Allied Warships

HMS Somaliland (K 594)

Frigate of the Colony class

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantK 594 
Built byWalsch-Kaiser Co., Inc. (Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.A.) 
Ordered10 Jun 1943 
Laid down11 Oct 1943 
Launched11 Nov 1943 
Commissioned22 Feb 1944 
End service 

Returned to the USN 22 May 1946.


Commands listed for HMS Somaliland (K 594)

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

1A/Lt.Cdr. Keith Burns Hopkins, DSC, RNVR22 Feb 19446 Oct 1945
2T/Lt. John Norman Hill, RNR6 Oct 194521 Dec 1945

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Notable events involving Somaliland include:

3 Sep 1944
HMS L 27 (Lt. J.N. Elliott, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Bermuda with HMS Cayman (T/A/Lt.Cdr. S.C. Bradley, RNZNR) and HMS Somaliland (A/Lt.Cdr. K.B. Hopkins, DSC, RNVR). (1)

23 Nov 1944
HMS Virulent (Lt. S.J. Fovargue, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Larne with HMCS North Bay (T/A/Lt.Cdr. B. Hynes, RCNVR), HMCS Atholl (T/Lt. W.G. Garden, RCNVR), HMS Bahamas (T/A/Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomson, RNR) and HMS Somaliland (A/Lt.Cdr. K.B. Hopkins, DSC, RNVR). (2)

29 Nov 1944

Operation Acumen, the passage of convoys JW 62 and RA 62 between the U.K. and Northern Russia vice versa.

Convoy JW 62.

This convoy departed Loch Ewe on 29 November 1944 for Northern Russia.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Amasa Delano (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Andrew Turnbull (American, 7240 GRT, built 1944), August Belmont (American, 7240 GRT, built 1944), Barbara Frietchie (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), British Respect (British (tanker), 8479 GRT, built 1943), Cecil N. Bean (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Edward N. Hurley (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), Empire Garrick (British (tanker), 8128 GRT, built 1942), Empire Stalwart (British, 7045 GRT, built 1943), Fort Boise (British, 7151 GRT, built 1943), Fort Highfield (British, 7129 GRT, built 1943), Fort Island (British, 7167 GRT, built 1944), Fort Massac (British, 7157 GRT, built 1943), John Gibbon (American, 7247 GRT, built 1944), Laurelwood (British (tanker), 7347 GRT, built 1929), Linn Boyd (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Longwood (British (tanker), 9463 GRT, built 1930), Luculus (British (tanker), 6546 GRT, built 1929), Nelson W. Aldrich (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Owen Wister (American, 7240 GRT, built 1944), Renald Fernald (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Robert Lowry (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Stanton H. King (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Stephen Leacock (American, 7198 GRT, built 1944), Stevenson Taylor (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), U.S.O. (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), W.R. Grace (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), William H. Wilmer (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), William Tyler Page (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) and Woodbridge N. Ferris (American, 7200 GRT, built 1943).

The rescue vessel Rathlin (British, 1600 GRT, built 1936).

The convoy had a close escort made up of the sloops HMS Cygnet (Lt.Cdr. P.J. Cowell, DSC, RN), HMS Lapwing (Cdr.(Retd.) E.C. Hulton, RN), HMS Lark (Cdr.(Retd.) H. Lambton, RN), frigates HMS Tavy (Cdr. G.A. Thring, DSO, RN), HMCS Monnow (Cdr. E.G. Skinner, DSO, RCNR), HMCS Nene (T/A/Lt.Cdr. E.R. Shaw, RCNR), HMCS Port Colborne (T/Lt.Cdr. C.J. Angus, RCNR), HMCS Saint John (A/Lt.Cdr. W.R. Stacey, RCNR), HMCS Stormont (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G.A. Myra, RCNR), HMS Bahamas (T/A/Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomson, RNR), HMS Somaliland (A/Lt.Cdr. K.B. Hopkins, DSC, RNVR), HMS Tortola (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G.C.L. Payne, RNVR) and the corvettes HNoMS Eglantine, HMS Allington Castle (A/Lt.Cdr. P.A. Read, RNR), HMS Bamborough Castle (T/Lt. M.S. Work, DSC and Bar, RNR) and HNoMS Tunsberg Castle.

On 1 December 1944, the destroyers HMS Keppel (Cdr. I.J. Tyson, DSO, DSC, RNR), HMS Westcott (A/Lt.Cdr. E.P. Reade, DSC, RN), HMS Beagle (Lt. C.D.T. Williams, RN) and HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. C.G. Walker, RN) joined coming from the Faeroer Islands having departed there on 30 November.

Part of the convoy arrived in the Kola Inlet on 7 December 1944. Another part of the convoy was detached to Archangelsk and had parted company with the convoy around 1730B/6. To escort this part of the convoy the Russian destroyers Baku, Gremyashchiy, Razumniy, Uritsky, Dejatelnyj, Derzkij, Doblestnyj and Zivuchij as well as some patrol vessels had joined as escorts.


