Allied Warships

HMS Sennen (Y 21)

Sloop of the Banff class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSloop
ClassBanff 
PennantY 21 
Built byBethlehem Shipbuilding Corp. (Quincy, Massachusetts, U.S.A.) 
Ordered 
Laid down23 May 1928 
Launched11 Oct 1928 
Commissioned12 May 1941 
End service27 Mar 1946 
History

Returned to the United States on 27 March 1946. Her recommissioning was cancelled and she was sold on 25 March 1948.

 
Former nameUSCGC Champlain

Commands listed for HMS Sennen (Y 21)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. David Charles Kinloch, RNJun 194111 Nov 1941
2Lt.Cdr. Rider Stewart Abram, RN11 Nov 194112 Feb 1943
3Lt.Cdr. Frederick Harold Thornton, RNR12 Feb 19438 May 1945
4A/Lt.Cdr. Bernard Morland Skinner, RN8 May 194516 Feb 1946

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Notable events involving Sennen include:


3 Jul 1941
HMS H 44 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Sennen (Lt.Cdr. D.C. Kinloch, RN) and HMS Totland (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) S.G.C. Rawson, RN). (1)

4 Jul 1941
HMS H 44 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Sennen (Lt.Cdr. D.C. Kinloch, RN), HMS Totland (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) S.G.C. Rawson, RN) and HMS Skate (Lt. F.P. Baker, DSC, RN). (1)

31 Aug 1941

Convoy WS 11

This convoy assembled in the Clyde area on 31 August 1941 for the far east.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant ships; Abosso (11330 GRT, built 1935), Barrister (6348 GRT, built 1939), Bhutan (6104 GRT, built 1929), City of Edinburgh (8036 GRT, built 1938), City of Manchester (8917 GRT, built 1935), Duchess of York (20021 GRT, built 1929), Empress of Australia (21833 GRT, built 1914), Glaucus (7596 GRT, built 1921), Glenorchy (8982 GRT, built 1939), Kina II (9823 GRT, built 1939), Largs Bay (14182 GRT, built 1921), Manchester Progress (5620 GRT, built 1938), Mooltan (20952 GRT, built 1923), Northumberland (11558 GRT, built 1915), Orontes (20097 GRT, built 1929), Otranto (20026 GRT, built 1925), Scythia (19761 GRT, built 1920), Viceroy of India (19627 GRT, built 1929). The netlayer HMS Guardian (A/Capt. H.A.C. Lane, RN) also sailed in this convoy.

Escort was initially provided by the battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. W.G. Tennant, MVO, RN), the aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN), the light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) (31 August – 2 September), the anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Cairo (A/Capt. I.R.H. Black, RN) (31 August – 2 September), the armed merchant cruiser HMS Derbyshire (Capt.(Retd.) E.A.B. Stanley, MVO, DSO, RN), the destroyers HMS Cossack (Capt. E.L. Berthon, DSC and Bar, RN) (31 August – 4 September), HMS Zulu (Cdr. H.R. Graham, DSO, RN) (31 August – 4 September), HMS Legion (Cdr. R.F. Jessel, RN) (31 August – 4 September), HMS Lively (Lt.Cdr. W.F.E. Hussey, DSC, RN) (31 August – 4 September), HMS Highlander (Cdr. S. Boucher, RN), HMS Winchelsea (Lt.Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, OBE, DSC, RN) (31 August – 2 September), HrMs Isaac Sweers (Cdr. J. Houtsmuller, RNN) (31 August – 2 September), ORP Piorun (Cdr. E.J.S. Plawski) (31 August – 3 September), ORP Garland (Lt.Cdr. K.F. Namiesniowski) (31 August – 3 September), the sloops HMIS Sutlej (Capt. P.A. Mare, RIN), HMS HMS Sennen (Lt.Cdr. D.C. Kinloch, RN) and HMS Totland (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) S.G.C. Rawson, RN).

HMS Cairo and HrMs Isaac Sweers parted company with the convoy on 2 September and proceeded to Northern Ireland. HMS Sheffield also left the convoy later this day.

ORP Piorun and ORP Garland parted company with the convoy shortly after noon on 3 September to assist a merchant vessel that was being bombed by German aircraft. By then HMS Winchelsea had also left the convoy.

