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Sunday, 23 May 2010

H.M.S. POLYANTHUS



Ship No 309


H.M.S.Polyanthus
Flower Class Corvette.


She was ordered on 25th July 1939

Her keel was laid on 19th March 1940 and she was launched from the yard on the 30th of November 1940, after successful sea trials she was commissioned on 24th April 1941.

She had a length overall of 190 feet with a beam of 33 feet and draught of 17 feet and 6 inches. At 811 tons, another of the many unsung small ships that worked tirelessly during World War II. A Sister ship to H.M.S. Dianthus, she was to give sterling service in the protection of Convoy’s crossing the North Atlantic, helping to keep Britain supplied in her darkest times.

On 21 September 1943 the German U-952 fired a torpedo at an escort of the convoy ON-202 and heard after three minutes a detonation, followed by sinking noises. HMS Polyanthus (Lt. J.G. Aitken, RNR) was hit and sank immediately at position 57.00N, 31.10W. The British frigate HMS Itchen picked up one survivor, but he died when the frigate was torpedoed and sunk two days later by U-666.

(H.M.S. Polyanthus was the only warship sank by U-952 out of 14 ships sent to the bottom by the Hamburg built U-952, which was sunk by U.S. bombs in harbour at Toulon in August 1944)

(H.M.S. Itchen was unlucky in the fact that she was the only ship to be sunk by the U-666, which in turn was sunk herself in early 1944 with the loss of all hands.)

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