Allied Warships

HMS Rockrose (K 51)

Corvette of the Flower class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeCorvette
ClassFlower 
PennantK 51 
Built byCharles Hill & Sons Ltd. (Bristol, U.K.) : Richardson, Westgarth & Clark 
Ordered21 Sep 1939 
Laid down28 Oct 1940 
Launched26 Jul 1941 
Commissioned4 Nov 1941 
End service 
History

Commisioned as Protea into the south African Navy 4 October 1947.
Converted to a survey vessel 1949 by Gilbert Hammer & Co. Ltd. Durban.
Recommisioned in February 1950.
Paid off into reserve in January 1957.
Sold in 1962 and converted to merchant vessel Justin.
Broken up in Table Bay in 1967.

 

Commands listed for HMS Rockrose (K 51)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. John Dudley Birch, RNR6 Aug 19416 Jul 1942
2Lt. Edward John Binfield, RNR6 Jul 194216 Oct 1943
3T/Lt. Henry James Makepeace, RNR16 Oct 19438 Jul 1945
4T/Lt. Edward Alexander King, RNVR8 Jul 194511 Jan 1946

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Notable events involving Rockrose include:


21 Nov 1941
HrMs O 9 (Lt.Cdr. H.A.W. Goossens, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Tobermory together with HNoMS Rose, HMS Bluebell (Lt.Cdr. R.E. Sherwood, RNR), HMS Rockrose (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Birch, RNR) and HMS Snowflake (Lt. H.G. Chesterman, RNR). (1)

22 Nov 1941
HrMs O 9 (Lt.Cdr. H.A.W. Goossens, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Tobermory together with HMS Rockrose (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Birch, RNR), HMS Snowflake (Lt. H.G. Chesterman, RNR), HMS Sluna (Lt.Cdr. E.W. Middleton, RNVR) and HMS Rosalind (Skr. E.G. Littler, DSC, RD, RNR). (1)

8 Oct 1942
HMS Rockrose (Lt. E.J. Binfield, RNR) picks up 42 survivors from the American merchant Chickasaw City that was torpedoed and sunk the previous day by German U-boat U-172 about 85 nautical miles south-south-west of Cape town, South-Africa in position 34°15'S, 17°11'E.

HMS Rockrose also picks up 28 survivors from the Panamanian merchant Firethorn that was also torpedoed and sunk the previous day by the same U-boat but about 60 nautical miles north-west of Cape town in position 34°13'S, 17°21'E.

10 Oct 1942
HMS Rockrose (Lt. E.J. Binfield, RNR) picks up 5 survivors from the Greek merchant Pantelis that was torpedoed and sunk two days earlier by German U-boat U-172 about 40 nautical miles south-west of Cape town, South Africa.

29 Oct 1942
The British merchant Ross is torpedoed and sunk of Cape Agulhas, South Africa in position 38°51'S, 21°40'E by German U-boat U-159. 39 survivors were later picked up by HMS Rockrose (Lt. E.J. Binfield, RNR).

15 Jan 1943
HrMs O 21 (Lt.Cdr. J.F. van Dulm, RNN) conducts A/S exercises off Simonstown with HMS Rockrose (Lt. E.J. Binfield, DSC, RNR), HMSAS Vereeniging and HMSAS Sonnebloem. (2)

16 Jan 1943
HrMs O 21 (Lt.Cdr. J.F. van Dulm, RNN) departed from Simonstown for East London. She is escorted by HMS Rockrose (Lt. E.J. Binfield, DSC, RNR). (2)

10 Feb 1945
HMS Shakespeare (Lt. D. Swanston, DSC and Bar, RN) departed Trincomalee for Colombo. She was towed by the corvette HMS Rockrose (T/Lt. H.J. Makepeace, RNR).

For the daily positions of HMS Shakespeare during this passage see the map below.


HMS Shakespeare passage Trincomalee - Colombo click here for bigger maps (3)

Sources

  1. File 2.12.03.6368 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  2. File 2.12.03.6413 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  3. ADM 173/19638

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


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