Allied Warships

HMS Honesty (K 285)

Corvette of the Flower (rev.) class

NavyThe Royal Navy
ClassFlower (rev.) 
PennantK 285 
Built byKingston Shipbuilding Co. (Kingston, Ontario, Canada) 
Ordered6 Oct 1941 
Laid down 
Launched28 Sep 1942 
Commissioned18 May 1943 
End service 

Transferred to the Royal Navy under lend-lease.
Returned to the United States Navy on 20 June 1946.  

Former nameUSS Caprice

Commands listed for HMS Honesty (K 285)

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and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1T/Lt. Moris John Rowlands, RNVR7 Aug 1943mid/late45

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Notable events involving Honesty include:

11 Oct 1943
HMS Viking (Lt. R. Bannar-Martin, DSC, RN) departed Holy Loch for special A/S trials to the west of the Hebrides with HMS Hadleigh Castle (T/A/Lt.Cdr. H.V. Gordon, DSC, RNVR) and HMS Honesty (T/Lt. M.J. Rowlands, RNVR). (1)

5 Feb 1944

Convoy KR 8.

This convoy departed Kilindini on 5 February 1944.

It was made up of the following (troop) transports;
City of Paris (British, 10902 GRT, built 1922), Ekma (British, 5108 GRT, built 1911), Ellenga (British, 5196 GRT, built 1911), Khedive Ismael (British, 7290 GRT, built 1922) and Varsova (British, 4701 GRT, built 1914).

On departure from Kilindini the convoy was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Hawkins (Capt. J.W. Josselyn, DSC, RN), sloops HMS Lulworth (Lt.Cdr. R.C.S. Woolley, RNR), HMS Sennen (Lt.Cdr. F.H. Thornton, DSC, RNR) and the corvette HMS Honesty (T/Lt. M.J. Rowlands, RNVR).

Around 0100E/9, HMS Honesty parted company to proceed to Port Victoria, Seychelles.

Around 0620E/9 HMS Lulworth and HMS Sennen parted company to return to Kilindini.

Around 0830E/11, the destroyers HMS Petard (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Egan, RN) and HMS Paladin (Lt. E.A.S. Bailey DSC, MBE, RN) joined coming from Addu Atoll which they had departed on the 10th.

At 1435EF/12, the Khedive Ismael was torpedoed and sunk by the Japanese submarine I-27. The ship sank with heavy loss of life, there were almost 1300 casualties amongst the crew and passengers.

The convoy immediately scattered but reformed later. HMS Petard and HMS Paladin remained in the area to hunt the attacker and pick up survivors.

Additional escorts were sent to the convoy to replace HMS Petard and HMS Paladin which proceeded to Addu Atoll with the survivors they had picked up after they had managed to sink the I-27. They had forced the submarine to the surface with depth charges and later sank her with gunfire and torpedoes. HMS Paladin also closed to ram but the Commanding Officer of HMS Petard, who was the senior, ordered her not to do so at the last moment and HMS Paladin just managed to miss ramming the submarine. Her hull was however thorn open by a bow diving plane of the submarine and HMS Paladin went dead in the water. She later was able to get underway again.

The convoy later re-grouped and continued its passage to Colombo.

Around 1000FG/13, the destroyer HMAS Quickmatch (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, DSC, RAN) joined. She had parted company with convoy BM 85A around 2120FG/12.

Around 1130FG/13, HMS Hawkins parted company with the convoy to proceed to Addu Atoll.

Two more destroyers joined the convoy later on the 13th, these were HrMs Van Galen (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Burghard, RNethN) which had been withdrawn from escorting a tanker to Trincomalee and HMS Rocket (Lt.Cdr. H.B. Acworth, OBE, RN) which had departed Trincomalee on the 12th.

The convoy arrived at Colombo on 14 February 1944.

14 Dec 1944

Convoy MC 14.

This convoy departed Aden on 14 December 1944 and arrived at Kilindini on 21 December 1944. On 24 December 1944 it departed Kilindini and arrived at Durban on 30 December 1944.

It was made up of the following transports Elizabethville (Belgian, 8351 GRT, built 1922), Kosciuszko (Polish, 6852 GRT, built 1915) and Talma (British, 10000 GRT, built 1923).

The damaged battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. G.E.M. O’Donnell, DSO, RN) was also part of the convoy.

The convoy was escorted by the corvettes HMS Honesty (T/Lt. M.J. Rowlands, RNVR) and HMS Genista (Lt. T.G. Radford, RNR).


The convoy, minus the Elizabethville departed Kilindini for Durban. HMS Valiant was still with the convoy.

The convoy was now escorted by the sloop HMS Falmouth (Lt.Cdr. E.A. Woodhead, RD, RNR) and the corvettes HMS Freesia (T/Lt.Cdr. G.M. Berlyn, SANF(V)) and HMS Genista.

The convoy arrived at Durban on 30 December 1944.

HMS Valiant did not enter Durban. She remained at sea to continue on to Capetown with a new escort.

4 Jan 1945
HMS Vigorous (Lt. J.C. Ogle, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Kilindini with Dumont d'Urville, HMS Sobkra (Lt. C.K. Mackenzie, RANVR) and HMS Honesty (T/Lt. M.J. Rowlands, RNVR). (2)

12 Jan 1945
HMS Vigorous (Lt. J.C. Ogle, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Kilindini with HMS Honesty (T/Lt. M.J. Rowlands, RNVR), HMS Solvra (T/Lt. M. Low, DSC, RNVR), ML 834 and aircraft. (2)


  1. ADM 173/18454
  2. ADM 173/20272

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

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