Allied Warships

HMCS Skeena (D 59)

Destroyer of the A class


Photo from City of Vancouver Archives, CVA 447-2702

NavyThe Royal Canadian Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassA 
PennantD 59 
Built byThornycroft (Southampton, U.K.) 
Ordered 
Laid down14 Oct 1929 
Launched10 Oct 1930 
Commissioned10 Jun 1931 
Lost25 Oct 1944 
History

HMCS Skeena (A/Lt.Cdr. Patrick Francis Xavier Russell, RCN) was wrecked during a storm at Videy, Iceland.
This location is right off Reykjavík, the capital.

 

Commands listed for HMCS Skeena (D 59)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

CommanderFromTo
1Cdr. Harold Taylor Wood Grant, RCN23 Apr 193830 Nov 1939
2Lt.Cdr. Ernest Patrick Tisdall, RCN1 Dec 19399 Mar 1940
3Lt. Herbert Sharples Rayner, RCN10 Mar 19401 Apr 1940
4Lt.Cdr. James Calcutt Hibbard, RCN2 Apr 194010 Dec 1941
5Cdr. Harry Kingsley, RCN11 Dec 194119 May 1942
6Lt. Kenneth Lloyd Dyer, RCN20 May 19424 Jan 1943
7T/Lt. Belanger Jean Rosaire Roland, RCNVR5 Jan 194328 Feb 1943
8A/Lt.Cdr. Eric Eversley Garratt Boak, RCN1 Mar 194320 Nov 1943
9A/Lt.Cdr. Patrick Francis Xavier Russell, RCN21 Nov 194325 Oct 1944

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Notable events involving Skeena include:


29 Dec 1939

Convoy HX 14

Convoy from Halifax to the U.K.
Departure date: 29 December 1939.
Arrival date: 12 January 1940.

The following merchant ships were part of this convoy;
British:
tanker Athelsultan (8882 GRT, built 1929), cargo ship Baron Douglas (3899 GRT, built 1932), cargo ship Baron Lovat (3395 GRT, built 1926), Baron Pentland (3410 GRT, built 1927), tanker Benedick (6978 GRT, built 1928), cargo ship Blairmore (4141 GRT, built 1928), cargo ship Bonheur (5327 GRT, built 1920), cargo ship Bridgepool (4845 GRT, built 1924), cargo ship Bristol City (2864 GRT, built 1920), cargo ship Brookwood (5100 GRT, built 1929), cargo ship Dallas City (4952 GRT, built 1935), tanker El Ciervo (5841 GRT, built 1923), tanker El Oso (7267 GRT, built 1921), cargo ship Greyburn (6342 GRT, built 1938), cargo ship Grelhead (4274 GRT, built 1925), tanker Horn Shell (8272 GRT, built 1931), tanker Inverilen (9456 GRT, built 1938), cargo ship Kenbane Head (5225 GRT, built 1919), tanker Luculus (6546 GRT, built 1929), cargo ship Montreal City (3066 GRT, built 1920), cargo ship New Westminster City (4747 GRT, built 1929), cargo ship Penrose (4393 GRT, built 1928), cargo ship Queen Adelaide (4933 GRT, built 1936), cargo ship Queen Anne (4937 GRT, built 1937), tanker Reginolite (9069 GRT, built 1926), cargo ship Ridley (4993 GRT, built 1937), tanker Saranac (12049 GRT, built 1918), cargo ship Swiftpool (5205 GRT, built 1929), cargo ship Tacoma City (4738 GRT, built 1929), tanker Vaclite (5026 GRT, built 1928), tanker Vancouver (5729 GRT, built 1928), tanker Wellfield (6054 GRT, built 1924), tanker Winamac (8621 GRT, built 1926)

French:
tanker Limousin (7619 GRT, built 1930),

Greek:
cargo ship Keramiai (5085 GRT, built 1917)

Panamanian:
tanker H. H. Rogers (8807 GRT, built 1916), tanker H.M. Flagler (8208 GRT, built 1918),

Norwegian:
cargo ship Rio Branco (3210 GRT, built 1924), tanker Solstad (5952 GRT, built 1927), tanker South America (6246 GRT, built 1931),

Escort was provided by the following warships;
Ocean escort: Licht cruiser HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) and submarine HMS Cachalot (Lt.Cdr. S.W.F. Bennetts, RN) from 29 December 1939 to 9 January 1940.

