John Montagu Howson, RN

Born  1 Jun 1893
Died  19 Mar 1959(65)


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Ranks

15 May 1911 Mid.
15 Sep 1913 A/S.Lt.
15 May 1914 S.Lt.
15 Dec 1915 Lt.
15 Dec 1923 Lt.Cdr.
31 Dec 1928 Cdr.
31 Dec 1936 Capt.

Retired: 2 Jan 1946


Decorations

16 Aug 1940 Mentioned in Despatches (MID)
25 Aug 1942 Mentioned in Despatches (MID)
1 Jan 1944 CBE
18 Jan 1944 Mentioned in Despatches (MID)

Warship Commands listed for John Montagu Howson, RN


ShipRankTypeFromTo
HMS Effingham (D 98)Capt.Light cruiser17 Apr 193918 May 1940

Career information

We currently have no career / biographical information on this officer.

Events related to this officer

Light cruiser HMS Effingham (D 98)


25 Aug 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow from the Reserve Fleet at Portland. (1)

29 Aug 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (1)

30 Aug 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
Late in the evening, HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN), conducted night gunnery exercises at Scapa Flow. (1)

31 Aug 1939
Around 1800 hours, the Home Fleet departed Scapa Flow to patrol between Scotland, Iceland and Norway for returning German merchant vessels.

Ships that participated in this patrol were; battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. G.J.A. Miles, RN), HMS Rodney (Capt. Sir E.N. Syfret, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal (Capt. A.J. Power, RN), light cruisers HMS Aurora (Capt. G.B. Middleton, RN), HMS Sheffield (Capt. E. de F. Renouf, CVO, RN), HMS Belfast (Capt. G.A. Scott, DSC, RN) (from the 18th Cruiser Squadron), HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN), HMS Cardiff (Capt. P.K. Enright, RN), HMS Dunedin (Capt. C.E. Lambe, CVO, RN), HMS Emerald (Capt. A.W.S. Agar, VC, DSO, RN) (from the 12th Cruiser Squadron), HMS Caledon (Capt. C.P. Clark, RN), HMS Calypso (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN), HMS Diomede (Capt. E.B.C. Dicken, RN), HMS Dragon (Capt. R.G. Bowes-Lyon, MVO, RN) (from the 7th Cruiser Squadron. These ships were escorted by destroyers from the 8th Destroyer Flotilla; HMS Faulknor (Capt. C.S. Daniel, RN), HMS Fame (Cdr. P.N. Walter, RN), HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, RN), HMS Foresight (Lt.Cdr. G.T. Lambert, RN), HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, RN), HMS Fortune (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, RN), HMS Foxhound (Lt.Cdr. P.H. Hadow, RN) and HMS Fury (Cdr. G.F. Burghard, RN).

To patrol off the Skagerrak was the battlecruiser squadron which was made up of the battlecruisers HMS Hood (Capt. Sir I.G. Glennie, RN), HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN) which were escorted by destroyers from the 6th Destroyer Flotilla; HMS Somali (Capt. R.S.G. Nicholson, DSC, RN), HMS Ashanti (Cdr. W.G. Davis, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN), HMS Eskimo (Cdr. St. J.A. Micklethwait, RN), HMS Mashona (Cdr. P.V. McLaughlin, RN), HMS Matabele (Cdr. G.K. Whitmy-Smith, RN), HMS Punjabi (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN) and HMS Tartar (Capt. G.H. Warner, DSC, RN). (2)

31 Aug 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
For the daily positions of HMS Effingham during the period of 31 August to 7 September 1939 see the map below.

7 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) returned to Scapa Flow. (3)

9 Sep 1939
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) departed Scapa Flow for the Northern Patrol.

For the daily positions of HMS Effingham during the period of 9 to 17 September 1939 see the map below.

(3)

17 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) returned to Scapa Flow. (3)

20 Sep 1939
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) departed Scapa Flow for the Northern Patrol.

For the daily positions of HMS Effingham during the period of 20 to 28 September 1939 see the map below.