HMS Furious was destined for Gibraltar and operated mainly a little away from the convoy. She left the convoy around 1100 hours on 4 September arrived at Gibraltar on 7 September escorted by HMS Cossack, HMS Zulu, HMS Legion and HMS Lively.

Shortly afterwards around 1300 hours on 4 September the convoy split into two sections, these were;
WS 11F (Fast); This convoy was made up of the merchants Bhutan, City of Edinburgh, Duchess of York, Empress of Australia, Glenorchy, Kina II, Largs Bay, Mooltan, Orontes, Otranto, Scythia, Viceroy of India. HMS Guardian was also part of this convoy.

Escort for this part of the convoy was provided by; HMS Repulse, HMIS Sutlej (Later went to the escort of convoy WS 11S), HMS Highlander (detached to fuel at the Azores), HMAS Nestor (Cdr. A.S. Rosenthal, RAN) (joined around noon on 4 September coming from Gibraltar) and HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St J. Morgan, RN) (joined around 0800 hours on 7 September coming from Gibraltar).

Most of these ships oiled at sea from the RFA tanker Rapidol (2648 GRT, built 1917) (Master Lt.Cdr. A.E. Curtain, OBE, RNR). Rapidol later joined convoy WS 11S. At least HMS Highlander oiled at Ponta Delgada, Azores, she rejoined the convoy around noon on 6 September.

In the morning of 11 September 1941 two destroyers coming from Freetown joined the escort, these were HMS Velox (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Roper, DSC, RN) and HMS Wrestler (Lt. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN). Later that day, around 1400 hours, the corvette HMS Starwort (Lt.Cdr. N.W. Duck, RD, RNR) also joined the escort. Shortly afterwards HMS Highlander parted company with the convoy and proceeded to Bathurst.

This part of the convoy arrived at Freetown on 13 September 1941.

The other section of the convoy was WS 11S (Slow); This convoy was made up of the merchants Abosso, Barrister, City of Manchester, Glaucus Manchester Progress and Northumberland.

Escort for this part of the convoy was provided by; HMS Derbyhire, HMS Sennen and HMS Totland.

This part of the convoy arrived at Freetown on 15 September 1941.

At Freetown the convoy (now called WS 11B) was re-grouped and departed from there on 18 September 1941 for the Cape.

The convoy was now made up of the merchants Barrister, Bhutan, City of Edinburgh, City of Manchester, Duchess of York, Empress of Australia, Glaucus, Glenorchy, Kina II, Largs Bay, Manchester Progress, Mooltan, Orontes, Otranto, Scythia, Viceroy of India and the Dutch liner (troopship) Nieuw Zeeland (11069 GRT, built 1928) joined the convoy at Freetown.

Escort was provided by the battlecruiser HMS Renown and the armed merchant cruiser Derbyshire. A/S escort was provided until 1800 hours 20 September 1941 by the destroyers HMS Velox and HMS Wrestler after which these returned to Freetown.

On 30 September the following ships put into Capetown escorted by HMS Derbyshire; Bhutan, City of Edinburgh, City of Manchester, Duchess of York, Glaucus, Glenorchy, Kina II, Largs Bay, Orontes, Viceroy of India and Nieuw Zeeland.

The other ships; Barrister, Empress of Australia, Manchester Progress, Mooltan, Otranto and Scythia arrived at Durban on 3 October escorted by HMS Repulse.

On 3 October 1941, Bhutan, City of Edinburgh, City of Manchester, Duchess of York, Glaucus, Glenorchy, Kina II, Largs Bay, Orontes, Viceroy of India and Nieuw Zeeland departed Capetown still escorted by HMS Derbyshire.

On 7 October 1941, Barrister, Manchester Progress, Mooltan, Otranto as well as the transports City of Canterbury (8331 GRT, built 1922), Dilwara (11080 GRT, built 1936), Eastern Prince (10926 GRT, built 1929), Johan de Witt (Dutch, 10474 GRT, built 1920), Llandaff Castle (10799 GRT, built 1926), Nieuw Holland (Dutch, 11066 GRT, built 1927) and Pulaski (Polish, 6516 GRT, built 1912). They were escorted by the battlecruiser Repulse until 13 October when she was relieved by HMS Ceres (Capt. H.H. McWilliam, RN). On 8 October these ships joined up with the ships coming from Capetown. HMS Derbyshire then left the convoy and returned to Capetown.

