Allied Warships

HMS Orwell (G 98)

Destroyer of the O class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassO 
PennantG 98 
Built byThornycroft (Southampton, U.K.) 
Ordered3 Sep 1939 
Laid down20 May 1940 
Launched2 Apr 1942 
Commissioned17 Oct 1942 
End service 
History

Scrapped in June 1965.

 

Commands listed for HMS Orwell (G 98)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Nigel Hubert George Austen, DSO, RN18 Aug 1942Jan 1943
2Lt.Cdr. John Michael Hodges, DSO, RNJan 194315 Jul 1944
3Lt.Cdr. John Ronald Gower, RN15 Jul 194416 Oct 1945

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Notable events involving Orwell include:


30 Dec 1942
On 30 December 1942 the German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper attacked convoy JW.51B and was held at bay by the British destroyers HMS Onslow, HMS Obedient, HMS Obdurate and HMS Orwell. When renewing her attack she was engaged by the British cruisers HMS Sheffield and HMS Jamaica and was badly damaged them. The only success of the operation was the sinking of the destroyer HMS Achates and the minesweeper HMS Bramble, the destroyers HMS Onslow, HMS Obedient, HMS Obdurate and HMS Orwell were damaged in the action.

22 Jul 1943
The battleship HMS Malaya (Capt. G.E.M. O’Donnell, DSO, RN) and the aircraft carrier HMS Unicorn (Capt. Q.D. Graham, CBE, DSO, RN) departed Greenock for Scapa Flow.

They were escorted by HMS Oribi (Lt.Cdr. J.C.A. Ingram, DSC, RN), HMS Obedient (Lt.Cdr. H. Unwin, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Orwell (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Hodges, DSO, RN).

They arrived at Scapa Flow on 23 July 1943. (1)

14 Aug 1943
The battleships HMS Duke of York (Capt. B.B. Schofield, RN, flying the flag of Admiral B.A. Fraser, KCB, KBE, RN and with H.M. the King on board), HMS Anson (Capt. E.D.B. McCarthy, DSO and Bar, RN), battlecruiser HMS Renown (Capt. W.E. Parry, CB, RN), light cruisers HMS Belfast (Capt. F.R. Parham, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.L. Burnett, CB, DSO, OBE, RN), HMS Phoebe (Capt. C.P. Frend, RN) and the destroyers HMS Onslow (Capt. J.A. McCoy, DSO, RN), HMS Orwell (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Hodges, DSO, RN), HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, DSO, RN), HMS Ulster (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Donald, DSC, RN) and HMCS Huron (Lt.Cdr. H.S. Rayner, DSC, RCN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. They had been led out of the harbour by HMIS Godavari (Capt. J.W. Jefford, OBE, RIN). (2)

24 Aug 1943
Around 1245/24, HMS Renown (Capt. W.E. Parry, CB, RN), departed Scapa Flow for Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is escorted by the destroyers HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, DSO, RN) and HMS Orwell (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Hodges, DSO, RN).

On the 26th the destroyers dropped astern in the heavy weather and they were later ordered to proceed to St. Johns where they arrived on the 29th.

HMS Renown arrived at Halifax also on the 29th (around 1000/29). (3)

14 Sep 1943
Around 1530/14 HMS Renown (Capt. W.E. Parry, CB, RN) departed Halifax for the UK. On board were the Prime Minister (Churchill) and his entourage. At sea HMS Renown wass joined by an escort made up of the heavy cruiser HMS Kent (Capt. G.A.B. Hawkins, DSC, MVO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Obdurate (Lt.Cdr. C.E.L. Sclater, DSO and Bar, RN) and HMS Obedient (Lt.Cdr. H. Unwin, DSC and Bar, RN).

At 0730/16, the heavy cruiser HMS Norfolk (Capt. D.K. Bain, RN) joined coming from Hvalfiord, Iceland.

Around 1430/16, the destroyers HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, DSO, RN) and HMS Orwell (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Hodges, DSO, RN) joined coming from St. Johns. HMS Obdurate and HMS Obedient were then detached to Argentia.

Around 0300/18, the destroyers HMS Scorpion (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Clouston, RN) and HMS Scourge (Lt.Cdr. G.I.M. Balfour, RN) joined coming from Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

Around 1100/18, the aircraft carrier USS Ranger (Capt. G. Rowe, USN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral O.M. Hustvedt, USN) joined coming from Scapa Flow. She was escorted by the destroyers USS Forrest (T/Cdr. K.P. Letts, USN), USS Hobson (T/Lt.Cdr. K. Loveland, USN) and USS Corry (T/Cdr. L.B. Ensey, USN).

At 1405/18, HMS Kent parted company to proceed to Scapa Flow.

At 1900/18, USS Ranger and her escorting destroyers parted company to proceed to Scapa Flow.

At 0050/19, HMS Norfolk parted company to proceed to Scapa Flow.

Around 0900/19, HMS Renown, HMS Matchless, HMS Orwell, HMS Scorpion and HMS Scourge arrived in the Clyde.

