Allied Warships

HMCS Fraser (H 48)

Destroyer of the C class


Photo from Imperial War Museum (IWM), FL-20513

NavyThe Royal Canadian Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassC 
PennantH 48 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Barrow-in-Furness, U.K.) 
Ordered9 Jul 1930 
Laid down1 Dec 1930 
Launched29 Sep 1931 
Commissioned17 Feb 1937 
Lost25 Jun 1940 
History

At 10.30 PM on the 25th of June 1940 HMCS Fraser (Cdr. Wallace Bourchier Creery, RCN) was given orders to proceed to Bordeaux, France to help in the rescue of an estimated four thousand refugees trapped in the area by the German military forces. Accompanying the Fraser was the Canadian destroyer HMCS Restigouche and the British cruiser HMS Calcutta. In rough seas and poor visibility, the captain of the Fraser decided that the three ships should move closer together and ordered a turn to port in order to bring his ship behind HMS Calcutta. In doing so the two ships collided, the bow of the heavier Calcutta sliced into the side of the Fraser with such force that the lighter vessel was cut into three pieces. Forty-five crewmembers were killed and nineteen men from the Calcutta lost their lives. Many survivors from the Fraser were later lost on October 22, 1940, after being transferred to the destroyer HMCS Margaree which sank after a collision with the freighter Port Fairy.

 
Former nameHMS Crescent

Commands listed for HMCS Fraser (H 48)

Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

CommanderFromTo
1Cdr. Wallace Bourchier Creery, RCN1 Sep 193825 Jun 1940

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Notable events involving Fraser include:


19 Sep 1939

Convoy HXF 1.

This convoy departed Halifax on 19 September 1939 and arrived at Liverpool on 29 September 1939.

The following ships were part of the convoy; Antonia (British, 13867 GRT, built 1921), Arandora Star (British, 15501 GRT, built 1927), Cameronia (British, 16297 GRT, built 1920), Champlain (French, 28124 GRT, built 1932), Colombie (French, 13391 GRT, built 1931), De Grasse (French, 18435 GRT, built 1924), Dcuchess of Richmond (British, 20022 GRT, built 1928) and Orbita (British, 15495 GRT, built 1915).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN) and HMCS Saguenay (Lt.Cdr. G.R. Miles, RCN). They parted company with the convoy on 20 September.

On 27 September the destroyers HMS Amazon (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Roper, RN) and HMS Juno (Cdr. W.E. Wilson, RN) joined to escort the convoy in the Western Approaches.

Around 1800/29, the Polish destroyer Grom (Lt.Cdr. A. Hulewicz, ORP) joined the convoy.

Around 1830/28, HMS Amazon and HMS Juno parted company with the convoy. They took the merchant vessel Arandora Star with them to Plymouth. They arrived at Plymouth very early on the 29th.

The convoy continued on to Liverpool escorted by ORP Grom.

The French ships proceeded to Le Havre.

7 Oct 1939
Around 1100A/7, the battleships HMS Resolution (Capt. C.H. Knox-Little, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral L.E. Holland, CB, RN), HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN) and the destroyers HMS Wolverine (Cdr. R.C. Gordon, RN), HMS Witherington (Lt.Cdr. G.C. Fryer, RN), HMS Volunteer (Lt.Cdr. H. Gartside-Tippinge, RN) and HMS Verity (Lt.Cdr. A.R.M. Black, RN) departed Portland for Halifax, Nova Scotia. Both battleships had silver on board for safe storage in Canada.

Around 1645A/7, the light cruisers HMS Emerald (Capt. A.W.S. Agar, VC, DSO, RN), HMS Enterprise (Capt. H.J. Egerton, RN), HMS Caradoc (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN) and the destroyers HMS Inglefield (Capt. A.G. Talbot, RN) and HMS Ivanhoe (Cdr. B. Jones, RN), departed Plymouth. Both E-class cruiser had gold bullion on board for safe storage in Canada.

Around 1900A/7 both forces made rendezvous.

The destroyers parted company around 1930A/8.

They arrived at Halifax on the 16th and were escorted into port by the destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN) which had joined around 0630Q/16. (1)

8 Oct 1939

Convoy HX 4.

This convoy departed Halifax on 8 October 1939 and arrived at Liverpool on 22 October 1939.

