Allied Warships

HMS Camellia (K 31)

Corvette of the Flower class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeCorvette
ClassFlower 
PennantK 31 
Built byHarland & Wolff Ltd. (Belfast, Northern Ireland) 
Ordered19 Sep 1939 
Laid down14 Nov 1939 
Launched4 May 1940 
Commissioned18 Jun 1940 
End service 
History

HMS Camellia is not listed as active unit in the October 1945 Navy List

Sold on 9 August 1946.
Became the merchantile Hetty W. Vinke in 1948.

 

Commands listed for HMS Camellia (K 31)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Eric Morrison Mackay, RNRMay 194031 Dec 1940
2Lt.Cdr. Alfred Ernest Willmott, RNR31 Dec 194023 May 1942
3T/Lt. Reginald Frederick James Maberley, RNVR23 May 19427 Dec 1943
4T/A/Lt.Cdr. Archie Herbert Lyons, RNVR7 Dec 194329 Jul 1944
5T/Lt. George Walter Charlton, DSC, RNR29 Jul 1944mid 1945

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Notable events involving Camellia include:


25 Jun 1940
HrMs O 9 (Lt. H.A.W. Goossens, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Portland with HMS Camellia (Lt.Cdr. E.M. Mackay, RNR) and HMS Hurricane (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Simms, RN). (1)

27 Jun 1940
HrMs O 9 (Lt. H.A.W. Goossens, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Portland with HMS Camellia (Lt.Cdr. E.M. Mackay, RNR) and HMS Hambledon (Cdr. S.H. Carlill, RN). (1)

28 Jun 1940
HrMs O 9 (Lt. H.A.W. Goossens, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Portland with HMS Camellia (Lt.Cdr. E.M. Mackay, RNR) and HMS Hertfordshire (Skr. A.H. Sandford, RNR). (1)

4 Feb 1941
HMS Camellia (Lt.Cdr. A.E. Willmot, RNR) picks up 5 survivors from the Norwegian merchant Ringhorn that was torpedoed and sunk south of Iceland in position 55°46'N, 22°36'W by German U-boat U-52.

1 Mar 1941

Convoy SL 67.

This convoy departed Freetown on 1 March 1941 and arrived at Liverpool on 26 March 1941.

This convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Alphard (Dutch, 5483 GRT, built 1937), Anadyr (British, 5321 GRT, built 1930), Ashworth (British, 5227 GRT, built 1920), Banffshire (British, 6479 GRT, built 1912), Baron Belhaven (British, 6591 GRT, built 1925), Baron Cawdor (British, 3638 GRT, built 1935), Beaconstreet (Detached to Gibraltar on 11 March) (British, 7467 GRT, built 1927), Bolton Castle (British, 5203 GRT, built 1939), British Captain (British (tanker), 6968 GRT, built 1923), British Diligence (British (tanker), 8408 GRT, built 1937), British Hope (Detached to Gibraltar on 11 March) (British (tanker), 6951 GRT, built 1928), British Integrity (British (tankr), 8412 GRT, built 1927), British Security (British (tanker), 8470 GRT, built 1937), Celtic Monarch (British, 5824 GRT, built 1929), City of Cairo (British, 8034 GRT, built 1915), City of Dunkirk (British, 5861 GRT, built 1912), City of Kimberley (British, 6169 GRT, built 1925), City of Nagpur (British, 10146 GRT, built 1922), City of Rangoon (British, 6635 GRT, built 1914), Clan Macbean (British, 5000 GRT, built 1918), Copeland (British (rescue vessel), 1526 GRT, built 1923), Deebank (British, 5060 GRT, built 1929), Defender (British, 8258 GRT, built 1915), Dunkwa (British, 4752 GRT, built 1927), Friesland (Dutch, 2662 GRT, built 1930), Godfrey B. Holt (British, 3585 GRT, built 1929), Guido (British, 3921 GRT, built 1920), Harmodius (British, 5229 GRT, built 1919), Harpefjell (Norwegian, 1333 GRT, built 1939), Helder (Dutch, 3629 GRT, built 1920), Henrik Ibsen (British, 4671 GRT, built 1906), Hindpool (British, 4897 GRT, built 1928), Inneroy (Norwegian (tanker), 8260 GRT, built 1936), King Edwin (British, 4536 GRT, built 1927), Lahore (British, 5304 GRT, built 1920), Llangollen (British, 5056 GRT, built 1928), Martaban (British, 4161 GRT, built 1934), Mendoza (British, 8233 GRT, built 1919), Nagina (British, 6551 GRT, built 1921), Nardana (British, 7974 GRT, built 1919), Nebraska (British, 8261 GRT, built 1920), Ogmore Castle (British, 2481 GRT, built 1919), Peisander (British, 6225 GRT, built 1925), Queen Anne (British, 4937 GRT, built 1937), Recorder (British, 2276 GRT, built 1902), Roxane (British (tanker), 7813 GRT, built 1929), Sansu (British, 5446 GRT, built 1939), Sire (British, 5664 GRT, built 1938), Solfonn (Norwegian (tanker), 9925 GRT, built 1939), Taxiarchis (Greek, 4221 GRT, built 1913), Tielbank (British, 5084 GRT, built 1937), Tunisia (British, 4337 GRT, built 1927), Turkistan (British, 6935 GRT, built 1939), Umberleigh (British, 4950 GRT, built 1927), Urbino (British, 5198 GRT, built 1918), Winsum (Dutch, 3224 GRT, built 1921) and Zamalek (British (rescue vessel), 1567 GRT, built 1921).

