HMS Northern Spray (FY 129)
|Navy||The Royal Navy|
|Class||[No specific class]|
|Built by||Deschimag (Bremerhaven, Germany)|
|Loss position||66° 29'N, 23° 06'W|
Completed in 1936.
Returned to her owner in September 1945.
Hit by U-boat
|U-boat Attack||See our U-boat attack entry for the HMS Northern Spray|
Commands listed for HMS Northern Spray (FY 129)
Please note that we're still working on this section.
|1||Lt.Cdr. Alan Douglas Bruford, RNVR||22 Sep 1939||1 Jan 1940|
|2||Lt.Cdr. Dermod James Boris Jewitt, RN||1 Jan 1940||1 Jul 1940|
|3||Lt. Hugh Parker Crail, RNR||1 Jul 1940||Apr 1941|
|4||T/Lt. Geoffrey Thomas Gilbert, RNVR||Apr 1941||Dec 1942|
|5||Lt. Francis Arthur John Downer, RNR||Dec 1942||12 Nov 1943|
|6||T/Lt. Richard Charles Lees, RNR||12 Nov 1943||23 Nov 1943|
|7||Lt. Francis Arthur John Downer, RNR||23 Nov 1943||Nov 1944|
|8||T/Lt. Geoffrey John Younghusband Thorpe, RNVR||Nov 1944|
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Notable events involving Northern Spray include:
16 Jul 1940
HMS Tigris (Lt.Cdr. H.F. Bone, RN) departed from Rothesay for her 1st war patrol, escorted by HMS Northern Spray (Lt. H.P. Crail, RNR) until 2140/17. She was ordered to patrol in the Bay of Biscay. (1)
30 Nov 1941
HMS H 50 (Lt. E.T. Stanley, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Rochester (Cdr.(Retd.) C.B. Allen, RN), HMS Northern Spray (T/Lt. G.T. Gilbert, RNVR), HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Hulton, RN) and HMS Newport. (3)
28 Feb 1942
HrMs O 10 (Lt. Baron D.T. Mackay, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Northern Spray (T/Lt. G.T. Gilbert, RNVR), HMS Saladin (Lt.Cdr. G.V. Legassick, RNR) and HMS Veteran (Cdr. W.E.J. Eames, DSC, RN). (4)
4 May 1943
HMS Northern Spray (Lt. F.A.J. Downer, DSC, RNR) was part of the escort of convoy ONS-5. At about 2000hours, U-707 surfaced after letting the convoy pass overhead, and fired a salvo of three torpedoes, hitting British merchant North Britain. Northern Spray hurried to assist, but the merchant sunk in 69 seconds, and could only pick up 11 survivors. Later on, U-628 was the attacker. After weaving unseen past the escorts, she fired a salvo of torpedoes aimed at five targets, but scored only one hit, at the British merchant Harbury. As she was settling by the stern, the skipper (Cpt. W.E. Cook) gave the order to abandon ship, and it was again Northern Spray that came to the rescue, picking up 42 survivors (7 were missing). Later, U-264 took over in attack, and hit two ships: The American West Maximus (5.561 ton), and British Harperly. Northern Spray rescued 56 survivors from lifeboats of the former (4 crewmen were missing), and 38 from the second. The by then overcrowded Northern Spray was ordered to disengage from the convoy and make for St. John's, which she did safely on May 8th. (5)
After a few hours Northern Spray reports that her Asdic is out of commission and both ships returned to Scapa Flow. (6)
12 Dec 1944
HMS Truculent (Lt. E.C. Croswell, DSC, RN) and her escort HMS Northern Spray (T/Lt. G.J.Y. Thorpe, RNVR) arrive at St. John's, Canada. En-route damage was done to both ships in very heavy weather. (6)
- ADM 199/1845
- ADM 173/16780
- ADM 173/16795
- File 2.12.03.6378 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
- Personal communication
- ADM 173/18993
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.