U-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered from Vickers-Armstrong, Barrow on
12th June 1941 under the 1941 War Emergency
Programme. The ship was laid down on 28th March
1942 as Yard Number 831and launched on 8th March
1943 as the 5th RN ship to carry the name,
introduced in 1797. It was previously used for a
submarine transferred to the Polish Navy in 1941
and renamed SOKOL. Build completion date for
this destroyer was 24th September 1943. After a
successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings
campaign in March 1942 the ship had been adopted
by the civil community of Ilford, Essex, now in
the Greater London Borough of Redbridge.
a t t l
e H o n o u r s
1801 - ANZIO 1944 - MEDITERRANEAN
1944 - NORMANDY 1944 - ADRIATIC
1944 - OKINAWA 1945
e r a l d i
c D a t a
On a Field barry
wavy of eight White and Blue
a hedgehog Proper.
o t t o
de defendum :
'Armed to defend'.
e t a i l
s o f W a r
S e r v i c e
(for more ship
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9 4 3
trials and commissioning for service with 25th
Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet.
Build completion and commenced Acceptance
completion of trials and storing took passage to
Scapa Flow to work-up with ships of
Nominated for service in Mediterranean.
Carried out work-up based at Scapa Flow.
for foreign service and took passage to join
Fleet in Mediterranean.
Nominated for support of planned allied landings
at Anzio (Operation
Deployed in Malta.
9 4 4
Passage to Naples to joined
Northern Attack Force for support of landing
of 1st British Infantry
Division at Anzio.
from Naples with Assault Force.
Deployed for support during landings.
(For details of operations at Anzio see ENGAGE
THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by Corelli
Barnett and Naval
Deployed with HM Destroyers JERVIS, JANUS,
LAFOREY, LOYAL, INGLEFIELD,
and KEMPENFELT, HM
Escort Destroyers BEAUFORT, BRECON,
TETCOTT and WILTON as
for HM Cruisers ORION,
SPARTAN, HM Anti-Aircraft
Ship ULSTER QUEEN
of military operations, convoy escort and patrol
off west, coast of Italy.
Despatched to join HM Destroyers BRECON, EXMOOR,
BLENCATHRA and BLANKNEY in
search for U450 SE of Anzio.
concentrated depth charge attacks the submarine
was forced to the surface and then
51 survivors were rescued.
(Note: US destroyer USS MADISON also took pert,
Sinking of U45O credited to the four HUNT Class
Destroyers and USS MADISON..
See HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR by C Blair and U-BOATS
DESTROYED By P Kemp)
Support of military operations and patrol duty
off west coast of Italy.
for service in Force G during allied invasion of
Normandy with ships of
Passage to UK to rejoin Home Fleet at Scapa
Carried cut bombardment exercises before joining
Force G in Eastern Task Force.
(Note: Other destroyers in Force G
HM Destroyers GRENVILLE, URSA, ULSTER,
PYTCHLEY, CATTISTOCK, COTTESMORE
and Polish ORP KRAKOWIAK.
Arrived at Greenock for Operation NEPTUNE.
(For details of activities prior to and during
Normandy landings see LANDINGS IN
NORMANDY, June 1944
(HMSO) and OPERATION NEPTUNE by K Edwards).
Part of escort for Convoy G14 to Solent with HM
(Note: Convoy comprised HM Cruisers BELFAST and
DIADEM of Bombarding Force E
which was to provide support for landings on
Operation NEPTUNE postponed for 24 hours.
Passage from Solent with Convoy G14
On arrival joined ships of Force G off GOLD Beachhead.
Deployed with Eastern Task Force for patrol and
On release from NEPTUNE nominated for return to
Prepared for foreign service.
Took passage to Mediterranean .
Deployed for support of military operations.
Nominated for support of
military operations in Adriatic.
Passage to Adriatic.
(For details of Adriatic
operations see THE LAST DESTROYER by K. Mason,
ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by
Corelli Barnett and WAR IN THE
4th Deployed with HM Destroyers UNDINE, LOYAL and KIMBERLEY, HM River
Gunboats APHIS and
SCARAB for bombardment of Rimini Area.
for duty in Eastern Fleet after return to UK for
refit and to prepare
in hand for refit at Leith commercial shipyard
Prepared for service with Eastern Fleet.
