Allied Warships

HMS Wellington (L 65 / U 65)

Sloop of the Grimsby class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSloop
ClassGrimsby 
PennantL 65 / U 65 
Built byDevonport Dockyard (Plymouth, U.K.): J.S. White & Co. (Cowes, U.K.) 
Ordered1 May 1933 
Laid down25 Sep 1933 
Launched29 May 1934 
Commissioned24 Jan 1935 
End service 
History

Sold 6 February 1947.

 

Commands listed for HMS Wellington (L 65 / U 65)

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CommanderFromTo
1Cdr. Richard Edmund Hyde-Smith, RN7 Nov 193826 Oct 1940
2Cdr. Ian Hamilton Bockett-Pugh, RN26 Oct 1940Feb 1941
3Lt.Cdr. William Francis Roderick Segrave, RNFeb 194124 Oct 1942
4Lt. Louis George Toone, RN24 Oct 19424 Mar 1943
5Lt.Cdr. John Treasure Jones, RD, RNR4 Mar 194315 Jun 1943
6Cdr. George Arthur Thring, DSO, RN15 Jun 194313 Apr 1944
7T/Lt. Clement Archibalt Shillan, RNVR13 Apr 1944Apr 1944
8Cdr. George Arthur Thring, DSO, RNApr 194421 Sep 1944
9A/Lt.Cdr. Arthur Hague, RNR21 Sep 1944mid 1945

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Notable events involving Wellington include:


5 Dec 1939
HMS Otway (Cdr. H.R. Conway, RN) conducted exercises off Malta together with HMS Wellington (Cdr. R.E. Hyde-Smith, RN). (1)

10 Dec 1939
HMS Otway (Cdr. H.R. Conway, RN) conducted exercises off Malta together with HMS Wellington (Cdr. R.E. Hyde-Smith, RN). (1)

1 Oct 1940
The British passenger ship Highland Patriot is torpedoed and sunk about 500 nautical miles west of Bishop Rock in position 52°20'N, 19°04'W by German U-boat U-38. HMS Wellington (Cdr. R.E. Hyde-Smith, RN) later picks up 169 survivors.

18 Dec 1940

Convoy WS 5A and the attack by the German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper

This convoy departed U.K. ports on 18/19 December 1940. Destination for the majority of the convoy was Suez where the convoy arrived on 16 February 1941.

On 17 December 1940 the transport Rangitiki (16698 GRT, built 1929) departed Avonmouth. She was escorted by HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) towards the rendez-vous position.

On 18 December 1940 the following troop transports / transports departed Liverpool, they formed WS 5A slow;
Anselm (5954 GRT, built 1935), Atreus (6547 GRT, built 1911), Bhutan (6104 GRT, built 1929), City of Canterbury (8331 GRT, built 1922), City of London (8956 GRT, built 1907), Delane ( GRT, built ), (Belgian) Elizabethville (8351 GRT, built 1922), Menelaus (10307 GRT, built 1923), Orbita (15495 GRT, built 1915), Settler (6202 GRT, built 1939) and Tamaroa (12405 GRT, built 1922). They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Witherington (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Palmer, RN), HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Barnes, RN), sloop HMS Wellington (Cdr. I.H. Bockett-Pugh, RN) and the corvettes HMS Clematis (Cdr. Y.M. Cleeves, DSO, DSC, RD, RNR), HMS Jonquil (Lt.Cdr. R.E.H. Partington, RNR), HMS Cyclamen (Lt. H.N. Lawson, RNR) and HMS Geranium (T/Lt. A. Foxall, RNR).

On 18 December 1940 the following troop transports / transports departed from the Clyde;
(Dutch) Costa Rica (8055 GRT, built 1910), Ernebank (5388 GRT, built 1937), (Belgian) Leopoldville (11509 GRT, built 1929) and Neuralia (9182 GRT, built 1912). Ernebank was however forced to return around 1800 hours on the 21st escorted by HMS Witch and HMS St. Mary’s. On the 22nd, HMS Wellington, was detached to take over the escort of the Ernebank. They were escorted by the anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) and the destroyers HMS Bath (Cdr.(Retd.) A.V. Hemming, RN), HMS St. Marys (Lt. K.H.J.L. Phibbs, RN), HMS St. Albans (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) S.G.C. Rawson, RN), HMS Worcester (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Coats, RN).

On 18 December 1940 the following troop transports / transports departed from Lough Foyle (Belfast); City of Derby (6616 GRT, built 1921) and Stentor (6148 GRT, built 1926). They were escorted by the destroyer HMS Venomous (Lt.Cdr. J.E.H. McBeath, RN).

