Allied Warships

HMS Hambledon (L 37)

Escort destroyer of the Hunt (Type I) class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeEscort destroyer
ClassHunt (Type I) 
PennantL 37 
Built bySwan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. (Wallsend-on-Tyne, U.K.): Wallsend 
Ordered21 Mar 1939 
Laid down9 Jun 1939 
Launched12 Dec 1939 
Commissioned8 Jun 1940 
End service 
History

Hulked in 1955.
Scrapped at Tyne in September 1957.

 

Commands listed for HMS Hambledon (L 37)

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CommanderFromTo
1Cdr. Stephen Hope Carlill, RN1 Apr 1940late 1940

2Cdr. Claude Henry Brooks, RAN18 Apr 19419 May 1941
3Lt.Cdr. John Richard Barnes, RN9 May 194121 Oct 1942
4Lt.Cdr. Gordon Wylie McKendrick, RN21 Oct 194227 Dec 1943
5Lt. Louis George Toone, RN27 Dec 194310 Apr 1945
6Lt. Chistopher Godfrey de Lisle Bush, RN10 Apr 1945late 1945

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Notable events involving Hambledon include:


22 Jun 1940
HrMs O 10 (Lt. G. Quint, RNN(R)) participated in A/S exercises off Portland together with HMS Ambuscade (Lt.Cdr. A.O. Johnson, RN) and HMS Hambledon (Cdr. S.H. Carlill, RN). (1)

26 Jun 1940
HrMs O 10 (Lt. G. Quint, RNN(R)) participated in A/S exercises off Portland together with HMS Foylebank (Capt.(Retd.) H.P. Wilson, RN) and HMS Hambledon (Cdr. S.H. Carlill, RN). (1)

27 Jun 1940
HrMs O 9 (Lt. H.A.W. Goossens, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Portland with HMS Camellia (Lt.Cdr. E.M. Mackay, RNR) and HMS Hambledon (Cdr. S.H. Carlill, RN). (2)

31 Aug 1940
On 31 August 1940, a group of destroyers sailed from Immingham on a mine laying mission to the north of the Dutch island of Vlieland.

The minelaying destroyers were from the 20th Destroyer Flotilla, these were; HMS Express (Capt. J.G. Bickford, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Esk (Lt.Cdr. R.J.H. Couch, DSC, RN), HMS Icarus (Cdr. C.D. Maud, DSC, RN), HMS Intrepid (Cdr. R.C. Gordon, RN) and HMS Ivanhoe (Cdr. P.H. Hadow, RN). The minelayers were escorted by three destroyers of the 5th Destroyer Flotilla, these were; HMS Jupiter (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, RN, with Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, RN = Capt.(D.5) on board), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN) and HMS Vortigern (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Howlett, RN).

At 2250/31, aerial reconnaissance reported a large number of German ships to the north of the Dutch island of Terschelling proceeding westwards. The destroyers of the 20th Destroyer Flotilla were ordered to jettison their mines and intercept, believing wrongly that the German ships were part of an invasion force.

At 2307/31, HMS Express struck a mine in position 53°25'N, 03°48'E. She was badly damaged but did not sink. HMS Esk went to her assistance and hit mine at 2325/31, she sank immediately. HMS Ivanhoe also went to her assistance and hit a mine at 0051/1. She was badly damaged, but she was able to proceed for a while.

HMS Jupiter, HMS Kelvin and HMS Vortiger were behind the minelaying destroyers providing cover for the operation. HMS Jupiter and HMS Kelvin went to the aid of the damaged destroyers while HMS Vortigern remained behind to mark the gap in the minefield for their return.

The escort destroyers, HMS Garth (Lt.Cdr. E.H. Dyke, RN) and HMS Hambledon (Cdr. S.H. Carlill, RN), which were on patrol off the coast near Harwich were also ordered to assist.

