Allied Warships

HMS Loch Oskaig (FY 175)

ASW Trawler

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeASW Trawler
Class[No specific class] 
PennantFY 175 
Built bySmiths Dock Co., Ltd. (South Bank-on-Tees, U.K.) 
Ordered 
Laid down 
Launched16 Mar 1937 
CommissionedDec 1939 
End service 
History

Completed in April 1937.
Taken over by the Admiralty on 30 August 1939.
Displacement: 534 tons.
Armament: 1 4" gun.

Used as an Armed Boarding Vessel (ABV) from May 1941.
Returned to her owner in November 1945.
Scrapped at Ghent, Belgium in December 1963.

 

Commands listed for HMS Loch Oskaig (FY 175)

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CommanderFromTo
1Ch.Skr. John Culbertson Anderson, RNRDec 193920 Jan 1940
2T/Lt. Logie James Simpson, RNR20 Jan 194014 Jun 1940
3Lt. Joseph Eric Woolfenden, RNR14 Jun 194018 Oct 1940
4Lt.Cdr. Stanley Darling, RANVR18 Oct 194030 Sep 1941
5T/Lt. Edwin Stanley Robert Swan, RNVR30 Sep 1941Feb 1942
6T/Lt. George Thomas Sidney Clampitt, RNRFeb 1942late 1943
7T/Lt. Edward Alfred Norris, RNVRlate 194314 Apr 1944
8T/Lt. John Hedley Lynes, RNVR14 Apr 1944

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Notable events involving Loch Oskaig include:


2 May 1941
On 30 April 1941 the trawler HMS Loch Oskaig (Lt.Cdr. S. Darling, RANVR) had intercepted and captured the French merchant vessel Cap Cantin (3317 GRT, built 1933) off Cape Espichel, Portugal (just south of Lisbon). The Cape Cantin was en route from German occupied Bayonne to Marseilles. It was decided that the ship was to be taken to Gibraltar for inspection. The French master of the ship first refused to comply and as the French ship had also sent out an SOS it was feared that Vichy-French would try to re-capture the ship it was decided that ships from ' Force H ' would be sent to prevent this.

So at 0430/2, HMS Renown (Capt. R.R. McGrigor, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral J.F. Somerville, KCB, DSO, RN) escorted by HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.F. de Salis, RN (Capt. D.8)) , HMS Foresight (Cdr. J.S.C. Salter, RN), HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Fortune (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Sinclair, RN) and HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN) departed Gibraltar and proceeded to the westward at 18 knots.

At 0750/2, HMS Loch Oskaig was ordered to report her position, course and speed. At 0900/2 she replied that her position was 36°29'N, 07°54'W , course 090°, speed 8 knots.

HMS Renown altered course to close and the trawler and the Vichy-French ship were sighted at noon. HMS Foresight was then detached to take over from the trawler which was then ordered to resume her patrol and HMS Foresight escorted the Frenchman to Gibraltar being covered to the south by HMS Renown and her four remaining escorting destroyers.

After reconnaissance had sighted no Vichy-French warships in the area it was decided to recall ' Force H ' to Gibraltar.

' Force H ' returned to harbour at 1950/2. HMS Forester and Cap Cantin entered harbour at 0030/3. (1)

6 Nov 1942
On 6 November 1942, ' Force H ' was (re)assambled at sea to the east of Gibraltar to provide cover during the landings in North-Africa.

Around 0430/6, the aircraft carriers HMS Victorious (Capt. H.C. Bovell, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral A.L.St.G. Lyster, CB, CVO, DSO, RN), HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN), light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN), destroyers HMS Boadicea (Lt.Cdr. F.C. Brodrick, RN), HMS Brilliant (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Poe, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Avon Vale (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, DSO, RN), HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN) and HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN) entered the Mediterranean.

