed with HM Trawler HAARLEM and HM Australian Minesweeper

                                             WOLLONGONG to destroy wreck of U617 which had been beached in

                                             position 35.13N  03.29W after damage in air attacks by aircraft of 179 Sqdn.

                                             RAF west of Oran off Melilla. Crew had scuttled and left submarine.

                                             See HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR for details.

                  15th                    Escorted US military convoys in continuation.

 

October                                Future transfer for loan service with  Royal Hellenic Navy under consideration.

                  21st                    Detached from escort of US military convoys.

                                             (Note: Convoys including UGS16,GUS17 and UGS19 to be confirmed)

                                             Passage to Alexandria for transfer.

                  24th                    Paid-off and recommissioned in Royal Hellenic Navy as APOSTOLIS

 

S e r v i c e   u n d e r   G r e e k   C o m m a n d   a s  H Hel M S   A P O S T O L I S

 

October (Cont.)

                  29th                    Deployed with 47th Escort Group for escort of coastal convoys to and from

                                              Tobruk.

 

November                            Part of escort with ships of Group for coastal convoys including:

to                                          US military GUS20, GUS23 and GUS30 on return passage to Gibraltar.

December                            US Military UGS 22 and UGS25 on passage from Gibraltar.

                                              UK Military MKS 36 on passage to Gibraltar

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                                 Coastal convoy escort with Group in continuation including

to                                           UK Military KMS38 and KMS 45

March                                   US Military UGS32 on passage from Gibraltar

                                               UK military MKS43 on passage from Gibraltar

 

April                                       At Alexandria.

                    6th                      Withdrawn from service owing to mutinous state of shipís company

                                               (Note: This was due political upheaval in relating to policy in respect of

                                                            future of Greek monarchy and other internal problems.)

 

May

                  25th                      Resumed operational deployment.

                                               Passage to resume coastal convoy escort including US convoy GUS41

                                               to Gibraltar and UK KMS54 to Ancona during passage from Gibraltar.

 

June                                        Eastern and central Mediterranean escort in continuation.

 

July                                         Adriatic convoy escort between Bari and Ancona.

to

August

 

September

                  14th                       Passage to Malta for repair.

 

October                                   On completion of repair transferred to 51st Escort Group for escort of convoys

                                                 between Taranto and Brindisi.

                  24th                       Transferred to 48th Escort Group for convoy defence in central Mediterranean.

November                               Central Mediterranean convoy escort in continuation based at Bizerta.

to

December

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                                   48th Escort Group convoy escort in continuation

                                                 Future deployment under consideration following re-occupation of Greece.

 

February                                  Passage to Piraeus for escort duty in eastern Mediterranean

                  14th                        Arrived at Piraeus.

 

March                                      Deployed for escort and patrol based at Pireaus for defence of convoys to

to                                              and from Egypt.

August

 

P o s t   W a r   N o t e s

 

This ship was transferred to full control by Greek naval authorities after VJ Day and served with the Royal Hellenic Navy on loan for six years. She was handed back to the RN on 19th July 1961 at Piraeus and renamed HMS HYACINTH. Placed on the Disposal List after return she was sold for breaking-up in Italy later that year.

 


 

Addenda

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS HYACINTH

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

 

 

 

 

 

25/11/40

25/11/40

COLLAR

28/11/40

28/11/40

19/01/41

19/01/41

AN 013

22/01/41

unknown

07/03/41

07/03/41

AN 018

11/03/41

11/03/41

14/03/41

14/03/41

AS 019/1

19/03/41

19/03/41

18/03/41

18/03/41

AN 021

20/03/41

22/03/41

10/01/42

10/01/42

TA 010/M

13/01/42

13/01/42

18/01/42

18/01/42

AT 018/M

20/01/42

20/01/42

02/02/42

02/02/42

AT 023/M

05/02/42

05/02/42

17/02/42

17/02/42

AT 028/M

18/02/42

18/02/42

10/03/42

10/03/42

AT 033/M

12/03/42

12/03/42

12/03/42

12/03/42

TA 027/M

14/03/42

14/03/42

27/03/42

27/03/42

AT 035/M

28/03/42

28/03/42

09/06/42

09/06/42

AT 049/M

11/06/42

11/06/42

25/07/42

25/07/42

BX 030B

27/07/42

27/07/42

24/06/43

24/06/43

MKS 016

29/06/43

29/06/43

11/07/43

11/07/43

MEF 036

15/07/43

15/07/43

06/08/43

30/08/43

UGS 014

01/09/43

02/09/43

30/08/43

30/08/43

GUS 014

08/09/43

26/09/43

27/08/43

15/09/43

UGS 016

23/09/43

23/09/43

29/09/43

29/09/43

GUS 017

09/10/43

27/10/43

25/09/43

11/10/43

UGS 019

22/10/43

22/10/43

 

 

 

 

 

 

 and as HHelMS APOSTOLIS

 

 

 

 

 

Date convoy sailed

Joined convoy as escort

Convoy No.

Left convoy

Date convoy arrived

 

 

 

 

 

29/10/43

29/10/43

GUS 020

07/11/43

24/11/43

25/10/43

10/11/43

UGS 022

23/11/43

22/11/43

27/11/43

27/11/43

GUS 023

08/12/43

25/12/43

24/11/43

11/12/43

UGS 025

20/12/43

21/12/43

31/12/43

01/01/44

MKS 036

11/01/44

12/01/44

11/01/44

11/01/44

MKS 036G

12/01/44

12/01/44

17/01/44

17/01/44

KMS 038

26/01/44

27/01/44

04/02/44

04/02/44

GUS 030

16/02/44

08/03/44

10/03/44

11/03/44

MKS 043

22/03/44

22/03/44

27/03/44

27/03/44

KMS 045

06/04/44

06/04/44

24/05/44

24/05/44

GUS 041

04/06/44

19/06/44

23/06/44

23/06/44

KMS 054

28/06/44

03/07/44

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys) 

 

back to Contents List
or Naval-History.Net

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