Allied Warships

HMS Viscount (D 92)

Destroyer of the Admiralty V & W class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassAdmiralty V & W 
PennantD 92 
ModLong range escort 
Built byThornycroft (Southampton, U.K.) 
Ordered30 Jun 1916 
Laid down20 Dec 1916 
Launched29 Dec 1917 
Commissioned4 Mar 1918 
End service 
History

Reconstruction to Long Range Escort finished in December 1941.

Sold to be broken up for scrap on 20 March 1945. Scrapped on 27 May 1947.

 

Commands listed for HMS Viscount (D 92)

Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

CommanderFromTo
1Lt. Michael Southcote Townsend, RN24 Aug 1939mid 1941

2Lt.Cdr. John Valentine Waterhouse, RN9 Dec 194118 Jul 1943
3Lt.Cdr. Leslie Ernest Woodhouse, RN18 Jul 1943early 1945

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Notable events involving Viscount include:


23 Oct 1939
HMS H 33 (Lt.Cdr. L.J. Caldwell, RN) departed Plymouth for Dover. She was escorted by HMS Viscount (Lt. M.S. Townsend, RN). (1)

27 Dec 1939

Convoy SLF 14.

This convoy departed Freetown on 27 December 1939.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Accra (British, 9337 GRT, built 1926), Cambridge (British, 11373 GRT, built 1914), City of Brisbane (British, 8006 GRT, built 1920), Clan Mackinlay (British, 6365 GRT, built 1918), Corinaldo (British, 7131 GRT, built 1921), Port Caroline (British, 8263 GRT, built 1919), Port Wellington (British, 10065 GRT, built 1924) and Seaforth (British, 5459 GRT, built 1939).

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Carnarvon Castle (Capt.(Retd.) G.B. Lewis, RN).

Around 1615N/1, the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes (Capt. F.E.P. Hutton, RN) joined the convoy.

Around 0800Z/8, the destroyers HMS Vesper (Lt.Cdr. W.F.E. Hussey, DSC, RN), HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, RN), HMS Windsor (Lt.Cdr. P.D.H.R. Pelly, RN) and HMS Acasta (Cdr. C.E. Glasfurd, RN) joined the convoy.

Around 0900Z/8, HMS Carnarvon Castle parted company with the convoy to return to Freetown.

Around 1530Z/8, the convoy split into two sections and shortly afterwards HMS Hermes parted company with the convoy to proceed to Plymouth escorted by HMS Windsor and HMS Acasta.

13 Jan 1940
HMS Severn (Lt.Cdr. B.W. Taylor, RN) departed Freetown for Portsmouth. She was part of the ocean escort of convoy SL 16F together with Armed Merchant Cruiser HMS Cheshire (Capt. (Retd.) M.R. Bernard, RN) and the destroyers HMS Hardy (Capt. B.A. Warburton-Lee, RN) and HMS Hostile (Cdr. J.P. Wright, RN).

Besides the escort the convoy was made up of 12 British merchant ships; Adda (7816 GRT, built 1922), Anselm (5954 GRT, built 1935), Baronesa (8663 GRT, built 1918), City of Nagpur (10146 GRT, built 1922), Cordillera (6865 GRT, built 1920), Cumberland (10939 GRT, built 1919), Mahia (10014 GRT, built 1917), Mary Slessor (5027 GRT, built 1930), Orari (10350 GRT, built 1931), Port Sydney (9129 GRT, built 1914), Raranga (10043 GRT, built 1916) and Scientist (6198 GRT, built 1938).

The destroyers departed the convoy on the 20th and then proceeded to Gibraltar. On the 24th the destroyer HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, RN) and sloop HMS Rochester (Cdr. G.F. Renwick, RN) took over the escort from the HMS Cheshire and HMS Severn which then proceeded to Plymouth and Portsmouth respectively where they both arrived on the 26th. (2)

14 Jan 1940
Around noon, HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral S.S. Bonham-Carter, CVO, DSO, RN), departed Portsmouth for Halifax, Nova Scotia. She had on board £ 5 million of gold bullion.

She was being escorted by the destroyers HMS Achates (Cdr. R.J. Gardner, RN), HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) and HMS Arrow (Cdr. H.W. Williams, RN) until around 1630/15 when HMS Vanquisher (Lt.Cdr. C.B. Alers-Hankey, RN), HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, RN) and HMS Windsor (Lt.Cdr. P.D.H.R. Pelly, RN) took over until around 1200/16. HMS Royal Sovereign then proceeded unescorted. (3)

16 Jan 1940

Convoy SL 17.

