Allied Warships

HMS Castleton (I 23)

Destroyer of the Town class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassTown 
PennantI 23 
Built byBath Iron Works (Bath, Maine, U.S.A.) 
Ordered 
Laid down1 Aug 1918 
Launched10 Apr 1919 
Commissioned9 Sep 1940 
End service13 Mar 1945 
History

During World War II HMS Castleton saw active duty in the North Atlantic as a convoy escort. In November 1940 she picked up all the survivors of two torpedoed steamships, Daydawn and Victoria. She was damaged by an explosion 19 November 1941 and was out of action, under. going repairs, until 20 April 1942. On 20 August 1942 she and HMS Newark captured 51 survivors of the German submarine U-464 who had taken refuge in an Icelandic trawler. HMS Castleton was reduced to reserve at Grangemouth, Scotland, 13 March 1945 until sold for scrap on 4 Mar, 1947 at Bo'ness.

 
Former nameUSS Aaron Ward (DD 132)

Commands listed for HMS Castleton (I 23)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

CommanderFromTo
1Cdr. (retired) Frank Harold Elcho Skyrme, RN9 Sep 194025 Sep 1941
2Lt.Cdr. Cuthbert Richard Purse, DSC, RN25 Sep 194131 Jan 1942
3Lt.Cdr. Robert Henry Bristowe, DSO, RN31 Jan 19429 Feb 1943
4T/A/Lt.Cdr. John Richard Clarke, DSC, RNVR9 Feb 19436 Mar 1943
5Cdr. (retired) Charles William Vane Tempest Stewart Lepper, RN6 Mar 19431 Jan 1944
6Lt. Shirley Elliston Jagger, RN1 Jan 1944early 1945

You can help improve our commands section
Click here to Submit events/comments/updates for this vessel.
Please use this if you spot mistakes or want to improve this ships page.

Notable events involving Castleton include:


4 Mar 1941
HMS Unbeaten (Lt. E.A. Woodward, RN) arrived at Darmouth and conducted A/S exercises with HMS Salisbury (Lt.Cdr. H.M.R. Crichton, RN) and HMS Castleton (Cdr. (Retd.) F.H.E. Skyrme, RN). (1)

5 Mar 1941
HMS Unbeaten (Lt. E.A. Woodward, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Dartmouth with HMS Salisbury (Lt.Cdr. H.M.R. Crichton, RN) and HMS Castleton (Cdr. (Retd.) F.H.E. Skyrme, RN). (2)

17 Mar 1941

Minelaying operation SN 69.

Minelaying operation by the 1st Minelaying Squadron.

At 1900A/17, the 1st Minelaying Squadron departed Port Z.A. (Loch Alsh) for minelaying operation SN 69. The 1st Minelaying Squadron was made up of the auxiliary minelayers Southern Prince (Cdr. C.L. Firth, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.L. Burnett, OBE, RN), HMS Agamemnon (Capt.(Retd.) F. Ratsey, RN), HMS Menestheus (Capt. J.S. Crawford, DSO, RN), and HMS Port Quebec (Capt.(Retd.) E.C. Watson, RN). They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Castleton (Cdr. (Retd.) F.H.E. Skyrme, RN), HMS Charlestown (Lt.Cdr. T. Johnston, RN), HMS Lancaster (A/Cdr. N.H. Whatley, RN) and HMS St. Marys (Lt. K.H.J.L. Phibbs, RN).

Around 2300A/17, the light cruisers HMS Galatea (Capt. E.W.B. Sim, RN) and HMS Aurora (Capt. W.G. Agnew, RN) departed Scapa Flow to join the 1st Minelaying Squadron for close cover. They made rendezvous with the 1st Minelaying Squadron around 0930A/18.

Distant cover for the operation was provided by the battleship HMS Nelson (Capt. G.J.A. Miles, RN, flying the flag of A/Adm. J.C. Tovey, KCB, DSO, RN), light cruiser HMS Nigeria (Capt. J.G.L. Dundas, RN) and the destroyers HMS Cossack (Capt. P.L. Vian, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Maori (Cdr. H.T. Armstrong, RN), HMS Zulu (Cdr. H.R. Graham, DSO, RN), HMS Escapade (Lt.Cdr. E.N.V. Currey, DSC, RN), HMS Boadicea (A/Cdr. E.C.L. Turner, RN) and HMS Active (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, RN) which were already at sea to the south of Iceland.

Minefield SN 69, made up of 2050 mines, was laid between 1010A/19 and 1405A/19. It was laid along a line between positions 63°44'0"N, 12°07'5"W and 64°32'6"N, 12°47'6"W.

