Allied Warships

HMS Cygnet (U 38)

Sloop of the Modified Black Swan class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSloop
ClassModified Black Swan 
PennantU 38 
Built byCammell Laird Shipyard (Birkenhead, U.K.) 
Ordered27 Mar 1941 
Laid down30 Aug 1941 
Launched28 Jul 1942 
Commissioned1 Dec 1942 
End service 
History

Scrapped 16 March 1956.

 

Commands listed for HMS Cygnet (U 38)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. (retired) Francis Babington Proudfoot, RN27 Sep 194219 Jan 1944
2Cdr. Donald Murdo MacLean, RD, RNR19 Jan 1944late 1944
3Lt.Cdr. Patrick James Cowell, DSC, RNlate 1944May 1945

4A/Lt.Cdr. Alan Henry Pierce, OBE, RNR30 Jun 1945Oct 1945 ?

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Notable events involving Cygnet include:


25 Feb 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) was conducting exercises on Inmarnock Water when she was ordered to search in the Clyde area for her missing sister ship HMS Vandal (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN).

The following submarines / ships were also ordered to search for HMS Vandal (which was not found until 1994); HMS Graph (Lt. P.B. Marriott, DSO, RN), HMS L 27 (Lt. W.N. Eade, RNR), HMS Severn (Lt.Cdr. A.N.G. Campbell, RN), HMS Stubborn (Lt. A.A. Duff, RN), HMS Whitehall (Cdr. C.L.de H. Bell, RD, RNR), HMS Breda (Capt.(Retd.) A.E. Johnston, RN), HMS Kingfisher (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) G.H. Gandy, RN), HMS La Capricieuse (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Dobson, RNR), HMS Cygnet (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.B. Proudfoot, RN), HMS Tedworth (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) G.H. Warren, RN) and HrMs Jan van Gelder (Lt. P.L.M. van Geen, RNN). (1)

2 Mar 1943
HMS Stubborn (Lt. A.A. Duff, RN) conducted D/F trials in the Clyde area. Following these trials A/S and attack exercises were carried out with HMS Cygnet (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.B. Proudfoot, RN). These included night exercises. (2)

16 Apr 1943
HMS Satyr (Lt. T.S. Weston, RN) arrived at Larne where a boarding execises was carried out with HMS Cygnet (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.B. Proudfoot, RN). (3)

13 Aug 1943
HMS H 34 (Lt. B. Charles, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Campbeltown with HMS L'Incomprise (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.S. Deveson, RNR) and HMS Cygnet (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.B. Proudfoot, RN). (4)

23 Feb 1944
HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. W.N. Eade, RNR) conducted A/S exercises in the Clyde area with HMS Cygnet (Cdr. D.M. MacLean, RN). (5)

8 Apr 1944
German U-boat U-962 was sunk in north Atlantic north-west of Cape Finisterre, in position 45°43'N, 19°57'W, by depth charges from the British sloops HMS Crane (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Jenkins, RN)
and HMS Cygnet (Cdr. D.M. MacLean, RN).

17 Jul 1944
HMS Upright (Lt. J.A.L. Wilkinson, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Campbeltown with HMS Cygnet (Cdr. D.M. MacLean, RD, RNR). These were followed by exercises with HMS H 50 (Lt. W.T.J. Fox, RN). (6)

1 Aug 1944
HrMs O 9 (Lt. R.W. van Lynden, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Campbeltown with HMS Tintagel Castle (Lt. R. Atkinson, DSC, RNR), HMS Allington Castle (T/A/Lt.Cdr. W.G. Ogden, DSC, RNVR) and HMS Cygnet (Cdr. D.M. MacLean, RD, RNR). (7)

7 Aug 1944
HMS Tiptoe (Lt.Cdr. P.R.H. Harrison, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Larne with HMS Peacock (Lt.Cdr. R.B. Stannard, VC, DSO, RD, RNR), HMS Cygnet (Cdr. D.M. MacLean, RD, RNR) and HMCS Assiniboine (A/Lt.Cdr. R.P. Welland, DSC, RCN). (8)

8 Aug 1944
HMS Tiptoe (Lt.Cdr. P.R.H. Harrison, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Larne with HMS Peacock (Lt.Cdr. R.B. Stannard, VC, DSO, RD, RNR) and HMS Cygnet (Cdr. D.M. MacLean, RD, RNR). (8)

15 Sep 1944

Convoy JW 60.

