- HMS Narcissus (K74)
HMS "Narcissus" was
Flower-class corvettewhich served in the Royal Navyduring the Second World War from 1941 to the end of the war in 1945. She primarily escorted convoys across the Atlantic Ocean.
Construction and armament
The "Narcissus" was constructed at Lewis’s shipyard in
Aberdeenin April 1941, with the express purpose of joining the Battle of the Atlantic as a convoy escort. She was to act as a platform, from which attacking German submarines could be detected above or below the surface anytime, and driven away or destroyed. She was equipped with sonarand, eventually, type-271 radarand armed with depth-chargerails and throwers. A forward throwing Hedgehog was added at a later date. She was allocated the number K74.
After her crew had been worked up at the training base at
Tobermoryin August 1941, she joined the Clyde Escort Force at Greenockon the River Clyde. Apart from three annual refits and a rearmament at Govan, Fort Williamand Troon, she escorted merchant ships continuously for three years. The "Narcissus" went across the North Atlanticto Newfoundland; across the Bay of Biscayto Gibraltar; and once to Freetownand back.
During the course of these convoys, she expended countless depth-charges against under-water contacts and picked up survivors from several Allied ships. In March 1943, she took part in the rescue of survivors of the
destroyerHMS "Harvester", which had been sunk by "U-432" during the passage of convoy HX-228. In September 1943, she narrowly missed being torpedoed by "U-260" and witnessed the sinking of her consort, HMS "Itchen", by "U-666".
6 June 1944(D-day), she escorted the follow-up wave of the invasion of Normandy, of the 3rd Canadian Divisionin Landing Ships and Landing Craft (Infantry)to Juno Beachand the 51st Highland Divisionto Gold Beachrespectively. After the first frantic months of re-supply convoy duties across the English Channel, she acted as a local escort for the South-western Approaches.
When the Second World War ended, she was ordered to
Milford Havento de-ammunition and be laid up in reserve.
* Peter Coy, 1997 "The Echo of a Fighting Flower", Square One Publications
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