Allied Warships

HMS Chakdina

Armed boarding vessel

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeArmed boarding vessel
Class[No specific class] 
Pennant 
Built byRamage & Ferguson Ltd. (Leith, Scotland) 
Ordered 
Laid down 
Launched22 Sep 1914 
Commissioned11 Mar 1940 
Lost5 Dec 1941 
History

Passenger / cargo vessel completed on 12 December 1914.
Taken in hand for fitting out as Armed boarding vessel at Singapore in January 1940.
Fitting out completed on 11 March 1940.
Displacement: 3033 GRT.
Dimensions: 100.8 x 14.1 feet.
Armament: 2 4" guns (2x1), 1 12pdr, 2 2pdr AA (2x1)
Speed: 12 knots.

HMS Chakdina (Lt.Cdr. Walter Raleigh Hickey, RNR) was torpedoed and sunk by Italian aircraft between Tobruk and Alexandria on 5 December 1941.

 

Commands listed for HMS Chakdina

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and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

CommanderFromTo
1R Bignall, RNR10 Mar 1940Apr 1940
2Lt.Cdr. Walter Raleigh Hickey, RNRApr 19405 Dec 1941

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Notable events involving Chakdina include:


23 Jun 1940

Convoy BN 1.

This convoy departed Bombay on 23 June 1940 for the Suez where it arrived on 12 July 1940.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Akbar (British, 4043 GRT, built 1924), Alavi (British, 3566 GRT, built 1924), Anna Odland (Norwegian, 4980 GRT, built 1939), Beaconstreet (British, 7467 GRT, built 1927), British Architect (British (tanker), 7388 GRT, built 1922), British Hope (British (tanker), 6951 GRT, built 1928), Svenor (Norwegian (tanker), 7616 GRT, built 1931), Turbo (British, 4781 GRT, built 1912) and William Strachan (Norwegian (tanker), 6157 GRT, built 1931).

On departure from Bombay the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) and the armed merchant cruiser HMS Cathay (A/Capt.(Retd.) C.M. Merewether, RN).

HMS Cathay parted company with the convoy on 2 July after the light cruiser HMNZS Leander (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN) and sloops HMIS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN) and HMS Shoreham (Cdr. G.P. Claridge, RN) had joined the escort.

HMS Ceres parted company with the convoy on 4 July.

The destroyer HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) joined the convoy on 5 July 1940. HMIS Hindustan then parted company.

Off Aden the merchant vessels Alavi and Beaconstreet parted company with the convoy. They arrived at Aden on 6 July.

Off Aden the RFA tanker Plumleaf (5916 GRT, built 1917) and the armed boarding vessel HMS Chakdina (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Hickey, RNR) also joined the convoy.

Also off Aden the AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN), destroyer HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) and sloop HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN) joined the convoy.

On 9 July HMS Carlisle, HMS Kandahar and HMS Kingston parted company with the convoy.

On 10 July HMNZS Leander, HMS Flamingo and HMS Shoreham parted company with the convoy being relieved as escorts by the sloops HMS Clive (Cdr. H.R. Inigo-Jones, RIN) and HMS Grimsby (Cdr. K.J. D'Arcy, RN). (1)

24 Jul 1940

Convoy RS 5.

This convoy departed Liverpool on 24 July 1940 for Suez.

It was made up of the troopship Reina del Pacifico (17702 GRT, built 1931) and the transport Clan Ferguson (7347 GRT, built 1938).

On departure from Liverpool the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St.J. Morgan, RN) and HMS Hotspur (Cdr. H.F.H Layman, DSO, RN).

Also on the 24th the aircraft carrier HMS Argus (Capt. H.C. Bovell, RN), armed merchant cruiser HMS Maloja (A/Capt. V. Hammersley-Heenan, RN) and the destroyers HMS Greyhound (Cdr. W.R. Marshall A'Deane, DSC, RN) and HMS Gallant (Lt.Cdr. C.P.F. Brown, RN) departed Greenock. They made rendezvous with the ships coming from Liverpool around 0600A/25.

