HMS Greyhound and Operation Dynamo

Discussion in '1940' started by Drew5233, Jul 23, 2018.

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    HMS Greyhound. A report by Commander Walter Roger Marshall-A’Deane, Royal Navy

    Whilst on patrol off Calais on 25th May a German 3” HA Battery to the east of Sangatte was located and engaged, no fire being returned. During the course of the day a number of refugees and soldiers were taken out of small boats and a RAF Officer, Pilot Officer Allen, rescued from the sea, he having parachuted from his damaged aircraft. These parties were disembarked at Dover during the afternoon and ship sailed again at 1750 to locate and escort the transport Canterbury, proceeding from Dunkirk to Dover.
    On passage when off Calais, I closed the drifter Lord Howe, in which an officer from the Calais garrison requested bombardment support off that town. At the same time I received your signal 1907/25/5/40 ordering me to bombard St. Pierre. To do this a course was set 067 degrees from No.3 Buoy and fire opened.
    The HA battery previously mentioned started firing at us from nearly astern and very shortly, at 2000, scored a single hit through the director, of who’s crew PO Lush was killed, AB Daughtery wounded and the First Lieutenant, Lieutenant Commander HEF Tweedie, was also wounded in the foot but continued the action, controlling the guns in quarters firing. The shell passed through the director and fragments killed Lieutenant Sir Marmaduke Blenner Hassett RNVR and seriously wounded Sub Lieutenant JP Pigot-Moodie. Having turned to engage this battery for 15 minutes a new position for bombardment was taken up, but after a few salvoes, of which no fall of shot could be seen, it was considered that bombardment n Quarters Firing was likely to endanger friend as well as foe and target was shifted to a 6” (?) gun to the west of Sangatte which had been firing at us. At this time Grafton arrived and opened fire, with whom Greyhound returned to Dover when darkness rendered further action nugatory.
    At 1400 on 27th May Greyhound sailed in company with Grafton to establish patrol between Fairy Bank and Kwinte Buoys.
    During the night orders were received to embark troops from La Panne.
    Both ships arrived off this beach at 0100 and sent boats inshore, the ships being manoeuvred closer in as the tide rose.
    By 0615 the beaches had been cleared and Grafton, Greyhound, Calcutta and three paddle steamers sailed. (Number of soldiers approximately 100)
    Whilst returning to Dover Greyhound was detached to escort SS Dorrien Rose who had on board survivors of Queen of the Channel; ultimately berthing at Admiralty pier at 1230 28th May. After discharging troops Greyhound proceeded to Dunkirk and went alongside the pier as soon as a billet was vacant. It was found difficult to count the troops as they came aboard and the numbers appeared to be regulated from further down the pier where detachments were assembled and detailed. Greyhound embarked 681 and sailed arriving alongside Admiralty pier at 0030.
    At 0430 29th May Greyhound sailed in Company with Captain D. 1st Flotilla for La Panne-In parenthesis, this was the first time I had been at sea with my Captain D. sine 15th January.
    Embarkation was carried out by whaler and motor boat was carried out steadily until 1600 when an attack was made by bombers the fourth salvo of which scored two near misses, the splinters killing 20 men and wounding 70 and causing the following damage. In the engine room one air ejector and one forced lubrication pump were put out of action. In No.3 boiler room main feed pipe was pierced resulting in complete loss of feed water, and an exhaust pipe from a feed heater punctured which caused the boiler room to fill with steam.
    Greyhound, then at short stay, weighed and proceeded, her boats which returned undamaged were ordered to go to one of the two minesweepers Sutton and Salamander still at anchor, as with the number of casualties on the upper deck it was not considered possible to hoist them.
    The motor boat, Leading Seaman Saunders, continued to run trips ashore until 2200 when the crew went on board HMS Locust in which they returned to Dover.
    The Whaler, Leading Seaman Setterfield, embarked troops continually until 2230 when she was holed and the crew taken on board Golden Eagle in which they returned to England.
    Greyhound proceeded under her own steam, with salt water feed until 1930 when she was taken in tow by Blyskawica, then on patrol with HMS Vega in vicinity of West Hindor Buoy.
    Tow was slipped off Dover at 2330 and Greyhound was taken in harbour by tugs, berthed alongside Admiralty Pier at 0245 30th May and landed 432 soldiers apart from casualties.
    It is my opinion that the behaviour of the ship’s company during these operations was excellent.

    Pilot Officer J L Allen, 54 Squadron based at Hornchurch was escorting Fleet Air Arm Swordfish on a sortie to Calais on Saturday 25th May 1940. He was flying Spitfire N3188. His engine was badly damaged whilst in aerial combat with Bf109s of I./JG76 and Bf110s of 6./ZG76 over Gravelines and caught fire. PO Allen abandoned aircraft over the channel around 1530hrs and landed in the channel by parachute to be rescued by HMS Greyhound and landed at Dover.

    CWGC only lists 9 men killed on HMS Greyhound during Operation Dynamo which would suggest the War Office didn’t submit the ships name to CWGC with the details of all the men killed on her during Dynamo. All but three listed are remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial which would suggest a burial at Sea. Lest We Forget

    Report extracted from the excellent book The Royal Navy at Dunkirk by Martin Mace.
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    HMS Greyhound, destroyer

    She is mentioned several times in here [if you havent already read this] Dunkirk evacuation May 1940

    Saturday, 25 May 1940
    Greyhound, destroyer
    BLENNERHASSETT, Sir Marmaduke C H F J, Ty/Lieutenant, RNVR, killed
    Shore gunfire
    LUSH, George T, Act/Petty Officer, P/J 108691, killed

    Wednesday, 29 May 1940
    Greyhound, bombing
    HANSORD, Bernard H, Engine Room Artificer 5c, P/MX 61616, killed
    HUMPHRIES, Frederick W, Able Seaman, P/SSX 26024, killed
    MATTHEWS, Michael H, Py/Ty/Sub Lieutenant, RNVR, killed
    PARKER, Alfred E, Stoker 1c, P/KX 76322, killed
    STARSMORE, Sidney D, Able Seaman, P/JX 146476, killed
    UNDERWOOD, William S, Py/Midshipman, RNR, killed

    Friday, 31 May 1940
    Greyhound, bombing
    BONE, Stanley G, Act/Leading Seaman, P/JX 128653, DOW

  3. MongoUK

    MongoUK Junior Member

    It is reported thatHMS Grenade picked up survivors from the SS Abukir. They then transferred these survivors onto the HMS Greyhound on the 28th May. They returned them to Dover.

    There are also reports that HMS Greyhound picjed up Abukir survivors directly.

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