Allied Warships

HMS Gentian (K 90)

Corvette of the Flower class

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantK 90 
Built byHarland & Wolff Ltd. (Belfast, Northern Ireland) 
Ordered19 Sep 1939 
Laid down20 Apr 1940 
Launched6 Aug 1940 
Commissioned20 Sep 1940 
End service 

HMS Gentian is not listed as active unit in the July 1945 Navy List

Scrapped at Purfleet on 21 August 1947.


Commands listed for HMS Gentian (K 90)

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and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1Lt.Cdr. Roy Oswald Yeomans, RD, RNR20 Aug 194010 Oct 1941
2Lt. Frederick Meares Osborne, DSC, RANVR10 Oct 194128 Feb 1943
3T/A/Lt.Cdr. Edward William Charles Dempster, RNVR28 Feb 194325 Jul 1944
4T/Lt. Frederick Robert Max Greasley, RNR25 Jul 194420 Feb 1945
5T/Lt. John Sydney Hamilton Lloyd, RNVR20 Feb 1945mid 1945

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Notable events involving Gentian include:

15 Jan 1941

Convoy HX 103.

This convoy departed Halifax on 15 January 1941 for Liverpool where it arrived on 1 February 1941.

Upon departure from Halifax the convoy was made up of the following merchant ships: Botusk (British, 3091 GRT, built 1919), Emmaplein (Dutch, 5436 GRT, built 1926), Gandia (Belgian, 9629 GRT, built 1907), Gard (Norwegian (tanker), 8259 GRT, built 1938), Jean Jadot (Belgian, 5859 GRT, built 1929), King William (British, 5274 GRT, built 1928) and Trehata (British, 4817 GRT, built 1928).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN), the destroyer HMCS Restigouche (Cdr. H.N. Lay, OBE, RN) and the corvette HMCS Arrowhead (T/Lt. V.H. Torraville, RCNR).

The destroyer and the corvette parted company with the convoy on the 16th and returned to Halifax.

On 18 January convoy BHX 103 coming from Bermuda merged with convoy HX 103. Convoy BHX 103 had been made up of the merchant vessels Athelfoam (British (tanker), 6554 GRT, built 1931), Dolabella (British (tanker), 8142 GRT, built 1939), Empire Shearwater (British, 4970 GRT, built 1920), Mamura (Dutch (tanker), 8245 GRT, built 1932) and Mijdrecht (Dutch (tanker), 7493 GRT, built 1931). It had departed Bermuda on 13 January 1941 and had been escorted to the rendez-vous position by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Montclare (Capt.(Retd.) H.M. Spreckley, RN) which was then detached.

The battleship parted company with the convoy on 26 January and then returned to Halifax.

On 27 January 1941 the destroyer HMS Vanquisher (Lt. A.P. Northey, DSC, RN) and corvettes HMS Gentian (Lt.Cdr. R.O. Yeomans, RD, RNR) and HMS Verbena (Lt.Cdr. D.A. Rayner, DSC, RNVR) joined the convoy but they were detached later the same day. On 28 January 1941 the destroyers HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, DSC, RN), HMS Whitehall (Lt.Cdr. A.B. Russell, RN) and HMS Winchelsea (Lt.Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, DSC, RN) joined the convoy. They were detached on 31 January 1941.

The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 1 February 1941, apparently unescorted.

Two merchant vessels were lost when the convoy ran into the British minefield SN 2 (north-west of Rona Island, in approximate position 59°08'N, 05°52'W) on 31 January 1941. These were the Botusk and Emmaplein.

23 Apr 1941
At 0800 hours, in position 41°58'N, 23°01'W, HrMs O 24 (Lt.Cdr. O. de Booy, RNN) left convoy HG 59 escorted by the British corvette HMS Gentian (Lt.Cdr. R.O. Yeomans, RD, RNR). O 24 was to join convoy OG 59. (1)

24 Apr 1941
At 1030 hours, HrMs O 24 (Lt.Cdr. O. de Booy, RNN) left her escort, the British corvette HMS Gentian (Lt.Cdr. R.O. Yeomans, RD, RNR), in position 46°20'N, 21°44'W. Convoy OG 59 was however still not sighted so O 24 made the passage to Gibraltar independently along the convoy track. (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).

At 1300N/13, in approximate position 13°07'N, 19°22'W, HMS Bulolo sighted a ship which turned out to be the Vichy-French transport Bourbonnais (4484 GRT, built 1914). The ship was ordered to stop but she refused to do so initially. A shot was fired across her bow which resulted in the ship to stop. She was then boarded. It turned out that she was en-route from Dakar to Tamatave with stores and 400 native troops. HMS Bulolo and the Vichy ship then remained in the general area while the light cruiser HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) was sent out from Freetown to take her over and then escort her to Freetown so that HMS Bulolo could rejoin the convoy. HMS Dragon joined around 0930N/14 and the Vichy ship was then turned over to her custody.

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 (Lt.Cdr. T.P.G. Crick, RN) joined the convoy on 31 May and remained with it until dissolved on 4 June 1941.

5 Sep 1942
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.R. Drummond, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Clematis (T/Lt. C. Morrison-Payne, RNVR) and HMS Gentian (Lt. F.M. Osborne, DSC, RANVR). (2)

31 Oct 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. D.G. Kent, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Gentian (T/A/Lt.Cdr. E.W.C. Dempster, RNVR). (3)

1 Nov 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. D.G. Kent, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with USS Cormorant, HMS Gentian (T/A/Lt.Cdr. E.W.C. Dempster, RNVR) and aircraft. (4)

2 Nov 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. D.G. Kent, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Gentian (T/A/Lt.Cdr. E.W.C. Dempster, RNVR) and aircraft. (4)

29 Feb 1944
HMS H 34 (Lt. R.L. Jay, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Edmundston (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.D. Barrett, RCNR), HMS Mourne (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Holland, RD, RNR), HMS Gentian (T/A/Lt.Cdr. E.W.C. Dempster, RNVR), HMS Gardiner (Lt. W.G.H. Bolton, DSC, RNR), HMS Clematis (T/Lt. R.H. Farrands, DSC, RNR) and one other vessel [unable to read the name in the log of HMS H 34]. (5)


  1. ADM 199/1879
  2. ADM 173/17217
  3. ADM 173/17787
  4. ADM 173/17788
  5. ADM 173/18492

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

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