Allied Warships

HMS Salvestor (W 176)

Salvage vessel of the King Salvor class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSalvage vessel
ClassKing Salvor 
PennantW 176 
Built byWilliam Simons & Co. Ltd. (Renfrew, Scotland) 
Laid down 
Launched28 Aug 1942 
CommissionedOct 1942 
End service 


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Notable events involving Salvestor include:

16 Mar 1943

Combined convoy WS 28 / KMS 11.

This combined convoy was formed off Oversay on 16 March 1943. The convoy was divided into convoys WS 28 and KMS 11 at sea on 21 March 1943.

The combined convoy was made up of the following (troop) transports; Banfora (British, 9472 GRT, built 1914), Brittanic (British, 26943 GRT, built 1930), Cuba (British, 11420 GRT, built 1923), Duchess of Bedford (British, 20123 GRT, built 1928), Empire Might (British, 9209 GRT, built 1942), Johan van Oldenbarnevelt (Dutch, 19429 GRT, built 1930), Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931), Orion (British, 23371 GRT, built 1935), Ormonde (British, 14982 GRT, built 1917), Orontes (British, 20097 GRT, built 1925), Otranto (British, 20026 GRT, built 1925), Nea Hellas (British, 16991 GRT, built 1922), Perthshire (British, 10496 GRT, built 1936), Rangitata (British, 16737 GRT, built 1929), Reina del Pacifico (17702 GRT, built 1931), Sobieski (Polish, 11030 GRT, built 1939), Strathnaver (British, 22283 GRT, built 1931), Tegelberg (Dutch, 14150 GRT, built 1937), Waipawa (British, 12436 GRT, built 1934), Winchester Castle (British, 20012 GRT, built 1930) and Windsor Castle (British, 19141 GRT, built 1922).

Also the naval auxiliaries HMS Bulolo (Capt.(Retd.) R.L. Hamer, RN), HMS Keren (A/Cdr. S.E. Crewe-Read, RN), HMS Largs (Cdr. E.A. Divers, RNR) and HMS Ulster Monarch (Lt.Cdr. N.A.F. Kingscote, RNR) were part of the convoy.

On assembly off Oversay the following escorts were with the convoy; sloops HMS Wren (Lt.Cdr. R.M. Aubrey, RN, with the S.O. 2nd Escort Group on board, Capt. F.J. Walker, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Woodpecker (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) R.E.S. Hugonin, DSC, RN), destroyer HMS Douglas (Lt.Cdr. K.H.J.L. Phibbs, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Badsworth (Lt. G.T.S. Gray, DSC, RN), HMS Eggesford (Lt.Cdr. D.W. Austin, RN), HMS Whaddon (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Palmer, RN), HMS Goathland (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Pumphrey, RN, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and ORP Krakowiak (Lt.Cdr. W. Maracewicz, ORP).

On 21 March the convoy split up into two sections, KMF 11, made up of Banfora, Cuba, Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, Ormonde, Orion, Nea Hellas, Rangitata, Windsor Castle and HMS Ulster Monarch proceeded to Algiers where it arrived on 23 March 1943 escorted by the original escort minus HMS Douglas which put into Gibraltar on 22 March with damage to her port propeller. After inspection it was apparent that she was able to continue but she was not to exceed 22 knots so it was decided that she could rejoin the convoy. All five escort destroyers also put into Gibraltar to fuel but departed again later the same day to rejoin the convoy. HMS Ulster Monarch also put into Gibraltar.

At 0254/23, the Windsor Castle was torpedoed by a German He.111 from I/KG 26 in position 37°28'N, 01°10'E. The passengers (troops) were taken off by HMS Wren, HMS Eggesford and HMS Whaddon. The last two ships reported to be dangerously overloaded with survivors.

Three tugs were sailed to go to the damaged ship assistance, Salvestor from Algiers, Hengist from Gibraltar and Restive from Oran.

Also the destroyer HMS Loyal (Lt.Cdr. H.E.F. Tweedie, DSC, RN) and escort destroyer HMS Lamerton (Lt.Cdr. C.R. Purse, DSC and Bar, RN), which were on A/S patrol off Algiers were ordered to proceed to the convoy. Also the destroyer HMS Eskimo (Capt. J.W.M. Eaton, DSO, DSC, RN) and escort destroyers HMS Calpe (Lt.Cdr. H. Kirkwood, DSC, RN) and HMS Farndale (Cdr. D.P. Trentham, RN) were ordered to do the same sailing from Oran.

At 1027/3, it was reported that Windsor Castle was abandoned and slowly sinking and the HMS Loyal had taken off the crew. HMS Whaddon and HMS Eggesford were proceeding to Algiers covered by HMS Douglas.

At 1621/3, Windsor Castle was still afloat and HMS Farndale was ettempting to take her in tow. The ship however sank suddenly at 1724/3. HMS Eskimo, HMS Loyal, HMS Calpe, HMS Farndale, Hengist and Restive then proceeded to Oran while HMS Lamerton and Salvestor proceeded to Algiers.