Convoy RA 62.

This convoy departed the Kola Inlet on 10 December 1944 for Loch Ewe.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Abner Nash (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Andrew W. Preston (American, 7247 GRT, built 1944), Benjamin Schlesinger (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Collis P. Huntington (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Dolabella (British (tanker), 8142 GRT, built 1939), Donald W. Bain (American, 7200 GRT, built 1944), Eleazar Lord (American, 7247 GRT, built 1944), Elroy Alfaro (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), Fort Crevecour (British, 7191 GRT, built 1943), Fort Romaine (British, 7131 GRT, built 1943), Fort Yukon (British, 7131 GRT, built 1943), Harold L. Winslow (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Henry Adams (American, 7212 GRT, built 1944), James M. Gillis (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), John Sharp Williams (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Joyce Kilmer (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Keith Palmer (American, 7244 GRT, built 1944), Laurelwood (British (tanker), 7347 GRT, built 1929), Lawrence J. Brengle (American, 7209 GRT, built 1944), Lucullus (British (tanker), 6546 GRT, built 1929), Marathon (Norwegian, 7208 GRT, built 1930), Nicholas Biddle (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Park Benjamin (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944), San Venancio (British (tanker), 8152 GRT, built 1942), Stage Door Canteen (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), William Pepper (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), William Wheelwright (American, 7176 GRT, built 1944) and Windfred L. Smith (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943).

The rescue vessel Rathlin (British, 1600 GRT, built 1936).

The convoy had the same close escort as JW 62 with the exception of the two Norwegian corvettes which remained in Northern Russia. The damaged frigate Mounsey (Lt. F.A.J. Andrew, RN) took passage in / with this convoy.

Before the convoy departed the Russian destroyers Baku, Gremyashchiy, Razumniy, Derzkij, Doblestnyj und Zivuchij conducted an A/S sweep of the Kola Inlet to drive off the concentration of German submarines in the area.

The convoy arrived at Loch Ewe on 19 December 1944.


Cover for these convoys was provided by a force made up of escort carriers HMS Campania (A/Capt. K.A. Short, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.R. McGrigor, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Nairana (Capt. V.N. Surtees, DSO, RN), light cruiser HMS Bellona (Capt. C.F.W. Norris, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Caesar (Capt. G.N. Brewer, DSO, RN), HMS Cambrian (Lt.Cdr. H.T. Harrel, RN), HMS Caprice (Lt.Cdr. G.W. McKendrick, RN), HMS Cassandra (Cdr. P.F. Powlett, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN), HMS Onslow (Capt. H.W.S. Browning, OBE, RN), HMS Offa (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Biggs, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN), HMS Onslaught (Cdr. A. Pleydell-Bouverie, RN), HMS Oribi (Lt. D.M. Vaughan-Hughes, RN), HMS Obedient (Lt.Cdr. H. Unwin, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Orwell (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Gower, RN).

Around 1745A/29, HMS Offa, HMS Onslaught, HMS Oribi, HMS Obedient and HMS Orwell departed Scapa Flow for the Faeroer Islands where they were to fuel and then join the remainder of the Force. HMS Onslow also proceeded to the Faeroer Islands to fuel but she departed Loch Ewe, also on 29 November. Her Commanding Officer had attended the convoy conference.

Around 1145A/30, HMS Campania, HMS Nairana, HMS Bellona, HMS Caesar, HMS Cambrian, HMS Caprice and HMS Cassandra departed Scapa Flow for the operation.

The cover force joined convoy JW 62 around 0800A/1 in position 63°29'N, 03°46'W and arrived in the Kola Inlet around 0100B/7 after having been detached from the convoy around 2145B/6.

The cover force departed the Kola Inlet on 10 December 1944 with convoy RA 62.

Around 0611A/11, HMS Cassandra was torpedoed and damaged by a Gnat torpedo fired by the German submarine U-365 in position 71°57'N, 32°04'E. The entire bow of the destroyer was blown off. HMS Cassandra was taken in tow (stern first) by the HMS Bahamas (T/A/Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomson, RNR). Later the tow was passed over to a Soviet tug which towed her to the Kola Inlet escorted by HMS Tavy, HMS Bahamas, HMS Somaliland and HMS Tortola. They arrived on the 14th.

HMS Campania, HMS Vindex, HMS Bellona, HMS Caesar, HMS Cambrian, HMS Caprice and HMS Onslaught arrived at Scapa Flow around 1100A/18.

Around 0900A/19, HMS Onslow, HMS Obedient and HMS Orwell arrived at Scapa Flow.

Around 1000A/19, HMS Offa and HMS Oribi arrived at Liverpool.


  1. ADM 199/1830
  2. ADM 173/19411

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

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