HMS Hambledon (L 37)
Escort destroyer of the Hunt (Type I) class
|Navy||The Royal Navy|
|Class||Hunt (Type I)|
|Built by||Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. (Wallsend-on-Tyne, U.K.): Wallsend|
|Ordered||21 Mar 1939|
|Laid down||9 Jun 1939|
|Launched||12 Dec 1939|
|Commissioned||8 Jun 1940|
Hulked in 1955.
Commands listed for HMS Hambledon (L 37)
Please note that we're still working on this section.
|1||Cdr. Stephen Hope Carlill, RN||1 Apr 1940||late 1940|
|2||Cdr. Claude Henry Brooks, RAN||18 Apr 1941||9 May 1941|
|3||Lt.Cdr. John Richard Barnes, RN||9 May 1941||21 Oct 1942|
|4||Lt.Cdr. Gordon Wylie McKendrick, RN||21 Oct 1942||27 Dec 1943|
|5||Lt. Louis George Toone, RN||27 Dec 1943||10 Apr 1945|
|6||Lt. Chistopher Godfrey de Lisle Bush, RN||10 Apr 1945||late 1945|
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Notable events involving Hambledon include:
14 Jun 1940
Around 1800A/14, the aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. T.H. Troubridge, RN) got underway from Greenock to land on her aircraft. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Echo (Cdr. S.H.K. Spurgeon, DSO, RAN) and HMS Witherington (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Palmer, RN). HMS Furious had on board £ 18 million of gold bullion.
Around 2030A/14, the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. J.M. Mansfield, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral J.H.D. Cunningham, CB, MVO, RN) and escort destroyer HMS Hambledon (Cdr. S.H. Carlill, RN) also departed from Greenock to join the other ships after which course was set for Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Around 2100A/15, HMS Echo, HMS Witherington and HMS Hambledon parted company to return to the U.K.
Around 1100A/17, HMS Devonshire parted company with HMS Furious which now went on to Halifax unescorted. HMS Devonshire set course to return to the U.K. (Clyde).
At 1818A/17, HMS Devonshire received Admiralty signal timed 1658A/17 ordering her to proceed to Halifax so course was reversed.
Around 0300P/19, HMS Devonshire overtook HMS Furious and now rejoined the aircraft carrier.
Around 1855P/21, HMS Furious and HMS Devonshire, which were about to enter the harbour of Halifax encountered the French light cruiser Emile Bertin (Capt. R.M.J. Battet) which just left the harbour for an unknown destination. HMS Devonshire, which had about 46% fuel remaining, had been ordered to shadow the French cruiser. HMS Furious meanwhile entered the harbour arriving around 2000P/21.
HMS Devonshire obtained contact with Emile Bertin which stated that she was en-route to Martinique.
Around 0900P/22, HMS Devonshire set course for Halifax having been ordered to do so.
HMS Devonshire arrived at Halifax around 0600P/23. (1)
31 Aug 1940
On 31 August 1940, a group of destroyers sailed from Immingham on a mine laying mission to the north of the Dutch island of Vlieland.
The minelaying destroyers were from the 20th Destroyer Flotilla, these were; HMS Express (Capt. J.G. Bickford, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Esk (Lt.Cdr. R.J.H. Couch, DSC, RN), HMS Icarus (Cdr. C.D. Maud, DSC, RN), HMS Intrepid (Cdr. R.C. Gordon, RN) and HMS Ivanhoe (Cdr. P.H. Hadow, RN). The minelayers were escorted by three destroyers of the 5th Destroyer Flotilla, these were; HMS Jupiter (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, RN, with Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, RN = Capt.(D.5) on board), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN) and HMS Vortigern (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Howlett, RN).
At 2250/31, aerial reconnaissance reported a large number of German ships to the north of the Dutch island of Terschelling proceeding westwards. The destroyers of the 20th Destroyer Flotilla were ordered to jettison their mines and intercept, believing wrongly that the German ships were part of an invasion force.
At 2307/31, HMS Express struck a mine in position 53°25'N, 03°48'E. She was badly damaged but did not sink. HMS Esk went to her assistance and hit mine at 2325/31, she sank immediately. HMS Ivanhoe also went to her assistance and hit a mine at 0051/1. She was badly damaged, but she was able to proceed for a while.
