H .† M ,† S .†† S
T A R L I N G†† ( U
6 6 )
Modified BLACK SWAN-Class Sloop ordered from Fairfield
SB, Govan 18th July 1941 and laid† down as Job No 11701 (Yard No 701)on 21st October
that year. She was launched on 14th October 1942 as the 9th RN ship
to bear the name, introduced in
1801 for a Gun-Brig. Build was completed on 1st April 1943. This ship was made
famous by the leadership and anti-submarine expertise of Captain F J Walker, RN
whose name will always be associated with the Battle of the Atlantic as
recorded in FIGHTING CAPTAIN by A. Burn. Her war service and successes were
unrivalled. After a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings
campaign in March 1942 the ship had been adopted by the civil community of Runcorn
Rural District, then in Lancashire
B a t t
l e†† H o n o u r s
BALTIC† 1855 - CHINA 1956-60 - BISCAY
1943-44 - ATLANTIC† 1943-45 - ARCTIC† 1944 - NORMANDY† 1944
H e r
a l d i c†† D a
On a Field Green, a Starling proper grasping in
a worm all proper.
D e t a i
l s†† o f†† W a r††
S e r v i c e
1 9 4 3
Contractors trials and commissioning.
Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.
completion of trials and storing took passage to Tobermory.
Worked up for operational service
Took passage to Liverpool on completion.
Joined 2nd Escort Group as Senior Officer's ship.
first operational mission to support Atlantic convoys.
Deployed with Group in support of safe -passage of Convoy HX235.
Deployed with HM Sloops WREN, WOODPECKER, CYGNET, WILD GOOSE and KITE
operations during passage of ONS8 Convoy in
Under U-Boat attack as part of escort for HX241.
After detection of wireless transmissions began search for submarine.
(Note : For information about deployments of U-Boats and weapons used for both
and attacks on Atlantic convoys see U-BOAT WAR IN THE ATLANTIC (HMS0),
SEEK AND STRIKE by W Hackmann, BUSINESS IN GREAT WATERS by John
Terraine , HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR by C Blair and above reference.)
U202 in position 56.12N 39.52W, SSE Cape Farewell.
survivors were rescued after an operation lasting 15 hours.
(Note : For details of this sinking and of all others sunk by Group see U-BOATS
Transferred to Plymouth Command for A/S offensive operations in Bay of Biscay to
U-Boats on passage to and from base ports in conjunction with RAF Coastal
and covered by HM Cruiser SCYLLA (Operation MUSKETRY).
. 24th After
detection by ASDIC joined Group in attacks on U119 which surfaced.
Engaged submarine by gunfire with other ships of Group.
Intended ramming foiled by heavy swell but some structural damage sustained..
U119 sunk by depth charges from HM Sloop WOODPECKER in position 44.59N 12.24W
There were no survivors from U119 which was acting as a supply tanker.
July Under repair at
3rd Involved in
collision with HM Submarine UMBRA without major damage.
Group for convoy support in Atlantic and Bay of Biscay.
Under air attacks during operations in support of passage of Convoy HX258.
with ships of 1st and 2nd Escort Groups as escort for Convoy ON207.,
Joined escort for Convoy HX262 with HM Sloops MAGPIE, KITE, WOODCOCK and
WILD GOOSE Group with air cover from HM Escort Carrier TRACKER.
diverted to ensure safe passage because of known threat by SIEGFRIED group
Detached to support escort of HX264 with ships of Group and HMS TRACKER.
Convoy under threat of attacks from TIRPITZ group of U-Boats.
Carried out anti-submarine operations with HMS WOODCOCK after U226 had been
sighted by HMS
Sank U226 with HMS WOODCOCK and HMS KITE in position 44.49N 41.13W, east
Newfoundland after an
extensive series of attacks by Group.
There were no survivors and convoy passed without any detection.
Took part in attacks on U842 which was sunk later in position 43.42N 42.08W
WILD GOOSE which located submarine after report by aircraft from HMS
There were no survivors. (See U-BOATS DESTROYED.)
During passage to refuel in Argentia came under by T5 acoustic torpedo attack
U648 which failed.
Deployed for support of convoys on UK-Gibraltar route.
of escort for Convoy MKS31/SL140 under threat of attack by WEDDIGEN group
Escort reinforced by 2nd and 4th Escort Groups.
part in A/S hunt operations and drove off U843.
December Under refit
and repair at Liverpool.
1 9 4 4
completion rejoined Group for support of passage of Atlantic convoys.
Deployed with HM Sloops WILD GOOSE, WOODPECKER, KITE and MAGPIE with
air cover by HM
escort Carriers NAIRANA and ACTIVITY to safeguard passage of
convoys west of
Ireland from threat by IGEL group
Sank U592 in position 50.20N 17.29W (SW of Ireland) with HM Sloops WILD GOOSE
There were no survivors from the U-Boat.
Deployed with Group for independent anti-submarine operations against the IGEL
Took part in sinking of U762 by Group in position 49.02N 16.58W.
There were no survivors.
Continued operations after unsuccessful attack by T5 Acoustic torpedoes from
U238 and U734
Carried out extensive search with HM Sloops WILD GOOSE, KITE and
MAGPIE in support
passage of joint Convoy SL147/MKS38 supported by HMS NAIRANA and HMS
which joined after sinking of U592 (See above.)
Both submarines destroyed in position 45.44N 16.20W without any survivors.
