HMS Enchantress (L 56 / U 56)
Sloop of the Bittern class
Photo Courtesy of Graham White.
|Navy||The Royal Navy|
|Pennant||L 56 / U 56|
|Built by||John Brown Shipbuilding & Engineering Company Ltd. (Clydebank, Scotland)|
|Ordered||5 Oct 1933|
|Laid down||9 Mar 1934|
|Launched||21 Dec 1934|
|Commissioned||4 Apr 1935|
When under construction she was to be named the Bittern however a decision was made to modify her by adding aft accommodation in place of 2x4.7 guns to serve as a Admiralty Yacht. She was renamed H.M.S. Enchantress before launch. The outbreak of war led to heavy modifications. Enchantress had her accomodation removed but she never shipped her aft 4.7\'s instead she was fitted with 2 x multiple machine guns (2x4) a vertical HF/DF mast in the X position a 12pdr A.A. gun in the Y position. Two 20mm A.A. guns added to the bridge wings and eventually 4 Hedgehog anti submarine spigot mortars! This meant for a small sloop the Enchantress had the A.A. Anti/Sub fire power of a much larger vessel.
Sold in 1946 for £22,500 to the Three Star Shipping company she was refitted as The Lady Enchantress to \"Pullman\" standard. To pay off the huge debt incurred a good season Torquay to Guernsey was needed unfortunately she suffered a catastrophic boiler failure on an early run. She was laid up and eventually scrapped at Dunston on Tyne, Gateshead UK starting on 16 February 1952.
Commands listed for HMS Enchantress (L 56 / U 56)
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|1||Cdr. Alan Kenneth Scott-Moncrieff, RN||10 Jan 1939||9 Jan 1941|
|2||Lt.Cdr. Arthur Edward Tolfrey Christie, RN||9 Jan 1941||7 Nov 1943|
|3||Lt.Cdr. Evelyn David John Abbot, DSC, RN||7 Nov 1943||Jan 1945|
|4||T/A/Lt.Cdr. Alfred John Clemence, RNR||1 Jan 1945||1 Oct 1945|
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Notable events involving Enchantress include:
Around 0930/10, HMS Oberon, took station astern of a convoy until 1600 hours when she joined HMS Matabele (Cdr. G.K. Whitmy-Smith, RN) which remained with Oberon until she was off Dundee on the 13th. (1)
24 May 1940
HMS Enchantress (Cdr. A.K. Scott-Moncrieff, RN) picks up 23 survivors from the Greek merchant Kyma that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-37 about 175 nautical miles south of Cape Clear in position 48°30'N, 09°30'W.
12 Jun 1940
The British merchant Earlspark is torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-101 north-west of Cape Finisterre in position 42°26'N, 11°33'W. HMS Enchantress (Cdr. A.K. Scott-Moncrieff, RN) later picks up 31 survivors.
26 Jul 1940
HMS Enchantress (Cdr. A.K. Scott-Moncrieff, RN) picks up 79 survivors from the British passenger ship Accra that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-34 about 320 nautical miles west of Bloody Foreland in position 55°40'N, 16°28'W.
10 Oct 1940
HMS Enchantress (Cdr. A.K. Scott-Moncrieff, RN) picks up 27 survivors from the British merchant Graigwen that was torpedoed and damaged the previous day by German U-boat U-103 37 nautical miles north-north-west of Rockall. The abandoned Graigwen was finally torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-123 in position 58°11'N, 13°57'W.
23 Nov 1940
HMS Enchantress (Cdr. A.K. Scott-Moncrieff, RN) picks up 26 survivors from the British merchant Justitia that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-100 about 160 nautical miles west of Bloody Foreland in position 55°00'N, 13°10'W.
Enchantress also picks up 7 survivors from the Norwegian merchant Salonica that was also torpedoed and sunk by U-100 west of Ireland in position 55°16'N, 12°14'W. (2)
3 Mar 1941
HMS Enchantress (Lt.Cdr. A.E.F. Christie, RN) successfully locates the Royal Navy submarine HMS Taku (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN) damaged and adrift in the Atlantic. With the corvette HMS Gladiolus and tug HMS Slavonia, HMS Enchantress successfully escorts HMS Taku into Londonderry on the 10th March. (2)
3 Mar 1941
At 0045 hours (zone +1), HMS Taku (Lt. J.F.B. Brown, RN), is joined by the British sloop HMS Enchantress (Lt.Cdr. A.E.T. Christie, RN). At 1130 hours the British corvette HMS Gladiolus (Lt.Cdr. H.M.C. Sanders, DSC, RNR) and the British rescue tug HMRT Salvonia also joined. Attempts were now undertaken to take Taku in tow but these failed. A connection between Salvonia and Taku was established only at 0808 hours the following morning. Taku was now towed to Londonderry. During passage the tow parted once. (3)
5 Nov 1941
HrMs O 9 (Lt. H.A.W. Goossens, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Enchantress (Lt.Cdr. A.E.T. Christie, OBE, RN) and HMS Le Tiger (T/Lt. C.A. Hoodless, RNR). (4)
20 Aug 1942
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.R. Drummond, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Walney (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Meyrick, RN), HMS Aberdeen (Lt. S.G. Rivers-Smith, RN), HMS Enchantress (Lt.Cdr. A.E.T. Christie, OBE, RN), HMS Hartland (Lt.Cdr. G.P. Billot, RNR) and HMS Clare (Lt.Cdr. L.H. Landman, RN). (5)
13 Dec 1942
The Italian submarine Corallo (offsite link) was rammed and sunk off Bougie, Algeria in position 36°58'N, 05°07'E by the British sloop HMS Enchantress (Lt.Cdr. A.E.F. Christie, OBE, RN). HMS Enchantress was an escort for convoy KMS 4 Gibraltar-Algiers). The Corallo was forced to the surface due to the depth charge attacks made by Enchantress. Some reports claim the gun crew tried to bring her deck gun into action against the Enchantress. Next the Enchantress rammed the Corallo sinking her with all hands lost.
26 May 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. J.A. Spender, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Poppy (T/Lt. D.R.C. Onslow, RNR), HMS Starwort (Lt. A.H. Kent, DSC, RNR), HMS Moyola (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lawson, RD, RNR) and HMS Enchantress (Cdr. A.E.T. Christie, OBE, DSC, RN). (6)
27 May 1943
HMS Universal (Lt. C. Gordon, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Londonderry with HMS Poppy (T/Lt. D.R.C. Onslow, RNR), HMS Starwort (Lt. A.H. Kent, DSC, RNR), HMS Lotus (Lt.Cdr. H.J. Hall, DSC, RD, RNR), HMS Dianella (T/Lt. J.F. Tognola, RNR) and HMS Enchantress (Cdr. A.E.T. Christie, OBE, DSC, RN). (7)
17 Jun 1943
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.A.R. Troup, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Anchusa (T/Lt. H.V. Gordon, DSC, RNVR), HMS Teviot (Lt.Cdr. T. Taylor, DSC, RN) and HMS Enchantress (Cdr. A.E.T. Christie, OBE, DSC, RN). (8)
18 Jun 1943
HMS P 511 (Lt. C.W. Taylor, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Enchantress (Lt.Cdr. A.E.T. Christie, OBE, DSC, RN), another vessel (unable to read the name in the log of HMS P 511) and HMS Gorleston (Cdr.(Retd.) R.W. Keymer, RN). (9)
- ADM 173/15802
- Personal communication
- ADM 199/1846
- File 2.12.03.6368 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
- ADM 173/17216
- ADM 173/17782
- ADM 173/18350
- ADM 173/17771
- ADM 173/17925
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.