Allied Warships

HMS Glenearn (4.250)

Landing Ship Infantry

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeLanding Ship Infantry
Class[No specific class] 
Pennant4.250 
ModLSI(L) 
Built byCaledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd. (Dundee, Scotland, U.K.) 
Ordered 
Laid down 
Launched29 Jun 1938 
Commissioned 1940 
End service 
History

Completed as merchantile in September 1938
Requisitioned by the Admiralty on 21 October 1939 and used as Fast Transport before being converted to a LSI(L) in 1940.
Displacement: 9748 tons.
Lenght: 475 feet
Complement: 523
Machinery: 2 Shafts, 2 Diesel engines, BHP 12000 = 18 knots.
Armament: 6 4" AA guns (3x2), 4 2pdr AA (4x1), 8 20mm AA (8x1)
Carried 3 LCM's, 24 LCA's and 1087 troops

Returned in August 1946. 

Commands listed for HMS Glenearn (4.250)

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CommanderFromTo
1Capt. (retired) Laurence Bernard Hill, OBE, RN5 Aug 1940May 1941
2Lt.Cdr. (retired) Dennis Noel Venables, RNMay 1941mid 1941
3Lt.Cdr. (retired) Thomas Hood, RNRmid 1941Aug 1943
4Capt. (retired) Colin Alexander Gordon Hutchinson, DSO, RNAug 1943Nov 1945

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Notable events involving Glenearn include:


7 Feb 1941
HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. B.C.S. Martin, RN) was detached and joined HMS Kenya (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, RN) which was escorting the infantery landing ships HMS Glenearn (Capt.(Retd.) L.B. Hill, OBE, RN), HMS Glengyle (A/Capt.(Retd.) C.H. Petrie, RN) and HMS Glenroy (Capt.(Retd.) Sir J.F. Paget, RN). (1)

11 Feb 1941
HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. B.C.S. Martin, RN) departed Freetown for Capetown, South Africa, She was escorting the infantery landing ships HMS Glenearn (Capt.(Retd.) L.B. Hill, OBE, RN), HMS Glengyle (A/Capt.(Retd.) C.H. Petrie, RN) and HMS Glenroy (Capt.(Retd.) Sir J.F. Paget, RN) that were to proceed to the Middle East. Two destroyers, HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.F. de Salis, RN) and HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, DSC and Bar, RN), were present as A/S screen until shortly after noon on the 12th. (1)

21 Feb 1941
HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. B.C.S. Martin, RN) departed Capetown, South Africa still escorting the infantery landing ships HMS Glenearn (Capt.(Retd.) L.B. Hill, OBE, RN), HMS Glengyle (A/Capt.(Retd.) C.H. Petrie, RN) and HMS Glenroy (Capt.(Retd.) Sir J.F. Paget, RN) on their passage to the Middle East. (1)

28 Feb 1941
Around mid morning, the convoy made up of the infantery landing ships HMS Glenearn (Capt.(Retd.) L.B. Hill, OBE, RN), HMS Glengyle (A/Capt.(Retd.) C.H. Petrie, RN) and HMS Glenroy (Capt.(Retd.) Sir J.F. Paget, RN) and their escort the heavy cruiser HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. B.C.S. Martin, RN) is joined by the light cruiser HMS Glasgow (Capt. H. Hickling, RN). (1)

2 Mar 1941
In the evening, HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. B.C.S. Martin, RN), parted company with the convoy made up of the infantery anding ships HMS Glenearn (Capt.(Retd.) L.B. Hill, OBE, RN), HMS Glengyle (A/Capt.(Retd.) C.H. Petrie, RN) and HMS Glenroy (Capt.(Retd.) Sir J.F. Paget, RN). They were now escorted only by the light cruiser HMS Glasgow (Capt. H. Hickling, RN). (2)

13 Apr 1941

Convoy’s GA 12 and ASF 25.

These convoys departed Pireaus on 13 April 1941 for Alexandria where they arrived on 15 April 1941.

These convoys were made up of the following transports City of Windsor (British, 7218 GRT, built 1923), HMS Glenearn (Capt.(Retd.) L.B. Hill, OBE, RN), HMS Glenroy (Capt.(Retd.) Sir J.F. Paget, RN) and Ozarda (British, 6985 GRT, built 1940).

Escort was provided by the AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. T.C. Hampton, RN), destroyers HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, RN), HMS Hereward (Lt. W.J. Munn, RN) and the sloop HMS Auckland (Cdr. E.G. Hewitt, DSO, RN). (3)

26 Apr 1941
Operation Demon continued, more troops were to be evacuated from mainland Greece during the night of 26/27 April 1941.

