Allied Warships

ORP Piorun (G 65)

Destroyer of the N class

NavyThe Polish Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassN 
PennantG 65 
Built byJohn Brown Shipbuilding & Engineering Company Ltd. (Clydebank, Scotland) 
Ordered15 Apr 1939 
Laid down26 Jul 1939 
Launched7 May 1940 
Commissioned4 Nov 1940 
End service 
History

Former HMS Nerissa commissioned as Polish Piorun.
Cdr. Plawski assumed command.
Piorun means thunderbolt in English.

Returned to the Royal Navy on 26 October 1946 and served as British HMS Noble (renamed again). Scrapped at Dunston in December 1955.

 
Former nameHMS Nerissa

Commands listed for ORP Piorun (G 65)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

CommanderFromTo
1Kmdr por. Eugeniusz Jozef Stanislaw Plawski, ORP5 Nov 19402 Aug 1941
2Kmdr por. Stanislaw Hryniewiecki, ORP2 Aug 194130 Aug 1941
3Kmdr por. Eugeniusz Jozef Stanislaw Plawski, ORP30 Aug 194121 Dec 1941
4Kpt. mar. Franciszek Pitulko, ORP21 Dec 194117 Jan 1942
5Kmdr por. Stanislaw Hryniewiecki, ORP17 Jan 194224 May 1942
6Kmdr ppor. Tadeusz Gorazdowski, ORP24 May 194230 Apr 1943
7Kmdr por. Stanislaw Tytus Dzienisiewicz, ORP30 Apr 19437 Feb 1944
8Kmdr ppor. Tadeusz Gorazdowski, ORP7 Feb 19447 Jan 1945
9Kmdr ppor. Jan Tchorznicki, ORP7 Jan 194525 Nov 1945

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Notable events involving Piorun include:


25 Jan 1941
At night, the 7th Destroyer Flotilla (including Piorun) left Scapa Flow with main forces of Home Fleet. The Allied ships were trying to intercept the German battlecrusiers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau that were breaking into the Atlantic. The 7th Destroyer Flotilla was ordered to provide cover for HMS Nelson, HMS Rodney and HMS Repulse. (1)

27 Jan 1941
The Allied forces had to split. Piorun and two British destroyers were ordered to escort the battleship HMS Rodney and the light cruiser HMS Edinburgh. (1)

28 Jan 1941
Piorun and HMS Keppel are forced to return to base due to damaged caused by a storm. (1)

8 Feb 1941
The Polish destroyers Garland and Piorun formed part of the escort of a convoy bound for Canada / USA. (1)

12 Feb 1941
The Polish destroyers Piorun, Garland and the British destroyer HMS Legion conduct an offensive patrol against enemy submarines. However, no U-boat was encountered. (1)

17 Feb 1941
Garland and Piorun were once again part of the Escort for a convoy. (1)

20 Feb 1941
The Polish destroyers Garland and Piorun were ordered to leave a convoy they were escorting and provide escort for two troop ships returning to England. (1)

24 Mar 1941
Piorun and British destroyers escorted a convoy to USA. The convoy was also protected by the battleships HMS Rodney and HMS Nelson and the light cruisers HMS Edinburgh and HMS Cairo, this was due to the fact that the German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were operating in the North Atlantic. (1)

26 Mar 1941
The destroyers left the outbound convoy and joined another convoy heading to England. (1)

5 Apr 1941
The British battleship HMS Resolution and the Polish destroyers Garland and Piorun escorted troop ships to Hvalfjord, Iceland. They arrived in Iceland on the 9th. (1)

13 Apr 1941
Two destroyers, HMS "Legion" and ORP "Piorun", were ordered to rescue survivors from AMC "Rajputana". The ships picked up 283 men. (1)

14 Apr 1941
HMS Rodney, HMS Legion, Piorun and Garland composed the escort of two troop ships heading from Iceland to the Clyde. (1)

26 Apr 1941
Piorun was part of the escort of large convoy bound for the Middle East. (1)

30 Apr 1941
Piorun and four British destroyers were ordered to join four troop ships returning from the Middle East to the U.K. (1)

3 May 1941
The convoy reached the Clyde without losses. Piorun was sent for repairs which lasted to 20 May 1941. (1)

25 May 1941
The 4th Destroyer Flotilla comprising the British destroyers HMS Cossack (Capt. P.L. Vian, DSO, RN), HMS Maori (Cdr. H.T. Armstrong, DSO, RN), HMS Sikh (Cdr. G.H. Stokes, RN), HMS Zulu (Cdr. H.R. Graham, DSO, RN) and the Polish destroyer Piorun (Cdr. E. Plawski, Polish Navy) was escorting convoy WS-8B when they received an order to leave the convoy and take part in the hunt for the German battleship Bismarck. (1)

26 May 1941
At 11.00 AM Capt. Vian (in HMS Cossack) received a radio report about the position of the Bismarck. He realized that the 4th Destroyer Flotilla was only 50 miles away and ordered to chase the enemy. Due to bad weather and high waves, the destroyers were able to maintain 27 knots speed (only two knots more than Bismarck), but continued the pursuit. Fortunately, British aircraft managed to hit the enemy with two torpedoes. One of them jammed the rudder and damaged the screws. The allied destroyers steamed in line formation, one about 25 cables from another. In darkness, Piorun lost contact with her British partners. At 2214hours lookouts spotted a large ship which identified herself as HMS Sheffield. At 2237 lookouts detected another large ship. The Polish commanding officer Cdr. Plawski was afraid of attacking the unidentified vessel, because it could be HMS Sheffield again. Piorun used an Aldis lamp to transmit a signal. The answer was 6" gunfire, The detected ship was the Bismarck!!! Cdr. Plawski ordered to open fire with the six 4.7" guns. During 59 minutes Piorun continued transmitting radio reports and traded fire with German battleship achieving several hits. Of course, 4.7" shells were able only to destroy some light AA guns, but not to penetrate heavy armour. The Polish destroyer was making lot of evasive manoeuvres, because Bismarck also used her 15" main armament. The British destroyers appeared on scene and conducted a torpedo attack against the German battleship. But all torpedoes missed the target. At 2336hours Piorun lost contact with the enemy. (1)

