Allied Warships

HMS Bideford (L 43 / U 43)

Sloop of the Shoreham class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSloop
ClassShoreham 
PennantL 43 / U 43 
Built byDevonport Dockyard (Plymouth, U.K.): J.S. White & Co. (Cowes, U.K.) 
Ordered15 Mar 1930 
Laid down10 Jun 1930 
Launched1 Apr 1931 
Commissioned23 Feb 1932 
End service 
History

Sold 14 September 1947.

HMS Bideford is not listed as active unit in the July 1945 Navy List

 

Commands listed for HMS Bideford (L 43 / U 43)

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CommanderFromTo
1Capt. Douglas Young-Jamieson, RN14 Nov 193812 Sep 1939
2Cdr. Robert Francis Elkins, RN12 Sep 193916 Apr 1940
3Lt.Cdr. John Hugh Lewes, RN16 Apr 194015 Nov 1940
4Lt.Cdr. William Josselyn Moore, RNR15 Nov 194022 Nov 1942
5Lt.Cdr. William Francis Hollins, RN22 Nov 19424 Oct 1943
6Cdr. John Rowe Westmacott, RN4 Oct 1943Feb 1944
7T/A/Lt.Cdr. Herbert James Beverley, DSO, DSC, RNR1 Mar 1944Dec 1944
8A/Lt.Cdr. Alan Henry Pierce, OBE, RNRDec 1944mid 1945

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Notable events involving Bideford include:


28 Sep 1939
HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. B.C.S. Martin, RN) is ordered to patrol in the Tsushima Strait together with HMS Bideford (Cdr. R.F. Elkins, RN). (1)

28 May 1940
HMS Bideford (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Lewes, RN) took part in the evacuation of troops from Dunkirk.

23 Sep 1941
HMS Bideford (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Moore, RNR) picks up 63 survivors from the British merchant Edward Blyden that was torpedoed and sunk the previous day by German U-boat U-103 southwest of the Canary Islands in position 27°36'N, 24°29'W.

11 Jun 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Lulworth (Lt.Cdr. C. Gwinner, RN) and HMS Bideford (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Moore, RNR).

After completing these exercises HMS H 28 set course for Rothesay escorted by HMS Tango (T/Lt. J. Hunter, RNR). (2)

9 Aug 1942
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.R. Drummond, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Bideford (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Moore, RNR), HMS Landguard (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) R.E.S. Hugonin, RN), HMS Hastings (Lt.Cdr. L.B. Philpott, DSC, RD, RNR) and HMS Londonderry (Cdr. J.S. Dalison, RN). (3)

2 Nov 1942
HMS Bideford (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Moore, RNR) picks up 31 survivors from the British passenger ship Abosso that was torpedoed and sunk on 29 October 1942 by German U-boat U-575 about 700 nautical miles north-west of the Azores in position 48°30'N, 28°50'W.

20 Apr 1943
HMS H 50 (Lt. G.S.C Clarabut, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Bideford (Lt.Cdr. W.F. Hollins, RN) and HMCS Kenogami (T/Lt. J.L. Percy, RCNVR). (4)

21 Apr 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. J.A. Spender, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Bideford (Lt.Cdr. W.F. Hollins, RN), HMCS Kenogami (T/Lt. J.L. Percy, RCNVR), HMS Starling (Capt. F.W. Walker, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Winchelsea (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Gregorie, RD, RNR), HMS Snowflake (Lt. H.G. Chesterman, RNR), HMS Loosestrife (Lt. H.A. Stonehouse, RNR), HMS Pink (Lt. R. Atkinson, DSC, RNR) and HMS Tay (Lt.Cdr. R.E. Sherwood, RNR). (5)

22 Apr 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. J.A. Spender, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with ships of Escort Group B 7, HMS Starling (Capt. F.W. Walker, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Bideford (Lt.Cdr. W.F. Hollins, RN) and HMS Winchelsea (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Gregorie, RD, RNR) and another vessel [unable to read the name of this vessel in the log of HMS H 33]. (5)

23 Apr 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. J.A. Spender, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Starling (Capt. F.W. Walker, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Bideford (Lt.Cdr. W.F. Hollins, RN) and HMS Winchelsea (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Gregorie, RD, RNR). (5)

23 Aug 1943
On the 23th August 1943 the 40th Escort Group (Cdr. Dallison), consisting of the sloops HMS Landguard, HMS Bideford, HMS Hastings and the frigates HMS Exe, HMS Moyola and HMS Waveney were deployed on a U-boat hunt off Cape Ortegal. The whole operation was covered by the British light cruiser HMS Bermuda.

On the 25th August the Canadian 5th Support Group (Cdr. Tweed), consisting of the British frigates HMS Nene, HMS Tweed and the Canadian corvettes HMCS Calgary, HMCS Edmundston and HMCS Snowberry were deployed to relieve the 40th Escort Group. While this was in progress the ships were attacked at 1415 hrs by 14 Dornier Do-217's and 7 Ju-88's. with the new German weapon, the Henschel Glider Bombs, (the "Hs293 A-1"). Designed by the German Professor Herbert Wagner. HMS Landguard and HMS Bideford were the first of the Allied and R.N. ships to be attacked and damaged by them. This being the first time of their being brought into action against Allied ships. Several sailors were injured on HMS Bideford and one sailor was killed.

Another two days later on the 27th August 1943 the Canadian 5th Support group was relieved by the 1st Support group (Cdr. Brewer) consisting of the sloops HMS Pelican, HMS Egret and the frigates HMS Jed, HMS Rother, HMS Spey and HMS Evenlode. Also the covering cruiser HMS Bermuda was relieved by the Canadian destroyer HMCS Athabaskan and the British destroyer HMS Grenville. These ships were also attacked by the Germans. This time with 18 Dornier Do-217?s also carrying Henschel Glider Bombs. HMCS Athabaskan was heavily damaged and HMS Egret was sunk with the loss of 194 of her crew. After this loss the U-boat hunt was blown off.

Sources

  1. ADM 199/374
  2. ADM 173/17202
  3. ADM 173/17216
  4. ADM 173/17827
  5. ADM 173/17781

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


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