This convoy departed Loch Ewe on 15 September 1944 and arrived in the Kola Inlet on 23 September 1944.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Adolph S. Ochs (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Arunah S. Abell (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), British Patience (British (tanker), 8097 GRT, built 1943), Cardinal Gibbons (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Daniel Willard (American, 7200 GRT, built 1942), David Stone (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Dexter W. Fellows (American, 7210 GRT, built 1944), Edward A. Savoy (American, 7210 GRT, built 1944), Edward E. Spafford (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Empire Celia (British, 7025 GRT, built 1943), Francis Scott Key (Amercian, 7191 GRT, built 1941), Frederic A. Kummer (American, 7210 GRT, built 1944), Frederic W. Taylor (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), George T. Angell (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Hawkins Fudske (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Henry Lomb (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), John J. Abel (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), John Vining (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), John Woolman (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), Joshua Thomas (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Julius Olsen (American, 7247 GRT, built 1944), Lewis Emery Jr. (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Lucerna (British (tanker for refueling the escorts), 6556 GRT, built 1930), Nathaniel Alexander (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Neritina (British (tanker), 8228 GRT, built 1943), Noreg (Norwegian (tanker), 7605 GRT, built 1931), Raymond B. Stevens (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Richard M. Johnson (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Samaritan (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943) and Thomas U. Walter (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943).

The rescue ship Zamalek (British, 1567 GRT, built 1921) was also with the convoy.

The convoy had a close escort made up of the sloop HMS Cygnet (Cdr. D.M. MacLean, RD, RNR, Senior Officer of the close escort), destroyers HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. C.G. Walker, RN), HMS Keppel (Cdr. I.J. Tyson, DSO, DSC, RNR), HMS Whitehall (Lt.Cdr. P.J. Cowell, DSC, RN) and the corvettes HMS Allington Castle (A/Lt.Cdr. P.A. Read, RNR) and HMS Bamborough Castle (T/Lt. M.S. Work, DSC and Bar, RNR).

A group of destroyers; HMS Saumarez (Capt. P.G.L. Cazalet, DSC, RN), HMS Scorpion (Cdr. W.S. Clouston, DSC, RN), HMS Venus (Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson DSO, RN), HMS Virago (Lt.Cdr. A.J.R. White, RN) and HMS Volage (Cdr. L.G. Durlacher, OBE, RN) also departed Loch Ewe with the convoy. The destroyer HMCS Sioux (A/Lt.Cdr. E.E.G. Boak, RCN) later joined at sea having departed Scapa Flow at 2359B/14.

To provide cover for this convoy the battleship HMS Rodney (Capt. R.O. Fitzroy, RN), escort carriers HMS Campania (A/Capt. K.A. Short, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.R. McGrigor, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Striker (Capt. W.P. Carne, RN), light cruiser HMS Diadem (Capt. E.G.A. Clifford, RN) and the destroyers HMS Myngs (Capt. M.L. Power, CBE, RN), HMS Zambesi (Lt.Cdr. W. Scott, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Verulam (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, DSC, RN), HMCS Algonquin (Lt.Cdr. D.W. Piers, DSC, RCN), HMS Savage (Lt.Cdr. C.W. Malins, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) and HNoMS Stord (Lt.Cdr. H. Øi) departed Scapa Flow around 1300B/16.

At 0720B/17, the destroyers HMS Milne (Capt. M. Richmond, DSO, OBE, RN), HMS Marne (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, DSO, RN), HMS Meteor (Lt.Cdr. D.J.B. Jewitt, RN and HMS Musketeer (Cdr. R.L. Fisher, OBE, DSC, RN) joined. These destroyers had departed Scapa Flow at 2100B/15 and had fuelled at Skaalefiord in the Faroer Islands on the 16th. Upon these destroyers joining HMS Myngs, HMS Zambesi, HMS Savage and HNoMS Stord then parted company to return to Scapa Flow where they arrived at 1900B/17.

The cover force joined the convoy around 1030B/17. HMS Rodney and the escort carriers took station in the convoy.

The convoy and it's escort arrived in the Kola Inlet unmolested on 23 September.

On arrival Rear-Admiral McGregor transferred his flag to HMS Rodney. Shortly before leaving the Kola Inlet with the return convoy he transferred back to HMS Campania.

28 Sep 1944

Convoy RA 60.

This convoy departed the Kola Inlet on 28 September 1944 and arrived in the Clyde on 5 October 1944.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; British Promise (British (tanker), 8443 GRT, built 1942), Charles A. McAllister (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Charles Dauray (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Clark Howell (American, 7198 GRT, built 1944), David B. Johnson (American, 7198 GRT, built 1944), Edward H. Crockett (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Edward L. Grant (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Elijah Kellogg (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Fort Glenora (American, 7126 GRT, built 1943), Frank Gilbreth (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), John La Farge (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Jose Marti (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Josephine Shaw Lowell (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Leo J. Duster (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Nacella (British (tanker), 8196 GRT, built 1943), Noreg (Norwegian (tanker), 7605 GRT, built 1931), Oakley Wood (American, 7210 GRT, built 1944), Samannan (British, 7219 GRT, built 1944), Samcalia (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Samconstant (British, 7219 GRT, built 1944), Samgara (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Samidway (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Samloyal (British, 7210 GRT, built 1944), Samlyth (British, 7210 GRT, built 1944), Samsuva (British, 7219 GRT, built 1944), Samtredy (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Silas Weir Mitchell (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Thomas Donaldson (American, 7210 GRT, built 1944), Thomas H. Sumner (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944) and Warren Delano (American, 7210 GRT, built 1944).

