HMS Sandwich (L12)

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HMS Sandwich WWII IWM FL 22738.jpg
HMS Sandwich, with a second world war convoy.
History
RN EnsignUnited Kingdom
Name: HMS Sandwich
Namesake: Town of Sandwich, Kent
Owner: Royal Navy
Builder: Hawthorne Leslie, Newcastle upon Tyne[1]
Launched: 28 September 1928[1]
Out of service: 1944[2]
Honours and
awards:
Atlantic
Fate: sold in 1946[1]
General characteristics
Displacement: 1,045 tons[1]
Length: 250 ft (76 m)[1]
Beam: 34 ft (10 m)[1]
Draught: 8.7 ft (2.7 m)[1]
Speed: 16 kn (30 km/h)[1]
Complement: 100[1]
Armament: 2 x 4-inch (102 mm)[1]

HMS Sandwich (L12) was a Bridgewater-class sloop built by Hawthorne Leslie, Newcastle. After a decade of peacetime service on the China Station, she escorted Atlantic convoys through World War II.

Construction and design[edit]

HMS Sandwich was ordered from Hawthorne Leslie on 19 September 1927, one of two Bridgwater-class sloops ordered from Hawthorn Leslie that day.[3] The Bridgewaters were intended as replacements for the Flower-class sloops, and were to combine the role of peacetime patrol work at distant overseas stations (with the Bridgewaters being specifically intended for service in the Persian Gulf) with a wartime role as minesweepers.[4][5]

Sandwich was 266 feet 4 inches (81.18 m) long overall[6] and 250 feet (76 m) between perpendiculars,[7] with a beam of 34 feet (10 m) and a draught of 11 feet 5 inches (3.48 m).[6] Displacement was 1,045 long tons (1,062 t) standard and 1,600 long tons (1,600 t) full load.[4] The ship was powered by two Parsons geared steam turbines, each driving one propeller shaft, using steam provided by two Admiralty three-drum boiler. The turbines developed a total of 2,000 shaft horsepower (1,500 kW) and were designed to give a maximum speed of 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h; 19.0 mph).[4][6] The main armament consisted of a pair of QF four-inch (102 mm) Mk V guns on the ship's centreline, one forward and one aft, with the forward gun on a high-angle mount, capable of anti-aircraft fire and the second gun on a low-angle mount, for anti-surface use only. Two 3-pounder saluting guns were also carried, while the anti-submarine armament initially consisted of four depth charges.[4][6] The ship's crew consisted of 96 officers and ratings.[8]

Sandwich was laid down at Hawthorne Leslie's Tyneside shipyard on 9 February 1928 and was launched without ceremony on 29 September.[3][6] Sandwich reached a speed of 17.27 knots (31.98 km/h; 19.87 mph) during sea trials and was commissioned on 23 March 1929.[6]

In 1938, the aft four-inch gun was replaced by one on a high-angle mounting and the two saluting guns were exchanged for a pair of quadruple Vickers 0.5 in (12.7 mm) anti-aircraft (AA) machineguns mounts.[6] By the outbreak of the Second World War, the ship had been fitted with ASDIC, and the depth charge outfit was increased to 15 charges.[4][9]

Service[edit]

China Station[edit]

While ordered for service in the Persian Gulf, both Sandwich and her sister ship Bridgewater were first deployed to the China Station, replacing the old sloops Foxglove and Bluebell.[10] She was recommissioned with a new crew at Hong Kong in October 1931, remaining on the China Station.[11] Sandwich, along with the cruiser Cornwall was based at Shanghai during the Shanghai Incident in early 1932.[12] She again received a new crew at Hong Kong in April 1934.[11] When the British owned steamer Tungchow went missing on 31 January 1935 on a voyage between Shanghai and Yantai, having been seized by pirates, Sandwich was one of several warships despatched to search for the missing ship. The pirates abandoned Tungchow when the ship was spotted by aircraft from the aircraft carrier Hermes.[13][14]

In January 1938, as the Second Sino-Japanese War continued, Sandwich landed men at Weihaiwei to protect British property against rioting as Japanese forces advanced towards the city.[15] The ship was refitted at Hong Kong from April to October 1938, recommissioning with a fresh crew in March 1939.[11]

Second World War[edit]

Sandwich was based at Hong Kong when war was declared, and patrolled the Tsushima Strait for German merchant shipping before sailing east in November 1939 to return to the United Kingdom in December with convoy HG 11. She escorted convoys between Liverpool and Gibraltar until May 1940 and then coastal and Western Approaches convoys rescuing survivors from the sunken freighters King Idwal and Anten of convoy OB 244 in November 1940.[2]

Sandwich began refit at Tilbury in December and resumed convoy escort duties in April 1941 assigned to the 43rd Escort Group. Type 271 radar was installed during refit at Belfast from January through March 1942, and the original .50 caliber anti-aircraft machine guns were replaced with Oerlikon 20 mm cannon during a shorter refit in October. Sandwich was credited with sinking U-213 while escorting convoy OS 35, and then escorted convoys in support of Operation Torch until refit on the River Tyne from February through July 1943.[2]

