Allied Warships

HMS Whitehall (D 94)

Destroyer of the Admiralty Modified W class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassAdmiralty Modified W 
PennantD 94 
ModLong range escort 
Built bySwan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. (Wallsend-on-Tyne, U.K.): Wallsend 
OrderedJan 1918 
Laid downJun 1918 
Launched11 Aug 1919 
Commissioned9 Jul 1924 
End service 
History

Completed by Chatham Dockyard.

Reconstruction to Long Range Escort finished in August 1942.

HMS Whitehall is not listed as active unit in the July 1945 Navy List

Sold to be broken up for scrap in October 1945.

 

Commands listed for HMS Whitehall (D 94)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Archibald Boyd Russell, RN31 Jul 1939early 1942

2Lt.Cdr. Robert Sydney Stafford, RN7 Jul 19428 Oct 1942
3Cdr. Charles Leigh de Hauteville Bell, RD, RNR8 Oct 19421 Nov 1943
4Lt.Cdr. Patrick James Cowell, DSC, RN1 Nov 194321 Oct 1944
5Lt. John Monroe, RN21 Oct 1944mid 1945

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Notable events involving Whitehall include:


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.

1 Jun 1940
During the evacuation of Dunkirk HMS Whitehall (Lt.Cdr. A.B. Russell, RN) is damaged by German aircraft. Repairs were completed at Plymouth on 26 August.

15 Aug 1941

Convoy WS 10X

This convoy departed U.K. ports on 14/15 May 1941 for Suez where the ships arrived between 1 to 4 October 1941.

The convoy assembled in the Clyde area on 15 May 1941.

The convoy was made up of the following troop transports; Brisbane Star (12791 GRT, built 1937), Orion (23371 GRT, built 1935), Strathmore (23428 GRT, built 1935), Strathnaver (22283 GRT, built 1931), And the transports Palma (5419 GRT, built 1941) and Port Jackson (9687 GRT, built 1937).

Escort was initially provided by the heavy cruiser HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. A.W.S. Agar, VC, DSO, RN) (joined at sea on 17 August 1941 until 28 August when the convoy arrived at Freetown), the AA (light) cruiser HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck (Cdr. E.J. van Holte, RNN) (15 – 17 August) and the destroyers HMS Whitehall (Lt.Cdr. A.B. Russell, RN) (15-17 August), HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Holmes, RN) (15-17 August), HMS Gurkha (Cdr. C.N. Lentaigne, RN) (17-19 August), HMS Lance (Lt.Cdr. R.W.F. Northcott, RN) (17-19 August), HrMs Isaac Sweers (Cdr. J. Houtsmuller, RNN) (17-19 August) and ORP Piorun (Cdr. E.J.S. Plawski) (17-19 August).

When approaching Freetown the convoy was joined on 26 August by a local escort made up of the destroyers HMS Brilliant (Lt.Cdr. F.C. Brodrick, RN), HMS Velox (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Roper, DSC, RN) (left the convoy before noon on 27 August), HMS Wrestler (Lt. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN) and the corvettes HMS Clematis (Cdr. Y.M. Cleeves, DSO, DSC, RD, RNR) and HMS Crocus (Lt.Cdr. E. Wheeler, RNR). The convoy arrived at Freetown on 28 August 1941.

The convoy departed Freetown for Capetown on 1 September 1941. Escort was now provided by the battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN). The convoy arrived at Capetown on 11 September 1941.

The convoy departed Capetown for Suez on 14 September 1941. Escort was still provided by HMS Revenge until 22 September 1941 when the light cruiser ), HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) took over until the dispersal of the convoy on 27 September 1941 when it was near Aden. The ships of the convoy then continued independently towards Suez where they arrived between 1 and 4 October 1941.

17 Sep 1941

Convoy WS 11X,
Troop convoy from Liverpool / Clyde to Gibraltar.

On 16 September 1941 the ships Ajax (7797 GRT, built 1931), City of Lincoln (8039 GRT, built 1938) departed from Liverpool to make rendes-vous the following day off Orsay Island with the following ships that had departed the Clyde on the 17th; City of Calcutta (8063 GRT, built 1940), Clan Ferguson (7347 GRT, built 1938), Clan Macdonald (9653 GRT, built 1939), Dunedin Star (11168 GRT, built 1936), Imperial Star (12427 GRT, built 1934), Rowallan Castle (7801 GRT, built 1939), HMS Breconshire (9776 GRT, built 1939) (Capt.(ret.) C.A.G. Hutchison, RN), HMS Princess Beatrix (4136 GRT, built 1939) (Cdr.(ret.) T.B. Brunton, RN), HMS Queen Emma (4136 GRT, built 1939) (Capt.(ret.) G.L.D. Gibbs, DSO, RN), HMS Royal Scotsman (3288 GRT, built 1936) (T/Cdr. J.W. Peters, RNR), HMS Ulster Monarch (3791 GRT, built 1929) (T/Cdr. J. Wilson, RNR) and Leinster (4302 GRT, built 1937).