(3)

28 Sep 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) returned to Scapa Flow. (3)

1 Oct 1939
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Plymouth.

For the daily positions of HMS Effingham during the period of 1 to 3 October 1939 see the map below.

(4)

3 Oct 1939
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) arrived at Plymouth. (4)

9 Oct 1939
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) departed Plymouth for the Western Atlantic and her rendez-vous position with convoy KJ 3.

For the daily position of HMS Effingham during the period of 9 to 27 October 1939 see the map below.

(4)

15 Oct 1939
In the morning, HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN), made rendez-vous with large convoy (45 ships) KJ 3 coming from the Carribean. She took over the escort duties from HMS Berwick (Capt. I.M. Palmer, DSC, RN) and HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN). (4)

26 Oct 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) parted company with convoy KJ 3 and proceeded to Plymouth. (4)

27 Oct 1939
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) arrived at Plymouth for boiler claining. (4)

7 Nov 1939
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) departed Plymouth for Halifax.

[No log is available for November 1939 so no map can be displayed.] (5)

15 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) arrived at Halifax. (5)

19 Nov 1939
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) departed Halifax for Bermuda.

[No log is available for November 1939 so no map can be displayed.] (5)

21 Nov 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) arrived at Bermuda. (5)

24 Nov 1939
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) departed Bermuda for Kingston, Jamaica.

[No log is available for November 1939 so no map can be displayed.] (5)

1 Dec 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) arrived at Kingston. (6)

3 Dec 1939
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) departed Kingston for Halifax.

For the daily positions of HMS Effingham from 3 to 6 December 1939 see the map below.

(6)

6 Dec 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) arrived at Bermuda.

HMS Effingham had departed Kingston, Jamaica for Halifax on the 3rd but on the 5th she had developed a serious leak on the starboard condenser and she had to put into Bermuda for repairs. (6)

22 Dec 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) conducted exercises off Bermuda. (6)

23 Dec 1939
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) departed Bermuda for Halifax.

For the daily positions of HMS Effingham from 23 to 26 December 1939 see the map below.

(6)

26 Dec 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) arrived at Halifax. (6)

29 Dec 1939

Convoy HX 14

Convoy from Halifax to the U.K.
Departure date: 29 December 1939.
Arrival date: 12 January 1940.

The following merchant ships were part of this convoy;
British:
tanker Athelsultan (8882 GRT, built 1929), cargo ship Baron Douglas (3899 GRT, built 1932), cargo ship Baron Lovat (3395 GRT, built 1926), Baron Pentland (3410 GRT, built 1927), tanker Benedick (6978 GRT, built 1928), cargo ship Blairmore (4141 GRT, built 1928), cargo ship Bonheur (5327 GRT, built 1920), cargo ship Bridgepool (4845 GRT, built 1924), cargo ship Bristol City (2864 GRT, built 1920), cargo ship Brookwood (5100 GRT, built 1929), cargo ship Dallas City (4952 GRT, built 1935), tanker El Ciervo (5841 GRT, built 1923), tanker El Oso (7267 GRT, built 1921), cargo ship Greyburn (6342 GRT, built 1938), cargo ship Grelhead (4274 GRT, built 1925), tanker Horn Shell (8272 GRT, built 1931), tanker Inverilen (9456 GRT, built 1938), cargo ship Kenbane Head (5225 GRT, built 1919), tanker Luculus (6546 GRT, built 1929), cargo ship Montreal City (3066 GRT, built 1920), cargo ship New Westminster City (4747 GRT, built 1929), cargo ship Penrose (4393 GRT, built 1928), cargo ship Queen Adelaide (4933 GRT, built 1936), cargo ship Queen Anne (4937 GRT, built 1937), tanker Reginolite (9069 GRT, built 1926), cargo ship Ridley (4993 GRT, built 1937), tanker Saranac (12049 GRT, built 1918), cargo ship Swiftpool (5205 GRT, built 1929), cargo ship Tacoma City (4738 GRT, built 1929), tanker Vaclite (5026 GRT, built 1928), tanker Vancouver (5729 GRT, built 1928), tanker Wellfield (6054 GRT, built 1924), tanker Winamac (8621 GRT, built 1926)

