Allied Warships

HMS Heliotrope (K 03)

Corvette of the Flower class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeCorvette
ClassFlower 
PennantK 03 
Built byJohn Crown & Sons Ltd. (Sunderland, U.K) : N.E. Marine 
Ordered31 Aug 1939 
Laid down23 Oct 1939 
Launched5 Jun 1940 
Commissioned12 Sep 1940 
End service24 Mar 1942 
History

Ordered for French Navy but taken over with the fall of France.
Transferred to the USN at Hull, England, on 24 March 1942.
Commissioned as USS Surprise (PG-63) on the same day.
USS Surprise was decommissioned by the U.S.N. on 20 August 1945 at Chatham, England and returned to the Royal Navy on 26 August 1945.
Sold into Merchantile service and finally ended up in the Communist Chinese Navy as Lin I.  

Career notesTo the United States Navy as USS Surprise

Commands listed for HMS Heliotrope (K 03)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. John Jackson, RNR8 Aug 194024 Mar 1942

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Notable events involving Heliotrope include:


18 Sep 1940
HMS H 50 (Lt. A.R. Cheyne, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Primula (Lt.Cdr. K.M. Drake, RNR) and HMS Heliotrope (Lt.Cdr. J. Jackson, RNR). (1)

22 Sep 1940
HMS H 50 (Lt. G.V. Prowse, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Honeysuckle (Lt. G.W. Gregorie, RNR) and HMS Heliotrope (Lt.Cdr. J. Jackson, RNR). (1)

23 Sep 1940
HMS H 50 (Lt. G.V. Prowse, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Asphodel (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) K.W. Stewart, RN) and HMS Heliotrope (Lt.Cdr. J. Jackson, RNR). (1)

25 Sep 1940
HMS H 50 (Lt. A.R. Cheyne, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Heliotrope (Lt.Cdr. J. Jackson, RNR) and HMS Philante (Capt.(Retd.) H.S. Bowlby, RN). (1)

30 Nov 1940
HMS H 32 (Lt. R.L. Alexander, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Clarkia (Lt.Cdr. F.J.G. Jones, RNR) and HMS Heliotrope (Lt.Cdr. J. Jackson, RNR). (2)

1 Dec 1940
HMS Heliotrope (Lt.Cdr. J. Jackson, RNR) picks up 32 survivors from the British tanker Appalachee that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-101 about 340 nautical miles west of Bloody Foreland in position 54°30'N, 20°00'W.

30 Apr 1941

Convoy HX 124.

This convoy departed Halifax on 30 April 1941 for Liverpool where it arrived on 20 May 1941.

Upon departure from Halifax the convoy was made up of the following merchant ships: Aalsum (Dutch, 5418 GRT, built 1922), Alchiba (British, 4427 GRT, built 1920), Algenib (British, 5483 GRT, built 1937), Asbjorn (British, 4387 GRT, built 1935), Athelviscount (British (tanker), 8882 GRT, built 1929), Atlantian (British, 6549 GRT, built 1928), Auditor (British, 5444 GRT, built 1924), Baron Ogilvy (British, 3391 GRT, built 1926), Barrington Court (British, 4910 GRT, built 1924), Beaconstreet (British (tanker), 7467 GRT, built 1927), Botavon (British, 5848 GRT, built 1912), British Faith (British (tanker), 6955 GRT, built 1928), British Fortune (British (tanker), 4696 GRT, built 1930), British Industry (British (tanker), 4297 GRT, built 1927), British Resolution (British (tanker), 8408 GRT, built 1937), Charlton Hall (British, 5200 GRT, built 1940), Daytonian (British, 6434 GRT, built 1922), Delphinula (British (tanker), 8120 GRT, built 1939), Echodale (British (tanker), 8150 GRT, built 1941), Empire Hawk (British, 5033 GRT, built 1919), Empire Steel (British (tanker), 8138 GRT, built 1941), Gitano (British, 3956 GRT, built 1921), Harmala (British, 5730 GRT, built 1935), King Lud (British, 5224 GRT, built 1928), Kingswood (British, 5080 GRT, built 1929), Korsholm (Swedish, 2647 GRT, built 1925), Madrono (Norwegian (tanker), 5894 GRT, built 1917), Morska Wola (Polish, 3208 GRT, built 1924), Pacific Enterprise (British, 6736 GRT, built 1927), Pomella (British (tanker), 6766 GRT, built 1937), Queen City (British, 4814 GRT, built 1924), Redgate (British, 4323 GRT, built 1929), Souliotis (Greek, 4299 GRT, built 1917), Varand (British (tanker), 6023 GRT, built 1927), Vera Radcliffe (British, 5587 GRT, built 1925), Vivi (Norwegian (tanker), 6546 GRT, built 1932) and Wearwood (British, 4597 GRT, built 1930).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Circassia (A/Capt. E.V. Lees, RN) and the corvettes HMCS Cobalt (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.B. Campbell, RCNR) and HMCS Collingwood (T/Lt. W. Woods, RCNR). The corvettes were detached later the same day.

