Leslie Haliburton Ashmore DSO, RN

Born  21 Feb 1893Hendon, London, England
Died  10 Jan 1974(80)Godden Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, England


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Ranks

15 Sep 1910 Mid.
15 Jan 1913 A/S.Lt.
15 Jan 1914 S.Lt.
15 Nov 1915 Lt.
15 Nov 1923 Lt.Cdr.
31 Dec 1928 Cdr.
31 Dec 1934 Capt.
8 Jan 1944 Rear-Admiral
13 Jul 1948 Vice-Admiral (retired)

Retired: 20 Nov 1947


Decorations

18 Jan 1944 DSO
1 Jan 1947 CB

Warship Commands listed for Leslie Haliburton Ashmore, RN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMS Kent (54)Capt.Heavy cruiser7 Apr 193812 Sep 1939
HMS Valiant (02)Capt.Battleship21 May 194215 Oct 1943
HMS Malaya (01)Capt.Battleship15 Oct 194329 Nov 1943

Career information

We currently have no career / biographical information on this officer.

Events related to this officer

Heavy cruiser HMS Kent (54)


2 Sep 1939
HMS Kent (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN, flying the flag of Admiral P.L.H. Noble, KCB, CVO, RN) departed Hong Kong to patrol the Shanghai - Japan trade route. (1)

3 Sep 1939
HMS Kent (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN, flying the flag of Admiral P.L.H. Noble, KCB, CVO, RN) proceeded to patrol the easterb end of the Shanghai - Japan trade route. (2)

8 Sep 1939
HMS Kent (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN, flying the flag of Admiral P.L.H. Noble, KCB, CVO, RN) now patrolled south of Japan for a day, after which she turned back to the south-west. (3)

11 Sep 1939
HMS Kent (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN, flying the flag of Admiral P.L.H. Noble, KCB, CVO, RN) arrived at Hong Kong from patrol. (1)


Battleship HMS Valiant (02)


14 Jun 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) is undocked. (4)

14 Jul 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) departed Durban for Simonstown. She is escorted by the destroyers HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Hodges, RN) and HMS Express (Lt.Cdr. F.J. Cartwright, RN). (5)

17 Jul 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN), HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Hodges, RN) and HMS Express (Lt.Cdr. F.J. Cartwright, RN) arrived at Simonstown. (5)

19 Jul 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) conducted gunnery and RDF exercises in False Bay. (5)

19 Jul 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) conducted gunnery and RDF exercises in False Bay.

[There is no log available for the period of 21 to 31 July 1942 so therefore no details can be given.] (5)

1 Aug 1942
HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) conducted D/G and D/F calibration trials off Capetown after which she proceeded to Simonstown escorted by the destroyers HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Hodges, RN) and HMS Express (Lt.Cdr. F.J. Cartwright, RN). (6)

6 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) conducted D/F calibration trials and various exercises in False Bay. (6)

7 Aug 1942
HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) departed Simonstown for Kilindini via Durban. She is escorted by the destroyer HMS Arrow (Cdr. A.M. McKillop, RN) part of the way. (7)

10 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) arrived at Durban. (8)

11 Aug 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) departed Durban for Kilindini. (8)

29 Aug 1942

Operation Touchstone.

From 29 August to 1 September 1942 a large exercise was carried out with landings at Tanga, Dar es Salaam, and Zanzibar by Royal Marines and at Kilindini by the 29th Brigade.

Participating in the exercises were the battleships HMS Resolution (Capt. A.R. Halfhide, CBE, RN , flying the flag of A/Vice-Admiral A.U. Willis, DSO, RN, Second in Command, Eastern Fleet), HMS Warspite (Capt. F.E.P. Hutton, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral J.F. Somerville, KCB, KBE, DSO, RN, CinC Eastern Fleet), HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral D.W. Boyd, CBE, DSC, RN), light cruisers HMS Gambia (Capt. M.J. Mansergh, CBE, RN), HMS Enterprise (Capt. G.E.M. O’Donnell, DSO, RN), AA cruiser HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck (Cdr. E.J. van Holte, RNN) and the destroyers HMAS Napier (Capt. S.H.T. Arliss, DSO, RN), HMAS Nepal (Cdr. F.B. Morris, RAN), HrMs Van Galen (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Burghard, RNN), HrMs Tjerk Hiddes (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Kruys, RNethN), HMS Inconstant (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Clouston, RN), HMS Fortune (Lt.Cdr. R.D.H.S. Pankhurst, RN), HMS Foxhound (Cdr. C.J. Wynne-Edwards, DSC, RN), HMS Griffin (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Rowell, RN) and HMS Decoy (Lt.Cdr. G.I.M. Balfour, RN).

