Allied Warships

HMS Brecon (L 76)

Escort destroyer of the Hunt (Type IV) class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeEscort destroyer
ClassHunt (Type IV) 
PennantL 76 
Built byThornycroft (Southampton, U.K.) 
Ordered28 Jul 1940 
Laid down27 Feb 1941 
Launched27 Jun 1942 
Commissioned18 Dec 1942 
End service 
History

Scrapped on 27 September 1962.

 

Commands listed for HMS Brecon (L 76)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Terence Desmond Herrick, DSC, RN16 Nov 1942Jan 1944
2Lt. Nigel Robert Harley Rodney, RNJan 1944early 1946

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Notable events involving Brecon include:


9 Jan 1943
HrMs O 15 (Lt. A.J. Schouwenaar, RNN) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN), HMS Middleton (Lt. C.S. Battersby, RN), HMS Offa (Cdr. R.A. Ewing, DSC, RN) and HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN). (1)

11 Jan 1943
HrMs O 15 (Lt. A.J. Schouwenaar, RNN) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Middleton (Lt. C.S. Battersby, RN), HMS Easton (Lt. C.W. Malins, DSC, RN) and HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN). (1)

13 Jan 1943
HrMs O 15 (Lt. A.J. Schouwenaar, RNN) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN) and ORP Orkan (Cdr. S. Hryniewiecki, ORP). (1)

14 Jan 1943
HrMs O 15 (Lt. A.J. Schouwenaar, RNN) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMCS Iroquois (Cdr. W.B.L. Holms, RCN). (1)

18 Jan 1943
HrMs O 15 (Lt. A.J. Schouwenaar, RNN) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN) and HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN). (1)

16 Mar 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Campbell, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, DSO, RN) and HMS Panther (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Jocelyn, RN). (2)

17 Mar 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Echo (Lt. R.H.C. Wyld, RN), HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN) and two ML's. (2)

20 Mar 1943
The battleship HMS Anson (Capt. H.R.G. Kinahan, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral Sir B. Fraser, CB, KBE, RN), heavy cruiser HMS Kent (Capt. A.E.M.B. Cunninghame-Graham, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral L.H.K. Hamilton, CB, DSO and Bar, RN), light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN) and the destroyers ORP Piorun (Cdr. T. Gorazdowski), HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, DSO, RN) and HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Walmsley, DSC, RN) departed Hvalfjord for Scapa Flow. En route various exercises were to be carried out with a force proceeding from Scapa Flow to Hvalfjord.

The ' opposing force ' was made up of the battleship HMS Howe (Capt. C.H.L. Woodhouse, CB, RN), light cruisers HMS Belfast (Capt. F.R. Parham, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.L. Burnett, CB, OBE, RN), HMS Glasgow (Capt. E.M. Evans-Lombe, RN), destroyers HMS Intrepid (Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN), HMS Echo (Lt. R.H.C. Wyld, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN) which had departed Scapa Flow for Hvalfjord also on the 20th. (3)

22 Mar 1943
HMS Howe (Capt. C.H.L. Woodhouse, CB, RN), HMS Belfast (Capt. F.R. Parham, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.L. Burnett, CB, OBE, RN), HMS Glasgow (Capt. E.M. Evans-Lombe, RN), HMS Intrepid (Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN), HMS Echo (Lt. R.H.C. Wyld, RN) and HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN) arrived at Hvalfjord from Scapa Flow. (4)

13 Apr 1943
HrMs O 14 (Lt.Cdr. H.A.W. Goossens, RNN) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Seagull (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Pollock, RN), HMS Active (Lt.Cdr. P.G. Merriman, RN) and HMS Stevenstone (Lt. P.B.N. Lewis, DSC, RN). (5)

15 Apr 1943
The battleship HMS Anson (Commodore H.R.G. Kinahan, CBE, RN) conducted gunnery exercises off Scapa Flow during which she was escorted by the destroyer HMS Troubridge (Capt. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Stevenstone (Lt. P.B.N. Lewis, DSC, RN) and HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN). (6)

