HMS Erne (U 03)
Sloop of the Black Swan class
|Navy||The Royal Navy|
|Built by||Furness Shipbuilding Ltd. (Haverton Hill-on-Tees, U.K.) : Richardson Westgarth|
|Ordered||21 Jun 1939|
|Laid down||21 Sep 1939|
|Launched||5 Aug 1940|
|Commissioned||26 Apr 1941|
Became a RNVR Drill ship on 4 June 1952 being renamed Wessex.
Commands listed for HMS Erne (U 03)
Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.
|1||Lt.Cdr. Henry Maxwell Darell-Brown, RN||27 Feb 1941||mid 1941|
|2||Lt.Cdr. Evelyn David John Abbot, RN||17 Mar 1942||Nov 1943|
|3||Lt. Richard Walgate, RNR||Nov 1943||Dec 1943|
|4||Lt.Cdr. Walter Raleigh Hickey, RNR||Dec 1943||18 Jun 1945|
|5||Lt.Cdr. James Arbouin Burnett, DSC, RN||18 Jun 1945||15 Jun 1946|
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Notable events involving Erne include:
30 Apr 1941
While still at the builders yard (4 days after commissioning) HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. H.M. Darell-Brown, RN) is heavily damaged by a near miss during a German air attack. Repairs were only completed in June 1942.
31 Jul 1942
German U-boat U-213 was sunk in the North Atlantic south-east of the Azores, in position 36°45'N, 22°50'W by depth charges from the British sloops HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. E.D.J. Abbot, RN), HMS Rochester (Cdr. C.B. Allen, RN) and HMS Sandwich (Lt.Cdr. H. Hill, RNR).
29 Aug 1942
HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. E.D.J. Abbot, RN) scuttles the Dutch merchant Zuiderkerk with depth charges. The Zuiderkerk was torpedoed and damaged by German U-boat U-566 west-north-west of Lisbon, Portugal in position 40°20'N, 16°02'W.
18 Sep 1942
HMS H 43 (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Anemone (Lt.Cdr. P.G.A. King, RD, RNR), HMS Chelsea (Lt.Cdr. J.E.R. Wilford, RNR), HMS Sandwich (Lt.Cdr. H. Hill, RD, RNR), HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. E.D.J. Abbot, RN) and two other vessels [unable to read these names in the log of HMS H 43]. (1)
19 Dec 1942
Convoy CF 10.
This convoy departed Capetown on 19 December 1942.
The convoy was made up of the (troop) transports; Almanzora (British, 15551 GRT, built 1914), Johan van Oldenbarnevelt (Dutch, 19429 GRT, built 1930), Largs Bay (British, 14182 GRT, built 1921) and Straat Soenda (Dutch, 6439 GRT, built 1939).
Around 0655B/21, HMS Fortune parted company with the convoy to proceed to Simonstown.
Around 1400A/27, the corvette HMS Hydrangea (A/Lt.Cdr. J.E. Woolfenden, RD, RNR) joined the convoy.
The convoy arrived at Freetown on 29 December 1942.
The convoy departed Freetown on 1 January 1943 but now escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Asturias (Capt.(Retd.) H. Ardill, RN), destroyer HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN), escort destroyer HMS Holcombe and corvette HMS Woodruff (A/Lt.Cdr. F.H. Gray, RNR).
Around 1940Z/1, HMS Ilex was detached to participate in an A/S hunt off Dakar.
Around 1120Z/2, the corvette HMS Bellwort (A/Lt.Cdr. N.F.R. Gill, RNR) joined, having departed Bathurst on 1 January.
Around 1930Z/3, HMS Ilex rejoined the convoy. At the same time the Largs Bay escorted by HMS Woodruff parted company. The Largs Bay was to proceed to New York escorted part of the way by the corcette. HMS Woodruff arrived at Bathurst on 10 January.
Around 1800Z/4, HMS Holcombe parted company to proceed to Bathurst where she arrived on 6 January.
Around 0840Z/5, HMS Ilex and HMS Bellwort parted company to proceed to Bathurst where HMS Ilex arrived on the 6th and HMS Bellwort on the 7th.
Around 1200A/8, the convoy merged with convoy MKF 6. (2)
25 Feb 1943
Convoy WS 27 / KMF 10A
This combined convoy was formed off Orsay Island on 25 February 1943.
