Allied Warships

HMS Lamerton (L 88)

Escort destroyer of the Hunt (Type II) class

HMS Lamerton during the Second World War

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeEscort destroyer
ClassHunt (Type II) 
PennantL 88 
Built bySwan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. (Wallsend-on-Tyne, U.K.): Wallsend 
Ordered4 Sep 1939 
Laid down10 Apr 1940 
Launched14 Dec 1940 
Commissioned16 Aug 1941 
End service 

In October 1941 HMS Lamerton was a unit of the 12th Escort Group which was based at Londonderry, Northern Ireland whilst escorting convoy HG-75 from Gibraltar to the U.K., the Italian submarine Ferraris was spotted on the 25th, by a patrolling Catalina aircraft, and was damaged by bombing, which prevented her from diving. The aircraft contacted the nearby convoy, who in turn detached Lamerton to the area, and after a long gun duel with the submarine, the Italian submarine was finally sunk. In December Lamerton was involved in the raid on the Lofoten Islands.

In March 1942 Lamerton was involved in North Atlantic convoy duties between Liverpool and Hvalfjord in Iceland. By November Lamerton took part in the Allied landings in North Africa. An unopposed landing off Bone, Algeria was made on the 12th but when daylight came, she was subjected to many dive bombing attacks but managed to escape unharmed.

In February 1943, whilst escorting a supply convoy off the Algerian coast in company with the destroyers HMS Wheatland, HMS Easton and HMS Bicester, they detected and destroyed the Italian submarine Asteria on the 17th, and again on the 23rd the German submarine U-443 off Algiers. During May she blockaded shipping off the Tunisian coast, thereby preventing them from making a run for Sicily and Sardinia. In July she was involved in operation Husky. When the attack on the Italian mainland began, Lamerton was heavily involved in warding off air attacks in the Straits of Messina. In September 1943, after the surrender of Italy, she was engaged in operations off the Yugoslavian coast.

On 21 September 1945, Lamerton entered the Selborne dry dock at Simonstown, South Africa and commenced refitting. On 9 November 1945 she was undocked.

On 27 April 1953 Lamerton was lent to the RIN for a period of three years on condition that she could be returned on request, should an emergency occur. She was renamed Gomati on 5 May Later she was purchased from Britain. Gomati was paid off in 1975.


Commands listed for HMS Lamerton (L 88)

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1Lt.Cdr. Hugh Crofton Simms, RN10 Jun 1941Jan 1942
2Lt.Cdr. Cuthbert Richard Purse, DSC, RNJan 194230 Nov 1943
3Lt.Cdr. Gordon Thomas Seccombe Gray, DSC, RN30 Nov 194326 Feb 1945
4A/Lt.Cdr. Robert Angus Martin Hennessy, RN26 Feb 1945early 1946

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Notable events involving Lamerton include:

Her ships bell now resides in the town hall in Tavistock, Devon, uk As she was adopted by the town during ww2 (1)

25 Aug 1941
HMS Prince of Wales (Capt. J.C. Leach, MVO, RN) conducted RD/F exercises to the west of Scapa Flow together with HMS Repulse (Capt. Sir W.G. Tennant, CB, MVO, RN), HMS Euryalus (Capt. E.W. Bush, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMS Lively (Lt.Cdr. W.F.E. Hussey, DSC, RN).

During these exercises Prince of Wales was escorted by HMS Lamerton (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Simms, RN), HMS Puckeridge (Lt. H.B. Acworth, RN) and HMS Badsworth (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, DSC and Bar, OBE, RN). (2)

10 Sep 1941
HMS Prince of Wales (Capt. J.C. Leach, MVO, RN) conducted exercises to the west of Scapa Flow together with HMS Kenya (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, RN).

During these exerices Prince of Wales was escorted by HMS Laforey (Capt. R.M.J. Hutton, DSO, RN), HMS Lamerton (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Simms, RN), HMS Puckeridge (Lt. H.B. Acworth, RN) and HMS Badsworth (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, DSC and Bar, OBE, RN). (3)

24 Oct 1941
HMS Lamerton (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Simms, RN) picks up 7 survivors from the British merchant Ariosto that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-564 about 300 nautical miles west of Gibraltar in position 36°20'N, 10°50'W.

25 Oct 1941
The Italian submarine Ferraris was damaged by bombing from a British Catalina aircraft (Sqdn. 202/A) and was unable to dive. The British escort destroyer HMS Lamerton (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Simms, RN) rushed to the scene and after a long gun duel Ferraris was scuttled east of the Azores in position 37°07'N, 14°19'W.

7 Oct 1942
HMS H 34 (Lt. J.P.H. Oakley, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with vessels from the Local Defence and later with HMS Lamerton (Lt.Cdr. C.R. Purse, DSC, RN) and HMS Wilton (Lt. A.P. Northey, DSC, RN). (4)

23 Feb 1943
German U-boat U-443 was sunk in the Mediterranean near Algiers, in position 36°55'N, 02°25'E, by depth charges from the British escort destroyers HMS Bicester (Lt.Cdr. S.W.F. Bennetts, RN) and HMS Lamerton (Lt.Cdr. C.R. Purse, DSC, RN), HMS Wheatland (Lt.Cdr. R.deL. Brooke, DSC, RN).


  1. Personal communication
  2. ADM 53/114891
  3. ADM 53/114892
  4. ADM 173/17242

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

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