HMS Tetcott (L99)

Last updated

HMS Tetcott 1942 IWM A 8216.jpg
Tetcott on a convoy to Russia, March 1942
History
Naval ensign of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Name: HMS Tetcott
Ordered: 20 December 1939 [1]
Builder: J. Samuel White [2]
Laid down: 29 July 1940
Launched: 12 August 1941
Commissioned: 2 December 1941
Identification: pennant number: L99
Honours and
awards:
  • Libya 1942
  • Mediterranean 1942
  • Sicily 1943
  • Salerno 1943
  • Aegean 1943–44
  • Anzio 1944
  • Adriatic 1944
Fate: Arrived Thos W Ward, Milford Haven for breaking up 24 September 1956, [3] completed 9 April 1957
Badge: On a Field White, within an annulet murrey, a demi unicorn erased Black.
General characteristics
Class and type: Type II Hunt-class destroyer
Displacement:
  • 1,050 long tons (1,070 t) standard
  • 1,430 long tons (1,450 t) full load
Length: 85.3 m (279 ft 10 in) o/a
Beam: 9.6 m (31 ft 6 in)
Draught: 2.51 m (8 ft 3 in)
Propulsion:
Speed:
  • 27 knots (31 mph; 50 km/h)
  • 25.5 kn (29.3 mph; 47.2 km/h) full
Range: 3,600  nmi (6,700 km) at 14 kn (26 km/h)
Complement: 164
Armament:

HMS Tetcott was a Type II British Hunt-class destroyer built for the Royal Navy during World War II. She was the only Royal Navy ship to be named after the Tetcott fox hunt.

Hunt-class destroyer ship class

The Hunt class was a class of escort destroyer of the Royal Navy. The first vessels were ordered early in 1939, and the class saw extensive service in the Second World War, particularly on the British east coast and Mediterranean convoys. They were named after British fox hunts. The modern Hunt class GRP hulled mine countermeasure vessels maintain the Hunt names lineage in the Royal Navy.

Destroyer Type of warship

In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast, maneuverable long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against smaller powerful short-range attackers. They were originally developed in the late 19th century by Fernando Villaamil for the Spanish Navy as a defense against torpedo boats, and by the time of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, these "torpedo boat destroyers" (TBDs) were "large, swift, and powerfully armed torpedo boats designed to destroy other torpedo boats". Although the term "destroyer" had been used interchangeably with "TBD" and "torpedo boat destroyer" by navies since 1892, the term "torpedo boat destroyer" had been generally shortened to simply "destroyer" by nearly all navies by the First World War.

Royal Navy Maritime warfare branch of the United Kingdoms military

The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years War against the Kingdom of France. The modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century; the oldest of the UK's armed services, it is known as the Senior Service.

Contents

Wartime service

1941

Following completion on 11 December 1941 the ship headed for Scapa Flow where it arrived on 16 December and joined the Home Fleet. The vessel collided with the corvette Heartsease on 23 December which meant that the next two months were spent in repair on the Clyde and later in Southampton. [1]

Scapa Flow bay

Scapa Flow is a body of water in the Orkney Islands, Scotland, sheltered by the islands of Mainland, Graemsay, Burray, South Ronaldsay and Hoy. Its sheltered waters have been used by ships since prehistory and it has played an important role in travel, trade and conflict throughout the centuries – especially during both World Wars.

HMS Heartsease was a Flower-class corvette of the Royal Navy. She served with both the Royal Navy and the United States Navy during the Second World War, with the latter navy as USS Courage. She then spent several years under a succession of names in civilian service. In 1957 she was chartered on behalf of Indonesian rebels to smuggle rubber, copra and matériel. The Indonesian Air Force intercepted and sank her off the coast of Minahasa in North Sulawesi in December 1958.

1942

The vessel was finally ready for service again on 2 March 1942 and returned to Scapa Flow for working-up. On 15 April 1942 Tetcott joined convoy WS18 at the ocean escort Clyde Assembly point. The ship escorted this convoy to Cape Town, detaching briefly to call into Freetown on the way. [1]

Cape Town Capital city of the Western Cape province and legislative capital of South Africa

Cape Town is the oldest city in South Africa, colloquially named the Mother City. It is the legislative capital of South Africa and primate city of the Western Cape province. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality.

Freetown Place in Western Area, Sierra Leone

Freetown is the capital and largest city of Sierra Leone. It is a major port city on the Atlantic Ocean and is located in the Western Area of the country. Freetown is Sierra Leone's major urban, economic, financial, cultural, educational and political centre, as it is the seat of the Government of Sierra Leone. The population of Freetown was 1,055,964 at the 2015 census.

At Cape Town, Tetcott headed into the Indian Ocean and on to Alexandria via the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, arriving in early June 1942 where she joined the 9th Destroyer Flotilla.

The 9th Destroyer Flotilla also known as the Ninth Destroyer Flotilla was a military formation of the British Royal Navy from January 1913 to December 1925 and again in January to July 1940.