This convoy departed Freetown on 16 January 1940 for the Liverpool where it arrived on 4 February 1940.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Clumberhall (British, 5198 GRT, built 1930), Harpasa (British, 5082 GRT, built 1932), Hawnby (British, 5380 GRT, built 1936), King Edgar (British, 4536 GRT, built 1327), Loch Ranza (British, 4958 GRT, built 1934), Marconi (British, 7402 GRT, built 1917), Northmoor (British, 4392 GRT, built 1928), Oswerty Grange (British, 4684 GRT, built 1935), River Lugar (British, 5423 GRT, built 1937), Salvus (British, 4815 GRT, built 1928), Stonepool (British, 4803 GRT, built 1928) and Thomas Holt (British, 3585 GRT, built 1929).

Escort was provided on leaving Freetown by the destroyer HMS Dainty (Cdr. F.M. Walton, RN). On 18 January near Dakar, the armed merchant cruiser HMS Carnarvon Castle (Capt.(Retd.) G.B. Lewis, RN) joined. She remained with the convoy until 2 February. HMS Dainty left the convoy when Carnarvon Castle joined.

A/S escort in the Western Approaches was provided from 2 February onwards by the sloop HMS Rochester (Cdr. G.F. Renwick, RN) and the destroyers HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, RN) and HMS Walker (Lt.Cdr. A.A. Tait, RN).

10 Feb 1940
HMS Hermes (Capt. F.E.P. Hutton, RN) flew on her aircraft off Plymouth. During the flying on operations she was escorted by HMS Acasta (Cdr. C.E. Glasfurd, RN), HMS Wolverine (Cdr. R.H. Craske, RN) and HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, RN). (4)

25 Mar 1940

Convoy HX 30.

This convoy departed Halifax on 25 March 1940.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Agia Marina (Greek, 4151 GRT, built 1912), Anadara (British (tanker), 8009 GRT, built 1935), Appalachee (British (tanker), 8826 GRT, built 1930), Araby (British, 4936 GRT, built 1912), Athelchief (British, 10000 GRT, built 1939), Athelmonarch (British, 8995 GRT, built 1928), Barrdale (British, 5072 GRT, built 1925), Cairnglen (British, 5019 GRT, built 1926), Conus (British (tanker), 8132 GRT, built 1931), Davila (British (tanker), 8053 GRT, built 1938), Dean Emery (British (tanker), 6664 GRT, built 1919), Derry More (British, 4799 GRT, built 1938), Dimitrios Inglessis (British, 5275 GRT, built 1918), El Aleto (British (tanker), 7203 GRT, built 1927), Ethel Radcliffe (British, 5673 GRT, built 1920), Filleigh (British, 4856 GRT, built 1928), Governor (British, 5571 GRT, built 1918), King Edward (British, 5224 GRT, built 1919), Lochkatrine (British, 9419 GRT, built 1922), Losada (British, 6520 GRT, built 1921), Lowther Castle (British, 5171 GRT, built 1937), Luculus (British (tanker), 6546 GRT, built 1929), Modavia (British, 4858 GRT, built 1927), New Westminster City (British, 4747 GRT, built 1929), Nolisement (British, 5084 GRT, built 1928), Northleigh (British, 5450 GRT, built 1937), Penrose (British, 4393 GRT, built 1928), Port Hardy (British, 8897 GRT, built 1923), Regent Panther (British (tanker), 9556 GRT, built 1937), Remuera (British, 11445 GRT, built 1911), Rowanbank (British, 5159 GRT, built 1919), San Gerardo (British (tanker), 12915 GRT, built 1929), Sandsend (British, 3612 GRT, built 1925), South Gate (British, 4862 GRT, built 1926), Taxiarchis (Greek, 4221 GRT, built 1913), Testbank (British, 5083 GRT, built 1937), Victor Ross (British, 12247 GRT, built 1933) and Welcombe (British, 5122 GRT, built 1930).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Saguenay (Cdr. G.R. Miles, RCN), HMCS Skeena (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN) and HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RCN).

At 1850P/26, the Canadian destroyers parted company to return to Halifax.

In the morning of 30 March 1940, the Dimitrios Inglessis and the King Edward collided. The King Edward was undable to continue and was towed to St. Johns. The Port Hardy stood by her for a while [might have been the ship towing ???].

HMS Revenge parted company with the convoy at 1325N/3 to return to Halifax.

On 6 April 1940 the convoy was joined by the destroyers HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, RN), HMS Whitehall (Lt.Cdr. A.B. Russell, RN), HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Barnes, RN) and HMS Acasta (Cdr. C.E. Glasfurd, RN).

The convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 9 April 1940.

5 May 1940
At 0900/5 the troopships Ulster Prince (3791 GRT, built 1930) and Royal Scotsman (3244 GRT, built 1936) departed the Clyde for Mosjoen and Bodo, respectively. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Veteran (Cdr. J.E. Broome, RN), HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, RN) and HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSC, RN).