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Cicilia (Capt.(Retd.) V.B. Cardwell, OBE, RN), corvette HMS Asphodel (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) K.W. Stewart, RN) and the auxiliary A/S trawlers HMS Kelt (T/Lt. W.T. Hodson, RNVR), HMS Spaniard (Lt.Cdr. F.J. Webster, RNR) and HMS Turcoman (Skr. A.G. Day, RNR).

At 1700/3 the battleship HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.F. de Salis, RN) and HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, DSC and Bar, RN) joined the escort of the convoy.

At 1800/4 the three A/S trawlers parted company with the convoy.

In the early morning hours of 8 March 1941 the convoy was attacked by the German submarines U-105 and U-124. Five ships of the convoy were sunk, these were the Harmodius, Hindpool, Lahore, Tielbank and Nardana.

At 1330/8 HMS Forester, which was well to the west of the convoy, briefly sighted the German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau steaming towards the convoy. The German ships were also sighted around the same time by HMS Malaya's Swordfish aircraft. Following the report of the sighting HMS Malaya and HMS Faulknor left the convoy to join HMS Forester to put themselves between the convoy and the enemy.

At 1645/8 hours HMS Malaya and the Scharnhorst sighted each other and the German battlecruisers turned away being chased briefly by HMS Malaya and the destroyers. As Malaya's speed was much lower contact was soon lost and the battleship and the destroyers then returned to the convoy. At 1900 hours they rejoined the convoy

In the afteroon of March, 10th, the battlecruiser HMS Renown (Capt R.R. McGrigor, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral J.F. Somerville, KCB, DSO, RN) and aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal (Capt. C.S. Holland, RN) joined the escort of the convoy. HMS Malaya then parted company with the convoy and set course for Gibraltar.

At 1730/11, HMS Asphodel parted company with the convoy with the tankers Beaconstreet and British Hope which she then escorted to Gibraltar.

At 1000/13, HMS Faulknor and HMS Foresight parted company with the convoy and set course for Gibraltar.

At 1000/19, HMS Kenya (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, RN) joined the convoy to take over the escort. At 1600/19, HMS Renown, HMS Ark Royal and HMS Cilicia parted company with the convoy.

On 21 March the escort of the convoy was reinforced with the destroyers HMS Havelock (Cdr. E.H. Thomas, DSC, RN), HMS Hesperus (Lt.Cdr. A.A. Tait, RN), HMS Hurricane (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Simms, RN), HMS Veteran (Cdr. W.T. Couchman, OBE, RN), HMS Verity (Cdr. R.H. Mills, RN), HMS Wolsey (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Campbell, RN), HMS Salisbury (Lt.Cdr. H.M.R. Crichton, RN), HNoMS Mansfield (Cdr. F. Ulstrup, RNorN), the corvettes HMS Arbutus (T/Lt. A.L.W. Warren, RNR), HMS Camellia (Lt.Cdr. A.E. Willmott, RNR) and the catapult ship HMS Pegasus (Capt.(Retd.) P.G. Wodehouse, RN). HMS Kenya parted company with the convoy in the afternoon.

HMS Havelock and HMS Verity parted company with the convoy on 24 March as did HMS Veteran on the 25th.

7 Mar 1941
German U-boat U-70 was sunk south-east of Iceland, in position 60°15'N, 14°00'W, by British corvettes HMS Camellia (Lt.Cdr. A.E. Willmot, RNR) and HMS Arbutus (Lt.Cdr. H. Lloyd-Williams, RNVR).

HMS Camellia also picks up 37 survivors from the British tanker Athelbeach that was torpedoed and damaged by German U-boat U-70 and later torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-99 southeast of Iceland in position 60°30'N, 13°30'W.