A/Vice-Admiral Willis was in command of the operation.

29 Sep 1942
During 29/30 September 1942, the battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) and the light cruiser HMS Caradoc (Capt. J.W. Josselyn, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Kilindini. These included night exercises. HMS Valiant was escorted by the destroyers HMAS Nepal (Cdr. F.B. Morris, RAN), HMS Fortune (Lt.Cdr. R.D.H.S. Pankhurst, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Catterick (Lt. A. Tyson, RN). (9)

7 Oct 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
During 7/8 October 1942, the battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) conducted exercises off Kilindini. These included night exercises. She was escorted by the destroyers HMAS Nepal (Cdr. F.B. Morris, RAN), HMS Fortune (Lt.Cdr. R.D.H.S. Pankhurst, RN), HMS Express (Lt.Cdr. F.J. Cartwright, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Catterick (Lt. A. Tyson, RN).

22 Oct 1942
During 22/23 October 1942, HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN), HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN), HMS Hotspur (Lt. P. Bekenn, RN) and HMS Derwent (Cdr. R.H. Wright, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Kilindini. These included night exercises. (10)

25 Nov 1942
HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN), HMS Blackmore (Lt. H.T. Harrel, RN) and HMS Derwent (Cdr. R.H. Wright, DSC, RN) departed Kilindini for exercises.

At sea they were joined by HMS Resolution (Capt. A.R. Halfhide, CBE, RN , flying the flag of A/Vice-Admiral A.U. Willis, DSO, RN, Second in Command, Eastern Fleet), HMAS Napier (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Green, DSC, RAN) and HMS Hotspur (Lt. P. Bekenn, RN) which were coming from Durban.

Exercises were then commenced which included night exercises. The ships entered Kilindini on the 26th. (11)

11 Dec 1942
During 11/12 December 1942, the battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN), light cruisers HMS Birmingham (Capt. H.B. Crane, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral W.G. Tennant, CB, MVO, RN), HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN), destroyer HMS Hotspur (Lt. P. Bekenn, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Derwent (Cdr. R.H. Wright, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Kilindini. These included night exercises. (12)

21 Dec 1942
On 21 December 1942, HMS Warspite (Capt. F.E.P. Hutton, RN, flying the flag of Admiral J.F. Somerville, KCB, KBE, DSO, RN, C-in-C Eastern Fleet) and HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious (Capt. R.L.B. Cunliffe, RN), light cruisers HMS Birmingham (Capt. H.B. Crane, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral W.G. Tennant, CB, MVO, RN), HMS Gambia (Capt. M.J. Mansergh, CBE, RN), armed merchant cruisers HMS Ranpura (Capt.(Retd.) H.T.M. Pawsey, RN), destroyers HMS Rotherham (Capt. F.S.W. de Winton, RN), HMAS Nepal (Cdr. F.B. Morris, RAN), HMS Hotspur (Lt. P. Bekenn, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Blackmore (Lt. H.T. Harrel, RN) and HMS Derwent (Cdr. R.H. Wright, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Kilindini. HMS Ranpura returned to Kilindini on 22 December the other ships on 23 December. (13)

7 Jan 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
The battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) departed Kilindini for Durban. She is escorted by the destroyer HMS Hotspur (Lt. P. Bekenn, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Blackmore (Lt. H.T. Harrel, RN).

HMS Valiant is to proceed to the U.K. for a refit. (14)

12 Jan 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN), HMS Hotspur (Lt. P. Bekenn, RN) and HMS Blackmore (Lt. H.T. Harrel, RN) arrived at Durban. (14)

17 Jan 1943
HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) is docked at Durban. (14)

25 Jan 1943
HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) is undocked. She departed Durban later the same day as escort for convoy CF 11.

