Allied Warships

HMS Cavalier (R 73)

Destroyer of the Ca class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassCa 
PennantR 73 
Built byJ.S. White & Co. (Cowes, U.K.) 
Ordered24 Mar 1942 
Laid down28 Mar 1943 
Launched7 Apr 1944 
Commissioned22 Nov 1944 
End service 
History

HMS Cavalier joined the 6th Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet, and quickly saw action. In February 1945 she took part in three operations off Norway, “Selenium”, a strike against enemy shipping, “Shred” to provide fighter cover for a minesweeping flotilla and “Groundsheet”, an aircraft mine laying strike. Cavalier was one of three destroyers sent from Scapa to reinforce the escort of Arctic Convoy RA64, which had left the Kola Inlet on 17th February. After being attacked by U-boats and enemy aircraft on 23rd February the convoy was scattered in a hurricane combining force 12 winds with icing. Cavalier went to round-up the convoy with the other escorts, and on 1st March thirty-one of the thirty-four merchant ships arrived safely in the Clyde. This mission earned HMS Cavalier a well deserved “Battle Honour”.

Preserved at Chatham Dockyard.  

Former nameHMS Pellew (R 04)

Commands listed for HMS Cavalier (R 73)

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
1Lt.Cdr. Donald Terry McBarnet, RN14 Jul 194421 Jun 1946

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Notable events involving Cavalier include:


This vessel is now under restoration in Chatham Dockyard, Kent UK. For details see this link. (1)

11 Jan 1945
HrMs Zeehond (Lt.Cdr. Baron D.T. Mackay, RNN) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Cavalier (Lt.Cdr. D.T. McBarnet, RN). (2)

13 Jan 1945
HrMs Zeehond (Lt.Cdr. Baron D.T. Mackay, RNN) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Cavalier (Lt.Cdr. D.T. McBarnet, RN). (2)

15 Jan 1945
HrMs Zeehond (Lt.Cdr. Baron D.T. Mackay, RNN) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Opportune (Cdr. R.E.D. Ryder, VC, RN), HMS Cavendish (Cdr. R.H. Maurice, DSO, RN) and HMS Cavalier (Lt.Cdr. D.T. McBarnet, RN). (2)

22 Jan 1945
HMS Votary (Lt. P.M. Staveley, RN) conducted A/S exercises at Scapa Flow with HMS Penn (Lt.Cdr. A.H. Diack, DSC and Bar, RN).H, MS Javelin (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Marjoribanks, RN) and HMS Cavalier (Lt.Cdr. D.T. McBarnet, RN). (3)

24 Jan 1945
HMS Norfolk (Capt. J.G.Y. Loveband, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.R. McGrigor, CB, DSO, RN) conducted torpedo firing exercises at Scapa Flow. These were followed by an underway refuelling exercise with HMS Cavalier (Lt.Cdr. D.T. McBarnet, RN). (4)

26 Jan 1945
During 26/27 January 1945, the heavy cruisers HMS Norfolk (Capt. J.G.Y. Loveband, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.R. McGrigor, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Devonshire (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN), HMS Berwick (Capt. S.H.T. Arliss, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Zambesi (Lt.Cdr. W. Scott, DSC and Bar, RN, with the Capt.D2 on board, Capt. J.H. Allison, RN, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Zealous (Cdr. R.F. Jessel, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Zest (Lt.Cdr. R.B.N. Hicks, DSO, RN), HMS Zodiac (Lt.Cdr. H.R. Rycroft, DSC, RN), HMS Cavalier (Lt.Cdr. D.T. McBarnet, RN), HMS Cavendish (Cdr. R.H. Maurice, DSO, RN), HMS Javelin (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Marjoribanks, RN) and HMCS Algonquin (Lt.Cdr. D.W. Piers, DSC, RCN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (5)

10 Feb 1945

Operation Selenium.

This operation had two objects, the first object was to destroy enemy shipping between Bud and Kvatholm. The second object was to lay air mines at Skateströmmen (near Maloy).

At 2300A/10, ' Force 1 ', made up of the heavy cruiser HMS Norfolk (Capt. J.G.Y. Loveband, RN), light cruiser HMS Dido (Capt. R.F. Elkins, OBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Myngs (Capt. P.G.L. Cazalet, DSC, RN), HMS Scorpion (Cdr. C.W. McMullen, DSC, RN) and HMS Savage (Lt.Cdr. C.W. Malins, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN), departed Scapa Flow and proceeded east of the Orkneys and the Shetlands, aiming to reach their operation area for the first part of the operation after dark on the 11th.

at 0900A/11, ' Force 2 ', made up of the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN), escort carriers HMS Premier (A/Capt. R.J. Gardner, RN), HMS Puncher (Capt. R.E.S. Bidwell, RCN) and the destroyers HMS Cavendish (Cdr. R.H. Maurice, DSO, RN), HMS Cavalier (Lt.Cdr. D.T. McBarnet, RN), HMS Zebra (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Peake, RN) and HMS Scourge (Lt.Cdr. G.I.M. Balfour, RN), departed Scapa Flow. They followed the same route as ' Force 1 ', adjusting course and speed so as to make rendezvous with ' Force 1 ' after their anti-shipping sweep in position 62°23'N, 02°00' between 0500A/12 and 0700A/12, when the forces were to join under air cover from the escort carriers. Rendezvous was effected at 0700A/12 and the Commanding Officer of HMS Devonshire assumed overall command. ' Force 1 ' had encountered no enemy vessels during their anti-shipping sweep during the night of 11/12 February. At 1000A/12 the air strike was flown off in ideal weather conditions.

The air laid lay was planned for eight mines, but only seven Avengers of 856 Squadron on board HMS Premier were serviceable, and these, together with four Wildcats from the same escort carrier and a further twelve from HMS Puncher, took departure at 1017A/12 from position 62°16'N, 01°48'E. Shortly afterwards one of the Avengers was forced to return with a heavy oil leak, but the remainder made landfall on Vaagso Island and, continuing up Faa Fjord, laid five mines in the channel at Skatestrommen. One aircraft was unable to release its mine and jettisoned it later at ' safe '. Little opposition was encountered and all aircraft returned to the escort carriers, being landed on by 1151A/12. One Wildcat from HMS Premier was found to have been hit by flak and two from HMS Puncher fired two short bursts from its guns in the process by accident, causing five casualties and damaging a Barracuda parked on the starboard side of the flight deck.

When all aircraft of the strike had been recovered the combines fores retired to Scapa Flow, using the same route as on the outwards passage. HMS Norfolk and HMS Dido were detached at 1735A/12 to return at high speed unescorted. They arrived at Scapa Flow at 0330A/13. The remaining ships arrived around 1050A/13. (6)

Media links


British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Sources

  1. Personal communication
  2. 2.12.03.7152 (Dutch Archives, The Hague)
  3. ADM 173/20344
  4. ADM 53/121928
  5. ADM 53/120993 + ADM 53/121215 + ADM 53/121928
  6. ADM 53/121216 + ADM/53121929 + ADM 53/121239 + ADM 53/122003 + ADM 53/122036 + ADM 199/1440 + ADM 234/560 + ADM 234/561

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


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