At 1000A/26, HMS Argus and the destroyers parted company to proceed direct to Gibraltar. They arrived at Gibraltar around 0700A/30.

The convoy, escorted by HMS Maloja, continued on towards Freetown where it arrived on 4 August 1940.

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The then convoy departed Freetown on 5 August 1940 for Capetown.

On departure from Freetown the convoy was now escorted by the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes (Capt. R.F.J. Onslow, DSC, MVO, RN).

Around 1200Z/11, the light cruiser HMS Dragon (Capt. R.G. Bowes-Lyon, MVO, RN) joined the convoy. HMS Hermes then parted company to proceed independently on patrol and then on to Simonstown.

The convoy arrived at Capetown on 15 August 1940.

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The convoy, still in the same composition and still escorted by HMS Dragon departed Capetown for Durban on 16 August 1940.

The convoy arrived at Durban on 19 August 1940.

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The convoy departed Durban for Aden on 21 August 1940 now escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Carthage (Capt.(Retd.) B.O. Bell-Salter, RN).

The convoy arrived at Aden on 31 August 1940.

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The convoy departed Aden for Suez on 31 August 1940 now escorted by the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) and the destroyer HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN). The armed boarding vessel HMS Chakdina (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Hickey, RNR) was also with the convoy for a while.

At 1830C/2, the Reina del Pacifico parted company with the convoy to proceed ahead to Suez where she arrived on 4 September 1940.

At 1920C/2, HMS Kandahar parted company with the convoy to proceed to Port Sudan to fuel.

At 0910C/3, the sloop HMS Grimsby (Cdr. K.J. D'Arcy, RN) took over the escort of the Clan Ferguson from HMAS Hobart which in turn took over HMS Grimsby's southbound convoy.

HMS Grimsby and the Clan Ferguson arrived at Suez on 5 September 1940. (2)

16 Aug 1940
From 16 to 19 August 1940, Allied troops from Berbera, Italian Somaliland, were evacuated to Aden.

The troops were evacatuated by the transports Akbar (4043 GRT, built 1924), Laomedon (6491 GRT, built 1912), the hospital ship Vita (4691 GRT, built 1914) as well as the armed boarding vessels HMS Chakdina (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Hickey, RNR) and HMS Chantala (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) C.E.I. Gibbs, RN).

Cover for the evacuation was provided by the light cruisers HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN), HMS Caledon (Capt. C.P. Clarke, RN), HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN), AA -cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN), destroyers HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN), HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN), sloops HMS Auckland (Cdr. J.G. Hewitt, DSO, RN), HMS Shoreham (Cdr. G.P. Claridge, RN), HMAS Parramatta (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Walker, MVO, RAN), HMS Indus (Cdr. Cdr. E.G.G. Hunt, RIN), HMIS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN), minesweeper HMS Derby (Lt.Cdr. F.C.V. Brightman, RN) and the netlayer HMS Protector (Capt. W.Y la L. Beverley, RN).

On 17 August, HMS Ceres bombarded Italian Army targets which temporarily halted the Italian advance.

On 18 August, HMS Caledon and HMS Kandahar bombarded enemy units on the Bulhar-Berbera road.

The evacuation was completed on the 18th. Over 7000 men had been evacuated.

The last men were taken off by HMAS Hobart at Berbera early on the 19th. She left around 0845C/19 for Aden with the last of the Army personnel and the demolition parties which had demolished the harbour facilities. HMS Indus proceeded along the coast to pick up stragglers. (1)

31 Aug 1940
around 1700C/31, the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) and the destroyer HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) departed Aden to rendez-vous at sea with the armed merchant cruiser HMS Carthage (Capt.(Retd.) B.O. Bell-Salter, RN) and take over the escort of the two ships she is escorting (Convoy RS 5). These were the merchant vessels Clan Ferguson (British, 7347 GRT, built 1938) and Reina del Pacifico (British, 17702 GRT, built 1931). They were to proceed to Suez. The armed boarding vessel HMS Chakdina (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Hickey, RNR) was also part of the escort.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy RS 5 ' for 24 July 1940.]

In the early evening of September 2nd, the Reina del Pacifico parted company and proceeded ahead to Suez where she arrived on the 4th.

