Allied Warships

HMS Asphodel (K 56)

Corvette of the Flower class


Photo from Imperial War Museum (IWM), FL-1109

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeCorvette
ClassFlower 
PennantK 56 
Built byGeorge Brown & Co. (Greenock, Scotland): Kincaid 
Ordered25 Jul 1939 
Laid down20 Oct 1939 
Launched25 May 1940 
Commissioned11 Sep 1940 
Lost10 Mar 1944 
Loss position45° 24'N, 18° 09'W
History

At 0154 hours on 10 March 1944 the German submarine U-575 attacked convoy SL-150, which was combined with convoy MKS-41 and sank HMS Asphodel (T/Lt. Michael Albert Halliday, RNZNR) with a Gnat torpedo in position 45º24'N, 18º09'W. Only five survivors out of a crew of 97 were picked up by the British corvette HMS Clover.

 

Hit by U-boat
Sunk on 10 Mar 1944 by U-575 (Boehmer).

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

Commands listed for HMS Asphodel (K 56)

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

CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. (retired) Kenneth Warden Stewart, RN14 Aug 19406 Sep 1942
2Lt. Henry Patterson Carse, DSC, RNVR6 Sep 19421 Feb 1944
3T/Lt. Michael Albert Halliday, RNZNR1 Feb 194410 Mar 1944 (+)

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Notable events involving Asphodel include:


23 Sep 1940
HMS H 50 (Lt. G.V. Prowse, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Asphodel (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) K.W. Stewart, RN) and HMS Heliotrope (Lt.Cdr. J. Jackson, RNR). (1)

26 Sep 1940
HMS H 50 (Lt. G.V. Prowse, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Erin (T/Lt. W.G. Swanston, RNVR) and HMS Asphodel (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) K.W. Stewart, RN). (1)

10 May 1941

Convoy SL 74

This convoy departed Freetown on 10 May 1941 for the U.K. where it was dissolved on 4 June 1941.

It was made up of the following merchant ships;
Afghanistan (British, 6992 GRT, built 1940), Aliakmon (Greek, 4521 GRT, built 1913) retuned 11-04 after collision with Zephyros, Amstelkerk (Dutch, 4457 GRT, built 1929), Anselm (British, 5954 GRT, built 1935), Arosa (Norwegian, 5043 GRT, built 1924), Benalder (British, 5161 GRT, built 1919), Bonita (Panamanian, 4929 GRT, built 1918), City of Lyons (British, 7063 GRT, built 1926), Clan MacNair (British, 6096 GRT, built 1921), Corvus (Norwegian, 1317 GRT, built 1921), Empire Success (British, 5988 GRT, built 1921), Empire Trader (British, 9990 GRT, built 1908), Evros (Greek, 5283 GRT, built 1918), Gamaria (British, 5255 GRT, built 1918), Glenstrae (British, 9460 GRT, built 1922), Holmside (British, 3433 GRT, built 1930), Koumoundouros (Greek, 3598 GRT, built 1925), Liberian (British, 5129 GRT, built 1936), Llandaff (British, 4825 GRT, built 1937), Linge (Dutch, 2114 GRT, built 1928), Marsa (British, 4405 GRT, built 1928), Melpomene (French, 7011 GRT, built 1923), Nagara (British, 8791 GRT, built 1919), Nicolas Pateras (Greek, 4362 GRT, built 1910), Norita (Swedish, 1516 GRT, built 1924), Olivebank (British, 5154 GRT, built 1926), Olympos (Greek, 5216 GRT, built 1918), P.L.M. 17 (French, 4008 GRT, built 1922) left the convoy on 20 May with engine trouble, Pendeen (British, 4174 GRT, built 1923), Queensbury (British, 3911 GRT, built 1931), Rosenberg (Dutch, 2068 GRT, built 1918), Saturnus (Dutch, 2741 GRT, built 1909), Scotia (Swedish, 1874 GRT, built 1918), Shahristan (British, 6935 GRT, built 1938), Southern Empress (British, 12398 GRT, built 1914), Taurus (Norwegian, 4767 GRT, built 1925), Tombouctou (French, 5636 GRT, built 1919), Tovelil (Danish, 2225 GRT, built 1925), Trentbank (British, 5060 GRT, built 1929), Tudor Star (British, 7199 GRT, built 1919), Vassilios A. Polemis (Greek, 3429 GRT, built 1907), Viking Star (British, 6445 GRT, built 1920), Waterland (Dutch, 6847 GRT, built 1922), Wentworth (British, 5212 GRT, built 1919) and Zephyros (Greek, 4796 GRT, built 1909).

Escort was initially provided by the British armed merchant cruiser HMS Bulolo (Capt.(Retd.) R.L. Hamer, RN) (10 May 1941 to 3 June 1941) and the corvettes HMS Amaranthus (Lt. N.B.J. Stapleton, RNR), HMS Anchusa (T/Lt. P. Everett-Price, DSC, RNR), HMS Asphodel (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) K.W. Stewart, RN) and HMS Calendula (Lt.Cdr. A.D. Bruford, RNVR). (All from 10 May 1941 to 19 May 1941). They were joined on 12 May 1941 by the heavy cruiser HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. B.C.S. Martin, RN).

On 26 May 1941, HMS Dorsetshire parted company with the convoy to join the pursuit of the German battleship Bismarck. She succeeded in making contact on the next day he delivered the coup de grace to her and torpedoed the heavily damaged German battleship from both sides and she sank soon afterwards. HMS Dorsetshire picked up German survivors until she was forced to leave the scene after a U-Boat alarm. More survivors had to be left in the water.

