Allied Warships

HMS Magpie (U 82)

Sloop of the Modified Black Swan class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSloop
ClassModified Black Swan 
PennantU 82 
Built byThornycroft (Southampton, U.K.) 
Ordered27 Mar 1941 
Laid down30 Dec 1941 
Launched24 Mar 1943 
Commissioned30 Aug 1943 
End service 
History

During October – November 1943 HMS Magpie was a unit of the 2nd search group serving in the North Atlantic under the command of Captain Walker. On 31 January 1944 while still serving on North Atlantic convoy escort duties, the convoy she was escorting was proceeding west of Ireland when the damaged German submarine U-592 on its way to France for repairs was intercepted by Magpie and the sloops HMS Starling and HMS Wild Goose from her group, the submarine was destroyed.

On 9 February 1944, Magpie in company with HMS Starling and HMS Kite sank the U-238, later the same day her group were responsible for the sinking of U-734. On 6 June 1944 she assisted with escort duties for the amphibious Allied landings in Normandy. In March 1945 Magpie was serving in British coastal waters, as a unit of the 22nd Escort Group operating from Greenock as escorts for the Gibraltar convoys.

In 1947 she was officially reclassified as a frigate. In November 1953 Magpie, a member of the Mediterranean Fleet, in company with HMS Mermaid and HMS Peacock were sent to Trieste following riots there over the city`s future, this being a bone of contention between Italy and Yugoslavia. On 3 March 1955 Magpie left Portsmouth to join the 7th Frigate Squadron at Simonstown, South Africa. On 7 May 1955 Magpie arrived at Simonstown. In August, she was docked in the Selborne dry dock. In 1956 Magpie was due to be relieved at the Cape Station by her sister ship HMS Sparrow, however this was not to be, as the Sparrow had developed serious boiler problems, it was decided that her crew would man the Magpie, thereby allowing Sparrow to be returned back to the UK using the Magpie`s original crew. In February, transfers were completed and the Magpie`s crew steamed the Sparrow back. On March 2nd they arrived at Portsmouth. In 1958 Magpie had her tour of duty at the Cape Station finally completed, she sailed back for the UK for paying off. On 12 July 1959 Magpie was broken up by Hughes Bolkcow, Blyth.

Her badge can still be seen on the side of the Selborne dry dock wall with the inscription “What we want we take”.

 

Commands listed for HMS Magpie (U 82)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Rider Stewart Abram, RNJun 19432 Nov 1944
2Lt.Cdr. George Osborn Symonds, DSC, RN2 Nov 1944Feb 1946

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Notable events involving Magpie include:


12 Sep 1943
HMS P 511 (Lt. R.H. Bull, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Magpie (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Abram, RN), HMS Odzani (Lt.Cdr. L.A. Sayers, RNR), HMS Onyx (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.C.L. Gaussen, RNVR) and HMS Cyclamen (T/Lt. W.S. Joliffe, RNR). (1)

2 Oct 1943
HMS Viking (Lt. R. Bannar-Martin, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises at/off Scapa Flow with HMCS Haida (Cdr. H.G. De Wolf, RCN), HMS Janus (Lt.Cdr. W.B.R. Morrison, RN), HMS Magpie (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Abram, RN) and HMIS Kistna (A/Cdr.(Emgy.) R.R. Caws, RIN). (2)

5 Oct 1943
HMS Viking (Lt. R. Bannar-Martin, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises at/off Scapa Flow with HMS Speedwell (Lt.Cdr. T.E. Williams, RD, RNR), HMS Seagull (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.W. Ellis, DSC, RNR), HMCS Haida (Cdr. H.G. De Wolf, RCN) and HMS Magpie (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Abram, RN). (2)

7 Oct 1943
HMS Viking (Lt. R. Bannar-Martin, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises at/off Scapa Flow with HMS Royalist (Capt. M.H. Evelegh, RN), HMS Speedwell (Lt.Cdr. T.E. Williams, RD, RNR), HMS Seagull (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.W. Ellis, DSC, RNR) and HMS Magpie (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Abram, RN) and HMIS Kistna (A/Cdr.(Emgy.) R.R. Caws, RIN). (2)

8 Oct 1943
HMS Viking (Lt. R. Bannar-Martin, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises at/off Scapa Flow with HMIS Kistna (A/Cdr.(Emgy.) R.R. Caws, RIN), HMS Magpie (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Abram, RN), HMS Janus (Lt.Cdr. W.B.R. Morrison, RN) and HMS Teazer (Lt.Cdr. A.A.F. Talbot, DSO and Bar, RN). (2)

31 Jan 1944
German U-boat U-592 was sunk at 1000hrs on 31 January 1944 in the North Atlantic south-west of Ireland, in position 50°20'N, 17°29'W, by depth charges from the British sloops HMS Starling (Capt. F.W. Walker, CB, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Wild Goose (Lt.Cdr. D.E.G. Wemyss, DSC, RN) and HMS Magpie (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Abram, RN).

