Allied Warships

HMS Cromarty (J 09)

Minesweeper of the Bangor class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeMinesweeper
ClassBangor 
PennantJ 09 
ModTurbine engined 
Built byBlyth Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. Ltd. (Blyth, U.K.) : Whites M.E. 
Ordered28 Aug 1939 
Laid down12 Jun 1940 
Launched24 Feb 1941 
Commissioned13 Dec 1941 
Lost23 Oct 1943 
History

HMS Cromarty (Lt.Cdr. Charles George Palmer, DSC, RNZNVR) was mined and sunk in the Straits of Bonifacio, Mediterranean on 23 October 1943. The Commanding officer was wounded in the sinking.  

Commands listed for HMS Cromarty (J 09)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt. Charles George Palmer, RNZNVR2 Nov 194123 Oct 1943

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Notable events involving Cromarty include:


9 Nov 1942
HMS Cromer (Cdr. R.H. Stephenson, DSC, RN) sailed from Alexandria with 2 other units of the 14 Minesweeping Flotilla HMS Cromarty (Lt.Cdr. C.G. Palmer, DSC, RNZNVR) and HMS Boston (Lt. D.H.G. Coughlan, RNR) to clear the route for a coastal convoy heading for Bardia.
At position 31°27'N, 27°16'E, 46 nautical miles west of Marsa Matruh, Cromer detonated a magnetic mine from Italian barrage "MM", laid in the area on 7 August 1942 by the destroyers Antonio Pigafetta (Capt. Enrico Mirti della Valle) and Giovanni da Verazzano (Cdr. Carlo Rossi).

6 Dec 1942

Convoy MW 15.

This convoy departed Alexandria on 6 December 1942 and arrived at Malta on 10 December 1942.

The convoy was made up of the following transports; American Packer (American, 6802 GRT, built 1941) and Ozarda (British, 6985 GRT, built 1940).

The convoy was escorted on departure from Alexandria by the minesweepers HMS Boston (Lt. D.H.G. Coughlan, RNR), HMS Cromarty (Lt.Cdr. C.G. Palmer, DSC, RNZNVR) and HMS Whitehaven (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) G.W.A.T. Irvine, RNR).

Around 0900/9, the light cruiser HMS Orion (Capt. G.C.P. Menzies, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Aldenham (Lt. H.A. Stuart-Menteth, RN), HMS Croome (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Egan, RN), HMS Exmoor (Lt.Cdr. L.StG. Rich, RN) and HMS Hursley (Lt.Cdr. W.J.P. Church, DSC, RN) joined the convoy.

Around 1100/10, the light cruisers HMS Cleopatra (Capt. J.F. Stevens, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J. Power, CB, CVO, RN), HMS Euryalus (Capt. E.W. Bush, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. A.L. Poland, CB, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Nubian (Cdr. D.E. Holland-Martin, DSC, RN) departed Malta to provide cover for the convoy. Air reconnaissance had failed to locate three Italian cruisers at Messina. Later it became clear that there was no threat to the convoy and they were recalled around 1315/10. They returned to Malta around 1815/10.

The convoy arrived safely at Malta late on December, 10th. (1)

6 Feb 1943

Convoy's MW 20 / XT 2.

This convoy departed Alexandria on 6 February 1943 and was to split up into two on 9 February. Convoy MW 20 was to proceed to Malta where it arrived on 10 February. Convoy XT 2 was to proceed to Tripoli where it also arrived on 10 February.

The combined convoy was made of the following ships; American Packer (American, 6802 GRT, built 1941), Clan Macindoe (British, 4635 GRT, built 1920), Daniel H. Lownsdale (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Egra (British, 5108 GRT, built 1911), Erinna (Dutch (tanker), 6233 GRT, built 1936), Glaucus (British, 7596 GRT, built 1921), Manaar (British, 8007 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Voyager (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Phemius (British, 7406 GRT, built 1921), Robert Maersk (British, 2290 GRT, built 1937), Tureby (British, 4372 GRT, built 1936) and Yorba Linda (Panamanian (tanker), 6900 GRT, built 1921).

On departure from Alexandria the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. A.F. Pugsley, RN), HMS Javelin (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, DSC, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, DSC and Bar, RN), RHS Kondouriotis and the escort destroyers HMS Aldenham (Lt. H.A. Stuart-Menteth, RN), HMS Beaufort (Lt.Cdr. S.O’G Roche, DSO, RN), HMS Belvoir (Lt. J.F.D. Bush, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Exmoor (Lt. D.T. McBarnet, RN), HMS Hurworth (Lt.Cdr. J.T.B. Birch, DSO, RN), HMS Tetcott (Lt.Cdr. H.R. Rycroft, RN), RHS Kanaris and Pindos.

On 7 February the Greek destroyer Kondouriotis detached to Tobruk to fuel and rejoin the convoy on completion.

Around 1800/8, the light cuiser HMS Euryalus (Capt. E.W. Bush, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and the destoyers HMS Nubian (Cdr. D.E. Holland-Martin, DSC, RN) and HMS Paladin (Lt.Cdr. L.St.G. Rich, RN) departed Malta to join the convoy at dawn the following day.

Around 0745/9, HMS Euryalus, HMS Nubian and HMS Paladin joined the convoy.

At 2000/9, the convoy split up into two sections, the Malta section (MW 20) was made up of the; Egra, Erinna, Glaucus, Manaar, Phemius and Yorba Linda and escorted by HMS Euryalus, HMS Jervis, HMS Javelin, HMS Kelvin, HMS Nubian, HMS Paladin, RHS Kondouriotis, HMS Aldenhan, HMS Beaufort, HMS Belvoir, HMS Exmoor, HMS Hurworth and RHS Kanaris.

The other ships proceeded to Tripoli escorted by HMS Tetcott and RHS Pindos. At Tripoli the convoy was swept in the the minesweepers HMS Boston (Lt. D.H.G. Coughlan, RNR), HMS Cromarty (Lt.Cdr. C.G. Palmer, DSC, RNZNVR) and HMS Whitehaven (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) G.W.A.T. Irvine, RNR).

HMS Tetcott and RHS Pindos then proceeded to Malta. (2)

12 Jul 1943
The Italian submarine Bronzo was captured off Syracuse, Sicily by the British minesweepers HMS Seaham (Lt.Cdr. R.E. Brett, RNR), HMS Boston (Lt. D.H.G. Coughlan, RNR), HMS Poole (Lt. W.L.G. Dutton, RNR) and HMS Cromarty (Lt.Cdr. C.G. Palmer, DSC, RNZNVR).

Bronzo was commissioned into the Royal Navy as HMS P 714. On 29 January 1944 she was transferred to the Free French as Narval.

Sources

  1. ADM 199/424 + ADM 199/651
  2. ADM 199/773

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.


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