The minelayers laid as follows; HMS Southern Prince 562 mines, HMS Agamemnon 530 mines, HMS Menestheus 410 mines and HMS Port Quebec 548 mines.

HMS Galatea and HMS Aurora parted company with the 1st Minelaying Squadron around 2000A/20. They arrived at Scapa Flow around 0345A/21.

The 1st Minelaying Squadron and their escorting destroyers returned to Port Z.A. (Loch Alsh) at 0759A/21. (3)

25 Mar 1941

Minelaying operation SN 4.

Minelaying operation by the 1st Minelaying Squadron.

At 1025A/25, the 1st Minelaying Squadron departed Port Z.A. (Loch Alsh) for minelaying operation SN 4. The 1st Minelaying Squadron was made up of the auxiliary minelayers Southern Prince (Cdr. C.L. Firth, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.L. Burnett, OBE, RN), HMS Agamemnon (Capt.(Retd.) F. Ratsey, RN), HMS Menestheus (Capt. J.S. Crawford, DSO, RN), and HMS Port Quebec (Capt.(Retd.) E.C. Watson, RN). They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Castleton (Cdr. (Retd.) F.H.E. Skyrme, RN), HMS Charlestown (Lt.Cdr. T. Johnston, RN), HMS Lancaster (A/Cdr. N.H. Whatley, RN) and HMS St. Marys (Lt. K.H.J.L. Phibbs, RN).

Around 0845A/25, the light cruisers HMS Galatea (Capt. E.W.B. Sim, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.T.B. Curteis, CB, RN) and HMS Aurora (Capt. W.G. Agnew, RN) departed Scapa Flow to join the 1st Minelaying Squadron for close cover. They made rendezvous with the 1st Minelaying Squadron around 1445A/25.

At 0953A/26, A lone German Focke Wolf Condor aircraft attacked the 1st Minelaying Squadron and HMS Menestheus was hit by two bombs but they fortunately did not explode until clear of the ship. The damage to Menestheus was minor and could be repairs locally.

Minefield SN 4, made up of 2050 mines, was laid between 1130A/26 and 1430A/26. It was laid along a line between positions 60°45'0"N, 06°35'8"W and 60°18'7"N, 06°02'3"W.

The minelayers laid as follows; HMS Southern Prince 562 mines, HMS Agamemnon 530 mines, HMS Menestheus 410 mines and HMS Port Quebec 548 mines.

HMS Galatea and HMS Aurora parted company with the 1st Minelaying Squadron around 2350A/20. They arrived at Scapa Flow around 0700A/27.

While passing through the Minches the 1st Minelaying Squadron ran into a convoy and as a result HMS Agamemnon and HMS Castleton collided with each other. Both needed to proceed to shipsyards for repairs. HMS Agamemnon first took part in another minelaying mission but she was not able to lay a full outfit of mines.

The 1st Minelaying Squadron and their escorting destroyers returned to Port Z.A. (Loch Alsh) at 0731A/27. (4)

15 Jun 1941

Minelaying operation SN 66.

Minelaying operation by the 1st Minelaying Squadron.

At 0520B/15, the auxiliary minelayers HMS Agamemnon (Capt.(Retd.) F. Ratsey, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.L. Burnett, OBE, RN) and HMS Menestheus (Capt. J.S. Crawford, DSO, RN) of the 1st Minelaying Squadron departed Port Z.A. (Loch Alsh) to lay minefield SN 66. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Brighton (Cdr. (Retd.) C.W.V.T.S. Lepper, RN), HMS Castleton (Cdr. (Retd.) F.H.E. Skyrme, RN), HMS St. Marys (Lt. K.H.J.L. Phibbs, RN) and HMS Wells (Lt.Cdr. E.J. Lee, RN).

They were joined around 1145B/15 by the light cruiser HMS Aurora (Capt. W.G. Agnew, RN) which had departed Scapa Flow around 0715B/15.

Distant cover was provided by the light cruisers HMS Nigeria (Capt. J.G.L. Dundas, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.M. Burrough, CB, RN) and HMS Kenya (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, RN) which were on patrol in the Iceland - Faeroer passage.

The minefield made up of 939 mines, was laid between 0655B/16 and 0850B/16, on a line joining positions, 62°22'7"N, 06°59'1"W, 62°32'0"N, 07°14'5"W and 62°40'3"N, 07°30'0"W.

The minelayers laid as follows; HMS Agamemnon 529 mines and HMS Menestheus 410 mines.