The Prime Minister and his entourage then disembarked from HMS Renown. (4)

23 Sep 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. D.G. Kent, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Musketeer (Cdr. E.N.V. Currey, DSC, RN), HMS Orwell (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Hodges, DSO, RN), HMS Oribi (Lt.Cdr. J.C.A. Ingram, DSC and Bar, RN) and ORP Orkan (Cdr. S. Hryniewiecki, ORP). (5)

5 Nov 1943
HMS Spiteful (Lt.Cdr. F.H. Sherwood, DSC, RCNVR) conducted A/S exercises at Scapa Flow with HMIS Cauvery (A/Cdr. A.W. Beeton, RIN), HMS Orwell (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Hodges, DSO, RN) and another vessel. (6)

6 Nov 1943
HMS Spiteful (Lt.Cdr. F.H. Sherwood, DSC, RCNVR) conducted A/S exercises at Scapa Flow with HMS Oribi (Lt.Cdr. J.C.A. Ingram, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Urchin (Lt.Cdr. J.T.B. Birch, DSO, DSC, RN), HMCS Iroquois (Cdr. J.C. Hibbard DSC, RCN) and HMS Orwell (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Hodges, DSO, RN). (6)

18 Dec 1943
HMS Vampire (Lt. C.W. Taylor, RNR) conducted A/S exercises at/off Scapa Flow with HMS Orwell (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Hodges, DSO, RN). (7)

16 Jan 1944
Around 2100A/16, HMS Rodney (Capt. R.O. Fitzroy, RN), which was well overdue for a major refit, departed Scapa Flow for Rosyth. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Onslaught (Capt. W.H. Selby, DSC, RN) and HMS Orwell (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Hodges, DSO, RN).

HMS Rodney arrived at Rosyth around 0900A/17.

The destroyers returned to Scapa Flow after their escort duty. They arrived at Scapa Flow around 1800A/17. (8)

19 May 1944
HMS Voracious (Lt. F.D.G. Challis, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises at/off Scapa Flow with HMS Nubian (Lt.Cdr. T.A. Pack-Beresford, RN), HMS Orwell (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Hodges, DSO, RN), HMS Whelp (Cdr. G.A.F. Norfolk, RN) and HMS Wizard (Lt.Cdr. D.T. McBarnet, DSC, RN). (9)

20 May 1944
During 20/21 May 1944, HMS Rodney (Capt. R.O. Fitzroy, RN), conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. First with the destroyer HMS Meteor (Lt.Cdr. D.J.B. Jewitt, RN) and later with four other destroyers, these were most likely HMS Savage (Cdr. M.D.C. Meyrick, DSO, RN), HMS Obedient (Lt.Cdr. H. Unwin, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Opportune (Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, DSO and Bar, RN) and HMS Orwell (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Hodges, DSO, RN). (10)

28 Nov 1944
HMS Volatile (Lt. F.R. Lawrence, RN) participated in A/S exercises at/off Scapa Flow.

During these exercises Volatile collided with HMS Orwell (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Gower, RN). Volatile sustained damage to her conning tower. The port side of the bridge was caved in. These was also heavy damage to both periscope. One of which was completely carried away. (11)

12 Jan 1945
The British heavy cruiser HMS Norfolk (Capt. J.G.Y. Loveband, RN with Rear-Admiral R.R. McGrigor, CB, DSO, RN aboard) and the light cruiser HMS Bellona (Capt. C.F.W. Norris, DSO, RN) escorted by the destroyers HMS Onslow (Capt. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN), HMS Orwell (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Gower, DSC, RN) and HMS Onslaught (Cdr. the Hon. A. Pleydell-Bouverie, RN) attack a German convoy of Egersund, Norway. Two German merchants, the Bahia Camarones (8551 GRT) and the Charlotte (4404 GRT) and the minelayer M 273 were sunk.

21 Jan 1945
HMS Votary (Lt. P.M. Staveley, RN) conducted A/S exercises at Scapa Flow with HMS Orwell (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Gower, DSC, RN). (12)

20 Mar 1945
HMS Orwell (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Gower, DSC, RN) picks up 65 survivors (of which one died aboard the destroyer) from the American merchant Horace Bushnell that was torpedoed and damaged by German U-boat U-995 about 25 nautical miles east of North Kilden Light in position 69°23'N, 35°17'E.

Media links


British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Sources

  1. ADM 53/117882 + ADM 199/632
  2. ADM 53/116903 + ADM 53/117016 + ADM 53/117401 + ADM 53/118367 + ADM 53/118433 + ADM 199/632
  3. ADM 53/118433 + ADM 199/632
  4. ADM 53/118434
  5. ADM 173/17786
  6. ADM 173/18096
  7. ADM 173/18443
  8. ADM 53/129496 + ADM 199/1426
  9. ADM 173/19434
  10. ADM 53/120410 + ADM 53/120655
  11. ADM 173/19429
  12. ADM 173/20344

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


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