Allied Warships

HMS Montgomery (G 95)

Destroyer of the Town class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassTown 
PennantG 95 
Built byBath Iron Works (Bath, Maine, U.S.A.) 
Ordered 
Laid down26 Jun 1917 
Launched25 Jun 1918 
Commissioned23 Oct 1940 
End service23 Feb 1944 
History

HMS Montgomery was commissioned under the White Ensign on 23 October 1940, Cdr. H.F. Nash, (retired), RN, in command. The destroyer underwent further fitting out and familiarization before departing Canadian waters on 1 November, bound for the British Isles. En route, Montgomery and the other of her sister ships in company swept through the scene of the one-sided naval engagement between the armed merchant cruiser HMS Jervis Bay and the German "pocket battleship" Admiral Scheer. This action had occurred on 5 November when the German warship attacked a convoy escorted by the erstwhile merchant steamship. Jervis Bay had gallantly interspersed herself between the raider and the convoy, allowing the latter to escape while being herself smashed to junk and sunk. Montgomerg found nothing, however, and after searching briefly for the German "pocket battleship" with orders to shadow by day and attack by night arrived at Belfast, Northern Ireland on 11 November.

Shifting to Plymouth, England, a week later, Montgomery was allocated to the Western Approaches command and based at Liverpool. During the course of one of her early patrols, Montgomery rescued 39 survivors from the torpedoed motor tanker Scottish Standard which had been torpedoed and sunk by U-96 on 21 February 1941. Disembarking the rescued mariners on the 24th, Montgomery resumed her Western Approaches patrols soon thereafter.

The flush-decker underwent repairs at Barrow, Laneashire from April to September and was later assigned to the 4 th Escort Group. Based now at Greenock, Scotland, the destroyer operated between the British Isles and Canadian ports through the end of 1941. On 13 January 1942, the Panamanian-registered steamer SS Friar Rock was torpedoed and sunk by U-180 100 miles southeast of Cape Race' Newfoundland. Four days later Montgomery picked up seven survivors from that ship.

In February 1942, Montgomery came under the aegis of the Western Local Escort Force at Halifax. Later in 1942, the destroyer was loaned to the Royal Canadian Navy before she sailed south and underwent repairs at the Charleston (S.C.) Navy Yard which lasted into the following year 1943. Resuming her coastwise convoy escort operations in February 1943, Montgomery rescued survivors of the torpedoed Manchester Merchant sunk by U-628 on 25 February 1943, 390 miles off Cape Race.

The destroyer remained with the Western Local Escort Force into late 1943, operating out of Halifax. On 12 December 1943, she assisted the Bowater-Lloyd Paper Co. barge Spruce Lake and, on the 27th, departed Halifax for the British Isles, carrying the surviving crew members from the torpedoed British destroyer HMS Hurricane which had been sunk by U-415 on Christmas Eve.

Arriving in England soon thereafter, Montgomery was placed in reserve in the Tyne River on 23 February 1944. Removed from the "effective list" the British equivalent of the United States Navy's "Navy list" the veteran flush-decker was subsequently broken up for scrap in the spring of 1945 shortly before the end of the war in Europe.

 
Former nameUSS Wickes (DD 75)

Commands listed for HMS Montgomery (G 95)

Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

CommanderFromTo
1Cdr. (retired) Henry Freston Nash, RN23 Oct 194028 Feb 1941
2Lt.Cdr. (emergency) William Lavallin Puxley, RN28 Feb 194123 Jan 1943
3Lt. Kenneth Innes Hamilton, DSC, RN23 Jan 1943early 1944
4T/Lt. Robert Harrison, RCNRearly 194416 May 1944
5Lt. John Harry Fowler, RN16 May 1944late 1944

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Notable events involving Montgomery include:


16 Dec 1940

Convoy TC 8.

This convoy of troopships departed Halifax on 23 July 1940 for the U.K.

The convoy was made up of the following troopships; Capetown Castle (British, 27000 GRT, built 1938, carrying 1415 troops), Colombia (Dutch, 10782 GRT, built 1930, carrying [unknown number] troops), Pasteur (British, 29253 GRT, built 1938, carrying 2995 troops) and Pennland (Dutch, 16381 GRT, built 1922, carrying 1865 troops).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Assiniboine (Capt. L.W. Murray, RCN) and HMCS Restigouche (Cdr. H.N. Lay, OBE, RN).

