Allied Warships

HMS Orchis (K 76)

Corvette of the Flower class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeCorvette
ClassFlower 
PennantK 76 
Built byHarland & Wolff Ltd. (Belfast, Northern Ireland) 
Ordered19 Sep 1939 
Laid down18 Jun 1940 
Launched15 Oct 1940 
Commissioned29 Nov 1940 
Lost21 Aug 1944 
History

On 21 August 1944 HMS Orchis (A/T/Lt.Cdr. Bryan Webster Harris, DSC, RNVR) is severely damaged by a mine, and beached off 'Juno' Beach at Courseulles-sur-Mer, and subsequently declared a Constructive Total Loss (CTL).

 

Commands listed for HMS Orchis (K 76)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt. Arthur Denis White, RNR12 Nov 194017 May 1941
2T/Lt. Henry Vernon, RNR17 May 19415 Oct 1941
3Lt. Charles Edmund Keene, RCNVR5 Oct 1941late 1941
4Lt. Arthur Denis White, RNRlate 194116 Mar 1943
5T/Lt. Eric David Arthur Dyer, RCNVR16 Mar 194320 Oct 1943
6T/Lt. Bryan Webster Harris, RNVR20 Oct 1943late 1944

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Notable events involving Orchis include:


31 Dec 1940
HrMs O 9 (Lt. H.A.W. Goossens, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Tobermory together with HMS Orchis (Lt. A.D. White, RNR) or HMS Verbena (Lt.Cdr. D.A. Rayner, DSC, RNVR). (1)

21 Mar 1941

Convoy HX 116.

This convoy departed Halifax on 21 March 1941 for Liverpool where it arrived on 9 April 1941.

Upon departure from Halifax the convoy was made up of the following merchant ships: Anna Knudsen (Norwegian (tanker), 9057 GRT, built 1931), Birgitte (British, 1595 GRT, built 1930), British Dominion (British (tanker), 6983 GRT, built 1928), British Prince (British, 4879 GRT, built 1935), Coulbeg (British, 5237 GRT, built 1940), Duke of Athens (British, 5217 GRT, built 1940), Ferncastle (British (tanker), 9940 GRT, built 1936), Gregalia (British, 5802 GRT, built 1929), Grey County (Norwegian, 5194 GRT, built 1918), Haakon Hauan (Norwegian (tanker), 6582 GRT, built 1935), Hercules (Dutch, 2317 GRT, built 1914), Iddesleigh (British, 5205 GRT, built 1927), Innerton (British, 5276 GRT, built 1919), Kaipara (British, 5882 GRT, built 1938), Lyras (Greek, 5685 GRT, built 1918), Mahout (British, 7921 GRT, built 1925), Mariso (Dutch, 7659 GRT, built 1930), Murena (Dutch (tanker), 8252 GRT, built 1931), Nellie (Greek, 4826 GRT, built 1913), Pacific Shipper (British, 6290 GRT, built 1924), Port Campbell (British, 7851 GRT, built 1924), Richmond Hill (British, 7579 GRT, built 1940), San Arcadio (British (tanker), 7419 GRT, built 1935), San Florentino (British (tanker), 12842 GRT, built 1919), Sovac (British (tanker), 6724 GRT, built 1938), Stanwell (British, 5767 GRT, built 1914), Tetela (British, 5389 GRT, built 1926) and Tornus (British (tanker), 8054 GRT, built 1936).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Ausonia (Capt.(Retd.) G.H. Freyberg, OBE, RN).

On 23 March the battleship HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN) joined the convoy.

On 31 March HMS Royal Sovereign parted company with the convoy.

On 4 March 1941 HMS Ausonia parted company with the convoy after the destroyers HMS Ambuscade (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Fell, RN), HMS Bulldog (Cdr. A.J.B. Cresswell, RN), HMS Vanquisher (Cdr. N.V. Dickinson, DSC, RN) and corvettes HMS Campanula (Lt.Cdr. R.V.E. Case, DSC and Bar, RD, RNR), HMS Freesia (Lt.Cdr. T.P.G. Crick, RN), HMS Heartsease (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.B. Proudfoot, RN), HMS Pimpernel (Lt. F.H. Thornton, RNR)and A/S trawler HMS St. Apollo (T/Lt. R.H. Marchington, RNVR) had joined. The destroyer HMS Winchelsea (Lt.Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, DSC, RN) joined on 5 April. The destroyer HMS Whitehall (Lt.Cdr. A.B. Russell, RN) and corvette HMS Orchis (Lt. A.D. White, RNR)both joined on 6 April. HMS Orchis was detached on 7 April.

