Allied Warships

HMS Stork (L 81 / U 81)

Sloop of the Bittern class


HMS Stork as seen during the Second World War.

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeSloop
ClassBittern 
PennantL 81 / U 81 
Built byWilliam Denny & Brothers (Dumbarton, Scotland) 
Ordered1 May 1935 
Laid down19 Jun 1935 
Launched21 Apr 1936 
Commissioned10 Sep 1936 
End service 
History

Scrapped in June 1958.

 

Hit by U-boat
Damaged on 12 Nov 1942 by U-77 (Hartmann).

U-boat AttackSee our U-boat attack entry for the HMS Stork

Commands listed for HMS Stork (L 81 / U 81)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

CommanderFromTo
1Cdr. Alfred Charles Behague, RN4 Sep 1939Nov 1940
2Lt.Cdr. Peter Vaughan James, RN26 Nov 1939

3Lt. Gordon Thomas Seccombe Gray, RNNov 1940Sep 1941
4Cdr. Frederick John Walker, RNSep 19411 Aug 1942
5Cdr. Godfrey Noel Brewer, RN1 Aug 1942Feb 1943

6Cdr. (retired) George William Emil Castens, RN28 Apr 194310 Jul 1944
7Lt.Cdr. Donald Emberton Mansfield, RN13 Jul 194427 Nov 1945

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Notable events involving Stork include:


12 Jul 1941

Convoy WS 9C

This convoy was formed at sea and was initially made up of the British merchants/ troop transports Avila Star (14443 GRT, built 1927), City of Pretoria (8049 GRT, built 1937), Deucalion (7516 GRT, built 1930), Durham (10893 GRT, built 1934), Leinster (4302 GRT, built 1937), Melbourne Star (11076 GRT, built 1936), Pasteur (30447 GRT, built 1939), Port Chalmers (8535 GRT, built 1933) and Sydney Star (11095 GRT, built 1936).

They were escorted by the battleship HMS Nelson (Capt. T.H. Troubridge, RN) (12-20 July), cruisers HMS Manchester (Capt. H. Drew, DSC, RN) (12-17 July), HMS Arethusa (Capt. A.C. Chapman, RN), (12-17 July), AA cruiser HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck (Cdr. E.J. van Holthe, RNN) (12-15 July), cruiser-minelayer HMS Manxman (Capt. R.K. Dickson, RN), (15-16 July), destroyers HMS Winchelsea (Lt.Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, OBE, DSC, RN) (12 July), HMS Vanoc (Lt.Cdr. J.G.W. Deneys, DSO, RN) (12-15 July), HMS Wanderer (Cdr. A.F.St.G. Orpen, RN) (12-15 July), ORP Garland (Lt.Cdr. K.F. Namiesniowski, ORP) (12-15 July), HMS Gurkha (Cdr. C.N. Lentaigne, RN) (12-15 July), HMS Cossack (Capt. E.L. Berthon, DSC and Bar, RN) (12-17 July), HMS Maori (Cdr. R.E. Courage, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) (12-17 July), HMS Sikh (Cdr. G.H. Stokes, RN) (12-17 July), HMS Lightning (Cdr. R.G. Stewart, RN) (12-17 July), HMAS Nestor (Cdr. A.S. Rosenthal, RAN) (12-17 July), HMS Fearless (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN) (17-20 July), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSO, DSC, RN) (18-20 July), HMS Foresight (Cdr. J.S.C. Salter, RN) (17-20 July), HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, DSC and Bar, RN) (17-20 July), HMS Foxhound (Cdr. G.H. Peters, DSC, RN) (17-20 July), HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN) (17-20 July), escort destroyers HMS Avon Vale (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, RN) (18-20 July), HMS Eridge (Lt.Cdr. W.F.N. Gregory-Smith, RN) (18-20 July), HMS Farndale (Cdr. S.H. Carlill, RN) (18-20 July) and sloop HMS Stork (Lt. G.T.S. Gray, DSC, RN) (12-13 July).

The merchant ships from the convoy departed either Avonmouth, Liverpool, the Clyde area and Belfast. The convoy was finally formed up at sea early on the 13th in position 55°40'N, 06°55'W.

