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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2001

HMS ZEPHYR (R 19) -  Z-class Destroyer
Including Convoy Escort Movements

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

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ZAMBESI or Z-Class Destroyer ordered from Vickers-Armstrong at Barrow under the Emergency War Programme On 12th February 1942 with HMS MYNGS for the 10th Emergency Flotilla. The ship was laid down on 13th July 1942 and launched on 15th July 1943 as the ninth Royal Navy ship to bear the name, introduced in 1757 when the when the Sloop MARTIN captured by the French off Brest a year earlier was renamed. This Sloop was again taken by the French in 1788 and was again recaptured but burnt in the action. It was last used for a 310 ton Torpedo Boat destroyer built by Hanna Donald and Wilson at Paisley in 1895 which was scrapped at Rainham in 1920. Build was completed on 6th September 1944 This destroyer replaced HM Destroyer LIGHTNING which was torpedoed and sunk by an Italian MTB in the Mediterranean in March 1943, and had been adopted by the civil community of Doncaster after a WARSHIP WEEK in 1942.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s


QUEBEC 1759  - MARTINIQUE 1762 - COPENHAGEN 1801 - BALTIC 1854 - ARCTIC 1945


H e r a l d i c   D a t a

On a Field Blue, a representation of Zephyrus, the West wind.



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 4


August                  Contractors Trials


September             Commissioned for service in 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet.

             9th             Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

                               On completion of trials, storing and calibrations took passage to work-up

                               with ships of Home Fleet.


October                 Deployed for work-up prior to operational service with Flotilla.

            23rd           Joined HM Destroyers SAUMAREZ, SERAPIS and two other Home Fleet

                              destroyers as screen for HM Cruiser DEVONSHIRE, HM Escort Carriers TRUMPETER

                              and CAMPANIA as Force 2 for combined air minelay and shipping strike off the

                              coast of Norway (Operation HARDY)

                              Sailed for HARDY with Force 2

             24th          Provided screen during aircraft minelay.

             25th          Shipping strike cancelled because of weather conditions.

             27th          Returned to Scapa Flow with Force 2.

                              (For details of all minelaying operations see The Naval Staff History (Mining)


November            Flotilla deployment with Home Fleet in continuation.

             14th          Deployed with HM Destroyer CAESAR, NUBIAN and VENUS as screen for

                              HM Escort Aircraft Carrier PURSUER and HM Cruiser EURYALUS during

                              attacks on shipping off Trondheim during which a German escort V6413 was

                              sunk. See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett.

              27th         Deployed with HM Destroyers MYNGS, SCOURGE, SCORPION, SIOUX (RCN),

                              and ALGONQUIN (RCN) as screen for HM Aircraft Carrier IMPLACABLE and

                              HM Cruiser DIDO during air attacks on southbound convoy off Mosjoen, north of

                              Namsos, Norway

                              (Note: Three ships were sunk in these attacks, one of which was carrying Russian

                                              PoW, many off whom were killed. See above references.)


December              Flotilla deployment with Home Fleet at Scapa Flow in continuation.

             12th           Joined HM Destroyers ZEALOUS, SIOUX (RCN), ALGONQUIN (RCN), SAVAGE,

                               and SERAPIS for screening of HM Cruiser DEVONSHIRE, HM Escort Carriers

                               PREMIER and TRUMPETER as Force 2 for joint air minelay and shipping strike

                               off Norwegian coast. (Operation LACERATE)

                               Sailed from Scapa Flow with Force 2.

              `14th         Provided screen during air operations  and came under attack by torpedo aircraft of

                               KG26 which was unsuccessful.

                15th        Returned to Scapa Flow with Force 2.

                30th        Deployed for anti-submarine operations west of Orkney Islands with HM Destroyers

                               ZEST and ORWELL.

                               (Note: German submarines were known to be assembling for attacks on Home Fleet

                                           ships deployed for attacks off Norway. See HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR by C

                                            Blair, Volume II)

                31st        Came under attack by U1020

                               attacks on Home Fleet operations off Norway, came under attack by U1020.

                               Hit by homing torpedo and sustained major damage.

                               Taken in tow to Scapa Flow by HM Destroyer ORWELL.


1 9 4 5


January                 Damage surveyed and ship withdrawn from operational service.

                               Repair arranged at commercial shipyard in Dundee

                               Passage to Dundee.


February                Under repair.

to March.


April                      On completion of post repair trials resumed Home Fleet duties at Scapa Flow with


                               Nominated for escort duty with ships of Flotilla in defence of convoy to North Russia.

                 18th       Deployed with HM Destroyers OFFA, ZEALOUS, ZEST, ZODIAC, HAIDA (RCN),

                               HURON (RCN),  IROQUOIS (RCN) and Norwegian destroyer STORD as screen for

                               HM Cruiser BELLONA, HM Escort Aircraft Carriers PREMIER and VINDEX as

                               escort for Russian Convoy JW 66 during passage to Kola Inlet.

                               (Note: Close escort included HM Corvettes ALNWICK CASTLE, BAMBOROUGH

                                           CASTLE. FAREHAM CASTLE, HONEYSUCKLE, LOTUS, OXLIP and

                                           RHODODENDRON and HM Sloop CYGNET with Anti-submarine Frigates

                                           LOCH INSH, LOCH SHIN, COTTON, GOODALL and ANGUILLA of 19th

                                           Escort Group were also deployed with JW66 for additional support.