Local escort in Canadian waters: Destroyers HMCS Saguenay (Lt.Cdr. G.R. Miles, RCN) and HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. E.P. Tisdall, RCN) from 29 to 30 December 1939.

Local escort in British waters HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. R.T. White, RN), HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. C.G.W. Donald, RN), HMS Walker (Cdr. W.J.C. Robertson, RN) and HMS Whitshed (Cdr. E.R. Conder, RN) from 9 January to 12 January 1940.

Losses:
Tanker El Oso was mined and sunk on 11 January 1940. (1)

9 Mar 1940

Convoy HX 26.

This convoy departed Halifax on 9 March 1940 for Liverpool where it arrived on 26 March 1940.

Some of the merchant vessels had other destinations though.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Ahamo (British (tanker), 8621 GRT, built 1926), Amberton (British, 5377 GRT, built 1928), Antonio (British, 5225 GRT, built 1918), Appledore (British, 5218 GRT, built 1929), Argos Hill (British, 7178 GRT, built 1939), Argyll (British, 4897 GRT, built 1939), Arinia (British (tanker), 8024 GRT, built 1936), Athelviking (British (tanker), 8779 GRT, built 1926), Atland (Swedish, 5203 GRT, built 1910), Beaverdale (British, 9957 GRT, built 1928), British Courage (British (tanker), 6952 GRT, built 1928), City of Baghdad (British, 7506 GRT, built 1919), Delphinula (British (tanker), 8120 GRT, built 1939), Diplomat (British, 8240 GRT, built 1921), Fowberry Tower (British, 4484 GRT, built 1929), Hertford (British, 11785 GRT, built 1917), Kenbane Head (British, 5225 GRT, built 1919), Kurdistan (British, 5844 GRT, built 1928), Llanishen (British, 5053 GRT, built 1929), Loreto (British, 6682 GRT, built 1913), Marstenen (Norwegian, 1832 GRT, built 1915), Montreal City (British, 3066 GRT, built 1920), Nailsea Manor (British, 4926 GRT, built 1937), Nova Scotia (British, 6796 GRT, built 1926), Persephone (Panamanian (tanker), 8426 GRT, built 1925), Port Fairy (British, 10243 GRT, built 1928), Ripley (British, 4997 GRT, built 1936), Rossington Court (British, 6922 GRT, built 1928), San Fabian (British (tanker), 13031 GRT, built 1922), San Tiburcio (British (tanker), 5995 GRT, built 1921), San Zotico (British (tanker), 5582 GRT, built 1919), Siris (British, 5242 GRT, built 1919), Solstad (Norwegian (tanker), 5952 GRT, built 1927), Statesman (British, 7939 GRT, built 1923), Stylianos Chandris (British, 6059 GRT, built 1919), Troilus (British, 7422 GRT, built 1921), Victoria City (British, 4739 GRT, built 1929) and Voco (British (tanker), 5090 GRT, built 1925).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMCS Skeena (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN) and HMCS Saguenay (Cdr. G.R. Miles, RCN).

They parted company on 11 March 1939 and the convoy was from then on escorted by the battleship HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN) which had departed Halifax on 10 March 1940.

HMS Malaya remained with the convoy until 22 March 1940 when she parted company with the convoy and set course to return to Halifax.

The convoy was joined on 24 March 1940 by the destroyers HMS Vansittart (Lt.Cdr. W. Evershed, RN), HMS Venetia (Lt. J.H. Eaden, DSC, RN), HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. C.G.W. Donald, RN) and HMS Wolverine (Cdr. R.H. Craske, RN) which remained with the convoy until it arrived at Liverpool.