The passage of the convoy was uneventful.

HMS Gurkha and ORP Garland left the convoy around 0330/15 reaching the limit of their endurance. HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck, HMS Vanoc and HMS Wanderer did the same around 1830/15. Around 2000/15 HMS Manxman joined the convoy, she parted company at 1900/16 and set course for Gibraltar. The merchant Avila Star had meanwhile left the convoy at 1000/16.

At 0700/17 the 8th Destroyer Flotilla was to join the convoy coming from Gibraltar but due to thick for no contact was made. At 1000/17 the Pasteur left the convoy for Gibraltar escorted by HMS Manchester, HMS Maori, HMS Lightning and HMAS Nestor. Shortly afterwards the fog lifted and the 8th Destroyer Flottilla was sighted and joined the convoy. At 1200/17 the Leinster also left the convoy for Gibraltar escorted by HMS Arethusa, HMS Cossack and HMS Sikh.

At 1800/18 HMS Firedrake joined the convoy coming from Gibraltar.

At 0700/18 HMS Avon Vale, HMS Eridge and HMS Farndale joined the Pasteur, HMS Manchester, HMS Lightning and HMAS Nestor. HMS Maori then left that group and joined the group that was made up of the Leinster, HMS Arethusa, HMS Cossack and HMS Sikh. HMS Manchester departed the ‘Pasteur group’ at 1000/19 to join the ‘Leinster group’ which she did at 1500/19.

The ‘Pasteur group’ arrived at Gibraltar shortly after noon on the 19th and around 0330/20 the ‘Leinster group’ arrived at Gibraltar. Troops aboard these ships then disembarked.

Around 0200/20, HMS Edinburgh, HMS Manxman, HMS Lightning, HMAS Nestor, HMS Avon Vale, HMS Eridge and HMS Farndale departed Gibraltar to rendez-vous with the now incoming convoy WS 9C. They joined the convoy shortly before noon, the six F-class destroyers of the 8th Destroyer Flotilla then left to refuel at Gibraltar.

For the continuation of the events see the event for 21 July 1941 on Operation Substance. (1)

7 Nov 1941
HrMs O 9 (Lt. H.A.W. Goossens, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Stork (Cdr. F.J. Walker, RN) and HMS Walney (Lt.Cdr. P.C. Meyrick, RN). (2)

17 Dec 1941
German U-boat U-131 was sunk north-east of Madeira, Portugal, in position 34°12'N, 13°35'W, by depth charges and gunfire from the British escort destroyers HMS Exmoor (Lt.Cdr. L.StG. Rich, RN) and HMS Blankney (Lt.Cdr. P.F. Powlett, DSC, RN), the British destroyer HMS Stanley (Lt.Cdr. D.B. Shaw, OBE, RN), the British corvette HMS Pentstemon (Lt.Cdr. J. Byron, RNR (retired)) and the British sloop HMS Stork (Cdr. F.J. Walker, RN), and by depth charges from a Martlet aircraft (Sqdn. 802) of the British escort carrier HMS Audacity (Cdr. D.W. Mackendrick, RN).

19 Dec 1941
German U-boat U-574 was sunk in the North Atlantic near Punta Delgada, in position 38°12'N, 17°23'W, by ramming and depth charges from the British sloop HMS Stork (Cdr. F.J. Walker, RN).

HMS Stork also picks up 14 survivors from the British merchant Ruckinge that was torpedoed and damaged, finally sunk by gunfire from the British corvette HMS Samphire (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Renny, RNR), by German U-boat U-108 west of Lisbon, Portugal in position 38°20'N, 17°15'W.

7 Apr 1942
HrMs O 10 (Lt. J.H. Geijs, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Stork (Cdr. F.J. Walker, DSO, RN) and HMS Gardenia (T/Lt. C.J Jackson, RNVR). (3)

14 Apr 1942
German U-boat U-252 was sunk at 2230hrs on 14 April 1942 in the North Atlantic south-west of Ireland, in approximate position 47°00'N, 18°14'W, by depth charges from the British sloop HMS Stork (Cdr. F.J. Walker, DSO, RN) and the British corvette HMS Vetch (T/A/Lt.Cdr. H.J. Beverley, DSC, RNR).