16 Apr 1943
HMS Anson (Commodore H.R.G. Kinahan, CBE, RN) conducted gunnery exercises off Scapa Flow. During the exercises HMS Anson was escorted by three destroyers / escort destroyers. [These were possibly the destroyer HMS Tuscan (Lt.Cdr. G.I.M. Balfour, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Brissenden (Lt. D.C. Beatty, RN).] (6)

22 Apr 1943
The battleship HMS Howe (Capt. C.H.L. Woodhouse, CB, RN) and the light cruiser HMS Glasgow (Capt. E.M. Evans-Lombe, RN) conducted exercises off Hvalfjord. During the exercises HMS Howe was escorted by the escort destroyers HMS Blankney (Lt.Cdr. D.H.R. Bromley, RN), HMS Middleton (Lt. C.S. Battersby, RN) and HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN). (7)

27 Apr 1943
Around 2000B/27, the battleship HMS Anson (Commodore H.R.G. Kinahan, CBE, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. G.T. Philip, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMS Jamaica (Capt. J.L. Storey, DSO, RN), AA cruiser HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Milne (Capt. I.M.R. Campbell, DSO, RN), HMS Troubridge (Capt. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN), HMS Intrepid (Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN), HMS Fury (Cdr. C.H. Campbell, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Echo (Lt. R.H.C. Wyld, RN) and HMS Active (Lt.Cdr. P.G. Merriman, RN) departed Scapa Flow for exercise XCJ and after which most of the ships were to proceed to Hvalfjord.

Around 1020A/28, the battleship HMS Howe (Capt. C.H.L. Woodhouse, CB, RN), light cruiser HMS Glasgow (Capt. E.M. Evans-Lombe, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Blankney (Lt.Cdr. D.H.R. Bromley, RN), HMS Middleton (Lt. C.S. Battersby, RN) and HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN) departed Hvalfjord for exercise XCJ and then onwards to Scapa Flow.

Exercise XCJ was carried out between around 0800B/29 and 1215B/29 when the two groups met.

On completion of the exercises HMS Howe, HMS Furious, HMS Glasgow, HMS Scylla, HMS Troubridge, HMS Fury, HMS Active, HMS Blankney, HMS Middleton and HMS Brecon set course for Scapa Flow where they arrived around 0620B/30.

HMS Anson, HMS Jamaica, HMS Milne, HMS Intrepid and HMS Echo continued on to Hvalfjord where they arrived around 0945A/30. (8)

5 May 1943
With her refit completed, the battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN), departed Plymouth around 1100B/5 for Scapa Flow. She is escorted by the destroyers ORP Orkan (Cdr. S. Hryniewiecki), ORP Piorun (Cdr. S.T. Dzienisiewicz) and the escort destroyer HMS Wensleydale (Lt. W.P. Goodfellow, RNVR).

Around 1130B/5, the destroyer HMS Tumult (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN), HMS Blankney (Lt.Cdr. D.H.R. Bromley, RN) and HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN) joined and the original escort parted company to return to Plymouth.

HMS Valiant, HMS Tumult, HMS Blankney and HMS Brecon arrived at Scapa Flow around 0730B/7. (9)

8 May 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Tumult (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN), HMS Tyrian (Cdr. C.W. Greening, RN), HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Brissenden (Lt. D.C. Beatty, RN). (10)

14 May 1943
At 0340 hours, HrMs O 10 (Lt.Cdr. Baron D.T. Mackay, RNN), was spotted by a Catalina that was sent out to search for her. Around 0600 hours HMS Chiddingfold (Lt. T.M. Dorrien-Smith, RN) came in sight. Late in the morning they were joined by HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Brissenden (Lt. D.C. Beatty, RN) and HMS Celia (T/Lt. L.B. Merrick, RNR). HMS Brecon then took O 10 in tow. Around 1600 hours HMS Halcyon (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Corbet-Singleton, RN) arrived which took over the tow. (11)

18 May 1943
In the evening, the battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) conducted gunnery exercises off Scapa Flow during which she was escorted by the escort destroyers HMS Middleton (Lt. C.S. Battersby, RN), HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Brissenden (Lt. D.C. Beatty, RN). (9)

20 May 1943
During 20/21 May 1943, the battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow during which she was escorted by the destroyers HMS Obedient (Lt.Cdr. H. Unwin, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Mahratta (Lt.Cdr. E.A.F. Drought, DSC, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN). (9)

21 Jun 1943

Combined convoy WS 31 / KMS 17.

