Allied Warships

HMS Acasta (H 09)

Destroyer of the A class


HMS Acasta before World War Two

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassA 
PennantH 09 
Built byJohn Brown Shipbuilding & Engineering Company Ltd. (Clydebank, Scotland) 
Ordered6 Mar 1928 
Laid down13 Aug 1928 
Launched8 Aug 1929 
Commissioned11 Feb 1930 
Lost8 Jun 1940 
History

HMS Acasta (Cdr. Charles Eric Glasfurd, RN) was sunk on 8 June 1940 while defending the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious from the German battlecruisers Gneisenau and Scharnhorst. There was only 1 survivor.

 

Commands listed for HMS Acasta (H 09)

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CommanderFromTo
1Cdr. Percy James Oliver, RNAug 193928 Nov 1939
2Lt.Cdr. Charles Eric Glasfurd, RN28 Nov 19398 Jun 1940 (+)

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Notable events involving Acasta include:


4 Sep 1939
HMS Courageous (Capt. W.T. Makeig-Jones, RN) departed Plymouth for an anti-submarine patrol. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Acasta (Cdr. P.J. Oliver, RN), HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN), HMS Amazon (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Roper, RN), HMS Ardent (Lt.Cdr. J.F. Barker, RN).

At sea they were joined by HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Woodhall, RN) which attacked a submarine contact around 1915 hours near Plymouth. The contact appears to have been bogus.

The force returned to Plymouth later the same day.

6 Feb 1940
HMS Exeter (Capt. F.S. Bell, CB, RN), and her escorts, HMS Renown (Capt. C.E.B. Simeon, RN), HMS Ark Royal (Capt. A.J. Power, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral L.V. Wells, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) departed Freetown for Plymouth.

HMS Ark Royal and the destroyers parted company around 1800/9. Ark Royal was to proceed direct to the U.K. while the destroyers were to arrive at Dakar at 0900 (GMT) on the 11th.

Around dawn at 13 February 1940, HMS Renown and HMS Exeter were joined by HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, RN) and HMS Hero (Cdr. C.F. Tower, MVO, RN).

In the morning of the 14th the destroyers HMS Whitshed (Cdr. E.R. Conder, RN), HMS Vesper (Lt.Cdr. W.F.E. Hussey, DSC, RN) and HMS Acasta (Cdr. C.E. Glasfurd, RN) joined. This was before the other destroyers (see below) joined.

Around 1030/14 four more destroyers joined, HMS Hearty (Lt.Cdr. D.G.F.W. MacIntyre, RN), HMS Ardent (Lt.Cdr. J.F. Barker, RN), HMS Wren (Cdr. H.T. Armstrong, RN) and HMS Wolverine (Cdr. R.H. Craske, RN).

Around 1645/14, HMS Whitshed, HMS Vesper and HMS Acasta parted company when the merchant vessel Sultan Star was torpedoed and sunk on the horizon.

HMS Hero was detached, most likely on the 15th to Portsmouth where she was to refit.

HMS Renown, HMS Exeter, HMS Hasty, HMS Ardent, HMS Hearty, HMS Wren and HMS Wolverine arrived at Plymouth on the 15th. (1)

3 Mar 1940
Early in the evening, HMS Renown (Capt. C.E.B. Simeon, RN), departed Plymouth for Greenock. She is being escorted by HMS Acasta (Cdr. C.E. Glasfurd, RN), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSC, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. R.G.K. Knowling, RN). (2)

4 Mar 1940
Early in the afternoon, HMS Renown (Capt. C.E.B. Simeon, RN), HMS Acasta (Cdr. C.E. Glasfurd, RN), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSC, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. R.G.K. Knowling, RN) arrived at Greenock (2)

11 Apr 1940

Convoy NP 1.

This troop convoy departed the Clyde on 11 April 1940 for Harstad, Norway. In the end the convoy was split up and one part arrived at Harstad on 15 April. The other part arrived off Namsos on 16 April.

It was made up of the troopships Empress of Australia (British, 21833 GRT, built 1914), Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931) and Reina del Pacifico (British, 17702 GRT, built 1931).

They were escorted by the destroyer HMS Amazon (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Roper, RN).

Early in the afternoon of 12 April the troopships Batory (Polish, 14387 GRT, built 1936) and Chrobry (Polish, 11442 GRT, built 1939) departed Scapa Flow to join convoy NP 1 at sea.

They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Highlander (Cdr. W.A. Dallmeyer, RN), HMS Vanoc (Lt.Cdr. J.G.W. Deneys, RN), HMS Volunteer (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN), HMS Whirlwind (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Rodgers, RN) and HMS Witherington (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Palmer, RN). The netlayer HMS Protector (Capt. W.Y la L. Beverley, RN) also departed Scapa Flow with these ships.

Around 1600/12, the light cruisers HMS Manchester (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN, flying the flag of Vice Admiral G. Layton, CB, DSO, RN) and HMS Birmingham (Capt. A.C.G. Madden, RN) departed Scapa Flow to join the convoy at sea which they did around 1945/12.

Shortly afterwards the convoy was also joined by the AA cruiser HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) and the destroyers HMS Brazen (Lt.Cdr. M. Culme-Seymour, RN), HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN) and HMS Griffin (Lt.Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, RN) which had sailed from Sullom Voe around 1130/12.

