Allied Warships

HMS Wanderer (D 74)

Destroyer of the Admiralty Modified W class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassAdmiralty Modified W 
PennantD 74 
ModLong range escort 
Built byFairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. (Govan, Scotland) 
OrderedJan 1918 
Laid down7 Aug 1918 
Launched1 May 1919 
Commissioned18 Sep 1919 
End service 
History

Reconstruction to Long Range Escort finished in April 1943.

HMS Wanderer is not listed as active unit in the January 1945 Navy List

HMS Wanderer was sold on 31 January 1946 and broken up by Hughes Bolckow at Blyth.

 

Commands listed for HMS Wanderer (D 74)

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CommanderFromTo
1Cdr. Reginald Francis Morice, RN31 Jul 193924 May 1940
2Cdr. John Henry Ruck-Keene, RN24 May 194014 Nov 1940
3Cdr. Arthur Frederick St. George Orpen, RN14 Nov 194010 Feb 1942
4Lt.Cdr. Denis Harold Palmer Gardiner, DSC, RN10 Feb 1942early 1943

5Lt.Cdr. Reginald Fife Whinney, RN20 Apr 1943mid 1944
6Lt. Peter Roland Michell, RNmid 1944late 1944

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Notable events involving Wanderer include:


1 Sep 1939
The Polish destroyers Burza (Komandor Podporucznik Stanislaw Michal Nahorski, ORP), Grom (Komandor Podporucznik Aleksander Hulewicz, ORP) and Blyskawica (Komandor Podporucznik Wlodzimierz Andrzey Kodrebski-Poraj, ORP) were met in the North Sea by British aircraft and the British destroyers HMS Wallace (Lt.Cdr. William Maurice Lloyd Astwood, RN) and HMS Wanderer (Cdr Reginald Francis Morice, RN). They were escorted to Leith.

4 Sep 1939
The battleships HMS Royal Oak (Capt. W.G. Benn, RN) and HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. L.V. Morgan, CBE, MVO, DSC, RN) both departed Scapa Flow to patrol to the east of the Fair Isle Channel. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Broke (Capt. R. Kerr, RN), HMS Wanderer (Cdr. R.F. Morice, RN) and HMS Whitehall (Lt.Cdr. A.B. Russell, RN). They were joined at sea early in the afternoon of the 6th by three more destroyers; HMS Foresight (Lt.Cdr. G.T. Lambert, RN), HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, RN) and HMS Fury (Cdr. G.F. Burghard, RN).

6 Sep 1939
Late in the afternoon the battleships HMS Royal Oak (Capt. W.G. Benn, RN) and HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. L.V. Morgan, CBE, MVO, DSC, RN) and their escorting destroyers; HMS Broke (Capt. R. Kerr, RN), HMS Wanderer (Cdr. R.F. Morice, RN) and HMS Whitehall (Lt.Cdr. A.B. Russell, RN), HMS Foresight (Lt.Cdr. G.T. Lambert, RN), HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, RN) and HMS Fury (Cdr. G.F. Burghard, RN) returned to Scapa Flow from their patrol to the east of the Fair Isle Channel.

14 Jun 1940
Convoy US 3, made up of the troopships (liners) Andes (25689 GRT, built 1939), Aquitania (44786 GRT, built 1914), Empress of Britain (42348 GRT, built 1931), Empress of Canada (21517 GRT, built 1922), Mauretania (35739 GRT, built 1939) and Queen Mary (81235 GRT, built 1936) with troop from New Zealand and Australia on board and escorted by the British heavy cruisers HMS Shropshire (Capt. J.H. Edelsten, RN), HMS Cumberland (Capt. the Hon. G.H.E. Russell, RN) and HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. B.C.S. Martin, RN) was joined around 0800 hours by HMS Argus (Capt. H.C. Bovell, RN), which came from Gibraltar, and joined around 1000 hours by the battlecruiser HMS Hood (Capt. Sir I.G. Glennie, RN) escorted by the Canadian destroyers HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. De Wolf, RCN), HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.B. Creery, RCN) and HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Hibbard, RCN) which came from the U.K. Shortly afterwards HMS Dorsetshire left the convoy to proceed to Gibraltar.