For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy CF 11 ' for 25 January 1943. (14)

25 Jan 1943

Convoy CF 11.

This convoy, with troops and POW's, departed Durban, South Africa on 25 January 1943 and arrived in the Clyde, via Freetown, on 25 February 1943.

On departure from Durban the convoy was made up of the following (troop)transports; Britannic (British, 26943 GRT, built 1930), Indrapoera (Dutch, 10825 GRT, built 1925) and Orion (British, 23371 GRT, built 1935).

On departure from Durban it was escorted by the battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) and the destroyers HMS Inconstant (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Clouston, RN), HMS Fortune (Lt.Cdr. R.D.H.S. Pankhurst, RN) and HMS Hotspur (Lt. P. Bekenn, RN).

The convoy arrived at Capetown on 27 December 1941. HMS Hotspur went to Simonstown for a quick docking.

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On 30 January the convoy left Capetown in the same composition with the addition of an additional destroyer, HMS Express (Lt.Cdr. F.J. Cartwright, RN).

At 0500B/5, HMS Express and HMS Hotspur were detached to fuel at Pointe Noire. They rejoined at 1600B/5 after which HMS Fortune and HMS Inconstant were detached to fuel at Pointe Noire. They rejoined the convoy around 0930B/6.

The convoy arrived at Freetown around noon on 11 February 1943.

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Two (troop)transports joined the convoy at Freetown. These were the Esperance Bay (British, 13837 GRT, built 1922) and the Troilus (British 7422 GRT, built 1921). Also the armed merchant cruiser HMS Ranchi (Capt.(Retd.) Sir J.M. Alleyne, DSO, DSC, RN) joined the convoy for passage to the Clyde. The convoy departed from Freetown in the afternoon of February 14th.

Around 1800Z/16, the destroyers HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Farrington, RN) and HMS Redoubt (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Ropner, DSO, RN) joined the escort coming from Bathurst.

At 0745Z/17, the Esperance Bay parted company with the convoy to proceed to New York.

At 1815Z/17, the Troilus parted company with the convoy.

On 19 February HMS Valiant fuelled HMS Hotspur in the morning, HMS Fortune and HMS Inconstant in the afternoon and HMS Express in the evening.

At 1150Z/22, HMS Quadrant and HMS Redoubt were detached to Gibraltar and Casablanca respectively.

At 1615A/24, the frigate HMS Moyola (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lawson, RD, RNR) joined.

At 1620Z/24, HMS Valiant, HMS Hotspur, HMS Fortune and HMS Inconstant parted company with the convoy to proceed to Plymouth where they arrived in the morning of the following day.

At 1930/25, the Britannic and Indrapoera parted company with the convoy to proceed to Liverpool escorted by HMS Express. They arrived at Liverpool on the 26th.

The remainder of the convoy arrived in the Clyde on the 26th. (15)

25 Feb 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN), HMS Inconstant (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Clouston, RN), HMS Fortune (Lt.Cdr. R.D.H.S. Pankhurst, RN) and HMS Hotspur (Lt. P. Bekenn, RN) arrived at Plymouth after convoy escort duty. (16)

4 Mar 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
After de-ammunitioning and de-stroring the ship, HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) is taken in hand for refit at the Devonport Dockyard. (17)

12 Mar 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
During her refit, HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN), is docked at the Devonport Dockyard. (17)

19 Mar 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) is undocked. (17)

5 May 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
With her refit completed, the battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN), departed Plymouth around 1100B/5 for Scapa Flow. She is escorted by the destroyers ORP Orkan (Cdr. S. Hryniewiecki), ORP Piorun (Cdr. S.T. Dzienisiewicz) and the escort destroyer HMS Wensleydale (Lt. W.P. Goodfellow, RNVR).

Around 1130B/5, the destroyer HMS Tumult (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN), HMS Blankney (Lt.Cdr. D.H.R. Bromley, RN) and HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN) joined and the original escort parted company to return to Plymouth.