27 Mar 1940
HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN) returned to Halifax from escort duty. She was escorted in by HMCS Skeena (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN). (2)

12 Jun 1940
HMS Hood (Capt. I.G. Glennie, RN) is undocked ant then immediately departed Liverpool escorted by the Canadian destroyers HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. De Wolf, RCN) and HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN). They were to join troop convoy US 3 on the 14th. (3)

13 Jun 1940
HMS Hood (Capt. I.G. Glennie, RN) and her three escorting destroyers, HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. De Wolf, RCN) and HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) are joined around 1130 hours by another Canadian destroyer, HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN), which came from Plymouth after effecting repairs at the Devonport Dockyard. (3)

14 Jun 1940
Convoy US 3, made up of the troopships (liners) Andes (25689 GRT, built 1939), Aquitania (44786 GRT, built 1914), Empress of Britain (42348 GRT, built 1931), Empress of Canada (21517 GRT, built 1922), Mauretania (35739 GRT, built 1939) and Queen Mary (81235 GRT, built 1936) with troop from New Zealand and Australia on board and escorted by the British heavy cruisers HMS Shropshire (Capt. J.H. Edelsten, RN), HMS Cumberland (Capt. the Hon. G.H.E. Russell, RN) and HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. B.C.S. Martin, RN) was joined around 0800 hours by HMS Argus (Capt. H.C. Bovell, RN), which came from Gibraltar, and joined around 1000 hours by the battlecruiser HMS Hood (Capt. I.G. Glennie, RN) escorted by the Canadian destroyers HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. De Wolf, RCN), HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN) and HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) which came from the U.K. Shortly afterwards HMS Dorsetshire left the convoy to proceed to Gibraltar.

Later that day, around 1500 hours, the convoy was joined by the destroyer HMS Wanderer (Cdr. J.H. Ruck-Keene, RN) and around 1600 hours by two more destroyers HMS Broke (Cdr. B.G. Scurfield, RN) and HMS Westcott (Lt.Cdr. W.F.R. Segrave, RN). (4)

16 Jun 1940
HMS Hood (Capt. I.G. Glennie, RN), HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. De Wolf, RCN) and HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) arrived in the Clyde.

18 Jun 1940
Around 0400 hours HMS Hood (Capt. I.G. Glennie, RN) departed the Clyde for Gibraltar. She was escorted by the Canadian destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. De Wolf, RCN), HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) and the British destroyer HMS Wanderer (Cdr. J.H. Ruck-Keene, RN). HMS Wanderer was however replaced by the escort destroyer HMS Atherstone (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, RN) shortly after sailing.

Around 1500 hours rendez-vous was made with the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal (Capt. C.S. Holland, RN) and the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.F. de Salis, RN), HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN), HMS Foxhound (Lt.Cdr. G.H. Peters, RN) and HMS Escapade (Cdr. H.R. Graham, RN) which had departed Scapa Flow for Gibraltar the previous day.

The destroyers that had been escorting HMS Hood were then detached.

17 Jul 1940
HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) picks up 65 survivors from the British merchant Manipur that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-57 8 nautical miles north-west of Cape Wrath in position 58°41'N, 05°14'W.

2 Sep 1940
HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) picks up 19 survivors from the British merchant Thornlea that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-46 about 200 miles west of Bloody Foreland in position 55°41'N, 14°20'W.

19 Oct 1940

Convoy OL 8.

This convoy departed Liverpool on 19 October 1940 and was dispersed on 22 October in about 25'W.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels;
Arundel Castle (British, 19118 GRT, built 1921), Cameronia (British, 16297 GRT, built 1920), Jamaica Planter (British, 4098 GRT, built 1936), Port Fairy (British, 10243 GRT, built 1928), Staffordshire (British, 10683 GRT, built 1929) and Troilus (British, 7422 GRT, built 1921).

Escort was provided on departed from Liverpool by the destroyers HMS Havelock (Lt.Cdr. E.H. Thomas, RN) and HMS Hesperus (Lt.Cdr. D.G.F.W. MacIntyre, RN).

The Canadian destroyer HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) sailed from the Clyde that day and also joined the escort.

The Canadian destroyer HMCS Margaree (Cdr. J.W.R. Roy, RCN) departed from Londonderry on the 20th. She joined the convoy at sea.

On 21 July Cdr. Roy on board HMCS Margaree (Senior Officer of the escort) was ordered by the Admiralty (in a signal timed 1153 hours) to detach the merchant vessel Arundal Castle and remain with the convoy until 25°00'W and then disperse the convoy.

At 0230/22 the merchant vessel Port Fairy and HMCS Margaree collided. The destroyer was heavily damaged and sank later with heavy loss of life. Port Fairy rescued 32 of the crew.

1 Nov 1940

Convoy WS 4A.

