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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2004

HMS OBEDIENT (G 48) -  O-class Destroyer including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Obedient (Navy Photos/Mark Teadham, click to enlarge)

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ORIBI-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered from William Denny at Dumbarton on 3rd September 1939 with the 1st Emergency Flotilla. She was laid down on 22nd May 1940 and launched on 30th April 1942 as the 2nd RN ship to carry this name, previously used for a destroyer sold in 1921. Completion date was 30th October 1942 and she was designed for use as a minelayer if required. In March 1942 after a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign the ship was adopted by the civil community of Lymington, Hampshire.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s


JUTLAND 1916 - ARCTIC 1942-44 - BARENTS SEA 1942 - ATLANTIC 1943 - NORMANDY 1944


H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Blue, a sea dog sejant Proper, collared Gold.



D e t a i l s   o f   W a r   S e r v i c e


(for more ship information, go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search)



1 9 4 2


October                Contractor's trials.

           30th            Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

                              Commissioned for service in 17th Destroyer Flotilla, Horns Fleet


November            Took passage to Scapa  Flow on completion of trials and storing.

                              Joined Flotilla at Scapa Flow and worked-up for service.

           15th            Deployed as screen for HM Cruisers LONDON and SUFFOLK with HM Destroyers

                              OBDURATE and ORWELL to Spitzbergen for routine replenishment of garrison

                              (Operation GEARBOX Series).


December              Deployed with Flotilla for Hone Fleet screening and patrol in NW Approaches.

           25th            Joined Russian Convoy JW51B with HM Destroyers ACHATES, OBDURATE, ONSLOW,

                              ORIBI and ORWELL.

                              (Note: This convoy was under threat of attack from German cruiser HIPPER and Armoured

                                           Ship LUTZOW (Ex DEUTSCHLAND) escorted by destroyers.

           31st            In action with German force in defence of convoy (Battle of the Barents Sea).

                              Sustained damage and casualties from heavy return fire.

                              (For full details see 73 NORTH by Dudley North, RUSSIAN CONVOYS by R Woodman

                              and Naval Staff History. HMS ACHATES and a Fleet Minesweeper HMS BRAMBLE were

                              sunk. H M Destroyers ONSLOW and OBDURATE were also damaged and had many



1 9 4 3


January                 Deployed for escort of Convoy JW51B during passage to Murmansk..

                              (For details of all Russian Convoy operations including names of all the warships involved in

                              escort or provision of cover see CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by RA Ruegg, ,CONVOY ! by P

                              Kemp, ARCTIC CONVOYS by R Woodman and THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS by B


             4th            Detached on arrival of JW51B at Kola Inlet and remained at Murmansk.

            11th           Took independent passage to Scapa Flow with HMS OBDURATE.

                              (Note: Seriously wounded casualties from HMS ONSLOW were taken back to UK.)

            15th           Arrived at Scapa Flow.

            30th           Escorted HM Battleship ANSON and HM Cruiser SHEFFIELD with HM Destroyers ORIBI,

                              INGLEFIELD and Polish destroyer ORP PIORUN during provision of Distant Cover for transit

                              of return Convoy RA52 from Kola Inlet.



             2nd          On release from screening resumed Flotilla Home Fleet duties with Flotilla.

            19th           Joined Ocean Escort for Russian Convoy JW53 off Iceland with HM Destroyers MILNE,

                              BOADICEA, INGLEFIELD, ORWELL, OPPORTUNE and OBDURATE for passage to Kola


                              (Note: Cover was provided by ships of Home Fleet.

            27th           Detached on arrival after particularly extreme weather conditions which limited extensive

                              enemy interference.



              1st           Joined Ocean Escort  for return Convoy RA53 with H M Cruiser SCYLLA and the same

                              destroyers as for escort of JW53.

              7th           Detached from RA53 with HMS SCYLLA, HMS INTREPID and HMS OBDURATE.

            20th           Deployed in Western Approaches for North Atlantic convoy defence as 3rd Support Group

                              with HM Destroyers OFFA, ORIBI, ORWELL, ONSLAUGHT and IMPULSIVE.

            26th           Reinforced escort for Convoy HX 230 which was under attack by U- Boats of SEEWOLF and

                              SEETEUFEL Groups.

            29th           Sustained structural damage in heavy weather conditions.

            31st           Returned to Scapa Flow.


April                     Support role deployment with 3rd Escort Group in Atlantic continued.

to                           (For details of development of tactics and weapons used in Atlantic see SEEK AND STRIKE

 June                      by W Hackmann, U-BOAT WAR IN THE ATLANTIC (HMSO), HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR

                              by C.Blair and THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC by Donald MacIntyre)


July                       Resumed Home Fleet screening duties in 17th Destroyer Flotilla.

