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

HMS GRENVILLE (ii) -  U-class Flotilla Leader
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Grenville (Navy Photos/George Knight, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 

U-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered under a War Emergency Programme in April 1941 from Swan Hunter, Wallsend, Newcastle. The ship was laid down on 1st November 1941 and launched on 12th October 1942 as the 3rd RN warship to carry this name. It was introduced in 1763 in commemoration of the famous victory by Sir Richard Grenville against a Spanish Fleet off the Azores in August 1591. The last ship to bear the name was sunk by a mine in 1940. Build completed on 27th May 1943 and the design included additional accommodation to allow use as a Flotilla Leader. Following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign during March 1942 she had been 'adopted' by the civil community of Paisley, Renfrewshire, now part of Strathclyde.



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 3


May                    Contractor's sea trials and commissioned for service in 25th Destroyer Flotilla.

           27th         Build completion and commenced Accepted Trials.

                            On completion of trials and storing took passage to Scapa Flow to work-up for operational

                            duties with Hone Fleet.


June                    During work-up deployed with destroyer screen for major Home Fleet which included US Navy

                            battleships on loan service at Scapa Flow.


July                     Part of screen for H M Battleships ANSON, DUKE CF YORK and MALAYA, US battleships

                            SOUTH DAKOTA and ALABAMA during diversionary sweep off Norway as a Diversionary

                            operation during allied landings in Sicily.

           31st          Transferred to English Channel based at Plymouth.


August               Deployed for anti-submarine operations in Bay of Biscay with HM Destroyer ULSTER and

                            HM Sloop CRANE to intercept U-Boats on passage to and for attacks on enemy coastal convoys.

                            (For details see HOLD THE NARROW SEA by P Smith, ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE

                            CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett and CONFLICT OVER THE BAY by N Franks).

           26th          Despatched with HM Canadian Destroyer ATHABASKAN, HM Sloop EGRET, HM Frigates

                            ROTHER and JED to reinforce ships of 5th and 40th Support Groups after increase of air

                            attacks by Glider Bombs off Spanish coast.

                            (Note: HM Cruiser PHOEBE provided cover.)

                            (Operation PERCUSSION -To intercept U-Boats using coastal waters for passage to and from

                            Atlantic convoy routes)

.          28th          Under attack by Do217 aircraft using He293 Glider Bombs.

                            (Note: HMS EGRET was sunk and HMCS ATHABASKAN damaged in these  attacks


 September          Channel deployment in continuation.


October                Channel deployment in continuation.

           16th           Deployed with HM Destroyers ULSTER, LIMBOURNE, TANTASIDE and WENSLEYDALE

                             for an interception operation in Bay of Biscay.

                             In action against German destroyers off Les Triages Light.

                             Torpedo attack by RN destroyers and unsuccessful.

                             Caught fire after being hit during exchange of fire and withdrew from action.

                             Came under friendly fire from other ships in company.

                             Enemy ships were able to disengage (See FRIEND CF FOE by P Kemp).

                             (Note: This was an example of the poor execution of TUNNEL operations)

           18th           Under repair.

           22nd          Deployed with HM Cruiser CHARYBDIS, HM Destroyers ROCKET, TALYBONT,

                             STEVENSTONE, LIMBOURNE and WENSLEYDALE to intercept German blockade runner

                             MUNSTERLAND off the coast of Brittany .

                             (Operation TUNNEL Series).

           23rd           Under attack by German torpedo boats during which HMS CHARYBDIS and HMS

                             LIMBOURNE were sunk.

                             (For details of this disastrous, ill-planned and poorly executed operation see HOLD THE

                             NARROW SEA by Peter C Smith and TWO HONORABLE YEARS by Craig Leith.

                             (Note TWO HONORABLE YEARS was privately published).


 November           Transferred for duty in Mediterranean and took passage to Gibraltar..

             8th           Carried out bombardment of Volturno.


December             Deployed in Adriatic based at Brindisi for patrol duties and support for military operations.


1 9 4 4


January                Adriatic support in continuation.

                             Carried out bombardment of Revigno.

                             Nominated  for support of planned allied landings at Anzio.

                             Passage to join Assault Force at Naples.,

            21st          Deployed in support of landings as part of screen for major units and for gunfire support.

                             (Operation SHINGLE - See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and Naval Staff


            24th          Deployed with HM Destroyer LAFOREY for interception patrol against E-Boats.


