Allied Warships

HMS Woodruff (K 53)

Corvette of the Flower class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeCorvette
ClassFlower 
PennantK 53 
Built byWilliam Simons & Co. Ltd. (Renfrew, Scotland) 
Ordered21 Sep 1939 
Laid down29 Apr 1940 
Launched28 Feb 1941 
Commissioned7 Apr 1941 
End service 
History

HMS Woodruff is not listed as active unit in the October 1945 Navy List.

Sold in 1947 and became the merchantile Southern Lupin in 1948.
Sold to Salvesen 1948 and refitted as bouy-boat at Clelands Ltd., Willington Quay in Tyne in September 1948.
Last season as whaler was 1953/1954.
. Laid up in Stromness.
Sold to ship breakers in Odense in 1959.

 

Commands listed for HMS Woodruff (K 53)

Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

CommanderFromTo
1Lt. Richard Valentine Smith, RNR17 Dec 194023 Apr 1941
2T/Lt. Thomas Muir, RNVR23 Apr 194128 Feb 1942
3Lt. Francis Harden Gray, RNR28 Feb 1942mid 1943
4T/Lt. Thomas Muir, RNVRmid 1943Sep 1944
5Lt. William Kilvington Tadman, RNRSep 1944mid 1945

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Notable events involving Woodruff include:


15 Aug 1941

Convoy WS 10X

This convoy departed U.K. ports on 14/15 August 1941 for Suez where the ships arrived between 1 to 4 October 1941.

The convoy assembled in the Clyde area on 15 August 1941.

The convoy was made up of the following troop transports; Brisbane Star (12791 GRT, built 1937), Orion (23371 GRT, built 1935), Strathmore (23428 GRT, built 1935), Strathnaver (22283 GRT, built 1931), And the transports Palma (5419 GRT, built 1941) and Port Jackson (9687 GRT, built 1937).

Escort was initially provided by the heavy cruiser HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. A.W.S. Agar, VC, DSO, RN) (joined at sea on 17 August 1941 until 28 August when the convoy arrived at Freetown), the AA (light) cruiser HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck (Cdr. E.J. van Holte, RNN) (15 – 17 August) and the destroyers HMS Whitehall (Lt.Cdr. A.B. Russell, RN) (15-17 August), HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Holmes, RN) (15-17 August), HMS Gurkha (Cdr. C.N. Lentaigne, RN) (17-19 August), HMS Lance (Lt.Cdr. R.W.F. Northcott, RN) (17-19 August), HrMs Isaac Sweers (Cdr. J. Houtsmuller, RNN) (17-19 August) and ORP Piorun (Cdr. S. Hryniewiecki) (17-19 August).

When approaching Freetown the convoy was joined on 26 August by a local escort made up of the destroyers HMS Brilliant (Lt.Cdr. F.C. Brodrick, RN), HMS Velox (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Roper, DSC, RN) (left the convoy before noon on 27 August), HMS Wrestler (Lt. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN) and the corvettes HMS Clematis (Cdr. Y.M. Cleeves, DSO, DSC, RD, RNR) and HMS Crocus (Lt.Cdr. E. Wheeler, RNR). The convoy arrived at Freetown on 28 August 1941.

The convoy departed Freetown for Capetown on 1 September 1941. Escort was now provided by the battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. L.V. Morgan, CBE, MVO, DSC, RN) and the corvettes HMS Amaranthus (T/Lt. W.S. Thomson, RNR), HMS Armeria (T/Lt. H.N. Russell, DSC, RNR), HMS Mignonette (Lt. H.H. Brown, RNR) and HMS Woodruff (T/Lt. T. Muir, RNVR).

HMS Amaranthus parted company with the convoy around 1445Z/2 to return to Freetown due to defects.

Around 2133Z/2, HMS Revenge was rammed by the transport Orion. Damage to HMS Revenge was only minor but damage to the bow of the Orion was more serious. She dropped out of the convoy for a while but was later able to catch up again and was able of a speed of 15 knots.

