To find out more about this incident and the part HMS Mendip played in the Invasion of Italy, see Ernie Ellis's Journal which can be foundHERE. THE JOURNAL OF TELEGRAPHIST ERNIE C. ELLIS, ROYAL NAVY, HMS MENDIP.

RAF pilot, who’s plane had been shot down over Dieppe, being rescued by Destroyer.

9 Nov 42.In action in defence of convoy off Great Yarmouth under E-Boat attacks.

12 Dec 42. Together with HMS Meynell in action against E-Boat attacks while escorting convoy.

25 Jan 43.In action against E Boats with HMS Windsor in defence of coastal convoy off Great Yarmouth.

4 March 43. In action with HMS Southdown and HM Sheldrake against E-Boats off Great Yarmouth. On their return the RAF caught up with the E-boats at dawn and bombed them. E-boats S70 and S75 were both sunk outside Ijmuiden.

28 March 43.Together with HMS Blencathra, MGB321 and MGB 333 was in action with and drove off E-Boats which were attacking Convoy FS1074 off Smith's Knoll. March was a costly month for the German E-boats, not only were they being successfully driven away from the British convoys but the war had been taken to them. The British 58th MTB (Motor Torpedo Boat) was successfully attacking German convoys north of the Dutch (German occupied) Frisian Islands.

19 May 43. Under refit at Chatham Dockyard.

13 June 43.Mendip was escort for a huge convoy, UGS10, of 75 cargo ships many of them Liberty ships and a large convoy of 28 war ships to arrive at Port Said in Egypt (It was combined with Convoy KMF18) Many carried troops for the eventual invasion of Sicily. 

28 June 43. The Mendip joined Convoy KMF18 as escort transporting troops and equipment to North Africa in support of Operation Torch. Also escorting the Convoy were nineteen other escorting warships. Operation Torch was the British/American invasion of French North Africa (French Morocco and Algeria.) 29 July 43 UGS12 joined KMS21 and they were now 99 cargo vessels in the giant convoy.

HMS Mendip with HMS Blencathra (although in the Mediterranean were still nominally part of Sheerness 21st Destroyer Flotilla) travelled to Algiers in preparation to support Operation Husky, (10 July 1943 to 17 August) the invasion of Sicily.

9 July 43. HMS Mendip arrived at Malta and joined escort for assault convoy of Sicily.

10 July 43.Deployed to provide AA cover during landings and for patrols in defence against attack by surface vessels and U-boats. The American destroyer USS Maddox, the Landing Ship Tank LST 313, the Minesweeper USS Sentinel and the hospital ship Talamba were all sunk from air attack. On the following day more ships were damaged and sunk.

20 July 43.HMS Mendip was released from Operation Husky and returned  to Algiers for convoy escort duty.

6 Aug 43.  In port at Bizerta, Tunisia for a boiler clean and much need leave for her crew.

7 Sep 44.Joined HMS BRECON and HMS BLANKNEY as escort for convoy for Operation Avalanche the invasion of German occupied Italy at Salerno on the 9 September 1943.

11 Sep 43. Came under air attack while approaching Salerno and sustained damage from a near miss from a bomb. Machinery including port shaft was affected but ship remained operational. Provided naval gunfire support during landings.

HMS Mendip.

Displacement:   1,000 tons.
Length:   278 feet (85 metres)
Beam:   28 feet (8.8 metres)
Draught:   10 feet 9 inches (3.27 metres)
Speed:   27.5 knots (31 MPH, 50.9 km/h)
Range:   3500 nautical miles (6,500 Kilometres) at 15 knots. 1000 nautical miles (1840 Kilometres) at 26 knots.
Power:   3 x water-tube boilers.
Propulsion:   2 x shafts, 2 x Admiralty 3-drum boilers.
Complement:   146 Officers and men.
Torpedo tubes:   None.
Guns:   4 × QF 4 in (102 mm) Mk XVI guns. 4 × QF 2 pound (40mm) on Quad mounts. 2 x 20mm Oerlikon Anti-aircraft guns on single mounts.  40 depth charges, 2 throwers, 1 rack.