This combined convoy was formed off Oversay on 21 June 1943. The convoy was divided into convoys WS 30 and KMS 15 at sea on 26 June 1943.

The combined convoy was made up of the following (troop) transports; Britannic (British, 26943 GRT, built 1930), City of Lincoln (British, 8039 GRT, built 1938), Clan Macarthur (British, 10528 GRT, built 1936), Clan Macaulay (British, 10492 GRT, built 1936), Cristobal (American, 10021 GRT, built 1939), General George W. Goethals (American, 12093 GRT, built 1942), John Ericsson (American, 16552 GRT, built 1928), J.W. McAndrew (American, 7997 GRT, built 1940), Largs Bay (British, 14182 GRT, built 192), Rangitiki (British, 16698 GRT, built 1928), Samaria (British, 19597 GRT, built 1921), Santa Rosa (American, 9135 GRT, built 1932), Silverteak (British, 6770 GRT, built 1930), Stratheden (British, 23722 GRT, built 1937) and Tamaroa (British, 12405 GRT, built 1922).

Also the netlayer HMS Guardian (Capt.(Retd.) H.A.C. Lane, OBE, RN) was part of the convoy.

After assembly of Oversay the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Uganda (Capt. W.G. Andrewes, RN), destroyers HMS Arrow (Lt.Cdr. W.W. Fitzroy, RN), HMS Amazon (Lt.Cdr. D.H.P. Gardiner, DSC, RN), HMS Witherington (Lt.Cdr. R.B.S. Tennant, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Viceroy (Lt. T.F. Hallifax, RN), HMS Wallace (Lt. D. Carson, RN), HMS Woolston (Lt. F.W. Hawkins, RN), HMS Hambledon (Lt.Cdr. G.W. McKendrick, RN), HMS Mendip (Capt. C.R.L. Parry, RN), HMS Blankney (Lt.Cdr. D.H.R. Bromley, RN), HMS Blencathra (Lt. E.G. Warren, RN), HMS Ledbury (Lt. D.R.N. Murdoch, RN), HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Brissenden (Lt. D.C. Beatty, RN).

On 25 June HMS Arrow and HMS Amazon parted company with the combined convoy to proceed to Casablanca to fuel. They arrived at Casablanca around 1730A/25.

Around 1730B/25, the destroyers HMS Foxhound (Cdr. C.J. Wynne-Edwards, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. E.J. Lee, RN) and escort destroyer HMS Blackmore (Lt. H.T. Harrel, RN) were to join the combined convoy in position 36°05'N, 07°54'W. They had departed Gibraltar earlier on the 25th.

When these destroyers joined the destroyer HMS Witherington and escort destroyer HMS Ledbury were to proceed to Casablanca.

Also the convoy was to split. Convoy KMF 17, made up of the transports Britannic, Cristobal, J.W. McAndrew, Largs Bay, Samaria, Santa Rosa, Silverteak, Tamaroa and the netlayer HMS Guardian. They were escorted by the light cruiser HMS Uganada and the escort destroyers HMS Viceroy, HMS Wallace, HMS Woolston, HMS Hambledon, HMS Mendip, HMS Blankney, HMS Blencathra, HMS Brecon and HMS Brissenden proceeded towards the Mediterranean.

On the 26th, HMS Uganda, HMS Guardian, HMS Viceroy and one of the transports arrived at Gibraltar.

On the 27th, HMS Uganda, which apparently had rejoined the convoy after a brief stopover at Gibraltar, 7 of the transports and HMS Wallace, HMS Woolston, HMS Hambledon, HMS Mendip, HMS Blankney, HMS Blencathra, HMS Brecon and HMS Brissenden arrived at Algiers.