The convoy was made up of the following ships; Box Hill (British, 5677 GRT, built 1920), Elona (British (tanker), 6192 GRT, built 1936), Harpenden (British, 4678 GRT, built 1930), Manchester Progress (British, 5620 GRT, built 1938), Montreal City (British, 3066 GRT, built 1920), Rockpool (British, 4892 GRT, built 1927), Rothermere (British, 5356 GRT, built 1938), Sulairia (British, 5802 GRT, built 1929), Teviotbank (British, 5078 GRT, built 1938) and Tregarthen (British, 5201 GRT, built 1936).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN).

At noon on the 10th the escort parted company. The destroyers were to return to Halifax. HMS York proceeded on patrol.

17 Oct 1939

Convoy HX 5.

This convoy departed Halifax on 17 October 1939 and the bulk of the convoy arrived at Liverpool on 29 October 1939.

The convoy was made up of the following ships; Cairnglen (British, 5019 GRT, built 1926), Cairnmona (British, 4666 GRT, built 1918), Cairnvalona (British, 4929 GRT, built 1918), Dunaff Head (British, 5258 GRT, built 1918), Floride (French, 7030 GRT, built 1921), Gracia (British, 5642 GRT, built 1921), Hindpool (British, 4897 GRT, built 1928), Malabar (British, 7976 GRT, built 1938), Manchester Commerce (British, 5343 GRT, built 1925), New Westminster City (British, 4747 GRT, built 1929), Norwegian (British, 6366 GRT, built 1921), Penrose (British, 4393 GRT, built 1928), Rancher (British, 5882 GRT, built 1927), San Ernesto (British (tanker), 8078 GRT, built 1939), Trelissick (British, 5265 GRT, built 1919) and Vaclite (British (tanker), 5026 GRT, built 1928).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by heavy cruiser HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN).

Around 0930/19 the convoy was joined by the light cruiser HMS Emerald (Capt. A.W.S. Agar, VC, DSO, RN).

At 1000/19, HMS York parted company with the convoy after which she proceeded on patrol. The destroyers also parted company with the convoy on this day.

At 0600/28, the destroyers HMS Grafton (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Gallant (Lt.Cdr. C.P.F. Brown, RN) joined the convoy followed at 1600/28 by HMS Wessex (Lt.Cdr. W.A.R. Cartwright, RN). At 1700/28, HMS Emerald parted company with the convoy and set course for Plymouth.

In the early hours of 29 October the German submarine U-34 attacked the convoy and the merchant vessel Malabar was torpedoed and sunk. The survivors were picked up by HMS Grafton.

On 30 October the merchant vessel Cairnmona which had split off from the convoy was torpedoed and sunk off the west coast of the U.K. by the German submarine U-13

24 Oct 1939

Convoy HXF 6.

This convoy departed Halifax on 24 October 1939.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels;
Canadian Star (British, 8239 GRT, built 1939), De Grasse (French, 18435 GRT, built 1924), Fort de France (French, 4279 GRT, built 1935), Inverdargle (British (tanker), 9456 GRT, built 1938), Manchester Division (British, 6048 GRT, built 1918) and Salacia (British, 5495 GRT, built 1937).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN).

The destroyers parted company on the 25th.

At 1930O/30, HMS Revenge parted company with the convoy to return to Halifax.

The convoy arrived in British waters on 2 November. The French ships went to Le Havre.

10 Nov 1939

Convoy HX 8.