HMS Valiant, HMS Tumult, HMS Blankney and HMS Brecon arrived at Scapa Flow around 0730B/7. (18)

12 May 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) conducted gunnery exercises at Scapa Flow. (18)

14 May 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
During 14/15 May 1943, the battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) and light cruiser HMS Glasgow (Capt. E.M. Evans-Lombe, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. During these exercises HMS Valiant was screened by the destroyers HMS Milne (Capt. I.M.R. Campbell, DSO, RN), HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. E. Mack, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMS Orwell (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Hodges, DSO, RN). (19)

17 May 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) conducted exercises at Scapa Flow. (18)

18 May 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
In the evening, the battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) conducted gunnery exercises off Scapa Flow during which she was escorted by the escort destroyers HMS Middleton (Lt. C.S. Battersby, RN), HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Brissenden (Lt. D.C. Beatty, RN). (18)

20 May 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
During 20/21 May 1943, the battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow during which she was escorted by the destroyers HMS Obedient (Lt.Cdr. H. Unwin, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Mahratta (Lt.Cdr. E.A.F. Drought, DSC, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN). (18)

25 May 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
During 25/26 May 1943, the battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow during which she was escorted by the destroyers HMCS Athabascan (Cdr. G.R. Miles, DSO, OBE, RCN), HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, DSO, RN) and HMS Obedient (Lt.Cdr. H. Unwin, DSC and Bar, RN). (18)

27 May 1943
During 27/28 May 1943, the battleships HMS Anson (Commodore H.R.G. Kinahan, CBE, RN) and HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow during which they were escorted by the destroyers HMS Quilliam (Capt. S.H. Carlill, DSO, RN), HMS Quail (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Jenks, RN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN), HMS Obedient (Lt.Cdr. H. Unwin, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Opportune (Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, DSO and Bar, RN).

Around 1950B/27, HMS Anson parted company to proceed to Rosyth escorted by HMS Quality, HMS Obedient and HMS Opportune.

HMS Anson entered the Firth of Forth around 1045B/28. The destroyers turned back to return to Scapa Flow off the gate. (20)

8 Jun 1943
During 8-10 June 1943, the battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Quail (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Jenks, RN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN). (21)

12 Jun 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
During 12/13 June 1943, the battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Onslow (Capt. J.A. McCoy, DSO, RN), HMS Panther (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Jocelyn, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Talybont (Lt. E.F. Baines, DSO, RN). (21)

28 Jun 1943
The battleships HMS Warspite (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.W.LaT. Bisset, RN), HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.K. Scott-Moncrieff, DSO, RN), HMS Fury (Cdr. C.H. Campbell, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Echo (Lt. R.H.C. Wyld, RN), HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. E. Mack, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Inglefield (Cdr. C.F.H. Churchill, RN), HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN), HMS Intrepid (Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN), HMS Offa (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Leonard, RN) and ORP Piorun (Cdr. S.T. Dzienisiewicz) departed Gibraltar for Algiers. (22)

30 Jun 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
The battleships HMS Warspite (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.W.LaT. Bisset, RN), HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.K. Scott-Moncrieff, DSO, RN), HMS Fury (Cdr. C.H. Campbell, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Echo (Lt. R.H.C. Wyld, RN), HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. E. Mack, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Inglefield (Cdr. C.F.H. Churchill, RN), HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN), HMS Intrepid (Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN), HMS Offa (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Leonard, RN) and ORP Piorun (Cdr. S.T. Dzienisiewicz) arrived at Algiers.

They departed for Alexandria later the same day.

Around noon on 1 July 1943, HMS Offa and ORP Piorun parted company to proceed to Mers-el-Kebir. This was after the destroyers HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. K.W. Michell, RN) and RHS Vasilissa Olga (Lt.Cdr. G. Blessas) have joined coming from Bizerte.

5 Jul 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
The battleships HMS Warspite (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.W.LaT. Bisset, RN), HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.K. Scott-Moncrieff, DSO, RN), HMS Fury (Cdr. C.H. Campbell, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Echo (Lt. R.H.C. Wyld, RN), HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. E. Mack, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Inglefield (Cdr. C.F.H. Churchill, RN), HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN), HMS Intrepid (Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN), HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. K.W. Michell, RN) and RHS Vasilissa Olga (Lt.Cdr. G. Blessas) arrived at Alexandria.

