Allied Warships

HMS Chiddingfold (L 31)

Escort destroyer of the Hunt (Type II) class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeEscort destroyer
ClassHunt (Type II) 
PennantL 31 
Built byScotts Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. (Greenock, Scotland) 
Ordered4 Sep 1939 
Laid down1 Mar 1940 
Launched10 Mar 1941 
Commissioned16 Oct 1941 
End service 
History

Lent to the Royal Indian Navy 18 June 1954 and renamed Ganga.
Sold to the royal Indian Navy in April 1959.
Scrapped in 1975.

 

Commands listed for HMS Chiddingfold (L 31)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt. Lionel William Lendon Argles, RN12 Aug 1941Apr 1943
2Lt. Thomas Mervyn Dorrien-Smith, RNApr 194331 Aug 1944
3Lt. Frederick Greville Woods, DSC, RN31 Aug 1944late 1945

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Notable events involving Chiddingfold include:


30 Oct 1941
HrMs O 14 (Lt.Cdr. G. Quint, RNN(R)) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Lowestoft (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.B. Proudfoot, RN) and HMS Chiddingfold (Lt. L.W.L. Argles, RN). (1)

31 Oct 1941
HrMs O 14 (Lt.Cdr. G. Quint, RNN(R)) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Lowestoft (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.B. Proudfoot, RN), HMS Chiddingfold (Lt. L.W.L. Argles, RN), HMS Montrose (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Phipps, OBE, RN) and HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Sinclair, RN). (1)

1 Nov 1941
HrMs O 14 (Lt.Cdr. G. Quint, RNN(R)) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Chiddingfold (Lt. L.W.L. Argles, RN), HMS Hurworth (Lt.Cdr. J.T.B. Birch, RN), HMS Lowestoft (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.B. Proudfoot, RN) and HMS Southwold (Cdr. C.T. Jellicoe, DSC, RN). (1)

5 Nov 1941
HrMs O 14 (Lt.Cdr. G. Quint, RNN(R)) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Maori (Cdr. R.E. Courage, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Lowestoft (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.B. Proudfoot, RN) and HMS Chiddingfold (Lt. L.W.L. Argles, RN). (1)

15 Nov 1941
HrMs O 14 (Lt.Cdr. G. Quint, RNN(R)) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Beaufort (Lt.Cdr. S.O’G Roche, RN), HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.M. Burrell, RAN), HMS Wheatland (Lt. R.deL. Brooke, RN) and HMS Chiddingfold (Lt. L.W.L. Argles, RN). (1)

24 Nov 1941
HrMs O 14 (Lt.Cdr. G. Quint, RNN(R)) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Montrose (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Phipps, OBE, RN), HMS Wheatland (Lt. R.deL. Brooke, RN) and HMS Chiddingfold (Lt. L.W.L. Argles, RN). (1)

28 Nov 1941
HrMs O 14 (Lt.Cdr. G. Quint, RNN(R)) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Wheatland (Lt. R.deL. Brooke, RN) and HMS Chiddingfold (Lt. L.W.L. Argles, RN). (1)

23 Dec 1941
HMS Tuna (Lt. M.B. St. John, RN) departed Scapa Flow for her 11th war patrol. She was part of Operation Archery, a commando raid on Vågsøy, Norway. Tuna was to act as navigational beacon for the surface ships involved in this operation.

The raid on Vågsøy was carried out by the British Light cruiser HMS Kenya (Capt. M.M. Denny, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral Burrough, RN), the British destroyers HMS Onslow (Capt. H.T. Armstrong, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Oribi (Lt.Cdr. J.E.H. McBeath, DSO, RN), HMS Offa (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Ewing, RN), HMS Chiddingfold (Lt. L.W.L. Argles, RN) and the landing ships Prince Charles (A/Cdr. W.R. Fell, DSC, OBE, RN) and Prince Leopold (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Byles, RD, RNR). (2)

24 Dec 1941

Operation Archery.

Commando raid against the Norwegian island of Vågsøy.