20 May 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Snowflake (Lt. H.G. Chesterman, RNR), HMS Stork (Cdr. F.J. Walker, DSO, RN), HMS Convolvulus (T/Lt. R.C. Connell, RNR), HMS Gardenia (T/Lt. C.J. Jackson, RNVR), HMS Sabre (Lt. R.L. Caple, DSC, RN) and HMS Scimitar (Lt.Cdr. C.G. Cuthbertson, DSC, RNR). (4)

21 May 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Stork (Cdr. F.J. Walker, DSO, RN), HMS Convolvulus (T/Lt. R.C. Connell, RNR), HMS Gardenia (T/Lt. C.J. Jackson, RNVR), HMS Leith (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Hulton, RN), HMS Bradford (Lt.Cdr. J.N.K. Knight, RN), HMS Scarborough (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Carnduff, RN) and HMS Sandwich (Lt.Cdr. H. Hill, RD, RNR). (4)

11 Aug 1942
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.R. Drummond, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Stork (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN), HMS Marigold (Lt. J.A.S. Halcrow, RNR), HMS Samphire (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Renny, DSC, RD, RNR) and HMS Cowdray (Lt.Cdr. C.W. North, RN). (5)

22 Sep 1942
HMS H 43 (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Stork (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN), HMS Deptford (Lt.Cdr. H.R. White, RN), ORP Garland (Lt.Cdr. H. Eibel), HMS Inkpen (T/Lt. H. Vernon, RNR) and aircraft. (6)

17 Jul 1943
HMS Proteus (Lt. A.R. Profit, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Larne with HMS Stork (Cdr.(Retd.) G.W.E. Castens, RN) and HMS Mallow (T/A/Lt.Cdr. H.T.S. Clouston, RNVR). (7)

9 Aug 1943
HMS P 511 (Lt. R.H. Bull, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Stork (Cdr.(Retd.) G.W.E. Castens, RN), HMS Bazely (Lt.Cdr. J.V. Brock, RCNVR), HMS Blackwood (Lt.Cdr. L.T. Sly, RD, RNR) and HMS Drury (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Parker, RN). (8)

30 Aug 1943
German U-boat U-634 was sunk in the North Atlantic east of the Azores, in position 40°13'N, 19°24'W, by depth charges from the British sloop HMS Stork (Cdr. G.W.E. Castens, (retired), RN) and the British corvette HMS Stonecrop (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Smythe, RNR).

17 Sep 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. D.G. Kent, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Whimbrel (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Moore, DSC, RNR), HrMs Johan Maurits van Nassau (Cdr. A. de Booy, RNN), HMS Myosotis (T/Lt. R. Lugg, RNR), HMS Fowey (Cdr.(Retd.) L.B.A. Majendie, RN) and HMS Stork (Cdr.(Retd.) G.W.E. Castens, RN). (9)

24 May 1944
HMS Una (Lt. C.A.J. Nicholl, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Stork (Cdr.(Retd.) G.W.E. Castens, DSO, RN) and HMS Caprice (Lt.Cdr. G.W. McKendrick, RN). (10)

25 May 1944
HMS Una (Lt. C.A.J. Nicholl, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Stork (Cdr.(Retd.) G.W.E. Castens, DSO, RN), HMS Caprice (Lt.Cdr. G.W. McKendrick, RN) and HMS Loch Killin (Lt.Cdr. S. Darling, RANVR). (10)

26 May 1944
HMS Una (Lt. C.A.J. Nicholl, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Stork (Cdr.(Retd.) G.W.E. Castens, DSO, RN), HMS Duncan (Lt. D.G.D. Hall-Wright, RN) and HMCS Orangeville (Lt. F.R. Pike, RCNVR). (10)

Media links


The Fighting Captain

Burn, Alan

Sources

  1. ADM 53/114626 + ADM 53/114204 + ADM 199/1138
  2. File 2.12.03.6368 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  3. File 2.12.03.6379 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  4. ADM 173/17201
  5. ADM 173/17216
  6. ADM 173/17253
  7. ADM 173/17891
  8. ADM 173/17927
  9. ADM 173/17786
  10. ADM 173/19192

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


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