Allied Warships

HMS Rochester (L 50 / U 50)

Sloop of the Shoreham class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSloop
ClassShoreham 
PennantL 50 / U 50 
Built byChatham Dockyard (Chatham, U.K.): J.S. White & Co. (Cowes, U.K.) 
Ordered15 Mar 1930 
Laid down24 Nov 1930 
Launched16 Jul 1931 
Commissioned31 Mar 1932 
End service 
History

Sold on 6 January 1951.

 

Commands listed for HMS Rochester (L 50 / U 50)

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CommanderFromTo
1Cdr. George Fisher Renwick, RN20 Jun 193916 Jan 1941
2Lt.Cdr. Conway Benning Allen, RN16 Jan 1941Oct 1942
3Cdr. Hugh Valentine King, OBE, RNOct 1942mid 1944
4Lt. John Hilton Divitte Northcote, RNRmid 194415 May 1944
5Lt.Cdr. John Valentine Waterhouse, DSO, RN15 May 1944Jun 1944
6Lt.Cdr. William Alick Grinham, RNVRJun 1944late 1944
7Lt. John Hilton Divitte Northcote, RNRlate 19445 Mar 1945
8Cdr. (retired) Felix Edward Chevallier, DSC, RN5 Mar 194527 Oct 1946

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Notable events involving Rochester include:


25 Sep 1939
Around 0800 hours (zone -4.5), HMS Manchester (Capt. H.H. Bousfield, RN) and the ships of convoy K 4 (see the event for HMS Manchester for 23 September 1939) were joined in appoximate position 18°30'N, 63°06'E by HMS Rochester (Cdr. G.F. Renwick, RN) and two more merchant ships; Indora (6622 GRT, built 1938), Rohna (8602 GRT, built 1926). (1)

13 Jan 1940
HMS Severn (Lt.Cdr. B.W. Taylor, RN) departed Freetown for Portsmouth. She was part of the ocean escort of convoy SL 16F together with Armed Merchant Cruiser HMS Cheshire (Capt. (Retd.) M.R. Bernard, RN) and the destroyers HMS Hardy (Capt. B.A. Warburton-Lee, RN) and HMS Hostile (Cdr. J.P. Wright, RN).

Besides the escort the convoy was made up of 12 British merchant ships; Adda (7816 GRT, built 1922), Anselm (5954 GRT, built 1935), Baronesa (8663 GRT, built 1918), City of Nagpur (10146 GRT, built 1922), Cordillera (6865 GRT, built 1920), Cumberland (10939 GRT, built 1919), Mahia (10014 GRT, built 1917), Mary Slessor (5027 GRT, built 1930), Orari (10350 GRT, built 1931), Port Sydney (9129 GRT, built 1914), Raranga (10043 GRT, built 1916) and Scientist (6198 GRT, built 1938).

The destroyers departed the convoy on the 20th and then proceeded to Gibraltar. On the 24th the destroyer HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, RN) and sloop HMS Rochester (Cdr. G.F. Renwick, RN) took over the escort from the HMS Cheshire and HMS Severn which then proceeded to Plymouth and Portsmouth respectively where they both arrived on the 26th. (2)

16 Aug 1940
At 13.02 hours on 16 august 1940 U-46 fired three torpedoed on three ships (two passenger ships and one freighter) which partially overlapped in convoy OB-197 (150 miles southwest of Rockall) and observed a hit on the freighter, which was clearly damaged, as the bow was deeper in the water. The Dutch merchant ship Alcinous (6,189 tons) was hit on the port side by one torpedo and caught fire, which could be extinguished after long work. The British sloop HMS Rochester (Cdr. G.F. Renwick, RN) supported the damaged ship, which was later towed to Gourock by a British tug. Endrass could not identify his victim, but U-30(Lemp) heard the SSS-signals from the Alcinous.

30 Sep 1940
HMS Rochester (Cdr. G.F. Renwick, RN) picks up 7 survivors from the British merchant Mabriton that was torpedoed and sunk on 25 September 1940 by German U-boat U-32 west-south-west of Rockall in position 56°12'N, 23°00'W.

13 Dec 1940
HMS H 50 (Lt. M. Willmott, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Holyhead with HMS Warwick (Lt.Cdr. M.A.G. Child, RN) and HMS Rochester (Cdr. G.F. Renwick, RN). (3)

19 Oct 1941
German U-boat U-204 was sunk near Tangier, in position 35°46'N, 06°02'W, by depth charges from the British corvette HMS Mallow (Lt. W.R.B. Noall, RNR) and the British sloop HMS Rochester (Cdr. C.B. Allen, RN).

