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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2

by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2004

HMS INCONSTANT-  ex-Turkish I-type Destroyer

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above left  - similar I-class destroyer HMS Ivanhoe

(Navy Photos, click photographs for enlargements)

 
 

H .  M .  S .   I N C O N S T A N T  ( H 4 9 )

 

Modified I-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered from Vickers Armstrong Barrow in 1939 by the Turkish Government and laid down on 24th May 1939 as Yard No 747 and to be named MUAVENET. After being requisitioned by the Admiralty in September 1939 she was renamed INCONSTANT when launched on 15th December 1940. and the 6th RN ship to carry this name introduced in 1778 for a French Prize (Frigate PALLAS). It was last used for a Light Cruiser sold in 1922. Her build was completed on 24th January 1942. but the ship is not included in the List of Adoptions by UK civil communities following WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaigns during 1941 and 1942.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

TOULON 1793 - GENOA 1795 - EGYPT 1901 - ALEXANDRIA 1882 - JUTLAND 1916 - DIEGO SUAREZ  1942 - ARCTIC 1942-44  - SICILY   1943 - ATLANTIC 1943-33 - NORMANDY 1944 - ENGLISH CHANNEL 1944

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge : On a Field Blue, a butterfly gold.

 

M o t t o

'In Constancy constant'

 

D e t a i l s   o f   W a r   S e r v i c e

 

1 9 4 2

 

January                  Contractors trials.

                24th        Build completed and commenced Acceptance Trials

                                Commissioned for service.

                                On completion of trials and storing took passage to Scapa Flow.

 

February                Worked-up for operational service with Home Fleet based at Scapa Flow.

                                On completion deployed at Scapa Flow in NW Approaches.

 

March                    Part of screen for Home Fleet ships covering passage of Russian convoy PQ12

                                and returning QP8.

                                (Note : For full details of ships deployed for Russian Convoy cover and escort

                                see CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by RA Ruegg, CONVOY ! by P Kemp, ARCTIC

                                CONVOYS by R Woodman and THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS by B Schoefield.

                                Nominated for service in Eastern Fleet.

                                Prepared for foreign service.

                23rd        Joined escort for military convoy WS17 with HM Destroyers JAVELIN and PAKENHAM.

                                Deployed as screen for HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS to provide anti-submarine

                                protection during ocean passage.

                26th        Took part in anti-submarine hunt with HMS JAVELIN.

                                (Note : Attack by U587 on convoy was prevented.

                                This submarine was sunk by other escorts when making further attack the next day.

                                See U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp).

                31st         Detached from WS17 with HMS ILLUSTRIOUS for independent passage to Freetown.

 

April

                9th          Joined escort for Convoy WS17 at Freetown for passage to Cape of Good Hope.

                18th        Detached from WS 17 before arrival at Cape Town.

                                Passage to Durban to Mombasa .

                                Joined 12th Destroyer Flotilla and took pert in preparations for Madagascar landings

May

                5th          Part of covering force with Flotilla at Diego Suarez (Operation IRONCLAD).

                12th        Detached for duty in Eastern Mediterranean.

                                Took passage to Alexandria. Deployed with Mediterranean Fleet.

 

June                        Joined HM Destroyers HASTY, HERO, JAVELIN, JERVIS, KELVIN, NAPIER (RAN),

                                NESTOR (RAN), NIZAM (RAN), NORMAN (RAN), PAKENHAM, PALADIN, SIKH

                                and ZULU as screen for HM Cruisers ARETHUSA, BIRMINGHAM, CLEOPATRA,

                                DIDO and NEWCASTLE as escort for Malta relief convoy from Egypt

                                (Operation VIGOROUS).

                                (Editor's Note: check The Supply of Malta by Arnold Hague for details.)

                12th        Sailed from Alexandria with Fleet units.

                14th        Joined ships of MW11 convoy.

                15th        Under air attacks and threat by superior force of Italian warships.

                               Under attack by E-Boats during which HMS NEWCASTLE was torpedoed.

                                Convoy ordered to reverse course to East and later to resume passage to Malta.

                                After Italian threat still evident course again reversed.

                                Air attacks persisted and HMS Cruisers ARETHUSA and BIRMINGHAM damaged.

