William Rudolph Slayter DSO, DSC, RN

Born  13 Feb 1896
Died  30 Apr 1971(75)

Ranks

15 Sep 1913 Mid.
15 Sep 1915 A/S.Lt.
15 Mar 1916 S.Lt.
15 Apr 1917 Lt.
15 Apr 1925 Lt.Cdr.
31 Dec 1930 Cdr.
31 Dec 1937 Capt.
8 Jan 1947 Rear-Admiral
15 Aug 1950 Vice-Admiral
15 Sep 1953 Admiral

Retired: 16 Dec 1954


Decorations

20 Sep 1918 DSC
1 Sep 1942 Mentioned in Despatches (MID)
21 Dec 1943 Mentioned in Despatches (MID)
7 Mar 1944 DSO
4 Sep 1945 CB
5 Jun 1952 KCB

Warship Commands listed for William Rudolph Slayter, RN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMS Liverpool (11)Capt.Light cruiser30 Sep 19417 Oct 1942
HMS Newfoundland (59)Capt.Light cruiser13 Oct 194228 Sep 1943

Career information

He survived the loss of HMS Queen Mary on 31/5/16, one of 'very few'.

He was XO of HMS Devonshire 2/34-10/36.

He became CoS CinC Home Fleet 8/11/43 as Cdre1 to Adm Sir Bruce Fraser & to Adm Sir Henry Moore 14/6/44-6/45.

Post war he was CO "Excellent" 9/45-1/47, RAC 2CS 5/49-9/50, CinC East Indies 8/52-8/54.

Events related to this officer

Light cruiser HMS Liverpool (11)


22 Oct 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Having completed her repairs, HMS Liverpool (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN), departed the Mare Island naval shipyard for trials. (1)

23 Oct 1941
After one and a half day of trials, HMS Liverpool (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN), returned to the Mare Island naval shipyard. (1)

31 Oct 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Liverpool (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN) shifted from the Mare Island naval shipyard to San Francisco Bay. (1)

3 Nov 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Liverpool (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN) departed San Francisco Bay for Balboa, Panama Canal Zone. (2)

11 Nov 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Liverpool (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN) arrived at Balboa, Panama Canal Zone. (2)

12 Nov 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Liverpool (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN) transited the Panama Canal after which she immediately set course for Chesapeake Bay. (2)

16 Nov 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Liverpool (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN) arrived at Chesapeake Bay. (2)

17 Nov 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Liverpool (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN) departed Chesapeake Bay for Bermuda. (2)

19 Nov 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Liverpool (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN) arrived at Bermuda. (2)

21 Nov 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
During 21/22 November 1941, HMS Liverpool (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN), conducted exercises off Bermuda. These included night exercises. (2)

24 Nov 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
During 24/25 November 1941, HMS Liverpool (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN), conducted exercises off Bermuda. These included night exercises. (2)

26 Nov 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
During 26/27 November 1941, HMS Liverpool (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN), conducted exercises off Bermuda. These included night exercises. (2)

29 Nov 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Liverpool (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN) departed Bermuda for the Clyde. (2)

5 Dec 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Liverpool (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN) arrived at Greenock. (3)

10 Dec 1941 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Liverpool (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN) shifted from Greenock to Glasgow for more repairs not undertaken in the U.S.A. and the fitting of radar. (3)

6 Feb 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Liverpool (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN) departed the Clyde for Scapa Flow. (4)

7 Feb 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Liverpool (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow to work-up. (4)

4 Mar 1942
HMS Liverpool (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN) completed her work-up period at Scapa Flow. She now joined the 18th Cruiser Squadron of the Home Fleet. (4)

7 Mar 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Liverpool (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN) and HMS Trinidad (Capt. L.S. Saunders, RN) departed Scapa Flow for position 69°00'N, 01°00'W. (4)

9 Mar 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Liverpool (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN) and HMS Trinidad (Capt. L.S. Saunders, RN) arrived near position 69°00'N, 01°00'W.

