HMS Stork (L 81 / U 81)
Sloop of the Bittern class
|Navy||The Royal Navy|
|Pennant||L 81 / U 81|
|Built by||William Denny & Brothers (Dumbarton, Scotland)|
|Ordered||1 May 1935|
|Laid down||19 Jun 1935|
|Launched||21 Apr 1936|
|Commissioned||10 Sep 1936|
Scrapped in June 1958.
Hit by U-boat
|U-boat Attack||See our U-boat attack entry for the HMS Stork|
Commands listed for HMS Stork (L 81 / U 81)
Please note that we're still working on this section.
|1||Cdr. Alfred Charles Behague, RN||4 Sep 1939||Nov 1940|
|2||Lt.Cdr. Peter Vaughan James, RN||26 Nov 1939|
|3||Lt. Gordon Thomas Seccombe Gray, RN||Nov 1940||Sep 1941|
|4||Cdr. Frederick John Walker, RN||Sep 1941||1 Aug 1942|
|5||Cdr. Godfrey Noel Brewer, RN||1 Aug 1942||Feb 1943|
|6||Cdr. (retired) George William Emil Castens, RN||28 Apr 1943||10 Jul 1944|
|7||Lt.Cdr. Donald Emberton Mansfield, RN||13 Jul 1944||27 Nov 1945|
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Notable events involving Stork include:
27 May 1940
Assault on Narvik.
The following naval vessels were operating in the Narvik area supporting the assauly by the army; light cruiser HMS Southampton (Capt. F.W.H. Jeans, CVO, RN), AA cruisers HMS Coventry (Capt. D. Gilmour, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G.P. Vivian, RN) and HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN, flying the flag of Admiral of the Fleet W.H.D. Boyle (Lord Cork), GCB, GCVO, RN), destroyers HMS Walker (Lt.Cdr. A.A. Tait, RN), HMS Whirlwind (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Rodgers, RN), HMS Beagle (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Wright, RN), HMS Delight (Cdr. M. Fogg-Elliot, RN), HMS Echo (Cdr. S.H.K. Spurgeon, DSO, RAN), HMS Fame (Cdr. P.N. Walter, RN), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSC, RN), HMS Havelock (Capt. E.B.K. Stevens, DSC, RN) and sloop HMS Stork (Cdr. A.C. Behague, RN).
Some of these ships bombarded Narvik very late in the evening following which the final assault by the Allies on Narvik began.
Narvik was captured from the German in the evening of the 28th.
During the 28th multiple ships sustained damage due to German air attacks;
The most serious damage was to AA cruiser HMS Cairo. She was hit by hit by two bombs at 0620/28 and was badly damaged. One bomb struck abaft B gun. It penetrated the deck and exploded among the supply ammunition party. The other bomb hit the starboard .5" anti-aircraft gun mounting. Twelve of the crew were killed.
Light cruiser HMS Southampton was near missed and damaged by bomb splinters. Her Commanding Officer was wounded and two ratings were killed.
AA cruiser HMS Coventry was also near missed and had one rating killed by bomb splinters.
The destroyers HMS Walker, HMS Whirlwind and HMS Havelock all sustained minor damage from near misses. The most serious damage was to Walker. (1)
7 Jun 1941
HrMs O 14 (Lt.Cdr. G. Quint, RNN(R)) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.P. Thew, RN), HNoMS Bath (Lt.Cdr. C.F.T. Melsom), HMS Black Swan (Cdr. T.A.C. Pakenham, RN) and HMS Stork (Lt. G.T.S. Gray, DSC, RN). (2)
12 Jul 1941
Convoy WS 9C
This convoy was formed at sea and was initially made up of the British merchants/ troop transports Avila Star (14443 GRT, built 1927), City of Pretoria (8049 GRT, built 1937), Deucalion (7516 GRT, built 1930), Durham (10893 GRT, built 1934), Leinster (4302 GRT, built 1937), Melbourne Star (11076 GRT, built 1936), Pasteur (30447 GRT, built 1939), Port Chalmers (8535 GRT, built 1933) and Sydney Star (11095 GRT, built 1936).
