Allied Warships

ORP Gryf

Minelayer of the Gryf class

NavyThe Polish Navy
TypeMinelayer
ClassGryf 
Pennant 
Built byChanteliers et Ateliers Augustin Normand (Le Havre, France) 
Ordered 
Laid down14 Nov 1934 
Launched29 Sep 1936 
Commissioned27 Feb 1938 
Lost3 Sep 1939 
History

Gryf means griffen in Polish.

Gryf (Komandur Podporucznik Stefan Kwiatkowski) was sunk at Hel by German Stuka dive bombers (along with destroyer Wicher and several smaller ships). 21 of the crew were killed, including the Commanding officer.

 

Commands listed for ORP Gryf

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CommanderFromTo
1Kmdr ppor. Stanislaw Tytus Dzienisiewicz, ORP27 Feb 193816 Sep 1938
2Kmdr por. Roman Wiktor Stankiewicz, ORP16 Oct 19381 Apr 1939
3Kmdr ppor. Stefan Kwiatkowski, ORP1 Apr 19393 Sep 1939 (+)

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Noteable events involving Gryf include:


1 Sep 1939
Gryf (Komandur Podporucznik Stefan Kwiatkowski, ORP) and the destroyer Wicher (Komandor Podporucznik Stefan de Walden, ORP) , two gunboats the Komendant Pilsudski (Kapitan Marynarki Mieczyslaw Jacynicz, ORP) General Haller (Kapitan Marynarki Stanislaw Artur Mieszkowski, ORP) and six minesweepers the Czajka (Kapitan Marynarki Aleksi Czerwinski, ORP), Rybitwa (Kapitan Marynarki K. Miladowski, ORP), Mewa (Kapitan Marynarki Waclaw Lipkowski, ORP), Czapla (Kapitan Marynarki Eligius Ceceniowski, ORP) Jaskolka (Kapitan Marynarki Tadeusz Borysewicz, ORP) and Zuraw (Kapitan Marynarki Robert Kasperski, ORP) were attacked by German Ju-87 dive bombers from Lehrgerschwader 1. Gryf was loaded with 290 mines and taken as main target. The Polish ship was damaged by near misses. Her rudder was jammed, machinery telegraph, compasses and radio station were also damaged. Some of the crew members were killed and wounded, including the commander. After surviving the attack, Gryf entered Hela harbour for repairs.

3 Sep 1939
Wicher took part in naval combat off Hela. Two German destroyers, the Leberecht Maa? and Wolfgang Zenker under command of Rear Admiral G?nther L?tjens approached to Polish naval base at Hela and opened fire at 0700hours. Wicher and the minelayer Gryf answered few minutes later. A Polish coastal battery (4 guns of 152mm) was also involved in combat. After short time Germans hit the Gryf twice, but suffered heavy damage on Leberecht Maa?. Wolfgang Zenker (also damaged) laid a smokescreen and both destroyers retreated. The minelayer entered the floating dock for repairs. Later in the morning, Ju.87s of 4/Tr.G.186, an outfit originally intended to embark on the Graf Zeppelin, carried out 2 attacks against the harbour area: At 0910 hrs 11 a/c attacked, Gryf sustained one bomb hit on the bow and several near-misses which set her on fire. The fire reached the AAA ammunition, which detonated, but dock and ship remained afloat. This attack caused 2 deaths. In the second attack, about 1400 hrs, 12 dive-bombers armed with 250-kg bombs targeted both Gryf and Wicher, nearby. The CM sustained one bomb hit which caused her to settle on the bottom of the harbour, burning fiercely. At 1600 hrs, He-59 seaplanes of Ku.Fl.Gr 506 flying out of Kamp-bei-Kolberg, attacked again, and were followed at 1725 by more He-59s of Ku.Fl.Gr 706 which completed the destruction of the wreck. Gryf burned for another 2 days. (1)

Sources

  1. Personal communication

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