9 Feb 1944
German U-boat U-238 was sunk in the North Atlantic south-west of Ireland, in position 49°45'N, 16°07'W, by depth charges from the British sloops HMS Kite (Lt.Cdr. A.N.G. Campbell, RN), HMS Magpie (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Abram, RN) and HMS Starling (Capt. F.W. Walker, CB, DSO and Bar, RN).

9 Mar 1944
HMS Clyde (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Brookes, DSO, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Larne with HMS Magpie (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Abram, RN) and HMS Wild Goose (A/Cdr. D.E.G. Wemyss, DSC and Bar, RN). (3)

27 Mar 1944

Convoy JW 58.

This convoy departed Loch Ewe on 27 March 1944 and arrived in the Kola Inlet on 4 April 1944.

On departure the convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Andrew Carnegie (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Arunah S. Abell (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Barbara Frietchie (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Benjamin H. Latrobe (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Benjamin Schlesinger (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Charles Gordon Curtis (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Charles Henderson (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Dolabella (British, 8142 GRT, built 1939), Edward P. Alexander (American, 7201 GRT, built 1943), Empire Prowess (British, 7058 GRT, built 1943), Fort Columbia (British, 7155 GRT, built 1942), Fort Hall (British, 7157 GRT, built 1943), Fort Kullyspell (British, 7190 GRT, built 1943), Fort Vercheres (British, 7128 GRT, built 1942), Fort Yukon (British, 7153 GRT, built 1943), Francis Scott Key (American, 7191 GRT, built 1941), Francis Vigo (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), George Gale (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), George M. Cohan (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), George T. Angell (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Grace Abbott (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Hawkins Fudske (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Henry Villard (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), James Smith (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), John B. Lennon (American, 7198 GRT, built 1943), John Carver (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), John Davenport (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), John McDonogh (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Joseph N. Nocollet (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Joshua Thomas (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Joyce Kilmer (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Julien Poydras (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Lacklan (British (tanker), 8670 GRT, built 1929), Morris Hillquit (American, 7210 GRT, built 1944), Nicholas Biddle (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Noreg (Norwegian (tanker), 7605 GRT, built 1931), Pierre S. Dupont (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Thomas Sim Lee (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Townsend Harris (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), W.R. Grace (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), William D. Byron (American, 7210 GRT, built 1944), William Matson (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), William McKinley (American, 7200 GRT, built 1943), William Moultrie (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), William Pepper (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) and William S. Thayer (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943).

The rescue vessel Rathlin (British, 1600 GRT, built 1936) was also with the convoy.

On departure from Loch Ewe the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Westcott (Cdr.(Retd.) H. Lambton, RN), HMS Whitehall (Lt.Cdr. P.J. Cowell, DSC, RN), HMS Wrestler (Lt.Cdr. R.W.B. Lacon, DSC, RN), HMS Inconstant (Lt.Cdr J.H. Eaden, DSC and Bar, RN), minesweepers Rattlesnake (Lt.Cdr. A.E. Coles, RD, RNR), Orestes (Lt.Cdr. A.W.R. Adams, RN), HMS Onyx (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.C.L. Gaussen, RNVR) and the corvettes HMS Bluebell (Lt. G.H. Walker, DSC, RNVR), HMS Honeysuckle (T/Lt. J.A. Wright, RNR), HMS Lotus (Lt. C.S. Thomas, RNR), HMS Rhododendron (T/Lt. O.B. Medley, RNVR) and HMS Starwort (Lt. A.H. Kent, RNR).

On 28 March 1944, the light cruisers HMS Diadem (Capt. E.G.A. Clifford, RN), i>USS Milwaukee (T/Capt. C.F. Fielding, USN), escort carriers HMS Activity (Capt. G. Willoughby, RN), HMS Tracker (A/Capt. J.H. Huntley, RN) and the destroyers HMS Venus (Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson DSO, RN), HMS Scorpion (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Clouston, RN), HMS Serapis (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN) and HNoMS Stord (Lt.Cdr. S.V. Storheill) departed Scapa Flow to join the convoy which they did on 29 March.

The sloops HMS Starling (Capt. F.J. Walker, CB, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Wild Goose (Lt.Cdr. D.E.G. Wemyss, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Whimbrel (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Moore, DSC, RNR), HMS Wren (Lt.Cdr. S.R.J. Woods, RNR) and HMS Magpie (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Abram, RN) departed Scapa Flow also on 28 March to join the convoy which they too did on 29 March.