This convoy departed Liverpool / the Clyde on 1 / 2 November 1940 for the far east.

The Liverpool section of the convoy departed Liverpool on 1 November and was made up of the following troopships / transports; Abosso (British, 11330 GRT, built 1935), Akaroa (British, 15130 GRT, built 1914), City of Manchester (British, 8917 GRT, built 1935), Duchess of Richmond (British, 22022 GRT, built 1928), Dunedin Star (British, 11168 GRT, built 1936), Malancha (British, 8124 GRT, built 1937), Scythia (British, 19761 GRT, built 1920) and Stirling Castle (British, 25550 GRT, built 1936).

From the Bristol Channel three ships joined this convoy, these were; Delius (British, 6065 GRT, built 1937), Martand (British, 7967 GRT, built 1925) and Port Wyndham (British, 11005 GRT, built 1937).

It was being escorted by the destroyers HMS Harvester (Lt.Cdr. M. Thornton, DSC, RN), HMS Hurricane (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Simms, RN) and ORP Garland (Lt.Cdr. K.F. Namiesniowski). This last destroyer had been escorting the three ships that came from the Bristol Channel.

The Clyde section of the convoy departed the Clyde on 2 November was made up of the following troopships / transports;

Almanzora (British, 15551 GRT, built 1914), Clan Chattan (British, 7262 GRT, built 1937), Clan Lamont (British, 7250 GRT, built 1935), Highland Monarch (British, 14139 GRT, built 1928) and Warwick Castle (British, 20107 GRT, built 1930).

They were escort by the heavy cruiser HMS Cornwall (Capt. C.F. Hammill, RN), AA cruiser HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Ottawa (Cdr. E.R. Mainguy, RCN), HMCS Saguenay (Cdr. G.R. Miles, RCN), HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN), HMS Hesperus (Lt.Cdr. D.G.F.W. MacIntyre, RN), HMS Beagle (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Wright, RN) and HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. F.J.G. Hewitt, RN).

The convoy merged around 1000/2 in position 55°45'N, 07°21'W.

HMS Bulldog and ORP Garland left the convoy around 1200/3 in position 54°25'N, 14°39'W to go to the aid of the troopship Windsor Castle which had been damaged by German aircraft bombs in position 54°12'N, 13°18'W.

HMS Cairo left the convoy at 1830/3 in position 54°12'N, 16°13'W.

HMS Hesperus and HMS Hurricane left the convoy around 1900/3 to go to the aid of the torpedoed armed merchant cruiser HMS Laurentic.

HMS Beagle, HMCS Saguenay and HMCS Skeena parted company with the convoy at 0300/4 in position 52°30'N, 19°00'W.

HMCS Ottawa and HMS Harvester parted company with the convoy at 1600/4 in position 52°30'N, 22°25'W.

At 0310/5 the Duchess of Richmond parted company with the convoy in position 52°10'N, 26°05'E to proceed to her destination independently.

At 0630/9 the Akaroa parted company with the convoy in position 32°44'N, 22°58'W to proceed to Trinidad.

At 0855/11 the Almanzora, Abosso, City of Manchester, Darius, Malancha and Martland were detached ('slow' group) were detached in position 23°47'N, 22°15'W under the escort of the armed merchant cruiser HMS Pretoria Castle (Capt.(Retd.) E.J. Shelly, RN) which had just joined the convoy.

The 'fast' section of the convoy arrived at Freetown on 14 November escorted by HMS Cornwall.

The 'slow' section of the convoy arrived at Freetown on 15 November escorted by HMS Pretoria Castle.

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The convoy, now made up of troopships / transports Almanzora, City of Manchester, Clan Chattan, Clan Lamont, Delius, Dunedin Star, Highland Monarch, Malancha, Martand, Port Wyndham, Scythia, Stirling Castle and Warwick Castle, departed Freetown for South Africa around 1630 hours on 17 November 1940.

They were escorted by HMS Cornwall and HMS Pretoria Castle.

At 0805 hours on 26 November the Scythia and Warwick Castle parted company with the convoy in position 22°55'S, 09°03'E to proceed to Capetown. They were escorted by HMS Pretoria Castle.

These ships arrived off Capetown on 29 October. The troopships both entered the harbour but Scythia only briefly to take on board water.

