Allied Warships

HMS Montgomery (G 95)

Destroyer of the Town class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassTown 
PennantG 95 
Built byBath Iron Works (Bath, Maine, U.S.A.) 
Ordered 
Laid down26 Jun 1917 
Launched25 Jun 1918 
Commissioned23 Oct 1940 
End service23 Feb 1944 
History

HMS Montgomery was commissioned under the White Ensign on 23 October 1940, Cdr. H.F. Nash, (retired), RN, in command. The destroyer underwent further fitting out and familiarization before departing Canadian waters on 1 November, bound for the British Isles. En route, Montgomery and the other of her sister ships in company swept through the scene of the one-sided naval engagement between the armed merchant cruiser HMS Jervis Bay and the German "pocket battleship" Admiral Scheer. This action had occurred on 5 November when the German warship attacked a convoy escorted by the erstwhile merchant steamship. Jervis Bay had gallantly interspersed herself between the raider and the convoy, allowing the latter to escape while being herself smashed to junk and sunk. Montgomerg found nothing, however, and after searching briefly for the German "pocket battleship" with orders to shadow by day and attack by night arrived at Belfast, Northern Ireland on 11 November.

Shifting to Plymouth, England, a week later, Montgomery was allocated to the Western Approaches command and based at Liverpool. During the course of one of her early patrols, Montgomery rescued 39 survivors from the torpedoed motor tanker Scottish Standard which had been torpedoed and sunk by U-96 on 21 February 1941. Disembarking the rescued mariners on the 24th, Montgomery resumed her Western Approaches patrols soon thereafter.

The flush-decker underwent repairs at Barrow, Laneashire from April to September and was later assigned to the 4 th Escort Group. Based now at Greenock, Scotland, the destroyer operated between the British Isles and Canadian ports through the end of 1941. On 13 January 1942, the Panamanian-registered steamer SS Friar Rock was torpedoed and sunk by U-180 100 miles southeast of Cape Race' Newfoundland. Four days later Montgomery picked up seven survivors from that ship.

In February 1942, Montgomery came under the aegis of the Western Local Escort Force at Halifax. Later in 1942, the destroyer was loaned to the Royal Canadian Navy before she sailed south and underwent repairs at the Charleston (S.C.) Navy Yard which lasted into the following year 1943. Resuming her coastwise convoy escort operations in February 1943, Montgomery rescued survivors of the torpedoed Manchester Merchant sunk by U-628 on 25 February 1943, 390 miles off Cape Race.

The destroyer remained with the Western Local Escort Force into late 1943, operating out of Halifax. On 12 December 1943, she assisted the Bowater-Lloyd Paper Co. barge Spruce Lake and, on the 27th, departed Halifax for the British Isles, carrying the surviving crew members from the torpedoed British destroyer HMS Hurricane which had been sunk by U-415 on Christmas Eve.

Arriving in England soon thereafter, Montgomery was placed in reserve in the Tyne River on 23 February 1944. Removed from the "effective list" the British equivalent of the United States Navy's "Navy list" the veteran flush-decker was subsequently broken up for scrap in the spring of 1945 shortly before the end of the war in Europe.

 
Former nameUSS Wickes (DD 75)

Commands listed for HMS Montgomery (G 95)

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CommanderFromTo
1Cdr. (retired) Henry Freston Nash, RN23 Oct 194028 Feb 1941
2Lt.Cdr. (emergency) William Lavallin Puxley, RN28 Feb 194123 Jan 1943
3Lt. Kenneth Innes Hamilton, DSC, RN23 Jan 1943early 1944
4T/Lt. Robert Harrison, RCNRearly 194416 May 1944
5Lt. John Harry Fowler, RN16 May 1944late 1944

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Notable events involving Montgomery include:


22 Feb 1941
The Italian submarine Marcello (offsite link) was most likely sunk in the North Atlantic, south off Iceland, in approximate position 59°00'N, 17°00'W, by the British destroyer HMS Montgomery (Cdr. H.F. Nash, (retired), RN).

19 Sep 1941
HMS H 50 (Lt. N. Marriott, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Montgomery (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) W.L. Puxley, RN), HMS St. Elstan (T/Lt. G. Butcher, RNVR) and HMS Anemone (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Boys-Smith, DSO and Bar, RD, RNR). (1)

17 Jan 1942
British destroyer HMS Montgomery (Lt.Cdr. W.L. Puxley, RN) picks up 7 survivors from the Panamanian merchant Friar Rock about 110 miles south-west of Cape Race in position 45°30'N, 50°40'W.

25 Feb 1943
British destroyer HMS Montgomery (Lt. K.I. Hamilton, DSC and Bar, RN) and the Canadian corvette HMCS Rosthern (T/Lt. R.J.G. Johnson, RCNVR) together pick up 32 survivors from the British merchant Manchester Merchant about 400 nautical miles east-south-east of Cape Race in position 45°10'N, 43°23'W.

Media links


British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Sources

  1. ADM 173/16793

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


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