Allied Warships

HMS Kelt (FY 112)

ASW Trawler

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeASW Trawler
Class[No specific class] 
PennantFY 112 
Built bySmiths Dock Co., Ltd. (South Bank-on-Tees, U.K.) 
Ordered 
Laid down 
Launched29 Dec 1936 
CommissionedOct 1939 
End service 
History

Completed in February 1937.
Taken over by the Admiralty in August 1939.
Displacement: 455 tons.
Armament: 1 4" gun.

Sold in 1945.
Renamed Camilla in 1954.
Scrapped at Bruges, Belgium in 1960.

 

Commands listed for HMS Kelt (FY 112)

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
1Skr. William McKenzie Smith, RNR17 Oct 193928 Jan 1941
2T/Lt. William Thomason Hodson, RNVR28 Jan 1941mid 1941
3T/S.Lt. Stuart Creer Callister, RNVRmid 194119 Apr 1942
4T/Lt. Kenneth Prat Alliston, RANVR19 Apr 194221 Aug 1942
5T/Lt. Stanley Grant Fowler, RNR21 Aug 1942Oct 1942
6T/Lt. George Beaumont Butler, RNVROct 1942mid 1944
7T/Lt. James Taylor, RNVRmid 1944

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Notable events involving Kelt include:


5 Mar 1940
HMS Kelt (Skr. W.McK. Smith, RNR), while returning from the 'outer patrol' to Freetown, obtained an A/S contact. HMS Spaniard (Lt.Cdr. F.J. Webster, RNR), which was on the 'inner patrol' came to assist. Depth charge attacks were carried out by the trawlers. HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) was sailed from Freetown to assist. Aircraft were also ordered to proceed to the scene as was HMS Bridgewater (Cdr. R.C. Harry, RN) from the 'outer patrol'. (1)

2 Oct 1940

Landing of Free French troops in the French Cameroons.

Around 1740N/2, the troopships Pennland (Dutch, 16082 GRT, built 1922) and Westernland (Dutch, 16313 GRT, built 1918) departed Freetown for either Ambas Bay or the Cameroons River estuary. They were escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. J.M. Mansfield, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral J.H.D. Cunningham, CB, MVO, RN), destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.F. de Salis, RN), HMS Foresight (Lt.Cdr. G.T. Lambert, RN), HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN) and the sloops FFS Commandant Dominé and FFS Commandant Duboc.

Around 0001N/3, the sloop Savorgnan de Brazza departed Freetown to join the troop transport convoy. She had been delayed with engine defects. She only joined after the convoy arrival at Ambas Bay, arriving there at 1130A/7. She arrived with defects, which also required the ship to be docked for repairs.

Around 1100N/3, the destroyer HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, RN) departed Freetown to joined the troop transport convoy. She joined around 1200Z/5. HMS Foresight was detached at 1430Z/5 to return to Freetown with correspondence.

At 0910N/4, FFS Commandant Duboc was detached to Lagos to embark General De Gaulle and then rejoin the convoy. She rejoined the convoy after its arrival at Ambas Bay arriving there at 1300A/7.

At 2100Z/5, HMS Forester was detached to fuel at Lagos and to proceed to Ambas Bay on completion where she arrived at 1000A/7.

The troop transport convoy arrived off Victoria (now Limbe) and anchored in Ambas Bay around 0800A/7. Two of the destroyers were kept outside the bay for A/S patrol as was the A/S trawler HMS Kelt (Skr. W.McK. Smith, RNR). At Ambas Bay troops were then transferred to smaller vessels and stores to lighters. This was completed by 1800A/9.

The heavy cruiser HMS Cornwall (Capt. C.F. Hammill, RN) was also patrolling in the area.

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At 0930N/3, a convoy of French transports [identity currently not known to us] departed Freetown for the Cameroons. The British transport Ocean Coast (1173 GRT, built 1935) was also with this convoy.

This convoy was escorted by the light cruisers HMS Delhi (Capt. A.S. Russell, RN), HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN), sloop HMS Milford (Capt.(Retd.) S.K. Smyth, RN) and the A/S trawlers HMS Turcoman (Skr. A.G. Day, RNR) and FFS President Houduce.