The minesweepers HMS Leda (Lt.Cdr. H. Unwin, DSC, RN) and HMS Saltash (Lt.Cdr. T.R. Fowke, RN), motor torpedo boats HMS MTB 14, HMS MTB 15, HMS MTB 16, HMS MTB 17, HMS MTB 29, HMS MTB 30, HMS MTB 31 and the tugs HMS St. Cyrus, Irishman, Norman, Wheeldon were also ordered to go the assistance of the crippled ships.

Around 0800/1, most of the crew of HMS Ivanhoe abandoned ship and boarded MTB 14, MTB 16, MTB 17. Thirty of the crew remained onboard trying to save the ship.

At 0941/1, HMS Express was taken in tow by HMS Kelvin, but when the towing line fouled HMS Kelvin'spropeller the tow was taken over by HMS Jupiter until it was passed over to the tug HMS St. Cyrus. Close cover for the towing group was provided by HMS Vortigern and HMS Hambledon. HMS Jupiter and HMS Kelvin formed a strike group in case German warships would arrive on the scene. HMS Express was towed to Hull where she arrived on 2 September 1940 and was out of action for around a year.

At 1415/1, the remaining crew of HMS Ivanhoe had to board MTB 15 as HMS Ivanhoe was rapidly sinking.

Later that afternoon a British aircraft reported that HMS Ivanhoe was still afloat. HMS Kelvin, HMS Garth and MTB 30 were ordered to search for her. At 1619/1, HMS Garth spotted HMS Ivanhoe while it was being attacked by a German aircraft. HMS Kelvin also arrived on the scene and she sank the wreck of HMS Ivanhoe at 1700/1 with a torpedo.

Meanwhile the light cruisers HMS Aurora (Capt. L.H.K. Hamilton, DSO, RN) and HMS Galatea (Capt. B.B. Schofield, RN) had departed the Humber to make rendez-vous with HMS Jupiter, HMS Kelvin and HMS Vortigern after the minelaying mission. As the minelaying mission was cancelled they returned to Immingham and while doing so HMS Galatea struck a mine off the Cleaner Shoal Buoy near the Humber light vessel. Damage was hoever only minor.

7 Oct 1940
HMS Hambledon (Cdr. S.H. Carlill, RN) set off an acoustic mine in the English Channel off South Foreland in position 51°08'N, 01°21'E during operation Lucid, a planned raid with numerous incendiary vessels, gunboats, MTBs, minesweepers and other escort destroyers on the German invasion fleets assembled in the French channel ports. She was severely damaged. Repairs were completed in mid-May 1941.

10 Jun 1941
HrMs O 14 (Lt.Cdr. G. Quint, RNN(R)) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Lance (Lt.Cdr. R.W.F. Northcott, RN), HMS Hambledon (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Barnes, RN) and HMS Black Swan (Cdr. T.A.C. Pakenham, RN). (3)

14 Jun 1941
HrMs O 14 (Lt.Cdr. G. Quint, RNN(R)) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, DSC, RN), HNoMS Bath (Lt.Cdr. C.F.T. Melsom), HMS Lance (Lt.Cdr. R.W.F. Northcott, RN) and HMS Hambledon (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Barnes, RN). (3)

15 Jun 1941
HrMs O 14 (Lt.Cdr. G. Quint, RNN(R)) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Lance (Lt.Cdr. R.W.F. Northcott, RN), HMS Hambledon (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Barnes, RN), HMS Lightning (Cdr. R.G. Stewart, RN) and HMIS Jumna (Cdr. W.R. Shewring, RIN). (3)

30 Mar 1944
German U-boat U-223 was sunk in the Mediterranean north of Palermo, in position 38°48'N, 14°10'E, by depth charges from the British destroyers HMS Laforey (Capt. H.T. Armstrong, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Tumult (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN) and the British escort destroyers HMS Hambledon (Lt. L.G. Toone, RN) and HMS Blencathra (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Warren, RN).

Sources

  1. File 2.12.03.6375 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  2. File 2.12.03.6365 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  3. File 2.12.03.6387 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)

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