7 Jul 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
The ' 2nd Division ' of ' Force H ' , made up of the battleships HMS Warspite (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.W.LaT. Bisset, RN), HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.K. Scott-Moncrieff, DSO, RN), HMS Fury (Cdr. C.H. Campbell, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Echo (Lt. R.H.C. Wyld, RN), HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. E. Mack, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Inglefield (Cdr. C.F.H. Churchill, RN), HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN), HMS Intrepid (Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN), HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. K.W. Michell, RN) and RHS Vasilissa Olga (Lt.Cdr. G. Blessas) departed Alexandria for Operation Husky.

20 Aug 1943
During 20/21 August 1943, the battleships HMS Warspite (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.W.LaT. Bisset, RN) and HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) conducted exercises off Malta. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Troubridge (Capt. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN), HMS Tumult (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN), HMS Tyrian (Cdr. C.W. Greening, RN), HMS Nubian (Cdr. D.E. Holland-Martin, DSC, RN), HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.F. Taylor, RN) and HMS Echo (Lt. R.H.C. Wyld, RN). (23)

1 Sep 1943
The battleships HMS Warspite (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.W.LaT. Bisset, RN) and HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) departed Malta for exercises. On completion of the exercises they proceeded to bombard the Italian coast near Capo dell'Armi, Calabria. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.K. Scott-Moncrieff, DSO, RN), HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.F. Taylor, RN), HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. E. Mack, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Inglefield (Cdr. C.F.H. Churchill, RN), HMS Intrepid (Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN) and HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. K.W. Michell, RN).

The destroyers HMS Loyal (Lt.Cdr. H.E.F. Tweedie, DSC, RN), HMS Offa (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Leonard, RN) and ORP Piorun (Cdr. S.T. Dzienisiewicz) had been patrolling in the area during the night of 1/2 September joined them for a while before proceeding to Augusta later on 2 September 1943.

HMS Warspite, HMS Valiant, HMS Faulknor, HMS Fury, HMS Eclipse, HMS Inglefield, HMS Intrepid and HMS Raider also proceeded to Augusta on 3 September but they departed again later the same day and proceeded to Malta. (24)

14 Sep 1943
The aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious (Capt. R.L.B. Cunliffe, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C. Moody, RN), battleships HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN), HMS Warspite (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN) and the destoyers HMS Quilliam (Capt. S.H. Carlill, DSO, RN), HMS Quail (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Jenks, RN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN), HMS Petard (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Egan, RN), HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, DSO, RN), HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. K.W. Michell, RN) and HMS Jervis (Capt. J.S. Crawford, DSO, RN) departed Malta for Gibraltar via Algiers.

Soon after leaving the harbour though they were ordered to return.

HMS Illustrious then entered harbour while the battleships were ordered to proceed to the Salerno area to give fire support during operation Avalanche as German resistance was much heavier then had been expected. The battleships were now escorted by HMS Jervis, HMS Panther (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Jocelyn, RN), HMS Pathfinder (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO and 3 Bars, RN), HMS Penn, HMS Petard and HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN). (25)

15 Sep 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN), HMS Warspite (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN), HMS Jervis (Capt. J.S. Crawford, DSO, RN), HMS Panther (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Jocelyn, RN), HMS Pathfinder (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO and 3 Bars, RN), HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, DSO, RN), HMS Petard (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Egan, RN) and HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN) arrived in the southern anchorage in the Salerno area around 1100 hours.

As the battleships had not been part of the operations plan, the ships were not in the possession of the target lists and special bombardment maps. As a result of lenghty conferences it was arranged that each battleship was to land an F.O. (forward observer) party at 1400 hours and it was hoped to open fire by 1700 hours. HMS Valiant had 50 rounds HE of 15" available and HMS Warspite 88. It was agreed that hald should be fired at once and the remainder on the following day.

The battleships moved to their bombanding berths, one mile from the shore and at 1720 hours, HMS Warspite opened fire on an observation post on a ridge near Altavilla and on the town itself. The fire was extremely accurate, 19 hits being claimed out of 29 rounds fired and the American troops were much impressed by the accuracy. It ceased at 1720 hours. HMS Valiant, unfortunately, was unable to open fire as she could not make contact with her F.O. Arrangements were then made for the Warspite's F.O. to direct the Valiant's fire. But just as HMS Valiant was about to open fire a message was received that no further bombardment was required and the battleships proceeded to sea for the night during which they sustained about a dozen air attacks. No damage was done except to HMS Petard which was hit by an AA shell and suffered two casualties. (26)

16 Sep 1943
Around 0530 hours, HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN), HMS Warspite (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN), HMS Jervis (Capt. J.S. Crawford, DSO, RN), HMS Panther (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Jocelyn, RN), HMS Pathfinder (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO and 3 Bars, RN), HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, DSO, RN), HMS Petard (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Egan, RN) and HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN), returned to the assault area.