At 0400/6 the destroyers HMS Nubian (Cdr. R.W. Ravenhill, RN) and HMS Juno (Cdr. W.E. Wilson, RN) to make rendez-vous at 1030/6 after which HMS Viscount was to proceed to Scapa Flow where she arrived at 1400/6.

The Mosjoen and Bodo groups parted company at 1540/8. The Ulster Prince proceeded to Mosjoen escorted by HMS Veteran and HMS Juno arriving there on the 9th. At 1400/10, HMS Juno was ordered to leave the Ulster Prince and proceed to Scapa Flow at high speed. She arrived at Scapa Flow at 1130/11. HMS Veteran then took the Ulster Prince back to the Clyde arriving there at 0330/13 having made a stop to fuel at Sullom Voe on the 11th.

The Royal Ulsterman proceeded to Bodo escorted by HMS Firedrake and HMS Nubian. HMS Firedrake conducted a reconnaissance of the Ranenfjord to look for reported enemy activity. The Royal Ulsterman and HMS Nubian arrived at Bodo in the evening of the 9th. Shortly afterwards they were rejoined by HMS Firedrake. They all departed Bodo at 0200/10 and proceeded to Scapa Flow. HMS Firedrake went ahead and arrived there at 2210/11 followed later, at 0030/12, by the Royal Ulsterman and HMS Nubian. (5)

12 May 1940
At 1100 hours HMS Furious (Capt. T.H. Troubridge, RN) departed the Clyde for operations escorted by the destroyers HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN) and HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, RN).

At 1300 hours the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious (Capt. G. D’Oyly-Hughes, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) also departed the Clyde for operations. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Delight (Cdr. M. Fogg-Elliott, RN), HMS Diana (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Le Geyt, RN).

Both groups were recalled to the Clyde later the same day.

14 May 1940
Around 2100 hours, the aircraft carriers HMS Furious (Capt. T.H. Troubridge, RN) and HMS Glorious (Capt. G. D’Oyly-Hughes, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) departed the Clyde for operations off Norway. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Diana (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Le Geyt, RN), HMS Veteran (Cdr. J.E. Broome, RN), HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, RN) and HMS Witherington (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Palmer, RN). HMS Witherington was however soon replaced by HMS Amazon (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Roper, RN).

23 May 1940
The aircraft carriers HMS Furious (Capt. T.H. Troubridge, RN) and HMS Glorious (Capt. G. D’Oyly-Hughes, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and their destroyer escort made up of HMS Diana (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Le Geyt, RN), HMS Amazon (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Roper, RN), HMS Veteran (Cdr. J.E. Broome, RN) and HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow.

25 May 1940
Around 1615A/25, the aircraft carriers HMS Ark Royal (Capt. C.S. Holland, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral L.V. Wells, CB, DSO, RN) and HMS Furious (Capt. T.H. Troubridge, RN) departed Scapa Flow to replenish at Greenock. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. R.T. White, RN), HMS Amazon (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Roper, RN), HMS Campbell (Lt.Cdr. R.M. Aubrey, RN), HMS Volunteer (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN) and HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, RN) and

They arrived in the Clyde around 1700A/26. (6)

6 Jun 1940

Evacuation of the 'Narvik / Harstad / Tromso area'.

1st troop evacuation convoy from Harstad.

From 4 to 6 June 1940 the troopships Batory (Polish, 14287 GRT, built 1936), Franconia (British, 20175 GRT, built 1923), Georgic (British, 27759 GRT, built 1932), Lancastria (British, 16243 GRT, built 1922), Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931) and Sobieski (Polish, 11030 GRT, built 1939) embarked almost 15000 troops in the Andfiord, near Harstad, Norway. They did this one by one and they were then escorted out to sea by the destroyer HMS Arrow (Cdr. H.W. Williams, RN) and sloop HMS Stork (Cdr. A.C. Behague, RN).

On completion of the embarkation of the troops of the last ships they departed on 6 June 1940 from the assembly point escorted by the repair ship HMS Vindictive (Capt. A.R. Halfhide, RN).

They were joined shortly after midnight on the 8th by the battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Tartar (Capt. C. Caslon, RN), HMS Mashona (Cdr. W.H. Selby, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, DSO, RN) and HMS Ashanti (Cdr. W.G. Davis, RN). These additional escorts parted company with the convoy late in the evening of the 8th after the destroyers HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, RN), HMS Witherington (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Palmer, RN), HMS Wolverine (Cdr. R.H. Craske, RN), HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. R.T. White, RN) and escort destroyer HMS Atherstone (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, RN) had joined the convoy coming from Scapa Flow which they had departed around 2300/7.

The convoy arrived in the Clyde on 10 June 1940. (7)

12 Jul 1940
At 1519A/12, the light cruiser HMS Newcastle (Capt. J. Figgins, RN) and the destroyers HMS Mackay (Cdr. G.H. Stokes, RN) and HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, DSC, RN) departed Plymouth to patrol off the south coast of Ireland. The Admiralty had reported that a German auxiliary vessel, disguised as Russian, had been sighted in position 51°42'N, 07°15'W.