At 0030 hours they were joined by the destroyers HMS Punjabi (Lt.Cdr. J.M.G. Waldegrave, DSC, RN), HMS Echo (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN) and HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Campbell, DSC and Bar, RN).

HMS Liverpool then fuelled HMS Punjabi and HMS Trinidad fuelled HMS Fury. Owning to the bad weather HMS Echo could not be fuelled.

On completion of the fuelling HMS Liverpool, HMS Trinidad, HMS Punjabi and HMS Fury set course for Scapa Flow. (4)

11 Mar 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Liverpool (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN), HMS Trinidad (Capt. L.S. Saunders, RN), HMS Punjabi (Lt.Cdr. J.M.G. Waldegrave, DSC, RN) and HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Campbell, DSC and Bar, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow.

HMS Liverpool then fuelled HMS Punjabi and HMS Trinidad fuelled HMS Fury. Owning to the bad weather HMS Echo could not be fuelled.

On completion of the fuelling HMS Liverpool, HMS Trinidad, HMS Punjabi and HMS Fury set course for Scapa Flow. (4)

16 Mar 1942
HMS Liverpool (Capt. W.R. Slayter, RN) conducted D/G trials and exercises at Scapa Flow. (5)

20 Mar 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Liverpool (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN) and HMS Gambia (Capt. M.J. Mansergh, CBE, RN) both conducted exercises at/off Scapa Flow. These included night exercises. (6)

21 Mar 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Liverpool (Capt. W.R. Slayter, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (7)

22 Mar 1942
The flag of the Commander-in-Chief of the Home Fleet, Vice-Admiral J.C. Tovey, KCB, KBE, DSO, RN, was temporarily hoisted on board HMS Liverpool (Capt. W.R. Slayter, RN). (4)

3 Apr 1942
The flag of the Commander-in-Chief of the Home Fleet, Vice-Admiral J.C. Tovey, KCB, KBE, DSO, RN, was struck on board HMS Liverpool (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN).

HMS Liverpool and the destroyers HMS Punjabi (Lt.Cdr. J.M.G. Waldegrave, DSC, RN) and HMS Marne (Lt.Cdr. H.N.A. Richardson, DSC, RN) departed Scapa Flow late in the afternoon for Murmansk, northern Russia. (4)

7 Apr 1942 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Liverpool (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN), HMS Punjabi (Lt.Cdr. J.M.G. Waldegrave, DSC, RN) and HMS Marne (Lt.Cdr. H.N.A. Richardson, DSC, RN) arrive at Murmansk. They were to be part of the escort for convoy QP 10. (4)

10 Apr 1942

Convoy operation to and from northern Russia, convoy's PQ 14 and QP 10.

Convoy PQ 14 from Reykjavik to the Kola Inlet and convoy QP 10 from the Kola Inlet to Reykjavik.

Timespan: 8 April to 21 April 1942.

8 April 1942.

On this day convoy PQ 14 of 25 merchant vessels departed Reykjavik, Iceland for the Kola Inlet in northern Russia. The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels. RFA Aldersdale (British, Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker, 8402 GRT, built 1937), Andre Marti (Russian, 2352 GRT, built 1918), Arcos (Russian, 2343 GRT, built 1918), Atheltemplar (British, tanker, 8992 GRT, built 1930), Botavon (British, 5848 GRT, built 1912), Briarwood (British, 4019 GRT, built 1930), British Corporal (British, 6972 GRT, built 1922), City of Joliet (American, 6167 GRT, built 1920), Dan-Y-Brin (British, 5117 GRT, built 1940), Empire Bard (British, 3114 GRT, built 1942), Empire Howard (British, 6985 GRT, built 1941), Exterminator (Panamanian, 6115 GRT, built 1924), Francis Scott Key (American, 7191 GRT, built 1941), Hegira (American, 7588 GRT, built 1919), Hopemount (British, 7434 GRT, built 1929), Ironclad (American, 5685 GRT, built 1919), Minotaur (American, 4554 GRT, built 1918), Mormacrio (American, 5940 GRT, built 1919), Pieter de Hoogh (Dutch, 7168 GRT, built 1941), Seattle Spirit (American, 5627 GRT, built 1919), Sukhona (Russian, 3124 GRT, built 1918), Trehata (British, 4817 GRT, built 1928), West Cheswald (American, 5711 GRT, built 1919), West Gotomska (American, 5728 GRT, built 1918) and Yaka (American, 5432 GRT, built 1920).