It was made up of the following troopships / transports; Almanzora (British, 15551 GRT, built 1914). Antenor (British, 11174 GRT, built 1925), Batory (Polish, 14287 GRT, built 1936), Boissevain (Dutch, 14134 GRT, built 1937), Capetown Castle (British, 27002 GRT, built 1938), Christiaan Huygens (Dutch, 16287 GRT, built 1927), Circassia (British, 11136 GRT, built 1937), Franconia (British, 20175 GRT, built 1923), Letitia (British, 13475 GRT, built 1925), Nieuw Holland (Dutch, 11066 GRT, built 1927), Strathaird (British, 22281 GRT, built 1932) and Strathmore (British, 23428 GRT, built 1935).
The convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Malaya (Capt. J.W.A. Waller, RN), destroyers HMS Quail (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Jenks, RN), HMS Queenborough (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO and Bar, MVO, RN), HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. K.W. Michell, RN), HMS Wolverine (Lt. I.M. Clegg, RN), HMS Clare (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Stewart, DSC, RNR), sloops HMS Egret (Cdr. C.R.S. Farquhar, RN), HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. E.D.J. Abbot, DSC, RN), HMS Fishguard (Lt.Cdr. H.L. Pryse, RNR) and the frigate HMS Test (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.B. Collinson, RD, RN).
At 1300/1, HMS Queensborough and HMS Wolverine were detached from the combined convoy to fuel at Casablanca.
At 1900/1, the destroyer HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Farrington, RN) joined the combined convoy.
At 1100/2, the convoy split up; Convoy WS 27 continued to Freetown and Convoy KMF 10A set course to enter the Mediterranean and proceed to Oran / Algiers.
Convoy KMF 10A.
Convoy KMF 10A was made up of the troopships / transports; Batory, Boissevain, Circassia, Franconia, Nieuw Holland and Letitia, escorted by HMS Egret, HMS Erne, HMS Fishguard, HMS Test and HMS Clare.
On 3 March, while transiting the Gibraltar Strait, HMS Clare was detached to Gibraltar and the convoy was joined by the escort destroyers HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN), HMS Oakley (Lt.Cdr. T.A. Pack-Beresford, RN), HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN) and HMS Zetland (Lt. J.V. Wilkinson, RN) coming from Gibraltar.
The troopships Franconia and Letitia were detached and arrived at Oran on 4 March escorted by HMS Farndale, HMS Haydon, HMS Oakley and HMS Puckeridge. The escort destroyers departed Oran again later the same day to form an separate A/S force that was to operate near the remainder of the convoy during it's passage to Algiers.
The remainder of the convoy arrived at Algiers on March, 5th escorted by HMS Egret, HMS Erne, HMS Fishguard, HMS Test and HMS Zetland.
Convoy WS 27.
Convoy WS 27 was made up of the troopships / transports; Almanzora, Antenor, Capetown Castle, Christiaan Huygens, Strathaird and Strathmore, escorted by HMS Malaya, HMS Quadrant, HMS Quail and HMS Raider.
At 0030/3, HMS Queensborough and HMS Wolverine rejoined the convoy.
Between 1033 and 1125/3, HMS Raidar was fuelled by HMS Malaya followed by HMS Wolverine between 1156 and 1215/3.
At 1115/4, HMS Quadrant parted company with the convoy to fuel at Bathurst.
At 1800/5, the troopship Almanzore parted company with the convoy to proceed to Dakar escorted by HMS Quail.
At 1110/7, HMS Quail rejoined the convoy.
The convoy arrived safely at Freetown in the morning of March, 8th.
27 Mar 1943
HMS H 44 (Lt. P.S. Beale, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Keppel (Lt.Cdr. R.B.S. Tennant, RN), HMS Bergamot (Lt. R.T. Horan, RNR), HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. E.D.J. Abbot, DSC, RN) and HMS Clare (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Stewart, DSC, RD, RNR). (3)
28 Mar 1943
HMS H 44 (Lt. P.S. Beale, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. E.D.J. Abbot, DSC, RN), HMS Clare (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Stewart, DSC, RD, RNR), HMCS Shediac (Lt. J.O. Every-Clayton, RCNR), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. G.H. Stephen, OBE, DSC, RCNR), HMCS Kenogami (T/Lt. J.L. Percy, RCNVR) and HMCS Battleford (T/Lt. F.A. Beck, RCNVR). (3)
24 Jun 1943
Convoy KMS 18B.