27 May 1941
Piorun continued searching for the German battleship, but only detected her own flagship HMS Cossack. At 05.00 AM Capt. Vian ordered Piorun to break off the action and return to base due to fuel shortage. However, the Polish destroyer tried to find the enemy for one more hour. At 06.00 AM Cdr. Plawski ordered to change course and head for Plymouth. (1)

28 May 1941
Piorun reached Plymouth with only 37 tons of fuel left in her tanks. (1)

2 Sep 1941
The Polish destroyers Piorun and Garland depart from Liverpool to conduct a ASW patrol.

3 Sep 1941
The Polish destroyers Piorun and Garland are ordered to pick up the survivors from the British merchant Fort Richepanche that was torpedoed that day by German U-boat U-567 some 450 miles southwest of Bloody Foreland in position 52°15'N, 21°10'W. Ten crew members, five gunners and seven passengers were picked up by the Polish destroyers on 4 September and landed at Greenock on 5 September

17 Oct 1941
The Polish destroyers Piorun and Garland depart from Gourock as part of the escort of a convoy to Canada.

24 Oct 1941
The Polish destroyers Piorun and Garland were detached from convoy they are escorting in order to reach St. John's, Canada for refuelling. Five and half hours after they reach the harbour they depart from again and head back to the convoy.

26 Oct 1941
The Polish destroyers Piorun and Garland reach Halifax, Canada with the convoy they are escorting.

4 Nov 1941
The Polish destroyers Piorun and Garland depart from Halifax, Canada as part of the escort for a convoy to the Clyde.

12 Nov 1941
The Polish destroyers Piorun and Garland enter Greenock harbour.

14 Nov 1941
Piorun arrived at Glasgow for general repairs.

12 Feb 1942
Piorun (Lt. Cdr. Hryniewiecki) was ordered to make a ASW search in the Irish Sea to find and neutralize a U-boat reported there. The search is unsuccessful.

13 Feb 1942
Piorun returns to Gourock.

26 Feb 1942
Piorun became part of the escort of a convoy to Canada.

28 Feb 1942
The convoy Piorun is escorting was caught by a strong storm. The Polish ship suffered no damage.

11 Mar 1942
At night Polish lookouts on Piorun spotted a surfaced U-boat trying to slip into the convoy. The Germans also spotted the destroyer as the U-boat submerged. She was detected by the asdic and attacked with depth charges. After this attack, contact was lost and the Germans managed to slip away.

12 Mar 1942
Piorun entered St. John's, Canada.

17 Mar 1942
Piorun came to Argentia, Canada.

21 Mar 1942
Piorun departed from Canada as part of the escort of a convoy to Great Britain.

27 Mar 1942
Piorun met a lonely Norwegian tanker. A boarding party inspected the tankers documents and she was ordered to join the convoy.

29 Mar 1942
Piorun meets another tanker. This time it was a British vessel which was also ordered to join the convoy.

1 Apr 1942
The convoy, of which Piorun is part of the escorts reaches Gourock.

8 Apr 1942
After boiler cleaning Piorun was loaded with British gold in order to transport this cargo to Canada. At 16.30hours the Polish ship left Gourock and later that day entered Londonderry.

9 Apr 1942
Piorun departed from Londonderry and joined the escort of a convoy to Canada.

16 Apr 1942
Piorun entered Halifax harbour where the gold was unloaded.

26 Apr 1942
Piorun left Argentia, Canada with a convoy to Great Britain.

9 May 1942
Piorun reached Greenock.

31 May 1942
Piorun was involved in the escort of another convoy to Canada.

2 Jun 1942
Piorun attacked two submerged U-boats.

4 Jun 1942
Around 17.00hours Piorun dropped depth charges on an enemy U-boat.

8 Jun 1942
The convoy Piorun is escorting reaches Canada.

16 Jun 1942
Piorun departed from Canada as part of the escort of a convoy to Great Britain.

20 Jun 1942
The convoy Piorun is escorting is caught by a heavy storm.

25 Jun 1942
Piorun reached Greenock.

5 Jul 1942
Piorun departed from Great Britain with a convoy to Canada.

12 Jul 1942
During a storm, the convoy was attacked by U-boats. Piorun dropped depth charges twice.

20 Jul 1942
Piorun arrived at Argentia, Canada.

14 Aug 1942
Piorun departed from Canada as part of the escort of a convoy to Great Britain.

17 Aug 1942
Piorun is damaged during a storm.

20 Aug 1942
Piorun arrived at Gourock. She has go undergo some repairs.

30 Aug 1942
Piorun arrived at Londonderry.

31 Aug 1942
Piorun became part of the escort of a convoy to Canada.

10 Sep 1942
The convoy Piorun is escorting reached Canada. The convoys escort entered St. John's.

11 Sep 1942
Piorun left St. John's as escort of a convoy to Argentia.

14 Sep 1942
Piorun arrived at Argentia, Canada.

15 Sep 1942
Piorun joined the escort of a convoy to Great Britain.

24 Sep 1942
Piorun entered Gourock and was sent off for general repairs.

Media links


The Kellys

Langtree, Christopher


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Sources

  1. Personal communication

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