Two rescue ships were with the convoy Rathlin (British, 1600 GRT, built 1936) and Zamalek (British, 1567 GRT, built 1921).

The convoy had a close escort made up of the sloop HMS Cygnet (Cdr. D.M. MacLean, RD, RNR, Senior Officer of the close escort), destroyers HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. C.G. Walker, RN), HMS Keppel (Cdr. I.J. Tyson, DSO, DSC, RNR), HMS Whitehall (Lt.Cdr. P.J. Cowell, DSC, RN) and the corvettes HMS Allington Castle (A/Lt.Cdr. P.A. Read, RNR) and HMS Bamborough Castle (T/Lt. M.S. Work, DSC and Bar, RNR).

A cover force was with the convoy made up of HMS Rodney (Capt. R.O. Fitzroy, RN), escort carriers HMS Campania (A/Capt. K.A. Short, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.R. McGrigor, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Striker (Capt. W.P. Carne, RN), light cruiser HMS Diadem (Capt. E.G.A. Clifford, RN) and the destroyers HMS Milne (Capt. M. Richmond, DSO, OBE, RN), HMS Marne (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, DSO, RN), HMS Meteor (Lt.Cdr. D.J.B. Jewitt, RN and HMS Musketeer (Cdr. R.L. Fisher, OBE, DSC, RN), HMS Saumarez (Capt. P.G.L. Cazalet, DSC, RN), HMS Scorpion (Cdr. W.S. Clouston, DSC, RN), HMS Venus (Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson DSO, RN), HMS Verulam (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, DSC, RN), HMS Virago (Lt.Cdr. A.J.R. White, RN) and HMS Volage (Cdr. L.G. Durlacher, OBE, RN), HMCS Algonquin (Lt.Cdr. D.W. Piers, DSC, RCN) and HMCS Sioux (A/Lt.Cdr. E.E.G. Boak, RCN).

On 29 September 1944 the merchant vessels Edward H. Crockett and Samsuva were sunk during an attack by the German submarine U-310. Following the sinking the rescue ships picked up the survivors and the wreck of the Edward H. Crockett was scuttled by HMS Milne and the wreck of the Samsuva by HMS Bulldog and HMS Musketeer. The German submarine was hunted and depth charged but managed to escape undamaged.

HMS Diadem arrived at Scapa Flow at 0700A/3 having parted company with the convoy at 2030B/1.

Around 1800A/3, HMS Rodney, HMS Campania, HMS Striker, HMS Saumarez, HMS Scorpion, HMS Venus, HMS Virago, HMS Volage and HMCS Sioux parted company with the convoy to proceed to Scapa Flow where they arrived around 0800A/4.

The remaining destroyers, HMS Milne, HMS Marne, HMS Meteor, HMS Musketeer, HMS Verulam and HMCS Algonquin parted company with the convoy later and arrived at Scapa Flow around 1800A/4.

The convoy arrived in the Clyde on 5 October 1944.

29 Oct 1944
HMS Safari (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J.R.G. Harvey, RN) conducted attack exercises for the C.O.Q.C. (Commanding Officers Qualifying Course) in the Clyde area during which HMS Cygnet (Lt.Cdr. P.J. Cowell, DSC, RN) served as target. (9)

14 Nov 1944
HMS H 50 (Lt. W.T.J. Fox, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Campbeltown with HMS Cygnet (Lt.Cdr. P.J. Cowell, DSC, RN). (10)

13 Apr 1945
HMS Unruly (T/Lt. D.J. Palmer, RNVR) conducted A/S exercises off Campbeltown with HMS Shemara (Cdr.(Retd.) H. Buckle, RN), HMS St. Modwen (T/A/Lt.Cdr. F.J.G. Rice, RNR), HMS Cygnet (Lt.Cdr. P.J. Cowell, DSC, RN) and HMS Bamborough Castle (T/A/Lt.Cdr. H. Vernon, RNR). (11)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/18388
  2. ADM 173/18132
  3. ADM 173/17998
  4. ADM 173/17797
  5. ADM 173/19073
  6. ADM 173/19284
  7. File 2.12.03.6373 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  8. ADM 173/19028
  9. ADM 173/18626
  10. ADM 173/18534
  11. ADM 173/20144

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


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