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Object of the Month – HMS Cavalier Battle Honours

27 April 2019

Each month, we’ll be sharing stories of some of our favourite objects and places of The Dockyard in “Object of the Month” posts.

Thanks to our research volunteers, we are able to bring to you a more in detail look at some of these objects.

First up is HMS Cavalier’s Battle Honours…

Traditionally Royal Navy ships carry the battle honours of all ships of the same name. Honours roll- over from the earliest ships to carry the name up to the present date. HMS Cavalier is the first and only ship of the name to date.

HMS Cavalier’s battle honour ARCTIC 1945 is awarded for the following action.

In the afternoon of 16th of February 1945 the close escort consisting of 3 sloops, 3 corvettes and 1 destroyer for south bound convoy RA64 left Kola Inlet, Russia.

That night U-Boat U-425was detected and sunk by Alnwick Castle(corvette) and Lark(sloop), warships of the escort. The latter (Lark) being hit by a torpedo from patrolling U-Boat U-968 the following day and towed to Kola as a total loss.

In the afternoon of the 17th of February the convoy of merchantmen, 26 American, 6 British and 1 Norwegian sailed for the south. U-968 then went on to sink an American merchantman with no casualties. The same day the escort corvette Bluebell was torpedoed by U-711, blew up and sank with only 1 survivor.

The convoy then became scattered due to severe weather conditions with the escorts suffering severe damage. When the convoy reassembled it was attacked by 25 enemy aircraft but with no reported damage. The convoy was again scattered due to hurricane force winds, once more the convoy reassembled only to be attacked by torpedo- carrying aircraft, the only casualty being the sinking of a straggling merchantman, hit by an air-torpedo, which suffered 22 fatalities with 64 survivors rescued by escorts.

The escorts were re-enforced with 6 destroyers from the 21st to the 27th February.

HMS Cavalier joined the convoy from the 25th February to the 27th of February. The convoy safely arrived in the Clyde on March 1st.

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Thanks to one of our research volunteers, Bernie Howell for this blog!

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