HMS Starling (U66)
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2008) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
HMS Starling underway, in 1943
|Laid down:||21 October 1941|
|Launched:||14 October 1942|
|Completed:||1 April 1943|
|Reclassified:||As a frigate in 1947|
|Fate:||Broken up July 1965|
|Class and 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)|
|Speed:||20 knots (37 km/h)|
|Range:||7,500 nmi (13,900 km) at 12 kn (22 km/h)|
|Part of:||2nd Support Group|
|Commanders:||Frederick John Walker|
|Victories:||15 U-boats (shared)|
HMS Starling, pennant number U66, was a Modified Black Swan-class sloop of the Royal Navy. She was built by Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company at Govan, Scotland, launched on 14 October 1942, and commissioned on 1 April 1943.
In the Battle of the Atlantic in World War II, Starling was the flagship of Captain Frederic John Walker's 2nd Support Group, a flotilla of six sloops not tied down to convoy protection, but free to hunt down U-boats wherever found. The other ships of the group were Cygnet, Kite, Wild Goose, Woodpecker, and Wren.
Starling was scrapped in 1965.
Combat record against U-boats
Starling participated in the sinking of fourteen U-boats:
- U-202 was sunk south-east of Cape Farewell, Greenland, by depth charges and gunfire from Starling on 2 June 1943.
- U-119 was sunk in the Bay of Biscay by Starling on 24 June 1943.
- U-226 was sunk east of Newfoundland by Starling, Woodcock and Kite on 6 November 1943.
- U-842 was sunk by Starling and Wild Goose on 6 November 1943.
- U-592 was sunk south-west of Ireland by Starling, Wild Goose and Magpie on 31 January 1944.
- U-734 was sunk south-west of Ireland by Wild Goose and Starling on 9 February 1944.
- U-238 was sunk south-west of Ireland by Kite, Magpie and Starling on 9 February 1944.
- U-264 was sunk by Woodpecker and Starling on 19 February 1944.
- U-653 was sunk by a Fairey Swordfish from the escort carrier Vindex, Starling and Wild Goose on 15 March 1944.
- U-961 was sunk east of Iceland by Starling on 29 March 1944.
- U-473 was sunk south-west of Ireland by Starling, Wren and Wild Goose on 6 May 1944.
- U-333 was sunk west of the Scilly Isles by Starling and the frigate Loch Killin on 31 July 1944.
- U-736 was sunk in Bay of Biscay, west of St. Nazaire by Starling and Loch Killin on 6 August 1944.
- U-385 was sunk in the Bay of Biscay by Starling and a Short Sunderland flying boat on 11 August 1944.
During the war the Starling was credited, along with the sloops Amethyst, Peacock, Hart, and frigate Loch Craggie, with sinking the U-482 in the North Channel on 16 January 1945. The British Admiralty withdrew this credit in a post-war reassessment.
She was modified to a Navigation training ship in support of Navigators training at HMS Dryad. During her last year in commission she visited the Norwegian fjords and the U-boat base at Kiel. Her final voyage was a call at Bootle Liverpool to attend a farewell celebration provided by the local authority and Captain Walker's widow took passage on the final sailing from Bootle to Portsmouth where she paid off.
She was subsequently placed on the disposal list and arrived at Lacmots, Queenborough for scrapping on 6 July 1965.
In popular culture
- Starling's service in the Arctic convoys (fictionalised as "HMS Sparrow") is described in the prologue to children's adventure novel The Salt-stained Book by Julia Jones (2011).
- Blair (2000), 630-631.
- Souvenir Programme, Coronation Review of the Fleet, Spithead, 15th June 1953, HMSO, Gale and Polden
- served on her 1958-59.
- 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.
- Blair, Clay (2000). Hitler's U-Boat War: The Hunted 1942–1945. New York: Modern Library. ISBN 0-679-64033-9.
- 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.
- Conway's All the World's Fighting ships 1922-1946 (1980) ISBN 0-85177-146-7
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to HMS Starling (U66).|