Allied Warships

HMS Sunflower (K 41)

Corvette of the Flower class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeCorvette
ClassFlower 
PennantK 41 
Built bySmiths Dock Co., Ltd. (South Bank-on-Tees, U.K.) 
Ordered31 Aug 1939 
Laid down24 May 1940 
Launched19 Aug 1940 
Commissioned25 Jan 1941 
End service 
History

HMS Sunflower is not listed as active unit in the July 1945 Navy List

Scrapped at Hayle in August 1947.

 

Commands listed for HMS Sunflower (K 41)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. John Treasure Jones, RNR18 Dec 194019 Feb 1943
2A/Lt.Cdr. James Plomer, RCNVR19 Feb 194320 Mar 1944
3T/A/Lt.Cdr. Leslie Hugh Stammers, RNVR20 Mar 194431 Jul 1944
4T/A/Lt.Cdr. Herbert Samuel May, RNR31 Jul 1944mid 1945

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Notable events involving Sunflower include:


9 Feb 1941

Convoy SL 65.

The bulk of this convoy departed Freetown on 10 February 1941 and arrived in U.K. waters on 8 March 1941.

Part of this convoy departed Freetown on day earlier, on 9 February 1941 and joined up with the main part of the convoy on 14 February 1941. This part of the convoy was known as convoy SLS [SL Slow] 65.

Convoy SLS 65 was made up of the following merchant vessels; Agios Vlasios (Greek, 2974 GRT, built 1918), Batna (British, 4399 GRT, built 1928), Baxtergate (British, 5531 GRT, built 1925), Camerata (British, 4875 GRT, built 1931), Deido (British, 3894 GRT, built 1928), Glaisdale (British, 3777 GRT, built 1929), Harmonic (British, 4558 GRT, built 1930), Hollinside (British, 4172 GRT, built 1930), Michael L. Embiricos (Greek, 5202 GRT, built 1918), Nevada II (British, 5693 GRT, built 1918), Ocean Coast (British, 1173 GRT, built 1935), Senta (Norwegian, 3785 GRT, built 1917), Trongate (British, 3979 GRT, built 1924), Wearpool (British, 4982 GRT, built 1936) and Zeeland (Dutch, 2776 GRT, built 1930).

SLS 65 had no escort.

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Convoy SL 65 was made up of the following merchant vessels; Belinda (Norwegian (tanker), 8325 GRT, built 1939), Belita (Norwegian (tanker), 6323 GRT, built 1933), Bencruachan (British, 5920 GRT, built 1928), Benvrackie (British, 6434 GRT, built 1922), Blairclova (British, 5083 GRT, built 1938), British Confidence (British (tanker), 8494 GRT, built 1936), British Endurance (British (tanker), 8406 GRT, built 1936), British Engineer (British (tanker), 6993 GRT, built 1922), British Governor (British (tanker), 6840 GRT, built 1926), British Renown (British (tanker), 6997 GRT, built 1928), British Workman (British (tanker), 6994 GRT, built 1922), Bur (Norwegian, 4343 GRT, built 1917), Chile (British, 6956 GRT, built 1915), City of Adelaide (British, 6528 GRT, built 1920), City of Canton (British, 6692 GRT, built 1916), City of Evansville (British, 6528 GRT, built 1922), City of Exeter (British, 9654 GRT, built 1914), City of Khios (British, 5574 GRT, built 1925), City of Ripon (British, 6368 GRT, built 1915), City of Winchester (British, 7120 GRT, built 1917), City of Worcester (British, 5469 GRT, built 1927), Cliftonhall (British, 5063 GRT, built 1938), Cordillera (British, 6865 GRT, built 1920), David Livingstone (British, 5013 GRT, built 1930), Dunstan (British, 5149 GRT, built 1925), Eskbank (British, 5137 GRT, built 1937), Fernlane (Norwegian, 4310 GRT, built 1927), Glenfinlas (British, 7479 GRT, built 1917), John Holt (British, 4975 GRT, built 1938), Kalewa (British, 4389 GRT, built 1940), Kana (British, 2783 GRT, built 1929), Marquesa (British, 8979 GRT, built 1918), Matadian (British, 4275 GRT, built 1936), Medon (British, 5444 GRT, built 1923), Morgenen (Norwegian (tanker), 7093 GRT, built 1930), Nariva (British, 8714 GRT, built 1920), Nela (British, 7220 GRT, built 1916), Polartank (Norwegian (tanker), 6356 GRT, built 1930), Port Adelaide (British, 8422 GRT, built 1919), Southern Princess (British (tanker), 12156 GRT, built 1915), Strategist (British, 6255 GRT, built 1937), Tacoma Star (British, 7924 GRT, built 1919), Tactician (British, 5996 GRT, built 1928), Thistlegorm (British, 4898 GRT, built 1940), Thornliebank (British, 5569 GRT, built 1939), Tiba (Dutch, 5239 GRT, built 1938), Ville d'Amiens (British, 6975 GRT, built 1924), Wayfarer (British, 5068 GRT, built 1925) and Zamalek (British (rescue ship), 1567 GRT, built 1921).]

