HMS Wells (I95)
|Built by:||Charleston Navy Yard (Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.A.)|
|Laid down:||29 Jul, 1918|
|Launched:||7 Jul, 1919|
|Commissioned:||26 Nov, 1940 transfered to Royal Navy 5th Dec.1940|
|End service:||24 Jul, 1945|
Ex USS TILLMAN
DD135 (Type B - CALDWELL Class) built by Bath Iron Works. The ship was
laid down on
29th July 1918 and launched
on 7th July 1919. Commissioned on 30th April 1921 for service in the US
Navy and was held in Reserve till 1939. The ship transferred to the RN
under the 1940 UK/US Land-Lease Agreement on 5th December 1940 and
commissioned as HMS WELLS on that date at Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
This name was cannon to towns in Somerset and Nevada, USA
On 21 November 1940, USS Tillman arrived at Halifax USS Tillman was decommissioned on 26 November 1940 and she was commissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS Wells on 5 December 1940. She suffered damage on the 9th in a collision with sister ship HMS Newmarket. She was thus unable to sail for the British Isles until 4 February 1941. Getting underway on that date in company with HMS Newark, Wells encountered a heavy gale in which she lost her topmast. Newark soon suffered engine failure and had to be towed back to Halifax.
Wells eventually arrived in the United Kingdom and was soon assigned to the 17th Destroyer Division, which provided escorts for the 1st Minelaying Squadron. During this time, she carried out a number of mining operations off the western coast of Scotland.
Between these operations, Wells escorted convoys to and from Iceland. On 10 June 1941, while operating south of Iceland, she attacked a U-boat but without success. Two days later, she encountered another U-boat and went to the attack, but the explosion of her own depth charges damaged her and forced her to give up the search.
Following refitting at Hull, England, in the autumn of 1941, Wells returned to convoy escort duty. On 16 January 1942, she intercepted an SOS from the merchant ship F. J. Cullen an American merchantman which had run aground on the southeast side of Barra Island, in the outer Hebrides, west of Scotland. Heavy seas initially made launching a boat a virtual impossibility, but Wells stood by until lifeboats and tugs arrived and transported the steamer's crew safely ashore.
While escorting two transports later that spring, HMS Wells and HMS Brighton were bombed by German aircraft west of the Faroes, but escaped damage. During November, Wells conducted convoy escort operations with Convoy KX-6, supporting Operation "Torch," the invasion of North Africa, and returned to the United Kingdom in December with Convoy MKF to soon resume escort duties with Iceland-bound convoys.
After serving another tour of convoy escort and minelaying escort duties, Wells was transferred to Rosyth in August 1943 and operated with the Rosyth Escort Force, screening coastwise convoys between the Firth of Forth and the Thames estuary. Early in 1945, after refitting at the Clyde in late 1944, she became a target ship for aircraft training with the Western Approaches Command. Decommissioned in July 1945, Wells was subsequently scrapped at Troon, Scotland, on 24 July 1945.