The convoy was joined by more escorts for the passage through the Western Approaces, these were;
Destroyer HMS Reading (Lt.Cdr. D.V. Clift, RN) and the corvettes HMS Gentian (Lt.Cdr. R.O. Yeomans, RD, RNR), HMS Hibiscus (Lt. H. Roach, RNR), HMS Pimpernel (Lt. F.H. Thornton, RNR), HMS Rhododendron (Lt.Cdr. W.N.M. Faichney, DSO, RNR). These ships all joined on 30 May 1941 and remained with the convoy until it was dissolved on 4 June 1941. The destroyers HMS Vanquisher (Cdr. N.V. Dickinson, DSC, RN) and HMS Winchelsea (Lt.Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, DSC, RN) also joined on 30 May but left the convoy on 2 June 1941. Finally the corvette HMS Freesia (T/Lt. R.A. Cherry, RNR) joined the convoy on 31 May and remained with it until dissolved on 4 June 1941.

21 Oct 1941
The British merchant Serbino is torpedoed and sunk west of Fastnet in position 51°10'N, 19°20'W by German U-boat U-82. HMS Asphodel (Lt.Cdr. K.W. Stewart, (retired), RN) later picks up 51 survivors.

17 Jan 1942
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.S. Stevens, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Asphodel (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) K.W. Stewart, RN), HMS Snowflake (Lt. H.G. Chesterman, RNR), HMS Arabis (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Stewart, DSC, RNR) and HMS Dahlia (T/Lt. M.S. Work, RNR). (2)

10 Apr 1942
HrMs O 10 (Lt. J.H. Geijs, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Georgetown (Lt.Cdr. P.G. MacIver, RNR), HMS Salisbury (Lt.Cdr. M.H.R. Crichton, RN), HMS Asphodel (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) K.W. Stewart, RN), HMS Rockingham (Lt.Cdr. A.H.T. Johns, RN), USS Temptress (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Kirvan, USN) and USS Restless (Lt. E.C. Long, USN). (3)

28 May 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Clover (Lt.Cdr. F.A. Shaw, RNR), HMS Daneman (T/Lt. G.O.T.D. Henderson, RNVR), HMS Highlander (Cdr. S. Boucher, RN) and HMS Asphodel (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) K.W. Stewart, RN). (4)

29 May 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Daneman (T/Lt. G.O.T.D. Henderson, RNVR), HMS Highlander (Cdr. S. Boucher, RN), HMS Asphodel (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) K.W. Stewart, RN), USS Spry (Lt. M.W. Firth, USN) and HMS Pennyworth (T/Lt. R.A. Mason, RNVR). (4)

8 Aug 1942
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.R. Drummond, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Clover (Lt.Cdr. F.A. Shaw, RNR), HMS Asphodel (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) K.W. Stewart, RN) and HMS Abelia (T/Lt. F. Ardern, RNR). (5)

1 Dec 1942
HMS H 34 (Lt. G.M. Noll, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Anemone (Lt.Cdr. P.G.A. King, RD, RNR), HMS Abelia (T/Lt. F. Ardern, RNR), HMS Asphodel (Lt. H.P. Carse, DSC, RNVR) and HMS Clover (Lt.Cdr. F.A. Shaw, RNR). (6)

2 Dec 1942
HMS H 34 (Lt. G.M. Noll, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Beagle (Cdr. R.C. Medley, DSO, RN), HMS Asphodel (Lt. H.P. Carse, DSC, RNVR), HMCS Louisburg (Lt.Cdr. W.F. Campbell, RCNVR), HMCS Calgary (T/Lt. H.K. Hill, RCNVR), HMS Burnham (Lt.Cdr. T. Taylor, DSC, RN) and HMS Watchman (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Rodgers, RN). (6)

3 Feb 1943
HMS Asphodel (Lt.Cdr. H.P. Carse, DSC, RNVR) picks up 16 survivors from the British tanker Inverilen that is torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-456 in the North Atlantic south of Iceland in position 56°35'N, 23°30'W.

22 Apr 1943
HMS Asphodel (Lt.Cdr. H.P. Carse, DSC, RNVR) picks up 54 survivors from the British merchant Amerika that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-306 in the north Atlantic, south of Cape Farewell in position 57°30'N, 42°50'W.

19 Jun 1943
HMS P 511 (Lt. C.W. Taylor, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Fishguard (Lt.Cdr. H.L. Pryse, RNR), HMS Clare (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Stewart, DSC, RD, RNR or Lt.Cdr. G.S. Grant, RNR), HMS Pennyworth (Lt. O.G. Stuart, RCNVR), HMS Winchelsea (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Gregorie, RD, RNR), HMS Highlander (Cdr. E.C.L. Day, RN), HMS Asphodel (Lt. H.P. Carse, DSC, RNVR) and HMS Clover (Lt. P.H. Grieves, RNR). (7)

5 Sep 1943
HMS H 28 (Lt. E.C. Croswell, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Walker (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Rowell, RN) and HMS Asphodel (Lt.Cdr. H.P. Carse, DSC, RNVR). (8)

Media links


U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor


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Sources

  1. ADM 173/16332
  2. ADM 173/17209
  3. File 2.12.03.6379 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  4. ADM 173/17201
  5. ADM 173/17216
  6. ADM 173/17244
  7. ADM 173/17925
  8. ADM 173/17762

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


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