From the Raphina and Raphtis area;

landing ship HMS Glengyle (A/Capt.(Retd.) C.H. Petrie, RN) and the transport Salween (7063 GRT, built 1938). They were escorted by the AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. T.C. Hampton, RN) and the destroyers HMS Nubian (Cdr. R.W. Ravenhill, RN), HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, DSO, RN) and HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN).

HMS Glenearn was bombed en-route to the pick up zone. She was towed to Kissamo Bay by HMS Griffin. From there she was taken in tow to Alexandria, first by the sloop HMS Grimsby (Cdr. K.J. D'Arcy, RN) and later by the netlayer HMS Protector (Cdr. R.J. Gardner, RN).

To replace the troop carrying capacity of the landing ship HMS Glenearn, the light cruisers HMS Orion (Capt. G.R.B. Back, RN), HMAS Perth (Capt. P.W. Bowyer-Smith, RN) and destroyer HMAS Stuart (Capt. H.M.L. Waller, DSO, RAN) were sent from Suda Bay.

From the Nauplia and Tolon area;

landing ship HMS Glenearn (Capt.(Retd.) L.B. Hill, OBE, RN), troopships Slamat (Dutch, 11636 GRT, built 1924) and Khedive Ismael (7290 GRT, built 1922), AA cruiser HMS Calcutta (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN), and destroyers HMS Isis (Cdr. C.S.B. Swinley, DSC, RN), HMS Hotspur (Lt.Cdr. C.P.F. Brown, DSC, RN), HMS Griffin (Lt.Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, DSO, RN), HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) and HMS Havock (Lt. G.R.G. Watkins, RN).

Slamat was late in leaving Nauplia in the early morning and delayed the convoy's sailing. Slamat was then bombed and wrecked south of the Argolic Gulf in position 37°01'N, 23°10'E shortly after 0700 hours. Destroyer HMS Diamond was then left behind to rescue the survivors which she did. At 0925 hours HMS Diamond signalled that she had picked up most of the survivors and that she had set course for Suda Bay. She had also fired a torpedo into the blazing wreck and Slamat sank shortly afterwards.

The destroyers HMS Wryneck (Cdr.(Retd.) R.H.D. Lane, RN), HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN) were then sent out to assist the Nauplia group. Of these HMS Wryneck was ordered to assist HMS Diamond. Wryneck arrived just as Slamat capsized. Both destroyers were then attacked and sunk in the early afternoon by German aircraft (9 German aircraft Ju.88, probably of I./KG.51 (Hpt. Heinrich Hahn)) with heavy loss of life. Only 27 survivors (another source gives 24 survivors) were picked up the next day by HMS Griffin. HMS Diamond was lost with 7 officers and 141 ratings while HMS Wryneck was lost with 7 officers and 98 ratings.

From the Kalamata area;

transports City of London (British, 8956 GRT, built 1907), Costa Rica (Dutch, 8055 GRT, built 1910), Dilwara (British, 11080 GRT, built 1936). These were escorted by the light cruiser HMS Phoebe (Capt. G. Grantham, RN), destroyers HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, RN), HMS Hero (Cdr. H.W. Biggs, DSO, RN) and HMS Hereward (Lt. W.J. Munn, RN) and the sloop HMS Flamingo (Cdr. R.J.O. Otway-Ruthven, RN).

HMS Defender had also embarked the Yugoslav crown jewels for transport to Alexandria.

Convoy GA 14 to Alexandria.

A convoy was then formed to the north of Crete (GA 14). It was to proceed to Alexandria. It was made up of HMS Glengyle, Khedive Ismael, Salween, City of London and Costa Rica. They were escorted by the AA cruisers HMS Coventry (Capt. D. Gilmour, RN), HMS Calcutta (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMAS Stuart, HMAS Vampire (Cdr. J.A. Walsh, RAN), HMAS Vendetta and HMAS Waterhen and the sloop HMS Flamingo.

While the convoy was being formed, the Costa Rica was bombed north of Crete by enemy aircraft. She was taken in tow by HMS Defender but sank north-west of Suda Bay in position 35°54'N, 23°49'E. The troops and her crew were saved.

Cover for this convoy was provided by the light cruisers HMAS Perth, HMS Phoebe and the destroyers HMS Decoy, HMS Defender, HMS Hasty, HMS Hereward, HMS Hero and HMS Nubian. These ships returned to Suda Bay in the afternoon of the 27th. (3)

Sources

  1. ADM 53/114130
  2. ADM 53/114131
  3. ADM 199/414

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


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