Allied Warships

HMS Starling (U 66)

Sloop of the Modified Black Swan class


HMS Starling at Greenock in March 1943. Photo from Imperial War Museum (IWM), A-15582

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSloop
ClassModified Black Swan 
PennantU 66 
Built byFairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. (Govan, Scotland) 
Ordered18 Jul 1941 
Laid down21 Oct 1941 
Launched14 Oct 1942 
Commissioned1 Apr 1943 
End service 
History

 

Commands listed for HMS Starling (U 66)

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CommanderFromTo
1Capt. Frederick John Walker, DSO, RN21 Mar 19437 Jul 1944
2Cdr. Norman Winder Duck, DSC, RD, RNR8 Jul 19441 Aug 1944
3A/Cdr. David Edward Gillespie Wemyss, DSO, DSC, RN1 Aug 194425 Aug 1944
4Cdr. (retired) George William Emil Castens, DSO, RN25 Aug 194428 Oct 1944
5Cdr. William Cole, RD, RNR28 Oct 1944Feb 1945
6Lt. Cedric Charles Fielding Scarlett, RNFeb 194526 Jun 1945
7T/A/Lt.Cdr. Geoffrey Court Julian, RNZNVR26 Jun 194515 Sep 1945

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Notable events involving Starling include:


21 Apr 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. J.A. Spender, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Bideford (Lt.Cdr. W.F. Hollins, RN), HMCS Kenogami (T/Lt. J.L. Percy, RCNVR), HMS Starling (Capt. F.W. Walker, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Winchelsea (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Gregorie, RD, RNR), HMS Snowflake (Lt. H.G. Chesterman, RNR), HMS Loosestrife (Lt. H.A. Stonehouse, RNR), HMS Pink (Lt. R. Atkinson, DSC, RNR) and HMS Tay (Lt.Cdr. R.E. Sherwood, RNR). (1)

22 Apr 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. J.A. Spender, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with ships of Escort Group B 7, HMS Starling (Capt. F.W. Walker, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Bideford (Lt.Cdr. W.F. Hollins, RN) and HMS Winchelsea (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Gregorie, RD, RNR) and another vessel [unable to read the name of this vessel in the log of HMS H 33]. (1)

23 Apr 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. J.A. Spender, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Starling (Capt. F.W. Walker, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Bideford (Lt.Cdr. W.F. Hollins, RN) and HMS Winchelsea (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Gregorie, RD, RNR). (1)

24 Apr 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. J.A. Spender, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Starling (Capt. F.W. Walker, DSO and Bar, RN) and HMS Winchelsea (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Gregorie, RD, RNR) (1)

2 Jun 1943
German U-boat U-202 was sunk at 0030hrs on 2 June 1943 in the North Atlantic south-east of Cape Farewell, in position 56°12'N, 39°52'W, by depth charges and gunfire from the British sloop HMS Starling (Capt. F.W. Walker, DSO and Bar, RN).

24 Jun 1943
German U-boat U-119 was sunk in the Bay of Biscay north-west of Cape Ortegal, Spain, in position 44°59'N, 12°24'W by ramming and depth charges from the British sloop HMS Starling (Capt. F.W. Walker, DSO and Bar, RN).

2 Sep 1943
HMS H 28 (Lt. E.C. Croswell, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Starling (Capt. F.W. Walker, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Kite (Lt.Cdr. W.F.R. Segrave, RN), HMS Wild Goose (A/Cdr. D.E.G. Wemyss, DSC, RN), HMS Amaranthus (T/A/Lt.Cdr. W.G. Pardoe-Matthews, RNR) and HMS Bentinck (Cdr.(Retd.) H.J.R. Paramore, RN). (2)

16 Oct 1943
HMS H 50 (Lt. J.C. Varley, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Wild Goose (A/Cdr. D.E.G. Wemyss, RN), HMS Starling (Capt. F.W. Walker, CB, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Ettrick (Lt.Cdr. J.E. Woolfenden, RD, RNR), HMS Pennywort (A/Lt.Cdr. O.G. Stuart, RCNVR) and HMCS Assiniboine (A/Lt.Cdr. R.P. Welland, DSC, RCN). (3)

6 Nov 1943
German U-boat U-842 was sunk at 1400hrs on 6 November 1943 in the western North Atlantic, in position 43°42'N, 42°08'W, by depth charges from the British sloops HMS Starling (Capt. F.W. Walker, CB, DSO and Bar, RN) and HMS Wild Goose (Lt.Cdr. D.E.G. Wemyss, DSC, RN).

