HMS Erne (U 03)
Sloop of the Black Swan class
|Navy||The Royal Navy|
|Built by||Furness Shipbuilding Ltd. (Haverton Hill-on-Tees, U.K.) : Richardson Westgarth|
|Ordered||21 Jun 1939|
|Laid down||21 Sep 1939|
|Launched||5 Aug 1940|
|Commissioned||26 Apr 1941|
Became a RNVR Drill ship on 4 June 1952 being renamed Wessex.
Commands listed for HMS Erne (U 03)
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|1||Lt.Cdr. Henry Maxwell Darell-Brown, RN||27 Feb 1941||mid 1941|
|2||Lt.Cdr. Evelyn David John Abbot, RN||17 Mar 1942||Nov 1943|
|3||Lt. Richard Walgate, RNR||Nov 1943||Dec 1943|
|4||Lt.Cdr. Walter Raleigh Hickey, RNR||Dec 1943||18 Jun 1945|
|5||Lt.Cdr. James Arbouin Burnett, DSC, RN||18 Jun 1945||15 Jun 1946|
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Notable events involving Erne include:
30 Apr 1941
While still at the builders yard (4 days after commissioning) HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. H.M. Darell-Brown, RN) is heavily damaged by a near miss during a German air attack. Repairs were only completed in June 1942.
31 Jul 1942
German U-boat U-213 was sunk in the North Atlantic south-east of the Azores, in position 36°45'N, 22°50'W by depth charges from the British sloops HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. E.D.J. Abbot, RN), HMS Rochester (Cdr. C.B. Allen, RN) and HMS Sandwich (Lt.Cdr. H. Hill, RNR).
29 Aug 1942
HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. E.D.J. Abbot, RN) scuttles the Dutch merchant Zuiderkerk with depth charges. The Zuiderkerk was torpedoed and damaged by German U-boat U-566 west-north-west of Lisbon, Portugal in position 40°20'N, 16°02'W.
18 Sep 1942
HMS H 43 (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Anemone (Lt.Cdr. P.G.A. King, RD, RNR), HMS Chelsea (Lt.Cdr. J.E.R. Wilford, RNR), HMS Sandwich (Lt.Cdr. H. Hill, RD, RNR), HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. E.D.J. Abbot, RN) and two other vessels [unable to read these names in the log of HMS H 43]. (1)
25 Feb 1943
Convoy WS 27 / KMF 10A
This combined convoy was formed off Orsay Island on 25 February 1943.
It was made up of the following troopships / transports; Almanzora (British, 15551 GRT, built 1914). Antenor (British, 11174 GRT, built 1925), Batory (Polish, 14287 GRT, built 1936), Boissevain (Dutch, 14134 GRT, built 1937), Capetown Castle (British, 27002 GRT, built 1938), Christiaan Huygens (Dutch, 16287 GRT, built 1927), Circassia (British, 11136 GRT, built 1937), Franconia (British, 20175 GRT, built 1923), Letitia (British, 13475 GRT, built 1925), Nieuw Holland (Dutch, 11066 GRT, built 1927), Strathaird (British, 22281 GRT, built 1932) and Strathmore (British, 23428 GRT, built 1935).
The convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Malaya (Capt. J.W.A. Waller, RN), destroyers HMS Quail (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Jenks, RN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN), HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. K.W. Michell, RN), HMS Wolverine (Lt. I.M. Clegg, RN), HMS Clare (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Stewart, DSC, RNR), sloops HMS Egret (Cdr. C.R.S. Farquhar, RN), HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. E.D.J. Abbot, DSC, RN), HMS Fishguard (Lt.Cdr. H.L. Pryse, RNR) and the frigate HMS Test (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.B. Collinson, RD, RN).
At 1300/1, HMS Queensborough and HMS Wolverine were detached from the combined convoy to fuel at Casablanca.
At 1900/1, the destroyer HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Farrington, RN) joined the combined convoy.
At 1100/2, the convoy split up; Convoy WS 27 continued to Freetown and Convoy KMF 10A set course to enter the Mediterranean and proceed to Oran / Algiers.
Convoy KMF 10A.
Convoy KMF 10A was made up of the troopships / transports; Batory, Boissevain, Circassia, Franconia, Nieuw Holland and Letitia, escorted by HMS Egret, HMS Erne, HMS Fishguard, HMS Test and HMS Clare.
On 3 March, while transiting the Gibraltar Strait, HMS Clare was detached to Gibraltar and the convoy was joined by the escort destroyers HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN), HMS Oakley (Lt.Cdr. T.A. Pack-Beresford, RN), HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN) and HMS Zetland (Lt. J.V. Wilkinson, RN) coming from Gibraltar.