This convoy departed the U.K. on 24 June 1943.
The convoy was made up of the transports; Alcinous (Dutch, 6189 GRT, built 1925), Benedict (British, 4949 GRT, built 1930), City of Venice (British, 8762 GRT, built 1924), Derwenthall (British, 4934 GRT, built 1940), Devis (British, 6054 GRT, built 1938), Empire Cato (British, 7039 GRT, built 1942), Empire Confidence (British, 5023 GRT, built 1925), Empire Elaine (British, 7513 GRT, built 1942), Fort Buckingham (British, 7122 GRT, built 1943), Fort Lajoie (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942), Fort Meductic (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Fort Nashwaak (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Fort Stager (British, 7132 GRT, built 1943), Gudrun Maersk (British, 2294 GRT, built 1937), Norman Monarch (British, 7005 GRT, built 1943), Orestes (British, 7748 GRT, built 1926), Prometheus (British, 6096 GRT, built 1925), St. Essylt (British, 5634 GRT, built 1941) and Stanhill (British, 5969 GRT, built 1942).
The landing ship Derwentdale (Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), 8390 GRT, built 1941) was also part of the convoy.
Also with the convoy were the rescue vessel Rathlin (British, 1600 GRT, built 1936) and the rescue tug HMRT Allegiance.
The convoy was escorted by and the frigate HMS Teviot (Lt.Cdr. T. Taylor, DSC, RN), cutter HMS Banff (Lt. P. Brett, RNR) and the corvettes HMS Bergamot (Lt. R.T. Horan, RNR), HMS Bryony (T/Lt. T. Hand, RNR), HMS Honeysuckle (Lt. H.H.D. MacKillican, DSC and Bar, RNR), HMS Hyderabad (T/Lt. T. Cooper, RNR), HMS Oxlip (Lt. C.W. Leadbetter, RNR) and HMS Rhododendron (T/Lt. O.B. Medley, RNVR).
On 26 June 1943, the sloop HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. E.D.J. Abbot, DSC, RN) departed Londonderry to join the convoy which she did later the same day.
On 3 July 1943, the Rathlin and HMRT Allegiance arrived at Gibraltar after having been detached from the convoy.
Around 2052B/4, in position 36°44'N, 01°25'E, the transport City of Venice was torpedoed by the German submarine U-409. The ship eventually sank the following morning.
Around 2145B/4, in position 36°44'N, 01°31'E, the transport St. Essylt was torpedoed by the German submarine U-375 which had fired a salvo of four torpedoes at the convoy. The ship eventually sank the following morning.
The escort destroyers HMS Lamerton (Lt.Cdr. C.R. Purse, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Wheatland (Lt.Cdr. R.deL. Brooke, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Wilton (Lt. A.P. Northey, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Brocklesby (Lt. K.R.S. Leadlay, RN), which were en-route from Algiers to Oran were diverted to hunt these submarines as was HMS Quantock (Lt.Cdr. R.G.L. Pennell, DSC, RN) which was en-route from Gibraltar to Algiers.
On 5 July 1943, the original escort arrived at Algiers after having been relieved by a new escort made up the escort destroyers HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), HMS Tynedale (Lt. J.J.S. Yorke, DSC, RN), HMS Cleveland (Lt. J.K. Hamilton, RN), HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN), ORP Krakowiak (Kpt.mar. (Lt.Cdr.) Wszechwlad Maracewicz, ORP) and HMS Viceroy (Lt. T.F. Hallifax, RN).
Around 1541B/5, in position 37°01'N, 04°10'E, the transport Devis was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-593 which had fired two speads of two torpedoes at the convoy. THe destroyers HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Wallace, DSC, RN), USS Cole (T/Lt.Cdr. B. Chipman, USN), sloop HMS Erne and frigate HMS Teviot were sailed from Algiers to hunt this sumbarine.