HMS Valiant took up a bombarding position off the northern beaches while HMS Warspite went to the same position as on the previous day. Once again HMS Valiant had great difficulty in obtaining contact with her forward observer and it was not until 1648 hours that she was able to open fire on the Nocera area. She ceased fire at 1728 hours having fired 19 rounds. She retired from the area at dusk screened by the escort destroyers HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Catterick (Lt.Cdr. A. Tyson, RN) and HMS Haydon (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Watkin, RN). They eventually went to Augusta arriving there on the 17th.

Meanwhile HMS Warpite had sustained a heavy air attack. She had difficulty owing to enemy jamming in communicating with her F.O. but eventually opened fire at 1309 hours on ammunition dumps and traffic concentration near Altaville. 32 rounds were fired of which half landed dead on the target and 8 within 100 yards of it.

At 1410 hours, HMS Warspite was proceeding towards the northern area for further bombardment when she was attacked by about 10 FW 190's one of which was shot down. Immediately afterwards, three remote-controlled bombs were sighted almost overhead at 6000 to 8000 feet, their parent aircraft being at 20000 feet. No radar report of their presence had been received. The bombs dived vertically on to the ship which could take no avoiding action in this congested area. Two of the bombs near missed the ship but one hit the ship penetrating into No.4 boiler room where it burst. The concussion was terrific, five of the ships boiler rooms were flooded almost at once, though the ship was able to proceed at slow speed on the starboard engines until about 1500 hours when the last boiler room filled with water and all steam failed.

The USN tugs USS Hopi and USS Moreno arrived quickly on the spot and had the ship in tow by 1700 hours. Speed was 4 knots. Escort was now provided by the AA cruiser HMS Delhi (Capt. A.T.G.C. Peachey, RN) and the destroyers HMS Panther, HMS Pathfinder and escort destroyers HMS Atherstone (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Wood, DSC, RNVR), HMS Cleveland (Lt.Cdr. J.K. Hamilton, RN) and ORP Slazak (Lt.Cdr. R. Nalecz-Tyminski, ORP).

At 1930 hours the light cruisers HMS Euryalus (Capt. E.W. Bush, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral P.L. Vian, KBE, DSO and 2 Bars, RN) and HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, DSO, RN) joined them with HMS Euryalus taking over the tow with the intention to leave the area at a higher speed. However the cable parted and the USN again took the damaged battleship in tow. To everyone's surprise, in spite of a night of full moonlight, no air attacks were made by the enemy. In the morning, Spitfires arrived to give fighter cover, followed by two more tugs, HMS Nimble, HMS Oriana and the salvage vessel HMS Salveda. Around 2300 hours, another tug, USS Narragansett joined just as HMS Warspite was to enter the straits of Messina. It took the Warspite five hours to negotiate the Straits due to the strong current. She finally arrived safely at Malta around 0800 hours on 19 September. HMS Euryalus, HMS Scylla had parted company around 1030B/18 and arrived at Bizerta around 0145B/19. (26)

25 Sep 1943
The battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) proceeded from Augusta to Malta. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Troubridge (Capt. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN), HMS Tumult (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN), HMS Tyrian (Cdr. C.W. Greening, RN) and HMS Quail (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Jenks, RN). (27)

30 Sep 1943
The battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) departed Gibraltar for Algiers. She is escorted by the destroyers HMS Troubridge (Capt. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN), HMS Pathfinder (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO and 3 Bars, RN), HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN) and HMS Inglefield (Cdr. C.F.H. Churchill, RN).

HMS Pathfinder parted company on 1 October and returned to Malta arriving on 2 October.

HMS Valiant, HMS Troubridge, HMS Ilex and HMS Inglefield arrived at Algiers on 2 October and departed again for Gibraltar later the same day.