At 1237Z/3, HMS Armeria, HMS Mignonette and HMS Woodruff parted company with the convoy to proceed to Takoradi.

The convoy arrived at Capetown on 11 September 1941.

The convoy departed Capetown for Suez on 14 September 1941. Escort was still provided by HMS Revenge until 22 September 1941 when the light cruiser, HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) took over until the dispersal of the convoy on 27 September 1941 when it was near Aden. The ships of the convoy then continued independently towards Suez where they arrived between 1 and 4 October 1941.

1 Sep 1941
The battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. L.V. Morgan, CBE, MVO, DSC, RN) and the corvettes HMS Amaranthus (T/Lt. W.S. Thomson, RNR), HMS Armeria (T/Lt. H.N. Russell, DSC, RNR), HMS Mignonette (Lt. H.H. Brown, RNR) and HMS Woodruff (T/Lt. T. Muir, RNVR) departed Freetown escorting convoy WS 10X.

[For more info on this convoy see the event ' Convoy WS 10X ' for 15 August 1941.] (1)

8 Oct 1941
HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. A.W.S. Agar, VC, DSO, RN) and HMS Albatross (Capt. W.A. Dallmeyer, DSO, RN) departed Freetown to patrol in the mid-Atlantic between 06°N and 10°N and 28°W and 31°W. Two corvettes were sent along as escorts, these were HMS Mignonette (Lt. H.H. Brown, RNR) and HMS Woodruff (T/Lt. T. Muir, RNVR). (2)

30 Nov 1941
HMS Severn (Lt.Cdr. A.N.G. Campbell, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Freetown together with HMS Wild Swan (Lt.Cdr. C.E.L. Sclater, RN), HMS Woodruff (A/Lt.Cdr. F.H. Gray, RNR), HMS Nigella (T/Lt. L.J. Simpson, RNR) and HMS Freesia (Lt.Cdr. T.P.G. Crick, RN). (3)

21 May 1942
HMS Woodruff (A/Lt.Cdr. F.H. Gray, RNR) scuttles the British tanker Montenol with gunfire. The Montenol was torpedoed and damaged by German U-boat U-159 about 140 nautical miles east-south-east of Santa Maria, Azores in position 36°41'N, 22°45'W.

HMS Woodruff also picks up 5 survivors from the British merchant New Brunswick that was also torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-159 about 140 nautical miles east-south-east of Santa Maria, Azores in position 36°53'N, 22°55'W.

27 Oct 1942
The British merchant Stentor is torpedoed and sunk north-west of the Canary Islands in position 29°13'N, 20°53'W by German U-boat U-509. 207 survivors were picked up by HMS Woodruff (A/Lt.Cdr. F.H. Gray, RNR).

3 Apr 1945
HMS Vampire (Lt. C.W. Taylor, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Gibraltar with HMS Kilmarnock (T/Lt. I.H. Bargrave-Deane, RNVR) and HMS Woodruff (Lt. W.K. Tadman, RNR). (4)

9 Apr 1945
HMS Vampire (Lt. C.W. Taylor, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Gibraltar with HMS Enchantress (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A.J. Clemence, RNR) and HMS Woodruff (Lt. W.K. Tadman, RNR). (4)

12 Apr 1945
HMS Vampire (Lt. C.W. Taylor, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Gibraltar with HMS Eggesford (Lt. G.H. Evans, RN) and HMS Woodruff (Lt. W.K. Tadman, RNR). (4)

25 Apr 1945
HMS Vampire (Lt. C.W. Taylor, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Gibraltar with HMS Woodruff (Lt. W.K. Tadman, RNR) and HMS Coltsfoot (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G.W. Rayner, RNVR). (4)

Sources

  1. ADM 53/115016 + ADM 199/395
  2. ADM 53/113558 + ADM 53/114138 + ADM 199/395
  3. ADM 173/16988
  4. ADM 173/20232

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


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