French:
tanker Limousin (7619 GRT, built 1930),

Greek:
cargo ship Keramiai (5085 GRT, built 1917)

Panamanian:
tanker H. H. Rogers (8807 GRT, built 1916), tanker H.M. Flagler (8208 GRT, built 1918),

Norwegian:
cargo ship Rio Branco (3210 GRT, built 1924), tanker Solstad (5952 GRT, built 1927), tanker South America (6246 GRT, built 1931),

Escort was provided by the following warships;
Ocean escort: Licht cruiser HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) and submarine HMS Cachalot (Lt.Cdr. S.W.F. Bennetts, RN) from 29 December 1939 to 9 January 1940.

Local escort in Canadian waters: Destroyers HMCS Saguenay (Lt.Cdr. G.R. Miles, RCN) and HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. E.P. Tisdall, RCN) from 29 to 30 December 1939.

Local escort in British waters HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. R.T. White, RN), HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. C.G.W. Donald, RN), HMS Walker (Cdr. W.J.C. Robertson, RN) and HMS Whitshed (Cdr. E.R. Conder, RN) from 9 January to 12 January 1940.

Losses:
Tanker El Oso was mined and sunk on 11 January 1940. (6)

29 Dec 1939 (position 0.00, 0.00)
For the daily positions of HMS Effingham from 29 December 1939 to 10 January 1940 see the map below.

9 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) detached from convoy HX 14 and proceeded to Portsmouth. (7)

10 Jan 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) arrived at Portsmouth for repairs and refit. (7)

17 Feb 1940
During her refit, HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN), moved to No.14 dock at the Portsmouth Dockyard. Most likely the dock was pumped out two days later, on Monday 19 February 1940. (8)

6 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) is undocked. She then continued her refit at the Portsmouth Dockyard. (9)

11 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) ran trials off Portsmouth. (9)

12 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) ran trials off Portsmouth. (9)

13 Apr 1940
Having completed her refit, HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN), departed Portsmouth for Scapa Flow to join the Home Fleet.

For the daily positions of HMS Effingham during the period of 13 to 15 April 1940 see the map below.

(9)

15 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow. (9)

16 Apr 1940
HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN), HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN), HMS Calcutta (Capt. D.M. Lees, RN) and HMS Ashanti (Cdr. W.G. Davis, RN) departed Scapa Flow for Norwegian waters.

Late on the same day they were ordered to proceed to Aandalsnes to prevent the Germans from landing troops there as 5 German destroyers were reported by aircraft.

They found nothing and were later ordered to proceed northwards to provide cover for the landings at Namsen Fjord. (9)

16 Apr 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
For the daily positions of HMS Effingham during the period of 16 to 20 April 1940 see the map below.

19 Apr 1940
Early on the 19th, HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN), was attacked by the German submarine U-38 with four torpedoes off the Lofoten. No hits were obtained.

Late on this day, HMS Effingham, joined HMS Aurora (Capt. L.H.K. Hamilton, DSO, RN) that was patrolling of Vest Fjord screened by the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.F. de Salis, RN), HMS Escapade (Cdr. H.R. Graham, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, RN).

20 Apr 1940
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) is ordered to proceed to Harstad where she arrived late in the evening. The next day she took on board fuel from an oiler. While at Harstad she served as AA guardship. (9)

23 Apr 1940
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) departed Harstad for the Narvik area.

For the daily position of HMS Effingham during the period of 23 to 25 April 1940 see the map below.