HMS Turcoman later had to be detached to Lagos due to engine trouble. HMS Kelt departed Ambas Bay at 1200A/8 to take over from her.

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At 0900A/8, the sloops FFS Commandant Dominé and FFS Commandant Duboc departed Ambas Bay for Douala with General De Gaulle and 200 troops on board.

At 1300A/8, the transports Warrien (?) and Eketien (?) departed Ambas Bay with 500 troops for Douala. They were escorted by HMS Forester.

At 2100A/8, the Pennland departed Ambas Bay to return to Freetown unescorted.

At 2200A/8, the Westernland departed Ambas Bay for Pointe Noire. She had still about 400 Free French soldiers on board. She was escorted by HMS Cornwall.

At 0715A/9, the transports Dayspring (British, 1102 GRT, built 1928), Ajaza (?) and the tanker Glarona (Norwegian, 9912 GRT, built 1928) departed Ambas Bay for Douala. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Forester and HMS Fury.

At 0815A/9, HMS Devonshire and HMS Faulknor departed Ambas Bay to provide cover for the transport convoy proceeding towards the Cameroon River estuary.

At 1105A/9, HMS Faulknor, HMS Forester and HMS Fury were ordered to proceed with despatch to Freetown, their services being urgently required in the Mediterranean.

All transports and HMS Devonshire anchored in the Cameroons River estuary in the afternoon. HMS Milford and HMS Kelt then conducted A/S patrols.

On the 10th HMS Delhi and HMS Dragon were ordered to proceed to Lagos to fuel. They arrived there on the 11th. HMS Milford also went to Lagos to dock and refit. She arrived there on the 12th.

HMS Devonshire for the moment remained at anchor off Monoka.

(2)

1 Mar 1941

Convoy SL 67.

This convoy departed Freetown on 1 March 1941 and arrived at Liverpool on 26 March 1941.

This convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Alphard (Dutch, 5483 GRT, built 1937), Anadyr (British, 5321 GRT, built 1930), Ashworth (British, 5227 GRT, built 1920), Banffshire (British, 6479 GRT, built 1912), Baron Belhaven (British, 6591 GRT, built 1925), Baron Cawdor (British, 3638 GRT, built 1935), Beaconstreet (Detached to Gibraltar on 11 March) (British, 7467 GRT, built 1927), Bolton Castle (British, 5203 GRT, built 1939), British Captain (British (tanker), 6968 GRT, built 1923), British Diligence (British (tanker), 8408 GRT, built 1937), British Hope (Detached to Gibraltar on 11 March) (British (tanker), 6951 GRT, built 1928), British Integrity (British (tankr), 8412 GRT, built 1927), British Security (British (tanker), 8470 GRT, built 1937), Celtic Monarch (British, 5824 GRT, built 1929), City of Cairo (British, 8034 GRT, built 1915), City of Dunkirk (British, 5861 GRT, built 1912), City of Kimberley (British, 6169 GRT, built 1925), City of Nagpur (British, 10146 GRT, built 1922), City of Rangoon (British, 6635 GRT, built 1914), Clan Macbean (British, 5000 GRT, built 1918), Copeland (British (rescue vessel), 1526 GRT, built 1923), Deebank (British, 5060 GRT, built 1929), Defender (British, 8258 GRT, built 1915), Dunkwa (British, 4752 GRT, built 1927), Friesland (Dutch, 2662 GRT, built 1930), Godfrey B. Holt (British, 3585 GRT, built 1929), Guido (British, 3921 GRT, built 1920), Harmodius (British, 5229 GRT, built 1919), Harpefjell (Norwegian, 1333 GRT, built 1939), Helder (Dutch, 3629 GRT, built 1920), Henrik Ibsen (British, 4671 GRT, built 1906), Hindpool (British, 4897 GRT, built 1928), Inneroy (Norwegian (tanker), 8260 GRT, built 1936), King Edwin (British, 4536 GRT, built 1927), Lahore (British, 5304 GRT, built 1920), Llangollen (British, 5056 GRT, built 1928), Martaban (British, 4161 GRT, built 1934), Mendoza (British, 8233 GRT, built 1919), Nagina (British, 6551 GRT, built 1921), Nardana (British, 7974 GRT, built 1919), Nebraska (British, 8261 GRT, built 1920), Ogmore Castle (British, 2481 GRT, built 1919), Peisander (British, 6225 GRT, built 1925), Queen Anne (British, 4937 GRT, built 1937), Recorder (British, 2276 GRT, built 1902), Roxane (British (tanker), 7813 GRT, built 1929), Sansu (British, 5446 GRT, built 1939), Sire (British, 5664 GRT, built 1938), Solfonn (Norwegian (tanker), 9925 GRT, built 1939), Taxiarchis (Greek, 4221 GRT, built 1913), Tielbank (British, 5084 GRT, built 1937), Tunisia (British, 4337 GRT, built 1927), Turkistan (British, 6935 GRT, built 1939), Umberleigh (British, 4950 GRT, built 1927), Urbino (British, 5198 GRT, built 1918), Winsum (Dutch, 3224 GRT, built 1921) and Zamalek (British (rescue vessel), 1567 GRT, built 1921).