Most of the ships of this convoy were to form the convoy for operation Halberd from Gibraltar to Malta. The following ships made only the passage to Gibraltar with convoy WS 11X; HMS Princess Beatrix, HMS Queen Emma, HMS Royal Scotsman, HMS Ulster Monarch and Leinster.

Escort for this convoy was provided by; the British battleship HMS Prince of Wales (Capt. J.C. Leach, MVO, RN), the British light cruisers HMS Kenya (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, RN) and HMS Euryalus (Capt. E.W. Bush, DSO, DSC, RN), the British destroyers HMS Laforey (Capt. R.M.J. Hutton, DSO, RN), HMS Lightning (Cdr. R.G. Stewart, RN), HMS Oribi (Lt.Cdr. J.E.H. McBeath, DSO, RN), HMS Havelock (Cdr. E.H. Thomas, DSC, RN), HMS Harvester (Lt.Cdr. M. Thornton, DSC, RN), HMS Whitehall (Lt.Cdr. A.B. Russell, RN), HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Holmes, RN), HMS Blankney (Lt.Cdr. P.F. Powlett, DSC, RN), the Polish destroyers ORP Piorun (Cdr. E.J.S. Plawski), ORP Garland (Lt.Cdr. K.F. Namiesniowski, ORP) and the Dutch destroyer HrMs Isaac Sweers (Cdr. J. Houtsmuller, RNethN).

In the evening of the 19th (2115 hours, B.S.T.) the destroyers HMS Havelock and HMS Harvester were detached from the convoy to escort the liner (troopship) Stratheden (23722 GRT, built 1937) all the way to Halifax. Until that moment the Stratheden had also been part of convoy WS 11X. The position in which these ships were detached was 50°57'N, 24°55'E.

On 21 September the convoy was joined by three destroyers coming from Gibraltar; HMS Zulu (Cdr. H.R. Graham, DSO, RN), HMS Lance (Lt.Cdr. R.W.F. Northcott, RN), HMS Gurkha (Cdr. C.N. Lentaigne, RN). These destroyers had sailed from Gibraltar on the 18th.

Also sailed from Gibraltar on the 18th was the British aircraft carrier HMS Furious (Capt. A.G. Talbot, DSO, RN) escorted by the British destroyers HMS Foresight (Cdr. J.S.C. Salter, RN), HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN) and HMS Legion (Cdr. R.F. Jessel, RN) to provide cover for the convoy. Following this HMS Furious was then to proceed to Bermuda and finally to the US for a refit. The destroyers then made rendes-vous with the British battleship HMS Rodney (Capt. J.W. Rivett-Carnac, DSC, RN) coming from a refit in the United States. They then provided cover for the convoy joining it around 1200/21. Shortly after Rodney had joined the convoy HMS Prince of Wales left the convoy for Gibraltar escorted by HMS Laforey, HMS Lightning and HMS Oribi. They arrived at Gibraltar to fuel late on the 23th. They departed Gibraltar around 0400/24 and rejoined the convoy west of Gibraltar around 1200/24. Before Prince of Wales rejoined the convoy HMS Rodney had departed the convoy and also headed for Gibraltar escorted by the destroyers ORP Piorun, ORP Garland and HrMs Isaac Sweers. Rodney and her escorting destroyers arrived at Gibraltar at 0900/24. In the evening of the 24th, HMS Nelson sailed westwards escorted by the same destroyers that had brought HMS Rodney in giving the German and Italian spies across the Bay in Spanish Algeciras the impression that HMS Rodney had just relieved HMS Nelson as flagship of Force H. This diversion seemed to have had the desired effect. During the night HMS Nelson and her escorting destroyers reversed course and passed the Straits of Gibraltar to the eastward unseen after dark.

On the 20th the British light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. A.W. Clarke, RN) and the British destroyer HMS Lively (Lt.Cdr. W.F.E. Hussey, DSC, RN) also departed Gibraltar to provide cover for the convoy.

On the 21th the cruisers HMS Kenya and HMS Euryalus departed the convoy for Gibraltar where they both arrived at 2300/22. After fuelling they departed before daylight on the 23th to rejoin the convoy to the west of Gibraltar.