Around 2100A/24, the light cruiser HMS Kenya (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.M. Burrough, CB, RN), destroyers HMS Onslow (Capt. H.T. Armstrong, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Offa (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Ewing, RN), HMS Oribi (Lt.Cdr. J.E.H. McBeath, DSO, RN), the escort destroyer HMS Chiddingfold (Lt. L.W.L. Argles, RN), and the landing ships HMS Prince Charles (A/Cdr. W.R. Fell, DSC, OBE, RN) and HMS Prince Leopold (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Byles, RD, RNR) departed Scapa Flow for operation Archery. First they were to proceed to Sullom Voe where they arrived around 1330A/25. and Maaloy Island. The Force arrived at Sullom Voe on the 25th.

Heavy weather had been encountered on the passage to Sullom Voe and the operation was postponed 24 hours so that some weather damage to the landing ships could be made good.

The raiding force departed Sullom Voe around 1600A/26.

The arrived off the Vaagsfiord in perfect weather around 0740A/27. At 0640A/27 they had made rendezvous with the submarine HMS Tuna (Lt. M.B. St. John, RN) which acted as beacon.

Enemy positions were bombarded and troops were landed.

The enemy was caught by surprise but resistance was however stiff as an enemy unit of mountain troops was present at Måløy for a rest.

HMS Kenya engaged the enemy shore battery at Rugsundöy. She was also hit in return.

HMS Onslow and HMS Oribi sank the German patrol vessel V 5108 / Föhn (207 GRT, built 1911, former Norwegian whaler Hadarøy) in Måløy-Sund. The merchant vessels Reimar Edzard Fritzen (2936 GRT, built 1923), Norma (2258 GRT, built 1911, former Dutch Calypso) and Anita L.M. Russ (1712 GRT, built 1926) and Eismeer (1003 GRT, built 1941, former Dutch Duiveland) were either sunk or driven on the rocks.

HMS Offa and HMS Chiddinfold sank the German patrol vessel V 5102 / Donner (223 GRT, built ?) and the merchant vessel Anhalt (4621 GRT, built 1922).

The commandoes commenced to retreat back to the landing ships around 1400A/27.

The raiding force returned to Scapa Flow around 1600A/28. (3)

15 May 1942
HrMs O 14 (Lt.Cdr. H.A.W. Goossens, RNN) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Ashanti (Cdr. R.G. Onslow, RN), HMS Derwent (Cdr. R.H. Wright, DSC, RN), HMS Bleasdale (Lt. P.B.N. Lewis, RN) and HMS Chiddingfold (Lt.Cdr. L.W.L. Argles, RN). (4)

25 Feb 1943
HMS P 31 (Lt. L.E. Herrick, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Chiddingfold (Lt.Cdr. L.W.L. Argles, RN). (5)

12 May 1943
HMS Ultimatum (Lt. W.H. Kett, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Tumult (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN), ORP Slazak (Lt.Cdr. R. Nalecz-Tyminski, ORP), HMS Charlestown (Lt. W.F.B. Webb, DSC, RN) and HMS Chiddingfold (Lt. T.M. Dorrien-Smith, RN). (6)

14 May 1943
At 0340 hours, HrMs O 10 (Lt.Cdr. Baron D.T. Mackay, RNN), was spotted by a Catalina that was sent out to search for her. Around 0600 hours HMS Chiddingfold (Lt. T.M. Dorrien-Smith, RN) came in sight. Late in the morning they were joined by HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Brissenden (Lt. D.C. Beatty, RN) and HMS Celia (T/Lt. L.B. Merrick, RNR). HMS Brecon then took O 10 in tow. Around 1600 hours HMS Halcyon (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Corbet-Singleton, RN) arrived which took over the tow. (7)

30 Aug 1943
HrMs O 15 (Lt.Cdr. A.J. Schouwenaar, RNN) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Bicester (Lt.Cdr. S.W.F. Bennetts, DSO, RN), HMS Chiddingfold (Lt. T.M. Dorrien-Smith, RN), HMS Meteor (Lt.Cdr. D.J.B. Jewitt, RN) and HMS Rocket (Lt.Cdr. H.B. Acworth, OBE, RN). (8)

1 Sep 1943
HrMs O 15 (Lt.Cdr. A.J. Schouwenaar, RNN) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Bicester (Lt.Cdr. S.W.F. Bennetts, DSO, RN), HMS Chiddingfold (Lt. T.M. Dorrien-Smith, RN), HMS Kingston Agate (Lt. J. Simms, RNR) and HMS Cape Palliser (Lt. B.T. Wortley, RNR). (8)

21 Jun 1944

Convoy MKF 32.