Additionally, Hunt Class Destroyers engaged on East Coast convoy work, the Type ones and the Type twos were fitted with a single QF 2 pounder "bow chaser" gun for anti-E-boat work. (Although in the photograph above there isn’t one)

24 Oct 1940.HMS Holderness, while on work-up exercises, and undertaking depth-charge practise, one of the depth charges dropped from her stern blew up prematurely.  She sustained serious damage to her stern structure and five of her crew were missing presumed killed.

Holman, Douglas N W, Able Seaman, C/SSX 15819, MPK
Holman, Stanley, Able Seaman, C/SSX 15731, MPK
Hutchins, William P, Able Seaman, C/JX 98898, MPK
Norman, John B P, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 199312, MPK
Seabrook, Henry C, Petty Officer Steward, C/L 13329, MPK

March 1941. HMS Mendip joined the 21st Destroyer Flotilla at sheerness for escort and patrol duties.

30 March 41.HMS Mendip is attacked by German aircraft while escorting Convoy FS449 in the North Sea.

20 June 41.Detached to escort Minelayer HMS Teviotbank, a converted merchant ship which carried 280 mines, fortifying the East Coast Mine Barrage.

21 June 41. HMS Mendip escorted Convoy FS520, departing Methil 19 June 41, arriving at Southend 21 June 41. While under attack from the Luftwaffe the Dutch ship SS Schieland was bombed and sunk off Southwold, Suffolk. HMS Mendip rescued the Schieland’s surviving eight crew. Earlier, in the same convoy the British Ship Kenneth Hawksfield detonated a mine and sank with the loss of one of her crew.

17 Sep 41.In action with aircraft attacking North Sea convoy FS605.

3 Oct 41. In action with and drove off E-Boats attacking Convoy FS615.

19 Feb 42. In action with E-Boats attacking southbound Methil to Southend convoy. A torpedo fired from an E-boat passed close to the Mendip.

18 Aug 1942.Escorted Landing Craft to Dieppe on the French coast.

19 Aug 1942.Together with HMS Garth (Sheerness), HMS Cattistock (Sheerness) and HMS Quorm (Harwich) provided covering gun fire and smoke screens for landing craft at Dieppe.  HMS Mendip did this under continuous attack from German shore batteries and the Luftwaffe including Stuka Dive bombers. Unfortunately, the Destroyers 4 inch guns had little effect on the concrete reinforced bunkers housing the German shore guns.

20 Aug 1942. Provided covering gun fire for remaining landing craft as they left Dieppe and returned to England.

The Royal Navy lost 550 men. But it was the troops, mainly Canadian which suffered most  with Canadians bore the brunt of the casualties at Dieppe, with 907 killed, 2,460 wounded and 1,874 taken prisoner by the Germans. These very brave men weren’t even given a medal for their sacrifice as the official line was “there will be no medals for a defeat!”

Ernie’s Journal is an outstanding document and a fascinating insight into the life at sea during World War Two onboard HMS Mendip. It gives a first-hand accounts of war at sea and the Allied amphibious landing on mainland Italy at Salerno. (Operation Avalanche) 

HMS Mendip was laid down on 10th August 1939 and launched on 9th April 1940. In March 1942 she was adopted by the civil community of Shepton Mallet in Somerset. HMS Mendip is the name of the Mendip Fox-Hunt in Somerset.

The Mendip Fox-Hunt started as a private hound pack around the middle of the 18th century. The hounds moved to kennels near Priddy in 1921 where it remains to day.   

The Damage Report reads,

8th Sep. 1943.

One Near Miss 250 kgm. delay action fused Bomb.

Time out of Action, 3 weeks.

MENDIP was escorting a convoy to the Gulf of Salerno when a near miss detonated about 20 ft. off the port side abreast the forward boiler room. The port side plating and framings, abreast the engine room and boiler rooms was slightly distorted. The holding down bolts to the sliding feet of the port and starboard H.P. and L.P. turbines were fractured and distorted and the keep plates lifted.  The holding down bolts of both boilers were distorted. Shock damage affected the turbo-generators and auxiliary machinery on the port side of the engine room. One diesel generator was seriously damaged.

