Allied Warships

HMS Vivacious (D 36)

Destroyer of the Admiralty V & W class

NavyThe Royal Navy
ClassAdmiralty V & W 
PennantD 36 
ModShort range escort 
Built byYarrow Shipbuilders Ltd. (Scotstoun, Scotland) 
Ordered30 Jun 1916 
Laid downJul 1916 
Launched3 Nov 1917 
Commissioned29 Dec 1917 
End service 

Sold to be broken up for scrap on 4 March 1947.

HMS Vivacious is not listed as active unit in the July 1945 Navy list


Commands listed for HMS Vivacious (D 36)

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1Cdr. Cecil Ramsden Langworthy Parry, RN31 Jul 193927 Sep 1939
2Lt.Cdr. Frank Reginald Woodbine Parish, RN27 Sep 193930 May 1940
3Cdr. Emile Frank Verlaine Dechaineux, RAN30 May 194019 Jun 1940
4Lt.Cdr. Peter Alison Ross Withers, RN19 Jun 1940late 1940

5Lt.Cdr. Robert Alexander, RN11 Jul 1941Sep 1943
6Lt. Frederick Dennisson Cole, RNSep 194313 Oct 1944
7Lt. Barry John Anderson, RN13 Oct 1944Apr 1945 ?

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Notable events involving Vivacious include:

27 May 1940
In the evening, the Polish destroyer Blyskawica received orders to meet with the British destroyers HMS Gallant and HMS Vivacious to enter the small port of La Panne (in the Dunkirk area) and evacuate part of RAF personnel. Unfortunately, she failed to find her partners and didn't complete the task. Instead of this, she was ordered to enter Dunkirk harbour together with the British destroyer HMS Vega and conduct a night reconnaissance mission. The Admiralty wanted to find out, if this harbour (partially blocked by wrecks) may be useful in Allied evacuation. Both destroyers were attacked by two German aircraft, but inspected the positions of wrecks. After that, Admiral Ramsey learned that navy vessels are able to conduct evacuation from Dunkirk and sent part of them there. (1)

23 Jun 1940
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.L. Livesey, RN) departed Sheerness for Portsmouth. She was escorted by HMS Vivacious (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, RN). (2)

22 Sep 1940
While escorting convoy FN 288 from Southend to Methil HMS Vivacious (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, RN) was damaged when a mine detonates nearby. Repairs take till mid-1941. Repairs were delayed due to bombing damage to the shipyard.

13 Sep 1941
HMS Prince of Wales (Capt. J.C. Leach, MVO, RN) conducted exercises to the west of Scapa Flow together with HMS Penelope (Capt. A.D. Nicholl, RN).

During these exerices Prince of Wales was escorted by HMS Ashanti (Cdr. R.G. Onslow, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. B.G. Scurfield, OBE, RN), HMS Eskimo (Cdr. E.G. Le Geyt, RN) and HMS Vivacious (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (3)

4 Jan 1943
HrMs O 15 (Lt. A.J. Schouwenaar, RNN) conducted A/S exercises with HMS Vivacious (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN), HMS Windsor (Lt.Cdr. D.H.F. Hetherington, RN) and Adrias. (4)

Media links

British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.


  1. Personal communication
  2. ADM 173/16287
  3. ADM 53/114892
  4. File (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)

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

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