HMCS Assiniboine and HMCS Restigouche parted company in the morning of 17 December to return to Halifax.

HMS Revenge parted company with the convoy in the afternoon of 21 December also to return to Halifax.

On approaching the British Isles the convoy was devided into two. The Capetown Castle and Pasteur were escorted by the destroyers HMCS Ottawa (Cdr. E.R. Mainguy, RCN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN), HMS Worcester (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Coats, RN), HMS Watchman (Lt.Cdr. E.C.L. Day, RN), FSS Le Triomphant (Cdr. P.M.J.R. Auboyneau) and Piorun (Cdr. E.J.S. Plawski).

The two Dutch ships were escorted by the destroyers HMS Bath (Cdr.(Retd.) A.V. Hemming, RN), HMS St. Marys (Lt. K.H.J.L. Phibbs, RN), HMS Montgomery (Cdr.(Retd.) H.F. Nash, RN), HMS Witherington (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Palmer, RN) and HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Barnes, RN).

Both sections of the convoy proceeded to the Clyde.

Not all escorts remained with the convoy until the Clyde though.

[Further details not available at the moment.]

9 Feb 1941

Convoy HX 108.

This convoy departed Halifax on 9 February 1941 and arrived in UK waters on 27 February 1941.

On departure from Halifax the convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Bonde (Norwegian, 1570 GRT, built 1936), Brant County (Norwegian, 5001 GRT, built 1915), Dalemore (British, 5835 GRT, built 1922), Dalmore (British, 5193 GRT, built 1927), Danae II (British, 2660 GRT, built 1936), Empire Bronze (British, 8142 GRT, built 1940), Empire Eland (British, 5613 GRT, built 1920), Empire Hawk (British, 5032 GRT, built 1919), Empire Simba (British, 5691 GRT, built 1919), Forest (British, 4998 GRT, built 1937), G.S. Walden (British (tanker), 10627 GRT, built 1935), Gitano (British, 3956 GRT, built 1921), Holmpark (British, 5780 GRT, built 1927), James J. Maguire (British (tanker), 10525 GRT, built 1939), Lechistan (Polish, 1937 GRT, built 1929), Llanover (British, 4959 GRT, built 1928), Loch Don (British, 5249 GRT, built 1937), Manchester Exporter (British, 5277 GRT, built 1918), Markhor (British, 7917 GRT, built 1929), Mount Taurus (Greek, 6696 GRT, built 1920), Nicolaou Virginia (Greek, 6869 GRT, built 1920), Queen Maud (British, 4976 GRT, built 1936), Redgate (British, 4323 GRT, built 1929), Rookley (British, 4998 GRT, built 1940), Saint Bertrand (British, 5522 GRT, built 1929), San Gerardo (British (tanker), 12915 GRT, built 1929), Silverelm (British, 4351 GRT, built 1924), Standella (British (tanker), 6197 GRT, built 1936) and Willemsplein (Dutch, 5489 GRT, built 1910).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Maloja (A/Capt. V. Hammersley-Heenan, RN) and corvettes HMCS Mayflower (A/Lt.Cdr. G.H. Stephen, RCNR) and HMCS Snowberry (T/Lt. R.S. Kelley, RCNR).

Both Canadian corvettes were not to return to Halifax but were to proceed to the UK to complete fitting out there and then work up at Tobermory.

On 12 February 1941 the convoy was joined by the ships from convoy BHX 108 which had departed Bermuda on 7 February. These were the following merchant vessels; Adula (British (tanker), 8040 GRT, built 1937), Aircrest (British, 5237 GRT, built 1940), Bianca (Norwegian (tanker), 5688 GRT, built 1926), British Progress (British (tanker), 4581 GRT, built 1927), Cape Clear (British, 5085 GRT, built 1939), Comedian (British, 5122 GRT, built 1929), Director (British, 5107 GRT, built 1926), Donacilla (British (tanker), 8113 GRT, built 1939), Emma Bakke (Norwegian, 4721 GRT, built 1929), Leikanger (Norwegian, 4003 GRT, built 1923), Losada (British, 6520 GRT, built 1921), Luminetta (British (tanker), 6159 GRT, built 1927), Misoa (British (tanker), 4800 GRT, built 1937), Putney Hill (British, 5215 GRT, built 1940), Queen Maud (British, 4976 GRT, built 1936), Rapana (British (tanker), 8017 GRT, built 1935), Saintonge (British (tanker), 9386 GRT, built 1936), San Casimiro (British (tanker), 8046 GRT, built 1936), Sepia (British (tanker), 6214 GRT, built 1936), Twickenham (British, 4762 GRT, built 1940) and Yngaren (British, 5246 GRT, built 1921). These ships had been escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Aurania (A/Capt. I.W. Whitehorn, RN) which parted company when the convoys merged.

