Allied Warships


Admiralty V & W class

42 ships

The destroyer HMS Whirlwind (i) (D 30) of the Royal Navy. She was lost on 5 Jul 1940.

Technical information

Displacement1188 BRT 
Length312 feet (oa) 
Complement134 men 

Original design;
4 4" guns (4x1)
2 2pdr AA (2x1)
6 21" torpedo tubes (2x3)

Fast escort;
4 4" AA guns (2x2)
8 .5" AA (2x4)

Short range escort; 3 4" guns (3x1)
1 3" AA gun
2 2pdr AA (2x1)
3 21" torpedo tubes (1x3)

Long range escort;
2 4" guns (2x1)
1 3" AA gun
2 2pdr AA (2x1)
1 Hedgehog 

Max speed34 knots
EnginesGeared turbines, 2 shafts 
Power30000 HP 
Notes on class

Most of these vessels were reduced to reserve before the Second World War. During the early part of the war these ships served on fleet duties as well as convoy escort. As the war progressed their fleet duties were taken over by new, more modern destroyers and they were only used as convoy escorts.

In 1937 the Admiralty recognized the need for ships with a good long-range anti-aircraft armament and it was decided that a number of the old V&W-class destroyers were to be converted to fast escorts.

In the early stages of the war some of the V&W class destroyers were slightly modified to suit them more to their role as convoy escorts. The aftermost gun was landed to allow more depth charges to be fitted and an 3" AA gun replaced the after bank of torpedo tubes to increase the anti-aircraft armament. These ships were known as the short range escorts.

By 1941 the Admiralty was forced to employ every available warship, suitable or not, to the task of convoy protection. Destroyers were not ideal for this task. They were too fast and therefore they had a lack of endurance and were over gunned. With more and more purpose designed escorts arriving on the Atlantic battlegrounds some of the V&W class destroyers could be spared to being refitted to make them more suitable as convoy escort in the future. These ships became the long range escorts. The modifications included the removal of no. 1 boiler and its funnel. This modification reduced the speed of these ships to 25 knots. The space that became free was used for increased bunkerage and extra accommodation. 'A' gun was landed and replaced by a Hedgehog ASW mortar. All remaining torpedo tubes were removed and increased depth charge armament was fitted. Also the anti-aircraft armament was increased but this varied per ship.


All ships of the Admiralty V & W class

Royal Australian Navy Royal Australian Navy (more on Royal Australian Navy)

HMAS Vampire (D 68) Lost on 9 Apr 1942
HMAS Vendetta (D 69)
HMAS Voyager (D 31) Lost on 25 Sep 1942
HMAS Waterhen (D 22) Lost on 30 Jun 1941

Royal Navy Royal Navy (more on Royal Navy)

HMS Venetia (D 53) Lost on 19 Oct 1940
HMS Wakeful (i) (H 88) Lost on 29 May 1940
HMS Wessex (i) (D 43) Lost on 24 May 1940
HMS Whirlwind (i) (D 30) Lost on 5 Jul 1940

Fast escort

Royal Navy Royal Navy (more on Royal Navy)

HMS Valentine (i) (L 69) Lost on 15 May 1940
HMS Valorous (L 00)
HMS Vanity (L 38)
HMS Vega (L 41)
HMS Verdun (L 93)
HMS Viceroy (L 21)
HMS Vimiera (L 29) Lost on 9 Jan 1942
HMS Vivien (L 33)
HMS Westminster (L 40)
HMS Whitley (L 23) Lost on 19 May 1940
HMS Winchester (L 55)
HMS Wolfhound (I 56)
HMS Wolsey (L 02)
HMS Woolston (L 49)
HMS Wryneck (i) (L 04) Lost on 27 Apr 1941

Long range escort

Royal Navy Royal Navy (more on Royal Navy)

HMS Vanessa (D 29)
HMS Vanoc (H 33)
HMS Vanquisher (D 54)
HMS Velox (D 34)
HMS Versatile (D 32)
HMS Vesper (D 55)
HMS Vidette (D 48)
HMS Vimy (D 33)
HMS Viscount (D 92)
HMS Walker (D 27)
HMS Warwick (D 25) Lost on 20 Feb 1944
HMS Watchman (D 26)
HMS Westcott (D 47 / I 47)
HMS Winchelsea (D 46)
HMS Wrestler (D 35)

Short range escort

Royal Navy Royal Navy (more on Royal Navy)

HMS Vivacious (D 36)
HMS Vortigern (D 37) Lost on 15 Mar 1942
HMS Walpole (D 41) Lost on 6 Jan 1945
HMS Windsor (D 42)

42 Destroyers of the Admiralty V & W class. 14 of them were lost.

Full wartime service history on this vessel.

See all Destroyer classes.

Admiralty V & W class ships hit by U-boats (2)

20 Feb 1944HMS WarwickSunkU-413
5 Jul 1940HMS Whirlwind (i)SunkU-34

Books dealing with this subject include:

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