[It is possible some of these ships did not sail from Freetown but joined the convoy at sea.]

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Bulolo (Capt.(Retd.) R.L. Hamer, RN) and the sloop HMS Milford (Capt.(Retd.) S.K. Smyth, RN).

At 0900N/11, the corvettes HMS Asphodel (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) K.W. Stewart, RN) and HMS Calendula (Lt.Cdr. A.D. Bruford, RNVR).

On 13 February 1941, the light cruiser HMS Kenya (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.M. Burrough, CB, RN) joined SLS 65 having departed Freetown on 11 February 1941.

Around 0900N/14, convoy SLS 65 merged with convoy SL 65.

At 1820N/14, HMS Milford, HMS Asphodel and HMS Calendula parted company with the convoy to return to Freetown.

At 1100D/20, the light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. C.A.A. Larcom, RN) joined the convoy escort. HMS Kenya then parted company to proceed to Gibraltar.

HMS Sheffield parted company with the convoy in the afternoon of 1 March 1941 and returned to Gibraltar.

At 1300D/2, the light cruiser HMS Dido (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, RN) joined the convoy escort. HMS Bulolo then parted company with the convoy to proceed to the Clyde.

Ships from the local A/S escort commenced to join on 4 March, these were the destroyers HMS Vanoc (Lt.Cdr. J.G.W. Deneys, RN), HMS Volunteer (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN), HMS Walker (Cdr. D.G.F.W. MacIntyre, RN), HMS Brighton (Cdr. (Retd.) C.W.V.T.S. Lepper, RN), HMS Broadway (Lt.Cdr. T. Taylor, RN), HMS Caldwell (Lt.Cdr. E.M. Mackay, RNR), HMS Rockingham (Lt. A.H.T. Johns, RN), sloop HMS Fleetwood (Cdr. R.W. Moir, RN), corvettes HMS Dianella (T/Lt. J.G. Rankin, RNR), HMS Sunflower (Lt.Cdr. J.T. Jones, RNR) HMS Tulip (Lt.Cdr. A. Wilkinson, RNR), A/S yacht HMS Philante (Capt.(Retd.) H.S. Bowlby, RN) and the catapult ship HMS Pegasus (Capt.(Retd.) P.G. Wodehouse, DSO, RN). The destroyers HNoMS Mansfield (Cdr. F. Ulstrup, RNorN) and HMS Woolston (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Phipps, OBE, RN) joined on 5 March.

19 Feb 1941
HMS Thunderbolt (Lt. C.B. Crouch, DSO, RN) departed from Holy Loch bound for Halifax, Canada. From that base she is to protect convoys from being attacked by German surface raiders.

She, and the Free French submarine FFS Surcouf (Cdr. P.A.P. Ortolí), were escorted by the British corvette HMS Sunflower (Lt.Cdr. J.T. Jones, RNR) until 2303/20. (1)

22 Apr 1941
HrMs O 10 (Lt. J.H. Geijs, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Sabre (Lt. Sir P.W. Gretton, DSC, RN), HMS Dianella (T/Lt. J.G. Rankin, RNR), HMS Kingcup (Lt. R.A.D. Cambridge, DSC, RNR) and HMS Sunflower (Lt.Cdr. J.T. Jones, RNR). (2)

12 May 1941
HrMs O 10 (Lt. J.H. Geijs, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Saladin (Lt.Cdr. L.J. Dover, RN) and HMS Sunflower (Lt.Cdr. J.T. Jones, RNR). (2)

31 May 1941
HMS H 34 (Lt. C.P. Norman, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Veronica (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) D.F. White, RNR) and HMS Sunflower (Lt.Cdr. J.T. Jones, RNR). (3)

27 Jul 1941
HMS Sunflower (Lt.Cdr. J.T. Jones, RNR) picks up 6 survivors from the British merchant Hawkinge that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-203 about 800 nautical miles south-west of Fastnet in position 44°55'N, 17°44'W.