With them the monitor HMS Roberts (A/Capt.(Retd.) R.E.C. Dunbar, RN) and the LST's HMS LST 301 (A/Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) R.F. Hoyle, RNR), HMS LST 305 (A/Lt.Cdr. R.M. Naylor, RNR), HMS LST 319 (Cdr.(Retd.) J.G. Sutton, RN), HMS LST 321 (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.H. Metcalfe, RNR), HMS LST 365 (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.F. Halliday, RNR), HMS LST 366 (A/Lt.Cdr. N. Hall, RNR) and HMS LST 424 (Lt.Cdr. G.R. Grandage, RNR) also joined the convoy.
On 7 July, the minesweepers HMS Fly (Capt. J.W. Boutwood, RN), HMS Espiegle (Lt.Cdr. G. Dibley, RD, RNR), HMS Circe (Lt.Cdr. J.H.M. Malcolm, RN) and HMS Cadmus (Lt.Cdr. (Retd.) J.S. Landers, RNR) joined the convoy.
Around 0515B/8, the AA cruiser HMS Colombo (Capt. D.H. Hall-Thompson, RN) joined the convoy.
Around 1300B/9, the following transports parted company and joined convoy KMF 1B; Alcinous, Empire Confidence, Orestes, Prometeus, Derwentdale, HMS LST 301, HMS LST 305, HMS LST 319, HMS LST 321, HMS LST 365, HMS LST 366 and HMS LST 424. HMS Roberts Also joined convoy KMF 18.
Convoy KMS 18B arrived off Sicily in the afternoon of 10 July 1943.
23 Jan 1944
HHMS Unbending (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises in Lough Foyle with HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Hickey, RNR), HMCS Fennel (A/Lt.Cdr. W.P. Moffat, RCNVR) and HMS Vanoc (Lt.Cdr. P.R. Ward, RN). (5)
3 Mar 1944
Convoy KMF 29A.
This convoy departed the Clyde on 3 March 1944 for Alexandria.
It was made up of the troop transport Strathnaver (British, 22283 GRT, built 1931). Also part of the convoy were the escort carriers HMS Atheling (Capt. R.I. Agnew, OBE, RCN), HMS Begum (A/Capt. J.E. Broome, DSC, RN) and the aircraft transports HMS Athene (T/A/Cdr. C.H. Moulton, RNR) and HMS Engadine (Capt. W.T. Fitzgerald, RD, RNR). These ships were ferrying aircraft.
Escort was provided by the light cruiser HMS Nigeria (Capt. S.H. Paton, RN), sloop HMIS Cauvery (A/Cdr. A.W. Beeton, RIN) and the frigates Cranstoun (Lt. E.W. Rainey, RN), HMS Deane (Lt. V.A. Hickson, DSO, RN), HMS Redmill (Lt. J.R.A. Denne, RN), HMS Findhorn (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Dawson, RD, RNR), HMS Lossie (Lt.Cdr. A.F. MacFie, OBE, RNR), HMS Shiel (Lt. H.P. Crail, DSC, RNR), HMS Spey (Cdr. G.A.G. Ormsby, RN) and HMS Taff (T/Lt.Cdr. A. Harrison, RNR).
Around 0800Z/6, the sloop HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Hickey, RNR) joined the convoy.
Around 1800Z/6, the frigates HMS Cranstoun, HMS Deane and HMS Redmill parted company with the convoy.
During the night of 9/10 March, HMS Nigeria fuelled at Gibraltar and then rejoined the convoy.
Around 1000A/11, HMS Erne parted company with the convoy to proceed to Algiers.
At 0137B/13, HMS Nigeria parted company with the convoy to proceed ahead of it to Port Said.
Around 1710A/13, the light cruiser HMS Phoebe (Capt. C.P. Frend, RN) joined the convoy.
Around 0600B/16, HMS Phoebe parted company with the convoy to proceed to Alexandria.
The convoy arrived at Port Said late in the afternoon of the 16th.
2 Nov 1944
HMS Swiftsure (Capt. R.D. Oliver, CBE, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.J.P. Brind, CBE, CB, RN) conducted gunnery exercises off Malta. In the evening a night encounter exercise was carried out with HMS Brocklesby (Lt.Cdr. K.R.S. Leadlay, RN) and HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Hickey, RNR). (6)
- ADM 173/17253
- ADM 53/115299 + ADM 53/116962 + ADM 199/635
- ADM 173/17814
- ADM 173/18491
- ADM 173/19199
- ADM 53/120604
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.