The troopships Franconia and Letitia were detached and arrived at Oran on 4 March escorted by HMS Farndale, HMS Haydon, HMS Oakley and HMS Puckeridge. The escort destroyers departed Oran again later the same day to form an separate A/S force that was to operate near the remainder of the convoy during it's passage to Algiers.
The remainder of the convoy arrived at Algiers on March, 5th escorted by HMS Egret, HMS Erne, HMS Fishguard, HMS Test and HMS Zetland.
Convoy WS 27.
Convoy WS 27 was made up of the troopships / transports; Almanzora, Antenor, Capetown Castle, Christiaan Huygens, Strathaird and Strathmore, escorted by HMS Malaya, HMS Quadrant, HMS Quail and HMS Raider.
At 0030/3, HMS Queensborough and HMS Wolverine rejoined the convoy.
Between 1033 and 1125/3, HMS Raidar was fuelled by HMS Malaya followed by HMS Wolverine between 1156 and 1215/3.
At 1115/4, HMS Quadrant parted company with the convoy to fuel at Bathurst.
At 1800/5, the troopship Almanzore parted company with the convoy to proceed to Dakar escorted by HMS Quail.
At 1110/7, HMS Quail rejoined the convoy.
The convoy arrived safely at Freetown in the morning of March, 8th.
27 Mar 1943
HMS H 44 (Lt. P.S. Beale, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Keppel (Lt.Cdr. R.B.S. Tennant, RN), HMS Bergamot (Lt. R.T. Horan, RNR), HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. E.D.J. Abbot, DSC, RN) and HMS Clare (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Stewart, DSC, RD, RNR). (2)
28 Mar 1943
HMS H 44 (Lt. P.S. Beale, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. E.D.J. Abbot, DSC, RN), HMS Clare (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Stewart, DSC, RD, RNR), HMCS Shediac (Lt. J.O. Every-Clayton, RCNR), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. G.H. Stephen, OBE, DSC, RCNR), HMCS Kenogami (T/Lt. J.L. Percy, RCNVR) and HMCS Battleford (T/Lt. F.A. Beck, RCNVR). (2)
23 Jan 1944
HHMS Unbending (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises in Lough Foyle with HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Hickey, RNR), HMCS Fennel (A/Lt.Cdr. W.P. Moffat, RCNVR) and HMS Vanoc (Lt.Cdr. P.R. Ward, RN). (4)
3 Mar 1944
Convoy KMF 29A.
This convoy departed the Clyde on 3 March 1944 for Alexandria.
It was made up of the troop transport Strathnaver (British, 22283 GRT, built 1931). Also part of the convoy were the escort carriers HMS Atheling (Capt. R.I. Agnew, OBE, RCN), HMS Begum (A/Capt. J.E. Broome, DSC, RN) and the aircraft transports HMS Athene (T/A/Cdr. C.H. Moulton, RNR) and HMS Engadine (Capt. W.T. Fitzgerald, RD, RNR). These ships were ferrying aircraft.
Escort was provided by the light cruiser HMS Nigeria (Capt. S.H. Paton, RN), sloop HMIS Cauvery (A/Cdr. A.W. Beeton, RIN) and the frigates Cranstoun (Lt. E.W. Rainey, RN), HMS Deane (Lt. V.A. Hickson, DSO, RN), HMS Redmill (Lt. J.R.A. Denne, RN), HMS Findhorn (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Dawson, RD, RNR), HMS Lossie (Lt.Cdr. A.F. MacFie, OBE, RNR), HMS Shiel (Lt. H.P. Crail, DSC, RNR), HMS Spey (Cdr. G.A.G. Ormsby, RN) and HMS Taff (T/Lt.Cdr. A. Harrison, RNR).
Around 0800Z/6, the sloop HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Hickey, RNR) joined the convoy.
Around 1800Z/6, the frigates HMS Cranstoun, HMS Deane and HMS Redmill parted company with the convoy.
During the night of 9/10 March, HMS Nigeria fuelled at Gibraltar and then rejoined the convoy.
Around 1000A/11, HMS Erne parted company with the convoy to proceed to Algiers.
At 0137B/13, HMS Nigeria parted company with the convoy to proceed ahead of it to Port Said.
Around 1710A/13, the light cruiser HMS Phoebe (Capt. C.P. Frend, RN) joined the convoy.
Around 0600B/16, HMS Phoebe parted company with the convoy to proceed to Alexandria.
The convoy arrived at Port Said late in the afternoon of the 16th.
2 Nov 1944
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN) conducted gunnery exercises off Malta. In the evening a night encounter exercise was carried out with HMS Brocklesby (Lt.Cdr. K.R.S. Leadlay, RN) and HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Hickey, RNR). (5)
- ADM 173/17253
- ADM 173/17814
- ADM 173/18491
- ADM 173/19199
- ADM 53/120604
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.