HMS Imperialist (FY 126)
|Navy||The Royal Navy|
|Class||[No specific class]|
|Built by||Smiths Dock Co., Ltd. (South Bank-on-Tees, U.K.)|
|Launched||23 Dec 1938|
Completed in January 1939.
Returned to her owner in October 1945.
Commands listed for HMS Imperialist (FY 126)
Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.
|1||Lt.Cdr. York McLeod Cleeves, RD, RNR||2 Oct 1939||24 Apr 1940|
|2||T/Lt. Philip Edward Kitto, RNR||24 Apr 1940||mid 1942|
|3||T/Lt. Frank Maurice Phillips, RNVR||mid 1942||Oct 1942|
|4||T/Lt. Arthur Rex Fawkener Pelling, RNR||Oct 1942||24 May 1943|
|5||T/A/Lt.Cdr. Bryan Humfrey Craig Rodgers, RNVR||24 May 1943||7 Nov 1944|
|6||T/Lt. Leslie George Harry Mole, RNVR||7 Nov 1944|
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Notable events involving Imperialist include:
6 Nov 1942
On 6 November 1942, ' Force H ' was (re)assambled at sea to the east of Gibraltar to provide cover during the landings in North-Africa.
Around 0430Z/6, the aircraft carriers HMS Victorious (Capt. H.C. Bovell, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Rear Admiral A.L.St.G. Lyster, CB, CVO, DSO, RN), HMS Formidable (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN), light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN), destroyers HMS Boadicea (Lt.Cdr. F.C. Brodrick, RN), HMS Brilliant (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Poe, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Avon Vale (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, DSO, RN), HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN), HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN) and HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN) entered the Mediterranean.
They were then joined by ships coming from Gibraltar (Bay), these were the battleships HMS Duke of York (Capt. G.E. Creasy, DSO, RN, flying the flag of flying the flag of Vice-Admiral E.N. Syfret, CB, RN), HMS Rodney (Capt. J.W. Rivett-Carnac, DSC, RN), battlecruiser HMS Renown (Capt. C.S. Daniel, CBE, DSO, RN), light cruiser HMS Argonaut (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN), destroyers HMS Milne (Capt. I.M.R. Campbell, RN), HMS Martin (Cdr. C.R.P. Thomson, DSO, RN), HMS Meteor (Lt.Cdr. D.J.B. Jewitt, RN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN), HMS Quentin (Lt.Cdr. A.H.P. Noble, DSC, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN), HMS Panther (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Jocelyn, RN), HMS Pathfinder (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Partridge (Lt.Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, DSC, OBE, RN), HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN), HMS Opportune (Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Lookout (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Forman, DSC, RN), HMS Ashanti (Cdr. R.G. Onslow, DSO, RN), HMS Eskimo (Capt. J.W.M. Eaton, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Tartar (Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN), HMS Beagle (Cdr. R.C. Medley, DSO, RN), HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN) and HMS Bulldog (Cdr. M. Richmond, OBE, DSO, RN).
HMS Boadicea, HMS Brilliant, HMS Avon Vale, HMS Calpe, HMS Farndale and HMS Puckeridge were then detached to Gibraltar where they arrived around 0615Z/6.
Around 0900Z/6, the light cruiser HMS Sirius (Capt. P.W.B. Brooking, RN) joined.
The orders for ' Force H ' were to support the Eastern (Algiers) and Centre Task Forces (Oran) and their follow-up convoys (TE and TF) agains seaborne attack by Vichy-French or Italian Mediterranean Fleets. ' Force H ' was not to proceed eastwards of 04°30'E except to engage the enemy. Unless strong enemy forces were reported to be at sea, HMS Rodney, escorted by HMS Beagle, HMS Boreas, HMS Bulldog were to join the Centre Task Force at 0600Z/8. HMS Bermuda might also be detached but to join the Eastern Task Force. ' Force H ' was to refuel from ' Force R ' at sea if necessary, but if the military situation permitted, it would withdraw to the westward to refuel, possibly at Oran about 13 November, in immediate readiness for further operations. Force R ' was made up of the RFA tankers Dingledale (8145 GRT, built 1941, master R.T. Duthie) and Brown Ranger (3417 GRT, built 1941, master D.B.C. Ralph). Escort was provided by the corvette HMS Coreopsis (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Davies, RNVR) and four A/S trawlers, HMS Arctic Ranger (Skr. J.F. Banks, RNR), HMS Imperialist (T/Lt. A.R.F. Pelling, RNR), HMS Loch Oskaig (T/Lt. G.T.S. Clampitt, RNR) and HMS St. Nectan (Lt. J.B. Osborne, RANVR).
Around 1730Z/7, ' Force H ' was attacked by enemy aircraft in position 37°46'N, 02°52'E. HMS Panther was near missed and sustained damage. She had to return to Gibraltar, first steaming only 6 knots but later this could be increased to 14 knots. En-route she sighted an enemy submarine in position 37°46'N, 02°12'E and forced it to dive. This was U-458 which fired two torpedoes but apparently these were not sighted by the British. HMS Panther arrived at Gibraltar in the afternoon of November 8th.
At 1810Z/7, HMS Rodney, HMS Beagle, HMS Boreas and HMS Bulldog parted company with ' Force H ' to join the Centre Task Force. HMS Bermuda appeared to also have parted company around this time.
