Allied Warships

HMS Lowestoft (L 59 / U 59)

Sloop of the Grimsby class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSloop
ClassGrimsby 
PennantL 59 / U 59 
Built byDevonport Dockyard (Plymouth, U.K.): J.S. White & Co. (Cowes, U.K.) 
Ordered1 May 1933 
Laid down21 Aug 1933 
Launched11 Apr 1934 
Commissioned22 Nov 1934 
End service 
History

HMS Lowestoft is not listed as active unit in the October 1945 Navy List

Sold 4 October 1946.

 

Commands listed for HMS Lowestoft (L 59 / U 59)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

CommanderFromTo
1Cdr. Arthur Macdonnell Knapp, RN15 Aug 19388 Jan 1941
2Cdr. Ughtred Henry Ramsden James, RN8 Jan 194121 Jul 1941
3Lt.Cdr. (retired) Francis Babington Proudfoot, RN21 Jul 1941Aug 1942

4A/Cdr. John Rochfort D'Oyly, RN17 Nov 1942Jan 1943
5Lt. Thomas Keppel Edge-Partington, RNJan 194323 Mar 1943
6A/Cdr. (retired) Lawrence Henry Phillips, RN23 Mar 1943Jun 1945
7Lt.Cdr. Charles Grenville Cowley, RNJun 1945mid 1945

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Notable events involving Lowestoft include:


23 Jan 1940
HMS Oswald (Lt.Cdr. G.M. Sladen, RN) conducted exercises off Malta together with HMS Lowestoft (Cdr. A.M. Knapp, RN). (1)

11 Mar 1940
Convoy FS 119 (ca. 23 ships) departed the Tyne escorted by the AA destroyer HMS Valorous (Lt.Cdr. E. Mack, RN) and the sloops HMS Hastings (Lt.Cdr. A.B. Alison, RN) and HMS Lowestoft (Cdr. A.M. Knapp, RN). The destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, RN) and HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN) covered the convoy for part of the way south. These two destroyers arrived in the Humber on 12 March. The convoy arrived at Southend on 13 March. (2)

4 Jun 1940
HMS Clyde (Lt.Cdr. D.C. Ingram, RN) departed Rosyth for her 10th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol off Standtlandet.

Before departure for her patrol area, A/S exercises were carried out in the Firth of Forth with HMS Lowestoft (Cdr. A.M. Knapp, RN).

For the daily and attack positions of HMS Clyde during this patrol see the map below.

(3)

30 Oct 1941
HrMs O 14 (Lt.Cdr. G. Quint, RNN(R)) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Lowestoft (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.B. Proudfoot, RN) and HMS Chiddingfold (Lt. L.W.L. Argles, RN). (4)

31 Oct 1941
HrMs O 14 (Lt.Cdr. G. Quint, RNN(R)) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Lowestoft (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.B. Proudfoot, RN), HMS Chiddingfold (Lt. L.W.L. Argles, RN), HMS Montrose (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Phipps, OBE, RN) and HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Sinclair, RN). (4)

1 Nov 1941
HrMs O 14 (Lt.Cdr. G. Quint, RNN(R)) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Chiddingfold (Lt. L.W.L. Argles, RN), HMS Hurworth (Lt.Cdr. J.T.B. Birch, RN), HMS Lowestoft (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.B. Proudfoot, RN) and HMS Southwold (Cdr. C.T. Jellicoe, DSC, RN). (4)

5 Nov 1941
HrMs O 14 (Lt.Cdr. G. Quint, RNN(R)) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Maori (Cdr. R.E. Courage, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Lowestoft (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.B. Proudfoot, RN) and HMS Chiddingfold (Lt. L.W.L. Argles, RN). (4)

1 May 1942
HrMs O 9 (Lt. J.F. Drijfhout Van Hooff, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMCS Rosthern (Cdr. P.B. Cross, RCNVR), USS Niblack (Lt.Cdr. E.R. Durgin, USN), HMS Lowestoft (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.B. Proudfoot, RN) and HMS Pelican (Cdr. G.V. Gladstone, RN). (5)

2 May 1942
HrMs O 9 (Lt. J.F. Drijfhout Van Hooff, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Lowestoft (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.B. Proudfoot, RN), HMS Pelican (Cdr. G.V. Gladstone, RN) and HMS Quadrille (T/Lt. N.T. Chetwood, RNVR). (5)

7 May 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. J.A. Spender, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Shikari (Lt.Cdr. D.A. Rayner, DSC, VRD, RNVR), HMS Bryony (T/Lt. T. Hand, RNR), HMS Lowestoft (A/Cdr.(Retd.) L.H. Phillips, RN) and HMS Bergamot (Lt. R.T. Horan, RNR). (6)

9 May 1943
HMS Upstart (Lt. P.C. Chapman, DSC and Bar, RN) conducted A/S exercises in Lough Foyle with HMS Lowestoft (A/Cdr.(Retd.) L.H. Phillips, RN), HMS Bergamot (Lt. R.T. Horan, RNR) and HMS Bryony (T/Lt. T. Hand, RNR). (7)

10 May 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. J.A. Spender, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Lowestoft (A/Cdr.(Retd.) L.H. Phillips, RN). (6)

11 May 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. J.A. Spender, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Lowestoft (A/Cdr.(Retd.) L.H. Phillips, RN), USS Belknap and USS Badger. (6)

19 May 1943

Combined convoy WS 30 / KMS 15.