2 Dec 1941
HMS H 34 (Lt. W.A. Phillimore, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Newmarket (Lt.Cdr. C.W. North, RN) and HMS Camellia (Lt.Cdr. A.E. Willmott, RNR). (2)

2 Feb 1944
HMS H 44 (Lt. P.N. Joyce, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Louis (A/Lt.Cdr. R. Johnston, RNR), HMS Camellia (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.H. Lyons, RNVR) and aircraft. (3)

3 Feb 1944
HMS H 44 (Lt. P.N. Joyce, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Camellia (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.H. Lyons, RNVR) and HMS Tavy (T/A/Lt.Cdr. F. Ardern, RNR). (3)

1 May 1944
HrMs O 15 (Lt. J.B.M.J. Maas, RNN) conducted A/S exercises off Campbeltown with HMS Camellia (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.H. Lyons, RNVR) and HMS Charlock (T/Lt. J.E.B. Healy, RNVR). (4)

20 Sep 1944
During 20/21 September 1944, HMS Unshaken (Lt. J.S. Pearce, RNR), conducted A/S exercises off Campbeltown together with HMS Camellia (T/Lt. G.W. Charlton, DSC, RNR), HMS Spaniel. Also a practice attack was carried out on HrMs O 15 (Lt. R.W. van Lynden, RNN). These exercises included night exercises. (5)

20 Sep 1944
HrMs O 15 (Lt. W.C.M. de Jonge van Ellemeet, RNN) conducted A/S exercises off Campbeltown with HMS Shemara (Cdr.(Retd.) H. Buckle, RN) and HMS Camellia (T/Lt. G.W. Charlton, DSC, RNR).

During the evening and the night she also conducted practice attacks on HMS Unshaken (Lt. J.S. Pearce, RNR). (6)

22 Sep 1944
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J.S. Pearce, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Campbeltown together with HMS Camellia (T/Lt. G.W. Charlton, DSC, RNR) and HMS Bedlington (Skr. A.W. Peak, RNR). (5)

24 Sep 1944
HMS Unshaken (Lt. J.S. Pearce, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Campbeltown together with HMS La Cordeliere (Lt.Cdr. A.J.G. Barff, RNR) and HMS Camellia (T/Lt. G.W. Charlton, DSC, RNR). (5)

26 Sep 1944
HMS H 50 (Lt. W.T.J. Fox, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Campbeltown with HMS La Cordeliere (Lt.Cdr. A.J.G. Barff, RNR) and HMS Camellia (T/Lt. G.W. Charlton, DSC, RNR). (7)

28 Sep 1944
HMS Torbay (Lt. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Campbeltown with HMS Shemara (Cdr.(Retd.) H. Buckle, RN) and HMS Camellia (T/Lt. G.W. Charlton, DSC, RNR). (8)

28 Sep 1944
HMS Torbay (Lt. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Campbeltown with HMS Shemara (Cdr.(Retd.) H. Buckle, RN) and HMS Camellia (T/Lt. G.W. Charlton, DSC, RNR). (8)

29 Sep 1944
HMS Upshot (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Campbeltown with HMS Shemara (Cdr.(Retd.) H. Buckle, RN) and HMS Camellia (T/Lt. G.W. Charlton, DSC, RNR). (9)

1 Oct 1944
HMS Upshot (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Campbeltown with HMS Shemara (Cdr.(Retd.) H. Buckle, RN) and HMS Camellia (T/Lt. G.W. Charlton, DSC, RNR). (10)

2 Oct 1944
HMS Upshot (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Campbeltown with HMS Shemara (Cdr.(Retd.) H. Buckle, RN) and HMS Camellia (T/Lt. G.W. Charlton, DSC, RNR). (10)

3 Oct 1944
HMS Upshot (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Campbeltown with HMS Shemara (Cdr.(Retd.) H. Buckle, RN) and HMS Camellia (T/Lt. G.W. Charlton, DSC, RNR). (10)

6 Oct 1944
HrMs O 15 (Lt. R.W. van Lynden, RNN) conducted A/S exercises off Campbeltown with HMS Spaniel and HMS Camellia (T/Lt. G.W. Charlton, DSC, RNR). (6)

Sources

  1. File 2.12.03.6365 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  2. ADM 173/16767
  3. ADM 173/18513
  4. File 2.12.03.6399 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  5. ADM 173/19250
  6. File 2.12.03.6400 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  7. ADM 173/18532
  8. ADM 173/19039
  9. ADM 199/19299
  10. ADM 199/19300

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


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