' Force H ' and the fuelling force, ' Force R ', cruised in the area of Algiers until 1830Z/8 when ' Force H ' turned north. It turned back at midnight when in position 39°00'N, 02°29'E and patrolled off Algiers again during the 9th. During the night of 9/10 November it steamed eastwards at 60 miles from the North-African coast, turning back 30 miles to the east of Bougie at midnight.
Shortly before 0300Z/10 (0252Z/10 according to German sources and 0258Z/10 according to British sources) the destroyer HMS Martin was torpedoed and sunk in position 37°53'N, 03°57'E by the German submarine U-431. 161 officers and ratings lost their lives. 4 Officers and 59 ratings were picked up by HMS Quentin.
By noon on 10 November ' Force H ' was in position 37°08'N, 01°36'E, between Algiers and Tenez, with ' Force R ' close at hand. From then onwards ' Force H ' patrolled 60 miles from the coast between Algiers and Cape Tenez.
' Force H ' was joined around 0630Z/12 by HMS Rodney and her destroyer screen now made of of the escort destroyers HMS Calpe, HMS Farndale and HMS Puckeridge.
Late in the evening of the 11th the destroyers HMS Porcupine (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and HrMs Isaac Sweers (Capt. W. Harmsen, RNN) departed Gibaltar to join ' Force H '. Before joining they fuelled from ' Force R ' in the evening of the 12th. They had been ordered to remain with ' Force R ' during the night to reinforce its escort and then join ' Force H ' after dawn on the 13th. However before the joined, HrMs Isaac Sweers was torpedoed and sunk by U-431, so only HMS Porcupine joined ' Force H ' early on the 13th.
At 0615Z/14 ' Force H ' split up to return to Gibraltar; HMS Duke of York, HMS Formidable, HMS Bermuda, HMS Argonaut, HMS Sirius, HMS Eskimo, HMS Ashanti, HMS Tartar, HMS Opportune, HMS Partridge, HMS Pathfinder, HMS Penn and HMS Porcupine arrived at Gibraltar around 0130Z/15.
HMS Rodney, HMS Renown, HMS Victorious, HMS Milne, HMS Meteor, HMS Quality, HMS Quentin, HMAS Quiberon, HMS Lookout, HMS Calpe, HMS Farndale and HMS Puckeridge formed the other group. They were joined at 0630Z/15 by HMS Scylla (Capt. I.A.P. Macintyre, CBE, RN) and HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN). They returned to Gibraltar around 1800Z/15 but HMS Rodney was not able to berth and had to steam up and down in Gibraltar Bay until late in the evening when she anchorded there. The destroyers HMS Pathfinder, HMS Penn, HMS Opportune and HMS Tartar were sent out to patrol to the seaward of the Bay.
12 Nov 1942
In the evening of 12 November 1942 HrMs Isaac Sweers (Capt. W. Harmsen, RNN) and HMS Porcupine (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) both fuelled from 'Force R' which was made up of the tankers Dingledale (8145 GRT, built 1941, master R.T. Duthie) and Brown Ranger (3417 GRT, built 1941, master D.B.C. Ralph). Escort for this force was provided by the corvette HMS Coreopsis (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Davies, RNVR) and four A/S trawlers, HMS Arctic Ranger (Skr. J.F. Banks, RNR), HMS Imperialist (T/Lt. A.R.F. Pelling, RNR), HMS Loch Oskaig (T/Lt. G.T.S. Clampitt, RNR) and HMS St. Nectan (Lt. J.B. Osborne, RANVR).
The destroyers were to join 'Force H' at sea but were ordered to remain with 'Force R' during the night.
31 Oct 1943
German U-boat U-732 was sunk in the Strait of Gibraltar north of Tangier, in position 35°54'N, 05°52'W, by depth charges from the British A/S trawler HMS Imperialist (T/A/Lt.Cdr. B.H.C. Rodgers, RNVR) and the British destroyer HMS Douglas (Lt.Cdr. K.H.J.L. Phibbs, RN).
24 Dec 1944
HMS Upshot (Lt. A.J. Boyall, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Hare (Lt. C.H. Hilliard, RNZNVR), HMS Wave (Lt.Cdr. T.R. Fowke, RN), HMS Seabear (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.R. Patton, RNVR) and HMS Imperialist (T/Lt. L.G.H. Mole, RNVR). (1)
27 Dec 1944
HMS Vitality (Lt. K.S. Renshaw, DSC, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Eday (T/Lt. G.G. Chisholm, RNVR), HMS Imperialist (T/Lt. L.G.H. Mole, RNVR), HMS Loch Craggie (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.L.L. Davies, RNVR) and HMS St. Helena (T/A/Lt.Cdr. W.G. Pardoe-Matthews, RNR). (2)
31 Dec 1944
HMS Upshot (Lt. A.J. Boyall, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Imperialist (T/Lt. L.G.H. Mole, RNVR), HMS Wave (Lt.Cdr. T.R. Fowke, RN) and HMS Oakham Castle (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.H. Lyons, RNVR). (1)
7 Mar 1945
HMS Vampire (Lt. C.W. Taylor, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Gibraltar with HMS Imperialist (T/Lt. L.G.H. Mole, RNVR), HMS Kingston Chrysolite (A/Skr.Lt. C. Pennington, RNR) and aircraft. (3)
- ADM 173/19302
- ADM 173/19424
- ADM 173/20231
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.