HMS Montrose (D01)
The first HMS "Montrose" was one of eight Admiralty type
destroyerleaders, sometimes known as the "Scott"-class. They were named after figures from Scottish history and were ordered under the Wartime Emergency Construction Programme. She was laid down at Hebburn-on-Tyneon 17 September 1917, launched in June 1918 and completed on the 14th September that year, too late for her to be actively involved in the First World War. She was sent to the Mediterranean Fleet where she would be stationed for an astonishing ten years, being involved in a number of operations during her attachment to the Fleet. One of her first duties was assisting in the evacuation of the remnants of the White Armyat Novorossiysk, a harbour near the Black Sea, in March 1920. Many other Royal Navy warships assisted in the evacuation, along with British forces on land.
She finally returned back home in 1929, serving initially in the Nore Reserve Fleet, then with the more prestigious
Home Fleetfrom 1930 to 1932, before being placed into Reserve until she was given her eventual refit at Devonport shortly before World War IIbegan. In 1939 she was made leader of the 17th Destroyer Flotilla, stationed with the Western Approaches Command, and for the first few months back in active service was tasked with anti-submarine patrols in the East Atlantic.
On 27 May 1940 she again assisted in an evacuation, this time the legendary Evacuation of Dunkirk, successfully evacuating 925 troops before being forced to leave the operation due to bomb damage that she had sustained from German aircraft. Over 338,000 troops were evacuated in total.
Two months later, after she had been transferred to the 18th Destroyer Flotilla, Nore Command, she was damaged once again by enemy aircraft, while protecting minesweepers on the east coast. While in this action she shot down at least one enemy aircraft, though she had been disabled due to damage that she had sustained by a number of near-misses. She was subsequently towed back to Chatham for repairs that were to last over a year. On return from these repairs she was reallocated to the 16th Destroyer Flotilla where she would see out the remainder of her career.
From September 1942 and well into January 1943, she was employed in escorting convoys to North Russia, before she resumed coastal patrols off Britain, as well as covering the east coast convoys. Her last action of the war came about supporting the Normandy Landings. She won the lineage its last battle honour during these operations. "Montrose" was also damaged while supporting the invasion and had to be towed to
Imminghamorfor repairs. These were never completed, and she was thus placed in reserve and subsequently decommissioned in 1946. She was scrapped at Blyth in Northumberlandthe same year.
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