Close escort was initially (8 to 12 April) provided by the escort destroyer HMS Wilton (Lt. A.P. Northey, DSC, RN), the minesweepers HMS Hebe (Lt.Cdr. J.B.G. Temple, DSC, RN), HMS Speedy (Lt. J.G. Brookes, DSC, RN), the A/S trawlers HMS Lord Austin (T/Lt. O.B. Egjar, RNR), HMS Lord Middleton (T/Lt. R.H. Jameson, RNR), HMS Northern Wave (T/Lt. W.G. Pardoe-Matthews, RNR) and the A/P trawler Chiltern (Ch.Skr.(ret) P. Bevans, RNR).

9 April 1942.

A close cover force for convoy PQ 14 arrived at Seidisfiord, Iceland from Scapa Flow. It was made up of the light cruiser HMS Edinburgh (Capt. H.W. Faulkner, RN) and the destroyers HMS Foresight (Cdr. J.S.C. Salter, OBE, RN) and HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. G.P. Huddart, RN).

10 April 1942.

On this day convoy QP 10 of 16 merchant vessels departed the Kola Inlet in northern Russia for Reykjavik, Iceland. The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels. Artigas (Panamanian, 5613 GRT, built 1920), Beaconstreet (British, 7467 GRT, built 1927), Belomorcanal (Russian, 2900 GRT, built 1936), Capulin (Panamanian, 4977 GRT, built 1920), Dnepprostroi (Russian, 4756 GRT, built 1919), El Coston (Panamanian, 7286 GRT, built 1924), El Occidente (Panamanian, 6008 GRT, built 1910), Empire Cowper (British, 7164 GRT, built 1941), Harpalion (British, 5486 GRT, built 1932), Kiev (Russian, 5823 GRT, built 1917), Mana (Honduras, 3283 GRT, built 1920), Navarino (British, 4841 GRT, built 1937), River Afton (British 5479 GRT, built 1935), Sevzaples (Russian, 3974 GRT, built 1932), Stone Street (Panamanian, 6131 GRT, built 1922) and Temple Arch (British, 5138 GRT, built 1940).

Close escort was provided by the British destroyers HMS Oribi (Lt.Cdr. J.E.H. McBeath, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Punjabi (Lt.Cdr. J.M.G. Waldegrave, DSC, RN), HMS Marne (Lt.Cdr. H.N.A. Richardson, DSC, RN), HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Campbell, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. E. Mack, DSC, RN), minesweeper HMS Speedwell (Lt.Cdr. J.J. Youngs, OBE, RNR), A/S trawlers HMS Blackfly (T/Lt. A.P. Hughes, RNR) and HMS Paynter (Lt. R.H. Nossiter, RANVR). the escort was strengthened local escort was provided from departure until 12 April (to longtitude 30°'E) by the Russian destroyers Gremyashchiy, Sokrushitelny and the British minesweepers HMS Gossamer (Lt.Cdr. T.C. Crease, RN), HMS Harrier (Cdr. E.P. Hinton, DSO, RN) and HMS Hussar (Lt. R.C. Biggs, DSC, RN). Close cover for the convoy was provided by the light cruiser HMS Liverpool (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN) which departed the Kola Inlet on the 11th.