Meanwhile Convoy WS 31, made up of the transports City of Lincoln, Clan Macarthur, Clan Macaulay, General George W. Goethals, John Ericsson, Stratheden and Tamaroa continued on to Freetown.

The convoy was now escorted by the destroyers HMS Foxhound, HMS Bulldog and the escort destroyer HMS Blackmore.

The destroyer HMS Amazon also rejoined after fuelling at Casablanca. It had originally been the intention that HMS Arrow was also to rejoin the convoy but while at Casablanca orders had been received that she was to proceed to Gibraltar instead.

On 1 July the French armed merchant cruiser Quercy joined the convoy.

Convoy WS 31 arrived at Freetown on 4 July 1943.

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Convoy WS 31 departed Freetown on 6 July 1943.

It was now made up of the transports City of Lincoln, Clan Macarthur, Clan Macaulay, General George W. Goethals, John Ericsson, Rangitiki, Stirling Castle (British, 25550 GRT, built 1936) and Stratheden.

The convoy was now escorted by the light cruiser HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN), armed merchant cruisers HMS Corfu (Capt.(Retd.) C.C. Bell, DSO, RN), Quercy, destroyers HMS Foxhound, HMS Bulldog, HMS Wolverine (Lt. I.M. Clegg, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Blackmore.

in the early afternoon of the 7th, in approximate position 03°15'N, 14°54'W the Rangitiki was to be detached to proceed independently to Montevideo.

HMS Despatch was to arrived at Takoradi late in the afternoon of the 9th to fuel and after completion of this on the 10th she was to rejoin the convoy. HMS Wolverine also made a short call at Takoradi on the 10th to fuel and then rejoin the convoy.

On the 10th HMS Bulldog and HMS Blackmore were detached to proceed to Lagos to fuel and then escort transports from there to join the convoy. HMS Corfu was also detached on the 10th to proceed to Ascencion after first calling at Takoradi.

The destroyer HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. S.R.J. Woods, RNR) and corvette HMS Armeria (Lt. M. Todd, RNR) had joined the convoy on the 10th.

On the 11th the transports Arawa (British, 14462 GRT, built 1922), Highland Brigade (British, 14134 GRT, built 1929), Highland Monarch (British, 14139 GRT, built 1928) and Staffordshire (British, 10683 GRT, built 1929) joined the convoy coming from Lagos. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Bulldog and the escort destroyer HMS Blackmore.

When these ships joined HMS Foxhound, HMS Witch and HMS Armeria then parted company and proceeded to Lagos arriving there also on the 11th.

HMS Despatch and HMS Rapid arrived at Pointe Noire to fuel at 0700Z/14. They departed again to rejoin the convoy at 1430Z/14.

Meanwhile the destroyers HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Farrington, RN) and HMS Redoubt (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Ropner, DSO, RN) had departed Pointe Noire at 0900Z/14 to join the convoy.

At 1800Z/14, the Quercy, HMS Bulldog and HMS Blackmore arrived at Pointe Noire.

At 0600Z/15, HMS Wolverine arrived at Pointe Noire.

The convoy arrived at Capetown on 21 July 1943. HMS Despatch, HMS Quadrant, HMS Rapid and HMS Redoubt then continued on to Simonstown arriving there later the same day.

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A much reduced convoy WS 31 departed Capetown on 26 July 1943. It was now made up of the transports Arawa, Highland Brigade, Highland Monarch, Staffordshire, Stirling Castle and Stratheden. The convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Despatch and the destroyers HMS Quadrant and HMS Redoubt.

They were relieved near Mauritius on 4 August 1943 by the heavy cruiser HMS Frobisher (Capt. J.F.W. Mudford, RN) which took the convoy to Bombay where it arrived on 13 August 1943.

HMS Despatch, HMS Quadrant and HMS Redoubt arrived at Mauritius on 5 August 1943.