Shortly afterwards, HMS Kandahar set course for Port Sudan to refuel.

At 0900/3, rendez-vous was made in position 23°20'N, 37°42'E with convoy BS 3A which came down from Suez. Escorts were then exchanged and both convoy's proceeded to their destinations.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy BS 3A ' for 1 September 1940.] (1)

1 Sep 1940

Convoy BS 3A.

This convoy departed Suez on 1 September 1940 for the Gulf of Aden where it was to be dispersed on 6 September 1940.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Devonshire (British, 11275 GRT, built 1939), Dilwara (British, 11080 GRT, built 1936), Egra (British, 5108 GRT, built 1911), Khedive Ismael (Egyptian, 7290 GRT, built 1922), Lancashire (British, 9557 GRT, built 1917), Rajula (British, 8478 GRT, built 1926), Rohna (British, 8602 GRT, built 1926), Takliwa (British, 7936 GRT, built 1924) and Talamba (British, 8018 GRT, built 1924).

On departure from Suez the convoy was escorted by the sloop HMS Grimsby (Cdr. K.J. D'Arcy, RN).

At 0910C/3, the escort was passed to the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN).

The following moring the destroyer HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) and the armed boarding vessel HMS Chakdina (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Hickey, RNR) joined the convoy as escorts.

On the 5th the convoy was attacked by Italian aircraft but no damage was inflicted by the enemy.

Also on the 5th, in the afternoon, the destroyer HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN) joined. She was fuelled by HMAS Hobart between 1830C/5 and 2011C/5. 53 tons of FFO being supplied.

The convoy was dispersed around 1830C/6 in position 12°34'N, 47°07'E after which HMAS Hobart and HMS Kandahar proceeded to Aden where they arrived around 0700C/7. (1)

14 Mar 1941

Operation 'Appearance'.

Invasion of occupied British Somaliland.

In the late afternoon of 14 March 1941 the first group of warships; the British destroyer HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN), armed boarding vessels HMS Chakdina (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Hickey, RNR), HMS Chantala (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) C.E.I. Gibbs, RN), patrol vessels HMIS Netravati (Lt. D.A. MacDonald, RIN), HMIS Parvati (Lt. H.M.S. Choudry, RIN) and the cargo ships Beaconsfield (British, 4635 GRT, built 1938) and Tuna (British, 662 GRT, built 1907), carrying troops and towing three tugs and six lighters left Aden for the coast of British Somaliland.

Shortly after leaving however there was a problem with a tow which parted and the rope ending up in a propeller. It was decided that it would take to long to clear and delays loomed. HMS Kandahar then left the tugs and lighters to be towed by the cargo ships and in the afternoon of the 15th HMS Shoreham (Cdr. G.P. Claridge, RN) was sent out to assist.

Also in the afternoon of the 15th a second group of warships left Aden, these were the light cruisers HMS Glasgow (Capt. H. Hickling, RN), HMS Caledon (Capt. C.P. Clarke, RN) and the destroyer HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, DSC, RN). They were loaded with troops. They were to make rendez-vous with the first group.

By 0100/16 the forces were split up as follows; HMS Glasgow, HMS Caledon, HMS Chantala, HMS Chakdina, HMIS Netravati, HMIS Parvati were to land their troop to the west of the Berbera lighthouse while HMS Kandahar and HMS Kingston were to land commando troops to the east of the lighthouse.

At 0358 hours the gap in the reef to the western beach was found and 0417 hours HMS Glasgow opened fire with her 4" guns and pompoms after which the landing forces went in.

The gap in the reef to the eastern beach had already been found at 0330 hours and the landing zone was bombarded for 10 minutes from 0425 hours by HMS Kandahar following which the commandoes were landed by HMS Kingston.

The landing on both beaches were succesful.

The town of Berbera was captured around mid-morning of the 16th. More troops were then landed as by now the first group had now also arrived.

Sources

  1. ADM 199/383
  2. ADM 53/111423 + ADM 53/112051 + ADM 53/112436 + ADM 199/381 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for August and September 1941

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


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