They returned to Plymouth around 1200A/14. (8)

23 Jul 1940

Convoy TC 6.

This convoy of troopships departed Halifax on 23 July 1940 for the U.K.

The convoy was made up of the following troopships; Antonia (British, 13867 GRT, built 1921, carrying 881 troops), Batory (Polish, 14287 GRT, built 1936, carrying 1198 troops), Duchess of York (British, 20021 GRT, built 1929, carrying 982 troops), Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931, carrying 1328 troops), Samaria (British, 19597 GRT, built 1921, carrying 1016 troops) and Sobieski (Polish, 11030 GRT, built 1939, carrying 1061 troops).

The troopship Empress of Australia (British, 21833 GRT, built 1914, carrying 1611 troops) was also with the convoy on departure from Halifax. She was to proceed to Iceland and parted company with the convoy en-route.

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted the battleships HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN), light cruiser HMS Emerald (Capt. F.C. Flynn, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Assiniboine (Capt. G.C. Jones, RCN) and HMCS Saguenay (Cdr. G.R. Miles, RCN).

Both Canadian destroyers returned to Halifax later on 23 July.

In the afternoon and early evening of July 30th, the destroyers HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, RN), HMS Sikh (Cdr. J.A. Giffard, RN), HMS Highlander (Cdr. W.A. Dallmeyer, RN), HMS Amazon (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Roper, RN), HMS Keppel (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) E.G. Heywood-Lonsdale, RN), HMS Wanderer (Cdr. J.H. Ruck-Keene, RN), HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, DSC, RN) and HMS Vanquisher (Lt.Cdr. C.B. Alers-Hankey, RN) joined the convoy.

The convoy arrived in the Clyde on 1 August 1940.

3 Oct 1940

Convoy WS 3A (Slow).

This convoy departed Liverpool on 3 October 1940.

This convoy was made up of the following transport vessels; Clan Cameron (British, 7243 GRT, built 1937), Dorset (British, 10624 GRT, built 1934), Highland Brigade (British, 14134 GRT, built 1929), Oropesa (British, 14118 GRT, built 1920), Perthshire (British, 10496 GRT, built 1936) and Port Chalmers (British, 8535 GRT, built 1933).

Also the destroyer tender HMS Woolwich (Capt.(Retd.) J. Fawcett, RN) was with the convoy.

On departure from Liverpool the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Harvester (Lt.Cdr. C.M. Thornton, RN), HMS Havelock (Lt.Cdr. E.H. Thomas, RN), HMS Highlander (Cdr. W.A. Dallmeyer, RN) and HMS Hurricane (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Simms, RN).

At 1315A/3, the destroyers HMS Witherington (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Palmer, RN), HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, DSC, RN) and HMS Versatile (Cdr.(Retd.) J.H. Jauncey, RN) joined coming from the Clyde.

Cover for the convoy was provided by the light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. C.A.A. Larcom, RN) which had also departed the Clyde on the 3rd.

[For the moment we have no details regarding the exact movements of the destroyers. HMS Witherington, HMS Viscount and HMS Versatile arrived at Londonderry on 6 October. HMS Harvester, HMS Havelock and HMS Highlander arrived at Plymouth on 8 October. HMS Hurricane arrived at Greenock on the same day].

Around 1645N/9, HMS Sheffield parted company with the convoy to patrol off the Azores due to fear of a German invasion. She parted company after having been relieved by the heavy cruiser HMS Cumberland (Capt. G.H.E. Russell, RN).

The convoy arrived at Freetown on 16 October 1940.

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The convoy departed Freetown for South Africa on 17 October 1940.

Composition of the convoy was the same. Escort was still HMS Cumberland.

The convoy arrived at Capetown on 27 October 1940. HMS Cumberland then went on to Simonstown but she returned to Capetown the following day.

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The convoy departed Capetown on 29 October 1940 still made up of the same transports with two additions; Erinpura (British, 5143 GRT, built 1911) and Khedive Ismail (British, 7290 GRT, built 1922).

HMS Woolwich did not sail with the convoy.

Escort was still provided by the heavy cruiser HMS Cumberland until she was relieved around 0700A/1 by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Carthage (Capt.(Retd.) B.O. Bell-Salter, RN).

The convoy merged in the morning of 3 November 1940 with convoy WS 3B (Fast). (9)

7 Oct 1940

Convoy WS 3 (Fast).

This convoy departed Liverpool and the Clyde on 7 October 1940. The convoy arrived at Suez on 16 November 1940.

The Liverpool section was made up of the troop transports; Duchess of York (British, 20021 GRT, built 1929), Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931) and Orontes (British, 20097 GRT, built 1929).