They were then joined by ships coming from Gibraltar (Bay), these were the battleships HMS Duke of York (Capt. G.E. Creasy, DSO, RN, flying the flag of flying the flag of Vice-Admiral E.N. Syfret, CB, RN), HMS Rodney (Capt. J.W. Rivett-Carnac, DSC, RN), battlecruiser HMS Renown (Capt. C.S. Daniel, CBE, DSO, RN), light cruiser HMS Argonaut (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN), destroyers HMS Milne (Capt. I.M.R. Campbell, RN), HMS Martin (Cdr. C.R.P. Thomson, DSO, RN), HMS Meteor (Lt.Cdr. D.J.B. Jewitt, RN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) and HMS Quentin (Lt.Cdr. A.H.P. Noble, DSC, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN), HMS Panther (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Jocelyn, RN), HMS Pathfinder (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Partridge (Lt.Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, DSC, OBE, RN), HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN), HMS Opportune (Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Lookout (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Forman, DSC, RN), HMS Ashanti (Cdr. R.G. Onslow, DSO, RN), HMS Eskimo (Capt. J.W.M. Eaton, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Tartar (Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN), HMS Beagle (Cdr. R.C. Medley, DSO, RN), HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN) and HMS Bulldog (Cdr. M. Richmond, OBE, DSO, RN).

HMS Boadicea, HMS Brilliant, HMS Avon Vale, HMS Calpe, HMS Farndale and HMS Puckeridge were then detached to Gibraltar where they arrived around 0615/6.

Around 0900/6, the light cruiser HMS Sirius (Capt. P.W.B. Brooking, RN) joined.

The orders for ' Force H ' were to support the Eastern (Algiers) and Centre Task Forces (Oran) and their follow-up convoys (TE and TF) agains seaborne attack by Vichy-French or Italian Mediterranean Fleets. ' Force H ' was not to proceed eastwards of 04°30'E except to engage the enemy. Unless strong enemy forces were reported to be at sea, HMS Rodney, escorted by HMS Beagle, HMS Boreas, HMS Bulldog were to join the Centre Task Force at 0600/8. HMS Bermuda might also be detached but to join the Eastern Task Force. ' Force H ' was to refuel from ' Force R ' at sea if necessary, but if the military situation permitted, it would withdraw to the westward to refuel, possibly at Oran about 13 November, in immediate readiness for further operations. Force R ' was made up of the RFA tankders Dingledale (8145 GRT, built 1941, master R.T. Duthie) and Brown Ranger (3417 GRT, built 1941, master D.B.C. Ralph). Escort was provided by the corvette HMS Coreopsis (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Davies, RNVR) and four A/S trawlers, HMS Arctic Ranger (Skr. J.F. Banks, RNR), HMS Imperialist (T/Lt. A.R.F. Pelling, RNR), HMS Loch Oskaig (T/Lt. G.T.S. Clampitt, RNR) and HMS St. Nectan (Lt. J.B. Osborne, RANVR).

Around 1730/7, ' Force H ' was attacked by enemy aircraft in position 37°46'N, 02°52'E. HMS Panther was near missed and sustained damage. She had to return to Gibraltar, first steaming only 6 knots but later this could be increased to 14 knots. En-route she sighted an enemy submarine in position 37°46'N, 02°12'E and forced it to dive. This was U-458 which fired two torpedoes but apparently these were not sighted by the British. HMS Panther arrived at Gibraltar in the afternoon of November 8th.

At 1810/7, HMS Rodney, HMS Beagle, HMS Boreas and HMS Bulldog parted company with ' Force H ' to join the Centre Task Force. HMS Bermuda appeared to also have parted company around this time.

' Force H ' and the fuelling force, ' Force R ', cruised in the area of Algiers until 1830/8 when ' Force H ' turned north. It turned back at midnight when in position 39°00'N, 02°29'E and patrolled off Algiers again during the 9th. During the night of 9/10 November it steamed eastwards at 60 miles from the North-African coast, turning back 30 miles to the east of Bougie at midnight.