The 1st Minelaying Squadron returned to Port Z.A. (Loch Alsh) at 1350B/17.

HMS Aurora returned to Scapa Flow around 1045B/17. She had parted company with the 1st Minelaying Squadron at 1127B/16.

HMS Nigeria remained on patrol in the Iceland - Faeroer gap while HMS Kenya arrived at Scapa Flow around 0030B/17. (5)

23 Jun 1941

Minelaying operation SN 70B.

Minelaying operation by the 1st Minelaying Squadron.

At 1900B/23, the auxiliary minelayers HMS Agamemnon (Capt.(Retd.) F. Ratsey, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.L. Burnett, OBE, RN) and HMS Menestheus (Capt. J.S. Crawford, DSO, RN) departed Port Z.A. (Loch Alsh) to lay minefield SN 70B. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Brighton (Cdr. (Retd.) C.W.V.T.S. Lepper, RN), HMS Castleton (Cdr. (Retd.) F.H.E. Skyrme, RN) and HMS Wells (Lt.Cdr. E.J. Lee, RN).

They were joined around 2300B/23 by the light cruiser HMS Kenya (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, RN) which had departed Scapa Flow around 1300B/23 but had first conducted gunnery exercises in the Pentland Firth.

Around 0130B/24, the light cruiser HMS Arethusa (Capt. A.C. Chapman, RN) also joined. She had departed Scapa Flow around 1940B/23.

At 0515B/24, HMS Aurora (Capt. Sir W.G. Agnew, RN) joined company.

At 0545B/24, HMS Arethusa parted company and proceeded on patrol in the Iceland - Faeroer gap.

At 1050B/24, the visibility decrased to 150 yards.

At 1110B/24, The Squadron made an emergency turn to port.

At 1115.30B/24, HMS Kenya sighted a destroyer 150 yards away coming towards.

At 1116B/24, HMS Kenya was hit by the destroyer which turned out to be HMS Brighton. HMS Kenya sustained some damage but was able to continue. This was not the case with HMS Brighton whose bow sustained major damage.

Most ships of the Squadron meanwhile lost contact with each other in the thick fog.

Later HMS Aurora and HMS Wells took the damaged Brighton to the Reyðarfiord, Iceland for inspection.

The remainder of the 1st Minelaying Squadron regrouped and proceeded on with the minelaying operation.

Between 2125B/25 and 2310B/25, minefield SN 70B was laid on a line joining positions, 65°11'0"N, 12°49'4"W and 65°34'6"N, 12°54'5"W.

At 1620B/26, the destroyer HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. I.T. Clark, RN) joined the 1st Minelaying Squadron. She had been on patrol to the north of Iceland but had been ordered to leave patrol and join the minelayers.

HMS Agamemnon, HMS Menestheus, HMS Castleton, HMS Wells and HMS Eclipse arrived at Port Z.A. (Loch Alsh) at 1717B/27.

HMS Kenya arrived at Scapa Flow around 1800B/27 having parted company with the 1st minelaying Squadron at 1154B/27.

The damaged destroyer HMS Brighton departed the Reyðarfiord for the Clyde on 28 June in tow of the tug Thames. The tug Marauder was standing by. They were escorted by HMS Aurora and the destroyer HMS Echo (Lt.Cdr. C.H.deB. Newby, RN) which had come from Hvalfiord.

The destroyer HMS Lightning (Cdr. R.G. Stewart, RN) departed Scapa Flow at 1700B/29 to join which she did around 0330B/30.

In the meantime, at 2020B/29, HMS Brighton's bow broke away. The Marauder then took over the tow.

At 2105B/30, while in the North Minches, HMS Aurora, HMS Echo and HMS Lightning parted company to proceed to Scapa Flow where they arrived around 0200/1.

HMS Brighton continued on with the tugs and arrived in the Clyde on 1 July 1941. (6)

30 Jun 1941

Convoy WS 9B.

This convoy was formed off Oversay on 30 June 1941. It arrived at Freetown on 13 July 1941.

On assembly it was made up of the following (troop)transports; Arundel Castle (British, 19118 GRT, built 1921), Athlone Castle (British, 25564 GRT, built 1936), Ceramic (British, 18713 GRT, built 1913), Clan Forbes (British, 7529 GRT, built 1938), Elizabeth Bakke (Norwegian, 5450 GRT, built 1937), Mataroa (British, 12390 GRT, built 1922), Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931), Oronsay (British, 20043 GRT, built 1925), Pampas (British, 6345 GRT, built 1941), Pulaski (Polish, 6345 GRT, built 1912), Rangitata (British, 16737 GRT, built 1929) and Tamaroa (British, 12405 GRT, built 1922).