HMS Pretoria Castle rejoined to convoy around 1200 hours on 29 November. Scythia rejoined about 45 minutes later.

At 1500 hours on 2 December, while in position 32°15'S, 29°35'E, the Almanzora, City of Manchester, Delius, Malancha and Martand were left astern to enable to other ships to arrive at Durban early the next day. HMS Pretoria Castle remained with these five ships while HMS Cornwall went ahead with the others.

Pretoria Castle arrived with the five ships that had split off at Durban some hours after the others. The convoy then entered harbour while HMS Pretoria Castle set course for Capetown.

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The convoy, now made up of troopships / transports City of Manchester, Clan Chattan, Clan Lamont, Delius, Dunedin Star, Highland Monarch, Malancha, Martand, Port Wyndham and Stirling Castle, departed Durban for Aden around 1030 hours on 5 December 1940.

There was one more ships in the convoy, this was the troopship Dunera (11162 GRT, built 1937) who had taken over the troops of the Scythia and took her place in the convoy.

Escort was once again HMS Cornwall but she was now with the armed merchant cruiser HMS Kanimbla (A/Capt. F.E. Getting, RAN).

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In the morning of 18 December 1940 the convoy arrived near Aden and was transferred to the Red Sea escort. HMS Cornwall and HMS Kanimbla parted company with the convoy at 0925/18 in position 11°53'N, 45°08'E. The then proceeded to Aden where they arrived around 1300/18.

The Red Sea escort joined the convoy as follows; sloops HMS Indus (Cdr. Cdr. E.G.G. Hunt, RIN) and HMAS Yarra (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Harrington, RAN) joined the convoy at 0730/18 in position 11°53'N, 45°34'E.

Light cruiser HMAS Perth (Capt. P.W. Bowyer-Smith, RN) and AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN) joined at 0945/18 in position 11°55'N, 45°03'E.

And the last ship to join, the destroyer HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) joined at 1023/18 in position 11°57'N, 44°56'E.

Two more troopships / transports joined the convoy at 1130/18 in position 12°02'N, 44°45'E. These were the City of Agra (British, 6361 GRT, built 1936) and Melbourne Star (British, 11076 GRT, built 1936).

HMS Carlisle parted company with the convoy at 1650/20 in position 20°33'N, 38°45'E.

HMIS Indus and HMAS Yarra parted company with the convoy at 1730/20 in position 20°42'N, 38°41'E.

At 1200/21, the Dunedin Star, Melbourne Star and Stirling Castle, escorted by HMS Kingston proceeded ahead. They arrived at Suez at 1500/22.

The remaineder of the convoy arrived at Suez at 0700/23 escorted by HMAS Hobart. (5)

15 Nov 1940
HMS Oberon (Lt.Cdr. E.F. Pizey, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Campbeltown with HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN). (6)

18 Nov 1940

Convoy WS 4B.

This convoy departed Liverpool / the Clyde on 17/18 November 1940 for Suez where it arrived on 28 December 1940.

The convoy was made up of the troopships; Andes (British, 25689 GRT, built 1939), Duchess of Atholl (British, 20119 GRT, built 1928), Empress of Canada (British, 21517 GRT, built 1922), Orcades (British, 23456 GRT, built 1937), Otranto (British, 20026 GRT, built 1925), Reina del Pacifico (British, 17702 GRT, built 1931), Strathaird (British, 22281 GRT, built 1932), Strathallan (British, 23722 GRT, built 1938), Strathnaver (British, 22283 GRT, built 1931) and Viceroy of India (British, 19627 GRT, built 1929).

The convoy was formed at sea at 0830/18 when the two sections made rendez-vous west of Oversay Light.

The convoy was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Norfolk (Capt. A.J.L. Phillips, RN), light cruiser HMS Edinburgh (Capt. C.M. Blackman, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Highlander (Cdr. W.A. Dallmeyer, RN), HMCS Ottawa (Cdr. E.R. Mainguy, RCN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN), HMCS Saguenay (Cdr. G.R. Miles, RCN), HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN), HMS Bath (Cdr.(Retd.) A.V. Hemming, RN) and HMS St. Albans (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) S.G.C. Rawson, RN).

The AA cruiser HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) joined at 0945/18.

An additional destroyer, HMS St. Marys (Lt. K.H.J.L. Phibbs, RN), joined the convoy in the afternoon of the 18th.