HMS Jupiter, HMS Kelvin and HMS Vortiger were behind the minelaying destroyers providing cover for the operation. HMS Jupiter and HMS Kelvin went to the aid of the damaged destroyers while HMS Vortigern remained behind to mark the gap in the minefield for their return.
The minesweepers HMS Leda (Lt.Cdr. H. Unwin, DSC, RN) and HMS Saltash (Lt.Cdr. T.R. Fowke, RN), motor torpedo boats HMS MTB 14, HMS MTB 15, HMS MTB 16, HMS MTB 17, HMS MTB 29, HMS MTB 30, HMS MTB 31 and the tugs HMS St. Cyrus, Irishman, Norman, Wheeldon were also ordered to go the assistance of the crippled ships.
Around 0800/1, most of the crew of HMS Ivanhoe abandoned ship and boarded MTB 14, MTB 16, MTB 17. Thirty of the crew remained onboard trying to save the ship.
At 0941/1, HMS Express was taken in tow by HMS Kelvin, but when the towing line fouled HMS Kelvin'spropeller the tow was taken over by HMS Jupiter until it was passed over to the tug HMS St. Cyrus. Close cover for the towing group was provided by HMS Vortigern and HMS Hambledon. HMS Jupiter and HMS Kelvin formed a strike group in case German warships would arrive on the scene. HMS Express was towed to Hull where she arrived on 2 September 1940 and was out of action for around a year.
At 1415/1, the remaining crew of HMS Ivanhoe had to board MTB 15 as HMS Ivanhoe was rapidly sinking.
Later that afternoon a British aircraft reported that HMS Ivanhoe was still afloat. HMS Kelvin, HMS Garth and MTB 30 were ordered to search for her. At 1619/1, HMS Garth spotted HMS Ivanhoe while it was being attacked by a German aircraft. HMS Kelvin also arrived on the scene and she sank the wreck of HMS Ivanhoe at 1700/1 with a torpedo.
Meanwhile the light cruisers HMS Galatea (Capt. B.B. Schofield, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.T.B. Curteis, CB, RN), HMS Aurora (Capt. L.H.K. Hamilton, DSO, RN) and HMS Cardiff (Capt. P.K. Enright, RN) had departed the Humber around 0130/1, to make rendez-vous with HMS Jupiter, HMS Kelvin and HMS Vortigern after the minelaying mission. As the minelaying mission was cancelled they returned to Immingham and while doing so HMS Galatea struck a mine off the Cleaner Shoal Buoy near the Humber light vessel. Damage was however only minor. The cruiser arrived at Immingham around 0800/1.
8 Sep 1940
Around 2130A/8, the light cruisers HMS Galatea (Capt. B.B. Schofield, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.T.B. Curteis, CB, RN) and HMS Aurora (Capt. L.H.K. Hamilton, DSO, RN), destroyers HMS Campbell (Capt. C.R.L. Parry, RN), HMS Venetia (Lt.Cdr. D.L.C. Craig, RN), HMS Vesper (Lt.Cdr. W.E.F. Hussey, DSC, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Garth (Lt.Cdr. E.H. Dyke, RN), HMS Hambledon (Cdr. S.H. Carlill, RN) and HMS Holderness (Lt.Cdr. D.E. Holland-Martin, DSC, RN) departed Sheerness to bombard enemy shipping concentrations at Calais and Boulogne.
HMS Galatea with HMS Campbell, HMS Vesper and HMS Garth were to bombard Calais while HMS Aurora, HMS Venetia, HMS Hambledon and HMS Holderness bombarded Boulogne.
Between 0225A/9 and 0245A/9, British aircraft dropped flares over both ports. No shipping was however found to be present in Calais Roads so HMS Galatea and her escorts did not conduct a bombardment. HMS Aurora and her escorts however did bombarded the Boulogne harbour area.
They returned to Sheerness around 0700A/9. HMS Galatea had detonated a mine around 0525A/9 and was again damaged [see 1 September] damage was again minor. As Galatea was due for refit it was decided not to undertake repairs. HMS Galatea was to commence refit and repairs at the Chatham Dockyard upon completion of the refit of HMS Arethusa. For the moment HMS Galatea remained at Sheerness.