(Note: Re-assigned for service in British
Pacific Fleet on formation with Flotilla.)
On completion of post refit trials took passage
1 9 4 5
Arrived at Trincomalee after. delay for repair
at Aden on passage.
Joined Flotilla in British Pacific Fleet
Nominated for detached service with ships
of Eastern Fleet for escort of Replenishment
Group (Force 69) during planned air attacks on
oil installations at Palembang by aircraft
of British Pacific Fleet during passage to
Sydney for service with US Navy.
Took part in Rehearsal for MERIDIAN.
Deployed with RFA ECHODALE, RFA WAVE KING and
RFA EMPIRE SALVAGE during
replenishment of BPF ships (Force 63) prior to
first air operations (MERIDIAN ONE)
On completion remained as escort for Force 69
with HM Cruiser CEYLON.
(Note: RFA Tanker ARNDALE joined in
replenishment area after passage from
Replenishment Group met ships of Force 63 for
second refuelling period prior to continuing
air attacks (MERIDIAN TWO).
(For details of MERIDIAN see THE FORGOTTEN FLEET
by J Winton, OPERATION
by E Gray and WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO).)
Returned to Trincomalee as escort for Force 69.
Deployed at Trincomalee to await arrival of HM
Aircraft Carrier FORMIDABLE on passage
from UK to join BPF.
Joined HMS FORMIDABLE as escort with HM
Destroyer NAPIER (RAN) for passage from
Colombo to Sydney with call at Fremantle.
Arrived at Sydney with HMS FORMIDABLE and
prepared for service with BPF in joint
operations with US Navy in SW Pacific.
(Note: Pennant Number for visual signalling
changed to D28 to conform with US Navy
identification for destroyers.
Carried out exercises in Australian waters
including use of new signalling procedures.
from Sydney as escort for HMS FORMIDABLE with HM
Destroyer URSA during
passage to Manus.
Arrived at Manus, Admiralty Islands.
(Note: Manus was Forward Base for BPF)..
On arrival at Manus future deployment undecided
by internal US wrangling.
See above references.
Under repair in
Allocated for service with 5th US Fleet as part
of Task Force 57 which comprised
HM Battleships KING GEORGE V, HOWE, HM Aircraft
INDEFATIGABLE, HM Cruisers SWIFTSURE,
GAMBIA (RNZN), BLACK PRINCE,
ARGONAUT, EURYALUS, HM
GRENVILLE, ULSTER, URANIA, UNDAUNTED, UNDINE,
QUICKMATCH, QUIBERON, QUEENBOROUGH, KEMPENFELT,
Sailed from Manus after docking to join ships of
BPF deployed as Task Force 57 in attacks on
Island Group with US Navy Task Groups.
(Operation ICEBERG ONE – See THE FORGOTTEN FLEET
by J Winton, OPERATION
PACIFIC by E
Gray and WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO)
Arrived in Area COOTIE with HM Cruiser UGANDA
(RCN) and HM Destroyer URSA.
Deployed with escort for the British Fleet Train
(Task Force 112) to await return of BPF
to replenishment area.
Joined BPF destroyer screen on arrival for
Deployed with TF57 for attacks on Formosa.
(Operation ICEBERG OOLONG) - Special operation to
See above references).
Deployed with TF57 In continuation of attacks on
(Note: HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS had
(Operation ICEBERG ONE).
At Leyte with TF57 for
repair and maintenance.
Part of screen for ships of TF57 to operational
area for continuation of attacks
on Sakishima Gunto (Operation ICEBERG TWO).