Distant cover for this convoy (and also for eastbound convoy PQ 14 which sailed from Iceland on April 8th) was provided by ships from the Home Fleet; battleships HMS King George V (Capt. W.R. Patterson, CB, CVO, RN, flying the flag of flying the flag of Vice-Admiral J.C. Tovey, KCB, KBE, DSO, RN, C-in-C Home Fleet), HMS Duke of York (Capt. C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral A.T.B. Curteis, CB, RN, second in command Home Fleet), aircraft carrier HMS Victorious (Capt. H.C. Bovell, CBE, RN), heavy cruiser HMS Kent (Capt. A.E.M.B. Cunninghame-Graham, RN), light cruiser HMS Nigeria (Capt. J.G.L. Dundas, CBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Bedouin (Cdr. B.G. Scurfield, OBE, RN), HMS Eskimo (Cdr. E.G. Le Geyt, RN), HMS Somali (Capt. J.W.M. Eaton, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN), HMS Onslow (Capt. H.T. Armstrong, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Offa (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Ewing, RN), HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.K. Scott-Moncrieff, RN), HMS Escapade (Lt.Cdr. E.N.V. Currey, DSC, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Belvoir (Lt. J.F.D. Bush, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Ledbury (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Hill, RN), HMS Middleton (Lt.Cdr. D.C. Kinloch, RN) and HMS Wheatland (Lt. R.deL. Brooke, RN). These ships departed Scapa Flow on the 12th except for the destroyers Bedouin, Eskimo, Somali and Matchless which left Scapa Flow on the 11th to fuel at Skaalefiord and then to join the Home Fleet at sea.

Also the heavy cruiser HMS Norfolk (Capt. E.G.H. Bellars, RN) departed Scapa Flow to patrol in an area about 130 nautical miles south-west of Bear Island from where she could support either convoy during this part of their passages.

11 April 1942.

Convoy QP 10 was attacked by German aircraft (Ju 88 from III./KG.30) in position 71°01'N, 36°00'E. During this attack the merchant vessel Empire Cowper (cargo; chrome ore & pitprops) was sunk with the loss of nine of her crew.

As stated above the light cruiser HMS Liverpool departed the Kola Inlet to provide close cover for convoy QP 10 and the destroyers HMS Bedouin, HMS Eskimo, HMS Punjabi and HMS Matchless departed Scapa Flow to fuel at Skaalefiord in the Faroe Islands.

12 April 1942.

As stated above ships from the Home Fleet departed Scapa Flow on this day to provide cover for convoy's PQ 14 and QP 10. Later this day the destroyers that had departed Scapa Flow yesterday and that had fuelled at Skaalefiord in the Faroe Islands joined the fleet at sea after which the destroyers HMS Faulknor, HMS Escapade, HMS Onslow and HMS Offa left the fleet to also fuel at Skaalefiord.

Also around 1645 hours this day the German submarine U-435 reported being shelled by three destroyers. This was however most likely HMS Liverpoo which reported firing on a surfaced submarine at exactly this time.

13 April 1942.

In the morning, HMS Faulknor, HMS Escapade, HMS Onslow and HMS Offa, rejoined the Home Fleet at sea after fuelling at Skaalefiord in the Faroe Islands. The four 'Hunt-class' destroyers then parted company with the Home Fleet and HMS Belvoir, HMS Ledbury and HMS Middleton proceeded to Scapa Flow while HMS Wheatland was to make rendez-vous with the RFA oiler Aldersdale (8402 GRT, built 1937) and escort her to Seidisfiord, Iceland.

German aircraft were heard homing U-boats on convoy QP 10 which resulted in two of them attacking the convoy shortly after midnight.

At 0059 hours the German submarine U-436 torpedoed and sank the Russian merchant Kiev (cargo; chrome ore and timber) which sank with the loss of six of her crew. The survivors were picked up by HMS Blackfly.