This combined convoy was formed off Oversay on 19 May 1943. The convoy was divided into convoys WS 30 and KMS 15 at sea on 25 May 1943.

The combined convoy was made up of the following (troop) transports; Arawa (British, 14462 GRT, built 1922), Argentina (American, 20614 GRT, built 1929), Boissevain (Dutch, 14134 GRT, built 1937), Brisbane Star (British, 12791 GRT, built 1937), Deseado (British, 9641 GRT, built 1942), Duchess of York (British, 20021 GRT, built 1929), Franconia (British, 20175 GRT, built 1923), H.F. Alexander (American, 8357 GRT, built 1915), Indrapoera (Dutch, 10825 GRT, built 1925), Johan van Oldenbarnevelt (Dutch, 19429 GRT, built 1930), Letitia (British, 13595 GRT, built 1925), Mataroa (British, 12390 GRT, built 1922), Ormonde (British, 14982 GRT, built 1917), Samaria (British, 19597 GRT, built 1921), Siboney (American, 6938 GRT, built 1918), Sloterdijk (Dutch, 9230 GRT, built 1940), Staffordshire (British, 10683 GRT, built 1929) and Stirling Castle (British, 25550 GRT, built 1936).

The landing ships HMS Royal Scotsman (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Armstrong, DSC, RD, RNR) and HMS Royal Ulsterman (Lt.Cdr. W.R.K. Clark, DSC, RD RNR) were also part of the convoy.

On formation off Oversay the convoy was escorted by the aircraft carrier, heavy cruiser HMS Suffolk (Capt. R. Shelley, CBE, RN), destroyers HMS Sardonyx (Lt.Cdr. A.F.C. Gray, RD, RNR), HMS Active (Lt.Cdr. P.G. Merriman, RN), HMS Boadicea (Lt.Cdr. F.C. Brodrick, RN), escort destroyers HMS Cleveland (Lt. J.K. Hamilton, RN), ORP Slazak (Lt.Cdr. R. Nalecz-Tyminski, ORP), sloops HMS Lowestoft (A/Cdr.(Retd.) L.H. Phillips, RN), HMS Wellington (Lt.Cdr. J.T. Jones, RD, RNR), HMS Weston (Cdr. L.F. Durnford-Slater, RN), Cutters 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 (A/Cdr. T.G.P. Crick, DSC, RN).

The destroyer HMS Sardonyx apparently parted company on 20 May.

HMS Cleveland fuelled from HMS Suffolk during the morning of 21 May.

At 1130Z/23, HMS Active sighted a surfaced submarine in position 42°16'N, 15°40'W at a range of about 6000 yards. Shortly afterwards HMS Ness also sighted this submarine. Both ships rushed towards to attack and the submarine was seen to crash dive. When the range was down to 2900 yards HMS Active obtained contact on the target with her Asdic. At 1143Z/23, HMS Active dropped a pattern of ten depth charges set at 150 and 300 feet. At 1150Z/23, HMS Ness dropped ten depth charges (150 and 300 feet). At 1158Z/23, HMS Active came back for another pattern of ten depth charges (350 and 550 feet). At 1212Z/23, HMS Ness dropped ten depth charges (350 and 550 feet). A double explosion was then heard by the two escorts. At 1223Z/23, HMS Active dropped ten depth charges (350 and 550 feet). At 1240Z/23, a small amount of wood and cork wreckage came to the surface as well as life-jackets, coffee tins marked 'Napoli' and a pair of fresh human lungs. At 1305Z/23, HMS Ness dropped a final pattern of ten depth charges (500, 550 and 700 feet). It is believed that the Italian submarine Leonardo Da Vinci was sunk in this attack. The most succesful Italian submarine of the Second World War disappeared with all hands. Nine officers and fifty-four ratings perished.

At 0630Z/24, the transports Brisbane Star and Deseado were detached from the convoy.

Around 1530Z/24 a German Focke Wulf aircraft attacked and dropped some bombs near HMS Unicorn but no damage was done.

The armed merchant cruiser HMS Corfu (Capt.(Retd.) C.C. Bell, DSO, RN) joined on either the 24th or the 25th.

At 1040Z/25 the convoy split up. All escorts proceeded with convoy KMF 15 except for HMS Suffolk, HMS Corfu which went along with WS 30. Convoy KMF 15 was made up of the transports Arawa, Boissevain, Duchess of York, Franconia, Indrapoera, Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, Letitia, Ormonde, Samaria, Staffordshire and Stirling Castle. HMS Royal Scotsman and HMS Royal Ulsterman were also part of this convoy.

The transport Letitia proceeded to Gibraltar as did HMS Unicorn. The escort destroyers HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN) and HMS Tynedale (Lt. J.J.S. Yorke, DSC, RN) had come out to escort them in. HMS Active, HMS Cleveland and ORP Slazak also put into Gibraltar.

