HMS Woodpecker (U08)
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Woodpecker in December 1942
|Builder:||William Denny & Brothers|
|Launched:||29 June 1942|
|Commissioned:||14 December 1942|
|Fate:||Torpedoed by U-256 on 20 February 1944.
Sank while under tow 27 February 1944
|Class & type:||Modified Black Swan class sloop|
|Length:||299 ft 6 in (91.29 m)|
|Beam:||38 ft 6 in (11.73 m)|
|Draught:||11 ft (3.4 m)|
|Propulsion:||Geared turbines, 2 shafts
4,300 hp (3.21 MW)
|Speed:||20 knots (37 km/h)|
|Range:||7,500 nmi (13,900 km) at 12 kn (22 km/h)|
|Armament:||6 × 4-inch (102 mm) AA guns (3 × 2)
4 × 2 pdr AA pom-pom
12 × 20 mm Oerlikon AA (6 × 2)
|Part of:||2nd Support Group|
|Commanders:||Lt.Cdr RES Hugonin,
Cdr HL Pryse.
|Operations:||Battle of the Atlantic|
|Victories:||7 U-boats (shared)|
HMS Woodpecker (U08) was a modified, 1,300 ton Royal Navy Black Swan-class sloop that fought during World War II. The ship was built by William Denny & Brothers of Dumbarton, Scotland. She was launched on 29 June 1942, and commissioned 14 December the same year.
This sloop participated in the sinking of the following German vessels:
- U-449, Near Cape Ortegal, Spain, 24 June 1943
- U-462, Bay of Biscay, 30 July 1943
- U-504, Near Cape Ortegal, Spain, 30 July 1943
- U-226, East of Newfoundland, 6 November 1943
- U-762, North Atlantic, 8 February 1944
- U-424, Southwest of Ireland, 11 February 1944
- U-264, North Atlantic, 11 February 1944
In February 1944, the Woodpecker was under the command of Commander H. L. Pryse, RNR, escorting convoy ON 224. On 20 February 1944, she was struck in the stern by an acoustic torpedo launched from the U-boat U-256. While being towed toward home, on 27 February 1944 the Woodpecker foundered and sank in an Atlantic storm. The skeleton crew was rescued before the ship went under.
- Hague, Arnold (1993). Sloops: A History of the 71 Sloops Built in Britain and Australia for the British, Australian and Indian Navies 1926–1946. Kendal, England: World Ship Society. ISBN 0-905617-67-3.
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