The transport Anselm (British, 5954 GRT, built 1935) had been unable to keep the required speed up during the passage from Liverpool to the rendezvous point and was ordered to proceed to the Clyde. She was not allowed to join the convoy.

On assembly the convoy was escorted by the light cruisers HMS Edinburgh (Capt. H.W. Faulkner, RN), flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.N. Syfret, RN), HMS Galatea (Capt. E.W.B. Sim, RN), AA cruiser HMS Cairo (A/Capt. I.R.H. Black, RN), armed merchant cruisers HMS Cathay (A/Capt.(Retd.) C.M. Merewether, RN), HMS Chitral (Capt.(Retd.) G. Hamilton, RN), HMS Moreton Bay (Capt.(Retd.) C.C. Bell, RN), armed boarding vessel HMS Corinthian (A/Cdr. E.J.R. Pollitt, RNR) and the destroyers HMS Vanquisher (Cdr. N.V. Dickinson, DSC, RN), HMS Winchelsea (Lt.Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, OBE, DSC, RN), HMS Wolverine (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Rowland, RN), HMS Castleton (Cdr. (Retd.) F.H.E. Skyrme, RN), HMS Reading (Lt.Cdr. D.V. Clift, RN), HMCS St.Francis (Lt.Cdr. H.F. Pullen, RCN), HMS Wells (Lt.Cdr. E.J. Lee, RN), HMS Maori (Cdr. R.E. Courage, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN), ORP Piorun (Cdr. S. Hryniewiecki) and ORP Garland (Lt.Cdr. K.F. Namiesniowski, ORP).

HMS Wolverine was detached with defects at 1324Z/31.

HMS Wells parted company with the convoy around 2200Z/1.

HMS Vanquisher, HMS Winchelsea, HMS Castleton and HMCS St. Francis parted company around 0400Z/2.

HMS Maori was detached at 1600Z/2.

HMS Cairo, ORP Piorun and ORP Garland parted company with the convoy around 1900Z/2 in position 49°20'N, 26°20'W.

HMS Reading was detached at 0400Z/3.

HMS Edinburgh parted company around 2315Z/3.

HMS Cathay parted company around 0630Z/4.

HMS Chitral and HMS Corinthian parted company around 0100Z/6.

Around 1115Z/10, in position 17.28'N, 20.50'W the destroyers HMS Wivern (Cdr. M.D.C. Meyrick, RN), HMS Wild Swan (Lt.Cdr. C.E.L. Sclater, RN), HMS Brilliant (Lt.Cdr. F.C. Brodrick, RN) and corvette HMS Asphodel (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) K.W. Stewart, RN) joined.

The convoy arrived at Freetown on 13 July 1941.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The convoy left Freetown in the same composition as in which it had arrived.

It was now escorted by the light cruiser HMS Galatea and the destroyers HMS Brilliant, HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Maitland-Makgill Crichton, DSC, RN), HMS Vansittart (Lt.Cdr. R.L.S. Gaisford, RN) and HMS Velox (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Roper, DSC, RN).

All destroyers parted company on the 18th, HMS Brilliant and HMS Velox at 1200/18 and HMS Boreas and HMS Vansittart at 1600/18.

At 0515/27, HMS Galatea parted company with the convoy and proceeded to Simonstown to fuel.

The transports Ceramic, Clan Forbes, Pampas, Elizabeth Bakke, Pulaski and Rangitata were detached to Capetown.

HMS Galatea departed Simonstown at 1530/27 and rejoined the remaining ships of the convoy at 0900/28.

The remaining ships and HMS Galatea arrived at Durban on 30 July 1941.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Clan Forbes, Elisabeth Bakke, Pampas and Pulaski departed Capetown on 30 July 1941 escorted by the armed merchant cruiser Queen of Bermuda (Capt. A.T.G.C. Peachey, RN).

On 3 August 1941 the Arundel Castle, Athlone Castle, Monarch of Bermuda and Oronsay departed Durban escorted by HMS Galatea. The Capetown and Durban section then merged and set course for Aden. Both escorts remained with the convoy until it was dispersed off Aden on 14 August 1941.

On 13 August the Athlone Castle and Elizabeth Bakke parted company forming convoy WS 9BX. They were escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Hector (Capt.(Retd.) F. Howard, DSC, RN) and arrived at Bombay on 16 August 1941. (7)

8 Jul 1941

Minelaying operation SN 67A.