Shortly before 0300/10 (0252/10 according to German sources and 0258/10 according to British sources) the destroyer HMS Martin was torpedoed and sunk in position 37°53'N, 03°57'E by the German submarine U-431. 161 officers and ratings lost their lives. 4 Officers and 59 ratings were picked up by HMS Quentin.

By noon on 10 November ' Force H ' was in position 37°08'N, 01°36'E, between Algiers and Tenez, with ' Force R ' close at hand. From then onwards ' Force H ' patrolled 60 miles from the coast between Algiers and Cape Tenez.

' Force H ' was joined around 0630/12 by HMS Rodney and her destroyer screen now made of of the escort destroyersHMS Calpe, HMS Farndale and HMS Puckeridge.

Late in the evening of the 11th the destroyers HMS Porcupine (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HrMs Isaac Sweers (Capt. W. Harmsen, RNN) departed Gibaltar to join ' Force H '. Before joining they fuelled from ' Force R ' in the evening of the 12th. They had been ordered to remain with ' Force R ' during the night to reinforce its escort and then join ' Force H ' after dawn on the 13th. However before the joined, HrMs Isaac Sweers was torpedoed and sunk by U-431, so only HMS Porcupine joined ' Force H ' early on the 13th.

At 0615/14 ' Force H ' split up to return to Gibraltar; HMS Duke of York, HMS Formidable, HMS Bermuda, HMS Argonaut, HMS Sirius, HMS Eskimo, HMS Ashanti, HMS Tartar, HMS Opportune, HMS Partridge, HMS Pathfinder, HMS Penn and HMS Porcupine arrived at Gibraltar around 0130/15.

HMS Rodney, HMS Renown, HMS Victorious, HMS Milne, HMS Meteor, HMS Quality, HMS Quentin, HMS Quiberon, HMS Lookout, HMS Calpe, HMS Farndale and HMS Puckeridge formed the other group. They were joined at 0630/15 by HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, RN) and HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN). They returned to Gibraltar around 1800/15 but HMS Rodney was not able to berth and had to steam up and down in Gibraltar Bay until late in the evening when she anchorded there. The destroyers HMS Pathfinder, HMS Penn, HMS Opportune and HMS Tartar were sent out to patrol to the seaward of the Bay.

12 Nov 1942
In the evening of 12 November 1942 HrMs Isaac Sweers (Capt. W. Harmsen, RNN) and HMS Porcupine (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) both fuelled from 'Force R' which was made up of the tankers Dingledale (8145 GRT, built 1941, master R.T. Duthie) and Brown Ranger (3417 GRT, built 1941, master D.B.C. Ralph). Escort for this force was provided by the corvette HMS Coreopsis (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Davies, RNVR) and four A/S trawlers, HMS Arctic Ranger (Skr. J.F. Banks, RNR), HMS Imperialist (T/Lt. A.R.F. Pelling, RNR), HMS Loch Oskaig (T/Lt. G.T.S. Clampitt, RNR) and HMS St. Nectan (Lt. J.B. Osborne, RANVR).

The destroyers were to join 'Force H' at sea but were ordered to remain with 'Force R' during the night.

5 Mar 1943
HMS Loch Oskaig (T/Lt. G.T.S. Clampitt, RNR) picks up 3 survivors from the British steam merchant Empire Tower that was torpedoed and sunk by the German U-boat U-130 northwest of Lisbon in position 43°50'N, 14°46'W.

7 Apr 1944
HMS Vampire (Lt. C.W. Taylor, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Gibraltar with HMS Kingston Chrysolite (A/Skr.Lt. J. Main, RNR), HMS Loch Oskaig (T/Lt. E.A. Norris, RNVR), HMS Pink (Lt. W.K. Tadman, RNR) and HMS Kilbirnie (T/Lt. E.R.H. Seddon, RNVR). These were followed by night A/S exercises with aircraft. (2)

Sources

  1. ADM 199/656 + ADM 199/661
  2. ADM 173/19337

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


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