30 Jul 1941
The British merchant Shahristan is torpedoed and sunk south-east of the Azores in position 35°19'N, 23°53'W. HMS Sunflower (Lt.Cdr. J.T. Jones, RNR) later picks up 37 survivors.

11 Sep 1941
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.W.D. Coombe, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Sunflower (Lt.Cdr. J.T. Jones, RNR). (4)

6 Nov 1941
HrMs O 9 (Lt. H.A.W. Goossens, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Clare (Lt.Cdr. L.H. Landman, RN), HMS Hartland (Lt.Cdr. G.P. Billot, RNR), HMS Ibis (Lt.Cdr. H.M. Darell-Brown, RN) and HMS Sunflower (Lt.Cdr. J.T. Jones, RD, RNR). (5)

13 Dec 1941
HMS H 34 (Lt. W.A. Phillimore, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Fleetwood (Cdr. D.T.M. Williams, RNR), HMS Philante (Cdr.(Retd.) H.J.R. Paramore, RN) and HMS Sunflower (Lt.Cdr. J.T. Jones, RD, RNR). (6)

14 Jan 1942
HMS Sunflower (Lt.Cdr. J.T. Jones, RNR) picks up 21 survivors from the Panamanian merchant Chepo that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-43 in convoy ON-55 about 230 miles west-northwest of Rockall in position 58°30'N, 19°40'W.

28 Mar 1942
HMS H 50 (Lt. M.L.C. Crawford, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Reading (Lt.Cdr. D.V. Clift, RN), HMS Sunflower (Lt.Cdr. J.T. Jones, RD, RNR), HMS Saladin (Lt.Cdr. G.V. Legassick, RNR), HMS Sabre (Lt. R.L. Caple, DSC, RN), USS Bristol, USS Buck and USS Edison. (7)

2 Apr 1942
HMS H 50 (Lt. M.L.C. Crawford, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Beagle (Lt.Cdr. R.T. White, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Anchusa (A/Lt.Cdr. D.M. Gibb, RNR), HMS Sunflower (Lt.Cdr. J.T. Jones, RD, RNR), HMS Fleetwood (Cdr. D.T.M. Williams, RNR), HMS Philante (Cdr.(Retd.) H.J.R. Paramore, RN) and HMS Hurricane (Cdr. C.D. Howard-Johnston, DSO, DSC, RN). (8)

16 Aug 1942
HMS Sunflower (Lt.Cdr. J.T. Jones, RNR) picks up 17 survivors from the British merchant Richmond Castle that was torpedoed and sunk on 4 August 1942 in the North Atlantic in position 50°25'N, 35°05'W by German U-boat U-176.

17 Dec 1942
HMS Sunflower (Lt.Cdr. J.T. Jones, RNR) picks up 27 survivors from the British destroyer HMS Firedrake (Cdr. E.H. Tilden, DSC, RN), which was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-211 in the North Atlantic in position 50°50'N, 25°15'W. (9)

13 Apr 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. J.A. Spender, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Wear (Cdr. E. Wheeler, RD, RNR), HMS Aubretia (Lt. G.D. Fowler, RNR), HMS Sunflower (A/Lt.Cdr. J. Plomer, RCNVR) and HMCS Kenogami (T/Lt. J.L. Percy, RCNVR). (10)

14 Apr 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. J.A. Spender, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Wear (Cdr. E. Wheeler, RD, RNR), HMS Sunflower (A/Lt.Cdr. J. Plomer, RCNVR), HMCS Kenogami (T/Lt. J.L. Percy, RCNVR), HMS Sennen (Lt.Cdr. F.H. Thornton, DSC, RNR), HMS Pelican (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN) and HMS Spey (Cdr. H.G. Boys-Smith, DSO and Bar, DSC, RD, RNR). (10)