They arrived at Gibraltar on 3 October. (28)

5 Oct 1943
Around 2100A/5, the battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) and the aircraft carriers HMS Illustrious (Capt. R.L.B. Cunliffe, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C. Moody, RN), HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN) and HMS Unicorn (Capt. Q.D. Graham, CBE, DSO, RN) departed Gibraltar for the U.K. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Onslow (Capt. J.A. McCoy, DSO, RN), HMS Obedient (Lt.Cdr. H. Unwin, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Hardy (Lt.Cdr. R. Horncastle, RN), HMS Venus (Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson DSO, RN), HNoMS Stord (Lt.Cdr. S.V. Storheill), HMS Mahratta (Lt.Cdr. E.A.F. Drought, DSC, RN), HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, DSO, RN) and HMS Inglefield (A/Cdr. C.F.H. Churchill, DSC, RN).

At 1948A/6, HMS Illustrious and HMS Formidable parted company to return to Gibraltar after they had been ordered to do so. They took HMS Venus, HNoMS Stord, HMS Obedient and HMS Inglefield with them. They arrived at Gibraltar around 1445A/7.

At 1745A/7, HMS Matchless broke down. HMS Mahratta was ordered to stand by her while the other ships continued. They rejoined around 1800A/8.

At 0810A/9, HMS Valiant, HMS Mahratta and HMS Matchless parted company and set course for Plymouth where they arrived around 1600A/10.

HMS Unicorn, HMS Onslow and HMS Hardy proceeded to Greenock arriving there around 1130A/10. (29)

13 Oct 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) is docked in No.10 dock at the Devonport Dockyard to be taken in hand for refit. (30)


Battleship HMS Malaya (01)


15 Oct 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
While at Plymouth, the battleships HMS Malaya and HMS Valiant exchanged crews. (31)

18 Nov 1943
HMS Malaya (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) departed Plymouth for Greenock. She was escorted until about Milford Haven by the escort destroyers HMS Melbreak (Lt. G.J. Kirkby, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Tanatside (Cdr. B.J. de St. Croix, RN). (32)

19 Nov 1943 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Malaya (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) arrived at Greenock. (32)

21 Nov 1943
HMS Malaya (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN) shifted from Greenock to Gareloch. At Gareloch she was placed in reserve.

During the time she was in reserve she was also used a test ship for bouncing bombs trials see; Highball (offsite link) for more info. (32)

Sources

  1. ADM 53/109459
  2. ADM 199/374
  3. ADM 53/109459 + ADM 199/374
  4. ADM 53/116726
  5. ADM 53/116727
  6. ADM 53/116728
  7. ADM 53/116728 + ADM 199/653
  8. ADM 53/116728 + ADM 199/2349
  9. ADM 53/116729
  10. ADM 53/115786 + ADM 53/116730
  11. ADM 53/116541 + ADM 53/116731
  12. ADM 53/115440 + ADM 53/115567 + ADM 53/116732
  13. ADM 53/115440 + ADM 53/115981 + ADM 53/116518 + ADM 53/113366 + ADM 53/116769 + ADM 199/429
  14. ADM 53/118668
  15. ADM 53/118668 + ADM 53/118669 + ADM 199/635 + ADM 199/2349 + ADM 199/2491
  16. ADM 53/118669
  17. ADM 53/118670
  18. ADM 53/118672
  19. ADM 53/117575 + ADM 53/118672
  20. ADM 53/116900 + ADM 53/118672
  21. ADM 53/118673
  22. ADM 53/117518 + ADM 53/118673 + ADM 53/118714
  23. ADM 53/118675 + ADM 53/118716 + ADM 199/640
  24. ADM 53/118676 + ADM 53/118717 + ADM 199/640
  25. ADM 53/118676 + ADM 53/118717 + ADM 199/641 + ADM 234/358
  26. ADM 234/358
  27. ADM 53/118676 + ADM 199/641
  28. ADM 53/118677 + ADM 199/641
  29. ADM 53/117522 + ADM 53/117661 + ADM 53/118665 + ADM 53/118677
  30. ADM 53/118677
  31. ADM 53/117885
  32. ADM 53/117886

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


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