6 Nov 1943
German U-boat U-226 was sunk at 0700hrs on 6 November 1943 in the North Atlantic east of Newfoundland, in position 44°49'N, 41°13'W, by depth charges from the British sloops HMS Starling (Capt. F.W. Walker, CB, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Woodcock (Lt.Cdr. C. Gwinner, DSO, RN) and HMS Kite (Lt.Cdr. W.F.R. Segrave, DSC, RN).

31 Jan 1944
German U-boat U-592 was sunk at 1000hrs on 31 January 1944 in the North Atlantic south-west of Ireland, in position 50°20'N, 17°29'W, by depth charges from the British sloops HMS Starling (Capt. F.W. Walker, CB, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Wild Goose (Lt.Cdr. D.E.G. Wemyss, DSC, RN) and HMS Magpie (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Abram, RN).

9 Feb 1944
German U-boat U-734 was sunk in the North Atlantic south-west of Ireland, in position 49°43'N, 16°23'W by depth charges from the British sloops HMS Wild Goose (Lt.Cdr. D.E.G. Wemyss, DSC, RN) and HMS Starling (Capt. F.W. Walker, CB, DSO and Bar, RN).

9 Feb 1944
German U-boat U-238 was sunk in the North Atlantic south-west of Ireland, in position 49°45'N, 16°07'W, by depth charges from the British sloops HMS Kite (Lt.Cdr. A.N.G. Campbell, RN), HMS Magpie (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Abram, RN) and HMS Starling (Capt. F.W. Walker, CB, DSO and Bar, RN).

19 Feb 1944
German U-boat U-264 was sunk at 1707hrs on 19 February 1944 in the North Atlantic, in position 48°31'N, 22°05'W, by depth charges from the British sloops HMS Woodpecker (Cdr. H.L. Pryse, RNR) and HMS Starling (Capt. F.W. Walker, CB, DSO and Bar, RN).

8 Mar 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt.Cdr. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and 2 bars, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Larne with HMS Starling (Capt. F.W. Walker, CB, DSO and 2 Bars, RN) and HMS Whimbrel (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Moore, DSC, RNR). Following these A/S exercises a practice attack was made on HMS Starling. (4)

15 Mar 1944
German U-boat U-653 was sunk in the North Atlantic, in position 53°46'N, 24°35'W, by depth charges from a Swordfish aircraft of the British escort carrier HMS Vindex (Capt. H.T.T. Bayliss, RN), and by depth charges from the British sloops HMS Starling (Capt. F.J. Walker, CB, DSO and 2 Bars, RN) and HMS Wild Goose (Lt.Cdr. D.E.G. Wemyss, DSC and Bar, RN).

27 Mar 1944

Convoy JW 58.

This convoy departed Loch Ewe on 27 March 1944 and arrived in the Kola Inlet on 4 April 1944.

On departure the convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Andrew Carnegie (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Arunah S. Abell (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Barbara Frietchie (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Benjamin H. Latrobe (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Benjamin Schlesinger (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Charles Gordon Curtis (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Charles Henderson (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Dolabella (British, 8142 GRT, built 1939), Edward P. Alexander (American, 7201 GRT, built 1943), Empire Prowess (British, 7058 GRT, built 1943), Fort Columbia (British, 7155 GRT, built 1942), Fort Hall (British, 7157 GRT, built 1943), Fort Kullyspell (British, 7190 GRT, built 1943), Fort Vercheres (British, 7128 GRT, built 1942), Fort Yukon (British, 7153 GRT, built 1943), Francis Scott Key (American, 7191 GRT, built 1941), Francis Vigo (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), George Gale (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), George M. Cohan (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), George T. Angell (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Grace Abbott (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Hawkins Fudske (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Henry Villard (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), James Smith (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), John B. Lennon (American, 7198 GRT, built 1943), John Carver (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), John Davenport (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), John McDonogh (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Joseph N. Nocollet (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Joshua Thomas (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Joyce Kilmer (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Julien Poydras (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Lacklan (British, 8670 GRT, built 1929), Morris Hillquit (American, 7210 GRT, built 1944), Nicholas Biddle (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Noreg (Norwegian (tanker), 7605 GRT, built 1931), Pierre S. Dupont (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Thomas Sim Lee (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Townsend Harris (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), W.R. Grace (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), William D. Byron (American, 7210 GRT, built 1944), William Matson (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), William McKinley (American, 7200 GRT, built 1943), William Moultrie (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), William Pepper (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) and William S. Thayer (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943).

