Allied Warships

HMS Exe (K 92)

Frigate of the River class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeFrigate
ClassRiver 
PennantK 92 
Built byFleming & Ferguson Ltd. (Paisley, Scotland) 
Ordered11 Feb 1941 
Laid down16 May 1941 
Launched19 Mar 1942 
Commissioned6 Aug 1942 
End service 
History

Served in Escort groups (including 40th Escort Group and Escort Group B3), based at Londonderry, Greenock and Liverpool. During 1942/1945 she was acting as escort for several Atlantic Convoys. Reserve & Landing Craft HQ ship 1946-48. Laid up in reserve 1948/1955. Sold for scrapping in 20 September 1956 and broken up at Preston.

 

Commands listed for HMS Exe (K 92)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Ronald Clifford Freaker, DSO, RNR30 Mar 194229 Sep 1942
2A/Cdr. Michael Anthony Ormus Biddulph, DSC, RN29 Sep 194224 Nov 1943
3Lt.Cdr. Robert Marriott Aubrey, DSC, RN24 Nov 194325 Feb 1944
4Cdr. Charles Edward Eustace Paterson, RN25 Feb 194423 Feb 1945
5Cdr. (retired) George William Emil Castens, DSO, RN23 Feb 1945Jun 1945

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Notable events involving Exe include:


15 Apr 1943
HMS H 50 (Lt. G.S.C Clarabut, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Weston (Cdr. L.F. Durnford-Slater, RN), HMS Gorleston (Cdr.(Retd.) R.W. Keymer, RN), HMS Wellington (Lt.Cdr. J.T. Jones, RD, RNR), HMS Exe (A/Cdr. M.A.O. Biddulph, DSC, RN), HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Hulton, RN) and HMS Coreopsis (T/Lt. B.C. Hamilton, RNR). (1)

28 May 1943

Convoy MKF 15.

This convoy departed Algiers on 28 May 1943 for the U.K.

On departure from Algiers the convoy was made up of the following ships; Antenor (British, 11174 GRT, built 1925), Arawa (British, 14462 GRT, built 1922), Boissevain (Dutch, 14134 GRT, built 1937), California (British, 16792 GRT, built 1923), Duchess of York (British, 20021 GRT, built 1929), Felix Roussel (French, 17083 GRT, built 1930), Franconia (British, 20175 GRT, built 1923), Indrapoera (Dutch, 10825 GRT, built 1925), Johan van Oldenbarnevelt (Dutch, 19429 GRT, built 1930), Letitia (British, 13595 GRT, built 1925), Mooltan (British, 20952 GRT, built 1923), Ormonde (British, 14982 GRT, built 1917), Samaria (British, 19597 GRT, built 1921) and Santa Rosa (American, 9135 GRT, built 1932).

The convoy was escorted by the British sloop HMS Weston (Cdr. L.F. Durnford-Slater, RN), HMS Wellington (Lt.Cdr. J.T. Jones, RD, RNR), HMS Lowestoft (A/Cdr.(Retd.) L.H. Phillips, RN), HMS Gorleston (Cdr.(Retd.) R.W. Keymer, RN), HMS Totland (Lt.Cdr. L.E. Woodhouse, RN) and the frigates HMS Exe (A/Cdr. M.A.O. Biddulph, DSC, RN) and HMS Ness (Lt.Cdr. T.G.P. Crick, DSC, RN).

On 29 May, off Oran, the convoy was joined by the following ships; Cristobal (American, 10021 GRT, built 1939), Dartmouth (American, 9879 GRT, built 1943), Examiner (American, 6736 GRT, built 1942), General George W. Goethals (American, 12093 GRT, built 1942), J.W. McAndrew (American, 7997 GRT, built 1940), John Ericson (American, 16552 GRT, built 1928), Nea Hellas (British, 16991 GRT, built 1922), Seafrain Lakehurst (American, 8108 GRT, built 1940), Staffordhire (British, 10683 GRT, built 1929) and Stirling Castle (British, 25550 GRT, built 1936).

