Allied Warships

HMS Buccaneer (W 49)

Rescue Tug of the Brigand class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeRescue Tug
PennantW 49 
Built byFleming & Ferguson Ltd. (Paisley, Scotland) 
Laid down 
Launched7 Sep 1937 
CommissionedFeb 1938 
Lost26 Aug 1946 

HMS Buccaneer was sunk on 26 August 1946 by an accidental hit from a shell during target practice.


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Notable events involving Buccaneer include:

4 Oct 1939
HMS Caledon (Capt. C.P. Clark, RN) departed Scapa Flow for the Northern Patrol. She is ordered to patrol between Iceland and the Faeroer Islands.

On leaving Scapa Flow she conducted gunnery exercises on a target that was being towed by the tug HMS Buccaneer. (1)

11 May 1940
Around 2330/10, a convoy of ships departed Skjelfiord for the UK. The convoy was made up of the damaged light cruiser HMS Penelope (Capt. G.D. Yates, RN) that was being towed by the tug HMS Brigand, the damaged destroyer HMS Isis (Cdr. J.C. Clouston, RN) that was being towed by the tug HMS Buccaneer, the transport Lochee (964 GRT, built 1937) and the tanker British Valour (6952 GRT, built 1927).

On departure from the Skjelfiord the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Campbell (Lt.Cdr. R.M. Aubrey, RN), HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Barnes, RN) and the A/S trawler HMS St. Loman (T/Lt. R.C. Warwick, RNR).

The convoy was assembled off the Skjelfiord shortly after midnight during the night of 10/11 May.

Around 1015/11, the AA cruiser HMS Calcutta (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN) and destroyer HMS Zulu (Cdr. J.S. Crawford, RN) joined the escort of the convoy.

Around 1040/11, enemy aircraft attacked the convoy but no damage was sustained. Shortly afterwards the AA cruiser HMS Coventry (Capt. D. Gilmour, RN) also joined the escort of the convoy.

Around 1900/11, HMS Zulu obtained an A/S contact and attacked with depth charges.

Around 0815/12, HMS Witch obtained an A/S contact and attacked with depth charges.

Around 0900/12, HMS Coventry parted company with the convoy.

Around 1230/12, HMS Escort (Lt.Cdr. J. Bostock, RN) joined the convoy escort.

Around 1300/12, HMS Zulu obtained an A/S contact and attacked with depth charges followed by HMS Witch at 1320/12.

Around 2000/13, HMS Campbell parted company with the convoy to proceed to Sullum Voe to refuel. She arrived there around 0600/14.

Around 1600/14, HMS Campbell rejoined, having departed from Sullom Voe after refuelling there around 1030/14.

Around 2000/14, HMS Calcutta and HMS St. Loman parted company with the convoy.

Around 0430/15, HMS Witch arrived at Scapa Flow to refuel. [Unknown when she left the convoy]. She departed Scapa Flow around 0730/15 to rejoin the convoy. [Unkown when she rejoined the convoy.]

Around 0515/15, HMS Acasta (Cdr. C.E. Glasfurd, RN) joined the convoy escort. HMS Zulu was then detached.

Around 2230/15, HMS Penelope still being towed by HMS Brigand and the British Valour and escorted by HMS Acasta and HMS Escort parted company with the other ships to proceed ahead of them to the Clyde.

They arrived in the Clyde area around 2200/15. The other ships arrived in the Clyde area later during the night of 15/16 May. (2)

24 Aug 1940
HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) departed Scapa Flow at 1230 hours to go to the assistance of the damaged British merchant vessel Beacon Grange (10119 GRT, built 1938) that has been damaged by bombs from German aircraft in position 58°39'N, 02°27'W the day before. The merchant vessel had been taken in tow by the rescue tug HMRT Buccaneer which was later relieved by her sister ship HMRT Marauder which took the ship to Kirkwall where she was beached.

HMS Kipling returned to Scapa on the 25th.


  1. ADM 53/107931
  2. ADM 53/111635 + ADM 53/111871 + ADM 53/112959 + ADM 199/376

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

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