During the same night the destroyers HMS Beagle (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Wright, RN), HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. F.J.G. Hewitt, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Atherstone (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, RN), HMS Berkeley (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Walters, RN) and HMS Fernie (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, RN) departed Portsmouth to conducted a sweep along the French coast just south of Boulogne up to Cape Antifer (near Le Havre). On completion of the sweep they returned to Portsmouth. (4)
7 Oct 1940
HMS Hambledon (Cdr. S.H. Carlill, RN) set off an acoustic mine in the English Channel off South Foreland in position 51°08'N, 01°21'E during operation Lucid, a planned raid with numerous incendiary vessels, gunboats, MTBs, minesweepers and other escort destroyers on the German invasion fleets assembled in the French channel ports. She was severely damaged. Repairs were completed in mid-May 1941.
10 Jun 1941
HrMs O 14 (Lt.Cdr. G. Quint, RNN(R)) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Lance (Lt.Cdr. R.W.F. Northcott, RN), HMS Hambledon (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Barnes, RN) and HMS Black Swan (Cdr. T.A.C. Pakenham, RN). (5)
14 Jun 1941
HrMs O 14 (Lt.Cdr. G. Quint, RNN(R)) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, DSC, RN), HNoMS Bath (Lt.Cdr. C.F.T. Melsom), HMS Lance (Lt.Cdr. R.W.F. Northcott, RN) and HMS Hambledon (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Barnes, RN). (5)
15 Jun 1941
HrMs O 14 (Lt.Cdr. G. Quint, RNN(R)) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Lance (Lt.Cdr. R.W.F. Northcott, RN), HMS Hambledon (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Barnes, RN), HMS Lightning (Cdr. R.G. Stewart, RN) and HMIS Jumna (Cdr. W.R. Shewring, RIN). (5)
21 Jun 1943
Combined convoy WS 31 / KMS 17.
This combined convoy was formed off Oversay on 21 June 1943. The convoy was divided into convoys WS 30 and KMS 15 at sea on 26 June 1943.
The combined convoy was made up of the following (troop) transports; Britannic (British, 26943 GRT, built 1930), City of Lincoln (British, 8039 GRT, built 1938), Clan Macarthur (British, 10528 GRT, built 1936), Clan Macaulay (British, 10492 GRT, built 1936), Cristobal (American, 10021 GRT, built 1939), General George W. Goethals (American, 12093 GRT, built 1942), John Ericsson (American, 16552 GRT, built 1928), J.W. McAndrew (American, 7997 GRT, built 1940), Largs Bay (British, 14182 GRT, built 192), Rangitiki (British, 16698 GRT, built 1928), Samaria (British, 19597 GRT, built 1921), Santa Rosa (American, 9135 GRT, built 1932), Silverteak (British, 6770 GRT, built 1930), Stratheden (British, 23722 GRT, built 1937) and Tamaroa (British, 12405 GRT, built 1922).
Also the netlayer HMS Guardian (Capt.(Retd.) H.A.C. Lane, OBE, RN) was part of the convoy.
After assembly of Oversay the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Uganda (Capt. W.G. Andrewes, RN), destroyers HMS Arrow (Lt.Cdr. W.W. Fitzroy, RN), HMS Amazon (Lt.Cdr. D.H.P. Gardiner, DSC, RN), HMS Witherington (Lt.Cdr. R.B.S. Tennant, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Viceroy (Lt. T.F. Hallifax, RN), HMS Wallace (Lt. D. Carson, RN), HMS Woolston (Lt. F.W. Hawkins, RN), HMS Hambledon (Lt.Cdr. G.W. McKendrick, RN), HMS Mendip (Capt. C.R.L. Parry, RN), HMS Blankney (Lt.Cdr. D.H.R. Bromley, RN), HMS Blencathra (Lt. E.G. Warren, RN), HMS Ledbury (Lt. D.R.N. Murdoch, RN), HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Brissenden (Lt. D.C. Beatty, RN).
On 25 June HMS Arrow and HMS Amazon parted company with the combined convoy to proceed to Casablanca to fuel. They arrived at Casablanca around 1730A/25.
Around 1730B/25, the destroyers HMS Foxhound (Cdr. C.J. Wynne-Edwards, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. E.J. Lee, RN) and escort destroyer HMS Blackmore (Lt. H.T. Harrel, RN) were to join the combined convoy in position 36°05'N, 07°54'W. They had departed Gibraltar earlier on the 25th.
When these destroyers joined the destroyer HMS Witherington and escort destroyer HMS Ledbury were to proceed to Casablanca.