[It is possible some of these ships did not sail from Freetown but joined the convoy at sea.]

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Cicilia (Capt.(Retd.) V.B. Cardwell, OBE, RN), corvette HMS Asphodel (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) K.W. Stewart, RN) and the auxiliary A/S trawlers HMS Kelt (T/Lt. W.T. Hodson, RNVR), HMS Spaniard (Lt.Cdr. F.J. Webster, RNR) and HMS Turcoman (Skr. A.G. Day, RNR).

At 1700/3 the battleship HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN) and the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.F. de Salis, RN) and HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, DSC and Bar, RN) joined the escort of the convoy.

At 1800/4 the three A/S trawlers parted company with the convoy.

In the early morning hours of 8 March 1941 the convoy was attacked by the German submarines U-105 and U-124. Five ships of the convoy were sunk, these were the Harmodius, Hindpool, Lahore, Tielbank and Nardana.

At 1330/8 HMS Forester, which was well to the west of the convoy, briefly sighted the German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau steaming towards the convoy. The German ships were also sighted around the same time by HMS Malaya's Swordfish aircraft. Following the report of the sighting HMS Malaya and HMS Faulknor left the convoy to join HMS Forester to put themselves between the convoy and the enemy.

At 1645/8 hours HMS Malaya and the Scharnhorst sighted each other and the German battlecruisers turned away being chased briefly by HMS Malaya and the destroyers. As Malaya's speed was much lower contact was soon lost and the battleship and the destroyers then returned to the convoy. At 1900 hours they rejoined the convoy

In the afteroon of March, 10th, the battlecruiser HMS Renown (Capt R.R. McGrigor, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral J.F. Somerville, KCB, DSO, RN) and aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal (Capt. C.S. Holland, RN) joined the escort of the convoy. HMS Malaya then parted company with the convoy and set course for Gibraltar.

At 1730/11, HMS Asphodel parted company with the convoy with the tankers Beaconstreet and British Hope which she then escorted to Gibraltar.

At 1000/13, HMS Faulknor and HMS Foresight parted company with the convoy and set course for Gibraltar.

At 1000/19, HMS Kenya (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, RN) joined the convoy to take over the escort. At 1600/19, HMS Renown, HMS Ark Royal and HMS Cilicia parted company with the convoy.

On 21 March the escort of the convoy was reinforced with the destroyers HMS Havelock (Cdr. E.H. Thomas, DSC, RN), HMS Hesperus (Lt.Cdr. A.A. Tait, RN), HMS Hurricane (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Simms, RN), HMS Veteran (Cdr. W.T. Couchman, OBE, RN), HMS Verity (Cdr. R.H. Mills, RN), HMS Wolsey (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Campbell, DSC, RN), HMS Salisbury (Lt.Cdr. H.M.R. Crichton, RN), HNoMS Mansfield (Cdr. F. Ulstrup, RNorN), the corvettes HMS Arbutus (T/Lt. A.L.W. Warren, RNR), HMS Camellia (Lt.Cdr. A.E. Willmott, RNR) and the catapult ship HMS Pegasus (Capt.(Retd.) P.G. Wodehouse, RN). HMS Kenya parted company with the convoy in the afternoon and proceeded to join convoy HG 56.

HMS Havelock and HMS Verity parted company with the convoy on 24 March as did HMS Veteran on the 25th.