Minelaying operation by the 1st Minelaying Squadron.

At 0532B/8, the auxiliary minelayers HMS Agamemnon (Capt.(Retd.) F. Ratsey, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.L. Burnett, OBE, RN), HMS Menestheus (Capt. J.S. Crawford, DSO, RN) HMS Port Quebec (Capt.(Retd.) E.C. Watson, RN) of the 1st Minelaying Squadron departed Port Z.A. (Loch Alsh) to lay minefield SN 67A. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Castleton (Cdr. (Retd.) F.H.E. Skyrme, RN), HMS Wells (Lt.Cdr. E.J. Lee, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Heythrop (Lt.Cdr R.S. Stafford, RN).

They were joined around 1400B/8 by the light cruiser HMS Nigeria (Capt. J.G.L. Dundas, RN) which had departed Scapa Flow around 0845B/8 to provide cover for the operation.

The minefield made up of a total of 1488 mines, was laid between 0805B/9 and 1050B/9, on a line joining positions, 62°28'7"N, 07°50'0"W, 62°58'4"N, 08°35'4"W and 62°40'3"N, 07°30'0"W.

The minelayers laid as follows; HMS Agamemnon 530 mines, HMS Menestheus 410 mines and HMS Port Quebec 548 mines.

HMS Agamemnon, HMS Menestheus, HMS Port Quebec, HMS Castleton and HMS Wells returned to Port Z.A. (Loch Alsh) at 1724B/10.

HMS Nigeria arrived at Scapa Flow around 1530B/10.

HMS Heythrop arrived at Scapa Flow via Port Z.A. (Loch Alsh) around 2030B/10. (8)

25 Jul 1941
HrMs O 14 (Lt.Cdr. G. Quint, RNN(R)) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Punjabi (Cdr. S.A. Buss, MVO, RN), HMS Charlestown (Lt.Cdr. T. Johnston, RN), HMS Castleton (Cdr. (Retd.) F.H.E. Skyrme, RN) and HMS Croome (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Hayes, RN). (9)

30 Jul 1941
HMS Prince of Wales (Capt. C.H.J. Harcourt, RN) conducted exercises to the west of Scapa Flow. During these exercises she was escorted by the destroyers HMS Oribi (Lt.Cdr. J.E.H. McBeath, DSO, RN), HMS Charlestown (Lt.Cdr. T. Johnston, RN) and HMS Castleton (Cdr. (Retd.) F.H.E. Skyrme, RN).

Also participating in the exercises was HMS London (Capt. R.M. Servaes, CBE, RN). (10)

30 Jul 1941
The battleship HMS Malaya (Capt. C. Coppinger, DSC, RN) and the armed merchant cruiser HMS Esperance Bay (Capt.(Retd.) G.S. Holden, RN) escorted by the destroyers HMS Castleton (Cdr.(Retd.) F.H.E. Skyrme, RN), HMS Charlestown (Lt.Cdr. T. Johnston, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Croome (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Hayes, RN).

31 Jul 1941
HMS Malaya (Capt. C. Coppinger, DSC, RN), HMS Esperance Bay (Capt.(Retd.) G.S. Holden, RN), HMS Castleton (Cdr.(Retd.) F.H.E. Skyrme, RN), HMS Charlestown (Lt.Cdr. T. Johnston, RN) and HMS Croome (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Hayes, RN) arrived at Rosyth.

5 Aug 1941
HMS King George V (Capt. W.R. Patterson, CVO, RN, flying the flag of A/Adm. J.C. Tovey, KCB, DSO, RN) conducted gunnery exercises off Scapa Flow escorted by the destroyers HMS Oribi (Lt.Cdr. J.E.H. McBeath, DSO, RN), HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Hodges, RN) and HMS Castleton (Cdr. (Retd.) F.H.E. Skyrme, RN).

Later range and inclination exercises were carried out with HMS Berwick (Capt. G.H. Faulkner, DSC, RN). (11)

12 Sep 1941
HrMs O 10 (Lt. Baron D.T. Mackay, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Penelope (Capt. A.D. Nicholl, RN), HMS Ulster Queen (A/Capt. D.S. McGrath, RN), HMS Ashanti (Cdr. R.G. Onslow, RN) and HMS Castleton (Cdr.(Retd.) F.H.E. Skyrme, RN). (12)

15 Sep 1941
The battleship HMS Prince of Wales (Capt. J.C. Leach, MVO, RN) and light cruiser HMS Euryalus (Capt. E.W. Bush, DSO, DSC, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Greenock where they arrived the following day. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Eskimo (Cdr. E.G. Le Geyt, RN) and HMS Castleton (Cdr. (Retd.) F.H.E. Skyrme, RN). Later HMS Laforey (Capt. R.M.J. Hutton, DSO, RN) also joined the screen. (13)

18 Sep 1941
HMS H 34 (Lt. W.A. Phillimore, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Campbeltown with HMS Castleton (Cdr.(Retd.) F.H.E. Skyrme, RN) and HMS Inchcolm (Skr. W. Martin, RNR). (14)

29 Mar 1942

Minelaying operation SN 87.

