Allied Warships

HMS Chelsea (I 35)

Destroyer of the Town class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassTown 
PennantI 35 
Built byBath Iron Works (Bath, Maine, U.S.A.) 
Ordered 
Laid down5 Nov 1918 
Launched24 Jul 1919 
Commissioned9 Sep 1940 
End service16 Jul 1944 
History

On 9 September 1940 USS Crowninshield (DD 134) was decommissioned at Halifax, Nova Scotia, and delivered to British authorities in the land bases for destroyers exchange. She was commissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS Chelsea the same day. Chelsea reached Devonport, England, 28 September 1940. Assigned to the Sixth Escort Group, Western Approaches Command, Liverpool, for Atlantic convoy duty, she fought the double-menace submarine and air attacks on vital supplies. On 6 April 1941 she rescued 29 survivors of SS Olga S. which had been sunk by an air attack Chelsea joined Arbutus 5 February 1942 to hunt for a submarine sighted from their convoy. Two hours later Arbutus was torpedoed. Chelsea opened fire on the surfaced submarine and made three depth charge attacks after she dived but contact was lost and she returned to pick up the survivors from Arbutus. In November 1942 Chelsea was lent to the Royal Canadian Navy and until the end of 1943 operated in the mid and western Atlantic Ocean escorting convoys to and from Great Britain. She returned to Londonderry, Northern Ireland, 26 December 1943 and early in 1944 was reduced to reserve in the Tyne. On 16 July 1944 she was transferred to Russia and renamed Derskni.

 
Former nameUSS Crowninshield (DD 134)
Career notesto Soviet Union as USSR Derzkij

Commands listed for HMS Chelsea (I 35)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Richard Dickon Herbert Stephen Pankhurst, RN9 Sep 194019 Jul 1941
2Lt.Cdr. Arthur Frank Capel Layard, RN19 Jul 1941

3Lt.Cdr. James Edward Rickards Wilford, RNR6 Jul 1942early 1944
4T/Lt. Eric Douglas McMillan, RNVRearly 1944mid 1944

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Notable events involving Chelsea include:


24 Feb 1941
HMS H 44 (Lt. A.R. Hezlet, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Chelsea (Lt.Cdr. R.D.H.S. Pankhurst, RN) and HNoMS Mansfield (Cdr. F. Ulstrup, RNorN). (1)

25 Feb 1941
HMS H 44 (Lt. A.R. Hezlet, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Chelsea (Lt.Cdr. R.D.H.S. Pankhurst, RN) and HNoMS Mansfield (Cdr. F. Ulstrup, RNorN). (1)

3 Mar 1941
HrMs O 9 (Lt. H.A.W. Goossens, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Beverley (Lt.Cdr. J. Grant, RN) and HMS Chelsea (Lt.Cdr. R.D.H.S. Pankhurst, RN). (2)

6 Sep 1941
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.W.D. Coombe, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Douglas (Cdr. W.E. Banks, DSC, RN), HMS Skate (Lt. F.P. Baker, DSC, RN), HMS Leamington (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Bowerman, RN), HMS Chelsea (Lt.Cdr. A.F.C. Layard, RN) and HMS Caldwell (Lt.Cdr. E.M. Mackay, RNR). (3)

7 Sep 1941
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.W.D. Coombe, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Chelsea (Lt.Cdr. A.F.C. Layard, RN) and HMS Caldwell (Lt.Cdr. E.M. Mackay, RNR) (3)

8 Sep 1941
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.W.D. Coombe, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Chelsea (Lt.Cdr. A.F.C. Layard, RN) and HMS Caldwell (Lt.Cdr. E.M. Mackay, RNR) (3)

3 Nov 1941
HrMs O 9 (Lt. H.A.W. Goossens, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Sabre (Lt. Sir P.W. Gretton, DSC, OBE, RN) and HMS Keppel (Cdr. J.E. Broome, RN) and later with HMS Chelsea (Lt.Cdr. A.F.C. Layard, RN), HMS Venomous (Cdr. H.W. Falcon-Steward, RN) and HNoMS Acanthus. (4)

4 Nov 1941
HrMs O 9 (Lt. H.A.W. Goossens, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Alisma (A/Lt.Cdr. M.G. Rose, RANVR), HMS Chelsea (Lt.Cdr. A.F.C. Layard, RN), HMS Exmoor (Lt.Cdr. L.StG. Rich, RN) and HMS Campbeltown (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) Lord Teynham, RN). (4)

5 Feb 1942
HMS Chelsea (Lt.Cdr. A.F.C. Layard, RN) picks up 33 survivors from the British corvette HMS Arbutus (K 86) that was sunk by the German U-boat U-136 about 340 nautical miles west-northwest of Erris Head, Ireland in position 52°05'N, 19°43'W.

14 Sep 1942
HMS H 43 (Lt. J.C.Y. Roxburgh, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Dunkery (T/Lt. S.M. Booker, RNVR), HMS Fame (Cdr. R. Heathcote, RN) and HMS Chelsea (Lt.Cdr. J.E.R. Wilford, RNR). (5)

18 Sep 1942
HMS H 43 (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Anemone (Lt.Cdr. P.G.A. King, RD, RNR), HMS Chelsea (Lt.Cdr. J.E.R. Wilford, RNR), HMS Sandwich (Lt.Cdr. H. Hill, RD, RNR), HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. E.D.J. Abbot, RN) and two other vessels [unable to read these names in the log of HMS H 43]. (5)

19 Sep 1942
HMS H 43 (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Chelsea (Lt.Cdr. J.E.R. Wilford, RNR) and HMS Sandwich (Lt.Cdr. H. Hill, RD, RNR). (5)

30 Dec 1943
HrMs O 10 (Lt.Cdr. A. van Altena, RNN(R)) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Skate (Lt. J.C. Rushbrooke, DSC, RN), HMS Saladin (T/A/Lt.Cdr. P.G.C. King, RNVR), HMS Chelsea (Lt.Cdr. J.E.R. Wilford, RNR) and HMS Burdock (T/Lt. F.R.M. Greasley, RNR). (6)

Media links


British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Sources

  1. ADM 173/16780
  2. File 2.12.03.6367 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  3. ADM 173/16742
  4. File 2.12.03.6368 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  5. ADM 173/17253
  6. File 2.12.03.6384 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.


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