11 Jul 1943
The 1st and 2nd divisions of ' Force H ', the main cover force for Operation Husky, continue to operate in the Ionian Sea near Malta.

The ' 1st Division ', was made up of the battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. G.H.E. Russell, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral A.U. Willis, KCB, DSO, RN), HMS Rodney (Rear-Admiral. J.W. Rivett-Carnac, DSC, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Indomitable (Capt. G. Grantham, CB, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C. Moody, RN), light cruisers HMS Cleopatra (Capt. J.F. Stevens, RN), HMS Euryalus (Capt. E.W. Bush, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMS Troubridge (Capt. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN), HMS Tumult (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN), HMS Tyrian (Cdr. C.W. Greening, RN), HMS Quilliam (Capt. S.H. Carlill, DSO, RN), HMS Quail (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Jenks, RN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN), HMS Petard (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Egan, RN), HMS Offa (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Leonard, RN) and ORP Piorun (Cdr. S.T. Dzienisiewicz).

The ' 2nd Division ' was made up of the battleships HMS Warspite (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.W.LaT. Bisset, RN), HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.K. Scott-Moncrieff, DSO, RN), HMS Fury (Cdr. C.H. Campbell, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Echo (Lt. R.H.C. Wyld, RN), HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. E. Mack, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Inglefield (Cdr. C.F.H. Churchill, RN), HMS Intrepid (Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN) and RHS Vasilissa Olga (Lt.Cdr. G. Blessas).

' Force R ', the battlefleet oiling force, departed Benghazi to rendezvous with ' Force H '. ' Force R ' was made up of the RFA tankers Pearleaf (5911 GRT, built 1917) and Cedardale (8132 GRT, built 1939). These tankers were escorted by the corvettes HMS Delphinium (Cdr. V.F. Smith, DSO, RD, RNR), the A/S trawler HMS Wolborough (T/Lt. H.S. May, RNR), A/S whalers HMSAS Protea (Lt. G. Burn-Wood, SANF), HMSAS Southern Isles (Lt. M.R.T. Terry-Lloyd, SANF) and HMSAS Southern Sea (Lt. W.L. Graham, SANF).

Around 0700B/10, ' Force Q ', made up of the light cruisers HMS Aurora (Commodore W.G. Agnew, CB, RN), HMS Penelope (Capt. G.D. Belben, DSC, AM, RN) and the destroyers HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN) and HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. K.W. Michell, RN) rejoined after a patrol to the east of Sicily.

At 0900B/11, HMS Aurora and HMS Penelope parted company to proceed to Malta to refuel. They rejoined around 2000B/11.

Around 1530B/11, HMS Petard which was required for other duties was relieved by the escort destroyer HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN).

Around 1700B/11, ' Force Q ', now made up of the light cruisers HMS Cleopatra, HMS Euryalus and the destroyers HMS Ilex and HMS Echo parted company to patrol to the east of Sicily during the night. They were to proceed to Malta to refuel upon completion of their patrol.

' Force R ' departed Benghazi on this day to rejoin. (12)

12 Jul 1943
Between about 0900B/12 and 1315B/12, the capital ships of ' Force H, 1st Division ', which made up of the battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. G.H.E. Russell, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral A.U. Willis, KCB, DSO, RN), HMS Rodney (Rear-Admiral. J.W. Rivett-Carnac, DSC, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Indomitable (Capt. G. Grantham, CB, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C. Moody, RN), destroyers HMS Troubridge (Capt. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN), HMS Tumult (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN), HMS Tyrian (Cdr. C.W. Greening, RN), HMS Quilliam (Capt. S.H. Carlill, DSO, RN), HMS Quail (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Jenks, RN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN) and ORP Piorun (Cdr. S.T. Dzienisiewicz) and the escort destoyer HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN), anchored off Valetta, Malta while their escorting destroyers went into the harbour to fuel.

