Allied Warships

HMS Erne (U 03)

Sloop of the Black Swan class


HMS Erne arriving at Algiers. Photo from Imperial War Museum (IWM), A-15632

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSloop
ClassBlack Swan 
PennantU 03 
Built byFurness Shipbuilding Ltd. (Haverton Hill-on-Tees, U.K.) : Richardson Westgarth 
Ordered21 Jun 1939 
Laid down21 Sep 1939 
Launched5 Aug 1940 
Commissioned26 Apr 1941 
End service 
History

Became a RNVR Drill ship on 4 June 1952 being renamed Wessex.
Scrapped in 1965.

 

Commands listed for HMS Erne (U 03)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Henry Maxwell Darell-Brown, RN27 Feb 1941mid 1941

2Lt.Cdr. Evelyn David John Abbot, RN17 Mar 1942Nov 1943
3Lt. Richard Walgate, RNRNov 1943Dec 1943
4Lt.Cdr. Walter Raleigh Hickey, RNRDec 194318 Jun 1945
5Lt.Cdr. James Arbouin Burnett, DSC, RN18 Jun 194515 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)

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 20.

Convoy WS 20 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). (2)

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). (2)

21 Jan 1944
HMS H 34 (Lt. R.L. Jay, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Hickey, RNR). (3)

22 Jan 1944
HMS Unbending (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises in Lough Foyle with HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Hickey, RNR) and HMS Churchill (Lt. A.C.D. Leach, RN). (4)

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). (4)

27 Jan 1944
HMS H 34 (Lt. R.L. Jay, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Hickey, RNR) and HMS Churchill (Lt. A.C.D. Leach, RN). (3)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/17253
  2. ADM 173/17814
  3. ADM 173/18491
  4. ADM 173/19199

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


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