(See BUSINESS IN GREAT WATERS by J. Terraine)
Deployed with ships of 2nd and 7th Escort Groups to support Convoy ON224 under
HAI Group of U-Boats. Convoy
course was diverted.
U264 with HMS WOODPECKER in Group operations following support for passage of
Completed A/S patrol during which Support Group sank six U-Boats.
(Note :This period established
the effectiveness of 'Creeping' A/S attacks.
(Operation PLASTER) which had been perfected by
See BUSINESS IN GREAT WATERS.)
Detached from operations with Group for support and escort duty in NW
Deployed with Group for four days anti-submarine exercises in conduction with
Escort Carrier VINDEX.
U653 in position 53.46N 24.35W with HM Sloops WREN, WILD GOOSE and MAGPIE
after sighting by a SWORDF1SH aircraft of 825 Squadron embarked in
There were no survivors from the U-Boat.
Russian Convoy PQ58 with HM Sloops MAGPIE, WILD GOOSE, WREN and
Group to supplement anti-submarine support for passage to Kola Inlet.
(Note : This convoy included US cruiser USS MILWAUKEE being handed over to
Sank U961 in position 64.31N 03.19W with no survivors.
(Note : Submarine was on independent passage to Atlantic and probably was not
presence of JW58.)
came under series of unsuccessful U-boat attacks by THOR , BLITZ and HAMMER
Groups until 3rd
Provided A/S support for returning Convoy RA58 with ships of Group., four Fleet
and two corvettes.
Detached on arrival of convoy at Loch Ewe after an uninterrupted passage.
weather damage repair in Liverpool.
completion rejoined Group for A/S support operations in SW Approaches.
Deployed with 2nd and 5th Support Groups supported by aircraft from HMS VINDEX
anti-submarine operations following interception of radio signals from U-Boats.
Deployed with Group in search for U-Boat reporting weather conditions to shore.
(Note : US destroyer USS MACDONNELL was torpedoed in the area.)
Carried out search lasting 18 hours with HMS WILD GOOSE and WREN.
Forced U473 to surface and then sunk the submarine by gunfire despite an attack
(Note : Submarine had been acting as weather station.
termination of operations tool passage to Liverpool.
Arrived at Liverpool.
Deployed in support of convoys in Western Approaches.
Nominated fro anti-submarine operations in support of planned allied landings in
(For details see OPERATION NEPTUNE by K Edwards, LANDINGS IN NORMANDY
(HMSO) and for details of all mercantiles and warships involved D-DAY SHIPS by J
Passage of English Channel with HMS WILD GOOSE and WREN.
Deployed in Bay of Biscay and west Channel area for operations to prevent any
U-Boats to attack Invasion convoys (Operation NEPTUNE) .
10th Operational area
transferred to east and ship based at Plymouth. See references.
Returned to Liverpool.
of Captain F J Walker, Royal Navy who was relieved as Senior Officer EG2 by
Commander D Weymss (See FIGHTING CAPTAIN) .
(Note : Captain Walker was buried at sea from HM Destroyer HESPERUS with
ceremonial on 11th.).
There were no survivors.
Deployed in SW Approaches with 3rd Support Group and RAF aircraft to prevent
Channel by U-Boats and to intercept their passages across the Bay of
for attacks on
U333 In position 49.39N 07.28W with HM Frigate LOCH KILLIN.
U736 in position 47.19N 04.16W with HMS LOCH KILLIN.
of submarine crew were rescued.
Engaged U385 on surface but after submarine dived did not make contact during a
After sighting and attack by RAF SUNDERLAND aircraft of 461 Squadron RAAF, U385
located on surface and attacked with gunfire.
Submarine crew had abandoned and it sank in position 46.16N 02.45W.
survivors were rescued
(Note : During this deployment the Group sank four U-Boats.)
with 2nd Escort Group re-designated 22nd Escort Group.
Western Approaches deployment in continuation.
Nominated for refit.
in hand for refit at Falmouth.
Nominated for service with 22nd Escort Group.
December Carried out
post refit trials
On completion of sea
trials prepared for operational service.
1 9 4 5
new Group and Redeployed with in Western Approaches for the escort and
passage for Atlantic convoys
Carried out sustained search with Group after HM Escort Carrier THANE had been
Took part in sinking of U482 in position 55.30N, 05.43W (North Channel) with HM
HART, AMETHYST and HM Frigate LOCH CRAGGIE.
There were no survivors,
for service in British Pacific Fleet after refit.
in hand for long refit in Tyne shipyard.
completion worked up at Tobermory for foreign service
Following end of hostilities
requirement lapsed and returned to Devonport to pay off.
P o s t†† W a r††
N o t e s
HMS STARLING was de-stored and paid off into Reserve during
October 1945. Within two months this ship was selected for use as a Navigation
Training Ship baaed at Portsmouth. She was converted for this duty at Portsmouth
where her armament was removed and facilities for practical training were
added. In March 1946 she began training duties as a Tender to the Navigation
School, H M S DRYAD, and continued in this role until 1956 when she was Paid
Off and reduced to Reserve status at Portsmouth. Placed on the Disposal List in
1955 the ship was sold to BISCO for demolition by Lacmots
and towed to the breakers yard at Queenborough, Kant
on 26th May 1958. This name was carried forward when given to a PEACOCK Class
Patrol Vessel in 1984. The future of this Class which ware deployed at Hong
Kong was under review after the Colony was returned to China.