15 Apr 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. J.A. Spender, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Pelican (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN), HMS Jed (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Freaker, DSO, RD, RNR), HMCS Algoma (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J. Harding, RCNR), HMCS Calgary (T/Lt. H.K. Hill, RCNVR) and HMS Sunflower (A/Lt.Cdr. J. Plomer, RCNVR). (10)

5 May 1943
German U-boat U-638 was sunk in the North Atlantic north-east of Newfoundland, in position 54°12'N, 44°05'W, by depth charges from the British corvette HMS Sunflower (A/Lt.Cdr. J. Plomer, RCNVR).

HMS Sunflower also picks up 66 survivors from the British merchant Dolius that was U-638's last victim. northeast of Belle Isle

6 May 1943
HMS Tay was part of convoy ONS-5 escort. Her Commander, Robert Sherwood, RNR, was given (from Cdr. Gretton, in destroyer HMS Duncan) the duty of Senior Officer Escort of the convoy, on May 3rd. Three days later, the corvette HMS Snowflake found U-125 just 100 meters away, badly damaged. The submarine's crew scuttled the boat, and another corvette, HMS Sunflower, turned up. When they were about to rescue the Germans, a regrettable order came from Sherwood: "Not approved to pick up survivors". So both corvettes made off, letting the entire crew of the submarine to perish in the cold waters.

27 Jul 1943
HMS H 34 (Lt. B. Charles, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with USS Broome (Lt. C.S. Arthur, Jr., USN), HMS Duncan (Cdr. Sir P.W Gretton, DSO and Bar, DSC, OBE, RN) and HMS Sunflower (A/Lt.Cdr. J. Plomer, RCNVR). (11)

2 Sep 1943
HMS H 33 (T/Lt. C.P. Thode, RNZNVR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Sunflower (A/Lt.Cdr. J. Plomer, DSC, RCNVR), HMS Loosestrife (Lt. H.A. Stonehouse, DSC, RNR) and HMS Duncan (Cdr. P.W. Gretton, OBE, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN). (12)

11 Oct 1943
HMS Venturer (Lt. J.S. Launders, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Larne with HMS Vidette (Lt.Cdr. R. Hart, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Sunflower (A/Lt.Cdr. J. Plomer, DSC, RCNVR). (13)

17 Oct 1943
German U-boat U-631 was sunk in the North Atlantic south-east of Cape Farewell, Greenland, in position 58°13'N, 32°29'W, by depth charges from the British corvette Sunflower (A/Lt.Cdr. J. Plomer, RCNVR).

29 Oct 1943
German U-boat U-282 was sunk south-east of Greenland, in position 55°28'N, 31°57'W, by depth charges from the British destroyers HMS Vidette (Lt.Cdr. R. Hart, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Duncan (Cdr. P.W. Gretton, OBE, DSO, DSC, RN) and the British corvette HMS Sunflower (A/Lt.Cdr. J. Plomer, DSC, RCNVR).

6 Feb 1944
HMS H 34 (Lt. R.L. Jay, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Sunflower (A/Lt.Cdr. J. Plomer, DSC, RCNVR) and HMS Chelmer (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.A. Cherry, RNR). (14)

8 May 1944
HMS H 50 (T/Lt. A.F. Wicker, RNVR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Boulton, RCNVR), HMCS Gatineau (Lt.Cdr. H.V.W. Groos, RCN), HMS Sunflower (T/A/Lt.Cdr. L.H. Stammers, RNVR), HMCS Mayflower (T/Lt. D.S. Martin, RCNR) and HMCS Drumheller (T/Lt. H.R. Beck, RCNR). (15)

Sources

  1. ADM 199/1115
  2. File 2.12.03.6376 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  3. ADM 173/16760
  4. ADM 173/16742
  5. File 2.12.03.6368 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  6. ADM 173/16767
  7. ADM 173/17271
  8. ADM 173/17272
  9. Personal communication
  10. ADM 173/17781
  11. ADM 173/17796
  12. ADM 173/17786
  13. ADM 173/18449
  14. ADM 173/18492
  15. ADM 173/18528

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


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