February              On release from SHINGLE deployed in central Mediterranean and Adriatic.




April                     Transferred to rejoin Home Fleet for support of planned allied landings in Normandy.

                              Passage to Scapa Flow.


May                      Nominated for duty in Force G to support assault landings on GOLD BEACH with HM

                              Destroyers URSA, ULSTER, UNDAUNTED, UNDINE and URCHIN of Flotilla.

                              Joined HM Cruisers ORION, AJAX, ARGONAUT and EMERALD with HMS UNDINE

                              as part of BOMBARDING Force K (Operation NEPTUNE).

                              Carried out bombardment exercise with Force K in NW Approaches.

                              (For details of naval activities prior to and during landings and of major ships in Force G

                              see LANDINGS IN NORMANDY JUNE 1944 (HMSO) and OPERATION NEPTUNE by

                              K. Edwards).


June                       Assembled with Force K ships in Clyde.

             3rd            Sailed from Clyde with Force K.

             4th            Operation delayed for 24 hours.

             5th            Dutch Gunboat FLORES joined Force K on arrival in Solent.

                              Passage through Swept Channel with Force K as Convoy G12.

             6th            Provided naval gunfire support for landings on GOLD Beach.

             8th            Deployed in Eastern Task Force Area for gunfire support and defensive patrols to intercept

                              enemy surface craft and submarines attacking ships off beachhead.

           25th            Retained with Flotilla in  English Channel after termination of NEPTUNE.


August                  Channel deployment with Flotilla in continuation.

                               Nominated for service in Pacific with Flotilla.


September              Refit and preparation for service with British Pacific Fleet.


October                  On completion of post refit trials and shakedown took passage to Mediterranean.


November               Retained in Mediterranean for support of military operations.
              Carried out bombardment of Civitanova and Pedaso.

                                  On release from support duties took passage to Ceylon.

           22nd              Joined British Pacific Fleet on formation.


December                After arrival detached with Flotilla for screening of Eastern Fleet major ships and patrol in

                                  Indian Ocean.


1 9 4 5


January                   Detached service with Eastern Fleet in continuation.

             4th              Part of screen for HM Aircraft Carriers INDOMITABLE, VICTORIOUS and

                                INDEFATIGABLE, HM Cruisers SUFFOLK, CEYLON, ARGONAUT and BLACK

                                PRINCE with HM Destroyers UNDINE, UNDAUNTED, URANIA, URSA, KEMPENFELT,

                                WHELP and WAGER as Task Force 63.

                                (Operation LENTIL - Air attacks on oil refineries at Pangkalan Erandan, Sumatra).

                                (See OPERATION PACIFIC by E Gray, ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and

                                WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO)

            13th             Took part in rehearsal of planned operation during passage to Sydney of BPF.

            16th             Sailed from Ceylon as Task Force 63 (HM Battleship KING GEORGE V, HM Aircraft

                                Carriers INDOMITABLE, ILLUSTRIOUS, VICTORIOUS and INDEFATIGABLE, HM

                                Cruisers BLACK PRINCE, ARGONAUT and EURYALUS, HM Destroyers UNDAUNTED

                                UNDINE, URSA, KEMPENFELT, WAKEFUL, WHIRLWIND, WAGER, WESSEX and

                                WHELP for passage to Sydney.

            20th             Refuelled at sea from Task Force 69.

            24th             Part of screen for TF63 during air attacks on oil refinery at Pladjoe, North of Palembang,

                                Sumatra (0peration MERIDIAN I).

            28th             Part of screen for TF63 during attacks on refinery at Soengi-Cerong, Sumatra.

                                (Operation MERIDIAN II).

            30th             Replenished and took passage to Fremantle.



            10th             Arrived at Sydney.

            11th             Prepared for service with US Navy in SW Pacific

.           to                 Carried out exercises using US Navy procedures.

           28th             Designated as part of Task Force 113 with ships of BPF.

                                Took passage to Manus



              7th             Arrived at Manus.

              8th             Delayed at Manus whilst US Approval was received for BPF ships to join operations

              to               in SW Pacific.


             15th            Approval given by US CinC for Task Force 113 to deployed with US 5th Fleet.

             18th            Sailed for Ulithi with ships of 25th, 4th and 27th Destroyer Flotillas.

             22nd           Re-designated as Task Group 57.8 and took passage from Ulithi for operational area off

                                Sakishima Gunto as part of screen for BPF ship (Task Force 57).

