Allied Warships

HMS Cam (K 264)

Frigate of the River class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeFrigate
ClassRiver 
PennantK 264 
Built byGeorge Brown & Co. (Greenock, Scotland): Parsons 
Ordered13 Dec 1941 
Laid down30 Jun 1942 
Launched31 Jul 1943 
Commissioned31 Jan 1944 
End service 
History

This was one of the few turbine engined River-class frigates.

On 18th July 1944, the sixth Escort Group consisting of four frigates, HMCS Outremont, HMCS Grou, HMCS Waskesiu and HMS Cam (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Smythe, DSC, RD, RNR) patrolling the channel, were ordered to proceed to position 235 degrees 22 miles from St Catherine's Point, where an aircraft reported a U-Boat on the surface at 0830. They arrived at 1045 and the first sweep was completed at 1500. At 1602 HMCS New Waterford in the company of HMCS Cape Brenton arrived and HM Canadian Ships Outremont and Grou were despatched to Spithead. At 1647 a sweep was commenced on course 130 degrees with the group in line abreast 300 yards apart. At 1655 an Asdic contact was obtained, the echo was classified doubtful. From the evidence the target appeared to be "non-sub" and it was decided to drop a single depth charge. However on turning to attack the echo became sharper and it was decided to drop a full ten charge pattern, setting "E"(150 and 300 feet) at a speed of 16 knots. At 1718 a pattern of Minol charges was fired and at 1720 a violent explosion occurred. The explosion badly damaged the stern of HMS Cam and 46 were injured, 9 seriously. HMS CAM was taken in tow at 1800 by HMCS Cape Brenton. In the meantime HMCS New Waterford transferred the most seriously injured to RNH Haslar. At 2245 HMS Cam was secured to buoy in Yarmouth (IOW) Roads and the remaining casualties were taken to Totland Bay Military Hospital. At 0100 on 19 July 1944, the tug Amsterdam commenced a tow to Portsmouth. HMS Cam was declared a total loss and was broken up by Young's of Sunderland in July 1945. At the subsequent enquiry it was ascertained that the depth charges had probably hit the wreck of one of the ammunition ships Crestflower or Ajax, both sunk on 8th August 1940 at the posistion 50 28.50 N 1 44.25W. Lot's of small arm ammunition thought to be American, was found on the deck of HMS Cam.

HMS Cam was not repaired and sold to be broken up for scrap on 22 June 1945.  

Commands listed for HMS Cam (K 264)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. John Patrick Smythe, RD, RNR1 Nov 1943mid/late45

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Notable events involving Cam include:


22 Feb 1944
HMS Uther (Lt. A.A. Catlow, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Cam (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Smythe, RD, RNR), HMS Wye (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.C. Powys-Smith, RNR), HMS Swale (Lt.Cdr. J. Jackson, DSC, RNR) and HMS Pennywort (T/Lt. A.W. James, RNR). (1)

23 Feb 1944
HMS Uther (Lt. A.A. Catlow, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Cam (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Smythe, RD, RNR), HMS Wye (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.C. Powys-Smith, RNR), HMS Gorleston (T/A/Lt.Cdr. W.A.E. Leonard, RNZNVR) and HMS Pennywort (T/Lt. A.W. James, RNR). (1)

27 Feb 1944
HMS Uther (Lt. A.A. Catlow, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Cam (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Smythe, RD, RNR), HMS Pennywort (T/Lt. A.W. James, RNR), HMS Quadrille (T/Lt. G.A. Peat, RNVR) and HMS Kilbride (Lt. H.O. L’Estrange, DSC, RNR). (1)

28 Feb 1944
HMS Uther (Lt. A.A. Catlow, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Gorleston (T/A/Lt.Cdr. W.A.E. Leonard, RNZNVR), HMS Pennywort (T/Lt. A.W. James, RNR), HMS Cam (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Smythe, RD, RNR) and HMS Wye (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.C. Powys-Smith, RNR). (1)

29 Feb 1944
HMS Uther (Lt. A.A. Catlow, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Cam (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Smythe, RD, RNR) and HMS Wye (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.C. Powys-Smith, RNR). (1)

12 Mar 1944
HMS H 34 (Lt. R.L. Jay, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Cam (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Smythe, DSC, RD, RNR), HMS Sweetbriar (A/Lt.Cdr. W. Whitfield, DSC, RNR), HMCS Ottawa (Cdr. H.F. Pullen, OBE, RCN) and HMCS Rosthern (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.J.G. Johnson, RCNVR). (2)

23 May 1944
HMS United (Lt. N.R. Wood, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Loch Fada (Lt.Cdr. B.A. Rogers, RD, RNR), HMS Lochy (Lt.Cdr. W.J.> Roberts, RNR) and HMS Cam (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Smythe, RD, RNR). (3)

24 May 1944
HMS United (Lt. N.R. Wood, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Loch Fada (Lt.Cdr. B.A. Rogers, RD, RNR), HMS Lochy (Lt.Cdr. W.J.> Roberts, RNR) and HMS Cam (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Smythe, RD, RNR). (3)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/19325
  2. ADM 173/18493
  3. ADM 173/19219

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


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