                                           For details of all Russian convoy operations see CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by

                                           RA Ruegg, CONVOY! by P Kemp, THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS by B

                                           Schoefield and RUSSIAN CONVOYS by R Woodman with details of

                                           German submarine activities in HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR.)

                 25th       Arrived at Kola Inlet with JW66 after uninterrupted passage.

                 29th       Joined return convoy RA66 with same ships as escort for passage to Clyde.

                               (Note: Ships of 19th Escort Group which had been deployed for special minelaying

                                           operation (TRAMMEL) returned to Kola Inlet to carry out a sustained

                                           anti-submarine operation against a group of 10 U-Boats lying in wait

                                           for departure of RA66. See references for details.)

                                HMS GOODALL torpedoed by U 969 and survivors rescued by HMS

                                HONEYSUCKLE before the stricken ship was scuttled.


May                         Deployed for defence of RA66.

                   7th        Detached from escort of RA66 and took passage with HM Destroyers HAIDA,

                                HURON, IROQUOIS and Norwegian destroyer STORD.

                   8th        Joined screen for HM Cruisers BIRMINGHAM and DIDO during passage to

                                Copenhagen to accept surrender of German cruisers PRINZ EUGEN and NURNBERG

                                after German armistice. Screen also included HM Destroyers ZEALOUS, ZEST

                                 and ZODIAC of 2nd Destroyer Flotilla.

                   9th        At Copenhagen for formal surrender of ships.

                 13th        Took passage from Copenhagen with HMS ZEST to resume Flotilla duties with Home

                                 Fleet after relief by HMCS IROQUOIS and HMS SAVAGE.


June                         Flotilla deployment in continuation

to August                 (Note: Home Fleet ship Flotilla deployment included periods as Guardship at

                                             German ports and support of Norwegian re-occupation.)


September                Home Fleet deployment in continuation with visits to Home ports.

to December


1 9 4 6


January                     Deployed with 2nd Destroyer Flotilla in Home Waters

to March


April                         Transferred to 4th Destroyer Flotilla as part of Post War Fleet re-organisation.


May                          Home Fleet deployment in continuation with 4th Destroyer Flotilla.

to December             (Note: For details of naval activities in Home waters and problems relating to

                                              manning shortages see THE DECLINE OF BRITISH SEAPOWER by

                                              D Wettern.)

                                  In September deployed in English Cannel and went to assistance of Tug TID62

                                  which was in difficulties and later sank off Dover on 20th.


1 9 4 7


January                     Deployed in Home waters with Flotilla and took part in Fleet Exercise and visits

to March                   programme.


April                         Under repair by HM Dockyard Chatham.

to June


July                           Transferred to Portsmouth Flotilla as Tender to HMS EXCELLENT for Gunnery

                                  Trials and Training duties.


August                       Portsmouth trials duties in continuation.

to December


1 9 4 8


January                      Portsmouth trials duties in continuation.


February                    Transferred to 3rd Escort Flotilla based at Portland.


March                        Deployed at Portland for anti-submarine training and general duties in

to December             Channel area.

                                   Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to D19


1 9 4 9


January                       3rd Escort Flotilla deployment in continuation.


February                    Transferred to 2nd Training Flotilla and deployed at Portland as Leader

                                    with HM Destroyers ZEST and ZODIAC, HM Corvettes HELMSDALE CASTLE,


                                    and TINTAGEL CASTLE for anti-submarine training and trials.


March                         Deployment at Portland with 2nd Training Flotilla in continuation.

to December


1 9 5 0


                                   Flotilla duties at Portland in continuation.

                                   In March 1950 this ship was deployed with HM Destroyers ROEBUCK,

                                   FINISTERRE, WIZARD and WRANGLER as escort for French

                                   Light Fleet Aircraft Carrier ARROMANCHES (Ex HMS COLOSSUS)

                                   during passage in Channel with French President embarked for visit to UK.

                                   In November she was again deployed as escort for an official visit to UK by

                                   Queen of the Netherlands with HM Destroyers MYNGS, WHIRLWIND,

                                   WIZARD and WRANGLER.


1 9 5 1   t o  1 9 5 2


                                   Flotilla training duties at Portland in continuation.

                                   In 1952 the ship was involved in a collision with HM Submarine SLEUTH

                                   whilst at Portland and sustained slight structural damage.


1 9 5 3


                                   Flotilla duties at Portland in continuation.

                                   Attended the Coronation Review of the Fleet at Spithead during June.


1 9 5 4


                                   Nominated for reduction to Reserve status and Paid-off at Portsmouth.

                                   After de-storing and reduction procedures completed joined Reserve

                                   Fleet division at Portsmouth and laid-up.


1 9 5 5   t o   1 9 5 7


                                   Laid-up in Reserve at Portsmouth.


1 9 5 8

January                       Placed on Disposal List

to May


June                            Sold to BISCO for breaking-up


July                             Under tow to breakerís yard at Dunston.

                  2nd            Arrived at Dunston by Clayton and Davie for demolition.






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 066





RA 066








(Note on Convoys)


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revised 11/8/11
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