                               (Note : HMS AIREDALE and HMS NESTOR were sunk.)

                                Operation abandoned and returned to Alexandria with Fleet units and remaining mercantiles.

                                (Note : For full details of this ill-conceived and disastrous operation and its conflicting

                                instructions see THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by Donald MacIntyre,

                                ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett. and MALTA CONVOYS

                                by R Woodman..

                16th        At Alexandria.

                                Released from VIGOROUS duty and took passage to Kilindini.to resume convoy defence.

 

July                        Deployed with Flotilla for convoy defence in Indian Ocean.

to                            Nominated for duty in support of final occupation of Madagascar.

August

 

September             Deployed with H M Destroyers HOTSPUR, EXPRESS and FORTUNE as destroyer screen for

                                HM Battleship WARSPITE, HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS and H M Seaplane Carrier

                                ALBATROSS during provision of air cover for landings

                10th        Participated in final occupation of Madagascar (Operation STREAM).

                23rd        After release from STREAM resumed Flotilla duties for convoy escort and patrol duty in

                                Indian Ocean.

 

October                  Indian Ocean deployment with Flotilla in continuation.

to

November

 

December              During Indian Ocean convoy defence duties escorted military convoy WS24.

 

1 9 4 3

 

January                  Indian Ocean deployment in continuation.

                                Nominated for refit in UK to convert to Anti-submarine Escort Destroyer.

 

February                Passage to UK.

                25th        Taken in hand for refit and conversion by HM Dockyard Devonport.

 

March                    Under refit

                                (Note: See SEEK AND STRIKE by W Hackmann and THE BATTLE OF THE ATLANTIC

                                by D. MacIntyre for details of development of new anti-submarine weapons and

                                defence tactics.).

 

April                       Post refit harbour trials.

                                Allocated for duty with 8th Escort Group, Western Approaches on completion.

 

May                        Post refit trials.

                1st           On completion of refit carried out sea trails and prepared for operations.

                                Worked-up for anti-submarine escort duties.

                                Joined HM Destroyers WESTCOTT, WHITEHALL, WRESTLER and Polish ORP

                                GARLAND and ORP BURZA in 8th Escort Group for Atlantic convoy defence.

 

June                        Atlantic convoy escort with Group in continuation.

 

July                         Detached for duty with Escort Group C for support Force East during allied landings in Sicily.

                                (Operation HUSKY) - See Naval Staff History and ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE

                                CLOSELY.).

                1st           Sailed from Clyde with HUSKY Follow-up military convoy.

                9th          Detached from KMF19 during passage

                10th        Deployed with Escort Group C for convoy escort in Mediterranean during landings.

                12th        During escort of Convoy MKF19A off Algerian coast sank U409 between Algiers and Bougie

                                In position 32.12N 04.00E. 35 survivors were rescued after depth charge and surface gun

                                action.

 

August                  Mediterranean deployment in continuation.

                                Nominated for return to Atlantic convoy defence and took passage to UK

 

September             Rejoined 6th Escort Group.

                                (Note : 8th Escort, Group was being deployed in the Support Role and joined by HM Escort

                                Carrier FENCER to supplement escorts of Atlantic convoys by providing air cover..

                                See SEEK AND STRIKE by W Hackmann and BUSINESS IN GREAT WATERS

                                by John Terraine for details of the role of Support Groups.)

                30th        Detached with Group for escort and anti-submarine support of military convoy to Azores.

                                (Operation ALACRITY).

                                (Note : This operation had been agreed with the Portuguese Government and was made to

                                establish air bases on Fayal and Terceira.

                                Other ships of Group involved were HMS FENCER, HM Destroyers VISCOUNT,

                                Polish ORP BURZA, Polish ORP GARLAND, HM Destroyers WRESTLER and

                                WHITEHALL

 

October

                8th          On completion of ALACRITY Support reamed Atlantic convoy support duties with Group

                20th        Part of escort for Convoy SC145 with HMS FENCER, HM Destroyer FAME, Polish ORP

                                GARLAND and Polish ORP BURZA

                28th        Convoy re-routed after threat from SEIGFRIED Group of U-Boats.

 

November              Deployed with Group for detached service with Home Fleet.