Also the convoy was to split. Convoy KMF 17, made up of the transports Britannic, Cristobal, J.W. McAndrew, Largs Bay, Samaria, Santa Rosa, Silverteak, Tamaroa and the netlayer HMS Guardian. They were escorted by the light cruiser HMS Uganada and the escort destroyers HMS Viceroy, HMS Wallace, HMS Woolston, HMS Hambledon, HMS Mendip, HMS Blankney, HMS Blencathra, HMS Brecon and HMS Brissenden proceeded towards the Mediterranean.
On the 26th, HMS Uganda, HMS Guardian, HMS Viceroy and one of the transports arrived at Gibraltar.
On the 27th, HMS Uganda, which apparently had rejoined the convoy after a brief stopover at Gibraltar, 7 of the transports and HMS Wallace, HMS Woolston, HMS Hambledon, HMS Mendip, HMS Blankney, HMS Blencathra, HMS Brecon and HMS Brissenden arrived at Algiers.
Meanwhile Convoy WS 31, made up of the transports City of Lincoln, Clan Macarthur, Clan Macaulay, General George W. Goethals, John Ericsson, Stratheden and Tamaroa continued on to Freetown.
The convoy was now escorted by the destroyers HMS Foxhound, HMS Bulldog and the escort destroyer HMS Blackmore.
The destroyer HMS Amazon also rejoined after fuelling at Casablanca. It had originally been the intention that HMS Arrow was also to rejoin the convoy but while at Casablanca orders had been received that she was to proceed to Gibraltar instead.
On 1 July the French armed merchant cruiser Quercy joined the convoy.
Convoy WS 31 arrived at Freetown on 4 July 1943.
Convoy WS 31 departed Freetown on 6 July 1943.
It was now made up of the transports City of Lincoln, Clan Macarthur, Clan Macaulay, General George W. Goethals, John Ericsson, Rangitiki, Stirling Castle (British, 25550 GRT, built 1936) and Stratheden.
The convoy was now escorted by the light cruiser HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN), armed merchant cruisers HMS Corfu (Capt.(Retd.) C.C. Bell, DSO, RN), Quercy, destroyers HMS Foxhound, HMS Bulldog, HMS Wolverine (Lt. I.M. Clegg, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Blackmore.
in the early afternoon of the 7th, in approximate position 03°15'N, 14°54'W the Rangitiki was to be detached to proceed independently to Montevideo.
HMS Despatch was to arrived at Takoradi late in the afternoon of the 9th to fuel and after completion of this on the 10th she was to rejoin the convoy. HMS Wolverine also made a short call at Takoradi on the 10th to fuel and then rejoin the convoy.
On the 10th HMS Bulldog and HMS Blackmore were detached to proceed to Lagos to fuel and then escort transports from there to join the convoy. HMS Corfu was also detached on the 10th to proceed to Ascencion after first calling at Takoradi.
On the 11th the transports Arawa (British, 14462 GRT, built 1922), Highland Brigade (British, 14134 GRT, built 1929), Highland Monarch (British, 14139 GRT, built 1928) and Staffordshire (British, 10683 GRT, built 1929) joined the convoy coming from Lagos. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Bulldog and the escort destroyer HMS Blackmore.
When these ships joined HMS Foxhound, HMS Witch and HMS Armeria then parted company and proceeded to Lagos arriving there also on the 11th.
HMS Despatch and HMS Rapid arrived at Pointe Noire to fuel at 0700Z/14. They departed again to rejoin the convoy at 1430Z/14.
At 1800Z/14, the Quercy, HMS Bulldog and HMS Blackmore arrived at Pointe Noire.
At 0600Z/15, HMS Wolverine arrived at Pointe Noire.
The convoy arrived at Capetown on 21 July 1943. HMS Despatch, HMS Quadrant, HMS Rapid and HMS Redoubt then continued on to Simonstown arriving there later the same day.
A much reduced convoy WS 31 departed Capetown on 26 July 1943. It was now made up of the transports Arawa, Highland Brigade, Highland Monarch, Staffordshire, Stirling Castle and Stratheden. The convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Despatch and the destroyers HMS Quadrant and HMS Redoubt.
They were relieved near Mauritius on 4 August 1943 by the heavy cruiser HMS Frobisher (Capt. J.F.W. Mudford, RN) which took the convoy to Bombay where it arrived on 13 August 1943.