Then at 0129 hours the German submarine U-435 torpedoed and sank the Panamanian merchant El Occidente (cargo; chrome ore,but only as ballast). 20 of her crew crew lost their lives and 21 survivors were picked up by HMS Speedwell. Following this attack U-435 was depth charged by the destroyer HMS Oribi but she sustained no damage.

Then at 1127 hours, U-435 attacked a destroyer with one torpedo which missed. This apparently was HMS Eclipse which then counter attacked with depth charges which slightly damaged U-435.

At 1530 hours, U-435 came across the abandoned wreck of the British merchant vessel Harpalion. This ship had been heavily damaged by German Ju 88 aircraft and had been abanadoned. A reported scuttling attempt by the convoy escort must have failed. Three torpedoes were fired at the wreck of which the third torpedo struck aft. The vessel was seen to sink slowly by the stern after about 20 minutes.

14 April 1942.

15 April 1942.

16 April 1942.

Convoy QP 10 was again spotted by enemy and shadowed. HMS Kent left the Home Fleet and joined the close cover force for this convoy.

Also the escort destroyers HMS Ledbury, HMS Middleton, HMS Lamerton (Lt.Cdr. C.R. Purse, DSC, RN) and HMS Hursley (Lt. W.J.P. Church, DSC, RN) departed Scapa Flow to fuel at Skaalefiord before joining the Home Fleet at sea.

Four destroyers from the screen of the Home Fleet; HMS Faulknor, HMS Somali, HMS Bedouin and HMS Matchless also proceeded to Seidisfiord, Iceland to fuel.

17 April 1942.

The destroyer HMS Eclipse from the close escort of convoy QP 10 left to fuel at Seidisfiord.

HMS Norfolk left her patrol position to proceed to Hvalfiord, Iceland.

HMS Faulknor, HMS Somali, HMS Bedouin and HMS Matchless arrived at Seidisfiord to fuel. After doing so they left in the afternoon and rejoined the Home Fleet at sea later the same day.

Also HMS Ledbury, HMS Middleton, HMS Lamerton and HMS Hursley arrived at Skaalefiord where they fuelled and then departed to join the Home Fleet at sea.

18 April 1942.

HMS Eclipse arrived at Seidisfiord. After fuelling she departed for Scapa Flow in the afternoon.

HMS Ledbury, HMS Middleton, HMS Lamerton and HMS Hursley joined the Home Fleet at sea.

HMS Eskimo, HMS Offa and HMS Escapade then parted company with the Home Fleet to fuel at Skaalefiord where the arrived in the afternoon. After fuelling they departed for Scapa Flow later the same day.

The Home Fleet; battleships King George V, Duke of York, aircraft carrier HMS Victorious, light cruiser HMS Nigeria, destroyers HMS Punjabi, HMS Bedouin, HMS Matchless, HMS Faulknor, HMS Onslow and the escort destroyers HMS Middleton, HMS Ledbury, HMS Lamerton and HMS Hursley.

The two cruisers from the close cover force forconvoy QP 10 left this convoy in position 67°43'N, 12°56'W. HMS Kent set course for Scapa Flow, HMS Liverpool for Seidisfiord, Iceland to fuel there.

19 April 1942.

HMS Eskimo, HMS Offa and HMS Escapade arrived at Scapa Flow.

HMS Liverpool arrived at Seidisfiord to fuel. After doing so she departed for Scapa Flow in the afternoon.

20 April 1942.

HMS Kent arrived at Scapa Flow.

21 April 1942.

HMS Liverpool arrived at Scapa Flow.

Convoy QP 10, 11 ships and 6 ships from PQ 14, arrived at Reykjavik escorted by HMS Oribi, HMS Marne, HMS Punjabi and HMS Fury. (8)

Sources

  1. ADM 53/114549
  2. ADM 53/114550
  3. ADM 53/114551
  4. ADM 199/427
  5. ADM 53/116158
  6. ADM 53/115972 + ADM 53/116159
  7. ADM 53/116159
  8. ADM 199/427 + ADM 234/369

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


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