RN Destroyer Classes: U & V Class 1942-43

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RN Destroyer Classes: U & V Class 1942-43

Postby Centurian on Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:33 pm

U and V class destroyers of 1942-43 were again two emergency flotillas (7th & 8th) under the War Emergency Programmes, starting with U & V names, but this time the flotilla leaders had names of Grenville and Hardy to replace ships previously lost. One stayed in commission until 1982.

General stats; 2091 tons full; length 363ft; beam 35ft 8” Draught 10ft powered by 2 x Admiralty 3 drum type water boilers on geared turbines giving 40,000shp on twin shafts and speed of 37 knots WOW! And range 4860nm. Comliment 180 (225 leader) Armament originally consisted of; 4 x QF 4.7” Mk IX guns on single mountings; 2x QF 40mm Bofors in twin mountings; 6x QF 20mm Oerlikons (2 twins 2 singles) and 2x Quad 21” MkIX torpedo tubes.

U class

Built by Swan Hunter, Tyne

HMS Grenville, (R97) - flotilla leader launched 12 October 1942 completed 27 May 1943; In Aug 43 with HMCS Athabaskan was support for the Canadian 5th Support Group hunting U boats off Spain, but sustained heavy aerial attacks and the group was disbanded; Oct and Sept saw heavy action off France during Operation Tunnel (blockade runners); Nov supported the Anzio landings and sunk an E boat plus a unique prize of destroying a train; Joined Japanese campaign in 44 (Operation Iceberg). [below]

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HMS Ulster (R83) launched 9 November 1942 completed 30 June 1943; Japanese Kamikaze and bombed during Operation Iceberg off Okinawa and had machinery spaces damaged and flooded. Towed to Leyte for temporary repairs before going to Australia. [below]

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Built by Cammell Laird Birkenhead

HMS Ulysses (R69) launched 22 April 1943 completed 23 December 1943; Worked in Arctic, English Channel, Normandy & bombarded Honshu and Hokkaido. [below]

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HMS Undaunted (R53) launched 19 July 1943 completed 3 March 1944Involved in action to sink the Tirpitz in the Norwegian Altenfjord; D Day Normandy landings saw her carry the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, General Dwight D Eisenhower back to GB; Escort work at Malta & Italy Medal amongst her credits. [below]

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Built by Thornycroft Southampton

HMS Undine (R42) launched 1 June 1943 completed 23 December 1943 Mediterranean, Normandy and Okinawa bombarments and support. [below]

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HMS Ursa (R22) launched 22 July 1943 completed 1 March 1944; Supported Gold Beach landings; June 15th Carried out attack on German Aircraft Repair Ship RICHTOFEN and Minesweeper M385; Aug Carried out attack on coastal convoy sinking patrol boats V702, V717, V720, V729 and V730; Japanese theatre as carrier support screen. [below]

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Built by Vickers Barrow

HMS Urchin (R99) launched 8 March 1943 completed 24 September 1943; involved in supporting Gold Beach; Bombardments Japanese theatre. [below]

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HMS Urania (R05) launched 19 May 1943 completed 18 January 1944; converted to type 15 frigate in 1950’s she saw action in Suez. [below]

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V class

Built by John Brown & Company,

HMS Hardy (R08 - flotilla leader) launched 18 March 1943, and completed 14 August 1943. Lost on 30 January 1944. [below]

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HMS Valentine (R17) launched 2 September 1943 completed 28 February 1944. She was transferred to Canada as HMCS Algonquin.

Built by Fairfields

HMS Venus, (R50) launched 22 February 1943 completed 28 August 1943. First 4 ships named here formed part of the 26th Destroyer Flotilla that ambushed and sank the Japanese cruiser Haguro, off Sumatra. [below]

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HMS Verulam (R28) launched 22 April 1943 completed 10 December 1943. [below] (See also HMS Venus)

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Built by Swan Hunter

HMS Vigilant (R93) launched 22 December 1942 completed 10 September 1943. [below] (See also HMS Venus)

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HMS Virago (R75) launched 4 February 1943 completed 5 November 1943. During the Battle of North Cape her torpedoes finally sank Scharnhorst; Invasion of Normandy gave support fire to the advance from Sword Beach; Involved in Haguro sinking [below](see HMS Venus above).

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Built by J. Samuel White, Cowes

HMS Vixen (R64) launched 14 September 1943, and completed 5 March 1944. She was transferred to Canada as HMCS Sioux after launch; Was involved in trying to sink Tirpitz anchored at Altenfjord, Norway. On D-Day, she provided naval gunfire on Juno Beach [below]

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HMS Volage (R41) launched 15 December 1943, and completed 26 May 1944 Transferred from Scapa after Tirpitz threat dissimilated, she went to Eastern fleet. Off Andaman Islands attacked shore batteries with loss of 3 hands and 8 wounded. March 45 attacked four Japanese transports and guard units in which transports were sunk. It is not known if any of the women prisoners forced into prostitution on these transports survived. [below]

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Re: RN Destroyer Classes: U & V Class 1942-43

Postby MarineNationale on Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:26 pm

May I again recommend the book 'Destroyer Captain' by Roger Hill as, besides commanding HMS Ledbury during both PQ17 and Operation pedestal (as I mentioned in the Hunt class section), he also commisioned and captained HMS Grenville for a while, including the anti-U-boat operations mentioned above when Grenville was attacked by the first German air launched guided missiles, but also during Operation Tunnel and took Grenville to the Mediterranean. His time in command is further interesting as Grenville was, as Bry pointed out, the Captain D's ship but, along with HMS Ulster, it was completed long before others in the flotilla and was given to Hill temporarily because it wasn't worth having a Captain D in command of a flotilla of just two ships. Hill was supposed to get a 'U' class destroyer of his own but ended up being turfed out of Grenville and given (a damaged) HMS Jervis to bring back to the UK.

I am not at home at the moment, but I am also sure there is a book written by the first captain of HMS Ulster.
Last edited by MarineNationale on Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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