Allied Warships

HMS Grenville (ii) (R 97)

Destroyer of the U class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassU 
PennantR 97 
ModFlotilla leader 
Built bySwan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. (Wallsend-on-Tyne, U.K.): Wallsend 
Ordered12 Jun 1941 
Laid down1 Nov 1941 
Launched12 Oct 1942 
Commissioned27 May 1943 
End service 
History

Reconstructed as Type 15 frigate during 1953-1954.

Scrapped at Rochester in 1983.

 

Commands listed for HMS Grenville (ii) (R 97)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Roger Percival Hill, DSO, RN27 Apr 194328 Jan 1944
2Capt. Harold Pitcairn Henderson, RN28 Jan 1944Jun 1945
3Capt. Richard George Onslow, DSO, RNJun 194527 Aug 1945
4Capt. Harold Pitcairn Henderson, RN27 Aug 1945mid 1946

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Notable events involving Grenville (ii) include:


17 Jun 1943
During the morning, HMS Truant (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN), carries out A/S exercises with HMIS Narbada (Lt.Cdr. A.W. Beeton, RIN) and HMS Newark (Lt.Cdr. D.F. Townsend, RN).

During the afternoon A/S exercises were carried out with HMS Grenville (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Hill, DSO, RN) and HMS Obedient (Lt.Cdr. H. Unwin, DSC and Bar, RN). (1)

18 Jun 1943
HMS Upstart (Lt. P.C. Chapman, DSC and Bar, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Grenville (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Hill, DSO, RN) and HMS Savage (Cdr. R.C. Gordon, DSO, RN), HMS Hayling. (T/Lt. G.B. Christie, RNR) and HMS Bootle (Lt. A. Ecclestone, RN). (2)

19 Jun 1943
During the morning, HMS Truant (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN), carries out A/S exercises with HMS Grenville (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Hill, DSO, RN) and HMS Obedient (Lt.Cdr. H. Unwin, DSC and Bar, RN).

During the afternoon A/S exercises were carried out with HMS Savage (Cdr. R.C. Gordon, DSO, RN) and HMS Roebuck (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN). (1)

22 Jun 1943
During the morning, HMS Truant (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN), carries out A/S exercises with HMS Grenville (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Hill, DSO, RN) and HMIS Narbada (Lt.Cdr. A.W. Beeton, RIN).

During the afternoon A/S exercises were carried out with HMS Milne (Capt. I.M.R. Campbell, DSO, RN) and HMS Musketeer (Cdr. E.N.V. Currey, DSC, RN). (1)

25 Jun 1943
During the morning, HMS Truant (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN), carries out A/S exercises with HMS Grenville (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Hill, DSO, RN) and HMS Savage (Cdr. R.C. Gordon, DSO, RN).

During the afternoon A/S exercises were carried out with local small craft. (1)

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.

12 Nov 1943
HMS Renown (Capt. W.E. Parry, CB, RN) departed Plymouth for Gibralter. On board were the Prime Minister and his entourage. Mr. Churchill was to proceed to Cairo for the Sextant conference with President Roosevelt from the USA and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek from China.

On departure from Plymouth HMS Renown was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS London (Capt. R.V. Symonds-Tayler, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMS Rocket (Lt.Cdr. H.B. Acworth, OBE, RN), HMS Teazer (Lt.Cdr. A.A.F. Talbot, DSO and Bar, RN) and HMS Ulster (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Donald, DSC, RN).

They arrived in Gibraltar Bay around 1900/15 where HMS Renown picked up some passengers. HMS Renown and HMS London departed Gibraltar Bay again around 1930/15 with their destroyer escort. Around 2130/15 the destroyers HMS Douglas (Lt.Cdr. K.H.J.L. Phibbs, RN), HMS Antelope (Cdr. J.G. Gould, RN), HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Wallace, DSC, RN) and HMS Grenville (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Hill, DSO, RN) took over the escort.

Around 1230/16, HMS Renown, HMS London, HMS Douglas, HMS Antelope, HMS Anthony and HMS Grenville arrived at Algiers. While at Algiers most of Mr. Churchills entourage left HMS Renown and embarked on HMS London.

Around 1930/16, HMS Renown, HMS London, HMS Grenville departed Algiers for Malta. They were joined (later) at sea by the destroyers HMS Inglefield (Cdr. C.F.H. Churchill, DSC, RN) and Rocket which came from Gibraltar.

Around 1730/17, HMS Renown, HMS London, HMS Grenville, HMS Rocket and HMS Inglefield arrived at Malta.

As Mr. Churchill was sick, HMS Renown remained at Malta for the moment but HMS London left for Alexandria at 2200/17 escorted by HMS Rocket and HMS Ulster.

At 1830/18, HMS Rocket parted company to return to Malta where she arrived at 1115/19.

At 0615/19, HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.F. Taylor, RN) joined.

At 1300/19, HMS London, HMS Ulster and HMS Fury arrived at Alexandria.