The slow part of the convoy was met around dawn on the 19th by the light cruiser HMS Bonaventure (Capt. H.G. Egerton, RN) and the destroyers HMS Vesper (Lt.Cdr. W.F.E. Hussey, DSC, RN), HMS Harvester (Lt.Cdr. M. Thornton, RN) and HMS Highlander (Cdr. W.A. Dallmeyer, RN).

Around 2300/21 all destroyers parted company with the slow part of the convoy.

On 19 December 1940 the following troop transports / transports departed Liverpool, they formed WS 5A fast;
Clan MacDonald (9653 GRT, built 1939), Essex (13655 GRT, built 1936) and Northern Prince (10917 GRT, built 1929).

On 19 December 1940 the following troop transports / transports departed from the Clyde;
Adviser (6348 GRT, built 1939), Arabistan (5874 GRT, built 1929), Barrister (6348 GRT, built 1939), Benrinnes (5410 GRT, built 1921), Clan Cumming (7264 GRT, built 1938), Empire Song (9228 GRT, built 1940) and Empire Trooper (14106 GRT, built 1922).

Escort for the fast section of convoy WS 5A joined around dawn on the 20th and was provided by the aircraft carrier HMS Argus (Capt. E.G.N. Rushbrooke, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMS Naiad (Capt. M.H.A. Kelsey, DSC, RN), destroyers HMCS Ottawa (Cdr. E.R. Mainguy, RCN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN) and Piorun (Cdr. E.J.S. Plawski) which came from the Clyde. And also by the destroyers HMS Highlander, HMS Harvester and FS Le Triomphant (Cdr. P.M.J.R. Auboyneau) which came from Londonderry. The first two of these destroyers had fuelled there after escorting the slow part of the convoy for a while. Also the aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN) (with fighters embarked for Takoradi) and the destroyers HMS Beverley (Cdr.(Retd.) E.F. Fitzgerald, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN) and HMS Kipling joined from Liverpool.

The destroyers of the fast portion of the convoy were detached during the night of 21/22 December 1940.

At dawn on 23 December 1940 the slow and fast part of the convoy made rendez-vous and proceeded in company.

On the 24th, HMS Naiad parted company to return to the U.K. The heavy cruiser HMS Berwick (Capt. G.L. Warren, RN) and the light cruiser HMS Dunedin (Capt. R.S. Lovatt, RN) both joined the escort of the convoy.

At dawn on the 25th the convoy was attacked by the German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper. She had made contact with the convoy with radar the previous day and had already made a torpedo attack shortly before 0400/25 but no hits had been obtained nor had the attack been noticed by the British.

Then shortly after 0800/25 she made visual contact with the convoy and it came as a surprise to the Germans to sight HMS Berwick.

Around 0830 hours the Germans opened fire on HMS Berwick but due to the bad visibility she soon shifted target to the troopship Empire Trooper which was not in her assigned station. The troopship was slightly damaged as was the merchant vessel Arabistan.

The convoy was ordered to scatter and HMS Berwick and HMS Bonaventure both engaged the German cruiser as did the corvette Cyclamen briefly.

Meanwhile HMS Dunedin laid a smokescreen to cover the ships of the convoy. HMS Furious flew off a few aircraft but these failed to find the German cruiser in the bad visibility.

HMS Berwick was damaged by gunfire from the German cruiser but she forced, together with HMS Bonaventure, the enemy to break off the action around 0915 hours.

In the evening HMS Boneventure was detached to search for the damaged Empire Trooper.

On the 28th the convoy was reassembled at sea (minus Empire Trooper which was ordered to proceed to Gibraltar via the Azores) and continued on to Freetown where it arrived on 6 January 1941. (2)

19 Mar 1941
HrMs O 24 (Lt.Cdr. O de Booy, RNN) departed Dundee for Rothesay. She was escorted by HMS Wellington (Lt.Cdr. W.F.R. Segrave, RN). (3)

24 Apr 1941
HrMs O 23 (Lt.Cdr. G.B.M. van Erkel, RNN) carries out an A/S exercise off Gibraltar with the British sloop HMS Wellington (Lt.Cdr. W.F.R. Segrave, RN) and the British corvette HMS Coreopsis (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Davies, RNVR).

Upon completion of this exercise all three ships joined the escort of convoy HG 60 (10th war patrol for O 23).

For the daily positions of HrMs O 23 during this patrol see the map below.

