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Author Topic: Gunboat HMS Grasshopper 1939-1942  (Read 1692 times)

Noel Clark

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Gunboat HMS Grasshopper 1939-1942
« on: 07 February 2019 03:32:31 am »

I'm looking for definitive information on HMS Grasshopper, commissioned 1939 in Hong Kong and destined for the Yangtse River gunboat flotilla based in Shanghai. Ultimately torpedoed in 1942.
I have conflicting information on this vessel. Most sources agree that she did reach Shanghai in 1939. She was definitely involved in the landing of 36 bluejackets in Foochow in late June 1939. Some sources have it that she, along with a sister ship HMS Dragonfly, left Shanghai on 3rd October 1939 bound for Hong Kong and thence Singapore, and did not return to the Yangtse. This is consistent with an Admiralty decision on 2nd October 1939 to withdraw 5 gunboats from the Yangtse flotilla, and a report on 4th October that two (unnamed) had left.
Other sources say that she remained with the Yangtse flotilla until December 1941, and was transferred to Singapore only when the Japanese entered the war by bombing Pearl Harbour and at the same time took over the concessions territories in China.
I have a source that says Grasshopper was undergoing a refit in Singapore in June 1940, and another saying she was at Penang in December 1941.
The eligibility for the 1939-1945 Star for one of the sailors on Grasshopper is documented as service from 10th June 1940 to 21st April 1941.
The above seems to indicate that Grasshopper did indeed leave Shanghai for Singapore in 1939 rather than 1941. How can I prove one way or the other? There are ship's logs for Grasshopper for January and February 1940 (none after that), but neither have been digitised.
I would appreciate any help.
Thank you,
Noel
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