On 2 May the convoy was joined by the battleship HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN). She detached from the convoy on 9 May.

On 11 May the destroyer HMS Broadway (Lt.Cdr. T. Taylor, RN) and corvettes HMS Aubretia (Lt.Cdr. V.F. Smith, RNR), HMS Hollyhock (Lt. T.E. Davies, OBE, RNR) and HMS Nigella (T/Lt. T.W. Coyne, RNR) joined the convoy

On 12 May the destroyers HMS Burwell (Lt.Cdr. S.R.J. Woods, RNR), HMS Scimitar (Lt. R.D. Franks, OBE, RN), HMS Malcolm (Cdr. C.D. Howard-Johnston, DSC, RN), HMS Watchman (Lt.Cdr. E.C.L. Day, RN), HMS Amazon (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Roper, RN), corvettes HMS Heliotrope (Lt.Cdr. J. Jackson, RNR), HMS Mallow (Lt.Cdr. W.B. Piggott, RNR), HMS Violet (Lt.Cdr. K.M. Nicholson, RNR), and A/S trawlers HMS Northern Gem (Skr.Lt. W.J.V. Mullender, DSC, RNR), HMS Northern Wave (T/Lt. W.G. Pardoe-Matthews, RNR), HMS Notts County (T/S.Lt. R.H. Hampton, RNR) and HMS Vizalma (T/Lt. M.M. Firth, RNVR) joined the convoy.

On 14 May the corvettes HMS Anemone (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Boys-Smith, DSO and Bar, RD, RNR), HMS Clarkia (Lt.Cdr. F.J.G. Jones, RNR), HMS Verbena (Lt.Cdr. D.A. Rayner, DSC, RNVR) and HMS Veronica (Lt.Cdr. (retired) D.F. White, RNR) joined the convoy.

The destroyers HMS Burwell, HMS Scimitar, HMS Malcolm, corvettes HMS Aubretia, HMS Heliotrope, HMS Hollyhock, HMS Mallow, HMS Nigella, HMS Vervena, HMS Veronica and all the A/S trawlers were detached on 14 May.

HMS Circassia and HMS Watchman were detached on 15 May while on the same day the destroyers HMS Burnham (Cdr. J. Bostock, DSC, RN), HMS Leamington (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Bowerman, RN), HMS Salisbury (Lt.Cdr. H.M.R. Crichton, RN), escort destroyer HMS Eridge (Lt.Cdr. W.F.N. Gregory-Smith, RN), minesweepers HMS Hussar ( Lt.Cdr. D.H.P. Gardiner, RN), HMS Niger ( Lt.Cdr. J.M. Bayley, DSC, RN), and catapult ship Ariguani joined the escort.

On 18 May the destroyer HMS Roxborough (Lt. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN) joined the convoy. Also on this day HMS Leamington and HMS Anemone were detached.

On 19 May the destroyer Saladin joined the escort.

The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 20 May.

Sources

  1. ADM 173/16332
  2. ADM 173/16290

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


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