Two of the merchant vessels, the Bonde and Dalemore, apparently returned to Halifax.

Around 1730Q/18, the battleship HMS Rodney (Capt. F.H.G. Dalrymple-Hamilton, RN) joined the convoy.

Around 1500Q/19, HMS Maloja parted company with the convoy.

At 1410Z/20, HMS Rodney parted company with the convoy.

On the 24th, the destroyers HMS Wanderer (Cdr. A.F.St.G. Orpen, RN), HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Barnes, RN), HMS Montgomery (Cdr.(Retd.) H.F. Nash, RN) and the auxiliary A/S trawler HMS York City (Skr. W. Tucker, RNR). joined the convoy. Corvette HMS Periwinkle (Lt.Cdr. P.G. MacIver, RNR) joined on the 25th but was detached the following day.

The convoy arrived in UK waters on the 27th.

11 Mar 1941

Convoy HX 114.

This convoy departed Halifax on 11 March 1941 and arrived in UK waters on 30 March 1941.

This convoy was made up of following merchant vessels; Cardita (British (tanker), 8237 GRT, built 1931), Cerinthus (British (tanker), 3878 GRT, built 1930), Chesapeake (British (tanker), 8955 GRT, built 1928), Clavella (Dutch (tanker), 8097 GRT, built 1939), Colonial (British, 5108 GRT, built 1926), Corrales (British, 5363 GRT, built 1930), Cristales (British, 5389 GRT, built 1926), Elmdene (British, 4853 GRT, built 1939), Emile Francqui (Belgian, 5859 GRT, built 1929), Empire Mermaid (British, 6381 GRT, built 1919), Harmatris (British, 5395 GRT, built 1932), Heranger (Norwegian, 4877 GRT, built 1930), Inger Lise (Norwegian, 1582 GRT, built 1939), Labette (British, 4989 GRT, built 1919), Lapland (British, 1330 GRT, built 1936), Lunula (British (tanker), 6363 GRT, built 1927), Malakand (British, 7649 GRT, built 1919), Nestos (Greek, 5764 GRT, built 1919), New Texas (British, 6568 GRT, built 1919), Pandias (Greek, 4981 GRT, built 1912), Pentridge Hill (British, 7579 GRT, built 1941), Roxby (British, 4252 GRT, built 1923), Royal Emblem (British, 4900 GRT, built 1940), Skeldergate (British, 4251 GRT, built 1930), Tilapa (British, 5392 GRT, built 1928), Torr Head (British, 5021 GRT, built 1937), Toward (British (rescue ship), 1571 GRT, built 1923) and Zagloba (Polish, 2864 GRT, built 1938).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Chitral (Capt.(Retd.) G. Hamilton, RN).

Shortly after departure the merchant vessel Labette was to return to Halifax with engine trouble.

On the 14th the convoy merged with convoy BHX 114 coming from Bermuda. The following merchant vessels then joined the convoy; Adellen (British (tanker), 7984 GRT, built 1930), Carelia (British (tanker), 8062 GRT, built 1938), Comanchee (British (tanker), 6837 GRT, built 1936), Dephnella (British (tanker), 8078 GRT, built 1938), Hidlefjord (British (tanker), 7639 GRT, built 1928), Inverlee (British (tanker), 9158 GRT, built 1938), Kaia Knudsen (Norwegian (tanker), 9063 GRT, built 1931), Lincoln Ellsworth (British (tanker), 5580 GRT, built 1927), Otina (British (tanker), 6217 GRT, built 1938), President de Vogue (Norwegian (tanker), 9320 GRT, built 1935), San Conrado (British (tanker), 7982 GRT, built 1936), Thalatta (Norwegian, 5671 GRT, built 1922), Thorshavet (Norwegian (tanker), 11015 GRT, built 1938) and Velox (Norwegian, 3831 GRT, built 1922 ).