When they departed from Malta ' Force H, 2nd division was approaching to do the same as the 1st division. The second division at that time made up of the battleships HMS Warspite (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.W.LaT. Bisset, RN), HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.K. Scott-Moncrieff, DSO, RN), HMS Fury (Cdr. C.H. Campbell, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. E. Mack, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Inglefield (Cdr. C.F.H. Churchill, RN), HMS Intrepid (Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN), HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. K.W. Michell, RN) and RHS Vasilissa Olga (Lt.Cdr. G. Blessas). The ' 2nd Division 'departed Malta again around 1930B/12.

In the meantime the light cruisers HMS Aurora (Commodore W.G. Agnew, CB, RN), HMS Penelope (Capt. G.D. Belben, DSC, AM, RN), which had fuelled the previous day, remained underway near Malta.

Around 1715B/12, ' Force Q ', still made up of light cruisers HMS Cleopatra (Capt. J.F. Stevens, RN), HMS Euryalus (Capt. E.W. Bush, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN) and HMS Echo (Lt. R.H.C. Wyld, RN), departed Malta to operate off the east coast of Sicily during the night. (12)

13 Jul 1943
The 1st and 2nd divisions of ' Force H ', the main cover force for Operation Husky, were still operating in the Ionian Sea near Malta.

The ' 1st Division ', was made up of the battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. G.H.E. Russell, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral A.U. Willis, KCB, DSO, RN), HMS Rodney (Rear-Admiral. J.W. Rivett-Carnac, DSC, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Indomitable (Capt. G. Grantham, CB, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C. Moody, RN), light cruisers HMS Aurora (Commodore W.G. Agnew, CB, RN), HMS Penelope (Capt. G.D. Belben, DSC, AM, RN) and the destroyers HMS Troubridge (Capt. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN), HMS Tumult (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN), HMS Tyrian (Cdr. C.W. Greening, RN), HMS Quilliam (Capt. S.H. Carlill, DSO, RN), HMS Quail (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Jenks, RN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN), HMS Offa (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Leonard, RN), ORP Piorun (Cdr. S.T. Dzienisiewicz) and the escort destroyer HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN). At dawn HMS Petard (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Egan, RN) relieved HMS Brecon which was then detached to Malta.

The ' 2nd Division ' was made up of the battleships HMS Warspite (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.W.LaT. Bisset, RN), HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.K. Scott-Moncrieff, DSO, RN), HMS Fury (Cdr. C.H. Campbell, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. E. Mack, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Inglefield (Cdr. C.F.H. Churchill, RN), HMS Intrepid (Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN), HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. K.W. Michell, RN) and RHS Vasilissa Olga (Lt.Cdr. G. Blessas).

' Force Q ', still made up of light cruisers HMS Cleopatra (Capt. J.F. Stevens, RN), HMS Euryalus (Capt. E.W. Bush, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN) and HMS Echo (Lt. R.H.C. Wyld, RN) was operating to the east of Sicily. At 0420B/13, when HMS Euryalus detected a surface contact at a range of 10200 yards. The squadron then proceeded as to get into a favourable position relative to the moon. The radar reports, continuing, at 0432B/13, HMS Euryalus fired starshell at the target, which was now at a range of 5800 yards, which in the starshell's illumintation was seen to be a submarine on the surface. The squadron was immediately turned 90° to starboard and HMS Ilex and HMS Echo were detached to hunt the enemy. They had orders to rejoin an hour later if not in contact. At 0535B/13, when in position 37°25'N, 16°07'E, HMS Ilex obtained a firm contact about 700 yards away on her starboard bow. HMS Ilex made six depth charge attacks while HMS Echo made three attacks. After HMS Echo's last attack the Italian submarine Nereide surfaced at 0655B/13. Both destroyers immediately opened fire. HMS Echo scored a hit on the hull below the subvmarines conning tower and while passing ahead of the enemy she dropped four depth charges set to 50 feet. The Italian crew began to jump overboard and the Italian submarine sank within a minute or so after surfacing. HMS Echo picked up five officers and fifteen men, including the Commanding Officer. HMS Ilex picked up seven men. The destroyers then left the area at high speed and at 0812B/13 they rejoined HMS Cleopatra and HMS Euryalus. ' Force Q ' then joined ' Force H '.