(9)

24 Apr 1940
A bombardment of the Narvik area was carried out by the following ships; battleship HMS Warspite (Capt. V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), light cruisers HMS Aurora (Capt. L.H.K. Hamilton, DSO, RN), HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN), HMS Enterprise (Capt. J.C. Annesley, DSO, RN) and the destroyer HMS Zulu (Cdr. J.S. Crawford, RN). A/S protection for these ships was provided by the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.F. de Salis, RN), HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St J. Morgan, RN), HMS Escort (Lt.Cdr. J. Bostock, RN), HMS Foxhound (Lt.Cdr. G.H. Peters, RN), HMS Havock (Cdr. R.E. Courage, RN), HMS Hero (Cdr. H.W. Biggs, RN), HMS Hostile (Cdr. J.P. Wright, RN), ORP Blyscawica ( S.M. Nahorski, ORP) and ORP Grom (Lt.Cdr. S. Hryniewiecki).

HMS Effingham sank the British merhant ship (she had been captured by the Germans when they invaded Narvik) Riverton (5378 GRT, built 1928) inside Narvik Harbour. Otherwise the result of the bombardment was difficult to observe due to the bad visibility. (10)

25 Apr 1940
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) returned to Harstad.

[The log of HMS Effingham of April 1940 is the last available log for this ship. Her exact movements in datail for May 1940 are therefore not available at this moment.] (9)

1 May 1940
In the Narvik area, German forces were bombarded by the battleship HMS Resolution (Capt. O. Bevir, RN) and the light cruisers HMS Aurora (Capt. L.H.K. Hamilton, DSO, RN), HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN).

3 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
In the Narvik area, German forces were bombarded by the light cruisers HMS Aurora (Capt. L.H.K. Hamilton, DSO, RN), HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN).

13 May 1940
French troops were landed at Bjervik, Norway today. This is just to the north of Narvik. The town was captured successfully.

Naval ships involved in landing the troops and to provide cover were; battleship HMS Resolution (Capt. O. Bevir, RN), light cruisers HMS Aurora (Capt. L.H.K. Hamilton, DSO, RN), HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) which both landed French troops, repair ship HMS Vindictive (Capt. A.R. Halfhide, RN), netlayer HMS Protector (Capt. W.Y la L. Beverley, RN) and the destroyers HMS Somali (Capt. R.S.G. Nicholson, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Havelock (Capt. E.B.K. Stevens, DSC, RN), HMS Fame (Cdr. P.N. Walter, RN), HMS Basilisk (Cdr. M. Richmond, OBE, RN) and HMS Wren (Cdr. H.T. Armstrong, RN).

Air cover for this operation was provided, from a distance, by aircraft from HMS Ark Royal (Capt. A.J. Power, RN).

Later this day these ships also bombarded Narvik with the assistance of aircraft from the Ark Royal.

16 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
While at Harstad, HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN), took onboard South Wales Borderers which she was to land at Bodo.

17 May 1940
HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN), and loaded with troops, HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN), HMS Coventry (Capt. R.F.J. Onslow, DSC, RN), HMS Matabele (Cdr. G.K. Whitmy-Smith, RN) and HMS Echo (Cdr. S.H.K. Spurgeon, DSO, RAN) departed Harstad for Bodo to land Allied troops there.

18 May 1940 (position 0.00, 0.00)
In the evening, HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN), ran aground on Faksen Shoal near Bliksvaer at high speed. The troops on board were taken to HMS Coventry (Capt. R.F.J. Onslow, DSC, RN) by being ferried by HMS Echo (Cdr. S.H.K. Spurgeon, DSO, RAN).

HMS Coventry also hit rocks and damaged a fuel tank. HMS Matabele (Cdr. G.K. Whitmy-Smith, RN) was more seriously damaged to her hull when she too grounded. She was able to get off. She returned to the U.K. for repairs which took until mid-August to complete.

HMS Effingham could not be salvaged and was torpedoed by HMS Matabele not to be of use to the enemy.

On 21 May 1940, while en-route to the U.K. for repairs, HMS Matabele shelled and torpedoed the wrecked cruiser again to be she was throroughly wrecked.

Sources

  1. ADM 53/108472
  2. ADM 199/393
  3. ADM 53/108473
  4. ADM 53/108474
  5. ADM 199/2553
  6. ADM 53/108475
  7. ADM 53/112132
  8. ADM 53/112133
  9. ADM 53/112135
  10. ADM 234/332

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


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