Upon completion of trials and workup, Sandwich escorted convoys between Liverpool and Sierra Leone as part of the 38th Escort Group from August 1943 until retirement in June 1944. Planned refit at Brindisi was not completed, and the ship was towed to Bizerte in 1945. She was sold there in 1946 for possible mercantile service, but scrapped after conversion was abandoned.[2]

Convoys escorted[edit]

Convoy[2] Escort Group[2] Dates[2] Notes[16]
HG 11 16–24 December 1939 52 ships escorted without loss from Gibraltar to Liverpool
OG 16F 26-31 January 1940 23 ships outbound to Gibraltar
HG 17F 31 January-5 February 1940 25 ships escorted without loss from Gibraltar to Liverpool
SL 19 17-20 February 1940 28 ships inbound to Western Approaches
OA 98 26-27 February 1940 19 ships outbound from Western Approaches
HG 20F 28 February-3 March 1940 30 ships inbound to Western Approaches
OG 21F 5-11 March 1940 45 ships outbound to Gibraltar
HG 24 28 March-7 April 1940 41 ships escorted without loss from Gibraltar to Liverpool
OG 26F 14-20 April 1940 54 ships outbound to Gibraltar
HG 29 7-17 May 1940 45 ships escorted without loss from Gibraltar to Liverpool
OB 154 24-27 May 1940 12 ships outbound from Western Approaches
HX 43 27-30 May 1940 43 ships inbound to Western Approaches
OB 159 1-4 June 1940 23 ships outbound from Western Approaches
HX 45 5-7 June 1940 63 ships inbound to Western Approaches
OB 164 9-12 June 1940 29 ships outbound from Western Approaches
HX 47 14-17 June 1940 2 ships lost from 57 inbound to Western Approaches
OB 169 17-20 June 1940 32 ships outbound from Western Approaches
HX 49 20-24 June 1940 1 ship lost from 50 inbound to Western Approaches
OB 174 25-28 June 1940 64 ships outbound from Western Approaches
HX 51 29 June-2 July 1940 35 ships inbound to Western Approaches
OB 180 7-10 July 1940 47 ships outbound from Western Approaches
HX 54 11-14 July 1940 43 ships inbound to Western Approaches
OA 186 17-21 July 1940 39 ships outbound from Western Approaches
HX 57 23-26 July 1940 51 ships inbound to Western Approaches
OA 192 30 July-3 August 1940 18 ships outbound from Western Approaches
HX 60 4-7 August 1940 3 ships lost from 60 inbound to Western Approaches
OA 199 15-19 August 1940 1 ship torpedoed of 29 outbound from Western Approaches
HX 64 20-23 August 1940 62 ships inbound to Western Approaches
OA 206 29 August-3 September 1940 1 ship torpedoed of 48 outbound from Western Approaches
SL 44 3-7 September 1940 1 ship lost from 29 inbound to Western Approaches
OA 214 14-19 September 1940 29 ships outbound from Western Approaches
OA 223 2-6 October 1940 17 ships outbound from Western Approaches
SC 8 15-31 October 1940 40 ships escorted without loss from Sydney to Liverpool
OB 244 17-22 November 1940 3 ships sunk of 46 outbound from Western Approaches
OB 254 4-7 December 1940 13 ships outbound from Western Approaches
OG 59 43rd EG 15-28 April 1941 44 ships escorted without loss from Liverpool to Gibraltar
HG 61 43rd EG 6-20 May 1941 23 ships from Gibraltar to Liverpool; U-96 sank Empire Ridge
OB 332 43rd EG 10-19 June 1941 43 ships escorted without loss from Liverpool to Iceland
HX 134 43rd EG 26 June-4 July 1941 48 ships escorted without loss from Iceland to Liverpool
SC 36 43rd EG 13-17 July 1941 40 ships inbound to Western Approaches
OS 2 43rd EG 4-19 August 1941 17 ships escorted without loss from Liverpool to Sierra Leone
SL 85 43rd EG 28 August-11 September 1941 11 ships from Sierra Leone to Gibraltar; bomber sank Daru
HG 72 43rd EG 11-17 September 17 ships escorted without loss from Gibraltar to Liverpool
OS 8 43rd EG 4-20 October 1941 46 ships escorted without loss from Liverpool to Sierra Leone
SL 91 43rd EG 27 October-19 November 1941 Sierra Leone to Liverpool
OS 13 43rd EG 1-18 December 1941 45 ships escorted without loss from Liverpool to Sierra Leone
SL 96 43rd EG 28 December 1941 – 13 January 1942 35 ships from Sierra Leone to dispersal
OS 23 43rd EG 25 March-11 April 1942 45 ships escorted without loss from Liverpool to Sierra Leone
SL 107 43rd EG 16 April-5 May 1942 32 ships escorted without loss from Sierra Leone to Liverpool
OS 29 43rd EG 22 May-10 June 1942 44 ships escorted without loss from Liverpool to Sierra Leone
SL 113 43rd EG 15-29 June 1942 41 ships escorted without loss from Sierra Leone to Liverpool
OS 35 43rd EG 25 July-12 August 1942 51 ships escorted without loss from Liverpool to Sierra Leone
sank U-213
SL 119 43rd EG 14 August-5 September 1942 Sierra Leone to Liverpool; two ships torpedoed and sunk
OS 41 43rd EG 20 September-1 October 1942 41 ship Liverpool to dispersal
SL 123 43rd EG 4-10 October 1942 27 ships escorted without loss from Sierra Leone to Liverpool
KMS 2 43rd EG 26 October-12 November 1942 1 ship sunk of 51 from Loch Ewe to Operation Torch
TE 7 43rd EG 28 November 1942 Gibraltar to North Africa
GUF 3 43rd EG 30 December 1942 – 1 January 1943 North Africa to Gibraltar
CF 10 43rd EG 5-8 January 1943 Cape Town to United Kingdom
GUS 3 43rd EG 18-19 January 1943 North Africa to Gibraltar
MKS 7 43rd EG 8-17 February 1943 Algiers to Liverpool
SL 137 38th EG 23 September-17 October 1943 49 ships escorted without loss from Sierra Leone to Liverpool
OS 57 38th EG 31 October-18 November 1943 78 ships escorted without loss from Liverpool to Sierra Leone
SL 141 38th EG 23 November-12 December 1943 14 ships escorted without loss from Sierra Leone to Liverpool
OS 61 38th EG 19-29 December 1943 42 ships escorted without loss from Liverpool to Sierra Leone
SL 145 38th EG 1-12 January 1944 33 ships escorted without loss from Sierra Leone to Liverpool
OS 65 38th EG 26 January-6 February 1944 41 ships escorted without loss from Liverpool to Sierra Leone
SL 149 38th EG 11-22 February 1944 47 ships escorted without loss from Sierra Leone to Liverpool
OS 69 38th EG 5-15 March 1944 47 ships escorted without loss from Liverpool to Sierra Leone
SL 153 38th EG 22 March-2 April 1944 47 ships escorted without loss from Sierra Leone to Liverpool
OS 73 38th EG 16-25 April 1944 44 ships escorted without loss from Liverpool to Sierra Leone
SL 157 38th EG 1-10 May 1944 45 ships escorted without loss from Sierra Leone to Liverpool
OS 77 38th EG 23 May-2 June 1944 31 ships escorted without loss from Liverpool to Sierra Leone
SL 161 38th EG 11-22 June 1944 41 ships escorted without loss from Sierra Leone to Liverpool