They were escorted by the battleship HMS Nelson (Capt. T.H. Troubridge, RN) (12-20 July), cruisers HMS Manchester (Capt. H. Drew, DSC, RN) (12-17 July), HMS Arethusa (Capt. A.C. Chapman, RN), (12-17 July), AA cruiser HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck (Cdr. E.J. van Holthe, RNN) (12-15 July), cruiser-minelayer HMS Manxman (Capt. R.K. Dickson, RN), (15-16 July), destroyers HMS Winchelsea (Lt.Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, OBE, DSC, RN) (12 July), HMS Vanoc (Lt.Cdr. J.G.W. Deneys, DSO, RN) (12-15 July), HMS Wanderer (Cdr. A.F.St.G. Orpen, RN) (12-15 July), ORP Garland (Lt.Cdr. K.F. Namiesniowski, ORP) (12-15 July), HMS Gurkha (Cdr. C.N. Lentaigne, RN) (12-15 July), HMS Cossack (Capt. E.L. Berthon, DSC and Bar, RN) (12-17 July), HMS Maori (Cdr. R.E. Courage, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) (12-17 July), HMS Sikh (Cdr. G.H. Stokes, RN) (12-17 July), HMS Lightning (Cdr. R.G. Stewart, RN) (12-17 July), HMAS Nestor (Cdr. A.S. Rosenthal, RAN) (12-17 July), HMS Fearless (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN) (17-20 July), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSO, DSC, RN) (18-20 July), HMS Foresight (Cdr. J.S.C. Salter, RN) (17-20 July), HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, DSC and Bar, RN) (17-20 July), HMS Foxhound (Cdr. G.H. Peters, DSC, RN) (17-20 July), HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN) (17-20 July), escort destroyers HMS Avon Vale (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, RN) (18-20 July), HMS Eridge (Lt.Cdr. W.F.N. Gregory-Smith, RN) (18-20 July), HMS Farndale (Cdr. S.H. Carlill, RN) (18-20 July) and sloop HMS Stork (Lt. G.T.S. Gray, DSC, RN) (12-13 July).
The merchant ships from the convoy departed either Avonmouth, Liverpool, the Clyde area and Belfast. The convoy was finally formed up at sea early on the 13th in position 55°40'N, 06°55'W.
The passage of the convoy was uneventful.
HMS Gurkha and ORP Garland left the convoy around 0330/15 reaching the limit of their endurance. HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck, HMS Vanoc and HMS Wanderer did the same around 1830/15. Around 2000/15 HMS Manxman joined the convoy, she parted company at 1900/16 and set course for Gibraltar. The merchant Avila Star had meanwhile left the convoy at 1000/16.
At 0700/17 the 8th Destroyer Flotilla was to join the convoy coming from Gibraltar but due to thick for no contact was made. At 1000/17 the Pasteur left the convoy for Gibraltar escorted by HMS Manchester, HMS Maori, HMS Lightning and HMAS Nestor. Shortly afterwards the fog lifted and the 8th Destroyer Flottilla was sighted and joined the convoy. At 1200/17 the Leinster also left the convoy for Gibraltar escorted by HMS Arethusa, HMS Cossack and HMS Sikh.
At 1800/18 HMS Firedrake joined the convoy coming from Gibraltar.
At 0700/18 HMS Avon Vale, HMS Eridge and HMS Farndale joined the Pasteur, HMS Manchester, HMS Lightning and HMAS Nestor. HMS Maori then left that group and joined the group that was made up of the Leinster, HMS Arethusa, HMS Cossack and HMS Sikh. HMS Manchester departed the ‘Pasteur group’ at 1000/19 to join the ‘Leinster group’ which she did at 1500/19.
The ‘Pasteur group’ arrived at Gibraltar shortly after noon on the 19th and around 0330/20 the ‘Leinster group’ arrived at Gibraltar. Troops aboard these ships then disembarked.
Around 0200/20, HMS Edinburgh, HMS Manxman, HMS Lightning, HMAS Nestor, HMS Avon Vale, HMS Eridge and HMS Farndale departed Gibraltar to rendez-vous with the now incoming convoy WS 9C. They joined the convoy shortly before noon, the six F-class destroyers of the 8th Destroyer Flotilla then left to refuel at Gibraltar.
For the continuation of the events see the event for 21 July 1941 on Operation Substance. (3)
17 Dec 1941
German U-boat U-131 was sunk north-east of Madeira, Portugal, in position 34°12'N, 13°35'W, by depth charges and gunfire from the British escort destroyers HMS Exmoor (Lt.Cdr. L.StG. Rich, RN) and HMS Blankney (Lt.Cdr. P.F. Powlett, DSC, RN), the British destroyer HMS Stanley (Lt.Cdr. D.B. Shaw, OBE, RN), the British corvette HMS Pentstemon (Lt.Cdr. J. Byron, RNR (retired)) and the British sloop HMS Stork (Cdr. F.J. Walker, RN), and by depth charges from a Martlet aircraft (Sqdn. 802) of the British escort carrier HMS Audacity (Cdr. D.W. Mackendrick, RN).
19 Dec 1941
German U-boat U-574 was sunk in the North Atlantic near Punta Delgada, in position 38°12'N, 17°23'W, by ramming and depth charges from the British sloop HMS Stork (Cdr. F.J. Walker, RN).
HMS Stork also picks up 14 survivors from the British merchant Ruckinge that was torpedoed and damaged, finally sunk by gunfire from the British corvette HMS Samphire (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Renny, RNR), by German U-boat U-108 west of Lisbon, Portugal in position 38°20'N, 17°15'W.
