Allied Warships

HMS Puckeridge (L 108)

Escort destroyer of the Hunt (Type II) class


Photo from Imperial War Museum (IWM), FL-13926

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeEscort destroyer
ClassHunt (Type II) 
PennantL 108 
Built byJ.S. White & Co. (Cowes, U.K.) 
Ordered4 Sep 1939 
Laid down1 Jan 1940 
Launched6 Mar 1941 
Commissioned30 Jul 1941 
Lost6 Sep 1943 
Loss position36° 06'N, 4° 44'W
History

Around 2015 hours on 6 September 1943 HMS Puckeridge (Lt. John Cecil Cartwright, DSC, RN) was hit by two of four torpedoes fired by the German submarine U-617 and sank about 40 nautical miles east of Gibraltar in position 36º06'N, 04º44'W. HMS Puckeridge was en route alone taking important messages to Oran. 129 men were rescued and 62 men were lost with the ship.

 

Hit by U-boat
Sunk on 6 Sep 1943 by U-617 (Brandi).

U-boat AttackSee our U-boat attack entry for the HMS Puckeridge

Commands listed for HMS Puckeridge (L 108)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

CommanderFromTo
1Lt. Herbert Bernard Acworth, RN25 Jun 1941early 1942

2Lt. John Cecil Cartwright, DSC, RN5 Jun 19426 Sep 1943

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Notable events involving Puckeridge include:


25 Aug 1941
HMS Prince of Wales (Capt. J.C. Leach, MVO, RN) conducted RD/F exercises to the west of Scapa Flow together with HMS Repulse (Capt. W.G. Tennant, CB, MVO, RN), HMS Euryalus (Capt. E.W. Bush, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMS Lively (Lt.Cdr. W.F.E. Hussey, DSC, RN).

During these exercises Prince of Wales was escorted by HMS Lamerton (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Simms, RN), HMS Puckeridge (Lt. H.B. Acworth, RN) and HMS Badsworth (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, DSC and Bar, OBE, RN). (1)

27 Aug 1941
Around 0100 hours the light cruiser HMS Euryalus (Capt. E.W. Bush, DSO, DSC, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Puckeridge (Lt. H.B. Acworth, RN) departed Scapa Flow. They joined the battleship HMS Malaya (Capt. C. Coppinger, DSC, RN), which came from Rosyth, off May Island to escort her to Scapa Flow. The destroyer HMS Punjabi (Cdr. S.A. Buss, MVO, RN) had departed Rosyth HMS Malaya and was also bound for Scapa Flow escorting the battleship on the way. (2)

10 Sep 1941
HMS Prince of Wales (Capt. J.C. Leach, MVO, RN) conducted exercises to the west of Scapa Flow together with HMS Kenya (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, RN).

During these exerices Prince of Wales was escorted by HMS Laforey (Capt. R.M.J. Hutton, DSO, RN), HMS Lamerton (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Simms, RN), HMS Puckeridge (Lt. H.B. Acworth, RN) and HMS Badsworth (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, DSC and Bar, OBE, RN). (3)

13 Dec 1941
HMS Puckeridge (Lt. H.B. Acworth, RN) was attacked and damaged by German aircraft in the Irish Sea. 18 crew were killed and 20 were wounded. The ship was towed back to Pembroke Dock. Repairs were completed in mid-August 1942.

6 Nov 1942
'Force H' made up of HMS Nelson, HrMs Isaac Sweers (Capt. W. Harmsen, RNN), HMS Porcupine (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN), HMS Brilliant (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Poe, RN), HMS Boadicea (Lt.Cdr. F.C. Brodrick, RN), HMS Avon Vale (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, DSO, RN), HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN), HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN) and HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN) arrived at Gibraltar.

While taking up her berth HMS Nelson fouled the merchant vessel Empire Gawain and the minesweepers HMS Bude (Lt. F.A.J. Andrew, RN) and HMS Brixham (Lt. G.A. Simmers, RNR). HMS Nelson sustained some minor damage. (4)

18 Jan 1943
HMS Sturgeon (Lt. A.W. Langridge, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Mers el Kebir with ORP Blyscawica (Lt.Cdr. L. Lichodziejewski, ORP) and HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN). (5)

24 Jan 1943
HMS Sturgeon (Lt. A.W. Langridge, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Mers el Kebir with HMS Haydon (Lt. R.C. Watkin, RN) and HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN). (5)

4 Feb 1943
HMS Sturgeon (Lt. A.W. Langridge, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Mers el Kebir with ORP Blyscawica (Lt.Cdr. L. Lichodziejewski, ORP) and HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN). (6)

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.

Media links


U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor


amazon.co.uk
(£ 38.25)

Sources

  1. ADM 53/114891
  2. ADM 53/114606
  3. ADM 53/114892
  4. ADM 199/662
  5. ADM 173/18142
  6. ADM 173/18143

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


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