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Lenton & Colledge 1968, pp. 167–168
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Mason, Geoffrey B. "HMS SANDWICH (L 12) - Bridgewater-class Sloop". Service Histories of Royal Navy Warships in World War 2. edited by Gordon Smith. naval-history.net. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Hague 1993, p. 6.
  4. ^ a b c d e Gardiner and Chesneau 1980, p. 55.
  5. ^ Hague 1993, pp. 10–11.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Hague 1993, p. 23.
  7. ^ Parkes 1931, p. 76.
  8. ^ Brown 2007, p. 24.
  9. ^ Brown 2007, p. 23.
  10. ^ Hague 1993, pp. 23–24.
  11. ^ a b c Hague 1993, p. 24.
  12. ^ "Chinese-Japanese War". The Bathurst National Advocate. Bathurst, New South Wales. 2 February 1932. p. 2. Retrieved 18 December 2016. 
  13. ^ "Steamer Taken By Chinese Pirates: Found Abandoned". The Argus. Melbourne. 2 February 1935. p. 24. Retrieved 18 December 2016. 
  14. ^ "In Pirate Hands: Children's Experiences: China Sea Adventure". The Western Mail. Perth, Western Australia. 7 February 1935. p. 20. Retrieved 18 December 2016. 
  15. ^ "Mobilisation Measure". The Mercury. Hobart. 25 January 1938. p. 7. Retrieved 18 December 2016. 
  16. ^ Hague 2000, pp.123-183

References[edit]

  • Brown, David K (2007). Atlantic Escorts: Ships, Weapons & Tactics in World War II. Barnsley, UK: Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84415-702-0. 
  • Gardiner, Robert; Chesneau, Roger, eds. (1980). Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1922–1946. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-146-7. 
  • Hague, Arnold (2000). The Allied Convoy System 1939-1945. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-019-3. 
  • 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. 
  • Lenton, H.T.; Colledge, J.J. (1968). British and Dominion Warships of World War II. Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company. 
  • Parkes, Oscar, ed. (1973) [First published 1931, Sampson Low, Marston & Co. Ltd]. Jane's Fighting Ships 1931. Newton Abbot, UK: David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-5849-9. 
  • Rohwer, Jürgen (2005). Chronology of the War at Sea 1939–1945: The Naval History of World War Two (3rd rev. ed.). Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-59114-119-2.