WS 28, made up of Brittanic, Duchess of Bedford, Empire Might, Monarch of Bermuda, Orontes, Otranto, Perthshire, Reina del Pacifico, Sobieski, Strathnaver, Tegelberg, Waipawa, Winchester Castle, HMS Bulolo, HMS Keren and HMS Largs.

To escort these ships the destroyers HMS Malcolm (Cdr. J.M. Money, RN) and HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. S.R.J. Woods, RNR) sailed from Casablanca on 20 March and the destroyers HMS Wolverine (Lt. I.M. Clegg, RN) and HMS Quadrant (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Farrington, RN) sailed from Gibraltar also on 20 March. They joined the convoy in the morning of March 21st after which the convoy split up.

Another destroyer, HMS Ashanti (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Barnes, RN), departed Gibraltar on 21 March and she joined the convoy later the same day.

On 22 March the transport Empire Might reported a fire in her stokehold rendering her immobile. She was then towed to Dakar by HMS Ashanti.

The remainder of convoy WS 28 arrived at Freetown on 27 March 1943.


Convoy WS 28 departed Freetown for South Africa on 30 March 1943.

The composition of the convoy was the same on departed as in which it had arrived at Freetown three days earlier.

Escort was provided on departure from Freetown by the light cruiser HMS Kenya (Capt. D.P. Evans, RN), destroyers HMS Redoubt (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Ropner, DSO, RN), HMS Quadrant, HMS Malcolm, HMS Witch and HMS Wolverine.

At 2359Z/30, HMS Ulster Monarch overtook and joined the convoy coming from Freetown.

At 0600A/4, HMS Redoubt and HMS Quadrant parted company with the convoy to refuel at Pointe Noire. They rejoined the convoy at 1212B/5.

At 1300B/5, HMS Malcolm, HMS Witch and HMS Wolverine were detached.

At 1420B/5, HMS Racehorse (Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) and HMS Relentless (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Fell, RN) joined the escort.

On the 11th the convoy split up, Britannic, Duchess of Bedford, Monarch of Bermuda, Tegelberg, Waipawa and Winchester Castle went to Capetown apparently escorted by HMS Redoubt and HMS Relentless. HMS Largs and HMS Ulster Monarch went to Simonstown, as did HMS Kenya and HMS Quadrant and HMS Racehorce.

The destroyers HMS Quilliam (Capt. S.H. Carlill, DSO, RN), HMS Rotherham (Lt. J.R.L. Moore, RN) and HMS Foxhound (Cdr. C.J. Wynne-Edwards, DSC and Bar, RN) joined the remainder of the convoy (Orontes, Otranto, Perthshire, Reina del Pacifico, Sobieski, Strathnaver, HMS Bulolo and HMS Keren) which arrived at Durban on 14 April 1943.


On 15 April the 'Capetown section' of the convoy departed from there, it was made up of the same ships as that had arrived at Capetown but apparently without the Britannic. HMS Largs joined the convoy off Simonstown. Escort was provided by HMS Kenya, HMS Quadrant, HMS Redoubt and HMS Relentless.

Around noon on the 18th the 'Capetown section' joined up with the 'Durban section' which had departed from there escorted by HMAS Napier (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Green, DSC, RAN) and HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. K.W. Michell, RN) which also joined the convoy as escorts. HMS Quadrant parted company and proceeded to Durban.

At 2000C/20, the destroyers parted company to return to Aden.

At 1015D/24, the armed merchant cruisers HMS Canton (A/Capt. G.N. Loriston-Clarke, RN) and HMS Chitral (A/Capt.(Retd.) G.W. Hoare-Smith, RN) joined the convoy to take over the escort. They had sailed from Kilindini on 22 April. HMS Kenya parted company with the convoy at noon and set course for Kilindini where she arrived on 25 April to join the Eastern Fleet.

At 2300D/27, HMS Chitral parted company with the convoy following which she proceeded to Bombay where she arrived on 1 May 1943.

On 30 April 1943 the convoy was dispersed off Aden. HMS Canton arrived at Aden later on the same day.

25 Aug 1943

Convoy MKS 23.

This convoy departed Port Said on 25 August 1943.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; City of Calcutta (British, 8063 GRT, built 1940), City of Newcastle (British, 6921 GRT, built 1915), Custodian (British, 5881 GRT, built 1928), Defender (British, 8078 GRT, built 1915), Empire Garrick (British (tanker), 8128 GRT, built 1942), Fernplant (British, 5274 GRT, built 1939), Fort Chambly (British, 7130 GRT, built 1942), Fort Gaspereau (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Fort Grahame (British, 7133 GRT, built 1943), Fort McMurray (British, 7133 GRT, built 1942), Forthbank (British, 5057 GRT, 1929), Henry St. G. Tucker (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Indian Prince (British, 8587 GRT, built 1926), James Fenimore Cooper (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), James J. Maguire (British (tanker), 10525 GRT, built 1939), Kaituna (British, 4914 GRT, built 1938), Macoma (Dutch (tanker), 8069 GRT, built 1936), Miranda (Greek, 278 GRT, built 1919), Ocean Viking (British, 7174 GRT, built 1941), Peter J. Maguire (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), President de Vogue (Norwegian (tanker), 9320 GRT, built 1935), Prince de Liege (Belgian, 2588 GRT, built 1938), Robert J. Collier (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Sofala (British, 1031 GRT, built 1937), William H. Gray (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) and Yenangyaung (British, 5447 GRT, 1937).

