Allied Warships

HMS Zephyr (R 19)

Destroyer of the Z class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassZ 
PennantR 19 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Newcastle-on-Tyne, U.K.) : Parsons 
Ordered12 Feb 1942 
Laid down13 Jul 1942 
Launched15 Jul 1943 
Commissioned6 Sep 1944 
End service 
History

Scrapped at Dunston on 2 July 1958.

 

Commands listed for HMS Zephyr (R 19)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. John Fitzroy Duyland Bush, DSC, RN18 Jul 194415 Dec 1944
2Capt. John Hamilton Allison, DSO, RN15 Dec 194425 Jun 1945
3Lt.Cdr. Cuthbert Richard Purse, DSC, RN25 Jun 1945

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Notable events involving Zephyr include:


14 Sep 1944
HMS Trusty (Lt. E.T. Stanley, DSO, DSC, RN) conducts A/S exercises with HMS Verulam (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, DSC, RN), HMS Cassandra (Cdr. P.F. Powlett, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and later on the day with HMS Zephyr (Lt.Cdr. J.F.D. Bush, DSC and 2 Bars, RN). (1)

19 Sep 1944

Operation Divan.

This operation had three objectives;
1) To create a diversion during the passage of convoy JW 60 to Northern Russia.
2) Mining the Leads at Finnenarennen and Gibostad.
3) Harassing the Germans and destruction of military installations in the Tromso Area.

On 19 September 1944, the aircraft carrier HMS Indefatigable (Capt. Q.D. Graham, CBE, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral F.H.G. Dalrymple-Hamilton, KCB, RN), light cruiser HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMS Cassandra (Cdr. P.F. Powlett, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN), HMS Caprice (Lt.Cdr. G.W. McKendrick, RN), HMS Cambrian (Lt.Cdr. H.T. Harrel, RN), HMS Zephyr (Lt.Cdr. J.F.D. Bush, DSC and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Onslow (Capt. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN), HMS Offa (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Biggs, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN), HMS Oribi (Lt.Cdr. J.C.A. Ingram, DSC, RN), HMS Orwell (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Gower, DSC, RN), HMS Opportune (Cdr. R.E.D. Ryder, VC, RN) and HMS Obedient (Lt.Cdr. H. Unwin, DSC and Bar, RN) departed Scapa Flow.

They arrived in the operations area but the weather was found unsuitable to carry out the operation so it had to be cancelled.

The Force returned to Scapa Flow on 24 September 1944. (2)

8 Nov 1944

Operations Counterblast and Steak, first attempt, aborted.

Operation Counterblast.

The object of this operation was the destruction of shipping off the south west coast of Norway.

On 8 November 1944, the heavy cruiser HMS Kent (Capt. G.A.B. Hawkins, DSC, MVO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.R. McGrigor, CB, DSO, RN), light cruiser HMS Bellona (Capt. C.F.W. Norris, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Myngs (Capt. M.L. Power, CBE, RN), HMS Zambesi (Lt.Cdr. W. Scott, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Verulam ( Lt.Cdr. M Thornton, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMCS Algonquin (Lt.Cdr. D.W. Piers, DSC, RCN) departed Scapa Flow around 1800A/8.

Operation Steak.

This operation had two objectives;
1) To provide fighter cover for operation Counterblast.

2) To carry out an air attacks by fighter aircraft on shipping in the Vingvaagen anchorage or sweep off the Leads to the westward.

On 9 November 1944, the escort carrier HMS Pursuer (A/Capt. H.R. Graham, DSO, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMS Euryalus (Capt. R. Oliver-Bellesis, RN) and the destroyers HMS Caesar (Capt. G.N. Brewer, DSO, RN), HMS Zephyr (Lt.Cdr. J.F.D. Bush, DSC and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Venus (Cdr. H.G.D. De Chair, DSC with Bar, RN) and HMS Nubian (Lt.Cdr. T.A. Pack-Beresford, RN) departed Scapa Flow around 0900A/9.

Weather conditions were found to be unsuitable and the operations were cancelled / postponed and both forces returned to Scapa Flow arriving late in the afternoon of the 9th. (3)

11 Nov 1944

Operations Counterblast and Steak, second, successful, attempt.

Operation Counterblast.

The object of this operation was the destruction of shipping off the south west coast of Norway.

Around 2100A/11, the heavy cruiser HMS Kent (Capt. G.A.B. Hawkins, DSC, MVO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.R. McGrigor, CB, DSO, RN), light cruiser HMS Bellona (Capt. C.F.W. Norris, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Myngs (Capt. M.L. Power, CBE, RN), HMS Zambesi (Lt.Cdr. W. Scott, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Verulam ( Lt.Cdr. M Thornton, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMCS Algonquin (Lt.Cdr. D.W. Piers, DSC, RCN) departed Scapa Flow.