At 1715B/13, ' Force Q ' parted company for another patrol during the night. ' Force Q ' was now made up of HMS Cleopatra, HMS Euryalus, HMS Quilliam and HMS Quail.

At 1820B/13, the ' 1st Division' and ' 2nd Division ' parted company. At 1925B/13, a requist came in for a battleship bombardment of Catania airport. The ' 2nd Division ' was closest to Catania and proceeded at 20 knots to comply. Course was reversed however when the bombardment was later cancelled. (12)

21 Jan 1944
A large amphibious force called ' Peter Force ' was to land north of Anzio on 22 January. To provide cover for this force the light cruiser HMS Orion (Capt. J.P. Gornall, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.M. Mansfield, DSC, RN), HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN), AA ship HMS Ulster Queen (A/Capt. M.H.J. Bennett, RD, RNR), destroyers HMS Laforey (Capt. H.T. Armstrong, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Loyal (Lt.Cdr. H.E.F. Tweedie, DSC, RN), HMS Jervis (Capt. H.P. Henderson, RN), HMS Janus (Lt.Cdr. W.B.R. Morrison, RN), HMS Tenacious (Lt.Cdr. D.F. Townsend, RN), HMS Urchin (Lt.Cdr. J.T.B. Birch, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Kempenfelt (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Marjoribanks, RN), escort destroyers HMS Beaufort (Lt. J.R.L. Moore, RN), HMS Tetcott (Lt. A.F. Harkness, DSC, OBE, RNR), HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN) and 6 minesweepers were deployed. Most of these ships, if not all, departed Naples on this day.

[Note; Further research is required in the future.]

10 Mar 1944
German U-boat U-450 was sunk in the western Mediterranean south of Ostia, in position 41°11'N, 12°27'E, by depth charges from the British escort destroyers HMS Blankney (Lt.Cdr. D.H.R. Bromley, RN), HMS Blencathra (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Warren, RN), HMS Brecon (Lt. N.R.H. Rodney, RN), HMS Exmoor (Lt. D.D. Howson, RN) and the US destroyer USS Madison (Cdr. D.A. Stuart, USN).

18 Sep 1944
On 18 September 1944 on 7pm, a lookout on ORP Garland spotted an enemy U-boat. The U-boat was promptly attacked, but without any result. Later four British destroyers, HMS Troubridge, HMS Terpsichore, HMS Brecon and HMS Zetland, joined the Polish destroyer and started the hunting which lasted for 10 hours. On 6am the following day the U-boat surfaced and was spotted again by the Polish destroyer, this time the attack, 10 depth-charges, was deadly. German U-boat U-407 was sunk. The survivors were picked up by Garland as war prisoners. (13)

29 Nov 1944
During 29/30 November 1944, the battleship HMS King George V (Capt. T.E. Halsey, DSO, RN) conducted exercises off Alexandria / Ras-el-Tin.

The escort destroyers HMS Exmoor (Lt. D.D. Howson, RN), HMS Liddesdale (Lt. C.J. Bateman, RN) and HMS Brecon (Lt. N.R.H. Rodney, RN) were with the battleship in the evening and possibly during the entire time she was out exercising. (14)

Sources

  1. File 2.12.03.6397 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  2. ADM 173/18389
  3. ADM 53/116898 + ADM 53/117024 + ADM 53/117691 + ADM 199/632
  4. ADM 53/117011 + ADM 53/117573 + ADM 53/117631 + ADM 199/632
  5. File 2.12.03.6390 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  6. ADM 53/116899
  7. ADM 53/117574 + ADM 53/117632
  8. ADM 53/116899 + ADM 53/117552 + ADM 53/117574 + ADM 53/117632 + ADM 53/117677 + ADM 53/118507 + ADM 199/632
  9. ADM 53/118672
  10. ADM 173/18316
  11. ADM 199/1856
  12. ADM 199/641 + ADM 234/356
  13. Personal communication
  14. ADM 53/119674

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


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