Allied Warships

HMS Blankney (L 30)

Escort destroyer of the Hunt (Type II) class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeEscort destroyer
ClassHunt (Type II) 
PennantL 30 
Built byJohn Brown Shipbuilding & Engineering Company Ltd. (Clydebank, Scotland) 
Ordered4 Sep 1939 
Laid down17 May 1940 
Launched19 Dec 1940 
Commissioned11 Apr 1941 
End service 
History

In October 1941 HMS Blankney was a member of the 12th escort group based at Londonderry, Northern Ireland. In December she was dispatched from the Fleet at Gibraltar to reinforce Commander Walkers U-boat killer group that was escorting a homeward bound convoy from Gibraltar. A submarine was spotted on the surface by a Martlet aircraft (Sqdn. 802) from the escort carrier HMS Audacity, the pilot notified the A/S forces and then went in to attack the German, his aircraft was unfortunately shot down and he lost his life. Blankney gave chase. The submarine which turned out to be U-131 was sunk on 17 December by depth charges and gunfire from the British escort destroyers HMS Exmoor and HMS Blankney, the destroyer HMS Stanley, the corvette HMS Pentstemon and the sloop HMS Stork. On the 18th, HMS Blankney with HMS Stanley scored another kill. HMS Stanley spotted U-434 on the surface six miles away and gave chase. The submarine dived, Blankney also arrived in the area and she soon got a firm asdic contact. She made three rapid attacks, and the sub was severely damaged, and surfaced to allow as many of her crew as possible to save themselves and minutes later she sank. Blankney loaded up with German prisoners then returned to Gibraltar for refuelling.

In 1942 Blankney participated in the escorting of Arctic convoys.

On 10 July 1943 she took part in the Allied landings on Sicily. The initial force of Allied troops numbering 160,000 men with 14,000 vehicles and hundreds of guns were safely put ashore. In the following days thousands more troops were safely transported across the narrows to the Sicilian ports now in Allied hands. In most trying weather conditions the Navy was well to the fore in this operation, officially named “Huskey. Despite the rough seas and enemy air attacks the “hunt” class escort destoryers, including Blankney, were well represented and proved their worth in these narrow waters.

On 10 March 1944 U-450 was sunk in the western Mediterranean Nort of Ostia, in position 41.11N, 12.27E, by depth charges from the British escort destroyers HMS Blankney, HMS Blencathra, HMS Brecon, HMS Exmoor and the U.S. destroyer USS Madison.

On the night of 2/3 May 1944 U-371 was spotted recharging her batteries on the surface off Djidjelli on the Algerian coast and was immediately detected and the area was swamped with 6 escorts and 3 aircraft squadrons. They hunted the boat until the early morning of 4 May when Oblt. Fenski had to surface the boat and save his crew. He had managed to fight back and torpedoed and damaged the US destroyer escort USS Menges and the French destroyer escort Sénégalis before calling it quits. U-371 was finally sunk in position 37.49N, 05.39E, by depth charges from the US destroyer escorts USS Pride and USS Joseph E. Campbell the French destroyer escort Sénégalais and the British escort destroyer HMS Blankney.

On 6 June 1944, Blankney was a member of the Gunfire Support Bombarding Force K, assigned to “Gold Beach” during operation the Allied landings in Normandy.

On 20 August 1945, Blankney was docked in the Selborne dry dock at Simonstown, South Africa.

In March 1959, Blankney was broken up for scrap by Hughes Bolkow of Blyth, her badge can still be seen painted on the Selborne dry dock wall.

 

Commands listed for HMS Blankney (L 30)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Philip Frederick Powlett, RN27 Feb 194111 Mar 1943
2Lt.Cdr. Douglas Henry Reid Bromley, RN11 Mar 194324 Apr 1944
3Lt. Bernard Henry Brown, RN24 Apr 19441 Apr 1946

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Notable events involving Blankney include:


17 Dec 1941
German U-boat U-131 was sunk north-east of Madeira, Portugal, in position 34°12'N, 13°35'W, by depth charges and gunfire from the British escort destroyers HMS Exmoor (Lt.Cdr. L.StG. Rich, RN) and HMS Blankney(Lt.Cdr. P.F. Powlett, DSC, RN), the British destroyer HMS Stanley (Lt.Cdr. D.B. Shaw, OBE, RN), the British corvette HMS Pentstemon (Lt.Cdr. J. Byron, RNR (retired)) and the British sloop HMS Stork (Cdr. F.J. Walker, RN), and by depth charges from a Martlet aircraft (Sqdn. 802) of the British escort carrier HMS Audacity (Cdr. D.W. Mackendrick, RN).

18 Dec 1941
German U-boat U-434 was sunk in the North Atlantic north of Madeira, Portugal, in position 36°15'N, 15°48'W, by depth charges from the British escort destroyer HMS Blankney (Lt.Cdr. P.F. Powlett, DSC, RN) and the British destroyer HMS Stanley (Lt.Cdr. D.B. Shaw, OBE, RN).

10 Mar 1944
German U-boat U-450 was sunk in the western Mediterranean south of Ostia, in position 41°11'N, 12°27'E, by depth charges from the British escort destroyers HMS Blankney (Lt.Cdr. D.H.R. Bromley, RN), HMS Blencathra (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Warren, RN), HMS Brecon (Lt. N.R.H. Rodney, RN), HMS Exmoor (Lt. D.D. Howson, RN) and the US destroyer USS Madison (Cdr. D.A. Stuart, USN).

4 May 1944
German U-boat U-371 was sunk at 0409hrs on 4 May 1944 in the Mediterranean north of Constantine, in position 37°49'N, 05°39'E, by depth charges from the US destroyer escorts USS USS Pride and USS Joseph E. Campbell the French destroyer escort S?n?galais and the British escort destroyer HMS Blankney.


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