Allied Warships

HMS Duncan (D 99)

Destroyer of the D class

HMS Duncan during the Second World War

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantD 99 
Built byPortsmouth D.Y. (Portsmouth, U.K.): Hawthorn Leslie & Co. (Hebburn-on-Tyne, U.K.) 
Ordered14 Feb 1931 
Laid down3 Sep 1931 
Launched7 Jul 1932 
Commissioned5 Apr 1933 
End service 

Sold to be broken up for scrap in September 1945 and srapped in November 1945.


Commands listed for HMS Duncan (D 99)

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James Abernethy McCoy, RN
1Capt. Geoffrey Robert Bensly Back, RN8 Jul 19392 Jan 1940
2Cdr. Jocelyn Stuart Cambridge Salter, RN2 Jan 194017 Feb 1940
3Capt. Antony Fane de Salis, RN17 Feb 194018 Feb 1940
4Lt.Cdr. (retired) Clive Gwinner, RN18 Feb 194012 Jul 1940
5Cdr. Arthur Dyke Beauchamp James, RN12 Jul 194013 Feb 1941
6Lt.Cdr. Arthur Nichol Rowell, RN13 Feb 194125 May 1942
7Capt. Hugh St. Lawrence Nicolson, DSO, RN25 May 194216 Dec 1942
8Lt. Bernard Morland Skinner, RN16 Dec 194210 Mar 1943
9Lt.Cdr. (retired) Clive Gwinner, DSO, RN10 Mar 19431 Apr 1943
10Cdr. Sir Peter William Gretton, DSO, DSC, OBE, RN12 Apr 1943Nov 1943

11Lt. Denis Guy Douglas Hall-Wright, RN10 Apr 1944mid 1945

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Notable events involving Duncan include:

6 Feb 1941
British raid on Genoa.

Force H (Vice Admiral Somerville) left Gibraltar on 6 February 1941. The battlecruiser HMS Renown (Capt R.R. McGrigor, RN), battleship HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal (Capt. C.S. Holland, RN), light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. C.A.A. Larcom, RN) and the destroyers HMS Fearless (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN) HMS Foxhound (Lt.Cdr. G.H. Peters, DSC, RN), HMS Foresight (Cdr. J.S.C. Salter, RN), HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN), HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St.J. Morgan, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) left Gibraltar to the west with convoy HG-53. This was done to fool German and Italian observers in Spain. In the meantime 4 destroyers HMS Duncan (Capt. A.D.B. James, RN), HMS Isis (Cdr. C.S.B. Swinley, DSC, RN) HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.P. Thew, RN) left Gibraltar and steamed to the east to conduct a anti-submarine sweep. During the night Force H reversed course and passed Gibraltar on an easterly course back into the Mediterranean. There they were joined by the 4 destroyers that conducted the anti-submarine sweep.

On 8 February the Italian fleet left port and steamed south after they received reports of British carrier aircraft south of the Balearics. The Italians thought that there was another convoy to Malta.

Early in the morning of 9 February Renown, Malaya and Sheffield bombarded the Italian city of Genoa. In the harbour 4 ships were sunk and 18 were damaged. Also the city itself was damaged.

The Italian fleet turned around and tried to intercept the British ships but due to the bad weather this failed.

In the meantime Ark Royal's aircraft raided Livorno and mined the harbour of La Spezia.

Force H safely returned to Gibraltar on 11 February.

19 Oct 1941
HMS Duncan (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Rowell, RN) picks up four survivors from the British tanker Inverlee that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-204 30 nautical miles 240° from Cape Spartel, Morocco.

HMS Duncan also picks up one survivor from the British merchant Baron Kelvin that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-206 in the Strait of Gibraltar 14 nautical miles bearing 100° from Tarifa Point in approximate position 35°57'N, 05°54'W.

28 Oct 1941
Italian submarine Guglielmo Marconi (CdC Livio Piomarta) was sunk by depth charges from the British destroyer HMS Duncan (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Rowell, RN) while operating against the convoy HG-75 in the North Atlantic about 300 nautical miles north-east of the Azores in position 41°57'N, 21°56'W. (1)

23 Oct 1943
German U-boat U-274 was sunk in the North Atlantic south-west of Iceland in position 57°14'N, 27°50'W, by depth charges from the British destroyers HMS Duncan (Cdr. P.W. Gretton, OBE, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMS Vidette (Lt.Cdr. R. Hart, DSC and Bar, RN), and by depth charges from a British Liberator aircraft (Sqdn. 224/Z).

29 Oct 1943
German U-boat U-282 was sunk south-east of Greenland, in position 55°28'N, 31°57'W, by depth charges from the British destroyers HMS Vidette (Lt.Cdr. R. Hart, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Duncan (Cdr. P.W. Gretton, OBE, DSO, DSC, RN) and the British corvette HMS Sunflower (A/Lt.Cdr. J. Plomer, DSC, RCNVR).

Media links

British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

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