                19th        Joined Ocean Escort for Russian Convoy JW54A with HM Destroyer WHITEHALL, HM

                                Corvette HEATHER and HM Minesweeper HUSSAR.

                24th        Detached from JW54A on arrival at Kola Inlet. (See above references).

                27th        Joined Ocean Escort for returning RA5B with HMS WHITEHALL, HMS HEATHER and

                                HM Minesweeper HARRIER.

 

December

                9th          Detached from RA54B on arrival at Loch Ewe.

                                See above references.

                                Took passage to Clyde for repair.

                10th        Under repair in Clyde shipyard

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Under repair.

                12th        On completion resumed detached duty with Home Fleet.

                18th        Passage to Iceland for Russian Convoy escort.

                21st         Joined HM Destroyers HARDY, OBDURATE, OFFA, SAVAGE, VENUS, VIGILANT,

                                VIRAGO and Norwegian STORD as escort for Russian convoy JW56B from Iceland..

                                (See above references.)

                26th        Detached from JW56B at Kola Inlet.

                                Despatched to join following Convoy JW56B with above ships of JW56A escort.

                                (Note : This convoy was under attack by U-Boats.)

                29th        Joined escort of Russian Convoy JW56B. February

 

February

                1st           Detached from JW56B on arrival at Kola Inlet.

                                (Note : HMS HARDY was hit by torpedo from U276 during defence of JW56B and had to be

                                sunk by HMS VENUS.)

                3rd          Joined escort of returning Convoy RA56 on departure from Kola Inlet with same ships

                                except HMS HARDY.

                9th          Detached from RA56 with H M Destroyers MAHRATTA, METEOR, MILNE,

                                MUSKETEER, SCOURGE, HURON (RCN), Norwegian STORD and resumed Home Fleet

                                duties.

                10th        Deployed in NW Approaches for Convoy and Fleet escort duty.

 

March                    Home Fleet deployment in continuation in NW Approaches.

                27th        Joined escort for Russian Convoy JW58 with HM Destroyer IMPULSIVE.

                29th        Deployed with screen for HM Cruiser DIADEM, HM Escort Carriers ACTIVITY and

                                TRACKER as main escort for JW58. See above references.

 

April

                4th          Detached from JW58 on arrival at Kola Inlet.

                7th          Deployed with HM Destroyers BEAGLE, BOADICEA, KEPPEL, VENUS, WALKER,

                                WHITEHALL, WESTCOTT, WRESTLER and HMS ACTIVITY as Ocean Escort for

                                returning Convoy RA58.

                12th        Detached with same ships before arrival of RA58 at Loch Ewe.

                18th        Independent, passage to Kola Inlet for escort of returning convoy from Russia.

                                (Note: HMS DIADEM, HMS ACTIVITY and HM Escort Carrier FENCER were deployed

                                with 16 Home Fleet destroyers and 4 Canadian Frigates to ensure safe passage of

                                empty mercantiles from Russia as Convoy RA59 See above references.

                23rd        Arrived at Kola Inlet with Hone Fleet snips.

                25th        Joined Ocean Escort for convoy RA59 with same ships.

 

May

                6th          Detached from RA59 with HM Destroyers BEAGLE, KEPPEL, WESTCOTT and

                                WRESTLER, HM Corvette LOTUS and Canadian Frigates.

                7th          Resumed Home Fleet duties.

                29th        Transferred to 14th Escort Group for anti-submarine operations in Channel.

                                (Note : This deployment was to prevent entry of U-Boats into English Channel to attack

                                allied convoys during assault operations.

                                (Operation NEPTUNE - For details of naval activities before and during landings see

                                OPERATION NEPTUNE by K Edwards and LANDINGS IN NORMANDY, June

                                1944 (HMSO).

                                Based at Plymouth for patrol duties in SW Approaches with Group.

                                (Note : 14th Escort Group comprised HM Destroyers FAME, HAVELOCK,

                                INCONSTANT, HOTSPUR and ICARUS.)

 

June                        Deployment as part of Escort Group 14 in SW Approaches anti-submarine patrol duties based

                                at Plymouth in continuation.

                18th        Participated in sinking of U767 SW of Guernsey with HM Destroyers HAVELOCK

                                HOTSPUR, ICARUS and FAME in position 49.03N 03.13W.