            27th           Deployed with ships of Flotilla as screen for HM Battleship DUKE CF YORK and the US

                              battleship USS SOUTH DAKOTA during offensive sweep off Norway by Home Fleet..

                              (Operation GOVERNOR).



              3rd           Deployed with HMS OPPORTUNE and HMS OBDURATE as screen for HM Aircraft

                              Carriers ILLUSTRIOUS and UNICORN during anti-submarine air operations in NW


            13th           Escorted HMS UNICORN during passage to Gibraltar with same consorts.

                              (Note: This aircraft carriers was to be used during allied landings in Sicily.

                                          (Operation HUSKY)).

                                          The presence of ship at Scapa Flow during visit to Home Fleet by HM King George

                                          VI on 15th August 1943 is therefore unlikely.)

            20th           Escorted damaged HM Aircraft Carrier INDOMITABLE with HMS OBDURATE and

                              OPPORTUNE from Gibraltar to Norfolk, Va, via Bermuda for repair.

            31st           On arrival at Norfolk detached and returned to UK.


September            Passage to rejoin Home Fleet at Scapa Flow..

                              Deployed with HM Destroyers MAHRATTA, SHIKARI and SARDONYX .

                              (Operation SF - Anti-submarine patrols in NW Approaches


October                 Part of escort for HM Battleship VALIANT from Gibraltar to UK after Salerno landings

                              (Operation AVALANCHE).

            28th           Carried out unsuccessful anti-submarine operations with HM Destroyer TEAZER on passage

                              to Gibraltar.

                              Passage to Iceland to join escort for Russian convoy.


November              Part of escort for HM Battleship KING GEORGE V from Gibraltar to UK after service in


            18th            Joined Ocean Escort for Russian Convoy JW54A with HM Destroyers IMPULSIVE,

                               ONSLOW, ORWELL, ONSLAUGHT, HAIDA (RCN), HURON (RCN) and IROQUOIS


            19th            Detached after steering gear failure and returned to Iceland steering by engines.

                               Passage to Tyne shipyard after temporary repair

                               Taken in hand for refit and repair in Tyne shipyard.


December              Under repair.


1 9 4 4


January                  Under repair

            17th            Passage to Scapa Flow to resume Home Fleet duties after post refit trials.



             6th            Detached to reinforce Ocean Escort of return Convoy RA56 during passage from Kola Inlet

                               with HM Destroyers VERULAM and SWIFT after loss of HMS HARDY and damage to

                               HMS OBDURATE whilst escorting Convoys JW56A and JW56B

.            9th            Detached from RA56 with HMS VERULAM and HMS SWIFT.

            22nd           Took passage to join Russian Convoy JW57 as Ocean Escort with HM Escort Aircraft Carrier

                               CHASER, HM Cruiser BLACK PRINCE, HM Destroyers OFFA, ONSLAUGHT, ORIBI and


            24th            Carried unsuccessful attacks on U-Boat.

            25th            Under submarine attacks during which HMS MAHRATTA was sunk by U990 with only 16

                               of her ship's company surviving.

            28th            Detached from JW57 on arrival at Kola Inlet.



             3rd            Part of escort for returning Russian Convoy RA57 with HMS BLACK PRINCE, HM Escort

                               Aircraft Carrier CHASER and same destroyers as for JW57-

             7th             Detached from RA57 with HMS BLACK PRINCE, HM Destroyers IMPULSIVE, METEOR,

                               SWIFT and VERULAM.

                               Passage to rejoin Fleet at Scapa Flow.

            29th            Joined Ocean Escort for Russian Convoy JW58 which sailed from Loch Ewe.

                               (Note: Escort comprised HM Cruiser DIADEM, HM Escort Carriers ACTIVITY and

                                           TRACKER with twelve Hone Fleet destroyers including 17th Flotilla.)



             4th             Detached from JW58 on arrival at Kola Inlet after unscathed passage.

             7th             Joined Ocean Escort for return Convoy RA58 with same ships.

            14th            Detached from RA58 with HMS TRACKER, HM Destroyers IMPULSIVE, ORIBI, SCORPION,

                               HM Corvettes BLUEBELL, HONEYSUCKLE and Sloops of 2nd Support Group.

                               After return to Scapa Flow nominated with HMS OFFA, ONSLAUGHT, ONSLOW and ORIBI

                               for support of exercises prior to planned allied landings in Normandy.

            20th            Deployed with Flotilla as Force 27 and carried cut patrols and convoy defence.