This convoy departed Halifax on 10 November 1939.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Adellen (British (tanker), 7984 GRT, built 1930), Barn Hill (British, 5439 GRT, built 1921), Baron Ailsa (British, 3656 GRT, built 1936), Benvorlich (British, 5193 GRT, built 1919), Boltonhall (British, 4824 GRT, built 1935), Bradfyne (British, 4740 GRT, built 1928), Cliftonhall (British, 5063 GRT, built 1938), Counsellor (British, 5068 GRT, built 1926), Cowrie (British (tanker), 8197 GRT, built 1931), Cressington Court (British, 4971 GRT, built 1929), Dakotian (British, 6426 GRT, built 1922), Daldorch (British, 5571 GRT, built 1930), Delilian (British, 6423 GRT, built 1923), Heinrich von Reidemann (Panamanian (tanker), 11020 GRT, built 1930), Hopemount (British, 7434 GRT, built 1929), Humber Arm (British, 5758 GRT, built 1925), Kinross (British, 4956 GRT, built 1935), Langleetarn (British, 4908 GRT, built 1929), Luxor (British (tanker), 6554 GRT, built 1930), Manchester Brigade (British, 6042 GRT, built 1918), Miralda (British (tanker), 8013 GRT, built 1936), Pellicula (British (tanker), 6254 GRT, built 1936), Persephone (Panamanian (tanker), 8426 GRT, built 1925), President Sergent (French (tanker), 5344 GRT, built 1923), Queen Victoria (British, 4937 GRT, built 1936), Ripley (British, 4997 GRT, built 1936), San Conrado (British (tanker), 7982 GRT, built 1936), San Florentino (British (tanker), 12842 GRT, built 1919), Sheaf Holme (British, 4814 GRT, built 1929), Somme (British, 5265 GRT, built 1919), Totonto City (British, 2486 GRT, built 1925), Victolite (British (British), 11410 GRT, built 1928), Virgilia (British (tanker), 5723 GRT, built 1927) and Windsorwood (British, 5395 GRT, built 1936).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN).

HMCS Fraser and HMCS St.Laurent parted company on 11 November and returned to Halifax.

HMS Revenge parted company with the convoy at 0245O/20 and set course to return to Halifax.

The convoy arrived in British waters on 25 February 1939.

7 Dec 1939
HMS Cachalot (Lt.Cdr. S.W.F. Bennetts, RN) conducted exercises off Halifax. These included A/S exercises with HMS Hunter (Lt.Cdr. L. De Villiers, RN) and HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN). (2)

10 Dec 1939

Convoy TC 1.

This convoy of troopships departed Halifax at 0510 hours on 10 December 1939 for the Clyde where it arrived on 17 December 1939.

The convoy was made up of the following troopships / liners; Aquitania (British, 44786 GRT, built 1914, carrying 2638 troops), Duchess of Bedford (British, 20123 GRT, built 1928, carrying 1312 troops), Empress of Australia (British, 21833 GRT, built 1914, carrying 1235 troops), Empress of Britain (British, 42348 GRT, built 1931, carrying 1303 troops) and Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931, carrying 961 troops),

Close escort was provided on leaving Halifax by the battleship HMS Resolution (Capt. O. Bevir, RN) and the Canadian destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.N. Creery, RCN), HMCS Ottawa (Capt. G.C. Jones, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. W.B.L. Holms, RCN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN). These Canadian destroyers remained with the convoy until 12 December 1939 when they set course to return to Halifax.

Cover for the convoy was provided by the battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. M.L. Clarke, DSC, RN), light cruiser HMS Emerald (Capt. A.W.S. Agar, VC, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Hunter (Lt.Cdr. L. de Villiers, RN) and HMS Hyperion (Cdr. H.St.L. Nicholson, RN). At dusk on the 10th both destroyers were detached to join the local escort. They returned to Halifax with the Canadian destroyers.

Early on the 15th, HMS Emerald was detached, HMS Newcastle (Capt. J. Figgins, RN) had joined the cover force in the afternoon of the 14th to take her place.

When the convoy approached the British isles, the destroyers HMS Eskimo (Cdr. St.J.A. Micklethwait, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN), HMS Mashona (Cdr. P.V. McLaughlin, RN), HMS Somali (Capt. R.S.G. Nicholson, DSC, RN), HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN), HMS Khartoum (Cdr. D.T. Dowler, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN), HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, RN) and HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, RN) departed the Clyde on the 12th to sweep ahead of the convoy. HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN) was also to have sailed but was unable to join. HMS Matabele (Cdr. G.K. Whitmy-Smith, RN) was sailed in her place and later joined the other destroyers at sea.

After German warships had been reported in the North Sea, and concerned for the safety of convoy TC.1, Admiral Forbes, departed the Clyde on the 13th to provide additional cover with the battleships HMS Warspite (Capt. V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), HMS Barham (Capt. H.T.C. Walker, RN), battlecruiser HMS Hood (Capt. I.G. Glennie, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.J. Whitworth, CB, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, RN), HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, RN), HMS Imogen (Cdr. E.B.K. Stevens, RN), HMS Imperial, HMS Isis (Cdr. J.C. Clouston, RN) and HMS Foxhound (Lt.Cdr. P.H. Hadow, RN). The destroyers HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, RN) and HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, RN) sailed from Loch Ewe and later joined this force at sea. Three cruisers from the Northern Patrol were ordered to patrol in position 53°55’N, 25°00’W to provide cover for the convoy. These were the heavy cruisers HMS Berwick (Capt. I.M. Palmer, DSC, RN), HMS Devonshire (Capt. J.M. Mansfield, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral J.H.D. Cunningham, CB, MVO, RN) and the light cruiser HMS Glasgow (Capt. F.H. Pegram, RN).