Destroyers HMS Bath, HMS St. Albans and HMS St. Marys parted company with the convoy at 1730/19 followed by HMS Cairo one hour later.

Destroyer HMS Highlander parted company with the convoy at 0900/20 followed at 1800/20 by the four Canadian destroyers.

Heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) joined the convoy at 1300/23. HMS Norfolk parted company with the convoy at 1600/23 and proceeded to patrol east of the Azores.

The convoy arrived at Freetown on 29 November 1940 escorted by HMS Devonshire and HMS Edinburgh.

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The convoy departed Freetown on 1 December 1940 escorted by HMS Devonshire and HMS Cumberland (Capt. G.H.E. Russell, RN).

HMS Cumberland parted company with the convoy late in the morning of December 4th having been relieved by HMS Hawkins (Capt. H.P.K. Oram, RN).

HMS Hawkins was detached with orders to proceed to Simonstown in the morning of December 8th.

The convoy arrived at Durban on 12 December 1940 escorted by HMS Devonshire.

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The convoy departed Durban on 16 December 1940 escorted by HMS Devonshire and HMS Shropshire (Capt. J.H. Edelsten, RN).

At 1000/18, the light cruiser HMS Southampton (Capt. B.C.B. Brooke, RN) took over from HMS Devonshire. This last cruiser then set course to return to Durban.

The convoy arrived near Aden on 25 December 1940 but it did not enter the port. HMS Southampton was briefly detached to fuel at Aden after which she rejoined the convoy. The escort was reinforced with the AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN). HMS Shropshire was then detached from the convoy and entered Aden.

The convoy arrived at Suez on 28 December 1940 escorted by HMS Southampton, HMS Carlisle, HMS Kandahar and HMS Kimberley. (5)

23 Nov 1940
HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) picks up 6 men from the Norwegian merchant Bruse that was torpedoed and damaged west of Ireland in position 55°04'N, 12°15'W by German U-boat U-100.

Skeena also picks up 9 survivors from the Norwegian merchant Salonica that was torpedoed and sunk by U-100 west of Ireland in position 55°16'N, 12°14'W.

12 Dec 1940
Shortly after noon, the troopship Franconia (British, 20175 GRT, built 1923), battleship HMS Ramillies (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), aircraft carriers HMS Furious (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN), HMS Argus (Capt. E.G.N. Rushbrooke, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMS Dido (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, RN), armed merchant cruiser HMS California (Capt. C.J. Pope, RAN) and the destroyers HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN) and HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. I.T. Clark, RN) were joined by the AA cruiser HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN and the destroyers HMS Cossack (Capt. P.L. Vian, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Sikh (Cdr. G.H. Stokes, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN), HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) and HMS Bradford (Lt.Cdr. M.T. Collier, RN). (7)

13 Dec 1940
Around 0800 hours, the aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN) and HMS Bradford (Lt.Cdr. M.T. Collier, RN) parted company with the troopship Franconia (British, 20175 GRT, built 1923), battleship HMS Ramillies (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Argus (Capt. E.G.N. Rushbrooke, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMS Dido (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, RN), AA cruiser HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN),armed merchant cruiser HMS California (Capt. C.J. Pope, RAN) and the destroyers HMS Cossack (Capt. P.L. Vian, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Sikh (Cdr. G.H. Stokes, RN), HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. I.T. Clark, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN) and HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) which continued on towards the Clyde. (7)

14 Dec 1940
The troopship Franconia (British, 20175 GRT, built 1923), battleship HMS Ramillies (Capt. A.D. Read, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Argus (Capt. E.G.N. Rushbrooke, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMS Dido (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, RN), AA cruiser HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN), armed merchant cruiser HMS California (Capt. C.J. Pope, RAN) and the destroyers HMS Cossack (Capt. P.L. Vian, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Sikh (Cdr. G.H. Stokes, RN), HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. I.T. Clark, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN) and HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) arrived in the Clyde. (7)

9 Feb 1941

Convoy WS 6A.

This convoy departed U.K. waters on 9 February 1941 and arrived at Freetown on 1 March 1941.

The convoy was formed at in position from three sections of troopships / transports coming from Avonmouth, Liverpool and the Clyde.