On 30 May the convoy was off Gibraltar. There two more ships joined the convoy, these were; Maloja (British, 20914 GRT, built 1923) and Scythia (British, 19761 GRT, built 1920). Also six ships were detached to Gibraltar, these were the; Arawa, Dartmouth, Examiner, Seafrain Lakehurst, Staffordshire and Stirling Castle.

The following warships joined the escort of the convoy off Gibraltar; aircraft carrier HMS Unicorn (Capt. Q.D. Graham, CBE, DSO, RN), ecort carrier HMS Tracker (A/Capt. G.C. Dickins, RN) and the destroyers HMS Javelin (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, DSC, RN) and HMS Kelvin (Lt.Cdr. J.T.B. Birch, DSO, DSC, RN).

The sloop HMS Totland was detached to proceed to Gibraltar for repairs as she had defects.

On 1 June 1943, the Scythia was detached.

At 1200 hours on 4 June, HMS Unicorn, HMS Tracker, HMS Javelin and HMS Kelvin parted company with the convoy and proceeded ahead of it to the Clyde (HMS Tracker to Belfast).

18 Jun 1943
HMS H 34 (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Havelock (Cdr. R.C. Boyle, DSC, RN), HMS Exe (A/Cdr. M.A.O. Biddulph, DSC, RN) and HMS Fishguard (Lt.Cdr. H.L. Pryse, RNR). (2)

19 Jun 1943
HMS H 34 (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Gorleston (Cdr.(Retd.) R.W. Keymer, RN), HMS Exe (A/Cdr. M.A.O. Biddulph, DSC, RN) and HMS Dart (Cdr. J.T. Jones, RD, RNR). (2)

23 Aug 1943
On the 23th August 1943 the 40th Escort Group (Cdr. Dallison), consisting of the sloops HMS Landguard, HMS Bideford, HMS Hastings and the frigates HMS Exe, HMS Moyola and HMS Waveney were deployed on a U-boat hunt off Cape Ortegal. The whole operation was covered by the British light cruiser HMS Bermuda.

On the 25th August the Canadian 5th Support Group (Cdr. Tweed), consisting of the British frigates HMS Nene, HMS Tweed and the Canadian corvettes HMCS Calgary, HMCS Edmundston and HMCS Snowberry were deployed to relieve the 40th Escort Group. While this was in progress the ships were attacked at 1415 hrs by 14 Dornier Do-217's and 7 Ju-88's. with the new German weapon, the Henschel Glider Bombs, (the "Hs293 A-1"). Designed by the German Professor Herbert Wagner. HMS Landguard and HMS Bideford were the first of the Allied and R.N. ships to be attacked and damaged by them. This being the first time of their being brought into action against Allied ships. Several sailors were injured on HMS Bideford and one sailor was killed.

Another two days later on the 27th August 1943 the Canadian 5th Support group was relieved by the 1st Support group (Cdr. Brewer) consisting of the sloops HMS Pelican, HMS Egret and the frigates HMS Jed, HMS Rother, HMS Spey and HMS Evenlode. Also the covering cruiser HMS Bermuda was relieved by the Canadian destroyer HMCS Athabaskan and the British destroyer HMS Grenville. These ships were also attacked by the Germans. This time with 18 Dornier Do-217?s also carrying Henschel Glider Bombs. HMCS Athabaskan was heavily damaged and HMS Egret was sunk with the loss of 194 of her crew. After this loss the U-boat hunt was blown off.

8 Dec 1943
HMS H 32 (Lt. K.S. Renshaw, DSC, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Exe (Lt.Cdr. R.M. Aubrey, DSC, RN) and HMS Moyola (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lawson, RD, RNR). (3)

9 Dec 1943
HMS H 32 (Lt. K.S. Renshaw, DSC, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Orillia (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J.E. Mitchell, RCNVR), HMS Exe (Lt.Cdr. R.M. Aubrey, DSC, RN) and HMS Moyola (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lawson, RD, RNR). (3)

3 Mar 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt.Cdr. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and 2 bars, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Larne with with the 21st Escort Group and later only with HMS Exe (Cdr. C.E.E. Paterson, RN) and HMS Berkeley Castle (T/Lt. F.A. Darrah, RNVR). (4)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/17827
  2. ADM 173/17795
  3. ADM 173/17777
  4. ADM 173/18996

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


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