Allied Warships

HMS Conn (K 509)

Frigate of the Captain class

Photo courtesy of Gordon Simmonds.

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantK 509 
Built byBethlehem-Hingham Shipyard Inc. (Hingham, Massachusetts, U.S.A.) 
Ordered10 Jan 1942 
Laid down2 Jun 1943 
Launched21 Aug 1943 
Commissioned31 Oct 1943 
End service 

Assigned USN penant DE 80 but not named.

Returned to the USN on 26 November 1945. Stricken and scrapped.

Former nameDE 80

Commands listed for HMS Conn (K 509)

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.

1Lt. Charles Douglas Theodore Williams, RN29 Oct 1943Sep 1944
2Lt.Cdr. Raymond Hart, DSC, RNSep 1944Jun 1945
3Lt.Cdr. Alexander Kenneth Mackelvie, RNVRJun 1945Jul 1945
4Lt. Anthony George Glanusk Vanrenen, RNJul 1945late 1945

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Notable events involving Conn include:

8 Feb 1944

Convoy ON 223.

This convoy was assembled in the North Channel on 8 February 1944.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; A.J. Cermak (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Alabaman (American, 7033 GRT, built 1921), Alcoa Cutter (American, 5057 GRT, built 1918), Alcoa Trader (American, 5590 GRT, built 1920), Ameriki (Greek, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Atlanta City (American, 5686 GRT, built 1921), British Promise (British (tanker), 8443 GRT, built 1942), Caxton (British, 7271 GRT, built 1943), Ceronia (Dutch (tanker), 8096 GRT, built 1939), Champ Clark (American, 7196 GRT, built 1942), Charles C. Jones (American, 7198 GRT, built 1943), Columbian (American, 6310 GRT, built 1913), Daghestan (British, 7248 GRT, built 1941), Duala (Norwegian, 1800 GRT, built 1938), Duke of Athens (British, 5217 GRT, built 1940), Edwin L. Godkin (American, 7198 GRT, built 1943), Empire MacAlpine (British (MAC ship), 7954 GRT, built 1943), Empire Sceptre (British, 7359 GRT, built 1944), Fagerfjell (Norwegian (tanker), 8072 GRT, built 1935), Fort Moose (British, 7130 GRT, built 1943), Frithjof Nansen (Norwegian, 7177 GRT, built 1943), George Berkeley (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Hawaiian (American, 6270 GRT, built 1919), Hindustan (British, 5245 GRT, built 1940), Hoke Smith (American, 7199 GRT, built 1943), Howell E. Jackson (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Idefjord (Norwegian, 4287 GRT, built 1921), J.L. Luckenbach (American, 6369 GRT, built 1919), James McHenry (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), James Rumsey (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), Joel R. Poinsett (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), John A. Brown (British (tanker), 10455 GRT, built 1938), John Catron (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), John Sedgwick (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Joshua B. Lippencott (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Katrina Luckenbach (American, 5854 GRT, built 1918), Lombardy (British, 3379 GRT, built 1921), Mexican (American, 8030 GRT, built 1907), Naranio (British (tanker), 8134 GRT, built 1943), Norheim (Norwegian (tanker), 9816 GRT, built 1941), Oliver Hazard Perry (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Palembang (Dutch, 7070 GRT, built 1921), Peter Cartwright (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Raranga (British, 10043 GRT, built 1916), Riverview Park (Canadian, 7130 GRT, built 1943), Roger Griswold (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), Samuel Moody (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Stephen C. Foster (American, 7196 GRT, built 1943), Sun Yat-Sen (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Tetela (British, 5389 GRT, built 1926), Thomas F. Cunningham (American, 7218 GRT, built 1943), Tigre (Norwegian, 5498 GRT, built 1926), Walter Raleigh (American, 7177 GRT, built 1943), Webb Miller (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), William Grayson (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), William Paca (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), William Tilghman (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942) and Woodrow Wilson (American, 7177 GRT, built 1943).

The rescue ship Zamalek (British, 1567 GRT, built 1921) was also part of the convoy.

On assembly the convoy was escorted by the frigates HMS Conn ( Lt. C.D.T. Williams, RN), HMS Chelmer (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.A. Cherry, RNR) and the corvettes HMS Kenilworth Castle (Lt. J.J.Allon, RNR), HMS Portchester Castle (Lt. A.G. Scott, RNR), HMS Pink (Lt. W.K. Tadman, RNR) and HMS Sunflower (A/Lt.Cdr. J. Plomer, DSC, RCNVR).