The rescue vessel Rathlin (British, 1600 GRT, built 1936) was also with the convoy.

On departure from Loch Ewe the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Westcott (Cdr.(Retd.) H. Lambton, RN), HMS Whitehall (Lt.Cdr. P.J. Cowell, DSC, RN), HMS Wrestler (Lt.Cdr. R.W.B. Lacon, DSC, RN), HMS Inconstant (Lt.Cdr J.H. Eaden, DSC and Bar, RN), minesweepers Rattlesnake (Lt.Cdr. A.E. Coles, RD, RNR), Orestes (Lt.Cdr. A.W.R. Adams, RN), HMS Onyx (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.C.L. Gaussen, RNVR) and the corvettes HMS Bluebell (Lt. G.H. Walker, DSC, RNVR), HMS Honeysuckle (T/Lt. J.A. Wright, RNR), HMS Lotus (Lt. C.S. Thomas, RNR), HMS Rhododendron (T/Lt. O.B. Medley, RNVR) and HMS Starwort (Lt. A.H. Kent, RNR).

On 28 March 1944, the light cruisers HMS Diadem (Capt. E.G.A. Clifford, RN), i>USS Milwaukee (T/Capt. C.F. Fielding, USN), escort carriers HMS Activity (Capt. G. Willoughby, RN), HMS Tracker (A/Capt. J.H. Huntley, RN) and the destroyers HMS Venus (Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson DSO, RN), HMS Scorpion (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Clouston, RN), HMS Serapis (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN) and HNoMS Stord (Lt.Cdr. S.V. Storheill) departed Scapa Flow to join the convoy which they did on 29 March.

The sloops HMS Starling (Capt. F.J. Walker, CB, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Wild Goose (Lt.Cdr. D.E.G. Wemyss, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Whimbrel (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Moore, DSC, RNR), HMS Wren (Lt.Cdr. S.R.J. Woods, RNR) and HMS Magpie (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Abram, RN) departed Scapa Flow also on 28 March to join the convoy which they too did on 29 March.

On 29 March 1944, the destroyers HMS Saumarez (Capt. P.G.L. Cazalet, DSC, RN), HMS Onslow (Capt. J.A. McCoy, DSO, RN), HMS Oribi (Lt.Cdr. J.C.A. Ingram, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Offa (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Leonard, RN), HMS Obedient (Lt.Cdr. H. Unwin, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Opportune (Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Orwell (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Hodges, DSO, RN), HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. P. Bekenn, RN), HMS Beagle (Lt.Cdr. N.R. Murch, RN), HMS Boadicea (Lt.Cdr. F.W. Hawkins, RN), HMS Keppel (Cdr. I.J. Tyson, DSC, RD, RNR) and HMS Walker (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Rowell, RN) departed Skaalefiord, Iceland and joined the convoy.

On 29 March 1944, the German submarine U-961 was sunk near the convoy by HMS Starling.

Also on 29 March, two more merchant ships joined the convoy, these were the Gilbert Stuart (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) and John T. Holt (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) coming from Reykjavik, Iceland. The merchant vessel Eloy Alfaro (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944) had also sailed with them but had to return and proceeded to Seidisfjord before she could join the convoy due to ice damage. She arrived at Seidisfjord on the 30th. These ships were escorted by the frigate HMS Fitzroy (Lt. C.D.C. McNeil, RNVR) and the minesweepers HMS Chamois (T/A/Lt.Cdr. D.P. Richardson, RNVR) and HMS Chance (T/Lt. P.P. Lees, RNVR). These escorts did not join the convoy.

Also on 29 March the minesweepers HMS Rattlesnake, HMS Onyx, HMS Orestes and the corvette HMS Starwort parted company with the convoy. The minesweepers proceeded to Skaalefjord, Faeroer Islands arriving there later the same day. HMS Starwort proceeded to Londonderry arriving the on the 30th.

On 30 March four German shadowing aircraft were shot down by fighters from the escort carriers which themselves lost two aircraft.