In the afternoon of 17 October 1941, HMS Glasgow (Capt. H. Hickling, DSO, RN) made rendez-vous with the convoy and then parted company taking the following ships with her; Barrister, City of Edinburgh, Duchess of York, Glaucius, Glenorchy, Johan de Witt, Kina II, Largs Bay, Orontes, Otranto, Nieuw Zeeland, Viceroy of India.

The other ships continued with HMS Ceres towards Aden where they arrived on 19 October 1941.

The ships taken over by HMS Glasgow proceeded to Bombay where they arrived on 22 October 1941. Three ships taken over by HMS Glasgow however were destined for Basra. One of these, the Barrister was unable to keep up with the convoy and was detached on 18 October. This ship arrived at Basra on 25 October. The other two ships destined for Basra, City of Edinburgh and Glenorchy were detached on 19 October and both arrived at Basra on 23 October 1941.

On 27 October 1941 the convoy departed Bombay for Colombo escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Hector (Capt.(Retd.) F. Howards, DSC, RN). The convoy was now made up of the transports; Glaucus, Johan de Witt, Kina II, Largs Bay, Nieuw Zeeland, Orion (23371 GRT, built 1935) and Ellenga (5196 GRT, built 1911).

They arrived at Colombo on 30 October 1941, minus the Kina II which was detached on 29 October and proceeded independently to Trincomalee.

On 31 October 1941 the convoy, now made up of Ellenga, Glaucus, Johan de Witt, Largs Bay, Nieuw Zeeland Orion and Rangitiki (16698 GRT, built 1929) departed Colombo for Singapore. The convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Mauritius (Capt. W.D. Stephens, RN). They arrived at Singapore on 6 November 1941. (2)

29 Aug 1942
HMS H 43 (Lt. J.C.Y. Roxburgh, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Pelican (Cdr. G.V. Gladstone, RN), HMS Sennen (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Abram, RN), HMS Narcissus (Lt. W.G.H. Bolton, RNR), HMS Heather (T/Lt. W.L. Turner, RNR) and FFS Renoncule. (3)

30 Aug 1942
HMS H 43 (Lt. J.C.Y. Roxburgh, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Pelican (Cdr. G.V. Gladstone, RN) and HMS Sennen (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Abram, RN). (3)

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). (4)

14 Feb 1943
HMS H 44 (Lt. I.S. McIntosh, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Harvester (Cdr. A.A. Tait, DSO, RN), HMS Pelican (Cdr. J.G. Gould, RN), HMS Sennen (Lt.Cdr. F.H. Thornton, RNR), HMS Wear and HMS Rother (Lt.Cdr. R.V.E. Case, DSC and Bar, RD, RNR). (5)

14 Apr 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. J.A. Spender, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Wear (), HMS Sunflower (A/Lt.Cdr. J. Plomer, RCNVR), HMCS Kenogami (T/Lt. J.L. Percy, RCNVR), HMS Sennen (Lt.Cdr. F.H. Thornton, DSC, RNR), HMS Pelican (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN) and HMS Spey (Cdr. H.G. Boys-Smith, DSO and Bar, DSC, RD, RNR). (6)

19 May 1943
German U-boat U-954 was sunk in the North Atlantic south-east of Cape Farewell, Greenland in position 54°54'N, 34°19'W, by depth charges from the British frigate HMS Jed (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Freaker, DSO, RNR) and the British sloop HMS Sennen (Lt.Cdr. F.H. Thornton, DSC, RNR).

5 Sep 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. D.G. Kent, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Westcott (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) H. Lambton, RN), HMS Pennywort (A/Lt.Cdr. O.G. Stuart, RCNVR) and HMS Sennen (Lt.Cdr. F.H. Thornton, DSC, RNR). (7)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/16783
  2. ADM 199/1138
  3. ADM 173/17252
  4. ADM 173/17790
  5. ADM 173/17813
  6. ADM 173/17781
  7. ADM 173/17786

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


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