The convoy was made up of the following troopships / transports; Almanzora (British, 15551 GRT, built 1914), Ascanius (British, 10048 GRT, built 1910), Bellerophon (British, 9019 GRT, built 1906), Bergensfjord (Norwegian, 11015 GRT, built 1913), Burdwan (British, 6069 GRT, built 1928), Cape Horn (British, 5643 GRT, built 1929), City of Athens (British, 6558 GRT, built 1923), City of Corinth (British, 5318 GRT, built 1918), City of Hankow (British, 7360 GRT, built 1915), City of Pittsburg (British, 7377 GRT, built 1922), Consuelo (British, 4847 GRT, built 1937), Dalesman (British, 6343 GRT, built 1940), Highland Brigade (British, 14134 GRT, built 1929), Kina II (British, 9823 GRT, built 1939), Leopoldville (Belgian, 11509 GRT, built 1929), Llandaff Castle (British, 10799 GRT, built 1926), Llangibby Castle (British, 11951 GRT, built 1929), Logician (British, 5993 GRT, built 1928), Masheer (British, 7911 GRT, built 1925), Manchester Citizen (British, 5343 GRT, built 1925), Mataroa (British, 12390 GRT, built 1922), Nova Scotia (British, 6796 GRT, built 1926), Opawa (British, 10354 GRT, built 1931), Port Alma (British, 8400 GRT, built 1928), Rangitata (British, 16737 GRT, built 1929), Ruahine (British, 10832 GRT, built 1909), Salween (British, 7063 GRT, built 1937), Scythia (British, 19761 GRT, built 1920) and Thysville (Belgian, 8351 GRT, built 1922).

Escort was initially provided by the light cruisers HMS Birmingham (Capt. A.C.G. Madden, RN), HMS Phoebe (Capt. G. Grantham, RN), armed merchant cruiser HMS Cathay (A/Capt.(Retd.) C.M. Merewether, RN), destroyers HMAS Napier (Capt. S.H.T. Arliss, RN), HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN), HMCS Ottawa (Cdr. E.R. Mainguy, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Cdr. H.N. Lay, OBE, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN), HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN), HMS Legion (Cdr. R.F. Jessel, RN), Piorun (Cdr. E.J.S. Plawski), ORP Garland (Lt.Cdr. K.F. Namiesniowski, ORP), HMS Keppel (?), HMS Broadwater (Lt.Cdr. C.L.de H. Bell, RD, RNR) and the escort destroyers HMS Atherstone (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Jenks, RN) and HMS Cottesmore (Lt.Cdr. J.C.A. Ingram, RN).

Information on this convoy is difficult to find but it appears that most of the A/S escort parted company with the convoy in the early evening of 12 February (according to the logbook of HMS Birmingham) and then proceeded as follows; HMAS Napier and HMAS Nizam to Scapa Flow passing north of Rockall, HMS Keppel, HMS Atherstone and HMS Cottesmore to Londonderry, HMCS Ottawa, HMS Restigouche, HMCS St. Laurent and HMCS Skeena through area 52°N to 53°N, 23°W to 20°W and then to Greenock through position 55°N, 15°W, HMS Legion, HMS Broadwater, ORP Piorun and ORP Garland through position 57°N, 19°W and then to Greenock while passing north of Rockall. All groups were to conduct A/S sweeps on their way back.

Shortly before noon on the 15th the battleship HMS Rodney (Capt. F.H.G. Dalrymple-Hamilton, RN) joined the convoy.

Shortly after Rodney joined HMS Phoebe parted company with the convoy to fuel at Gibraltar.

HMS Rodney remained with the convoy until 1700/16. She then set course to join convoy HX 108.

The battlecruiser HMS Renown (Capt R.R. McGrigor, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral J.F. Somerville, KCB, RN) and aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal (Capt. C.S. Holland, RN) joined the convoy at 1000/17. They remained with the convoy until 1030/21 when they were relieved by HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN).

HMS Phoebe rejoined the convoy shortly before noon on 23 February 1941.

Shortly after noon on 25 February 1941 the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.F. de Salis, RN) and HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, DSC and Bar, RN) joined the convoy.

At 2030/25 the armed yacht HMS Surprise (Capt.(Retd.) E.C. Stubbs, RN) also joined.