The escort of convoy BHX 114, the armed merchant cruiser HMS Worcestershire (A/Capt. J. Creswell, RN), then parted company.

Around 1200OP/15 the battleship HMS Rodney (Capt. F.H.G. Dalrymple-Hamilton, RN) joined the convoy. She parted company at 1520P/16 when a warship was sighted which turned out to be HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN) which was to join the convoy to take over from HMS Rodney.

At that moment the armed merchant cruiser HMS Laconia (Capt.(Retd.) G.G.P. Hewett, RN), which was in sight, reported heavy calibre gunfire on the horizon. HMS Rodney increased speed and set course towards this reported gunfire. HMS Royal Sovereign briefly followed but due to her slower speed opted to remain between the enemy and the convoy. HMS Royal Sovereign remained in position between the enemy and the convoy until late in the evening.

The source of the gunfire was the German battlecruiser Gneisenau which was in the process of sinking the merchant vessel Chilean Reefer (British, 1739 GRT, built 1936). She spotted the tops of the approaching British battleship and quickly got underway and made off at high speed. HMS Rodney was left with picking up the survivors of the Chilean Reefer unable to catch the German battlecruiser due to her inferior speed. HMS Rodney then continued to patrol the area where convoy HX 114 was passing through during the next few days.

At 1545N/24, the merchant vessels Inger Lise and Velox were detached with orders to join convoy SC 25.

HMS Chitral parted company with the convoy at 1930N/24 and set course for Halifax.

On the 25th, the merchant vessel (tanker) Lincoln Ellsworth with a cargo of fuel oil parted company with the convoy to proceed to Reykjavik was she was to discharge her cargo. She arrived at Reykjavik the next day.

HMS Chitral parted company with the convoy at 1930N/24 and set course for Halifax. The convoy was joined by destroyers late on the 24th or early on the 25th by the destroyers HMS Wanderer (Cdr. A.F.St.G. Orpen, RN), HMS Vanity ( Lt. I.W.T. Beloe, RN), HMCS Columbia (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) S.W. Davis, RN), HMS Montgomery (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) W.L. Puxley, RN), sloop HMS Weston (Cdr.(Retd.) J.G. Sutton, RN), corvettes HMS Nasturtium (Lt.Cdr. J.F.C. Bartley, DSC, RNR), HMS Periwinkle (Lt.Cdr. P.G. MacIver, RNR), HMS Primrose (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A. Ayre, RNR) and the auxiliary A/S trawlers HMS Arab (T/Lt. C.A. Shillan, RNVR), HMS Ayrshire (T/Lt. L.J.A. Gradwell, RNVR) and HMS Lady Madeleine (T/Lt. W.G. Ogden, RNVR). Destroyers HMS Montgomery, HMS Vanity, sloop HMS Weston and the auxiliary A/S trawlers were detached later to join other convoys. The remainder of the escort remained with the convoy until its arrival in UK waters on the 30th.

19 Sep 1941
HMS H 50 (Lt. N. Marriott, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Montgomery (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) W.L. Puxley, RN), HMS St. Elstan (T/Lt. G. Butcher, RNVR) and HMS Anemone (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Boys-Smith, DSO and Bar, RD, RNR). (1)

17 Jan 1942
British destroyer HMS Montgomery (Lt.Cdr. W.L. Puxley, RN) picks up 7 survivors from the Panamanian merchant Friar Rock about 110 miles south-west of Cape Race in position 45°30'N, 50°40'W.

25 Feb 1943
British destroyer HMS Montgomery (Lt. K.I. Hamilton, DSC and Bar, RN) and the Canadian corvette HMCS Rosthern (T/Lt. R.J.G. Johnson, RCNVR) together pick up 32 survivors from the British merchant Manchester Merchant about 400 nautical miles east-south-east of Cape Race in position 45°10'N, 43°23'W.

Media links


British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Sources

  1. ADM 173/16793

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


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