It was escorted by the destroyers HMS Douglas (Cdr.(Retd.) J.G. Crossley, RN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN). HMCS St. Laurent however collided with a small merchant vessel very early on the 8th and had to return to Liverpool for repairs.

The Clyde section was made up of the transports; Capetown Castle (British, 27000 GRT, built 1938), Georgic (British, 27759 GRT, built 1932), Oronsay (British, 20043 GRT, built 1925) and Winchester Castle (British, 20012 GRT, built 1930).

It was escorted by the destroyers HMCS Ottawa (Cdr. E.R. Mainguy, RCN) and HMS Active (Lt.Cdr. E.C.L. Turner, RN).

At 0700/8, the Clyde section was joined by the destroyers HMS Arrow (Cdr. H.W. Williams, RN), HMS Achates (Lt.Cdr. Viscount Jocelyn, RN) and HMS Whitehall (Lt.Cdr. A.B. Russell, RN) which came from Londonderry.

At 1012/8, a large enemy bomber was seen to approach the Capetown Castle off the Clyde section and dropped a bomb which missed.

At 1050/8, HMCS Ottawa and HMS Active were ordered to close the Oronsay which had been damaged by air attack and needed assistance. HMS Active however misunderstood the order and remained with the convoy. Meanwhile the Oronsay had dropped out of the convoy.

At 1152/8, HMS Arrow joined the damaged Oronsay as well.

Around 1400/8, the armed merchant cruisers HMS Cheshire (Capt.(Retd.) M.R. Bernard, RN) and HMS Salopian (Capt.(Retd.) J.M. Alleyne, DSO, DSC, RN) also arrived on the scene. HMS Salopian later departed to continue her patrol. HMS Cheshire remained with Oronsay and the two destroyers.

At 1440/8, Oronsay got underway at slow speed and was able to increase speed to 9 knots.

At 1520/8, the ships that were with the Oronsay sighted the Liverpool section of the convoy which apparently had been delayed by bad weather conditions and therefore unable to have joined up with the Clyde section as had been intended. HMS Douglas, one of the escorting destroyers of the Liverpool section had been unable to keep up with it due to the weather conditions now joined the Oronsay group.

At 1900/8, the destroyers HMS Verity (Cdr. R.H. Mills, RN) and HMS Sabre (Cdr.(Retd.) B. Dean, RN) joined.

The destroyer HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, DSC, RN) also joined but it is unknown when.

At 2115/8, the AA cruiser HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) joined.

At 0205/9, HMS Arrow and HMCS Ottawa parted company with Oromsay and the other escorts to proceed to Londonderry.

Around 1030/9, the damaged Oronsay escorted by HMS Cairo, HMS Cheshire, HMS Douglas, HMS Verity, HMS Viscount and HMS Sabre arrived at Greenock.

Meanwhile the Clyde section had continued on escorted by HMS Whitehall, HMS Achates and HMS Active. As did the Liverpool section but apparently unescorted. They had failed to make rendezvous with each other in the heavy weather.

Around 1215/9, the Clyde section was joined by the light cruiser HMS Kenya (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, RN). It seems that at this time the destroyers were no longer present.

At noon on the 12th the Clyde section, with HMS Kenya was finally joined by the Liverpool section of the convoy.

The convoy arrived at Freetown in the afternoon of October 18th.

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The convoy departed Freetown on 20 October 1940 and was made up of the Capetown Castle, Duchess of York, Georgic, Monarch of Bermuda, Orontes and Winchester Castle.

The convoy was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. B.C.S. Martin, RN).

The convoy arrived at Capetown on 28 October 1940. HMS Dorsetshire then proceeded to Simonstown where she arrived also on the same day.

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On 30 October the convoy, now made up of the Duchess of York, Georgic, Monarch of Bermuda and Orontes departed Capetown for Suez. They were escorted by HMS Dorsetshire.

In the morning of 3 November the convoy overtook and then merged with the slow section of convoy WS 3 which was made up of the transports Dorset (British, 10624 GRT, built 1934), Erinpura (British, 5143 GRT, built 1911), Highland Brigade (British, 14134 GRT, built 1929), Khedive Ismael (British, 7290 GRT, built 1922), Oropesa (British, 14118 GRT, built 1920), Perthshire (British, 10496 GRT, built 1936) and Port Chalmers (British, 8535 GRT, built 1933) and their escort the armed merchant cruiser HMS Carthage (Capt.(Retd.) B.O. Bell-Salter, RN).

Shortly before noon the Erinpura and Khedive Ismael split off from the convoy and set course for Mombasa escorted by HMS Carthage. HMS Dorsetshire continued on with the remainder of the convoy towards Suez.

In the morning of November 11th, the light cruiser HMS Caledon (Capt. C.P. Clarke, RN) joined the convoy at the entrance to the Gulf of Aden.