Later that day, around 1500 hours, the convoy was joined by the destroyer HMS Wanderer (Cdr. J.H. Ruck-Keene, RN) and around 1600 hours by two more destroyers HMS Broke (Cdr. B.G. Scurfield, RN) and HMS Westcott (Lt.Cdr. W.F.R. Segrave, RN). (1)

25 Aug 1940
The British merchant Jamaica Pioneer is torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-100 east of Rockall in position 57°05'N, 11°02'W. Later the British destroyers HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. N.J.V. Thew, RN) and HMS Wanderer (Cdr. J.H. Ruck-Keene, RN) pick up 55 survivors.

10 Oct 1940
The British cruisers HMS Newcastle (Capt. E.A. Aylmer, DSC, RN) and HMS Emerald (Capt. F.C. Flynn, RN), with the British destroyers HMS Broke (Cdr. B.G. Scurfield, RN) and HMS Wanderer (Cdr. J.H. Ruck-Keene, DSC, RN) of the 17th DF and the Polish destroyers Garland (Cdr. K. Namiesniowski, ORP) and Burza (Cdr. A. Doroszkowski, ORP) act as a screen to the British battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN) during a bombardment of Cherbourg.

13 Feb 1941
HMS H 44 (Lt. A.R. Hezlet, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Wanderer (Cdr. A.F.St G. Orpen, RN), HMS Sabre (Lt. P.W. Gretton, DSC, RN) and HMS Scimitar (Lt. R.D. Franks, OBE, RN). (2)

2 Jun 1941
German U-boat U-147 torpedoed and sank the Belgian merchant ship Mokambo in position 56°38'N 10°24'W. In the follow-up attack by the convoy escort the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Wanderer (Cdr. A.F.St.G. Orpen, RN) and the corvette HMS Periwinkle (Lt.Cdr. P.G. MacIver, RN) depth charged the U-147 to destruction.

3 Jun 1941
The British tanker Inversuir is torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-75 north of the Azores in position 48°30'N, 28°30'W. HMS Wanderer (Cdr. A.F.St.G. Orpen, RN) later picks up 9 survivors.

12 Jul 1941

Convoy WS 9C

This convoy was formed at sea and was initially made up of the British merchants/ troop transports Avila Star (14443 GRT, built 1927), City of Pretoria (8049 GRT, built 1937), Deucalion (7516 GRT, built 1930), Durham (10893 GRT, built 1934), Leinster (4302 GRT, built 1937), Melbourne Star (11076 GRT, built 1936), Pasteur (30447 GRT, built 1939), Port Chalmers (8535 GRT, built 1933) and Sydney Star (11095 GRT, built 1936).

They were escorted by the battleship HMS Nelson (Capt. T.H. Troubridge, RN) (12-20 July), cruisers HMS Manchester (Capt. H. Drew, DSC, RN) (12-17 July), HMS Arethusa (Capt. A.C. Chapman, RN), (12-17 July), AA cruiser HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck (Cdr. E.J. van Holthe, RNN) (12-15 July), cruiser-minelayer HMS Manxman (Capt. R.K. Dickson, RN), (15-16 July), destroyers HMS Winchelsea (Lt.Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, OBE, DSC, RN) (12 July), HMS Vanoc (Lt.Cdr. J.G.W. Deneys, DSO, RN) (12-15 July), HMS Wanderer (Cdr. A.F.St.G. Orpen, RN) (12-15 July), ORP Garland (Lt.Cdr. K.F. Namiesniowski, ORP) (12-15 July), HMS Gurkha (Cdr. C.N. Lentaigne, RN) (12-15 July), HMS Cossack (Capt. E.L. Berthon, DSC and Bar, RN) (12-17 July), HMS Maori (Cdr. R.E. Courage, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN) (12-17 July), HMS Sikh (Cdr. G.H. Stokes, RN) (12-17 July), HMS Lightning (Cdr. R.G. Stewart, RN) (12-17 July), HMAS Nestor (Cdr. A.S. Rosenthal, RAN) (12-17 July), HMS Fearless (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN) (17-20 July), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSO, DSC, RN) (18-20 July), HMS Foresight (Cdr. J.S.C. Salter, RN) (17-20 July), HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, DSC and Bar, RN) (17-20 July), HMS Foxhound (Cdr. G.H. Peters, DSC, RN) (17-20 July), HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN) (17-20 July), escort destroyers HMS Avon Vale (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, RN) (18-20 July), HMS Eridge (Lt.Cdr. W.F.N. Gregory-Smith, RN) (18-20 July), HMS Farndale (Cdr. S.H. Carlill, RN) (18-20 July) and sloop HMS Stork (Lt. G.T.S. Gray, DSC, RN) (12-13 July).