Around 0900/27 the sloop HMS Milford (Cdr.(Retd.) the Hon. V.M. Wyndham-Quin, RN) and the destroyers HMS Vidette (Lt. E.N. Walmsley, RN) and HMS Wishart (Cdr. E.T. Cooper, RN) joined the escort of the convoy.

On February 28th, HMS Malaya parted company with the convoy to proceed to Freetown taking the destroyers HMS Faulknor and HMS Forester with her. Also on this day the destroyers HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St J. Morgan, RN) and HMS Isis (Cdr. C.S.B. Swinley, DSC, RN) joined the escort of the convoy.

Shortly before arrival at Freetown on 2 March 1941 the corvettes HMS Calendula (Lt.Cdr. A.D. Bruford, RNVR) and HMS Clematis (Cdr. Y.M. Cleeves, DSC, RD, RNR) joined. (5)

3 Mar 1941
HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) arrived at Halifax for a refit.

31 Jul 1942
German U-boat U-588 was sunk in the North Atlantic, in position 49°59'N, 36°36'W, by depth charges from the Canadian corvette HMCS Wetaskiwin (Lt.Cdr. G.S. Windeyer, RCN) and the Canadian destroyer HMCS Skeena (A/Lt.Cdr. D.L. Dyer, RCN).

9 Dec 1942
HMS H 34 (Lt. G.M. Noll, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Skeena (A/Lt.Cdr. K.L. Dyer, DSC, RCN) and HMCS Wetaskiwin (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J.R. Kidston, RCNVR). (8)

17 Aug 1943
HMS P 511 (Lt. R.H. Bull, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Burnham (Lt. C.H. Rankin, RN) and HMCS Skeena (A/Lt.Cdr. E.E.G. Boak, RCN). (9)

25 Sep 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. D.G. Kent, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Mayflower (Lt. V. Browne, RCNR), HMCS Saskatchewan (Cdr. R.C. Medley, DSO, RN), HMS Burnham (Lt. C.H. Rankin, RN) and HMCS Skeena (A/Lt.Cdr. E.E.G. Boak, RCN). (10)

5 Nov 1943
HMS Thrasher (Lt.Cdr. A.R. Hezlet, DSC, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Columbine T/A/Lt.Cdr. W.J. Griffiths, RNR), HMCS Skeena (A/Lt.Cdr. E.E.G. Boak, RCN), HMCS Mayflower (Lt. V. Browne, RCNR), HMS Violet (Lt. C.N. Stewart, RNR) and HMS Sweetbriar (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R. Edwards, RNVR). (11)

16 Dec 1943
HMS H 32 (Lt. K.S. Renshaw, DSC, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Skeena (A/Lt.Cdr. P.F.X. Russell, RCN), HMCS Pictou (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G.K. Fox, RCNVR), HMS Watchman (Lt.Cdr. G.H.D. Williams, RN) and aircraft. (12)

9 May 1944
HMS H 50 (T/Lt. A.F. Wicker, RNVR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Saskatchewan (T/Lt.Cdr. A.H. Easton, DSC, RCNR), HMCS Skeena (A/Lt.Cdr. P.F.X. Russell, RCN) and HMCS Qa'Appelle (Cdr. A.M. McKillop, RN). (13)

30 Sep 1944
HMS Scythian (T/Lt C.P. Thode, RNZNVR) conducted A/S exercises off Larne with HMCS Assiniboine (A/Lt.Cdr. R.P. Welland, DSC, RCN), HMCS Chaudiere (A/Lt.Cdr. C.P. Nixon, RCN), HMCS Skeena (A/Lt.Cdr. P.F.X. Russell, RCN), HMCS Qa'Appelle (T/Cdr. J.D. Prentice, DSO, RCN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. G.H. Stephen, DSC, RCNR). (14)

Media links


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Sources

  1. ADM 53/108475
  2. ADM 199/2561
  3. ADM 53/112448
  4. ADM 53/112036 + ADM 53/111885 + ADM 53/112448
  5. ADM 199/1136
  6. ADM 173/16349
  7. ADM 53/113049
  8. ADM 173/17244
  9. ADM 173/17927
  10. ADM 173/17786
  11. ADM 173/18231
  12. ADM 173/17777
  13. ADM 173/18528
  14. ADM 173/18650

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


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