The light cruisers HMS Southampton (Capt. F.W.H. Jeans, CVO, RN), HMS Edinburgh (Cdr. C. Wauchope, RN, temporary in command) departed Rosyth to patrol between the Shetlands and the Faroes.

The destroyers HMS Afridi (Capt. G.H. Creswell, DSC, RN), HMS Maori (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN) and HMS Nubian (Cdr. R.W. Ravenhill, RN) departed Rosyth and proceeded north at high speed to try to cut of the enemy warhips if they were to enter the Atlantic.

The light cruisers HMS Cardiff (Capt. P.K. Enright, RN), HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN), HMS Delhi (Capt L.H.K. Hamilton, DSO, RN), HMS Diomede (Commodore E.B.C. Dicken, OBE, DSC, RN) which were on the Northern Patrol were to concentrate near the Faroes where they were joined by HMS Colombo (Capt. R.J.R. Scott, RN) and HMS Dragon (Capt. R.G. Bowes-Lyon, MVO, RN) which were on passage to their patrol stations.

Nothing happened and the convoy arrived safely in the Clyde on 17 December 1939. (3)

22 Dec 1939

Convoy TC 2.

This convoy of troopships departed Halifax on 22 December 1939 for the Clyde where it arrived on 30 December 1939.

The convoy was made up of the following troopships / liners; Almanzora (British, 15551 GRT, built 1914, carrying 1284 troops), Andes (British, 25689 GRT, built 1939, carrying 1358 troops), Batory (Polish, 14287 GRT, built 1936, carrying 806 troops), Chrobry (Polish, 11442 GRT, built 1939, carrying 1045 troops) Orama (British, 19840 GRT, built 1924, carrying 935 troops), Ormonde (British, 14982 GRT, built 1917, carrying 1269 troops) and Reina del Pacifico (British, 17702 GRT, built 1931, carrying 1455 troops).

A/S escort was provided on leaving Halifax the Canadian destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.N. Creery, RCN), HMCS Ottawa (Capt. G.C. Jones, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. W.B.L. Holms, RCN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN) and the British destroyer HMS Hunter (Lt.Cdr. L. De Villiers, RN). These destroyers remained with the convoy until 24 December 1939 when they set course to return to Halifax.

Ocean Escort was provided by the British battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral L.E. Holland, CB, RN) [Rear-Admiral Holland had hoisted his flag shortly before departure], French battlecruiser Dunkerque (Capt. M.J.M. Seguin and the French light cruiser Gloire (Capt. F.H.R. de Belot).

When the convoy approached the British isles, the destroyers HMS Somali (Capt. R.S.G. Nicholson, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN), HMS Eskimo (Cdr. St.J.A. Micklethwait, RN), HMS Matabele (Cdr. G.K. Whitmy-Smith, RN), HMS Mohawk (Cdr. J.W.M. Eaton, RN), HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSC, RN), HMS Fury (Cdr. G.F. Burghard, RN), HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN) and HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, RN) departed Greenock on the 25th to join the convoy on the 28th. On the 26th two more destroyers departed Greenock, these were HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN). These destroyers also joined the convoy on the 28th.

On the 29th the French battlecruiser Dunkerque and the light cruiser Gloire parted company with the convoy. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Fearless, HMS Firedrake and HMS Fury until they were relieved by the French large destroyers Mogador (Cdr. P. Maerte), Volta (Cdr. C.V.E. Jacquinet), Le Triomphant (Cdr. M.M.P.L. Pothuau), Le Fantasque (Capt. P.A.B. Still), and Le Terrible (Cdr. A.E.R. Bonneau).