HMS Despatch, HMS Quadrant and HMS Redoubt arrived at Mauritius on 5 August 1943.
17 Dec 1943
Combined Convoy MKF 27 / XIF 6.
This combined convoy sailed from Port Said on 17 December 1943.
On departure from Port Said the combined convoy was made up of the following (troop) transports; Bergensfjord (Norwegian, 11015 GRT, built 1913), Indrapoera (Dutch, 10825 GRT, built 1925), Orion (British, 23371 GRT, built 1935), Ruys (Dutch, 14155 GRT, built 1937), Strathmore (British, 23428 GRT, built 1935), Takliwa (British, 7936 GRT, built 1924) and Volendam (British, 15434 GRT, built 1922).
Two more (troop) transports sailed from Alexandria and joined the convoy, these were the; Aronda (British, 9031 GRT, built 1941) and Princess Kathleen (British, 5875 GRT, built 1925).
On 17 December 1943, the escort destroyers ORP Slazak (Cdr. R. Nalecz-Tyminski, ORP), ORP Krakowiak (Lt.Cdr. W. Maracewicz), HMS Atherstone (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Wood, DSC, RNVR) and HMS Cleveland (Lt.Cdr. J.K. Hamilton, RN) departed Tobruk to join the convoy which they did the following day. They later split off with convoy the ships for Taranto (Convoy XIF 6).
The ships that were in convoy XIF 6 were the following; Aronda, Bergensfjord, Highland Princess, Indrapoera, Princess Kathleen, Ruys, Takliwa and Volendam.
Convoy XIF 6 arrived at Taranto on 21 December 1943.
Meanwhile the Orion and Strathmore had continued on to Augusta where they arrived on 20 December 1943 escorted by HMS Antwerp, HMS Tetcott, Exmoor, HMS Croome, RHS Miaoules and RHS Themistocles.
The Orion and Strathnmore remained at Augusta until 24 December 1943 when they departed for the U.K. They had been joined by the ships from convoy XIF 6A which had arrived on 23 December 1943 after having departed Taranto on 22 December 1943. The ships in convoy XIF 6A were the same ships that had been in convoy XIF 6 except for the Aronda which remained at Taranto. Also the escort had been the same.
On the convoys departure from Augusta it was escorted by ORP Slazak, ORP Krakowiak, HMS Atherstone and HMS Cleveland.
Around 1415A/25, the light cruiser HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) joined off Bizerta.
Off Algiers, on the 26/27th, the escort destroyers were relieved by the frigates HMS Bentinck (Cdr. E.H. Chavasse, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Bazely (Lt.Cdr. J.V. Brock, RCNVR), HMS Burges (Lt.Cdr. H. Hill, DSC, RD, RNR), HMS Byard (Lt.Cdr. L.H. Phillips, RN), HMS Calder (Lt.Cdr. A.D. White, RD, RNR) and HMS Drury (Lt. N.J. Parker, RN).
Also the (troop) transports Maloja (British, 20914 GRT, built 1923) and Otranto (British, 20026 GRT, built 1925) joined.
Off Oran on the 27th, more (troop) transports joined, these were the Antenor (British, 11174 GRT, built 1925), Boissevain (Dutch, 14134 GRT, built 1937), Cameronia (British, 16297 GRT, built 1920) and Ormonde (British, 14982 GRT, built 1917).
Off Gibraltar, HMS Spartan was detached which then entered harbour while the (troop) transport Dempo (Dutch, 17024 GRT, built 1931) joined the convoy.
The convoy arrived in the U.K. on 4 January 1944.
30 Mar 1944
German U-boat U-223 was sunk in the Mediterranean north of Palermo, in position 38°48'N, 14°10'E, by depth charges from the British destroyers HMS Laforey (Capt. H.T. Armstrong, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Tumult (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN) and the British escort destroyers HMS Hambledon (Lt. L.G. Toone, RN) and HMS Blencathra (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Warren, RN).
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. (6)
- ADM 53/112009 + ADM 53/112270 + ADM 199/388
- File 2.12.03.6375 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
- File 2.12.03.6365 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
- ADM 53/112284 + ADM 199/375 + ADM 199/379
- File 2.12.03.6387 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
- ADM 53/121007 + ADM 199/1440 + Log of USS Augusta
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.