Operation Steak.

This operation had two objectives;
1) To provide fighter cover for operation Counterblast.

2) To carry out an air attacks by fighter aircraft on shipping in the Vingvaagen anchorage or sweep off the Leads to the westward.

Around 0800A/12, the escort carrier HMS Pursuer (A/Capt. H.R. Graham, DSO, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMS Euryalus (Capt. R. Oliver-Bellesis, RN) and the destroyers HMS Caesar (Capt. G.N. Brewer, DSO, RN), HMS Zephyr (Lt.Cdr. J.F.D. Bush, DSC and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Venus (Cdr. H.G.D. De Chair, DSC with Bar, RN) and HMS Nubian (Lt.Cdr. T.A. Pack-Beresford, RN) departed Scapa Flow.

During operations Counterblast / Steak the German convoy KS-357-ST was attacked near the Lister Fjord (south-east of Egersund). Out of four merchant vessels in the convoy the Greif (996 GRT, built 1923) and Cornouaille (former Belgian, 3303 GRT, built 1928) were sunk. From the six escorts five were sunk. These were minesweepers M 416, M 427, and the submarine chasers UJ 1221, UJ 1223 and UJ 1713. Also a German radar station was destroyed by the aircraft of HMS Pursuer.

All ships returned to Scapa Flow in the morning of November 16th except for HMS Euryalus which had parted company with her force at 1600A/15 and then set course for Rosyth where she also arrived in the morning of the 16th. At Rosyth she was then taken in hand by the dockyard. (3)

18 Nov 1944
During the morning HMS Taciturn (Lt.Cdr. E.T. Stanley, DSO, DSC, RN) conducts A/S exercises with HMS Vigilant (Lt.Cdr. L.W.L. Argles, RN) and HMS Vesper (Lt.Cdr. V.D. Ravenscroft, RN). During the afternoon A/S exercises were carried out with HMS Zephyr (Capt. J.H. Allison, DSO and Bar, RN). (4)

31 Dec 1944
On 31 Dec, 1944, the British destroyer HMS Zephyr (Lt.Cdr. J.F.D. Bush, DSC and 2 Bars, RN) was damaged by an explosion west of the Pentland Firth. According to British reports this was very likely caused by a floating mine and not by a torpedo. U-1020 was long believed to have hit the destroyer. (5)

6 May 1945

Operation Cleaver.

Entry of a naval surface force into the Skagerrak and Kattegat.

The following forces took part in this operation;
' Force 5 ' which was made up of the light cruisers HMS Birmingham (Capt. H.W. Williams, RN), HMS Dido (Capt. R.F. Elkins, OBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Zephyr (Capt. J.H. Allison, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Zealous (Cdr. R.F. Jessel, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Zest (Lt.Cdr. R.B.N. Hicks, DSO, RN) and HMS Zodiac (Lt.Cdr. H.R. Rycroft, DSC, RN).
This force departed Rosyth in the evening of the 6th.

' Force 6 ' which was made up of the heavy cruiser HMS Norfolk (Capt. J.G.Y. Loveband, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral R.R. McGrigor, CB, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Scourge (Lt.Cdr. C.G.H. Brown, DSC, RN, with Capt. P.G.L. Cazalet, DSC, RN on board), HMS Savage (Lt.Cdr. C.W. Malins, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Obedient (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Offa (Lt.Cdr. E.M. Thorpe, DSO, RN), HMS Opportune (Cdr. R.E.D. Ryder, VC, RN), HMS Zambesi (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Palmer, RN) and HMS Carysfort (Lt.Cdr. L.St.G. Rich, DSO and Bar, RN). This force departed Scapa flow early the 7th except to joined the escort carriers HMS Queen (A/Capt. K.J. D'Arcy, DSO, RN), HMS Searcher (Capt. J.W. Grant, DSO, RN), HMS Trumpeter (A/Capt. K.S. Colquhoun, RN) which had still been at sea after operation Judgement together with the escort carrier HMS Campania (Capt. C.B. Alers-Hankey, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMS Obdurate (Lt.Cdr. R.D. Franks, DSO, DSC, OBE, RN), HNoMS Stord (Lt.Cdr. H. Øi) and ORP Piorun (Lt.Cdr. J. Tchorznicki, ORP). The cruisers and the destroyers joined the escort carriers around 1000B/7.