Four more escorts joined the convoy on the 29th. These were the minesweepers HMS Jason (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Fryer, RN), HMS Gleaner (Lt.Cdr. H.P. Price, RN).and the patrol vessels HMS Puffin (Lt.Cdr. Hon. J.M.G. Waldegrave, DSC, RN) and HMS Shearwater (Lt.Cdr. P.F. Powlett, RN).

The convoy arrived safely in the Clyde area in the morning of 30 December 1939. (3)

27 Jan 1940
HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN) returned to Halifax from escort duty. She was escorted in by the destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.N. Creery, RCN) and HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RCN). (4)

30 Jan 1940

Convoy TC 3.

This convoy of troopships departed Halifax on 30 January 1940 for the Clyde where it arrived on 7 February 1940.

The convoy was made up of the following troopships / liners; Aquitania (British, 44786 GRT, built 1914, carrying 2733 troops), Chobry (Polish, 11442 GRT, built 1939, number of troops unknown), Empress of Australia (British, 21833 GRT, built 1914, carrying 1577 troops), Empress of Britain (British, 42348 GRT, built 1931, carrying 1588 troops) and Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931, carrying 1334 troops),

Close escort was provided on leaving Halifax by the battleships HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN), HMS Valiant (Capt. H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN), light cruiser HMS Enterprise (Capt. H.J. Egerton, RN) and the destroyers HMS Hunter (Lt.Cdr. L. de Villiers, RN), HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.N. Creery, RCN), HMCS Ottawa (Capt. G.C. Jones, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RCN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN). These Canadian destroyers remained with the convoy until the afternoon of February 1st when they set course to return to Halifax. HMS Enterprise remained with the convoy until about 25°W when she parted company with the convoy in the afternoon 4 February to return to Halifax.

When the convoy approached the British isles, the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.F. de Salis, RN), HMS Fame (Cdr. P.N. Walter, RN), HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSC, RN), HMS Foresight (Lt.Cdr. G.T. Lambert, RN), HMS Fortune (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO, RN), HMS Foxhound (Lt.Cdr. G.H. Peters, RN), HMS Fury (Cdr. G.F. Burghard, RN), HMS Daring (Cdr. S.A. Cooper, RN) and HMS Diana (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Le Geyt, RN) departed the Clyde on 2 February. HMS Delight (Cdr. M. Fogg-Elliot, RN) departed Portsmouth on the 3rd also to join the convoy. They joined the convoy in the morning of the 5th with the exception of HMS Delight which had been detached as she was unable to join on time. She was replaced by the destroyers HMS Kelvin (Lt.Cdr. J.L. Machin, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN).

The convoy arrived in the Clyde on the 7th. (3)

12 Feb 1940
HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN) returned to Halifax after convoy escort duty. She was escorted in by Canadian destroyers [unable to find out which ones but HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN) seemed to be the most likely ones]. (5)

1 May 1940

Convoy US 3.

The troopship Andes (British, 25689 GRT, built 1939, 1508 troops) departed Lyttelton Harbour, New Zealand (near Christchurch) on 1 May 1940. She was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra (Capt. W.R. Patterson, RN).

Around noon on May, 2nd, in Cook Strait they were joined by the troopships Aquitania (British, 44786 GRT, built 1914, 3627 troops), Empress of Britain (British, 42348 GRT, built 1931, 2047 troops) and Empress of Japan (British, 26032 GRT, built 1930, 1554 troops) and their escorts, the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (Capt. R.R. Stewart, RN) and light cruiser HMNZS Leander (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN). They came from Wellington.

Early on May, 5th, HMNZS Leander parted company and proceeded to Sydney. During the forenoon the troopship Queen Mary (British, 81235 GRT, built 1936, 5059 troops) came out escorted by the light cruiser HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN). Shortly afterwards HMAS Canberra also entered Sydney harbour to pick up correspondence. Around 1600K/5, HMAS Canberra and HMNZS Leander came out together with the troopship Mauretania (British, 35739 GRT, built 1939, 2616 troops). The convoy then set course for Fremantle.

At 2045K/5, HMAS Perth parted company to return to Sydney where she arrived around 0330K/6.

At 1600K/6, off Melbourne, the troopship Empress of Canada (British, 21517 GRT, built 1922, 1615 troops) joined the convoy.

At 0630H/10, when 70 nautical miles from Rottness Island, HMNZS Leander parted company with the convoy to proceed ahead of it to Fremantle.

