Allied Warships

HMS Puffin (L 52 / K 52)

Patrol vessel of the Kingfisher class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypePatrol vessel
ClassKingfisher 
PennantL 52 / K 52 
ModFirst group 
Built byA. Stephen & Sons Ltd. (Glasgow, Scotland) 
Ordered21 Mar 1935 
Laid down12 Jun 1935 
Launched5 May 1936 
Commissioned26 Aug 1936 
End service 
History

Heavy damaged in North Sea by collision on 26 March 1945, not repaired.
Sold 16 January 1947.

 

Commands listed for HMS Puffin (L 52 / K 52)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. William Francis Hollins, RN15 Dec 19383 Oct 1939
2Lt.Cdr. John Montagu Granville Waldegrave, RN3 Oct 193921 Apr 1940
3Lt.Cdr. (emergency) Earl Beattie, RN21 Apr 194011 Sep 1940
4Lt. Henry Kirkwood, RN11 Sep 194028 Jun 1942
5T/Lt. Alfred Stapledon Miller, RNZNVR28 Jun 1942ca. mid45

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Notable events involving Puffin include:


25 Oct 1939
German U-boat U-16 was scuttled in the English Channel near Dover, in position 51°09'N, 01°28'E, after hitting a mine. Its loss was earlier credited to depth charge attacks carried out by the British ASW trawler HMS Cayton Wyke (Ch/Skr. D.F. Noble, RNR) and the patrol vessel HMS Puffin (Lt.Cdr. Hon. J.M.G. Waldegrave, RN) in the afternoon on 24 October, but the U-boat was probably not damaged during these attacks.

20 Nov 1939
HMS H 44 (Lt. H.A.V. Haggard, RN) conducted exercises off Portland with HMS Puffin (Lt.Cdr. Hon. J.M.G. Waldegrave, RN). (1)

21 Nov 1939
HMS L 27 (Lt. P.J. Cowell, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Portsmouth with HMS Puffin (Lt.Cdr. Hon. J.M.G. Waldegrave, RN) and HMS Conqueror (Capt.(Retd.) E.T.R. Chambers, RN). (2)

30 Nov 1939
HMS H 28 (Lt. D.E. Mansfield, RN) conducted practice attacks off Portland on HMS Puffin (Lt.Cdr. Hon. J.M.G. Waldegrave, RN). (3)

30 Nov 1939
HMS H 44 (Lt. H.A.V. Haggard, RN) conducted exercises off Portland with HMS Puffin (Lt.Cdr. Hon. J.M.G. Waldegrave, RN). (1)

30 Nov 1939
HMS H 50 (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J.R.G. Harvey, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Portland with HMS Puffin (Lt.Cdr. Hon. J.M.G. Waldegrave, RN). (4)

7 Dec 1939
HMS H 31 (Lt. P.R. Ward, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Portland with HMS Puffin (Lt.Cdr. Hon. J.M.G. Waldegrave, RN) and HMS Conqueror (Capt.(Retd.) E.T.R. Chambers, RN). (5)

22 Dec 1939

Convoy TC 2.

This convoy of troopships departed Halifax on 22 December 1939 for the Clyde where it arrived on 30 December 1939.

The convoy was made up of the following troopships / liners; Almanzora (British, 15551 GRT, built 1914, carrying 1284 troops), Andes (British, 25689 GRT, built 1939, carrying 1358 troops), Batory (Polish, 14287 GRT, built 1936, carrying 806 troops), Chrobry (Polish, 11442 GRT, built 1939, carrying 1045 troops) Orama (British, 19840 GRT, built 1924, carrying 935 troops), Ormonde (British, 14982 GRT, built 1917, carrying 1269 troops) and Reina del Pacifico (British, 17702 GRT, built 1931, carrying 1455 troops).

A/S escort was provided on leaving Halifax the Canadian destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.N. Creery, RCN), HMCS Ottawa (Capt. G.C. Jones, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. W.B.L. Holms, RCN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN) and the British destroyer HMS Hunter (Lt.Cdr. L. De Villiers, RN). These destroyers remained with the convoy until 24 December 1939 when they set course to return to Halifax.

Ocean Escort was provided by the British battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN), French battlecruiser Dunkerque (Capt. M.J.M. Seguin and the French light cruiser Gloire (Capt. F.H.R. de Belot).

When the convoy approached the British isles, the destroyers HMS Somali (Capt. R.S.G. Nicholson, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN), HMS Eskimo (Cdr. St.J.A. Micklethwait, RN), HMS Matabele (Cdr. G.K. Whitmy-Smith, RN), HMS Mohawk (Cdr. J.W.M. Eaton, RN), HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSC, RN), HMS Fury (Cdr. G.F. Burghard, RN), HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN) and HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, RN) departed Greenock on the 25th to join the convoy on the 28th. On the 26th two more destroyers departed Greenock, these were HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN). These destroyers also joined the convoy on the 28th.

On the 29th the French battlecruiser Dunkerque and the light cruiser Gloire parted company with the convoy. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Fearless, HMS Firedrake and HMS Fury until they were relieved by the French large destroyers Mogador (Cdr. P. Maerte), Volta (Cdr. C.V.E. Jacquinet), Le Triomphant (Cdr. M.M.P.L. Pothuau), Le Fantasque (Capt. P.A.B. Still), and Le Terrible (Cdr. A.E.R. Bonneau).

Four more escorts joined the convoy on the 29th. These were the minesweepers HMS Jason (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Fryer, RN), HMS Gleaner (Lt.Cdr. H.P. Price, RN).and the patrol vessels HMS Puffin (Lt.Cdr. Hon. J.M.G. Waldegrave, DSC, RN) and HMS Shearwater (Lt.Cdr. P.F. Powlett, RN).

The convoy arrived safely in the Clyde area in the morning of 30 December 1939. (6)

7 Feb 1940
HMS H 34 (Lt. E.F. Balston, RN) and HMS Unity (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) depated the Nore for Portsmouth. They were escorted by HMS Puffin (Lt.Cdr. Hon. J.M.G. Waldegrave, RN). (7)

26 Mar 1945
HMS Puffin (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.S. Miller, RNZNVR) rammed and sank a German Seehund midget submarine off Lowestoft. (8)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/15741
  2. ADM 173/15781
  3. ADM 173/15680
  4. ADM 173/15750
  5. ADM 173/15690
  6. ADM 199/367 + ADM 199/393
  7. ADM 173/16302
  8. Personal communication

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


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