Shock effects also put the low power electrical supply temporarily out of action, causing failure of the main armament firing circuits.

Shock damage put all radar and the gyro compass and Chernikeef log out of action.

Fighting Efficiency - Seriously impaired.

Damage to main machinery limited revolutions on the port engine to those for 8 knots and on the starboard engine to those for 20 knots. One diesel generators, several radar sets, the gyro compass and Chernikeef log were out of action.

12 Sep 43. Released from AVALANCHE and took passage to Malta for repair.

14 Sep 43.  Under repair.

3 Oct 43. Passage to Gibraltar as part of escort for convoy even though speed is still restricted.

13 Oct 43.Under repair by HM Dockyard, Gibraltar.

15 Oct 43. Transferred to the 58th Destroyer Division based at Malta.

16 Oct 43.Again escorted a convoy (KMF25) from Liverpool to North Africa.

1 Nov 43.Escorted the Battle ship HMS Warspite, which had been badly damaged by air attack off Salerno and was under tow, from Malta to Gibraltar.

4 Nov 43.  Although HMS Mendip was not an escort for convoy UGS23 included amongst the cargo ships was that infamous Sheppey ship the Richard Montgomery.

9 Nov 43.Escort duties to Naples in Italy.

24 Nov 43.Deployed with HM Destroyers ILEX and NUBIAN for bombardment of shore positions near mouth of THE Garigliano River, Italy. The Garigliano River, was the centre of a system of German defensive lines including the Gustav Line around which the battle of Monte Cassino took place It is said that the waters of the river ran red because of  blood from the many bodies of soldiers.

15 Jan 44.HMS Mendip escorted a large troop convoy KMF28, arriving at Port Said Egypt 30 Jan 44, consisting of 23 war ships and 17 troop ships of some 10,682 troops. 

HMS Mendip.

Leonard Stiff

Damage Report

Group including team and officers of HMS MENDIP. Left to right: back row: AB T G Beardsall, of London; Lieut J Fleming, RNVR, of Liverpool; AB J W Pallas, of Stanley, Co Durham; Tel E C Ellis, of Kingsbury, NW9; Ldg Radio Mech J C Eames, of Tunbridge Wells; Able Seaman A Logie, of Errol, Perthshire. Middle row: Able Seaman T A Bourne, of Rye, Sussex; Lieut A Fanning, RN; Capt C R L Parry, RN, of Woking (Capt D21); Lieut P D Davey, RN, of Epsom (Commanding Officer of HMS MENDIP); Able Seaman A Fougler, of Sidcup, Kent. Front row: Able Seaman S Brown, of Byker, Newcastle-on-Tyne; Able Seaman W Lincoln, of Streatham, Sw16; Sig A E Collier, of Canning Town, E16 (former West Ham player)

17 March 44. The Mendip was escorting convoy SNF17 from Naples to Oran in Algeria with HMS Catterick when the convoy was attacked by the German U-boat U371 off Bougie, near Algiers. Dutch Troop Ship Dempo was sunk with out the loss of life of the 330 people on board. The American ship the Maiden Creek was badly damaged when torpedoed with the loss of eight of the 78 people on board.  The Maiden Creek was beached at Bougie but broke her back.

20 March 44.Boiler clean at Algiers and a much need break for her crew.

4 May 44.Deployed with HMS Blankney as escort for convoy from Algiers to Gibraltar.

5 May 44.  The Mendip was attacked by a U-Boat off Alboran close to the Strait of Gibraltar.  With HMS Hambledon and HMS Blencathra took part in anti-submarine operations.
This would be the last action in the Mediterranean for all of these destroyers as they would imminently be returning to the U.K. to take part in the D-day landing.

26 May 44.Re-joined the 21st Destroyer Flotilla at Sheerness. Immediately took passage to Milford Haven to join the 111th Escort Group for convoy escort.

5 June 44. Escorted Assault Convoy EBP1 taking American troop to Western Task Force Area. Left Bristol Channel on the 5 June 44 to arrive off the D-day beaches on the 7 June 44.

It did not go well for the American forces at Omaha Beach and heavy casualties were inflicted on them by the defending enemy.