(4)

12 Sep 1941
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.W.D. Coombe, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Keppel (Cdr. J.E. Broome, RN), HMS Sabre (Lt. P.W. Gretton, OBE, DSC, RN), HMS Wellington (Lt.Cdr. W.F.R. Segrave, RN) and HMS Rockingham (Lt. A.H.T. Johns, RN). (5)

18 Nov 1941
HMS H 44 (Lt. J.S. Stevens, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Wellington (Lt.Cdr. W.F.R. Segrave, RN), HMS Weston (Cdr.(Retd.) J.G. Sutton, RN), HMS Londonderry (Cdr. J.S. Dalison, RN) and HMS Man o' War (T/Lt. W.W. Creber, RNR). (6)

21 May 1942
HMS Wellington (Lt.Cdr. W.F.R. Segrave, RN) picks up 61 survivors from the British tanker Montenol that is torpedoed and damaged by German U-boat U-159 about 140 nautical miles east-south-east of Santa Maria, Azores in position 36°41'N, 22°45'W.

HMS Wellington also picks up 10 survivors from the British merchant New Brunswick that was also torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-159 about 140 nautical miles east-south-east of Santa Maria, Azores in position 36°53'N, 22°55'W.

19 Jul 1942
HMS Wellington (Lt.Cdr. W.F.R. Segrave, RN) picks up 41 survivors from the British merchant Lavington Court that is torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-564 about 200 nautical miles north of the Azores in position 42°38'N, 25°28'W.

31 Aug 1942
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.R. Drummond, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Folkestone (Cdr.(Retd.) J.G.C. Gibson, OBE, RN), HMS Wellington (Lt.Cdr. W.F.R. Segrave, RN) and HMS Black Swan (Cdr. T.A.C. Pakenham, RN). (7)

7 Jan 1943
HMS H 34 (Lt. G.M. Noll, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Wear, HMS Sennen (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Abram, RN), HMS Scimitar (Lt.Cdr. C.G. Cuthbertson, DSC, RNR), HMS Geranium (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A. Foxall, RNR) and HMS Wellington (Lt. L.G. Toone, RN). (8)

8 Jan 1943
HMS H 34 (Lt. G.M. Noll, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Scimitar (Lt.Cdr. C.G. Cuthbertson, DSC, RNR), HMS Gorleston (Cdr.(Retd.) R.W. Keymer, RN), HMS Wellington (Lt. L.G. Toone, RN) and HMS Totland (Lt.Cdr. L.E. Woodhouse, RN). (8)

15 Apr 1943
HMS H 50 (Lt. G.S.C Clarabut, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Weston (Cdr. L.F. Durnford-Slater, RN), HMS Gorleston (Cdr.(Retd.) R.W. Keymer, RN), HMS Wellington (Lt.Cdr. J.T. Jones, RD, RNR), HMS Exe (A/Cdr. M.A.O. Biddulph, DSC, RN), HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Hulton, RN) and HMS Coreopsis (T/Lt. B.C. Hamilton, RNR). (9)

16 Jun 1943
HMS H 34 (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) arrived at Lough Foyle. There she conducted A/S exercises with HMS Teviot (Lt.Cdr. T. Taylor, DSC, RN), HMS Wellington (Cdr. G.A. Thring, DSO, RN), HMS Violet (Lt. C.N. Stewart, RNR), HMS Coreopsis (T/Lt. B.C. Hamilton, RNR), HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A.W. Preston, RN) and HMS Anchusa (T/Lt. H.V. Gordon, DSC, RNVR). (10)

17 Jun 1943
HMS H 34 (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Wellington (Cdr. G.A. Thring, DSO, RN), HMS Folkestone (Cdr.(Retd.) J.G.C. Gibson, OBE, RN), HMS Enchantress (Cdr. A.E.T. Christie, OBE, DSC, RN) and HMS Violet (Lt. C.N. Stewart, RNR). (10)

18 Apr 1944
HMS H 50 (T/Lt. A.F. Wicker, RNVR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Dauphin (T/Lt. M.H. Wallace, RCNR) and HMS Wellington (Cdr. G.A. Thring, DSO, RN). (11)

2 Sep 1944
HrMs O 9 (Lt. R.W. van Lynden, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Campbeltown with HMS La Cordeliere (Lt.Cdr. A.J.G. Barff, RNR) and HMS Wellington (Cdr. G.A. Thring, DSO, RN). (12)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/15881
  2. ADM 199/1136
  3. File 2.12.03.6437 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  4. ADM 199/1879
  5. ADM 173/16742
  6. ADM 173/16787
  7. ADM 173/17216
  8. ADM 173/17790
  9. ADM 173/17827
  10. ADM 173/17795
  11. ADM 173/18527
  12. File 2.12.03.6373 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)

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


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