The landing ship Derwentdale (Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), 8390 GRT, built 1941) was also part of the convoy.

The convoy was escorted by the escort destroyers HMS Holcombe (Cdr. S.H. Pinchin, DSC, RN), HMS Atherstone (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Wood, DSC, RNVR), HMS Liddesdale (Lt.Cdr. A.A. Mackenzie, RNR) and the corvettes HMS Coltsfoot (T/Lt. G.W. Rayner, RNVR), HMS Honeysuckle (Lt. H.H.D. MacKillican, DSC and Bar, RNR), HMS Hyderabad (T/Lt. T. Cooper, RNR) and HMS Rhododendron (T/Lt. O.B. Medley, RNVR).

Around 1440C/28, the AA cruiser HMS Colombo (Capt. D.H. Hall-Thompson, RN) joined the convoy coming from Benghazi which she had departed around 1230C/27.

On 29 August 1943, the City of Newcastle, Custodiands, Defender, Fort Chambly, Fort Gaspereau, Fort Grahame, Forthbank, Indian Prince, Macoma, Ocean Viking, President de Vogue, Prince de Liege, Yenangyaung arrived at Malta after having been detached from the convoy while the following merchant vessels joined the convoy coming from Malta; Alexandre Andre (Belgian (tanker), 5261 GRT, built 1928), Belnor (Norwegian, 2871 GRT, built 1926), Empire Charmian (British, 7519 GRT, built 1943), Empire Moorhen (British, 5617 GRT, built 1919), Empire Trooper (British, 14106 GRT, built 1922), Harpalycus (British, 5629 GRT, built 1935), Joseph G. Cannon (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), Karoa (British, 7009 GRT, built 1915), Kheti (British, 2734 GRT, built 1927), Lucretia Mott (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Marigot (French, 4047 GRT, built 1932), Nirvana (British, 6044 GRT, built 1914), Octane (British, 2034 GRT, built 1939), Orna (British, 6779 GRT, built 1938) and South America (Norwegian (tanker), 6246 GRT, built 1931).

The Yenangyaung apparently also rejoined the convoy after a short stop at Malta.

Also the salvage vessels HMS Salveda and HMS Salvestor joined the convoy off Malta.

The Belnor however had to return to Malta where she arrived on the 30th.

On 30 August 1943, the Alexandre Andre, Fort McMurray, Miranda, Octane, Orna and Sofala arrived at Tripoli after having been detached from the convoy.

On 31 August 1943, the Nirvana arrived at La Goulette (Tunis) after having been detached from the convoy.

On the Empire Charmian, Empire Garrick, James J. Maguire, Kheti and South America as well as the Derwentdale, HMS Salveda and HMS Colombo arrived at Bizerta after having been detached from the convoy while the following merchant vessels joined the convoy coming from Bizerta; Alexander White (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Chertsey (British, 6001 GRT, built 1943), Eleazar Wheelock (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Empire Farmer (British, 7049 GRT, built 1943), George Vancouver (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Henry Middleton (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942) and Robert M. la Follette (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943).

On 31 August 1943, the following merchant vessels joined the convoy off Bone; Fort Aklavik (British, 7132 GRT, built 1943), Fort Buffalo (British, 7100 GRT, built 1943), Kofresi (British, 4934 GRT, built 1920) and Ocean Volga (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942).

On 31 August 1943, the Chertsey and Empire Farmer arrived at Philippeville after having been detached from the convoy while the following merchant vessels joined from Philippeville; Fort Slave (British, 7134 GRT, built 1942) and Tautra (Norwegian, 1749 GRT, built 1920).

On 2 September 1943, the Marigot and Tautra as well as HMS Salvestor arrived at Algiers after having been detached from the convoy while the following merchant vessels joined from Algiers; Atlantic City (British, 5133 GRT, built 1941), Charles R. McCormick (American, 6027 GRT, built 1920) and Kosciuszko (Polish, 6852 GRT, built 1915).

On 2 September 1943, the Alexander White, Charles R. McCormick, Eleazar Wheelock, Empire Trooper, Fort Slave, George Vancouver, Harpalycus, Henry Middleton, Joseph G. Cannon, Karoa, Kofrisi, Kosciuszko, Lucretia Mott and Robert M. la Follette arrived at Oran after having been detached from the convoy.

On 4 September 1943 the convoy arrived at Gibraltar.

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