HMS Campania, HMS Obdurate, HNoMS Stord and ORP Piorun then parted company.

And the 40th Minesweeping Flotilla made up of HMS Catharine (Cdr. Kenneth Hillam Fraser, RN), 6541 HMS Cynthia (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.L. Chatwin, RNVR), HMS Elfreda (T/A/Lt.Cdr. L. Jolly, RNVR), HMS Grecian (T/A/Cdr. C.R. Fraser, DSC and Bar, RNR) and HMS Gazelle (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Sutcliffe, RN), HMS Maenad (Cdr. C.E. Duggan, RD, RNR), HMS Steadfast (T/A/Lt. A.H. Hall, RNVR) and HMS Tattoo (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.G. Rogers, RD, RNR). They departed Rosyth of the 6th.

Force 5 and the 40th M/S Flotilla arrived at Copenhagen, Denmark on 9 May. The 40th M/S Flotilla swept Force 5 through the minefields.

Force 6 returned to Scapa Flow on 10 May. (6)

20 May 1945
HMS Birmingham (Capt. H.W. Williams, RN), HMS Zephyr (Capt. J.H. Allison, DSO and Bar, RN) and HMS Zest (Lt.Cdr. R.B.N. Hicks, DSO, RN) departed Copenhagen for Rosyth. (7)

21 May 1945
HMS Birmingham (Capt. H.W. Williams, RN), HMS Zephyr (Capt. J.H. Allison, DSO and Bar, RN) and HMS Zest (Lt.Cdr. R.B.N. Hicks, DSO, RN) arrived at Rosyth from Copenhagen. (7)

29 May 1945
HMS Norfolk (Capt. J.G.Y. Loveband, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral R.R. McGrigor, CB, DSO, RN) and HMS Zephyr (Capt. J.H. Allison, DSO and Bar, RN) departed Rosyth loaded with troops for Trondheim. (8)

31 May 1945
HMS Norfolk (Capt. J.G.Y. Loveband, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral R.R. McGrigor, CB, DSO, RN) and HMS Zephyr (Capt. J.H. Allison, DSO and Bar, RN) arrived at Trondheim from Rosyth. (8)

1 Jun 1945
HMS Norfolk (Capt. J.G.Y. Loveband, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral R.R. McGrigor, CB, DSO, RN) and HMS Zephyr (Capt. J.H. Allison, DSO and Bar, RN) departed Trondheim for Rosyth. (9)

2 Jun 1945
HMS Norfolk (Capt. J.G.Y. Loveband, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral R.R. McGrigor, CB, DSO, RN) and HMS Zephyr (Capt. J.H. Allison, DSO and Bar, RN) arrived at Rosyth from Trondheim. (9)

14 Jul 1945
The light cruiser HMS Birmingham (Capt. H.W. Williams, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.E.M.B. Cunninghame-Graham, CBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Serapis (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN), HMS Obdurate (Lt.Cdr. R.D. Franks, DSO, DSC, OBE, RN), HMS Obedient (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Zealous (Cdr. R.F. Jessel, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Zephyr (Lt.Cdr. C.R. Purse, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Zodiac (Lt.Cdr. H.R. Rycroft, DSC, RN) departed Plymouth to make rendezvous with the US Heavy cruiser USS Augusta (T/Capt. J.H. Foskett, USN) and the light cruiser USS Philadelphia (T/Capt. R.L. Boller, USN). On board the USS Augusta was President Truman which was en-route to Antwerp, Belgium.

Rendezvous was made in the morning and the ships then proceeded in company westwards through the English Channel.

In the early evening the British ships parted company near the North Goodwin Buoy. Shortly aftewards the escort destroyers HMS Garth (Capt. W.G. Davis, DSC, RN), HMS Hambledon (Lt. C.G.deL. Bush, RN) and HMS Holderness (A/Lt.Cdr. P.F. Cole, DSC, RN) joined the US ships to escort them to Antwerp where they arrived in the morning of the 15th. (10)

Media links


British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Sources

  1. ADM 173/19129
  2. ADM 53/119604 + ADM 53/120602 + ADM 199/1426 + ADM 199/1427
  3. ADM 53/118980 + ADM 53/119417 + ADM 53/119640 + ADM 53/120290 + ADM 199/1426 + ADM 199/1427
  4. ADM 173/18917
  5. Personal communication
  6. ADM 199/1440
  7. ADM 53/121006 + ADM 199/1440
  8. ADM 53/121932
  9. ADM 53/121933
  10. ADM 53/121007 + ADM 199/1440 + Log of USS Augusta

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


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