30 Nov 1941
HMS H 50 (Lt. E.T. Stanley, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Rochester (Cdr.(Retd.) C.B. Allen, RN), HMS Northern Spray (T/Lt. G.T. Gilbert, RNVR), HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Hulton, RN) and HMS Newport. (4)

6 Feb 1942
German U-boat U-82 was sunk north of the Azores, in position 44°10'N, 23°52'W, by depth charges from the British sloop HMS Rochester (Cdr. C.B. Allen, RN) and the corvette HMS Tamarisk (Lt. S. Ayles, RNR).

24 Mar 1942
HrMs O 10 (Lt. J.H. Geijs, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Rochester (Cdr. (retired) C.B. Allen, RN), HMS Bulldog (Cdr. M. Richmond, OBE, RN), HMS Ambuscade (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Fell, RN), HMS Sandwich (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) R.C. Gervers, RN), HMS Scarborough (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Carnduff, RN), HMS Bradford (Lt.Cdr. J.N.K. Knight, RN) and ORP Blyscawica (Lt.Cdr. T. Gorazdowski, ORP, ORP). (5)

31 Jul 1942
German U-boat U-213 was sunk in the North Atlantic south-east of the Azores, in position 36°45'N, 22°50'W by depth charges from the British sloops HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. E.D.J. Abbot, RN), HMS Rochester (Cdr. C.B. Allen, RN) and HMS Sandwich (Lt.Cdr. H. Hill, RNR).

28 Aug 1942
HMS Rochester (Cdr. C.B. Allen, RN) picks up 63 survivors from the British merchant City of Cardiff that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-566 west-north-west of Lisbon.

6 Mar 1943
HMS H 28 (Lt. K.H. Martin, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Scarborough (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Carnduff, RN), HMS Coltsfoot (T/Lt. the Hon. W.K. Rous, RNVR), HMS Spiraea (Lt. A.H. Pierce, OBE, RNR), HMS Rochester (Cdr. H.V. King, OBE, RN), HNoMS Rose and HMS Fleetwood (Cdr. W.B. Piggott, OBE, RD, RNR). (6)

28 Jun 1943
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.A.R. Troup, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Rochester (Cdr. H.V. King, OBE, RN) and HMS Geranium (T/Lt. A.R.J. Tilston, DSC, RNR). (7)

30 Jun 1943
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.A.R. Troup, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Rochester (Cdr. H.V. King, OBE, RN), HMS Geranium (T/Lt. A.R.J. Tilston, DSC, RNR), HMS Lagan (Lt.Cdr. A. Ayre, RNR) and HMS Primrose (T/Lt. P.E. Kitto, RNR). (7)

3 Jul 1943
HMS H 34 (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Sabre and HMS Fame (Capt. R. Heathcote, DSO, RN), HMS Rochester (Cdr. H.V. King, OBE, RN) and HMS Azalea (Lt. G.C. Geddes, RNR). (8)

4 Jul 1943
HMS P 511 (Lt. C.W. Taylor, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Rochester (Cdr. H.V. King, OBE, RN), HMS Geranium (T/Lt. A.R.J. Tilston, DSC, RNR), HMS Mignonette (Lt. H.H. Brown, RNR), HMS Balsam (Lt. J.E.L. Peters, RNVR), HMS Coltsfoot (T/Lt. G.W. Rayner, RNVR) and HMS Azalea (Lt. G.C. Geddes, RNR). (9)

15 Jul 1943
German U-boat U-135 was sunk in the Atlantic, in position 28°20'N, 13°17'W, by the British sloop HMS Rochester (Cdr. H.V. King, OBE, RN) and the British corvettes HMS Mignonette (Lt. H.H. Brown, RNR) and HMS Balsam (Lt. J.E.L. Peters, RNVR) and an American Catalina aircraft (VP-92).

5 Feb 1944
HMS H 44 (Lt. P.N. Joyce, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Scarborough (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Carnduff, RN) and HMS Rochester (Cdr. H.V. King, OBE, DSO, RN). (10)

26 Apr 1944
HMS H 50 (T/Lt. A.F. Wicker, RNVR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Summerside (T/Lt. G. St. A.Mongenais, RCNVR), HMS Mignonette (Lt. H.H. Brown, DSC, RNR), HMS Rochester (Cdr. H.V. King, OBE, DSO, RN) and HMS Scarborough (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Carnduff, RN). (11)

Sources

  1. ADM 53/109700
  2. ADM 199/2572
  3. ADM 173/16335
  4. ADM 173/16795
  5. File 2.12.03.6379 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  6. ADM 173/17756
  7. ADM 173/17771
  8. ADM 173/17796
  9. ADM 173/17926
  10. ADM 173/18513
  11. ADM 173/18527

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


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