Minelaying operation by the 1st Minelaying Squadron.

On 29 March 1942, the auxiliary minelayers Southern Prince (A/Capt. J. Cresswell, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral T.B. Drew, OBE, RN), HMS Menestheus (Capt.(Retd.) R.H.F. de Salis, DSC, OBE, RN), HMS Port Quebec (Capt.(Retd.) E.C. Watson, RN) and HMS Agamemnon (Capt.(Retd.) F. Ratsey, RN) departed Port ZA (Loch Alsh) to lay minefield SN 84. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Lancaster (A/Cdr. N.H. Whatley, RN), HMS St. Marys (Lt.Cdr. K.H.J.L. Phibbs, RN), HMS Castleton (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Bristowe, DSO, RN) and HMS Wells (Lt. L.J. Pearson, RN).

Off the Butt of Lewis they were joined by the AA cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. L.D. Mackintosh, DSC, RN) which had departed Scapa Flow earlier that day.

On 30 March a total of 2030 mines were laid along a line joining positions

248 of these were laid between positions 62°18'2"N, 07°55'6"W and 62°27'9"N, 08°17'5"W.

The remaining lines were laid within 3 cables either side of a line joining positions
62°27'9"N, 08°15'8"W,
62°31'5"N, 08°23'5"W,
62°35'6"N, 08°30'7"W and
62°45'8"N, 08°49'0"W.

The minelayers laid as follows; HMS Southern Prince 562 mines, Agamemnon 508 mines, HMS Menestheus 408 mines and HMS Port Quebec 550 mines.

The First Minelaying Squadron arrived back at Port HHZ on 31 March as did HMS Charybdis at Scapa Flow. (15)

11 May 1942

Convoy WS 19.

This convoy was assembled off Oversay on 11 May 1942.

It was made up of the following (troop) transports; Akaroa (British, 15130 GRT, built 1914), Athlone Castle (British, 25565 GRT, built 1936), Borinquen (American, 7114 GRT, built 1931), Clan MacArthur (British, 10528 GRT, built 1936), Highland Brigade (British, 14134 GRT, built 1929), Highland Monarch (British, 14139 GRT, built 1928), Lanarkshire (British, 9816 GRT, built 1940), Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931), Mooltan (British, 20952 GRT, built 1923), Moreton Bay (British, 14193 GRT, built 1921), USS Orizaba (American, 6937 GRT, built 1918), Ormonde (British, 14982 GRT, built 1917), Pasteur (British, 29253 GRT, built 1938), Scythia (British, 19761 GRT, built 1920), Strarthaird (British, 22281 GRT, built 1932), Strathnaver (British, 22283 GRT, built 1931) and Sussex (British, 13647 GRT, built 1937).

On assembly the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Mauritius (Capt. W.D. Stephens, RN), armed merchant cruiser HMS Carnarvon Castle (Capt.(Retd.) E.W. Kitson, RN), destroyers HMS Keppel (Cdr. J.E. Broome, RN), HMS Volunteer (Lt. A.S. Pomeroy, RN), HMS Castleton (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Bristowe, DSO, RN), HMS Leamington (Lt. B.M.D. I'Anson, RN), HMS St. Marys (Lt.Cdr. K.H.J.L. Phibbs, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Belvoir (Lt. J.F.D. Bush, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Hursley (Lt. W.J.P. Church, DSC, RN).

Around 0400Z/14, HMS Keppel, HMS Volunteer and HMS Leamington parted company with the convoy in approximate position 46°00'N, 21°40'W.

Around 1600Z/14, HMS Belvoir and HMS Hursley parted company in approximate position 43°40'N, 22°40'W. They were to fuel at Ponta Delgada, Azores.

Around 0100Z/15, the Akaroa was detached to proceed to Bermuda independently.

Around 2100Z/15, HMS St. Marys parted company in approximate position 37°25'N, 23°30'W.

Around 1600Z/16, HMS Castleton parted company in approximate position 33°08'N, 23°46'W.

