hms_calendula

Jack served on board HMS Calendula (above) in 1940. The vessel (Pennant Number K28) was ordered on 19th September 1939 (Job number J3240) and laid down on 30th October. She was launched on 6th May 1940 by Harland & Wolfe Ltd, Belfast Northern Ireland, and was the first RN ship to carry this name.

In June 1940 Calendula was allocated for Atlantic convoy defence in western approaches with 5th Escort group based in Liverpool. 

From July through to November that year she took part in escort of ships on passage to and from Liverpool. Detached for foreign service at Freetown and took passage as part of routine convoy, finally arriving in Freetown in December and was deployed for local escort of Atlantic and coastal convoys.

She joined convoy WS5A on 8th January, 1941, with HM sloops Milford, Bridgewater, HMS Destroyers Velox, Vidette and HM Corvette Asphodel for local anti-submarine escort during the initial stage of passage from Freetown to Cape of Good Hope.

 HMS Calendula at sea

HMS Calendula at sea

This convoy had been attacked by the German cruiser HIPPER on Christmas Day during its passage from the UK and was one of the only special series of troop convoys to the Indian Ocean which was located and attacked by a large warship. The Ocean escort from Freetown included HM aircraft carrier Formidable, HM cruisers Hawkins and Norfolk. 

On 9th January, she took return passage to Freetown with A/S escort after HMS Formidable and HMS Norfolk detached and HM cruiser Devonshire joined Ocean escort to Cape of Good Hope with HMS Hawkins.

On 20th January Calendula joined military convoy WS5B with HM corvette Asphodel as anti-submarine local escort during passage into Freetown from the UK.

25th January detached from WS5B with local escort on arrival at Freetown.

She then continued to provide local escort duty until 3rd March where she joined military convoy WS6B with HM corvette Clematis to provide local anti-submarine escort during passage into Freetown from the UK on the 5th, were she again resumed local escort duties at Freetown until October.

On 19th October she joined military convoy WS12 with HM destroyers Velox and Wrestler HM corvettes Anchusa and Mignonette, as local A/S escort during initial part of passage from Freetown. She finally detached from WS12 on the 22nd, returning to Freetown were she resumed local A/S duties. 

In December she was nominated for return to the UK and took passage early January. She was then acquired by the US Navy under the reverse lease lend to the USA. She was commissioned USS READY (PG-67) at Tilburg, England, 12th March 1942, with Lt. Edwin C. Woodward in command. Ready then sailed from Northern Ireland 15th April 1942 as escort to a Newfoundland bound convoy. From Newfoundland she proceeded to Norfolk, arriving 13th May 1942, where she was prepared for deployment for defence of convoys between Norfolk Va., and Key West.

She completed six runs to Key West and back during the next 3 months through waters made hazardous by the German submarine offensive. 

Toward the end of August, Ready shifted her base of operations to New York, but for the next 2 1/2 years continued to escort convoys bound to Key West, Fla., and extended such runs to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, whence she returned to New York. 

Detached 20th January 1945, she was assigned to antisubmarine patrol and escort in the approaches to New York until after the close of war in Europe, 5th May 1945. She was then assigned to convoy ships to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.