HMS Roebuck (H95)
Roebuck in June 1943
|Builder:||Scotts Shipbuilding & Engineering Co.|
|Laid down:||19 June 1941|
|Launched:||10 December 1942 (premature)|
|Commissioned:||10 June 1943|
|Identification:||pennant number H95/F195|
|Badge:||On a Field White, a Roebuck guardant proper.|
|Class and type:||R-class destroyer|
|Displacement:||1,705 long tons (1,732 t)|
|Length:||358 ft (109 m)|
|Propulsion:||Geared turbines, 2 shafts generating 40,000 shp (29,828 kW)|
|Speed:||37 knots (69 km/h; 43 mph)|
HMS Roebuck was an R-class destroyer of the British Royal Navy that saw service during World War II. She was the fifteenth ship to carry this traditional ship name, after a small deer native to the British Isles, which was used as far back as the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.
Ordered in May 1940 from Scotts shipyard in Greenock, construction was delayed and she was not laid down until 19 June 1941. Roebuck then had the dubious honour of being launched prematurely by an air raid[clarification needed] on 10 December 1942, her partially complete hulk lying submerged in the dockyard for three months before it was salvaged and completed in May 1943.
World War II
After sea trials Roebuck was accepted into service on 10 June and assigned to the 11th Destroyer Flotilla of the Eastern Fleet, first taking passage to Scapa Flow to work-up with Home Fleet. In August she was prepared for foreign service and then took passage to Freetown, finally joining the Flotilla in the Indian Ocean in September, which was deployed for convoy defence and patrols.
On 12 March Roebuck formed part of the escort for the aircraft carrier Battler and the cruisers Suffolk and Newcastle, with the destroyer Quadrant, during the search in the Indian Ocean for the German U-Boat supply ship Brake. After being intercepted by aircraft Brake was scuttled by her own crew.
In June Roebuck was deployed with Fleet units off Burma and bombarded Martaban. On 19 June she formed part of the destroyer screen of Force 60 along with the destroyers Quality, Quickmatch, Rotherham, Racehorse, Relentless and Raider, providing protection for the aircraft carrier Illustrious, the battlecruiser Renown, French battleship Richelieu, and cruisers Nigeria, Kenya and Ceylon.
On 25 July she was deployed with the Flotilla as the screen for Eastern Fleet major units covering operations by the aircraft carriers Victorious and Indomitable against targets at Sabang and Sumatra in "Operation Crimson".
On 27 April she was deployed with Force 63 as the screen for major fleet units providing cover for the landings at Rangoon in "Operation Dracula", and on the 30th was deployed with Force 62, and bombarded Matapan with the destroyers Racehorse and Redoubt in "Operation Gable" which also included the interception of enemy evacuation vessels. On 1 May she took part in bombardments at Car Nicobar with the Flotilla in "Operation Bishop".
On 13 May Roebuck, Redoubt and Racehorse, escorted Nigeria from Trincomalee as Force 63, during a search for Japanese warships evacuating personnel from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and remained with the Fleet screen during the attacks on Japanese ships.
On 18 June she was deployed with the flotilla as a screen for the ships of 21st Aircraft Carrier Squadron, which comprised the escort carriers Stalker, Khedive and Ameer, and the cruisers Royalist and Suffolk, which were carrying out photo-reconnaissance flights over southern Malaya in "Operation Balsam".
On 5 July she was deployed with the cruiser Nigeria, and destroyers Eskimo and Vigilant to cover minesweeping operations off Malaya and the Nicobar Islands. She then took part in bombardment of Nancowry.
In August Roebuck was preparing for large-scale landings in Malaya in "Operation Zipper", but the surrender of Japan brought hostilities to a close before they could be put into effect. She sailed to Singapore to support the re-occupation until sailing to Simon's Town in October to refit.
Roebuck sailed from Simon's Town on 15 November 1945 on completion of the refit and arrived at Plymouth on 7 December. Early in 1946 she was deployed with the Local Flotilla and escorted the battleship Duke of York during a Royal Visit to the Channel Islands in June.
Following the successful conversion of her sister ships Rocket and Relentless, Roebuck was selected for conversion to an Type 15 anti-submarine frigate in 1952. She was given the new pennant number F195.
On completion of the conversion in May 1953 she was recommissioned for service in the 5th Frigate Squadron, Mediterranean Fleet, and served abroad till July 1956 when placed in reserve at Plymouth. In 1953 she took part in the Fleet Review to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
During 1957 she refitted for training duties and joined the Dartmouth Training Squadron, replacing HMS Carron. She went into refit again in 1959. Recommissioned in May 1960 she joined the 17th Escort Squadron and remained on the operational list until returning to pay-off into reserve at Plymouth in 1962.
Disposal and fate
Before being placed on the Disposal List the ship was de-equipped at HM Dockyard Devonport before being used for underwater explosion trials at Rosyth by the Naval Construction Research Establishment (NCRE).
- British and Empire Warships of the Second World War, H. T. Lenton, Greenhill Books, ISBN 1-85367-277-7
- http://www.uboat.net/allies/warships/ship/4512.html Destroyer HMS Roebuck of the R class
- Souvenir Programme, Coronation Review of the Fleet, Spithead, 15th June 1953, HMSO, Gale and Polden
- Critchley, Mike, "British Warships Since 1945: Part 3: Destroyers", Maritime Books: Liskeard, UK, 1982. ISBN 0-9506323-9-2, page 54
- Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) . 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.
- Marriott, Leo, Royal Navy Destroyers Since 1945. Ian Allen Ltd, 1989. ISBN 0-7110-1817-0
- Raven, Alan; Roberts, John (1978). War Built Destroyers O to Z Classes. London: Bivouac Books. ISBN 0-85680-010-4.
- Whitley, M. J. (1988). Destroyers of World War 2. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-326-1.