Allied Warships

HMS Skate (H 39)

Destroyer of the Admiralty R class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassAdmiralty R 
PennantH 39 
Built byJohn Brown Shipbuilding & Engineering Company Ltd. (Clydebank, Scotland) 
Ordered8 Dec 1915 
Laid down12 Jan 1916 
Launched11 Jan 1917 
Commissioned19 Feb 1917 
End service 
History

In 1940 HMS Skate was fitted for minesweeping and had 8-.5" (2x4) machine guns added. Later she was converted to escort work and in that role she was armed as follows;
1 4" gun
1 12pdr AA gun
4 20mm AA (4x1)
She served mainly on Atlantic convoy duties and she also was part of the naval escort forces during the Normandy invasion.

HMS Skate is not listed as active unit in the January 1945 Navy List

Sold to be broken up for scrap on 4 March 1947.

 

Commands listed for HMS Skate (H 39)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Arthur Oswald Johnson, RN9 Jan 193914 Mar 1940
2Lt.Cdr. Robert Augustus Fell, RN14 Mar 194014 Jun 1940
3Lt. Frederick William Hayden, RN14 Jun 19403 Jul 1940
4Lt. Francis Peter Baker, RN3 Jul 19409 Feb 1942
5Lt. John Smallwood, RN9 Feb 1942Apr 1942
6Lt. Nicholas Marwood Mules, RNApr 194212 May 1942
7Lt.Cdr. (retired) Alan Westbury Preston, RN12 May 194228 May 1943
8Lt. John Charles Rushbrooke, DSC, RN28 May 19439 Jan 1944
9Lt. Harvey Patrick Fleming, RN19 Jan 19441 Jun 1944
10Lt. John Hart Macalister, RNVR1 Jun 1944late 1944

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Notable events involving Skate include:


9 Sep 1939
HMS Oberon (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Cumberbatch, RN) departed Portsmouth for Dundee. She was escorted until around 1900 hours by HMS Skate (Lt.Cdr. A.O. Johnson, RN).

During the night of 9/10 September 1939 HMS Oberon was in company with HMS Bittern (Cdr. G.F. Stevens-Guille, OBE, RN) and HMS Enchantress (Cdr. A.K. Scott-Moncrieff, RN).

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)

22 Sep 1939
HMS Thistle (Cdr. R.W. Stirling-Hamilton, RN) departed from Portsmouth for Dover where she arrived later the same day. She is escorted by HMS Skate (Lt.Cdr. A.O. Johnson, RN). Later HMS Brazen (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Mills, RN) took over from HMS Skate as escort. (2)

22 Sep 1940
HMS Skate (Lt. F.P. Baker, DSC, RN) picks up 55 survivors from the British tanker Torinia that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-100 about 340 nautical miles west of Bloody Foreland in position 54°55'N, 18°17'W.

24 Sep 1940
HMS Skate (Lt. F.P. Baker, DSC, RN) picks up 45 survivors from the British merchant Scholar, that was torpedoed and damaged on 22 September 1940 by German U-boat U-100 about 340 nautical miles west of Bloody Foreland in position 55°11'N, 17°58'W. On 23 September 1940 the Scholar was taken in tow by the British rescue tug HMRT Marauder (Lt. W.J. Hammond) in position 55?10'N, 17?49'W. On the 24th the tow was abandoned in position 54°38'N, 16°40'W and the wreck of the Scholar was scuttled by HMS Skate.

11 May 1941
HrMs O 10 (Lt. J.H. Geijs, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Skate (Lt. F.P. Baker, DSC, RN) and HMS Londonderry (Cdr. J.S. Dalison, RN). (3)

18 Jun 1941
HMS Skate (Lt. F.P. Baker, DSC, RN) picks up 70 survivors from the British merchant Norfolk that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-552about 175 nautical miles northwest of Malin Head in position 57°17'N, 11°14'W.

4 Jul 1941
HMS H 44 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Sennen (Lt.Cdr. D.C. Kinloch, RN), HMS Totland (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) S.G.C. Rawson, RN) and HMS Skate (Lt. F.P. Baker, DSC, RN). (4)

6 Sep 1941
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.W.D. Coombe, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Douglas (Cdr. W.E. Banks, DSC, RN), HMS Skate (Lt. F.P. Baker, DSC, RN), HMS Leamington (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Bowerman, RN), HMS Chelsea (Lt.Cdr. A.F.C. Layard, RN) and HMS Caldwell (Lt.Cdr. E.M. Mackay, RNR). (5)

13 Nov 1941
HMS H 50 (Lt. E.T. Stanley, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Douglas (Cdr. W.E. Banks, DSC, RN) and HMS Skate (Lt. F.P. Baker, DSC, RN). (6)

22 Nov 1941
HMS H 34 (Lt. W.A. Phillimore, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Douglas (Cdr. W.E. Banks, DSC, RN), HMS Skate (Lt. F.P. Baker, DSC, RN) and HMS Leamington (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Bowerman, RN). (7)

12 Jan 1943
HMS H 34 (Lt. G.M. Noll, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Skate (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) A.W. Preston, RN) and HMS Highlander (Cdr. E.C.L. Day, RN). (8)

28 Feb 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) conducted attack exercises on Inmarnock Water with HMS Breda (Capt.(Retd.) A.E. Johnston, RN) as the target and HMS Skate (Lt. J. Smallwood, RN) as escort for HMS Breda. (9)

2 Oct 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. D.G. Kent, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Bombardier (A/Skr.Lt. C.W. Burman, RNR), HMS Grenadier (A/Skr.Lt. A.G. Day, RNR) and HMS Skate (Lt. J.C. Rushbrooke, DSC, RN). (10)

3 Oct 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. D.G. Kent, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Bombardier (A/Skr.Lt. C.W. Burman, RNR), HMS Grenadier (A/Skr.Lt. A.G. Day, RNR), HMS Skate (Lt. J.C. Rushbrooke, DSC, RN), HMCS Kitchener (T/A/Lt.Cdr. W. Evans, RCNVR) and HMCS Arvida (T/Lt. D.G. King, RCNVR). (10)

30 Dec 1943
HrMs O 10 (Lt.Cdr. A. van Altena, RNN(R)) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Skate (Lt. J.C. Rushbrooke, DSC, RN), HMS Saladin (T/A/Lt.Cdr. P.G.C. King, RNVR), HMS Chelsea (Lt.Cdr. J.E.R. Wilford, RNR) and HMS Burdock (T/Lt. F.R.M. Greasley, RNR). (11)

6 Jun 1944
HMS Skate (Lt. J. H. Macalister, RNVR picked up the crew of a C-47 from the 435th Troop Carrier Group, the airplane was hit by German anti-aircraft fire over Normandy and ditched in the Channel. (12)

Media links


British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Sources

  1. ADM 173/15802
  2. ADM 173/16184
  3. File 2.12.03.6376 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  4. ADM 173/16783
  5. ADM 173/16742
  6. ADM 173/16795
  7. ADM 173/16766
  8. ADM 173/17790
  9. ADM 173/18388
  10. ADM 173/17787
  11. File 2.12.03.6384 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  12. Personal communication

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


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