ORP Burza (H73)

Casualty List

Navy: Polish Navy
Type: Destroyer
Class: Wicher 
Pennant: H 73 
Built by: Chantiers Navals Francais (Caen, France) 
Laid down: 1 Nov, 1927 
Launched: 16 Apr, 1929 
Commissioned: 10 Jul, 1932 
History: Burza means storm in English. Escaped to England in August / September 1939.
Decommisioned to reserve in 1944.
Return to Poland in 1951.
Became a museum in 1960.
Scrapped in 1977. 
  Noteable events involving Burza include:

1 Sep, 1939
The Polish destroyers Burza (Lt.Cdr. S. Nahorski, ORP), Grom (Lt.Cdr. A. Hulewicz, ORP) and Blyskawica (Cdr. W. Kodrebski, ORP) were met in the North Sea by British aircraft and the British destroyers HMS Wallace (Lt.Cdr. W.M.L. Astwood, RN) and HMS Wanderer (Cdr R.F. Morice, RN). They were escorted to Leith.

22 Mar, 1940
The Polish destroyers Burza (under her new commander Lt.Cdr Francki) and Blyskawica escorted three French submarines and their tender Jules Verne on their route from Brest to Harwich.

4 Apr, 1940
The Polish destroyers Burza, Grom and Blyskawica reached their new homebase Rosyth. In the afternoon they left the harbor with the British light cruisers HMS Arethusa, HMS Galatea and three British destroyers. These ships were ordered to conduct a patrol at North Sea and were later ordered to intercept German invasion groups heading for Norway.

9 Apr, 1940
The Polish destroyers Burza, Grom and Blyskawica were ordered to join the British destroyer HMS Tartar and provide escort for convoy HN-24 (31 merchants escaping from Norway to England, some of them were loaded with Norwegian gold). The convoy reached Britain without any loses.

12 Apr, 1940
The Polish destroyers Burza, Grom and Blyskawica entered Rosyth for refueling. Then they were sent to Scapa Flow.

19 Apr, 1940
The Polish destroyers Burza, Grom and Blyskawica left Scapa Flow and head to Narvik. During a storm Burza was damaged by high waves and forced to return.

26 Apr, 1940
The Polish destroyer Burza and the British destroyer HMS Grafton were part of an escort of small convoy (two cargo ships and one tanker). Those vessels were sailing to Skjel Fjord, Norway where an Allied supply base was located.

30 Apr, 1940
In dense fog the British tanker Boardale (8400 GRT) hit the rocks in the Asan Fjord near Narvik and was abandoned by the crew. The Polish destroyer Burza rescued the survivors.

1 May, 1940
The Polish destroyer Burza reached Harstad and took part in the AA defence of this harbor.

5 May, 1940
The Polish destroyer Burza provided AA cover for Allied merchants off Skaaland, Norway. 11 German air raids were conducted. Few ships were lightly damaged.

7 May, 1940
The Polish destroyer Burza conducted a reconissance patrol in Bjerkvik area. At this time commander of Allied 1st Light Rifle Division, General Marie Emile Bethouart was onboard with his staff. Bjerkvik was the port where Allied troops were planned to be unloaded.

8 May, 1940
Six strong German air attacks took place on Harstad. Burza was involved in the AA defence. Two bombs exploded near the destroyer but caused no damage. Later that day Burza found and rescued the crew of British airplane which had been shot down.

10 May, 1940
The Polish destroyers Burza and Blyskawica left Norwegian waters in order to return to Scapa Flow.

24 May, 1940
The Polish destroyer Burza was ordered to join the British destroyers HMS Vimiera and HMS Wessex and shell German positions in Calais area. At 16.20 the Allied vessels opened fire on enemy armoured column at Sangatte Hill, west of Calais. 10 minutes later they were attacked by 27 German airplanes which hit and sank HMS Wessex. HMS Vimiera managed to escape. Then the entire enemy air group concentrated on the Polish destroyer. The AA guns (2 40 mm) jammed due to schrapnel hits, three bombs exploded in the water. They caused boiler damage and loss of speed. The commander (Lt.Cdr. Francki) ordered to emergency launch the torpedoes and drop all depth charges, trying to avoid additional explosions. Shortly after this, two bombs hit the Burza and badly damaged her. However the airplanes had dropped all of their bombs and broke off the attack. The crew managed to stop the leakage and return to Dover. One German airplane was shot down during the action.

30 Aug, 1940
The Polish destroyers Blyskawica and Burza joined the escort of a convoy heading to the USA. Later Burza suffered a malfunction and was forced to return to base.