The assault force had suffered from rough seas as they traversed eleven miles of open sea in their Landing Craft. Of the 32 amphibious tanks which were the vanguard of the assault, only five remained afloat. Of the 50 howitzers to support the infantry only 18 survived, the rest sinking to the Ducks transporting to shore. Landing craft especially equipped with men and gear to clear the beach obstacles, the mines attached to them and the booby traps also sank with disastrous results.

Only a few gaps could be opened through the lethal obstacle barrier resulting in bottle necks were landing craft built up into an unorganised jam.

The preliminary bombardment was in effected with gun emplacements and machined gun pillboxes being operational. There were no bomb or shell craters on the wide exposed beach in which to seek shelter. The soldiers of the American 1st and 29th Divisions were trapped at the water’s edge being raked by machine gun, mortars and small arms fire.

This deplorable situation was in part alleviated twelve Destroyers, amongst these HMS Mendip (a Sheerness Destroyers) which sailed right up to the beaches to give the beleaguered army close support, knocking artillery emplacements, machine gun pillboxes and Germen infantry emplacements.

7 June 44. The Susan B. Anthony detonated an Oyster mine and sunk off Omaha Beach. The Mendip took part in the rescue and saved 400 of the 2,689 troops and crew on board some of who were wounded. They were later transferred to landing craft and transported to shore.

8- 24 June 44.Escort duties with convoys from Plymouth to Omaha Beach during build up phase of Normandy landings.

26 June to Oct 44. Refit at Liverpool and trials.

15 Nov 44.Ran over a mooring Buoy during work-up at Scapa Flow and damaged both screws and ASDIC (underwater detection equipment) Dome. Both screws required replacing.

26 Nov 44. Re-joined 21st Destroyer Flotilla at Sheerness.

28 Nov 44. With her sister ship HMS Garth Escorted military convoys to Antwerp after the Scheldt Estuary had been cleared of mines by the Queenborough Minesweepers. (First convoy arrived at Antwerp 30 Nov 44)

Dec 44 – Jan 45. Continuing escorting convoys to Antwerp and the North Sea.

21 Jan 45. Sustained underwater damage when she ran aground. Repaired at Chatham Dockyards.

21 Feb 45. The Garth with the Mendip and Motor Gun boats were in action with German E-boats. The E-boats were laying mines and two days later the La Combattante detonated a mine, broke in two and sunk off Croma Norfolk. Sixty-eight of her crew were lost. One hundred and seventeen survivors were rescued by Motor Torpedo Boats HMS MTB 763 and HMS MTB 770. It was later claimed that La Combattante was sunk by a torpedo from a “Seehound” midget submarine.

July 45.Nominated for duty in the Clyde for destruction of surrendered U-Boats. Escorted U-boats into port.

Jan 46. Returned to Sheerness for the last time and was paid off.

21 Jan 48. Sold to China and renamed Lin Fu.

29th May. 1949. Returned to Royal Navy control.

12th Sep 1949.The Mendip was Paid-off for a second time.

9th Nov 49.Sold to Egypt and renamed the Mohammed Ali.

1951.She was again renamed as the Ibrahim Awal and took part in the war against Israel.

31 October 1956.She was captured in battle on by the Israeli Navy and re-commissioned as INS Haifa (K-38).

1972. After a long and illustrious career she was scrapped.

OFFICERS from Navy List Nov. 1940
(Rank. Name, Date joined ship.)    

Lieutenant. RNVR. G. F. Walker. 18 June 40.
Lieutenant. RNVR. D. C. Anderson. (act). 14 Aug 40.         
Surg. Lieut. W. A. Burnett, MRSC, LRCP (proby). 20Sept40.
Sub-Lieut. B. D. O. Maclntyre. 18 Sept 40.                             
Gunner, A. N. Littleboy. 15 July 40.           
Cd.Engineer. J. E. Wynn. 14 Dec 39.                         
Midshipman. H. M. Sairgisson. 21 Oct 40.