            28th            Engaged E-Boats with HMS OFFA and HMS ORWELL

.                              (Note: Enemy ships had attacked landing Craft in Lyme Bay during passage from Plymouth

                                           to carry out assault landings on Slapton Sands and had sunk several with heavy loss

                                           loss of life. (Exercise TIGER - See LANDINGS IN NORMANDY, JUNE 1944



May                        Resumed Flotilla duties with Home Fleet based at Scapa Flow.

            14th            Part of screen for HM Escort Carriers EMPEROR, STRIKER, HM Cruisers ROYALIST,

                               and SHEFFIELD with H M Destroyers ONSLOW, URSA, WAKEFUL, Polish destroyers

                               PIORUN and BLYSKAWIKA for air attacks on shipping off Rorvik and Standlandet.

                               (Note: This was one of a series of Home Fleet air attacks on Norwegian coast shipping and on

                                           German battleship TIRPITZ.)

            26th            Nominated with 17th Flotilla for support of allied landings in Normandy.

                               (Operation NEPTUNE - For details of naval activities before and during the allied landings see

                               LANDINGS IN NORMANDY, June 1944 (HMSO), OPERATION NEPTUNE by K. Edwards

                               and BRITISH INVASION FLEETS by J de S Winser).


June                        Deployed in Dover Command with HMS OPPORTUNE and HMS ORWELL for patrol duty to

                               the seaward side of the coastal channel used by convoys to assault area.

              6th            In action with E-Boats of 4th German MTB Flotilla based at Boulogne.

                               Enemy craft withdrew.

              7th            In action with E-Boats of same Flotilla 40 miles south of Beachy Head.

              8th            Deployed in Dover Command for patrol and convoy defence.

            11th            Deployed with HM Destroyer Savage for anti-submarine search off Beachy Head.

            12th            Channel deployment in continuation. No major interruption of convoy traffic reported.



            28th            Continued Channel deployment for convoy defence and interception of surface or submarine

                               incursions into Eastern Task Force area.



              1st            Carried out unsuccessful submarine hunt in Channel with HM Destroyer SAVAGE after detection

                               by coastal radar.

                               On completion of patrol took passage for Boiler clean at Chatham.

            26th            In action against E-Boats attacking a west bound convoy off Dungeness with HMS SAVAGE,

                               HMS OPPORTUNE and MTB's of Light Coastal Forces.


August                  Resumed Flotilla duties with Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.


September             Escorted HM Cruiser JAMAICA with HMS ORWELL for replenishment of the Spitsbergen

                               garrison (Operation GEARBOX series).


October                  Home Fleet deployment with Flotilla in continuation.

            20th            Flotilla exercises off Faeroes.

            22nd           Joined Ocean Escort for Russian Convoy JW61 with HM Cruiser DIDO, HM Escort Aircraft

                               NAIRANA, TRACKER, VINDEX and destroyers of the 17th Flotilla.

                               (Note: In addition two Escort Groups of Frigates were deployed to strengthen the anti-submarine

                                           defence against the expected heavy U-Boat attacks).

            28th            Detached on arrival at Kola Inlet after safe passage without loss.



              2nd           Escorted returning Convoy RA61 with same ships.

              9th            Detached from RA61 with Flotilla on arrival at Loch Ewe.

                               Resumed Home Fleet screening duties in NW Approaches.



              1st            Joined escort for Russian Convoy JW62 with HM Cruiser BELLONA, HM Escort Aircraft

                               Carriers CAMPANIA and NAIRANA, destroyers of 17th and 7th Flotillas and ten RN

                               and RCN Frigates.

              7th            Detached on arrival at Kola Inlet without loss of mercantiles.

            10th             Joined Ocean Escort for return Convoy RA62 with same ships.

                                (Note: Before departure frigates had carried out a special operation to attack an assembly

                                           of U-boats outside Inlet.)

            11th             HM Destroyer CASSANDRA damaged by U-Boat torpedo and returned to Murmansk.

            19th             Detached from RA62 and resumed Home Fleet duties at Scapa Flow.

            31st              Deployed with HM Destroyers ORWELL, ZEPHYR and ZEALOUS for anti-submarine

                                 search operations west of Orkneys.


1 9 4 5


January                   Deployed in Home Fleet with Flotilla.

            10th             Joined Force 1 as escort for HM Cruisers NORFOLK and BELLONA with HM

                                Destroyers ONSLOW and ORWELL during shipping strike off Norway.

                                (Operation SPELLBINDER)

            11th             In action against convoy and escorts off Egersund.

            12th             Returned to Scapa with Force 1.


February                 Home Fleet deployment in continuation.

to                             Nominated for minelaying operation off Kola Inlet after conversion.