This convoy departed Port Said on 21 June 1944 and arrived in U.K. waters on 4 July 1944.

It was made up of the following transport vessels; Antenor (British, 11174 GRT, built 1925), Nieuw Holland (British, 11066 GRT, built 1927), Orduna (British, 15507 GRT, built 1914), Orion (British, 23371 GRT, built 1935), Ormonde (British, 14982 GRT, built 1917), Ranchi (British, 16738 GRT, built 1925), Stratheden (British, 23722 GRT, built 1937) and Strathmore (British, 23428 GRT, built 1935).

On departure from Port Said the convoy was escorted by the escort destroyers HMS Chiddingfold (Lt. T.M. Dorrien-Smith, RN), HMS Croome (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J.S. Lawrence, DSC, RNVR), HMS Exmoor (Lt. D.D. Howson, RN), HMS Tetcott (Lt. H.J. Watkins, RN) and HMS Wheatland (Lt. H.A. Corbett, DSC, RN).

Later on 21 June 1944 the damaged light cruiser HMS Birmingham (Capt. H.W. Williams, RN) joined the convoy for passage to Gibraltar. She came from Alexandria together with the netlayer HMS Guardian (Capt.(Retd.) H.A.C. Lane, RN) which also joined the convoy for passage westwards to Djidjelli, Algeria [now called Jijel].

In the eastern Mediterranean the escort destroyer Quantock was also with the convoy for a while. [Further details currently unkown.]

Around noon on 25 June 1944 convoy SNF 25 coming from Naples merged with the convoy. Convoy SNF 25 had departed Naples on 24 June 1944 and was made up of the transports Hai Lee (Norwegian, 3616 GRT, built 1934), Orontes (British, 20097 GRT, built 1929) and Samaria (British, 19597 GRT, built 1921).

On departure from Naples this convoy was escorted by the escort carrier HMS Attacker (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, DSO, MVO, RAN), frigates HMS Bazely (Lt.Cdr. J.V. Brock, RCNVR), HMS Bentinck (Cdr. E.H. Chavasse, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Byard (A/Lt.Cdr. J.I. Jones, DSO, DSC, RNR), HMS Calder (T/A/Lt.Cdr. E. Playne, RNVR), HMS Drury (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Parker, RN), HMS Pasley (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Wright, RD, RNR) and the destroyer escort USS Frederick C. Davcis (Lt.Cdr. O.W. Goepner, USNR). This last ship served as jammer escort against German radio guided bombs.

The transport Hai Lee proceeded to Bizerta while the other two transports joined convoy MKF 32.

On 26 June, off Djidjelli, HMS Guardian was detached and later off Algiers the transport Champollion (French, 12263 GRT, built 1925) joined the convoy while HMS Attacker was detached.

On 27 June, off Oran the transport Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931) and the escort carrier HMS Hunter (Capt. H.H. McWilliam, RN) joined the convoy. They were escort from Oran to the rendezvous with convoy MKF 32 by the destroyers USS Knight (T/Cdr. J.C. Ford, Jr., USN) and USS Doran (T/Cdr. N.E. Smith, USN). USS Frederick C. Davis was detached to Mers-el-Kebir.

On 28 June, off Gibraltar the escort carrier HMS Hunter was detached as were the escort destroyers HMS Chiddingfold, HMS Croome, HMS Exmoor, HMS Tetcott and HMS Wheatland.

Also off Gibraltar the transports Felix Roussell (French, 17083 GRT, built 1930) and Tai Shan (Norwegian, 6962 GRT, built 1929) joined the convoy as did the escort carriers HMS Nairana (Capt. R.M.T. Taylor, RN), HMS Ravager (A/Capt. G.V.B. Faulkner, RN) and the AA ship HMCS Prince Robert (Cdr. A.M. Hope, RCN).

The convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 4 July 1944.

Sources

  1. File 2.12.03.6388 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  2. ADM 199/1844
  3. ADM 53/114498 + ADM 199/396 + ADM 199/399
  4. File 2.12.03.6389 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  5. ADM 173/17897
  6. ADM 173/18316
  7. ADM 199/1856
  8. File 2.12.03.6398 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)

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


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