The merchant ships from the convoy departed either Avonmouth, Liverpool, the Clyde area and Belfast. The convoy was finally formed up at sea early on the 13th in position 55°40'N, 06°55'W.

The passage of the convoy was uneventful.

HMS Gurkha and ORP Garland left the convoy around 0330/15 reaching the limit of their endurance. HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck, HMS Vanoc and HMS Wanderer did the same around 1830/15. Around 2000/15 HMS Manxman joined the convoy, she parted company at 1900/16 and set course for Gibraltar. The merchant Avila Star had meanwhile left the convoy at 1000/16.

At 0700/17 the 8th Destroyer Flotilla was to join the convoy coming from Gibraltar but due to thick for no contact was made. At 1000/17 the Pasteur left the convoy for Gibraltar escorted by HMS Manchester, HMS Maori, HMS Lightning and HMAS Nestor. Shortly afterwards the fog lifted and the 8th Destroyer Flottilla was sighted and joined the convoy. At 1200/17 the Leinster also left the convoy for Gibraltar escorted by HMS Arethusa, HMS Cossack and HMS Sikh.

At 1800/18 HMS Firedrake joined the convoy coming from Gibraltar.

At 0700/18 HMS Avon Vale, HMS Eridge and HMS Farndale joined the Pasteur, HMS Manchester, HMS Lightning and HMAS Nestor. HMS Maori then left that group and joined the group that was made up of the Leinster, HMS Arethusa, HMS Cossack and HMS Sikh. HMS Manchester departed the ‘Pasteur group’ at 1000/19 to join the ‘Leinster group’ which she did at 1500/19.

The ‘Pasteur group’ arrived at Gibraltar shortly after noon on the 19th and around 0330/20 the ‘Leinster group’ arrived at Gibraltar. Troops aboard these ships then disembarked.

Around 0200/20, HMS Edinburgh, HMS Manxman, HMS Lightning, HMAS Nestor, HMS Avon Vale, HMS Eridge and HMS Farndale departed Gibraltar to rendez-vous with the now incoming convoy WS 9C. They joined the convoy shortly before noon, the six F-class destroyers of the 8th Destroyer Flotilla then left to refuel at Gibraltar.

For the continuation of the events see the event for 21 July 1941 on Operation Substance. (3)

3 Aug 1941
German U-boat U-205 was damaged in the North Atlantic south-west of Ireland, in position 50°27'N, 19°50'W, by depth charges from the British destroyer HMS Wanderer (Cdr. A.F.St.G. Orpen, RN) and the Norwegian destroyer St. Albans (Lt.Cdr. S. Storheill).

5 Dec 1941
HMS H 34 (Lt. W.A. Phillimore, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Wanderer (Cdr. A.F.St.G. Orpen, DSC, RN) and HMS Newmarket (Lt.Cdr. C.W. North, RN). (4)

14 Mar 1942
HMS H 50 (Lt. H.B. Turner, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Volunteer (Lt. A.S. Pomeroy, RN), HMS Wanderer (Lt.Cdr. D.H.P. Gardiner, DSC, RN), HMS Leamington (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Bowerman, RN), HMS Badsworth (Lt. G.T.S. Gray, DSC, RN) and aircraft. (5)

11 Jan 1943
HMS Wanderer (Lt.Cdr. D.H.P. Gardiner, DSC, RN) picks up 46 survivors from the British merchant Ocean Vagabond that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-186 south of Iceland in position 57°17'N, 20°11'W.