At 0800H/10, the light cruiser HMAS Adelaide (Capt. H.A. Showers, RAN), joined the convoy and guided into Gage Roads. The transports berthed alongside Fremantle Harbour as arranged except for the Aquitania and Queen Mary. The other transports fuelled and took in water. All ships of the escort berther alongside except for HMAS Adelaide which patrolled in Gage Roads.

At 1200H/12, the convoy started to leave the harbour. On forming up course was set for Colombo.

At 2214G/15, the convoy altered course towards the Cape of Good Hope. It had been decided that the convoy was not to pass through the Mediterranean as the situation with Italy was deteriorating. During the night HMNZS Leander parted company to proceed to Colombo.

At 1529D/20, the heavy cruiser HMS Shropshire (Capt. J.H. Edelsten, RN) joined. HMAS Canberra then parted company to return to Australia.

At dawn on May, 26th, the convoy started to pass down the searched channel and entered Table Bay, Capetown.

At 0743B/26, HMS Shropshire set course to proceed to Simonstown.

The Queen Mary and Aquitania anchored in Table Bay while the other troopships berthed alongside the harbour.

At 1350B/26, the heavy cruiser HMS Cumberland (Capt. G.H.E. Russell, RN) arrived from Simonstown.

At 0300B/28, the Queen Mary and Aquitania departed Table Bay to proceed to False Bay escorted by HMS Cumberland.

At 1000B/31, the ships at Capetown, less the Empress of Japan commenced to leave the Bay led by HMAS Australia. At sea they were joined by the Queen Mary and Aquitania and their escorts HMS Shropshire and HMS Cumberland. They had departed from False Bay around 0815B/31. At the rendezvous HMAS Australia then parted company and proceeded to Simonstown.

Course was set for Freetown where the convoy arrived in the morning of June, 7th.

The convoy departed Freetown in the morning of the June, 8th. Still escorted by HMS Shropshire and HMS Cumberland but now joined by the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes (Capt R.F.J. Onslow, DSC, MVO, RN).

At 0035N/10, HMS Hermes parted company with the convoy and proceeded to Dakar.

Around 0900N/12, the heavy cruiser HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. B.C.S. Martin, RN) joined the convoy.

Around 0800N/14, the aircraft carrier Argus joined the convoy coming from Gibraltar.

Around 1000/14, the battlecruiser HMS Hood (Capt. I.G. Glennie, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. De Wolf, RCN) and HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) joined the convoy coming from the U.K. HMS Dorsetshire then parted company.

around 1500N/14, the destroyer HMS Wanderer (Cdr. J.H. Ruck-Keene, RN) joined followed around 1600N/14 by the destroyers HMS Broke (Cdr. B.G. Scurfield, RN) and HMS Westcott (Lt.Cdr. W.F.R. Segrave, RN).

The convoy arrived in the Clyde in the afternoon of the 16th.

11 May 1940
HMS Caradoc (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN) and HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN) departed Kingston, Jamaica for Willemstad, Curacao, Netherlands West Indies. They had on board troops and equipment for the Dutch Island. (6)

12 May 1940
HMS Caradoc (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN) and HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN) arrived at Willemstad, Curacao, Netherlands West Indies. (6)

11 Jun 1940

Convoy TC 5.

This convoy of troopships departed Halifax on 11 June 1940 for Liverpool where it arrived on 21 June 1940.

The convoy was made up of the following troopships; Duchess of Atholl (British, 20119 GRT, built 1928, carrying 1173 troops), Duchess of Bedford (British, 20123 GRT, built 1928, carrying 1792 troops), Samaria (British, 19597 GRT, built 1921, carrying 787 troops),

With them was also the troopship Empress of Australia (British, 21833 GRT, built 1914) which was to proceed to Iceland. [Number of troops on board not known.]

On departure from Iceland the escort was made up of the battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Assiniboine (Capt. G.C. Jones, RCN) and HMCS Saguenay (Cdr. G.R. Miles, RCN).

At 1830OP(+2.5)/12, HMCS Assiniboine and HMCS Saguenay parted company to return to Halifax.

On the 13th or the 14th the Empress of Australia parted company to proceed to Reykjavik, Iceland where she arrived on the 16th.

At 0430A/19, the destroyers HMS Wanderer (Cdr. J.H. Ruck-Keene, RN), HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN), HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. De Wolf, RCN) joined the convoy.