14 Apr 1942
German U-boat U-252 was sunk at 2230hrs on 14 April 1942 in the North Atlantic south-west of Ireland, in approximate position 47°00'N, 18°14'W, by depth charges from the British sloop HMS Stork (Cdr. F.J. Walker, DSO, RN) and the British corvette HMS Vetch (T/A/Lt.Cdr. H.J. Beverley, DSC, RNR).
20 May 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Snowflake (Lt. H.G. Chesterman, RNR), HMS Stork (Cdr. F.J. Walker, DSO, RN), HMS Convolvulus (T/Lt. R.C. Connell, RNR), HMS Gardenia (T/Lt. C.J. Jackson, RNVR), HMS Sabre (Lt. R.L. Caple, DSC, RN) and HMS Scimitar (Lt.Cdr. C.G. Cuthbertson, DSC, RNR). (6)
21 May 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Stork (Cdr. F.J. Walker, DSO, RN), HMS Convolvulus (T/Lt. R.C. Connell, RNR), HMS Gardenia (T/Lt. C.J. Jackson, RNVR), HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Hulton, RN), HMS Bradford (Lt.Cdr. J.N.K. Knight, RN), HMS Scarborough (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Carnduff, RN) and HMS Sandwich (Lt.Cdr. H. Hill, RD, RNR). (6)
11 Aug 1942
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.R. Drummond, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Stork (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN), HMS Marigold (Lt. J.A.S. Halcrow, RNR), HMS Samphire (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Renny, DSC, RD, RNR) and HMS Cowdray (Lt.Cdr. C.W. North, RN). (7)
22 Sep 1942
HMS H 43 (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Stork (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN), HMS Deptford (Lt.Cdr. H.R. White, RN), ORP Garland (Lt.Cdr. H. Eibel), HMS Inkpen (T/Lt. H. Vernon, RNR) and aircraft. (8)
9 Aug 1943
HMS P 511 (Lt. R.H. Bull, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Stork (Cdr.(Retd.) G.W.E. Castens, RN), HMS Bazely (Lt.Cdr. J.V. Brock, RCNVR), HMS Blackwood (Lt.Cdr. L.T. Sly, RD, RNR) and HMS Drury (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Parker, RN). (10)
10 Aug 1943
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.A.R. Troup, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Stork (Cdr.(Retd.) G.W.E. Castens, RN), HMS Gleaner (Lt.Cdr. F.J.G. Hewitt, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Alisma (Lt. G. Lanning, RANVR). (11)
30 Aug 1943
German U-boat U-634 was sunk in the North Atlantic east of the Azores, in position 40°13'N, 19°24'W, by depth charges from the British sloop HMS Stork (Cdr. G.W.E. Castens, (retired), RN) and the British corvette HMS Stonecrop (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Smythe, RNR).
17 Sep 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. D.G. Kent, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Whimbrel (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Moore, DSC, RNR), HrMs Johan Maurits van Nassau (Cdr. A. de Booy, RNN), HMS Myosotis (T/Lt. R. Lugg, RNR), HMS Fowey (Cdr.(Retd.) L.B.A. Majendie, RN) and HMS Stork (Cdr.(Retd.) G.W.E. Castens, RN). (12)
25 May 1944
HMS Una (Lt. C.A.J. Nicholl, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Stork (Cdr.(Retd.) G.W.E. Castens, DSO, RN), HMS Caprice (Lt.Cdr. G.W. McKendrick, RN) and HMS Loch Killin (Lt.Cdr. S. Darling, RANVR). (13)
26 May 1944
HMS Una (Lt. C.A.J. Nicholl, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Stork (Cdr.(Retd.) G.W.E. Castens, DSO, RN), HMS Duncan (Lt. D.G.D. Hall-Wright, RN) and HMCS Orangeville (Lt. F.R. Pike, RCNVR). (13)
18 Apr 1945
HMS Volatile (Lt. F.R. Lawrence, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMCS Kootenay (A/Lt.Cdr. W.H. Willson, DSC, RCN), HMS Black Swan (Lt.Cdr. A.D.C. Inglis, RN), HMS Stork (Lt.Cdr. D.E. Mansfield, RN) and another vessel [unable to read the name in the logbook of Volatile]. (15)
- ADM 53/113252
- File 2.12.03.6387 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
- ADM 53/114626 + ADM 53/114204 + ADM 199/1138
- File 2.12.03.6368 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
- File 2.12.03.6379 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
- ADM 173/17201
- ADM 173/17216
- ADM 173/17253
- ADM 173/17891
- ADM 173/17927
- ADM 173/17773
- ADM 173/17786
- ADM 173/19192
- ADM 173/19345
- ADM 173/20331
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.
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