22 Jan 1943
HMS Oberon (Lt.Cdr. J.W. McCoy, DSC, RN) shifted from Campbeltown to Rothesay. En-route A/S exercises were carried out with HMS Wanderer (Lt.Cdr. D.H.P. Gardiner, DSC, RN). (6)

8 Jun 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. J.A. Spender, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with and HMS Inconstant (Lt.Cdr J.H. Eaden, DSC, RN), HMS Honeysuckle (Lt. H.H.D. MacKillican, DSC and Bar, RNR), HMS Vanquisher (Lt.Cdr. G.A.G. Ormsby, RN), HMS Wanderer (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Whinney, RN) and HMS Wrestler (Lt. R.W.B. Lacon, DSC, RN). (7)

11 Jun 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. J.A. Spender, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with USS Madison, USS Lansdale, HMS Wanderer (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Whinney, RN) and HMS Inconstant (Lt.Cdr J.H. Eaden, DSC, RN). (7)

12 Jun 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. J.A. Spender, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Wanderer (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Whinney, RN) and HMS Amazon (Lt.Cdr. D.H.P. Gardiner, DSC, RN). (7)

25 Aug 1943
German U-boat U-523 was sunk in the North Atlantic west of Vigo, in position 42°03'N, 18°02'W, by depth charges from the British destroyer HMS Wanderer (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Whinney, RN) and the British corvette HMS Wallflower (Lt. G.R. Greaves, RNR).

26 Aug 1943
HMS Wanderer (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Whinney, RN) delivered an advance RAF party to Portugal to implement agreement signed on August 18th 1943 between Britain and Portugal for the use of the Azores to operate their aircraft. (8)

5 Nov 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. D.G. Kent, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Dahlia (Lt. M.S. Work, RNR), HMS Hurricane (Cdr. E.C. Bayldon, DSC, RN) and HMS Wanderer (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Whinney, RN). (9)

17 Jan 1944
German U-boat U-377 was sunk in the North Atlantic south-west of Ireland, in position 49°39'N, 20°10'W, by depth charges from the British destroyer HMS Wanderer (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Whinney, RN) and the British frigate HMS Glenarm (Lt.Cdr. W.R.B. Noall, DSO, RNR).

4 May 1944
HMS H 28 (Lt. A.S. Melville-Ross, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Pennywort (T/Lt. A.W. James, RNR), HMS Wanderer, HMS Drury (Lt. N.J. Parker, RN), HMS Calder (T/A/Lt.Cdr. E. Playne, RNVR) and HMS Scarborough (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Carnduff, RN). (10)

5 Jul 1944
German U-boat U-390 was sunk 1500hrs on 5 July 1944 in the Baie de la Seine, English Channel, in position 49°52'N, 00°48'W, by depth charges from the British destroyer HMS Wanderer (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Whinney, DSC and Bar, RN) and the British frigate HMS Tavy (T/A/Lt.Cdr. Frank Ardern, RNR).

1986
Reginald Fife Whinney published his memoirs 'The U-boat Peril'.

Lt.Cdr. R.F. (Bob) Whinney, RN took command of HMS Wanderer on 20 April 1943.
He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) three times for sinking enemy submarines.
He was promoted to Commander on 31 December 1944.

Media links


British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Sources

  1. ADM 53/112036 + ADM 53/111885 + ADM 53/112448
  2. ADM 173/16780
  3. ADM 53/114626 + ADM 53/114204 + ADM 199/1138
  4. ADM 173/16767
  5. ADM 173/17271
  6. ADM 173/17864
  7. ADM 173/17783
  8. Personal communication
  9. ADM 173/17788
  10. ADM 173/18473

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


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