OFFICERS from Navy List June 1941

Lieutenant. RNVR. G. F. Walker. 18 June 40. 
Lieutenant. RNVR. D. C. Anderson. (act). 14 Aug 40. 
Surg. Lieut. W. A. Burnett, MRSC, LRCP (proby). 20Sept40.
Sub-Lieut. B. D. O. Maclntyre. 18 Sept 40.
Temp. Sub-Lieut. D. E. Nicholl. 9 Feb 41.
Temp. Sub-Lieut.  J. Fleming. 22Mar 41.                 
Gunner, A. J. Hollingdale 23 Feb 41.         
Cd.Engineer. J. E. Wynn. 14 Dec 39.                         
Midshipman. H. M. Sairgisson. 21 Oct 40.

OFFICERS from Navy List June 42.

Commander. G. N. Roffe, DSC. (act) 1 July 40.
Lieutenant. B. D. O. Maclntyre. 18 Sept 40.
Lieutenant. R. J. A. Kennedy. 12 Sept 41.
Lieutenant. RNVR. D. C. Anderson. (act). 14 Aug 40..
Lieutenant (E) Temp. J. E. Wynn (ret). 14 Dec 39.               
Surg. Lieut. RNVR, J. C. W. Hopkyns, MB, Bch. 30 Dec 41
Temp. Sub-Lieut. D. E. Nicholl. 9 Feb 41.
Temp. Sub-Lieut.  J. Fleming. 22Mar 41. 
Gunner, A. J. Hollingdale 23 Feb 41.

OFFICERS from Navy List June 43

Captain. C. R. L. Parry. 16 Sept 42. 
Lieut. Com. (A/S) A. W. Goldsmith. 1 Dec 42.  
Lieut. Com. P. D. Davey. 25 Jan 43.
Lieut. Com. A. E. Fanning, DSC. 16 Sept 42.
Lieut. Com. F. D. Edwards, DSC. 10 Oct 42.
Temp. Sub-Lieut.  J. Fleming. 22Mar 41. 
Temp. Sub-Lieut.  J. D. Bolton. 29 Mav 42.
Temp. Sub-Lieut.  D. C. A. Wermig. 8 Mar 43.
Temp. Sub-Lieut. (G) J. Dunse. 6 Apr 43.
Surg. Lieut. Temp. RNVR. J. H. D. Taylor, MB, Chs. 23 Mar 43.       
Paym. Lieut. RNVR. O. M. Lewin. Oct 42.                              
Sub-Lieut.Temp. RNVR. K. A. W. Pilgrim. 27 Apr 43
Gunner, Temp. S. Hazell (act). 2 Feb 43.                 
Engineer. Temp. P.A.Tinsley. 26 May 42.

OFFICERS from Navy List June 44.

Lieut. Com. P. D. Davey. (In Command.) 25 Jan 43.  
Temp. Lieutenant. RNVR. J. Fleming. 22 Mar 41.
Temp. Lieutenant. RNVR. J. D. Bolton. 29 May 42.                             
Temp. Lieutenant. RNVR. W. N. M. Sellers. May 44.                          
Temp. Lieutenant. (E)  J. Cooper 13 Oct 43.          
Surg. Lieut. Temp. RNVR. J. H. D. Taylor, MB, Chs. 23 Mar 43.       
Sub-Lieut.Temp. RNVR. M. W. Dunsire. 21 Dec 43.  
Sub-Lieut .Act. Temp RNVR. E. R. Bailey. Oct 43. 
Wt. Teleg. J.H.Hayes. 4 June 43

If you, your father or your grandfather have any additional information about this ship, crew lists, stories, photographs, please send copies of them to be added to our records and this website.

Thank you.


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Thank you to Martin Stiff for the photograph and information. Martin’s father, Leonard Stiff, served on HMS Mendip

The photo of HMS Mendip was taken at Great Yarmouth, 1945 (written on back of photograph). Leonard use to cut the crews hairs on  the ship for  ‘fag ‘ money ! 

Type I, Hunt-class Escort Destroyer



On a field Red, on a White roundel, a bugle horn stringed. Black within the strings a blue rose.

Watch these short videos about the Wildfire Destroyers.
The Channel Dash:
Sheerness Destroyers at D-day: