HMS Blencathra (L 24)
Escort destroyer of the Hunt (Type II) class
|Navy||The Royal Navy|
|Class||Hunt (Type II)|
|Built by||Cammell Laird Shipyard (Birkenhead, U.K.)|
|Ordered||4 Sep 1939|
|Laid down||18 Nov 1939|
|Launched||6 Aug 1940|
|Commissioned||14 Dec 1940|
Scrapped at Barrow on 2 January 1957.
Commands listed for HMS Blencathra (L 24)
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|1||Cdr. Hugh Waters Shelley Browning, RN||6 Nov 1940||26 Apr 1941|
|2||Cdr. John Henry Ruck-Keene, DSC, RN||26 Apr 1941||20 Jul 1942|
|3||Lt. Edgar George Warren, RN||20 Jul 1942||24 Apr 1944|
|4||Lt. Peter Gerald Charles Dickens, DSO, DSC, RN||24 Apr 1944||Jun 1945|
|5||Lt. Neil Derrick Cornwall, RN||Jun 1945|
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Notable events involving Blencathra include:
23 Dec 1940
The battleship HMS King George V (Capt. W.R. Patterson, CVO, RN), light cruiser HMS Phoebe (Capt. G. Grantham, RN), destroyers HMS Churchill (Cdr.(Retd.) G.R. Cousins, RN), HMS Lincoln (Cdr. A.M. Sheffield, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Blencathra (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, RN) and HMS Southdown (Cdr. E.R. Condor, DSO, DSC, RN) conducted trials and exercises off Scapa Flow. (1)
24 Dec 1940
At 1530 hours a walrus aircraft reported having attacked a surfaced U-boat west of the Shetland Islands in position 60°25'N, 02°34'W. The destroyer HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Blencathra (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, RN) and HMS Tynedale (Lt.Cdr. H.E.F. Tweedie, RN) departed Scapa Flow in the early evening to hunt down the enemy submarine. No submarine could be detected thought, which is not surprising as no German submarine reported the aircraft attack which therefore must have been against a non-sub target.
2 Apr 1941
Around 1900 hours, HMS Resolution (Capt. A.R. Halfhide, CBE, RN) departed Portsmouth for Greenock. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN) and HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Atherstone (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Jenks, RN), HMS Blencathra (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, RN) and HMS Tynedale (Lt.Cdr. H.E.F. Tweedie, RN). HMS Tynedale was an additional escort for the night, she was to part company at dawn the next day. (2)
4 Apr 1941
HMS Resolution (Capt. A.R. Halfhide, CBE, RN), (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN), HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN), HMS Atherstone (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Jenks, RN) and HMS Blencathra (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, RN) arrived at Greenock. (3)
21 Jun 1943
Combined convoy WS 31 / KMS 17.
This combined convoy was formed off Oversay on 21 June 1943. The convoy was divided into convoys WS 30 and KMS 15 at sea on 26 June 1943.
The combined convoy was made up of the following (troop) transports; Britannic (British, 26943 GRT, built 1930), City of Lincoln (British, 8039 GRT, built 1938), Clan Macarthur (British, 10528 GRT, built 1936), Clan Macaulay (British, 10492 GRT, built 1936), Cristobal (American, 10021 GRT, built 1939), General George W. Goethals (American, 12093 GRT, built 1942), John Ericsson (American, 16552 GRT, built 1928), J.W. McAndrew (American, 7997 GRT, built 1940), Largs Bay (British, 14182 GRT, built 192), Rangitiki (British, 16698 GRT, built 1928), Samaria (British, 19597 GRT, built 1921), Santa Rosa (American, 9135 GRT, built 1932), Silverteak (British, 6770 GRT, built 1930), Stratheden (British, 23722 GRT, built 1937) and Tamaroa (British, 12405 GRT, built 1922).
Also the netlayer HMS Guardian (Capt.(Retd.) H.A.C. Lane, OBE, RN) was part of the convoy.
After assembly of Oversay the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Uganda (Capt. W.G. Andrewes, RN), destroyers HMS Arrow (Lt.Cdr. W.W. Fitzroy, RN), HMS Amazon (Lt.Cdr. D.H.P. Gardiner, DSC, RN), HMS Witherington (Lt.Cdr. R.B.S. Tennant, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Viceroy (Lt. T.F. Hallifax, RN), HMS Wallace (Lt. D. Carson, RN), HMS Woolston (Lt. F.W. Hawkins, RN), HMS Hambledon (Lt.Cdr. G.W. McKendrick, RN), HMS Mendip (Capt. C.R.L. Parry, RN), HMS Blankney (Lt.Cdr. D.H.R. Bromley, RN), HMS Blencathra (Lt. E.G. Warren, RN), HMS Ledbury (Lt. D.R.N. Murdoch, RN), HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Brissenden (Lt. D.C. Beatty, RN).
On 25 June HMS Arrow and HMS Amazon parted company with the combined convoy to proceed to Casablanca to fuel. They arrived at Casablanca around 1730A/25.
Around 1730B/25, the destroyers HMS Foxhound (Cdr. C.J. Wynne-Edwards, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. E.J. Lee, RN) and escort destroyer HMS Blackmore (Lt. H.T. Harrel, RN) were to join the combined convoy in position 36°05'N, 07°54'W. They had departed Gibraltar earlier on the 25th.
When these destroyers joined the destroyer HMS Witherington and escort destroyer HMS Ledbury were to proceed to Casablanca.
Also the convoy was to split. Convoy KMF 17, made up of the transports Britannic, Cristobal, J.W. McAndrew, Largs Bay, Samaria, Santa Rosa, Silverteak, Tamaroa and the netlayer HMS Guardian. They were escorted by the light cruiser HMS Uganada and the escort destroyers HMS Viceroy, HMS Wallace, HMS Woolston, HMS Hambledon, HMS Mendip, HMS Blankney, HMS Blencathra, HMS Brecon and HMS Brissenden proceeded towards the Mediterranean.
On the 26th, HMS Uganda, HMS Guardian, HMS Viceroy and one of the transports arrived at Gibraltar.
On the 27th, HMS Uganda, which apparently had rejoined the convoy after a brief stopover at Gibraltar, 7 of the transports and HMS Wallace, HMS Woolston, HMS Hambledon, HMS Mendip, HMS Blankney, HMS Blencathra, HMS Brecon and HMS Brissenden arrived at Algiers.
Meanwhile Convoy WS 31, made up of the transports City of Lincoln, Clan Macarthur, Clan Macaulay, General George W. Goethals, John Ericsson, Stratheden and Tamaroa continued on to Freetown.
The convoy was now escorted by the destroyers HMS Foxhound, HMS Bulldog and the escort destroyer HMS Blackmore.
The destroyer HMS Amazon also rejoined after fuelling at Casablanca. It had originally been the intention that HMS Arrow was also to rejoin the convoy but while at Casablanca orders had been received that she was to proceed to Gibraltar instead.
On 1 July the French armed merchant cruiser Quercy joined the convoy.
Convoy WS 31 arrived at Freetown on 4 July 1943.
Convoy WS 31 departed Freetown on 6 July 1943.
It was now made up of the transports City of Lincoln, Clan Macarthur, Clan Macaulay, General George W. Goethals, John Ericsson, Rangitiki, Stirling Castle (British, 25550 GRT, built 1936) and Stratheden.
The convoy was now escorted by the light cruiser HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN), armed merchant cruisers HMS Corfu (Capt.(Retd.) C.C. Bell, DSO, RN), Quercy, destroyers HMS Foxhound, HMS Bulldog, HMS Wolverine (Lt. I.M. Clegg, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Blackmore.
in the early afternoon of the 7th, in approximate position 03°15'N, 14°54'W the Rangitiki was to be detached to proceed independently to Montevideo.
HMS Despatch was to arrived at Takoradi late in the afternoon of the 9th to fuel and after completion of this on the 10th she was to rejoin the convoy. HMS Wolverine also made a short call at Takoradi on the 10th to fuel and then rejoin the convoy.
On the 10th HMS Bulldog and HMS Blackmore were detached to proceed to Lagos to fuel and then escort transports from there to join the convoy. HMS Corfu was also detached on the 10th to proceed to Ascencion after first calling at Takoradi.
On the 11th the transports Arawa (British, 14462 GRT, built 1922), Highland Brigade (British, 14134 GRT, built 1929), Highland Monarch (British, 14139 GRT, built 1928) and Staffordshire (British, 10683 GRT, built 1929) joined the convoy coming from Lagos. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Bulldog and the escort destroyer HMS Blackmore.
When these ships joined HMS Foxhound, HMS Witch and HMS Armeria then parted company and proceeded to Lagos arriving there also on the 11th.
HMS Despatch and HMS Rapid arrived at Pointe Noire to fuel at 0700Z/14. They departed again to rejoin the convoy at 1430Z/14.
At 1800Z/14, the Quercy, HMS Bulldog and HMS Blackmore arrived at Pointe Noire.
At 0600Z/15, HMS Wolverine arrived at Pointe Noire.
The convoy arrived at Capetown on 21 July 1943. HMS Despatch, HMS Quadrant, HMS Rapid and HMS Redoubt then continued on to Simonstown arriving there later the same day.
A much reduced convoy WS 31 departed Capetown on 26 July 1943. It was now made up of the transports Arawa, Highland Brigade, Highland Monarch, Staffordshire, Stirling Castle and Stratheden. The convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Despatch and the destroyers HMS Quadrant and HMS Redoubt.
