Allied Warships

HMS Senateur Duhamel (FY 327)

ASW Trawler

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeASW Trawler
Class[No specific class] 
PennantFY 327 
Built byCochrane & Sons Shipbuilders Ltd. (Selby, U.K.) 
Ordered 
Laid down 
Launched16 Aug 1927 
CommissionedJan 1941 
Lost6 May 1942 
Loss position34° 33'N, 75° 36'W
History

Completed in September 1927.
Taken over by the Admiralty in 26 December 1940.
Displacement: 913 tons.
Armament: 1 4" gun.

Lent to the United States Navy in February 1942 to operate of the US East coast under USN control.

Accidentally rammed and sunk by the US naval auxiliary USS Semmes off Cape Lookout, North Carolina in position 34º33'N, 75º36'W.

 

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Notable events involving Senateur Duhamel include:


Senateur Duhamel The Senateur Duhamel is resting in 65 feet of water. It is about 7 miles southeast of the Beaufort Inlet and it usually takes about an hour to get to the site after leaving the inlet. It's located close to shore, the visibility averages 10-15 feet. After the United States entered World War II, the British sent over the Senateur Duhamel to protect conveys from German U-Boats. On May 6, 1942, the Senateur Duhamel was headed toward the Beaufort Inlet in a light haze. She spotted another ship, the USS Semmes, about a mile away and flashed the message "What Ship?" The light temporarily blinded the crew of the USS Semmes. Before a reply could be sent, the bow of the USS Semmes rammed into the Senateur Duhamel amidships. The USS Semmes called over to see if the Senateur Duhamel wanted to send any one over before they backed away. The Senateur Duhamel didn't want to transfer anyone over and the USS Semmes backed away to a distance of a half of a mile. The USS Roper, a destroyer was called for assistance. When they called roll on the USS Semmes, they discovered everyone present and accounted for, with one extra man. J. Woods had climbed aboard from the Senateur Duhamel while the two ships were still connected. The Executive Officer and J. Woods took a boat to go and search for the Senateur Duhamel. They reached the Senateur Duhamel just in time to watch it slip beneath the water. The masts stuck up out of the water, marking the location. The Executive Officer picked up all of the crew and took them to the USS Roper. No one from either ship was killed in the collision. My father was assigned to the USS Semmes (AG24) a destroyer of the Clemens class commissioned in 1918. Its former designated DD189 until 1935. His was a Torpedoman's mate first class (V6).He served on the Semmens from Feb. 27 1942 until Oct. 12 1943. My father passed away in 1957. I've been doing research in support of our Nichols Family History, especially military service. Hope this has been of interest. Dan L. Nichols (CW4 RET) (1)

She is listed above as having been built by Cochrane & Co., but the 1927 Senateur Duhamel was built by Hall Russell & Co. at Aberdeen as yard no. 691 for M. Joseph Duhamel, Les Pecheries du Fecamp, Fecamp, France F631. (1)

15 Apr 1942
HMS Senateur Duhamel tows the American tanker Harry F. Sinclair, Jr. to Morehead City. The Harry F. Sinclair, Jr. was torpedoed and damaged on 11 April 1942 by German U-boat U-203 7 nautical miles south of Cape Lookout in position 34°25'N, 76°30'W.

Sources

  1. Personal communication

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