HMS Holcombe (L 56)
Escort destroyer of the Hunt (Type III) class
|Navy||The Royal Navy|
|Class||Hunt (Type III)|
|Built by||A. Stephen & Sons Ltd. (Glasgow, Scotland)|
|Ordered||28 Jul 1940|
|Laid down||3 Mar 1941|
|Launched||14 Apr 1942|
|Commissioned||17 Sep 1942|
|Lost||12 Dec 1943|
|Loss position||37° 20'N, 5° 30'E|
At 1445hours on 12 December 1943, HMS Holcombe (Lt. Frank Maclear Graves, RN) was hit by a Gnat torpedo from the German submarine U-593 and sank north-east of Bougie, Algeria in position 37º20'N, 05º30'E. 83 members of her crew went down with the ship. The survivors were picked up by the US destroyer USS Niblack.
Earlier that day, the U-boat had sunk her sistership HMS Tynedale.
Hit by U-boat
|U-boat Attack||See our U-boat attack entry for the HMS Holcombe|
Commands listed for HMS Holcombe (L 56)
Please note that we're still working on this section.
|1||Lt.Cdr. Sidney Hugh Pinchin, DSC, RN||20 Jun 1942||16 Aug 1943|
|2||Lt. Frank Maclear Graves, RN||16 Aug 1943||12 Dec 1943|
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Notable events involving Holcombe include:
22 Sep 1942
HMS H 34 (Lt. J.P.H. Oakley, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Oribi (Cdr. J.E.H. McBeath, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) and HMS Holcombe (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Pinchin, DSC, RN). (1)
1 Oct 1942
HMS H 34 (Lt. J.P.H. Oakley, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Holcombe (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Pinchin, DSC, RN), HMS Obdurate (Lt.Cdr. C.E.L. Sclater, DSO, RN), HMS Martin (Cdr. C.R.P. Thomson, DSO, RN) and HMS Escapade (Cdr. E.N.V. Currey, DSC, RN). (2)
7 Oct 1942
HMS Renown (Capt. C.S. Daniel, CBE, DSO, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Escapade (Cdr. E.N.V. Currey, DSC, RN), HrMs Isaac Sweers (Capt. W. Harmsen, RNN) and the escort destroyer HMS Holcombe (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Pinchin, DSC, RN). (3)
14 Dec 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Freetown together with HMS Bridgewater (Cdr. (retired) N.W.H. Weekes, OBE, RN), HMS Armeria (Lt. M. Todd, RNR) and HMS Holcombe (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Pinchin, DSC, RN). (4)
24 Dec 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Freetown together with HMS Holcombe (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Pinchin, DSC, RN), HMS Hydrangea (A/Lt.Cdr. J.E. Woolfenden, RD, RNR) and HMS ML 289 (T/Lt. S.E. Slater, RNVR). (4)
14 Apr 1943
In the morning of the 14th, the battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. G.H.E. Russell, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral A.U. Willis, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Rodney (Capt. J.W. Rivett-Carnac, DSC, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN), light cruiser HMS Newfoundland (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN), destroyers HMS Laforey (Capt. R.M.J. Hutton, DSO, RN), HMS Lookout (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Forman, DSC, RN), HMS Loyal (Lt.Cdr. H.E.F. Tweedie, DSC, RN), HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Sinclair, RN), HMS Velox (Lt. G.B. Barstow, RN), escort destroyers HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), HMS Holcombe (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Pinchin, DSC, RN), HMS Liddesdale (Lt.Cdr. A.A. Mackenzie, RNR), HMS Tynedale (Lt. J.J.S. Yorke, DSC, RN) and RHS Adrias (Cdr. I. Toumbas).
They arrived at Gibraltar in the morning of the 15th. En-route, various exercises had been carried out. (5)
- ADM 173/17241
- ADM 173/17242
- ADM 53/116528
- ADM 173/17529
- ADM 53/117516 + ADM 53/118251 + ADM 199/638 + ADM 199/767
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.
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