They were relieved near Mauritius on 4 August 1943 by the heavy cruiser HMS Frobisher (Capt. J.F.W. Mudford, RN) which took the convoy to Bombay where it arrived on 13 August 1943.
HMS Despatch, HMS Quadrant and HMS Redoubt arrived at Mauritius on 5 August 1943.
17 Dec 1943
Combined Convoy MKF 27 / XIF 6.
This combined convoy sailed from Port Said on 17 December 1943.
On departure from Port Said the combined convoy was made up of the following (troop) transports; Bergensfjord (Norwegian, 11015 GRT, built 1913), Indrapoera (Dutch, 10825 GRT, built 1925), Orion (British, 23371 GRT, built 1935), Ruys (Dutch, 14155 GRT, built 1937), Strathmore (British, 23428 GRT, built 1935), Takliwa (British, 7936 GRT, built 1924) and Volendam (British, 15434 GRT, built 1922).
Two more (troop) transports sailed from Alexandria and joined the convoy, these were the; Aronda (British, 9031 GRT, built 1941) and Princess Kathleen (British, 5875 GRT, built 1925).
On 17 December 1943, the escort destroyers ORP Slazak (Cdr. R. Nalecz-Tyminski, ORP), ORP Krakowiak (Lt.Cdr. W. Maracewicz), HMS Atherstone (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Wood, DSC, RNVR) and HMS Cleveland (Lt.Cdr. J.K. Hamilton, RN) departed Tobruk to join the convoy which they did the following day. They later split off with convoy the ships for Taranto (Convoy XIF 6).
The ships that were in convoy XIF 6 were the following; Aronda, Bergensfjord, Highland Princess, Indrapoera, Princess Kathleen, Ruys, Takliwa and Volendam.
Convoy XIF 6 arrived at Taranto on 21 December 1943.
Meanwhile the Orion and Strathmore had continued on to Augusta where they arrived on 20 December 1943 escorted by HMS Antwerp, HMS Tetcott, Exmoor, HMS Croome, RHS Miaoules and RHS Themistocles.
The Orion and Strathnmore remained at Augusta until 24 December 1943 when they departed for the U.K. They had been joined by the ships from convoy XIF 6A which had arrived on 23 December 1943 after having departed Taranto on 22 December 1943. The ships in convoy XIF 6A were the same ships that had been in convoy XIF 6 except for the Aronda which remained at Taranto. Also the escort had been the same.
On the convoys departure from Augusta it was escorted by ORP Slazak, ORP Krakowiak, HMS Atherstone and HMS Cleveland.
Around 1415A/25, the light cruiser HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) joined off Bizerta.
Off Algiers, on the 26/27th, the escort destroyers were relieved by the frigates HMS Bentinck (Cdr. E.H. Chavasse, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Bazely (Lt.Cdr. J.V. Brock, RCNVR), HMS Burges (Lt.Cdr. H. Hill, DSC, RD, RNR), HMS Byard (Lt.Cdr. L.H. Phillips, RN), HMS Calder (Lt.Cdr. A.D. White, RD, RNR) and HMS Drury (Lt. N.J. Parker, RN).
Also the (troop) transports Maloja (British, 20914 GRT, built 1923) and Otranto (British, 20026 GRT, built 1925) joined.
Off Oran on the 27th, more (troop) transports joined, these were the Antenor (British, 11174 GRT, built 1925), Boissevain (Dutch, 14134 GRT, built 1937), Cameronia (British, 16297 GRT, built 1920) and Ormonde (British, 14982 GRT, built 1917).
Off Gibraltar, HMS Spartan was detached which then entered harbour while the (troop) transport Dempo (Dutch, 17024 GRT, built 1931) joined the convoy.
The convoy arrived in the U.K. on 4 January 1944.
10 Mar 1944
German U-boat U-450 was sunk in the western Mediterranean south of Ostia, in position 41°11'N, 12°27'E, by depth charges from the British escort destroyers HMS Blankney (Lt.Cdr. D.H.R. Bromley, RN), HMS Blencathra (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Warren, RN), HMS Brecon (Lt. N.R.H. Rodney, RN), HMS Exmoor (Lt. D.D. Howson, RN) and the US destroyer USS Madison (Cdr. D.A. Stuart, USN).
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).
24 Nov 1944
HMS Vengeful (Lt. A.S. Melville-Ross, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises at/off Scapa Flow with HMS Blencathra (Lt. P.G.C. Dickens, MBE, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Ulster (Lt.Cdr. R.J. Hanson, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and HMS Mendip (Lt. P.D. Davey, RN). (4)
- ADM 53/112543 + ADM 53/112973
- ADM 53/114987
- ADM 187/12
- ADM 173/19364
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.