HMS Orchis (K76)

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HMS Orchis (K76) IWM FL 4270.jpg
Underway in the River Clyde, December 1942
Career (UK) RN Ensign
Name: HMS Orchis
Laid down: 18 June 1940
Launched: 15 October 1940
Commissioned: 29 November 1940
Identification: Pennant number: K76
Fate: Mined off Juno Beach 21 August 1944
General characteristics
Class & type: Flower-class corvette
Displacement: 925 long tons[1]
Length: 205 ft (62 m) o/a[1]
Beam: 33 ft (10 m)[1]
Draught: 11 ft 6 in (3.51 m)
Propulsion: 1 × 4-cycle triple-expansion reciprocating steam engine
2 × fire tube Scotch boilers
Single shaft
2,750 ihp (2,050 kW)[1]
Speed: 16 kn (30 km/h)[1]
Range: 3,500 nmi (6,500 km) at 12 kn (22 km/h)
Complement: 90[1]
Sensors and
processing systems:
1 × Type 271 radar from March 1941[2]
1 × Type 123A or Type 127DV sonar
Armament:

1 × BL 4-inch (101.6 mm) Mk.IX gun[1]
2 × Vickers .50 cal machine gun (twin)
2 × Lewis .303 cal machine gun (twin)
2 × Mk.II Depth charge throwers

2 × Depth charge rails with 40 depth charges
Service record
Operations: Battle of the Atlantic

HMS Orchis was a Flower-class corvette that served in the Royal Navy during World War II.

North Atlantic Trade Convoy Escort[edit]

In March 1941, Orchis was the first ship fitted with the very successful 10-cm wavelength Type 271 radar enabling detection of a surfaced submarine at 5000 yards or a submarine periscope at 1300 yards.[2] Orchis was assigned first to the 4th Escort Group based at Greenock[3] and then to Escort Group B3 of the Mid-Ocean Escort Force through early 1944.[4] Orchis escorted convoy ONS-18 during the battle of Convoys ONS-18/ON-202.[5]

English Channel[edit]

Orchis was then assigned to patrol the English Channel, and sank German submarine U-741 on 15 August 1944.[6] U-741 torpedoed LST-404 of convoy FTM-69 while Orchis was escorting nearby convoy FTC-68. Orchis gained and held sonar contact on U-741 and flooded the forward part of the U-boat with two Hedgehog attacks and two Depth charge attacks. Leo Leuwer escaped from the aft torpedo-room hatch of the sunken U-boat, and was rescued by Orchis.[7]

On 21 August 1944, Orchis struck a mine destroying the bow back to the 4-inch gun. The damaged ship was beached on Juno Beach and declared a total loss.[8][9]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Brown(1995)p.178
  2. ^ a b Macintyre, Donald, CAPT RN "Shipborne Radar" United States Naval Institute Proceedings September 1967 p.80
  3. ^ Rohwer&Hummelchen(1992)p.89
  4. ^ Rohwer&Hummelchen(1992)pp.170,185,188,198,212,227,228,234,235,239,241&259
  5. ^ Rohwer&Hummelchen(1992)pp.235-236
  6. ^ Rohwer&Hummelchen(1992)p.291
  7. ^ Blair(1998)p.613
  8. ^ Brown(1995)p.119
  9. ^ Rohwer&Hummelchen(1992)p.299

References[edit]

  • Blair, Clay (1998). Hitler's U-boat War The Hunted 1942-1945. Random House. ISBN 0-679-45742-9. 
  • Brown, David (1995) [1990]. Warship Losses of World War Two. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-914-X. 
  • Rohwer, Jurgen; Hummelchen, Gerhard (1992) [1972]. Chronology of the War at Sea 1939-1945. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-105-X.