On 31 March the German submarine U-673 was damaged by HMS Beagle and aircraft from HMS Tracker.

On 2 April two German shadowing aircraft were shot down by fighters from the escort carriers. Also the German submarine U-360 was sunk by Hedgehog attack from HMS Keppel.

On 3 April the German submarine U-288 was sunk by aircraft from the escort carriers.

ON 4 April, the convoy (39 ships) was split into two sections, one proceeded to the Kola Inlet arriving later the same day with the original escort. The other (with 10 ships), with a local escort which joined on this day to the White Sea where it arrived on the 6th. This local escort was made up of the Russian destroyers Gremyashchiy, Razumniy, Razyarenniy and Valerian Kyubishev.

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Distant cover for this convoy was provided by a battleforce known as ' Force 1 ', it departed Scapa Flow around 1200A/30 and was made up of the battleships HMS Duke of York (Capt. B.B. Schofield, RN, flying the flag of Admiral B.A. Fraser, GCB, KBE, RN), HMS Anson (Capt. E.D.B. McCarthy, DSO and Bar, RN flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.R. Moore, KCB, DSO, CVO, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN), light cruiser HMS Belfast (Capt. F.R. Parham, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Onslaught (Cdr. the Hon. A. Pleydell-Bouverie, RN), HMS Javelin (Lt.Cdr. P.B.N. Lewis, DSC, RN), ORP Piorun (Cdr. T. Gorazdowski), HMCS Algonquin (Lt.Cdr. D.W. Piers, DSC, RCN) and HMCS Sioux (A/Lt.Cdr. E.E.G. Boak, RCN).

Around 0250A/31, the destroyers HMS Milne (Capt. I.M.R. Campbell, DSO, RN), HMS Marne (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, DSO, RN), HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Walmsley, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Meteor (Lt.Cdr. D.J.B. Jewitt, RN), HMS Undaunted (Lt.Cdr. A.A. Mackenzie, RD, RNR) and HMS Ursa (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, DSC, RN) joined coming from Skaalefjord, Faeroer Islands.

Around 0340A/31, the original destroyer screen were detached to Skaalefjord arriving there later the same day.

On 2 April ' Force 1 ' proceeded to join ' Force 2 ' coming from Scapa Flow for the upcoming Operation Tungsten. (5)

29 Mar 1944
German U-boat U-961 was sunk east of Iceland, in position 64°31'N, 03°19'W, by depth charges from the British frigate HMS Starling (Capt. F.W. Walker, CB, DSO and 2 Bars, RN).

6 May 1944
German U-boat U-473 was sunk at 0200 hrs in the North Atlantic west south-west of Ireland, in position 49°29'N, 21°22'W, by depth charges from the British sloops HMS Starling (Capt. F.J. Walker, CB, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Wren (Lt.Cdr. S.R.J. Woods, RNR) and HMS Wild Goose (Lt.Cdr. D.E.G. Wemyss, DSC and Bar, RN).

31 Jul 1944
German U-boat U-333 was sunk in the North Atlantic west of the Scilly Isles, in position 49°39'N, 07°28'W, by depth charges from the British sloop HMS Starling (Cdr. N.W. Duck, DSC, RNR) and the British frigate HMS Loch Killin (Lt.Cdr. S. Darling, RANVR).

11 Aug 1944
German U-boat U-385 was sunk in the Bay of Biscay west of La Rochelle, in position 46°16'N, 02°45'W, by depth charges from the British sloop HMS Starling (Cdr. N.W. Duck, DSC, RNR) and depth charges from an Australian Sunderland aircraft (RAAF Sqdn. 461/P).

22 Aug 1945
HMS Vulpine (Lt. W.D.S. Scott, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Starling (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G.C. Julian, RNZNVR). (6)

23 Aug 1945
HMS Vulpine (Lt. W.D.S. Scott, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Starling (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G.C. Julian, RNZNVR). These were however soon abandoned due to the bad visibility. (6)

23 Aug 1945
HMS Vulpine (Lt. W.D.S. Scott, RN) conducte exercises off Tobermory which included a practive attack on HMS Starling (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G.C. Julian, RNZNVR). (6)

Media links


The Fighting Captain

Burn, Alan

Sources

  1. ADM 173/17781
  2. ADM 173/17762
  3. ADM 173/17833
  4. ADM 173/18996
  5. ADM 199/1427
  6. ADM 173/20367

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


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