Late in the evening of 12 April repair ship HMS Vindictive (Capt. A.R. Halfhide, RN) escorted by the destroyers HMS Codrington (Capt. G.E. Creasy, MVO, RN), HMS Acasta (Cdr. C.E. Glasfurd, RN) and HMS Ardent (Lt.Cdr. J.F. Barker, RN) departed Scapa Flow to join the convoy which they did late in the afternoon of the 13th.

Coming south from a patrol off the Vestfjord area were the battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN), battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Janus (Cdr. J.A.W. Tothill, RN), HMS Javelin (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN) and HMS Juno (Cdr. W.E. Wilson, RN). These ships made rendez-vous with the convoy in the afternoon of the 13th after which HMS Repulse with the three J-class destroyers continued on towards Scapa Flow while HMS Valiant joined the convoy.

On April 14th it was decided that some of the troops were to be sent to Namsos and the convoy split up;

Troopships Chrobry and Empress of Australia escorted by the light cruisers HMS Manchester and HMS Birmingham, AA cruiser HMS Cairo and the destroyers HMS Highlander, HMS Vanoc and HMS Whirlwind split off late in the afternoon. This convoy arrived off Namsos early in the morning of the 16th.

The remainder of the ships; troopships Batory, Monarch of Bermuda, Reina del Pacifico, repair ship HMS Vindictive and netlayer HMS Protector with their escort made up of the battleship HMS Valiant and the destroyers HMS Codrington, HMS Amazon, HMS Acasta, HMS Ardent, HMS Brazen, HMS Fearless, HMS Griffin, HMS Volunteer and HMS Witherington arrived at Vaagsfjord late in the morning of the 15th. They had been escorted in by the light cruisers HMS Southampton (Capt. F.W.H. Jeans, CVO, RN) and HMS Aurora (Capt. L.H.K. Hamilton, DSO, RN).

11 May 1940
Around 2330/10, a convoy of ships departed Skjelfiord for the UK. The convoy was made up of the damaged light cruiser HMS Penelope (Capt. G.D. Yates, RN) that was being towed by the tug HMS Brigand, the damaged destroyer HMS Isis (Cdr. J.C. Clouston, RN) that was being towed by the tug HMS Buccaneer, the transport Lochee (964 GRT, built 1937) and the tanker British Valour (6952 GRT, built 1927).

On departure from the Skjelfiord the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Campbell (Lt.Cdr. R.M. Aubrey, RN), HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Barnes, RN) and the A/S trawler HMS St. Loman (T/Lt. R.C. Warwick, RNR).

The convoy was assembled off the Skjelfiord shortly after midnight during the night of 10/11 May.

Around 1015/11, the AA cruiser HMS Calcutta (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN) and destroyer HMS Zulu (Cdr. J.S. Crawford, RN) joined the escort of the convoy.

Around 1040/11, enemy aircraft attacked the convoy but no damage was sustained. Shortly afterwards the AA cruiser HMS Coventry (Capt. D. Gilmour, RN) also joined the escort of the convoy.

Around 1900/11, HMS Zulu obtained an A/S contact and attacked with depth charges.

Around 0815/12, HMS Witch obtained an A/S contact and attacked with depth charges.

Around 0900/12, HMS Coventry parted company with the convoy.

Around 1230/12, HMS Escort (Lt.Cdr. J. Bostock, RN) joined the convoy escort.

Around 1300/12, HMS Zulu obtained an A/S contact and attacked with depth charges followed by HMS Witch at 1320/12.

Around 2000/13, HMS Campbell parted company with the convoy to proceed to Sullum Voe to refuel. She arrived there around 0600/14.

Around 1600/14, HMS Campbell rejoined, having departed from Sullom Voe after refuelling there around 1030/14.

Around 2000/14, HMS Calcutta and HMS St. Loman parted company with the convoy.

Around 0430/15, HMS Witch arrived at Scapa Flow to refuel. [Unknown when she left the convoy]. She departed Scapa Flow around 0730/15 to rejoin the convoy. [Unkown when she rejoined the convoy.]

Around 0515/15, HMS Acasta (Cdr. C.E. Glasfurd, RN) joined the convoy escort. HMS Zulu was then detached.

Around 2230/15, HMS Penelope still being towed by HMS Brigand and the British Valour and escorted by HMS Acasta and HMS Escort parted company with the other ships to proceed ahead of them to the Clyde.

They arrived in the Clyde area around 2200/15. The other ships arrived in the Clyde area later during the night of 15/16 May. (3)

31 May 1940
The aircraft carriers HMS Ark Royal (Capt. C.S. Holland, RN) and HMS Glorious (Capt. G. D’Oyly-Hughes, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) departed Scapa Flow for operations of northern Norway. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Highlander (Cdr. W.A. Dallmeyer, RN), HMS Diana (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Le Geyt, RN), HMS Acasta (Cdr. C.E. Glasfurd, RN), HMS Acheron (Lt.Cdr. R.W.F. Northcott, RN) and HMS Ardent (Lt.Cdr. J.F. Barker, RN).

Media links


British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Sources

  1. ADM 53/112194
  2. ADM 53/113070
  3. ADM 53/111635 + ADM 53/111871 + ADM 53/112959 + ADM 199/376

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


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