Allied Warships

HMS Aubretia (K 96)

Corvette of the Flower class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeCorvette
ClassFlower 
PennantK 96 
Built byGeorge Brown & Co. (Greenock, Scotland): Kincaid 
Ordered25 Jul 1939 
Laid down27 Oct 1939 
Launched5 Sep 1940 
Commissioned23 Dec 1940 
End service14 Jun 1945 
History

Decommissioned to reserve on 14 June 1945.

Sold on 29 July 1946.
Sold to Kosmos in 1948 and refitted as bouy-boat in October 1948.
Renamed Arnfinn Bergan.
Refitted to whaler in Kiel during summer of 1951.
No service during winter 1952/1953, but later in service every season until 1964/1965.
Laid up in Sandefjord from May 1965 to October 1966.
Sold to breakers in Grimstad.

 

Commands listed for HMS Aubretia (K 96)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Vivian Funge Smith, RNROct 19408 Sep 1942
2Lt. Gerald Ducat Fowler, RNR8 Sep 194214 Jun 1945

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Notable events involving Aubretia include:


30 Apr 1941

Convoy HX 124.

This convoy departed Halifax on 30 April 1941 for Liverpool where it arrived on 20 May 1941.

Upon departure from Halifax the convoy was made up of the following merchant ships: Aalsum (Dutch, 5418 GRT, built 1922), Alchiba (British, 4427 GRT, built 1920), Algenib (British, 5483 GRT, built 1937), Asbjorn (British, 4387 GRT, built 1935), Athelviscount (British (tanker), 8882 GRT, built 1929), Atlantian (British, 6549 GRT, built 1928), Auditor (British, 5444 GRT, built 1924), Baron Ogilvy (British, 3391 GRT, built 1926), Barrington Court (British, 4910 GRT, built 1924), Beaconstreet (British (tanker), 7467 GRT, built 1927), Botavon (British, 5848 GRT, built 1912), British Faith (British (tanker), 6955 GRT, built 1928), British Fortune (British (tanker), 4696 GRT, built 1930), British Industry (British (tanker), 4297 GRT, built 1927), British Resolution (British (tanker), 8408 GRT, built 1937), Charlton Hall (British, 5200 GRT, built 1940), Daytonian (British, 6434 GRT, built 1922), Delphinula (British (tanker), 8120 GRT, built 1939), Echodale (British (tanker), 8150 GRT, built 1941), Empire Hawk (British, 5033 GRT, built 1919), Empire Steel (British (tanker), 8138 GRT, built 1941), Gitano (British, 3956 GRT, built 1921), Harmala (British, 5730 GRT, built 1935), King Lud (British, 5224 GRT, built 1928), Kingswood (British, 5080 GRT, built 1929), Korsholm (Swedish, 2647 GRT, built 1925), Madrono (Norwegian (tanker), 5894 GRT, built 1917), Morska Wola (Polish, 3208 GRT, built 1924), Pacific Enterprise (British, 6736 GRT, built 1927), Pomella (British (tanker), 6766 GRT, built 1937), Queen City (British, 4814 GRT, built 1924), Redgate (British, 4323 GRT, built 1929), Souliotis (Greek, 4299 GRT, built 1917), Varand (British (tanker), 6023 GRT, built 1927), Vera Radcliffe (British, 5587 GRT, built 1925), Vivi (Norwegian (tanker), 6546 GRT, built 1932) and Wearwood (British, 4597 GRT, built 1930).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Circassia (A/Capt. E.V. Lees, RN) and the corvettes HMCS Cobalt (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.B. Campbell, RCNR) and HMCS Collingwood (T/Lt. W. Woods, RCNR). The corvettes were detached later the same day.

On 2 May the convoy was joined by the battleship HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN). She detached from the convoy on 9 May.

On 11 May the destroyer HMS Broadway (Lt.Cdr. T. Taylor, RN) and corvettes HMS Aubretia (Lt.Cdr. V.F. Smith, RNR), HMS Hollyhock (Lt. T.E. Davies, OBE, RNR) and HMS Nigella (T/Lt. T.W. Coyne, RNR) joined the convoy

On 12 May the destroyers HMS Burwell (Lt.Cdr. S.R.J. Woods, RNR), HMS Scimitar (Lt. R.D. Franks, OBE, RN), HMS Malcolm (Cdr. C.D. Howard-Johnston, DSC, RN), HMS Watchman (Lt.Cdr. E.C.L. Day, RN), HMS Amazon (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Roper, RN), corvettes HMS Heliotrope (Lt.Cdr. J. Jackson, RNR), HMS Mallow (Lt.Cdr. W.B. Piggott, RNR), HMS Violet (Lt.Cdr. K.M. Nicholson, RNR), and A/S trawlers HMS Northern Gem (Skr.Lt. W.J.V. Mullender, DSC, RNR), HMS Northern Wave (T/Lt. W.G. Pardoe-Matthews, RNR), HMS Notts County (T/S.Lt. R.H. Hampton, RNR) and HMS Vizalma (T/Lt. M.M. Firth, RNVR) joined the convoy.

