Allied Warships

HMS Petunia (K 79)

Corvette of the Flower class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeCorvette
ClassFlower 
PennantK 79 
Built byHenry Robb Ltd. (Leith, U.K.) : Kincaid 
Ordered31 Aug 1939 
Laid down4 Dec 1939 
Launched19 Sep 1940 
Commissioned13 Jan 1941 
End service 
History

Sold to the Chinese Navy in January 1946 and renamed Fu Po.
Sunk on 19 March 1947.

 

Commands listed for HMS Petunia (K 79)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. George Victor Legassick, RNR16 Dec 1940Dec 1941

2Lt.Cdr. John Merrick Rayner, RD, RNR15 Jan 19425 Dec 1942
3A/Lt.Cdr. George Edward Newey, RNR5 Dec 194214 Oct 1943
4Lt. Roland Maurice Roberts, RNR14 Oct 194313 Apr 1944
5T/Lt. Graham Leonard Coles, RNVR13 Apr 1944Apr 1945 ?

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Notable events involving Petunia include:


19 Feb 1941
HMS H 44 (Lt. A.R. Hezlet, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Northern Spray (Lt. H.P. Crail, RNR) and HMS Petunia (Lt.Cdr. G.V. Legassick, RNR). (1)

24 Feb 1941
HMS Petunia (Lt.Cdr. G.V. Legassisk, RNR) picks up 3 survivors from the British merchant Jonathan Holt and 17 survivors from the British merchant Mansepool that were torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-97 in the North Atlantic south-west of the Faroes Islands in position 61°10'N, 11°55'W.

HMS Petunia also picks up 41 survivors from the British tanker British Gunner that was also torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-97 in the North Atlantic south-west of the Faroes Islands in position 61°09'N, 12°04'W.

20 Feb 1942
HMS Tigris (Lt. L.W. Napier, RN) departed from Holy Loch for Plymouth. She was escorted by the British corvette HMS Petunia (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Rayner, RD, RNR). Trident was to refit at the Devonport Dockyard. (2)

23 Feb 1942
HMS Taku (Lt.Cdr. J.G. Hopkins, RN) made rendez-vous of Wolf Rock with HMS Petunia (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Rayner, RD, RNR). They then proceeded north through the Irish Sea towards Holy Loch. (3)

23 Sep 1942
German U-boat U-125 torpedoed and sank the British merchant Bruy?re southwest of Freetown in position 04°55'N, 17°16'W. 27 of the survivors were later picked up by the British corvette HMS Petunia (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Rayner, RD, RNR) and landed at Freetown.

7 Oct 1942
HMS Petunia (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Rayner, RD, RNR) picks up 248 survivors from the British passenger ship Andalucia Star that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-107 about 200 nautical miles south-west of Freetown in position 06°38'N, 15°46'W.

11 Oct 1942
HMS Petunia (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Rayner, RD, RNR) picks up 126 survivors from the British merchant Agapenor that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-87 about 180 nautical miles south of Freetown in position 06°53'N, 15°23'W.

11 Mar 1943

Convoy WS 27.

Part of the convoy that proceeded from Freetown to South Africa.

This convoy departed Freetown on 11 March 1941 for South Africa.

The composition of the convoy on departure from Freetown was as follows; Almanzora (British, 15551 GRT, built 1914), Antenor (British, 11174 GRT, built 1925), Bergensfjord (Norwegian, 11015 GRT, built 1913), Capetown Castle (British, 27002 GRT, built 1938), Christiaan Huygens (Dutch, 16287 GRT, built 1927), Leopoldville (Belgian, 11509 GRT, built 1929), Orbita (British, 15495 GRT, built 1915), Strathaird (British, 22281 GRT, built 1932) and Strathmore (British, 23428 GRT, built 1935).