At 2345/19, HMS Renown slipped her buoy at Malta to proceed to Alexandria. She was escorted by HMS Grenville, HMS Rocket and HMS Inglefield. They arrived at Alexandria at 1200/21. The Prime Minister and a small staff disembarked at 1315/21. (3)

23 Nov 1943
Around 1645/23, HMS Renown (Capt. W.E. Parry, CB, RN), departed Alexandria to return to the UK. On departure from Alexandria she was escorted by the destroyers HMS Grenville (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Hill, DSO, RN), HMS Ulster (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Donald, DSC, RN), HMS Rocket (Lt.Cdr. H.B. Acworth, OBE, RN) and HMS Echo (Lt.Cdr. R.H.C. Wyld, RN).

On the 25th HMS Echo was detached to Malta.

Around 1100/26, HMS Renown, HMS Grenville, HMS Ulster and HMS Rocket, arrived at Algiers.

Around 0030/27, HMS Renown departed Algiers for Gibraltar. She was now escorted by the destroyers HMS Grenville, HMS Ulster and HMS Isis (Cdr. B. Jones, DSO, DSC, RN). They arrived at Gibraltar around 2100/27.

HMS Renown departed Gibraltar for Rosyth around 2245/27 now escorted by HMS Rocket, HMS Tumult (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN) and HMS Ulster.

Around 1445/29, HMS Rocket, HMS Tumult and HMS Ulster parted company after HMS Janus (Lt.Cdr. W.B.R. Morrison, RN) and HMCS Athabascan (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Stubbs, RCN) had joined.

Around 1115/1, HMS Janus and HMCS Athabascan parted company.

Around 2000/2, HMS Meteor (Lt.Cdr. D.J.B. Jewitt, RN) and HMS Opportune (Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, DSO and Bar, RN) joined.

HMS Renown, HMS Meteor and HMS Opportune arrived at Rosyth around 1200/3. (3)

15 May 1944
HMS Voracious (Lt. F.D.G. Challis, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises at/off Scapa Flow with HMS Grenville (Capt. H.P. Henderson, RN), HMS Urchin (Lt.Cdr. J.T.B. Birch, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMS Undine (Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN). (4)

16 May 1944
HMS Voracious (Lt. F.D.G. Challis, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises at/off Scapa Flow with HMS Urchin (Lt.Cdr. J.T.B. Birch, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Nubian (Lt.Cdr. T.A. Pack-Beresford, RN) and HMS Grenville (Capt. H.P. Henderson, RN). (4)

30 Aug 1944
At HMS Malaya (Capt. E.W. Bush, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) departed Portsmouth to bombard the island of C├ęzembre off Saint-Malo, France.

She was escorted by the destoyers HMS Grenville (Capt. H.P. Henderson, RN) and HMS Offa (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Biggs, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN).

The island was bombarded between 1119 and 1442/30. Malaya reported aving obtained hits on both battery positions and on the barracks. Course was then set to return to Portsmouth where they arrived around 0700/1.

The garrison on the island surrendered on 2 September 1944. (5)

1 Jan 1945

Operation Lentil.

Air strikes against oil refineries at Pangkalan-Brandan (North-East Sumatra).

On 1 January 1945 a Force made up of the aircraft carriers HMS Indomitable (Capt. J.A.S. Eccles, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral P.L. Vian, KCB, KBE, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN), HMS Indefatigable (Capt. Q.D. Graham, CBE, DSO, RN), heavy cruiser HMS Suffolk (Capt. D. Gilmour, RN), light cruisers HMS Argonaut (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, CBE, RN), HMS Black Prince (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN), HMS Ceylon (Capt. G.B. Amery-Parkes, RN) and the destroyers HMS Kempenfelt (Capt. E.G. McGregor, DSO, RN), HMS Wager (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Watkin, RN) HMS Whelp (Cdr. G.A.F. Norfolk, RN), HMS Grenville (Capt. H.P. Henderson, RN), HMCS Undaunted (Lt.Cdr. C.E.R. Sharp, RN), HMS Undine (Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN), HMS Urania (Lt.Cdr. D.H.P. Gardiner, DSC, RN) and HMS Ursa (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, DSC, RN) departed Trincomalee for an air strike on oil refineries at Pangkalan-Brandan (North-East Sumatra).

On the morning of 4 January 1945, carrier aircraft were flown off to attack the oil refineries at Pangkalan Brandan and successfully completed the operation. Photographic reconnaissance was also made of port installations at Belawan Deli, Brandan, and Soesoe.

In the afternoon of 6 January 1945, HMS Indifatigable, HMS Sussex, HMS Kempenfelt, HMS Wakeful and HMS Uriana parted company with the remainder of the Force. These ships were to proceed to Colombo.

All ships from the force arrived at Trincomalee / Colombo on 7 January 1945. (6)

16 Jan 1945

Operation Meridian.

Air strikes against oil installations in the Palembang area (South-East Sumatra).