The transports Staffordshire and Stirling Castle were detached and arrived at Oran on 26 May.

The remainder of convoy KMF 15 arrived at Algiers on 27 May.

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Convoy WS 30 continued on to Freetown and was made up of Argentina, Brisbane Star, Deseado, H.F. Alexander, Mataroa, Siboney and Sloterdijk. Their escort of HMS Suffolk and HMS Corfu was joined by the destroyers HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Sinclair, RN), HMS Foxhound (Cdr. C.J. Wynne-Edwards, DSC and Bar, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Catterick (Lt.Cdr. A. Tyson, RN) which all came from Gibraltar. HMS Boadicea also rejoined after fuelling at Casablanca.

In the morning of May 27th, HMS Antelope fuelled from HMS Suffolk.

The convoy arrived at Freetown on 31 May 1943.

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On 3 June 1943 the convoy departed Freetown now made up of the transports Argentina, H.F. Alexander, Mataroa, Nieuw Holland (Dutch, 11066 GRT, built 1927), Siboney and Sloterdijk.

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Sussex, armed merchant cruisers HMS Carnarvon Castle (Capt.(Retd.) E.W. Kitson, RN), HMS Corfu, destroyers HMS Wolverine (Lt. I.M. Clegg, RN), HMS Boardicea, HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Catterick.

At 1500Z/6, the transport Cuba (British, 11420 GRT, 1923) and the destroyer HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. S.R.J. Woods, RNR) joined the convoy coming from Takoradi.

At 1950Z/6, HMS Corfu and HMS Boadicea parted company with the convoy to proceed to Takoradi.

At 1445Z/9, the destroyers HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.M. Burrell, RAN), HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Farrington, RN) and HMS Redoubt (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Ropner, DSO, RN) joined the convoy coming from Pointe Noire.

At 1517Z/9, HMS Witch, HMS Wolverine and HMS Rapid parted company with the convoy to proceed to Pointe Noire.

Around 0730A/13, the transports Exceller (American, 6597 GRT, built 1941) and Santa Barbara (American, 6507 GRT, built 1943) joined the convoy as did the sloop Savorgnan de Brazza which had been escorting them.

On 15 June 1943 the convoy arrived at Capetown. HMS Sussex and HMS Carnarvon Castle then went on to Simonstown. In the approached to Capetown the destroyer HMAS Nizam (Cdr. C.H. Brooks, RAN) joined the escort as an enemy submarine had been reported to be operating in the area.

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On 16 June 1943, the convoy departed Capetown for Durban. It was now made up of the transports Argentina, Cuba, Exceller, Exiria (American, 6533 GRT, built 1941), H.F. Alexander, Mataroa, Nieuw Holland, Santa Barbara, Siboney and Sloterdijk.

The convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMAS Nizam, HMAS Norman, HMS Quadrant and HMS Redoubt.

On 18 June, the transport Sibajak (Dutch, 12226 GRT, built 1927) joined the convoy presumebly coming from Port Elizabeth or East London.

The convoy arrived at Durban on 20 June.

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On 25 June 1943, the convoy departed Durban for Aden / Bombay, now made up of the transports Cuba, General Fleischer (Norwegian, 5138 GRT, built 1943), Karagola (British, 7053 GRT, built 1917), Nieuw Holland, Sagoland (American, 5334 GRT, built 1913), Santa Barbara and Sibajak.

The convoy was now escorted by the destroyers HMAS Norman, HMAS Quickmatch (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, DSC, RAN) and HMS Rotherham (Capt. F.S.W. de Winton, RN).

The armed mercant cruiser HMS Canton ( A/Cdr.(Retd.) R.J.E. Daintree, RN) joined the convoy around 0900C/28 having departed Kilindini around 1745C/25.

The destroyers parted company with the convoy around 1830C/29 to return to Durban where they arrived in the morning of July 3rd.

Around 0900C/1, the armed merchant cruiser HMS Alaunia (Capt. R.H.C. Crawford, OBE, RNR) joined the convoy having departed Kilindini around 1730C/29. HMS Canton then parted company with the convoy to proceed to Kilindi taking the transports Karagola and Sagoland with her. They arrived at Kilindini around 1200C/2.

At 0310C/3, the transport Santa Barbara was detached to proceed independently to Colombo.

At 1115C/4, the transports General Fleischer and Sibajak were detached to proceed independently to Aden.

The transports Cuba and Nieuw Holland arrived at Bombay and their escort, HMS Alaunia, around 1000FG/9.

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).

10 Oct 1943
HMS Venturer (Lt. J.S. Launders, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Larne with HMS Philante (Capt. A.J. Baker-Cresswell, DSO, RN), ships from B 7 Escort Group, HMS Pink (Lt. R. Atkinson, DSC, RNR) and HMS Lowestoft (A/Cdr.(Retd.) L.H. Phillips, RN). (8)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/16373
  2. ADM 199/362
  3. ADM 199/1877
  4. File 2.12.03.6388 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  5. File 2.12.03.6369 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  6. ADM 173/17782
  7. ADM 173/18373
  8. ADM 173/18449

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


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