The transport City of Lille (British, 6588 GRT, built 1928) and several more escort vessels, the AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN), destroyer HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN), sloops HMS Auckland (Cdr. J.G. Hewitt, DSO, RN) and HMAS Parramatta (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Walker, MVO, RAN) joined on 12 November 1940 for the passage through the Red Sea in which the Italian Navy was still active at this time.

The troopships Duchess of York and Georgic also re-joined the convoy after a brief visit to Aden. HMS Caledon also briefly left the convoy to oil at Aden before re-joining it.

Around 2130/12, the convoy entered the Perim Strait.

HMS Dorsetshire parted company with the convoy at 0915/14.

The convoy arrived at Suez on 16 November 1940. (10)

2 Dec 1940
HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, DSC, RN) picks up survivors from the British armed merchant cruiser HMS Forfar that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-99 about 500 nautical miles west of Ireland in position 54°35'N, 18°18'W.

HMS Viscount also picks up 36 survivors from the British merchant Goodleigh that is torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-52 367 nautical miles west of Bloody Foreland in position 55°02'N, 18°45'W.

HMS Viscount also picks up 16 survivors from the British merchant Kavak that is torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-100 about 340 nautical miles west of Bloody Foreland in position 55°00'N, 19°30'W.

HMS Viscount also picks up 27 survivors from the British merchant Tasso that is torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-52 sink about 360 miles west of Bloody Foreland in position 55°03'N, 18°04'W.

15 Jan 1941

Convoy HX 103.

This convoy departed Halifax on 15 January 1941 for Liverpool where it arrived on 1 February 1941.

Upon departure from Halifax the convoy was made up of the following merchant ships: Botusk (British, 3091 GRT, built 1919), Emmaplein (Dutch, 5436 GRT, built 1926), Gandia (Belgian, 9629 GRT, built 1907), Gard (Norwegian (tanker), 8259 GRT, built 1938), Jean Jadot (Belgian, 5859 GRT, built 1929), King William (British, 5274 GRT, built 1928) and Trehata (British, 4817 GRT, built 1928).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN), the destroyer HMCS Restigouche (Cdr. H.N. Lay, OBE, RN) and the corvette HMCS Arrowhead (T/Lt. V.H. Torraville, RCNR).

The destroyer and the corvette parted company with the convoy on the 16th and returned to Halifax.

On 18 January convoy BHX 103 coming from Bermuda merged with convoy HX 103. Convoy BHX 103 had been made up of the merchant vessels Athelfoam (British (tanker), 6554 GRT, built 1931), Dolabella (British (tanker), 8142 GRT, built 1939), Empire Shearwater (British, 4970 GRT, built 1920), Mamura (Dutch (tanker), 8245 GRT, built 1932) and Mijdrecht (Dutch (tanker), 7493 GRT, built 1931). It had departed Bermuda on 13 January 1941 and had been escorted to the rendez-vous position by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Montclare (Capt.(Retd.) H.M. Spreckley, RN) which was then detached.

The battleship parted company with the convoy on 26 January and then returned to Halifax.

On 27 January 1941 the destroyer HMS Vanquisher (Lt. A.P. Northey, DSC, RN) and corvettes HMS Gentian (Lt.Cdr. R.O. Yeomans, RD, RNR) and HMS Verbena (Lt.Cdr. D.A. Rayner, DSC, RNVR) joined the convoy but they were detached later the same day. On 28 January 1941 the destroyers HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, DSC, RN), HMS Whitehall (Lt.Cdr. A.B. Russell, RN) and HMS Winchelsea (Lt.Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, DSC, RN) joined the convoy. They were detached on 31 January 1941.

The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 1 February 1941, apparently unescorted.

Two merchant vessels were lost when the convoy ran into the British minefield SN 2 (north-west of Rona Island, in approximate position 59°08'N, 05°52'W) on 31 January 1941. These were the Botusk and Emmaplein.

6 Apr 1941

Convoy HX 119

This convoy departed Halifax on 6 April 1941 in two sections, convoy HX 119A and convoy HX 119B. They merged in the morning of April 13th.