On 14 May the corvettes HMS Anemone (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Boys-Smith, DSO and Bar, RD, RNR), HMS Clarkia (Lt.Cdr. F.J.G. Jones, RNR), HMS Verbena (Lt.Cdr. D.A. Rayner, DSC, RNVR) and HMS Veronica (Lt.Cdr. (retired) D.F. White, RNR) joined the convoy.

The destroyers HMS Burwell, HMS Scimitar, HMS Malcolm, corvettes HMS Aubretia, HMS Heliotrope, HMS Hollyhock, HMS Mallow, HMS Nigella, HMS Vervena, HMS Veronica and all the A/S trawlers were detached on 14 May.

HMS Circassia and HMS Watchman were detached on 15 May while on the same day the destroyers HMS Burnham (Cdr. J. Bostock, DSC, RN), HMS Leamington (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Bowerman, RN), HMS Salisbury (Lt.Cdr. H.M.R. Crichton, RN), escort destroyer HMS Eridge (Lt.Cdr. W.F.N. Gregory-Smith, RN), minesweepers HMS Hussar ( Lt.Cdr. D.H.P. Gardiner, RN), HMS Niger ( Lt.Cdr. J.M. Bayley, DSC, RN), and catapult ship Ariguani joined the escort.

On 18 May the destroyer HMS Roxborough (Lt. V.A. Wight-Boycott, OBE, RN) joined the convoy. Also on this day HMS Leamington and HMS Anemone were detached.

On 19 May the destroyer Saladin joined the escort.

The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 20 May.

9 May 1941
German U-boat U-110 was captured on 9 May 1941 in the North Atlantic south of Iceland by the British destroyers HMS Bulldog (Cdr. A.J.B. Cresswell, RN) and HMS Broadway (Lt.Cdr. T. Taylor, RN) and the British corvette HMS Aubretia (Lt.Cdr. V.F. Smith, RNR). The U-boat was allowed to sink the day after to preserve the secret capture.

2 Sep 1941
HMS H 50 (Lt. N. Marriott, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Ambuscade (Lt.Cdr. R.A. Fell, RN) and HMS Aubretia (Lt.Cdr. V.F. Smith, DSO, RNR). (1)

30 Mar 1942
The British merchant Muncaster Castle that was torpedoed and sunk south-south-west of Monrovia, Liberia in position 02°02'N, 12°02'W. HMS Aubretia (Lt.Cdr. V.F. Smith, DSO, RD, RNR) later picks up some of the survivors.

19 Dec 1942
HMS H 34 (Lt. G.M. Noll, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Aubretia (Lt. G.D. Fowler, RNR), HMS La Malouine (T/Lt. V.D.H. Bidwell, RNR), HMS Stonecrop (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Smythe, RNR) and HMS Violet (Lt. C.N. Stewart, RNR). (2)

3 Feb 1943
HMS H 44 (Lt. I.S. McIntosh, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Carnation (Lt. A. Branson, RNR), HMS Aubretia (Lt. G.D. Fowler, RNR), HMS Black Swan (Capt. T.A.C. Pakenham, RN) and HMS La Malouine (T/Lt. V.D.H. Bidwell, RNR). (3)

6 Feb 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. M.H. Jupp, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Myosotis (T/Lt. R. Lugg, RNR), HMS Aubretia (Lt. G.D. Fowler, RNR), HMS Poppy (Lt. N.K. Boyd, RNR), HMS Dianella (T/Lt. J.F. Tognola, RNR) and RHS Miaoulis. (4)

13 Apr 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. J.A. Spender, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Wear (Cdr. E. Wheeler, RD, RNR), HMS Aubretia (Lt. G.D. Fowler, RNR), HMS Sunflower (A/Lt.Cdr. J. Plomer, RCNVR) and HMCS Kenogami (T/Lt. J.L. Percy, RCNVR). (5)

5 Oct 1943
HMS Venturer (Lt. J.S. Launders, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Larne with HMS Cyclamen (T/Lt. W.S. Joliffe, RNR), HMS Bideford (Cdr. J.R. Westmacott, RN) and HMS Aubretia (Lt. G.D. Fowler, RNR). (6)

3 Apr 1944
HMS Vampire (Lt. C.W. Taylor, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Gibraltar with HMS Ballinderry (Lt.Cdr. E.F. Aikman, RNR), HMS Cyclamen (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.H. Frogbrook, RNR) and HMS Aubretia (Lt. G.D. Fowler, RNR). (7)

29 Sep 1944
HMS Torbay (Lt. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Campbeltown with HMS Sweetbriar (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J.G. Lewis, RNR) and HMS Aubretia (Lt. G.D. Fowler, RNR). (8)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/16793
  2. ADM 173/17244
  3. ADM 173/17813
  4. ADM 173/17779
  5. ADM 173/17781
  6. ADM 173/18449
  7. ADM 173/19337
  8. ADM 173/19039

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


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