29 Mar 1941

Convoy SL 70.

This convoy departed Freetown on 29 March 1941 and arrived in UK waters (Liverpool) on 23 April 1941.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Alfred Jones (British, 5013 GRT, built 1930), Ancylus (British (tanker), 8017 GRT, built 1935), Andrea Brovig (Norwegian (tanker), 10173 GRT, built 1940), Barrgrove (British, 5222 GRT, built 1918), Belgravian (British, 3136 GRT, built 1937), Benledi (British, 5943 GRT, built 1930), Bulysses (British, 7519 GRT, built 1927), Chelatros (Greek, 3489 GRT, built 1914), Clan MacBrayne (British, 4818 GRT, built 1916), Clan MacInnes (British, 4672 GRT, built 1920), Colytto (Dutch, 4408 GRT, built 1926), Dagomba (British, 3845 GRT, built 1928), Delius (British, 6065 GRT, built 1937), Denpark (British, 3491 GRT, built 1928), Dornoch (British, 5186 GRT, built 1939), Egda (Norwegian (tanker), 10050 GRT, built 1939), Elstree Grange (British, 6598 GRT, built 1916), Grangepark (British, 5132 GRT, built 1919), Gunda (Swedish, 1770 GRT, built 1930), Henry Stanley (British, 5026 GRT, built 1929), Industria (British, 4850 GRT, built 1940), Mandalay (British, 5529 GRT, built 1911), Marconi (British, 7402 GRT, built 1917), Meliskerk (Dutch, 6045 GRT, built 1919), Para (Norwegian, 3986 GRT, built 1921), Parklaan (Dutch, 3807 GRT, built 1911), Phidias (British, 5623 GRT, built 1913), Sacramento Valley (British, 4573 GRT, built 1924), Storanger (Norwegian (tanker), 9223 GRT, built 1930) and William Wilberforce (British, 4013 GRT, built 1930).

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

On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN), corvette HMS Calendula (Lt.Cdr. A.D. Bruford, RNVR) and the A/S trawlers HMS Kelt (T/Lt. W.T. Hodson, RNVR) and HMS Pict (???).

At 1726N/31, HMS Dragon parted company with the convoy. The armed merchant cruiser HMS Bulolo (Capt.(Retd.) R.L. Hamer, RN) had joined shortly before HMS Dragon parted company.

Around 1300N/4, HMS Kelt and HMS Pict parted company with the convoy to proceed to Bathurst.

At 1755N/4, HMS Calendula parted company with the convoy to proceed to Bathurst.

Around 1730N/5, the light cruiser HMS Birmingham (Capt. A.C.G. Madden, RN) and the troopship Christiaan Huygens (Dutch, 16287 GRT, built 1927) joined the convoy. They had departed Freetown around 1730N/2 to overtake the convoy.

Around 1600N/19, HMS Marsdale (Lt.Cdr. D.H.F. Armstrong, RNR) joined the convoy after which HMS Bulolo parted company.

Around 0900N/20, the destroyer HMS Winchelsea (Lt.Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, DSC, RN) joined the convoy.

Around 1800N/20, the destroyers HMS Harvester (Lt.Cdr. M. Thornton, DSC, RN), HMS Beagle, (Lt.Cdr. R.T. White, DSO and Bar, RN), HMCS Columbia (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) S.W. Davis, RN), HMCS St.Francis (Lt.Cdr. H.F. Pullen, RCN) and the corvettes HMS Heather (Cdr.(Retd.) J.G.C. Gibson, RN), HMS Orchis (Lt. A.D. White, RNR), HMCS Hepatica (T/Lt. C. Copelin, RCNR) and HMCS Windflower (T/Lt. J.H.S. MacDonald, RCNR) joined the convoy.

At 2105N/20, HMS Birmingham parted company with the convoy to proceed to Scapa Flow.

The convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 23 April 1941. Some of the A/S escorts had already parted company with the convoy earlier.

7 Mar 1942
HMS Kelt (T/Lt. S.C. Callister, RNR) picks up 24 survivors from the Norwegian tanker Sydhav that was torpedoed and sunk the previous day by German U-boat U-505 south-west of Freetown in position 04°47'N, 14°57'W.

Sources

  1. ADM 199/380
  2. ADM 199/388

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


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