Allied Warships


ASW Whaler

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeASW Whaler
Class[No specific class] 
Built bySmiths Dock Co., Ltd. (South Bank-on-Tees, U.K.) 
Laid down 
Launched26 Jul 1937 
CommissionedJan 1941 
End service 

Completed in September 1937.
Norwegian whaler of Hvalfangerselskap Kosmos A/S (Anders Jahre), Sandefjord, Norway taken over by the Admiralty in September 1940.
Displacement: 353 tons.

HMS Kos XXIII (Lt.Cdr. J.J. Reid, RNVR) was heavily damaged by German aircraft at SudaBay, Crete on 20 May 1941, declared a total loss three days later. Scuttled to prevent capture by the Germans.

Raised by the Germans, repaired and renamed UJ 2104.


Commands listed for HMS Kos XXIII

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and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1J. J. Reid, RNVR???23 May 1941

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Notable events involving Kos XXIII include:

26 Feb 1941

Convoy US 9A.

This convoy departed Bombay on 26 February 1941.

The convoy was made up of the following (troop) transports; Cap. St.Jacques (British (former French), 8009 GRT, built 1922, 758 troops and stores), Khedive Ismael (British, 7290 GRT, built 1922, 841 troops and stores, the troops included nurses), Nevasa (British, 9213 GRT, built 1913, 1213 troops and stores), Slamat (Dutch, 11636 GRT, built 1924, 972 troops and stores) and Westernland (Dutch, 16479 GRT, built 1918, 2041 troops and stores).

On departure from Bombay the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Hector (Capt.(Retd.) F. Howard, DSC, RN).

Around 0830C/5, the sloops HMS Auckland (Cdr. E.G. Hewitt, DSO, RN) and HMAS Parramatta (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Walker, MVO, RAN) joined followed about an hour later by the light cruiser HMS Caledon (A/Cdr. C.S. Britton, RN). HMS Hector was then detached and proceed to Aden.

The auxiliary A/S whalers, HMS Syvern (?), HMS KOS XIX (?), HMS KOS XXI (T/Lt. A.R.J. Tilston, SANF(V)), HMS KOS XXII (Lt.(Retd.) H.D. Foxon, RNR) and HMS KOS XXIII (Lt.Cdr. J.J. Reid, RNVR) also joined the convoy for passage to Suez.

Around 2000C/6, HMS Kos XIX dropped astern due to engine trouble. HMAS Parramatta and HMS Kos XXI went to her assistance and the following morning they almost caught up with the convoy. They were then however ordered to proceed to Port Sudan together with the troop transport Cap St. Jacques. The four ships arrived at Port Sudan on 8 March 1941.

HMS Auckland parted company with the convoy on 7 March 1941 to return to Aden.

Around 2100C/9, HMS Caledon parted company with the convoy to return to Aden via Port Sudan.

The convoy anchored off Mahamad Gul and proceeded to Suez arriving there 15 March. The Westernland had gone ahead and had already arrived on 13 March. The three remaining A/S whalers had also gone ahead arriving at Suez on 10 / 11 March 1941. (1)


  1. ADM 199/408

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

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