Convoy HX 119A was made up of the following merchant vessels;
Argos Hill (British, 7178 GRT, built 1922), Bendoran (British, 5567 GRT, built 1910), Bra-Kar (Norwegian, 3778 GRT, built 1928), British Consul (British (tanker), 6940 GRT, built 1924), British Tenacity (British (tanker), 8439 GRT, built 1939), Brittany (British, 4772 GRT, built 1928), Ceronia (British (tanker), 4955 GRT, built 1929), Clan MacIlwraith (British, 4839 GRT, built 1924), Cliona (British (tanker), 8375 GRT, built 1931), Curacao (British, 8269 GRT, built 1930), Cymbula (British (tanker), 8082 GRT, built 1938), Davila (British (tanker), 8053 GRT, built 1938), Dolius (British, 5507 GRT, built 1924), Dromus (British (tanker), 8036 GRT, built 1938), Goolistan (British, 5851 GRT, built 1929), Induna (British, 5086 GRT, built 1925), Kentar (British, 5878 GRT, built 1920), Lista (British, 3671 GRT, built 1920), Lobos (British, 6479 GRT, built 1921), Mangkalihat (Dutch, 8457 GRT, built 1928), Mount Helmos (Greek, 6481 GRT, built 1923), Oscilla (Dutch (tanker), 6341 GRT, built 1939), Port Auckland (British, 8789 GRT, built 1922), Port Sydney (British, 9129 GRT, built 1914), Radmanso (Swedish, 4280 GRT, built 1914), Reaveley (British, 4998 GRT, built 1940), Robert Maersk (British, 2290 GRT, built 1937), San Eliseo (British (tanker), 8042 GRT, built 1939), Schuylkill (British (tanker), 8965 GRT, built 1928), Spondilus (British (tanker), 7402 GRT, built 1927), Toorak (British (tanker), 8627 GRT, built 1927), Trevalgan (British, 5299 GRT, built 1937), Tucurinca (British, 5412 GRT, built 1926) and West Totant (British, 5628 GRT, built 1919).

On departure from Halifax convoy HX 119A was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Aurania (A/Capt. I.W. Whitehorn, RN) and the corvettes HMCS Chambly (T/A/Cdr. J.D. Prentice, RCN) and HMCS Orillia (T/Lt.Cdr. W.E.S. Briggs, RCNR). The corvettes were detached to return to Halifax the next day.

The convoy was joined by the battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN) around 0900Q/8.

Around 1400P/11, HMS Revenge parted company with the convoy to return to Halifax.

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Convoy HX 119B was made up of the following merchant vessels;
Alphacca (British, 5759 GRT, built 1928), Barberrys (British, 5170 GRT, built 1920), Braddock (British, 6619 GRT, built 1919), Edward Blyden (British, 5003 GRT, built 1930), Gard (Norwegian (tanker), 8259 GRT, built 1938), Glaiglas (British, 4312 GRT, built 1940), Hermiston (British, 4813 GRT, built 1939), Idefjord (British, 4287 GRT, built 1921), Kars (British (tanker), 8888 GRT, built 1939), Leerdam (Dutch, 8815 GRT, built 1921), Maasdam (Dutch, 8812 GRT, built 1921), Maihar (British, 7563 GRT, built 1917), Merchant Prince (British, 5229 GRT, built 1939), Mercier (Belgian, 7556 GRT, built 1915), Peder Bogen (British (tanker), 9741 GRT, built 1925), Rio Azul (British, 4088 GRT, built 1921), San Ernesto (British (tanker), 8078 GRT, built 1939), Soekaboemi (Dutch, 7051 GRT, built 1923), Southgate (British, 4862 GRT, built 1926) and Tureby (British, 4372 GRT, built 1936).

On departure from Halifax convoy HX 119B was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Montclare (Capt.(Retd.) H.M. Spreckley, RN) and the corvettes HMCS Cobalt (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.B. Campbell, RCNR) and HMCS Collingwood (T/Lt. W. Woods, RCNR). The corvettes were detached to return to Halifax the next day.

Around 0900P/13, Convoy HX 119B merged with convoy HX 119A.

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At 1215Z/14, the convoy was joined by the heavy cruiser HMS Norfolk (Capt. A.J.L. Phillips, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.F. Wake-Walker CB, OBE, RN).

At 1210Z/15, the armed merchant cruisers HMS Aurania and HMS Montclare parted company with convoy HX 119 (now combined).

At 1815Z/15, the destroyers HMS Havelock (Cdr. E.H. Thomas, RN) and HMS Hurricane (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Simms, RN) joined the convoy. Followed during the night of 15/16 April by the destroyers HMCS Restigouche (Cdr. H.N. Lay, OBE, RN) and HMCS Saguenay (Lt. P.E. Haddon, RCN).

At 2130Z/16, HMS Norfolk parted company with the convoy to proceed to Hvalfjord.

On the 17th, destroyer HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, DSC and Bar, RN), sloop HMS Scarborough (Lt. A.P. Northey, DSC, RN) and corvettes HMS Auricula (T/Lt. W.W. White, RNR), HMS Campanula (Lt.Cdr. R.V.E. Case, DSC and Bar, RD, RNR), HMS Hibiscus (Lt. H. Roach, RNR), HMS Pimpernel (Lt. F.H. Thornton, RNR) and HMS Rhododendron (Lt.Cdr. W.N.M. Faichney, DSO, RNR) joined the convoy.

On the 18th, destroyer HMS Rockingham (Lt. A.H.T. Johns, RN) and corvette HMS Freesia (Lt.Cdr. T.P.G. Crick, RN) joined the convoy.