Around 1800Z/17, HMS Belvoir and HMS Hursley rejoined in approximate position 27°43'N, 24°24'W.

Around 1030Z/19, the destroyer HMS Velox (Lt. G.B. Barstow, RN) joined in approximate position 19°45'N, 20°40'W. She came from convoy SL 110.

Around 0845Z/20, the destroyers HMS Wild Swan (Lt.Cdr. C.E.L. Sclater, RN) and HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN) joined, coming from Bathurst, in approximate position 15°27'N, 20°40'W.

The convoy arrived at Freetown on 22 May 1942.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The convoy departed Freetown on 26 May 1942.

It was now escorted by the light cruiser HMS Mauritius, armed merchant cruiser HMS Alcantara (A/Capt.(Retd.) J.D. Harvey, RN), destroyers HMS Boreas, HMS Velox, escort destroyers HMS Belvoir, HMS Hursley and the sloop HMS Milford (Cdr.(Retd.) the Hon. V.M. Wyndham-Quin, RN).

Around 1900Z/28, HMS Boreas and HMS Velox parted company in approximate position 01°07'S, 13°43'W. HMS Velox was to return to Freetown while HMS Boreas was to proceed to Takoradi taking the Highland Monarch from the convoy with her. The Highland Monarch was later to proceed to the River Plate area.

Around 0800Z/29, HMS Alcantara and HMS Milford parted company with the convoy so that the armed merchant cruiser could top off the sloop with fuel. They rejoined around 1630Z/29. HMS Alcantara then immediately left the convoy again in position 05°18'S, 10°38'W to proceed to St. Helena. HMS Belvoir and HMS Hursley went with her so that they could fuel in the lee of St. Helena from HMS Alcantara

Around 2000Z/31, HMS Alcantara, HMS Belvoir and HMS Hursley rejoined the convoy in approximate position 15°48'S, 06°02'W

Around 1600A/1, HMS Alcantara parted company with the convoy in approximate position 18°05'S, 02°20'W. She was to patrol in the South Atlantic.

Around 1230B/5, the heavy cruiser HMS Shropshire (Capt. J.T. Borrett, OBE, RN) joined the convoy in approximate position 32°25'S, 14°20'E.

Around 1700B/5, in approximate position 32°55'S, 14°59'E, HMS Shropshire parted company taking the Clan MacArthur, Moreton Bay, USS Orizaba, Ormonde, Pasteur and Strathaird with her to Durban where they arrived on 9 June. HMS Shropshire then turned back towards the Capetown area to make rendezvous with the Capetown section of the convoy and then escort it eastwards.

The remainder of the convoy proceeded to Capetown where it arrived on 6 June. HMS Mauritius then went on to Simonstown as did the A/S escorts later.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On 11 June the Athlone Castle, Borinquen, Lankashire, Monarch of Bermuda, Mooltan, Strathnaver, Sussex departed Capetown to continue their voyage. With them was now also the transport Takliwa (British, 7936 GRT, built 1924).

They were escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Cheshire (A/Capt. H.G. Hopper, RN).

Around 1200B/12, HMS Shropshire joined them in approximate position 37°10'S, 19°56'E.

Around 0900C/14, the escort destroyers HMS Belvoir and HMS Hursley joined.

Around 1100C/15, HMS Cheshire parted company with the convoy off Durban.

Around 1200C/15, the Durban section of the convoy joined. They were being escorted by the light cruiser HMS Emerald (Capt. F.C. Flynn, RN). The Durban section was made up of the Clan Macarthur, Moreton Bay, USS Orizaba and Strathaird. With them were now also the Clan MacInnes (British, 4672 GRT, built 1920), Clan MacTavish (British, 7631 GRT, built 1921), Empire Trooper (British, 14106 GRT, built 1922) and Empire Woodlark (British, 7793 GRT, built 1913).

Around 1100D/18, the light cruiser HMS Mauritius joined the convoy in approximate position 27°28'S, 43°05'E. HMS Shropshire then parted company.

Around 0900C/23, the Clan MacInnes, Clan MacTavish, Empire Trooper, Empire Woodlark and Moreton Bay parted company with the convoy in approximate position 13°51'S, 53°03'E to proceed to Diego Suarez where they arrived on 24 June. They were escorted by HMS Emerald, HMS Belvoir and HMS Hursley.

Around 2000E/26, the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) joined coming from Kilindini/Mombasa. She relieved HMS Mauritius which then parted company with the convoy to proceed to Kilindini/Mombasa.