A support group made up of the escort carriers HMS Striker (Capt. F.M. Walton, RN), HMS Fencer (A/Capt. W.W.R. Bentinck, OBE, RN) and the sloops HMS Woodcock (Cdr.(Retd.) J.F. Blackburn, DSO, RN), HMS Whimbrel (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Moore, DSC, RNR), HMS Hart (Cdr.(Retd.) M.B. Sherwood, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Crane (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Jenkins, RN) and the frigates HMS Spey (Cdr. G.A.G. Ormsby, RN, Senior Officer of the A/S vessels of the group), HMS Findhorn (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Dawson, RD, RNR), HMS Lossie (Lt.Cdr. A.F. MacFie, OBE, RNR), HMS Rother (Cdr. Y.M. Cleeves, DSO, DSC, RD, RNR) and HMS Wear (Lt.Cdr. Gerald MacClelland, DSC, RN) was also with the convoy until 11 February 1944 when left to conduct A/S operations in the central North Atlantic.

Several of the merchant vessels were forced to return to the U.K., these were the Alabaman, Joel R. Poinsett, Katrina Luckenbach and Lombardy. Of these the Alabaman had lost her rudder on the 11th and she then fell out of the convoy and had to be towed back. HMS Pink remained with her for A/S protection.

On 18 February 1944, the merchant vessel J.L. Luckenbach and the current escort parted company with the convoy to proceed to Newfoundland. The transport and HMS Sunflower proceeded to St. Johns while the two frigates and the two Castle-class corvettes proceeded to Argentia. On these ships parted company a new escort took over. This was made up of the corvettes HMCS Cobalt (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.A. Judges, RCNVR), HMCS Timmins (T/A/Lt.Cdr. H.S. Maxwell, RCNVR), HMCS Trail (T/Lt. G.M. Hope, RCNVR) and the minesweeper HMCS Winnipeg (T/A/Lt.Cdr. W.D.F. Johnston, RCNR). They had departed St. Johns on 17 February 1944.

On 21 February 1944, the merchant vessels Champ Clark, Duala, rescue ship Zamalek, Mac Ship Empire MacAlpine and the current escort parted company with the convoy to proceed to Halifax where they arrived on 22 February 1944. On these ships parted company a new escort took over. This was made up of the corvettes HMCS Kenogami (T/Lt. J.L. Percy, RCNVR), HMCS Shediac (T/Skr.Lt. J.B. Cooper, RCNR) and the minesweeper HMCS Wallaceburg (T/A/Lt.Cdr. F.R. Naftel, RCNVR).

The convoy arrived at New York on 24 February 1944.

4 Oct 1944
HMS Upshot (Lt. H.W. Wilkinson, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Campbeltown with HMS La Cordeliere (Lt.Cdr. A.J.G. Barff, RNR) and HMS Conn (Lt.Cdr. R. Hart, DSC and Bar, RN). (1)

10 Oct 1944
HMS Torbay (Lt. C.P. Norman, DSO, RN) proceeded from the Clyde area to Larne where she conducted A/S exercises off Larne with ships from the 21st Escort Group which was made up of the frigates HMS Byron (Lt.Cdr. K.G.L. Southcombe, RN), HMS Conn (Lt.Cdr. R. Hart, DSC and Bar, RN, Senior Officer of the group), HMS Deane (Lt. V.A. Hickson, DSO, RN), HMS Fitzroy (A/Lt.Cdr. A.J. McCullogh Miller, DSC, RNVR), HMS Redmill (Lt. J.R.A. Denne, RN) and HMS Rupert (Lt. P.C.S. Black, RN).

On completion of the exercises HMS Torbay entered Larne harbour while the frigates arrived at Belfast later the same day. (2)

11 Jan 1945
HrMs O 24 (Lt.Cdr. P.J.S. de Jong, RNN) conducted A/S exercises off Larne with HMS Conn (Lt.Cdr. R. Hart, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Deane (T/Lt.Cdr. F. Brock, RCNVR) and later with HMS Garlies (T/A/Lt.Cdr. L.M.M. Stamp, RNVR), HMS Bentley (Lt.Cdr. E.G. May, DSC, RN) and HMS Gore (Lt. J.V. Reeves-Brown, DSC, RN). (3)

27 Mar 1945
German U-boat U-905 was sunk in the North Atlantic in the North Minch, in position 58°34'N, 05°46'W, by depth charges from the British frigate HMS Conn (Lt.Cdr. R. Hart, DSC and Bar, RN).

30 Mar 1945
German U-boat U-965 was sunk north of Scotland, in position 58°19'N, 05°31'W by depth charges from the British frigates HMS Rupert (Lt. P.C.S. Black, RN) and HMS Conn (Lt.Cdr. R. Hart, DSC and Bar, RN).

Media links

The Captain Class Frigates in the Second World War

Collingwood, Donald


  1. ADM 173/19300
  2. ADM 173/19040
  3. File (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)

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

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