              6th             Converted for minelaying operation at Immingham

            11th             Carried cut minelay in NW Approaches with APOLLO, OPPORTUNE and ORWELL.

                                (Operation CH - Part of Field S3. This was done when Russian agreement for planned

                                minelay off Kola Inlet had not been obtained).

            17th             Detached for Kola minelay with HM Minelaying Cruiser APOLLO, HM Destroyers

                                ORWELL and OPPORTUNE as Force 5.

                                (Operation TRAMMEL - See Naval Staff History (Mining).

                                (Note: Passage in hazardous weather conditions.)

            21st             Delayed fuelling at Kola Inlet and Russian insistence on prior inspection.

                                Embarked Russian observers. (See ARCTIC DESTROYERS by GC Cornell).

            22nd            Laid A/S Trap minefield and returned to refuel at Kola Inlet after passing over new field to

                                prove it had been laid deep.

                                (Note: Cover was provided by HM Cruiser DIDO.

            23rd             Sailed for Scapa Flow with Force 5.

                                Speed reduced to 15 knots when HMS ORWELL had reported split in hull structure

            26th             Resumed Fleet duties on arrival at Scapa Flow.



             4th              Escorted Fleet Auxiliary tanker BLUE RANGER with HMS ORWELL for refuelling duties

                                in support of returning Convoy RA66 during passage to UK.

             5th              Detached with HMS ORWELL to join Task Force deployed on shipping strike west of Narvik

.                               (Operation JUDGEMENT).

                                Joined HM Destroyers CARYSFORT, OPPORTUNE, SAVAGE, SCOURGE, ZAMBESI as

                                screen for HM Cruisers NORFOLK, DIADEM, HM Escort Aircraft SEARCHER, QUEEN and


                                (Note: Carrier aircraft sank Depot Ship BLACK WATCH during air operations.)

                                Deployed for Air Sea Rescue duties.

             8th              Detached with HM Escort Aircraft Carriers  SEARCHER,  TRUMPETER, HM Cruiser

                                NORFOLK, HM Destroyers CARYSFORT, ZAMBESI, OPPORTUNE and ORWELL to join

                                Task Force covering passage of major ships to Copenhagen for surrender of German forces in

                                Denmark. Ship entered minefield and had to be detached from Task Force until area swept.

                                Ordered to return to Scapa Flow when safe to leave area.

            15th             Escorted HM Cruiser NORFOLK on Flag visit to Bergen

            26th             Arrived at Kiel for Guardship duties and support of clearance operations to allow reopening of

                                Kiel Canal.


June                         Deployed at Kiel in connection with collection of surrendered U-Boats.

            15th             Deployed as Guardship in Baltic ports including Travemunde.

                                (Note: This duty was rotated with HM Destroyers ORIBI, OFFA and OBDURATE.)

                                 Passage to UK for special duty.


July                          Deployed in Hone waters.

                                 Escorted US cruiser USS PHILADELPHIA during passage in Channel.

                                 (Note: Mr Truman, President of USA was embarked for passage to Potsdam Conference with

                                            allied leaders.


August                   During visit to Tromso took German State Yacht GRAF as Prize.

                                (Note: This yacht was used by RN during post war years.)

                                Under refit.


P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


HMS OBEDIENT remained in service after refit and took part in Operation DEADLIGHT, the destruction of surrendered U-Boats in NW Approaches. She then joined the Portsmouth Local Flotilla for use by the Torpedo School. The ship was reduced to Reserve status in October 1947 at Sheerness and was refitted in 1949- She was re-commissioned on 17th October 1952 and deployed at Portsmouth for service in the Local Flotilla including taking part in the Coronation Review. After July 1953 this ship used for Air -Sea rescue duties during air operations by aircraft carriers in Channel. After acceptance into the Reserve Fleet at Chatham in December that year she briefly commissioned for further service for trials in February 1956 but then returned to Reserve at Chatham .A proposal to convert this ship and HMS OBDURATE for use as Anti-submarine Frigates was not implemented and she was laid-up in Reserve at Hartlepool in 1957. The ship was put on the Disposal List in 1961 and sold to BISCO for demolition by Hughes Bolcow, She arrived in tow at the Breakers yard in Blyth on 19th October 1962.






by Don Kindell


These convoy lists have not been cross-checked with the text above






Date convoy sailed

Joined convoy as escort

Convoy No.

Left convoy

Date convoy arrived








JW 051B





RA 052





JW 053





RA 053





SC 123





HX 230





JW 054A





RA 056





JW 057





RA 057





JW 058





RA 058





JW 061





RA 061





JW 062





RA 062





RA 066








(Note on Convoys)


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