On the 19th, corvette HMS Hollyhock (Lt. T.E. Davies, OBE, RNR) joined the convoy

On the 20th, HMS Havelock, HMS Hurricane, HMS Restigouche and HMS Saguenay parted company with the convoy.

On the 21st, HMS Viscount and corvette HMS Freesia parted company with the convoy.

The convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 22 April.

9 Apr 1941
Around 0830A/9, the aircraft carriers HMS Furious (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN), HMS Argus (Capt. T.O. Bulteel, RN), troopship Narkunda (British, 16632 GRT, built 1920) and their escort, the heavy cruiser HMS London (Capt. R.M. Servaes, CBE, RN), were joined by the destroyers HMCS Saguenay (Cdr. G.R. Miles, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Cdr. H.N. Lay, OBE, RN), HMS Beagle, (Lt.Cdr. R.T. White, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, DSC and Bar, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Wolsey (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Campbell, DSC, RN).

Around 1200A/9, the destroyer HMS Lincoln (Lt. R.J. Hanson, RN) was sighted which apparently joined company.

Around 2000A/10, HMS Furious, HMCS Restigouche and HMS Beagle parted company to proceed to Belfast. After escorting the aircraft carrier there the destroyers continued on the the Clyde.

Around 0300A/11, HMS Wolsey was detached to Londonderry.

The Narkunda with HMS Argus, HMS London, HMCS Sauguenay, HMS Viscount and HMS Lincoln arrived in the Clyde in the morning of the 11th. (11)

27 Mar 1942
HMS H 50 (Lt. M.L.C. Crawford, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Richmond (Lt.Cdr. A.F.L. Evans, RN), HMS Corinthian (A/Cdr. E.J.R. Pollitt, RNR), HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. J.V. Waterhouse, RN) and HMS Sabre (Lt. R.L. Caple, DSC, RN). (12)

28 Mar 1942
HrMs O 10 (Lt. J.H. Geijs, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Primrose (Lt.Cdr. (retired) A. Ayre, RNR), HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. J.V. Waterhouse, RN) and HMS Corinthian (A/Cdr. E.J.R. Pollitt, RNR). (13)

12 Apr 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) departed Holy Loch for Londonderry (Moville). She was escorted by HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. J.V. Waterhouse, RN). (14)

13 Apr 1942
En-route, HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN), carried out A/S exercises with HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. J.V. Waterhouse, RN). (14)

15 Oct 1942
German U-boat U-661 was sunk in the North Atlantic, in position 53°42'N, 35°56'W, after being rammed by the British destroyer HMS Viscount.

22 Jan 1943
HMS H 34 (Lt. G.M. Noll, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Dahlia (T/Lt. M.S. Work, RNR), HMS Wallflower (Lt. G.R. Greaves, RNR), HMS Rockingham (Lt.Cdr. N.W. Duck, DSC, RD, RNR), HMS Watchman (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Rodgers, RN), HMS Clare (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Stewart, DSC, RNR) and HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. J.V. Waterhouse, DSO, RN). (15)

23 Jan 1943
HMS H 34 (Lt. G.M. Noll, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Bittersweet (T/Lt. F.B. Brooks-Hill, RCNVR), HMS Burnham (Lt.Cdr. T. Taylor, DSC, RN) and HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. J.V. Waterhouse, DSO, RN). (15)

24 Jan 1943
HMS H 34 (Lt. G.M. Noll, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. J.V. Waterhouse, DSO, RN) and HMCS Assiniboine (A/Cdr. E.P. Tisdall, RCN). (15)

17 Feb 1943
German U-boat U-201 was sunk in the North Atlantic east of Newfoundland, in position 50°50'N, 40°50'W, by depth charges from the British destroyer HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. J.V. Waterhouse, RN).

23 Jul 1943
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.A.R. Troup, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Vanquisher (Lt.Cdr. G.A.G. Ormsby, RN) and HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. L.E. Woodhouse, RN). (16)

24 Sep 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. D.G. Kent, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Dart (Cdr. J.T. Jones, RD, RNR), HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. L.E. Woodhouse, RN) and ORP Burza (Cdr. F. Pitulko, ORP). (17)

Media links


British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Sources

  1. ADM 173/15709
  2. ADM 199/2572
  3. ADM 53/113145
  4. ADM 53/112430
  5. ADM 199/376
  6. ADM 53/111433 + ADM 53/112269
  7. ADM 199/361 + ADM 199/376
  8. ADM 53/112886 + ADM 199/371
  9. ADM 199/1136
  10. ADM 199/372 + ADM 199/1136
  11. ADM 53/113616 + ADM 53/114554
  12. ADM 173/17271
  13. File 2.12.03.6379 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  14. ADM 173/17521
  15. ADM 173/17790
  16. ADM 173/17772
  17. ADM 173/17786

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


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