(Note: Force 57 comprised:
HM Battleships KING GEORGE V V
and HOWE, HM Aircraft Carriers
INDOMITABLE, INDEFATIGABLE, FORMIDABLE,
VICTORIOUS, HM Cruisers
SWIFTSURE, UGANDA (RCN), GAMBIA (RNZN),
EURYALUS. BLACK PRINCE
with HM Destroyers GRENVILLE, URSA,
QUILLIAM, QUIBERON, QUALITY, QUICKMATCH,
KEMPENFELT, WHIRLWIND, WESSEX and URCHIN.
arrival in area detached with ships of 25th
Destroyer Flotilla to screen HMS KING
GEORGE V, HMS HOWE, HMS SWIFTSURE, HMS BLACK
PRINCE, HMS EURYALUS,
HMNZS GAMBIA and HMCS UGANDA during bombardment
of airfields on Miyako
(Note: During this bombardment the aircraft
carriers of TF57 came under sustained bombing
including KAMIKAZE aircraft.
curtailed and Force returned to rejoin aircraft
See above references for details of KAMIKAZE
attacks on carriers).
Deployment with screen for Task Force in
For details Including collision between HMS
INDOMITABLE and HMS QUILLIAM see
above references and Naval Staff History).
Passage to Sydney with BPF ships via Manus.
(Note: HMS KING GEORGE V with HM Destroyers
TROUBRIDGE, TENACIOUS and
TERMAGANT detached for passage to Guam).
Sydney for rest and recuperation period.
(Note: Ships of BPF were transferred to US 3rd
Fleet during this period after a reorganisation
of US Navy command structure in Pacific. They
were redesigned as Task
Sailed with Task Force 37 from Sydney for Manus.
(Note: Task Force 37 comprised: -
HM Battleship KING GEORGE V, HM Aircraft
VICTORIOUS IMPLACABLE, HM Cruisers NEWFOUNDLAND,
(RNZN), UGANDA (RCN). EURYALUS, GAMBIA (RNZN)
and BLACK PRINCE
with HM Destroyers QUIBERON, QUADRANT, QUALITY,
TROUBRIDGE, TENACIOUS, TERMAGANT, TEAZER,
GRENVILLE, UNDAUNTED, URANIA, URCHIN, UNDINE and
HM Aircraft Carrier INDEFATIGABLE was delayed by
Arrived at Manus with BPF.
Sailed for operational area off Japan with TF37.
(Note: HMS IMPLACABLE detached because of
machinery defect and joined later).
Part of Task Group 37.1.2 as escort for TF37
carriers during combined attacks on targets
Tokyo and Yokohama area (Operation OLYMPIC -
Deployment with screen for major
ships of Task Force 37 in continuation off
(Note: HMS INDEFATIGABLE joined TF37 in
refuelling area with HM Destroyers
WRANGLER and BARFLEUR
on 20th July)
Deployment off Japan with 3rd US Fleet In
continuation for series of joint RN/USN air
attacks and bombardment of targets in North Honshu
Withdrawn from forward area with BPF ships
because of lack of fuel from tankers of British
Fleet Train. See above references.
(Note: Some ships of Task Force 37 were retained
as a Token Force and deployed as Task
Group 38.5. See references.)
Deployed with HMS GRENVILLE as escort for HMS
FORMIDABLE during return passage to
Sydney with call
Arrived at Sydney
and reverted to RN control.
P o s t W a r No t e s
HMS URCHIN was deployed the Flotilla in the far East as part of the
British Pacific Fleet based at Hong Kong until
released from foreign service in 1946. On
arrival in UK the ship Paid-off at Harwich and
laid-up in Reserve there until 1952 when
transferred to Chatham. She was selected for
conversion to an Anti-Submarine Frigate and
towed to the Clyde for this work in a commercial
shipyard. On completion in June 1954 the ship
re-commissioned for service in the 3rd Training
Squadron in which she served for two years
before returning to Reserve. After a refit at
Devonport in 1959 this ship was converted for
use as a sea training ship for cadets at
Dartmouth and re-commissioned in August that
year to serve in the Dartmouth Training
Squadron. Paid-off in 1964 she was placed on the
Disposal List. Before sale for breaking-up her
stern structure was removed and fitted in sister
ship HMS ULSTER during 1966.. The hulk was later
towed to Troon
where she arrived
in August 1967 for demolition.
of HMS URCHIN
convoy lists have not been cross-checked with
the text above
convoy as escort