                                (Operation ICEBERG I - Support for Okinawa landings).

             26th           Deployed in operational area with TF57.

                               (For details of naval operations by TF57 see TASK FORCE 57 by P Smith, OPERATION

                               PACIFIC by E Gray, THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by J Winton and WAR WITH JAPAN


                               Nominated for detached service with US ships for joint air attacks on airfields.



               9th           Task Force 57 diverted to carry out air attacks on airfields in Formosa.

                               (Operation ICEBERG OOLONG).

              11th          Deployed with screen for TF57 ships during air operations off Formosa.

              16th          On completion of Formosa strikes and refuelling resumed operations off Sakishima Gunto.

              20th          Took passage to Leyte for rest period after 6th strike period.



               1st          Sailed from Leyte as part of screen for HM Battleships KING GEORGE V and HOWE, HM

                               Aircraft Carriers INDOMITABLE, VICTORIOUS, FORMIDABLE and INDEFATIGABLE,

                               HM Cruisers SWIFTSURE, BLACK PRINCE, UGANDA (RCN), GAMBIA (RNZN) and

                               EURYALUS with destroyers of 4th, 25th and 27th Destroyer Flotillas to continue attacks on

                               airfields in the Sakishima Group by Task Force 57

                               (Operation ICEBERG II)

                4th          Resumed screening duties during air operations after replenishment.

                               Detached with ships of Flotilla to screen HMS KING GEORGE V, HMS HOWE, HM Cruisers

                               SWIFTSURE, BLACK PRINCE, EURYALUS, GAMBIA and UGANDA during

                               bombardment of airfield on Miyako.

                               Withdrew soon after start of bombardment when signal received to say aircraft carriers were

                               under heavy and sustained air attacks.

                5th          Deployed with screen of TF57 during air operations.

                to            Under sustained air attacks.


               26th         Passage to Sydney via Manus as screen for TF57 ships.

               27th         British ships transferred to 3rd US Fleet and re-designated Task Force 37.


June                       Maintenance and rest period at Sydney.

                               Re-designated as Leader of 4th RN Destroyer Flotilla with ships of 25th Flotilla.

               28th         Took passage to Manus with BPF ships for joint operations with US 3rd Fleet off Japan.



                6th          Sailed from Manus with BPF ships.

               17th         Passage to Japan with TF37 for joint RN and USN operations.

                               Deployed with HM Destroyers QUIBERON, QUICKMATCH, QUALITY, QUADRANT,


                               UNDINE, URANIA, URCHIN and ULYSSES to screen HM Battleship KING GEORGE V,

                               HM Aircraft Carriers FORMIDABLE, VICTORIOUS and HMS IMPLACABLE, HM Cruisers


                               (RNZN) and BLACK PRINCE.

                               (Note: TF37 carriers joined US TF38 attacks on targets in Tokyo and Yokohama.

               18th         Bombarded targets in South Honshu with TF37. In action against surface suicide craft.


August                  Deployed in operational area with TF37.

                9th          Part of screen TF37 ships during combined air attacks and surface bombardment of targets in

                               North Honshu and Hokkaido with US Task Groups.

               12th         Escorted ships of TF37 to Manus after reduction of British element due to lack of fuel from

                               British sources (See above references)

               20th         Passage to Sydney with HM Destroyers URCHIN and URSA as escort for HM Aircraft

                               Carrier FORMIDABLE.


Post    War   Notes


HMS GRENVILLE returned to UK after VJ Day to reduce to Reserve status at Portsmouth and then was laid up at Harwich. In 1951 she re-commissioned for service with the Plymouth Local Flotilla and on 1st October that year was involved in a collision off Start Point. Three men were killed, 5 injured and the ship seriously damaged. After repair in August 1952 she resumed service and was converted into a Type 15 Anti-submarine Frigate, completing in 1954. Her service as a frigate lasted until 1969 when she was placed in Reserve at Gibraltar. The ship returned to UK and was refitted for use as a Trials Ship for Weapons and Radio equipment. This service which included first trials of a Satellite Communications System lasted until 1972 when she was placed on the Disposal and laid up at Portsmouth. Sold to BISCO in 1983 for demolition by Romamet she was towed to the breakers yard at Rochester later that year.






by Don Kindell


This convoy list has not been cross-checked with the text above






Date convoy sailed

Joined convoy as escort

Convoy No.

Left convoy

Date convoy arrived








FWC 006








(Note on Convoys)


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revised 11/8/11
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