Around 1700E/26, the armed merchant cruiser HMS Corfu (Capt.(Retd.) J.P. Landon, RN) joined the convoy in in approximate position 05°26'N, 52°16'E, The Athlone Castle, USS Orizaba and Strathaird parted company with the convoy to proceed to Bombay where they arrived on 1 July. They were escorted by HMS Devonshire.

The remainder of the convoy proceeded towards Aden escorted by HMS Corfu. They arrived off Aden on 30 June. (16)

4 Jun 1942
HMS P 45 (Lt. H.B. Turner, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Speedwell (Lt.Cdr. J.J. Youngs, OBE, RD, RNR) and HMS Castleton (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Bristowe, DSO, RN). (17)

20 Aug 1942
HMS Castleton (I 23) and HMS Newark (G 08) were directed to a small Icelandic fishing vessel south of Iceland by American aircraft that had just sunk the German milk cow U-boat U-464. The Icelandic ship had picked up the 52 survivors which were then transferred to HMS Castleton and then to POW camps. 61.25N, 14.40W (18)

9 Apr 1943
HMS P 511 (Lt. J.S. Launders, RN) conducted A/S exercises off the Isle of Mull together with FFS Commandant Detroyant and HMS Promise (T/Lt. S.A. Sargent, RNVR), HMS Castleton (Cdr.(Retd.) C.W.V.T.S. Lepper, RN) and HMS Sapper (T/Lt. R.C. Lees, RNR). (19)

10 Apr 1943
HMS P 511 (Lt. J.S. Launders, RN) conducted A/S exercises off the Isle of Mull together with HMS Castleton (Cdr.(Retd.) C.W.V.T.S. Lepper, RN), HMS Lady Sharazad and two ML's. (19)

12 Apr 1943
HMS P 511 (Lt. J.S. Launders, RN) conducted A/S exercises off the Isle of Mull together with HMS Castleton (Cdr.(Retd.) C.W.V.T.S. Lepper, RN) and HMS Chanticleer (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Bristowe, DSO, RN). (19)

13 Apr 1943
HMS P 511 (Lt. J.S. Launders, RN) conducted A/S exercises off the Isle of Mull together with HMS Castleton (Cdr.(Retd.) C.W.V.T.S. Lepper, RN), HMS Chanticleer (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Bristowe, DSO, RN), HMS Coverley (T/Lt. L.R. Lord, RNVR) and HMS Sapper (T/Lt. R.C. Lees, RNR). (19)

23 Aug 1943
HMS Varangian (Lt. J. Nash, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with HMS White Bear and HMS Castleton (Cdr.(Retd.) C.W.V.T.S. Lepper, RN). (20)

18 Apr 1944
HMS Ursula (Lt. A.G. Davies, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Methill with HMS Castleton (Lt. S.E. Jagger, RN), HMS Polka (T/Lt. I.A. Thorpe, MBE, RNVR), HMS Leicester City (T/Lt. C.E. Irving, RNVR), HMS Valse (T/Lt. E.J. Newell, RNVR) and HMS Spurs (A/Skr.Lt. E.J. Day, RNR). (21)

Media links


British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Sources

  1. ADM 199/2573 + ADM 199/655
  2. ADM 199/655
  3. ADM 53/113672 + ADM 53/114302 + ADM 53/114490 + ADM 53/11476 + ADM 199/396 + ADM 199/399 + ADM 234/560 + ADM 234/561
  4. ADM 53/113672 + ADM 53/114302 + ADM 199/409 + ADM 199/411 + ADM 234/560 + ADM 234/561
  5. ADM 53/113675 + ADM 53/114492 + ADM 53/114797 + ADM 199/411 + ADM 234/560 + ADM 234/561
  6. ADM 53/113675 + ADM 53/114492 + ADM 199/411 + ADM 234/560 + ADM 234/561
  7. ADM 199/1138
  8. ADM 53/114798 + ADM 199/396 + ADM 199/399 + ADM 199/409 + + ADM 199/411 + ADM 234/560 + ADM 234/561
  9. File 2.12.03.6387 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  10. ADM 53/114890
  11. ADM 53/114507
  12. File 2.12.03.6377 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  13. ADM 53/114892
  14. ADM 173/16764
  15. ADM 53/115572 + ADM 234/560 + ADM 234/561
  16. ADM 199/1211
  17. ADM 173/17407
  18. http://dubm.de/en/the-skaftfellingur-and-u-464/
  19. ADM 173/17923
  20. ADM 173/18446
  21. ADM 173/19315

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


Return to the Allied Warships section



As an Amazon Associate uboat.net earns a commission from qualifying purchases.