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Sussex (Capt. W.Y.La R. Beverley, RN), destroyers HMS Quail (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Jenks, RN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN), HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. K.W. Michell, RN) and the corvettes HMS Crocus (T/Lt.Cdr. J.F. Holm, RNZNR) and HMS Petunia (A/Lt.Cdr. G.E. Newey, RNR).

At 0001/12, HMS Quail was detached to pick up the US transport James Parker (10021 GRT, built 1939). She rejoined with the American ship at 1300/12.

At 0200/14, James Parker parted company with the convoy to proceed to Takoradi. She was being escorted by HMS Quail.

At 0530/14, HMS Crocus and HMS Petunia parted company with the convoy.

At 1730/14, the transports Duchess of Richmond (British, 22022 GRT, built 1928), Ruys (Dutch, 14155 GRT, built 1937) and Sibajak (Dutch, 12226 GRT, built 1927) joined the convoy coming from Lagos. They were being escorted by the corvettes HMS Armeria (Lt. M. Todd, RNR) and HMS Bellwort (A/Lt.Cdr. N.F.R. Gill, RNR) which also joined the convoy escort.

At 1245/15, HMS Quail rejoined.

Between 0700 and 0935/16, HMS Queensborough fuelled from HMS Sussex.

Between 1615 and 1745/16, HMS Quail fuelled from HMS Sussex.

At 1900/16, HMS Raider was detached to fuel at Porte Noire.

At 1815/18, HMS Armeria and HMS Bellwort were detached. Shortly afterwards HMS Raider rejoined the convoy.

On 23 March the following transports arrived at Capetown; Almanzora, Bergensfjord, Duchess of Richmond, Leopoldville, Orbita, Ruys and Sibajak, as did HMS Sussex, HMS Quail, HMS Queenborough and HMS Raidar of the escort.

When the destroyers detached three other destroyers joined the Durban section of the convoy, these were HMS Foxhound (Cdr. C.J. Wynne-Edwards, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Quilliam (Capt. S.H. Carlill, DSO, RN) and HMS Racehorse (Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN). HMS Sussex joined from Capetown later in the day.

The Durban section of the convoy, made up of Antenor, Capetown Castle, Chistiaan Huygens, Strathaird and Strathmore, arrived there on 26 March 1943.

26 Oct 1943
HMS Viking (Lt. R. Bannar-Martin, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Larne with HMS Milford (Lt.Cdr. G. MacClelland, RN), HMS Petunia (Lt. R.M. Roberts, RNR), HMS Armeria (T/Lt. M. Todd, RNR) and HMIS Kistna (A/Cdr.(Emgy.) R.R. Caws, RIN). (4)

12 Dec 1943
HMS Spirit (Lt. A.W. Langridge, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Larne with HMS Petunia (Lt. R.M. Roberts, RNR). (5)

2 Mar 1944
HMS Terrapin (Lt.Cdr. D.S.R. Martin, DSO and 2 bars, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Larne with HMS Clarkia (A/Lt.Cdr. J.O. Williams, RNR) and HMS Petunia (Lt. R.M. Roberts, RNR). (6)

14 Mar 1944
HrMs O 9 (Lt. J.B.M.J. Maas, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Tavy (T/A/Lt.Cdr. F. Ardern, RNR), HMS Swale (Lt.Cdr. J. Jackson, DSC, RNR), HMS Starwort (Lt. A.H. Kent, RNR), HMS Geranium (T/Lt. G. Wallace, RNR), HMS Londonderry (Lt.Cdr. L.B. Philpott, DSC, RD, RNR), HMS Louis (A/Lt.Cdr. R. Johnston, RNR), HMS Anguilla (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C. Morrison-Payne, RNVR) and HMS Petunia (Lt. R.M. Roberts, RNR). (7)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/16780
  2. ADM 199/424
  3. ADM 173/17584
  4. ADM 173/18454
  5. ADM 173/18094
  6. ADM 173/18996
  7. File 2.12.03.6372 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)

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


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