The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 9 April.

6 May 1941
HMS Orchis (Lt. H. Vernon, RNR) picks up survivors from the British armed boarding vessel HMS Camito that was torpedoed the previous day by German U-boat U-97 in position 50°40'N, 21°30'W.

1 Jul 1941
HMS H 34 (Lt. H. Winter, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Boadicea (A/Cdr. E.C.L. Turner, RN), HMS Beagle (Cdr. R.T. White, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Roxborough (Lt. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN), HMS Orchis (T/Lt. H. Vernon, RNR) and aircraft. (2)

25 May 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with USS Spry (Lt. M.W. Firth, USN), HMS Orchis (Lt. A.D. White, RNR), HNoMS Narvik and HMS Banff (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Evans, RN). (3)

26 May 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with USS Spry (Lt. M.W. Firth, USN), HMS Orchis (Lt. A.D. White, RNR), HMS Banff (Lt.Cdr. P.S. Evans, RN) and HMS Piroutte (T/Lt. E.R. Pate, RNR). (3)

5 Aug 1943
HMS Untiring (Lt. R. Boyd, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Larne with HMS Orchis (T/Lt. E.D.A. Dyer, RCNVR) and FFS Renoncule.

Upon completion of these HMS Untiring departed the Larne area for the Clyde area escorted by HMS ML 225 (T/Lt. D. Kaye, RNVR). (4)

3 Dec 1943
HMS Stratagem (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Towy (Cdr. M.J Evans, OBE, RN), ORP Burza (Cdr. F. Pitulko, ORP), FFS Lobelia and HMS Orchis (T/Lt. B.W. Harris, RNVR). (5)

5 Dec 1943
HMS H 32 (Lt. K.S. Renshaw, DSC, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Towy (Cdr. M.J Evans, OBE, RN), FFS Roselys, ORP Burza (Cdr. F. Pitulko, ORP), HMS Narcissus (T/Lt. G.T.S. Clampitt, RNR) and HMS Orchis (T/Lt. B.W. Harris, RNVR). (6)

22 Feb 1944
HrMs O 9 (Lt. J.B.M.J. Maas, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Volunteer (Lt.Cdr. J.E.R. Wilford, RNR), RHS Tompazis, HMS Orchis (T/Lt. B.W. Harris, DSC, RNVR), HMS Lavender (Lt. L.G. Pilcher, RNR) and HMS Buttercup (T/Lt. R.J. Jonckheere, RNR). (7)

22 Feb 1944
HMS H 34 (Lt. R.L. Jay, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Lavender (Lt. L.G. Pilcher, RNR), RHS Kriezis, HMS Volunteer (Lt.Cdr. J.E.R. Wilford, RNR) and HMS Orchis (T/Lt. B.W. Harris, DSC, RNVR). (8)

22 Feb 1944
HMS H 44 (Lt. P.N. Joyce, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Fowey (Cdr.(Retd.) L.B.A. Majendie, RN), HMS Orchis (T/Lt. B.W. Harris, DSC, RNVR), FFS Renoncule, FFS Aconit and FFS Roselys. (9)

15 Aug 1944
German U-boat U-741 was sunk in the English Channel south-west of Brighton, in position 50°02'N, 00°36'W, by depth charges from the British corvette HMS Orchis (T/A/Lt.Cdr. B.W. Harris, DSC, RNVR).

Sources

  1. File 2.12.03.6366 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  2. ADM 173/16762
  3. ADM 173/17201
  4. ADM 173/18437
  5. ADM 173/18129
  6. ADM 173/17777
  7. File 2.12.03.6372 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  8. ADM 173/18492
  9. ADM 173/18513

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


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