10 Oct, 1940
The British cruisers HMS Newcastle (Capt. E.A. Aylmer, DSC, RN) and HMS Emerald (Capt. F.C. Flynn, RN), with the British destroyers HMS Broke (Cdr. B.G. Scurfield, RN) and HMS Wanderer (either Cdr. J.H. Ruck-Keene, RN or Cdr. A.F.St.G. Orpen, RN) of the 17th DF and the Polish destroyers Garland (Cdr. K. Namiesniowski, ORP) and Burza (Cdr. A. Doroszkowski, ORP) act as a screen to the British battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN) during a bombardment of Cherbourg.

26 Oct, 1940
Burza (Lt.Cdr. Pitulko) was ordered to rescue survivors from the British troop ship Empress of Britain which had been heavily damaged by bombs. The Polish destroyer picked up 254 men.

16 Nov, 1940
Due to dense fog, the Polish destroyer Burza collided with British ASW trawler HMS Arsenal and suffered bow damage. HMS Arsenal was sunk.

30 Jul, 1941
After long repairs and a refit, Burza (Lt.Cdr. Wojewodzki) became part of the escort of a convoy from Greenock to Iceland.

30 Aug, 1941
The convoy reached Hvalfjord, Iceland.

8 Sep, 1941
Burza collided with patrol vessel Rosemary off Milford Haven.

11 Sep, 1941
Burza returned to Greenock and was sent to Glassgow for repairs that lasted one week.

2 Feb, 1942
Burza started a refit at Glasgow.

3 Dec, 1942
Burza (Lt.Cdr. Pitulko) was part of Escort Group B-6 commanded by Cdr. Ralph Heathcote, R.N. in the British destroyer HMS Fame. The Escort Group escorted convoy HX-217 to Great Britain.

7 Dec, 1942
At night the convoy was attacked by U-boats. Burza encoutered the enemy twice. The first U-boat was attacked by salvo of 10 depth charges and forced to retreat. The second was spotted on the surface by lookouts. Lt.Cdr. Pitulko ordered to attack the submarine with torpedoes (!), however enemy vessel managed to dive before the attack occured. Instead of torpedoes, depth charges were dropped. After this attack the contact was lost.

9 Dec, 1942
Around 2200hours the sonar operator on Burza detected a submerged U-boat. After short pursuit the contact was lost. Few minutes later another submarine was detected, this time on the surface at 900-1000 meters. The Polish destroyer tried to ram the enemy, but the German vessel managed to dive. 10 depth charges were dropped.

14 Dec, 1942
The convoy reached the Clyde. It's escorts entered Greenock harbor.

20 Dec, 1942
Escort Group B-6 (with Burza) left the Clyde with a convoy bound for Canada.

31 Dec, 1942
The convoy reached St. John's, Canada.

11 Jan, 1943
Escort Group B-6, including the Polish destroyer Burza, leaves Canada escorting convoy SC-116 to Great Britain.

27 Jan, 1943
Convoy SC-116 arrives in Greenock.

21 Feb, 1943
Burza was ordered to join the Escort Group A-3 (commanded by Cdr. Paul Heineman) which was escorting convoy ON-166.

22 Feb, 1943
During the defence of convoy ON-166 the German submarine U-606 was sunk in the North Atlantic, in position 4744'N, 3343'W, by depth charges from the US coastguard cutter USS Campbell and the Polish destroyer Burza.

During the night Burza detected a submerged submarine and attacked her twice with 20 depth charges. The U-boat was damaged and forced to surface. Then she was shelled with Anti-Aircraft guns and had to dive again. Contact was lost. Shortly after that, the U-boat surfaced again, and was spotted by the US Coast Guard Cutter Campbell (WPG 32), which shelled and rammed the submarine. The heavily damaged U-boat managed to stay on the surface, but was unable to move and fight. The American cutter was also seriously damaged due to ramming. Her commanding officer (Cdr. James Hirshfield) asked for help. Burza answered her call and rushed to the scene. The Polish destroyer provided cover for USCG Spencer until 04.00 AM the next day when she stopped and picked up 7 survivors from U-606. The Polish destroyer again provided cover for the USCG cutter until the evening. Then, due to fuel shortage, she headed for St. John's, Canada.

22 Feb, 1943
Around 1300 hours Burza torpedoes and sinks the heavily damaged Norwegian whale factory ship 0N.T. Nielsen-Alonso.

27 Feb, 1943
Burza arrived at St. John's, Canada with only 2.5 tons of fuel left in tanks.