Around 0600A/20, HMS Revenge parted company with the convoy to proceed to Plymouth escorted by HMCS Skeena, HMCS Fraser, HMCS Restigouche and HMCS St. Laurent.

The convoy proceeded to Liverpool with HMS Wanderer.

13 Jun 1940
HMS Hood (Capt. I.G. Glennie, RN) and her three escorting destroyers, HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. De Wolf, RCN) and HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) are joined around 1130 hours by another Canadian destroyer, HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN), which came from Plymouth after effecting repairs at the Devonport Dockyard. (7)

14 Jun 1940
Convoy US 3, made up of the troopships (liners) Andes (25689 GRT, built 1939), Aquitania (44786 GRT, built 1914), Empress of Britain (42348 GRT, built 1931), Empress of Canada (21517 GRT, built 1922), Mauretania (35739 GRT, built 1939) and Queen Mary (81235 GRT, built 1936) with troop from New Zealand and Australia on board and escorted by the British heavy cruisers HMS Shropshire (Capt. J.H. Edelsten, RN), HMS Cumberland (Capt. G.H.E. Russell, RN) and HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. B.C.S. Martin, RN) was joined around 0800 hours by HMS Argus (Capt. H.C. Bovell, RN), which came from Gibraltar, and joined around 1000 hours by the battlecruiser HMS Hood (Capt. I.G. Glennie, RN) escorted by the Canadian destroyers HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. De Wolf, RCN), HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN) and HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) which came from the U.K. Shortly afterwards HMS Dorsetshire left the convoy to proceed to Gibraltar.

Later that day, around 1500 hours, the convoy was joined by the destroyer HMS Wanderer (Cdr. J.H. Ruck-Keene, RN) and around 1600 hours by two more destroyers HMS Broke (Cdr. B.G. Scurfield, RN) and HMS Westcott (Lt.Cdr. W.F.R. Segrave, RN). (8)

16 Jun 1940
HMS Hood (Capt. I.G. Glennie, RN), HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. De Wolf, RCN) and HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) arrived in the Clyde.

18 Jun 1940
Around 0400A/18, the battlecruiser HMS Hood (Capt. I.G. Glennie, RN) departed the Clyde for Gibraltar. She was escorted by the Canadian destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. De Wolf, RCN), HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) and the British destroyer HMS Wanderer (Cdr. J.H. Ruck-Keene, RN). HMS Wanderer was however replaced by the escort destroyer HMS Atherstone (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, RN) shortly after sailing.

Around 1500A/18, rendez-vous was made with the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal (Capt. C.S. Holland, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral L.V. Wells, CB, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.F. de Salis, RN), HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN) and HMS Escapade (Cdr. H.R. Graham, RN) which had departed Scapa Flow for the Clyde the previous day but while on passage through the Minches had been ordered to make rendezvous with HMS Hood to proceed direct to Gibraltar. The destroyer HMS Foxhound had also been with HMS Ark Royal but she had been detached at 0520A/18 to fuel at Milford Haven and then rejoin.

The destroyers that had been escorting HMS Hood were detached at 1625A/18.

In the late afternoon and evening of the 20th, HMS Fearless, HMS Faulknor and then HMS Escapade fuelled from HMS Hood.

At 1830A/21, HMS Foxhound finally was able to join.

21 Jun 1940
The battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN), HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. De Wolf, RCN) arrived at Plymouth after convoy escort duty. (9)

23 Jun 1940
At 1343A/23, HMS Galatea (Capt. B.B. Schofield, RN, Rear-Admiral A.T.B. Curteis, CB, RN) anchored in the Bay of St.Jean de Luz. She had been joined by HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN).

At St.Jean de Luz she embarked the British Ambassador in France and his staff.

Around 2300A/23, Rear-Admiral A.T.B. Curteis, transferred his flag to HMS Calcutta (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN). (10)

Media links


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Sources

  1. ADM 53/107952
  2. ADM 173/15647
  3. ADM 199/367 + ADM 199/393
  4. ADM 53/112650
  5. ADM 53/113146
  6. ADM 53/111706
  7. ADM 53/112448
  8. ADM 53/112036 + ADM 53/111885 + ADM 53/112448
  9. ADM 53/113120 + ADM 199/371
  10. ADM 53/112282 + ADM 199/379

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


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