On 10 June the ship sailed with Grove carrying supplies to the garrison at Tobruk. Grove was torpedoed on 12 June during the return journey and Tetcott picked up the survivors. On 16 June the ship came under heavy Axis air attack whilst defending of ships returning to Alexandria following the termination of Operation Vigorous.

HMS Grove (L77) was a Hunt-class destroyer of the Royal Navy. She had been completed in early 1942 at the Swan Hunter yard at Wallsend-on-Tyne.

Operation Vigorous World War II Allied operation

Operation Vigorous was a British operation during the Second World War, to escort supply convoy MW11 from the eastern Mediterranean to Malta, which took place from 11–16 June 1942. Vigorous was part of Operation Julius, a simultaneous operation with Operation Harpoon from Gibraltar and supporting operations. Sub-convoy MW11c sailed from Port Said on 11 June, to tempt the Italian battlefleet to sail early, use up fuel and be exposed to submarine and air attack. MW11a and MW11b sailed next day from Haifa, Port Said and Alexandria, one ship being sent back because of defects. Italian and German (Axis) aircraft attacked MW11c on 12 June and a damaged ship was diverted to Tobruk, just east of Gazala. The merchant ships and escorts rendezvoused on 13 June. The British plans were revealed unwittingly to the Axis by the US Military Attaché in Egypt, Colonel Bonner Fellers, who reported to Washington, D.C. in coded wireless messages. The Black Code was later revealed by Ultra to have been broken by the Servizio Informazioni Militare.

In July the ship operated as part of Operation Exporter off Palestine and Syria. On 4 August, with the destroyers Sikh and Zulu the ship attacked the German submarine U-372 and forced the U-boat to the surface. 16 German crew and a Lebanese civilian were rescued.

HMS <i>Sikh</i> (F82) ship

HMS Sikh was a Tribal-class destroyer of the British Royal Navy. The ship entered service in 1938 and served during the Second World War, participating in the sinking of Bismarck and the Battle of Cape Bon. In 1942, while participating in a commando raid, Sikh was sunk by a combination of shore artillery, antiaircraft guns and aerial bombs.

HMS <i>Zulu</i> (F18) ship

The second HMS Zulu was a Tribal-class destroyer of the Royal Navy. She was built in Glasgow by Alexander Stephen and Sons. Her keel was laid down on 10 August 1936. She was launched on 23 September 1937 and commissioned on 7 September 1938. She was sunk on 14 September 1942, off Tobruk.

German submarine U-372 was a Type VIIC U-boat built for Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine for service during World War II. She was laid down on 17 November 1939 by Kriegsmarinewerft Kiel as construction number 3, launched on 8 March 1941 and commissioned on 19 April 1941 under Kapitänleutnant Heinz-Joachim Neumann.

In September 1942, the ship was assigned with Hero to convoy duties in the Red Sea, but returned to the Mediterranean in October. In November 1942, the ship formed part of the close escort for Convoy MW13, from Alexandria to Malta. This convoy succeeded in reaching Malta, and the ship formed part of the close escort on the return journey. In December, Tetcott was one of the escorts in the Alexandria to Malta convoy, MW14, after which she joined the 22nd Destroyer Flotilla at Algiers.

1943

In January 1943 the ship escorted Orion from Malta to Alexandria during cover for passage of a Malta and on 1 February rescued survivors from the minelayer Welshman which had been torpedoed off Sollum. She continued patrol and escort duties in the eastern and central Mediterranean for the next two months.

In July she took part on Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily, and in September the Salerno landing, Operation Avalanche.

1944

In January 1944, the ship was assigned to the Northern Attack Force for Operation Shingle, the Anzio Landings, and provided shore bombardment in support of the landings.

From February until August 1944, the ship operated in the Adriatic Sea providing shore bombardment and operating as a convoy escort. In September she supported the invasion of the Aegean islands, and then worked as part of the liberation of Greece. Deployments off Greece and Albania continued until March 1945.

1945

Tetcott then operated off the Italian coast, and was slightly damaged in April during the bombardment of Genoa. The ship returned to the UK, arriving at Portsmouth on 21 May [2] before heading to Gibraltar in June for a refit, which started on 5 July.

Post-war

The ship was due to be assigned to the Indian Ocean following the refit but this was cancelled with the surrender of Japan and instead the refit was cut short and the ship placed in reserve on 17 January 1946 before heading back to the UK. [2]

In November 1952, it was announced that the ship would be preserved at the Penarth Docks, but this plan failed. Instead the ship was towed to Gibraltar where she remained until September 1955 when she was towed back to the Barrow in Furness, in Extended Reserve, having had much of her equipment removed and the vessel no longer maintained and placed on the Disposal List. In January 1956 Tetcott was reclassified as a hulk and in August transferred to the Iron and Steel Corporation of Great Britain for scrapping.

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References

References

  1. 1 2 3 Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason. "HMS Tetcott - Type II, Hunt-class Escort Destroyer". Service Histories of Royal Navy Warships in World War 2. Retrieved 2009-05-16.
  2. 1 2 3 "HMS Tetcott". Holsworthy Museum. Archived from the original on 15 June 2009. Retrieved 16 May 2009.
  3. Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) [1969]. Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN   978-1-86176-281-8. OCLC   67375475.

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