On 16 January 1945 ' Force 63 ' made up of the battleship HMS King George V (Capt. T.E. Halsey, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Vice Admiral H.B. Rawlings, KCB, OBE, RN), aircraft carriers HMS Indomitable (Capt. J.A.S. Eccles, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral P.L. Vian, KCB, KBE, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Illustrious (Capt. C.E. Lambe, CB, CVO, RN), HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN), HMS Indefatigable (Capt. Q.D. Graham, CBE, DSO, RN), light cruisers HMS Argonaut (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, CBE, RN), HMS Euryalus (Capt. R. Oliver-Bellesis, RN), HMS Black Prince (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN), HMS Ceylon (Capt. G.B. Amery-Parkes, RN) and the destroyers HMS Grenville (Capt. H.P. Henderson, RN), HMCS Undaunted (Lt.Cdr. C.E.R. Sharp, RN), HMS Undine (Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN), HMS Ursa (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, DSC, RN), HMS Kempenfelt (Capt. E.G. McGregor, DSO, RN), HMS Wager (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Watkin, RN), HMS Wakeful (Lt.Cdr. G.D. Pound, DSC, RN), HMS Wessex (Lt.Cdr. R. Horncastle, RN), HMS Whelp (Cdr. G.A.F. Norfolk, RN) and Whirlwind (Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, DSO, DSC, OBE, RN).

HMS Wessex apparently sailed from Trincomalee on the 17th and joined the Force at sea on the 19th.

An oiling force (' Force 69 ') made up of the tankers Echodale (8150 GRT, built 1941), Wave King (8159 GRT, built 1944) and Empire Salvage (10746 GRT, built 1940) had already departed Trincomalee on 13 January. They were escorted by the destroyer HMS Urchin (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Harkness, DSC, OBE, RD, RNR). A fouth tanker, the Arndale (8296 GRT, built 1937) joined ' force 69 ' on 23 January coming from Fremantle.

The submarines HMS Tantalus (Lt.Cdr. H.S. Mackenzie, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Tantivy (Lt. P.S. May, RN) and HMS Sturdy (Lt. W.St.G. Anderson, DSC, RNR) were positioned for air/sea rescue duties. (Tantalus east of Sumatra, Tantivy west of Sumatra and Sturdy in the Sunda Strait area.)

On 20 January ships from ' Force 63 ' were refuelled by ' Force 69 '. Due to the weather conditions this was done only with difficulty and some of the refuelling gear of the tankers was damaged. HMS Ceylon was now assigned to ' Force 69 ' to give protection to this Force. [Note: Arndale at this moment was not yet with ' Force 69 '.]

' Force 63 ' then proceeded on the first phase of the operation, to launch air strikes on the oil installations at Pladjoe (north of Palembang) which were to be flown off on 21 January but the weather prevented this. It was only at 24 January that the weather had cleared to enable flying operations. 43 Avengers, 12 Firefly's (equipped with rockets) and 50 Hellcat, Corsair and Seafire fighters were flown off. The enemy installations were damaged but at the cost of no less then 32 aircraft due to enemy action (7) or crash landings (25). 14 enemy fighters were reported shot down in the air and 38 aircraft were reported to have been destroyed on the gound.

' Force 63 ' then retired from the area to rendezvous with ' Force 69 ' and refuel. This was done on 26 / 27 January.

' Force 63 ' then proceeded to the launch position for the second phase of operation during which air attacks were to be made on oil installations at Soengi-Gerong (also near Palembang). 48 Avenger, 10 Fireflies, 24 Corsairs and 16 Hellcats were launched. During dogfight 30 Japanese aircraft were shot down and another 38 were reported as having been destroyed on the ground. 16 aircraft did not return to the carriers.

A Japanese counter attack with 12 bombers failed. All were shot down by fighters from the Combat Air Patrol or AA fire from the ships.

' Force 63 ' then fuelled again from ' Force 69 ' on 30 January.

' Force 63 ' arrived at Fremantle on 4 February 1945.

' Force 69 ', minus Arndale and Wave King returned to Trincomalee on 6 February 1945. The other two tankers went to Australia. HMS Ceylon had parted company with ' Force 69 ' on 4 February and arrived at Trincomalee on 5 February.

25 Jun 1945
HMS Vox (Lt. W.E.I. Littlejohn, DSC, RANVR) conducted A/S exercises off Sydney with HMS Undine (Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN), HMS Ulysses, HMS Urania (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Grenville (Capt. R.G. Onslow, DSO, RN), HMCS Undaunted (Lt.Cdr. C.E.R. Sharp, RN) and HMS Urchin (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Harkness, DSC, OBE, RD, RNR). (7)

Media links


British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Sources

  1. ADM 173/18284
  2. ADM 173/18374
  3. ADM 53/118436
  4. ADM 173/19434
  5. ADM 53/119847 + ADM 53/119848
  6. ADM 199/1457
  7. ADM 173/20353

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


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