                                One survivor from the U-Boat was rescued.

                                See U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp.

 

July                         Channel deployment with Group in continuation.

 

August                  Under refit at Liverpool.

 

September             Rejoined Group in English Channel for escort and anti-submarine patrol duty.

 

October                  Withdrawn for further refit and took passage to Thames

                                Under refit in London at Green and Silley Weir shipyard.

 

November              Passage to Davenport to complete repair.

                                Note: Group then included HM Destroyers DUNCAN, HAVELOCK, FAME and ICARUS.

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Rejoined Group at Liverpool on completion of refit.

                                Deployed for convoy defence and A/S patrol in Irish Sea and SU Approaches.

                                (Note: Other ships in Group ships included HM Destroyers HAVELOCK, DUNCAN,

                                ICARUS, HESPERUS, FAME and ASSINIBOINE (RCN).)

 

February                Coastal convoy defence in continuation.

to                            (Note : During this period German submarines ware concentrating attacks on the assembly

April                       points of Channel convoys which included Atlantic traffic.

                                See HOLD THE NARROW SEA by P Smith and above references.

                               Escorts for convoys and patrols were strengthened to meet this new threat.)

 

May                        Under repair in Liverpool shipyard..

                                Rejoined Group on completion and transferred to Plymouth.

 

June                        Plymouth deployment In continuation.

to

August

  

P o s t   W a r   N o t e s

 

HMS INCONSTANT was taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard, Devonport on 13th September 1945 prior to return to Turkey. Formal Admiralty approval for this transfer was given on 3rd October 1945 and refit work  completed on 27th January 1946. The ship was formally handed over to the Turkish Navy at Istanbul on 9th March that year and renamed MUAVANET. She served on the Active List until 1960 when placed on the Disposal List.

 

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS INCONSTANT

by Don Kindell

 

Date convoy         Joined convoy            Convoy No.          Left convoy           Date convoy

sailed                     as escort                                                                                arrived

  

01/03/42                       10/03/42                 PQ 012                   10/03/42                 12/03/42

11/06/42                       12/06/42                 MW 011                16/06/42                 16/06/42

17/12/42                       28/12/42                 MC 002                  01/01/43                 01/01/43

09/01/43                       09/01/43                 CM 037A              11/01/43                 24/01/43

10/01/43                       20/01/43                 MC 003                  23/01/43                 23/01/43

30/01/43                       30/01/43                 CF 011A                11/02/43                 11/02/43

01/07/43                       01/07/43                 KMF 019               11/07/43                 11/07/43

10/07/43                       14/07/43                 MKF 018               23/07/43                 23/07/43

19/08/43                       01/09/43                 MKF 022               09/09/43                 09/09/43

02/10/43                       02/10/43                 UA 003                  09/10/43                 09/10/43

24/10/43                       29/10/43                 SC 145                   02/11/43                 07/11/43

15/11/43                       15/11/43                 JW 054A               24/11/43                 24/11/43

26/11/43                       27/11/43                 RA 054B                09/12/43                 09/12/43

12/01/44                       12/01/44                 JW 056A               27/01/44                 28/01/44

22/01/44                       29/01/44                 JW 056B                01/02/44                 01/02/44

03/02/44                       03/02/44                 RA 056                  09/02/44                 11/02/44

02/03/44                       02/03/44                 DS 050                   04/03/44                 04/03/44

05/03/44                       05/03/44                 SD 050                   08/03/44                 08/03/44

27/03/44                       27/03/44                 JW 058                  04/04/44                 04/04/44

07/04/44                       07/04/44                 RA 058                  12/04/44                 14/04/44

28/04/44                       28/04/44                 RA 059                  06/05/44                 06/05/44

08/01/45                       unknown               HX 331                  unknown                 22/01/45

23/01/45                       unknown               HX 334                  unknown                 06/02/45

10/03/45                       10/03/45                 KMF 041               10/03/45                 17/03/45

22/03/45                       22/03/45                 VWP 102               23/03/45                 23/03/45

05/04/45                       12/04/45                 AT 202                  13/04/45                 13/04/45

 

 

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revised 17/09/08