On 29 March 1944, the destroyers HMS Saumarez (Capt. P.G.L. Cazalet, DSC, RN), HMS Onslow (Capt. J.A. McCoy, DSO, RN), HMS Oribi (Lt.Cdr. J.C.A. Ingram, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Offa (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Leonard, RN), HMS Obedient (Lt.Cdr. H. Unwin, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Opportune (Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Orwell (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Hodges, DSO, RN), HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. P. Bekenn, RN), HMS Beagle (Lt.Cdr. N.R. Murch, RN), HMS Boadicea (Lt.Cdr. F.W. Hawkins, RN), HMS Keppel (Cdr. I.J. Tyson, DSC, RD, RNR) and HMS Walker (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Rowell, RN) departed Skaalefiord, Iceland and joined the convoy.

On 29 March 1944, the German submarine U-961 was sunk near the convoy by HMS Starling.

Also on 29 March, two more merchant ships joined the convoy, these were the Gilbert Stuart (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) and John T. Holt (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) coming from Reykjavik, Iceland. The merchant vessel Eloy Alfaro (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944) had also sailed with them but had to return and proceeded to Seidisfjord before she could join the convoy due to ice damage. She arrived at Seidisfjord on the 30th. These ships were escorted by the frigate HMS Fitzroy (Lt. C.D.C. McNeil, RNVR) and the minesweepers HMS Chamois (T/A/Lt.Cdr. D.P. Richardson, RNVR) and HMS Chance (T/Lt. P.P. Lees, RNVR). These escorts did not join the convoy.

Also on 29 March the minesweepers HMS Rattlesnake, HMS Onyx, HMS Orestes and the corvette HMS Starwort parted company with the convoy. The minesweepers proceeded to Skaalefjord, Faeroer Islands arriving there later the same day. HMS Starwort proceeded to Londonderry arriving the on the 30th.

On 30 March four German shadowing aircraft were shot down by fighters from the escort carriers which themselves lost two aircraft.

On 31 March the German submarine U-673 was damaged by HMS Beagle and aircraft from HMS Tracker.

On 2 April two German shadowing aircraft were shot down by fighters from the escort carriers. Also the German submarine U-360 was sunk by Hedgehog attack from HMS Keppel.

On 3 April the German submarine U-288 was sunk by aircraft from the escort carriers.

ON 4 April, the convoy (39 ships) was split into two sections, one proceeded to the Kola Inlet arriving later the same day with the original escort. The other (with 10 ships), with a local escort which joined on this day to the White Sea where it arrived on the 6th. This local escort was made up of the Russian destroyers Gremyashchiy, Razumniy, Razyarenniy and Valerian Kyubishev.

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Distant cover for this convoy was provided by a battleforce known as ' Force 1 ', it departed Scapa Flow around 1200A/30 and was made up of the battleships HMS Duke of York (Capt. G.H.E. Russell, RN, flying the flag of Admiral B.A. Fraser, GCB, KBE, RN), HMS Anson (Capt. E.D.B. McCarthy, DSO and Bar, RN flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.R. Moore, KCB, DSO, CVO, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN), light cruiser HMS Belfast (Capt. F.R. Parham, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Onslaught (Cdr. the Hon. A. Pleydell-Bouverie, RN), HMS Javelin (Lt.Cdr. P.B.N. Lewis, DSC, RN), ORP Piorun (Cdr. T. Gorazdowski), HMCS Algonquin (Lt.Cdr. D.W. Piers, DSC, RCN) and HMCS Sioux (A/Lt.Cdr. E.E.G. Boak, RCN).

Around 0250A/31, the destroyers HMS Milne (Capt. I.M.R. Campbell, DSO, RN), HMS Marne (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, DSO, RN), HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Walmsley, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Meteor (Lt.Cdr. D.J.B. Jewitt, RN), HMS Undaunted (Lt.Cdr. A.A. Mackenzie, RD, RNR) and HMS Ursa (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, DSC, RN) joined coming from Skaalefjord, Faeroer Islands.

Around 0340A/31, the original destroyer screen were detached to Skaalefjord arriving there later the same day.

On 2 April ' Force 1 ' proceeded to join ' Force 2 ' coming from Scapa Flow for the upcoming Operation Tungsten. (4)

17 Feb 1945
HMS Vengeful (Lt. A.S. Melville-Ross, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Loch Alsh with HMS Peacock (Lt.Cdr. R.B. Stannard, VC, DSO, RD, RNR) and HMS Magpie (Lt.Cdr. G.O. Symonds, DSC, RN). (5)

2 Sep 1950
Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh took his first and only command on this day of this vessel. (6)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/17928
  2. ADM 173/18454
  3. ADM 173/18460
  4. ADM 199/1427
  5. ADM 173/20257
  6. Personal communication

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


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