On the 23th the British destroyers HMS Cossack (Capt. E.L. Berthon, DSC, RN), HMS Heythrop (Lt.Cdr R.S. Stafford, RN) and HMS Farndale (Cdr. S.H. Carlill, RN) bolstered the escort in the approaches to Gibraltar joining the convoy around 0800/24. Also on the 24th light cruiser HMS Edinburgh (Capt. H.W. Faulkner, RN) departed Gibraltar a 1230 hours to join the convoy.

Also on the 24th two groups of destroyers arrived at Gibraltar to refuel. The destroyers HMS Foresight, HMS Forester, HMS Gurkha and HMS Lance arrived at 1600 hours. The destroyers HMS Legion, HMS Lively and HMS Zulu arrived at 1800 hours.

See 25 September 1941 'Convoy operation Halberd' for the continuation of the events..

25 Oct 1941
HMS H 44 (Lt. A.C.G. Mars, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Whitehall (Lt.Cdr. A.B. Russell, RN). (1)

26 Dec 1941
HMS P 39 (Lt. N. Marriott, DSC, RN) ended her 1st war patrol at Gibraltar. She was escorted in by the destroyer HMS Whitehall (Lt.Cdr. A.B. Russell, RN). The German B-Dienst was aware of her passage. (2)

25 Feb 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) was conducting exercises on Inmarnock Water when she was ordered to search in the Clyde area for her missing sister ship HMS Vandal (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN).

The following submarines / ships were also ordered to search for HMS Vandal (which was not found until 1994); HMS Graph (Lt. P.B. Marriot, DSO, RN), HMS L 27 (Lt. W.N. Eade, RNR), HMS Severn (Lt.Cdr. A.N.G. Campbell, RN), HMS Stubborn (Lt. A.A. Duff, RN), HMS Whitehall (Cdr. C.L.de H. Bell, RD, RNR), HMS Breda (Capt.(Retd.) A.E. Johnston, RN), HMS Kingfisher (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) G.H. Gandy, RN), HMS La Capricieuse (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Dobson, RNR), HMS Cygnet (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) F.B. Proudfoot, RN), HMS Tedworth (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) G.H. Warren, RN) and HrMs Jan van Gelder (Lt. P.L.M. van Geen, RNN). (3)

2 Mar 1943
HMS H 44 (Lt. P.S. Beale, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Vanessa (Lt. C.E. Sheen, RN), HMS Whitehall (Cdr. C.L.de H. Bell, RD, RNR), HMS Heather (T/Lt. W.L. Turner, RNR) and HNoMS Rose. (4)

12 Apr 1943
HMS H 50 (Lt. G.S.C Clarabut, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Whitehall (Cdr. C.L.de H. Bell, RD, RNR), HMS Campanula (Lt.Cdr. B.A. Rogers, RD, RNR) and HMS Borage (T/Lt.Cdr. A. Harrison, RNR). (5)

13 Apr 1943
HMS H 50 (Lt. G.S.C Clarabut, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Whitehall (Cdr. C.L.de H. Bell, RD, RNR), HMS Campanula (Lt.Cdr. B.A. Rogers, RD, RNR), HMS Sweetbriar (A/Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J.W. Cooper, RNR) and HMS Sabre (Lt. R.L. Caple, DSC, RN). (5)

28 May 1943
HMS Usurper (Lt. D.R.O. Mott, DSC, RN) shifted from Holy Loch to Campbeltown.

During the night of 28/29 May 1943 HMS Usurper conducted attack exercises off Campbeltown on HMS Altair (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) W.R.T. Clements, RNR) and HMS Whitehall (Cdr. C.L.de H. Bell, RD, RNR). (6)

31 Oct 1943
German U-boat U-306 was sunk in the North Atlantic north-east of the Azores, in position 46°19'N, 20°44'W, by depth charges from the British destroyer HMS Whitehall (Lt.Cdr. C.L.de H. Bell, RD, RNR) and the British corvette HMS Geranium (T/Lt. A.R.J. Tilston, DSC, RNR).

30 Jan 1944
German U-boat U-314 was sunk in the Barents Sea south-east of Bear Island, Norway, in position 73°41'N, 24°30'E, by depth charges from the British destroyers HMS Whitehall (Lt.Cdr. P.J. Cowell, DSC, RN) and HMS Meteor (Lt.Cdr. D.J.B. Jewitt, RN). Revised. This attack was actually directed against U-965 inflicting no damage.

2 Sep 1944
German U-boat U-394 was sunk in the Norwegian Sea some nautical miles south-east of Jan Mayen island, Norway, in position 69°47'N, 04°10'E, by rockets and depth charges from a Swordfish aircraft (Sqdn. 825) from the British escort carrier HMS Vindex (Capt. H.T.T. Bayliss, RN), and the British destroyers HMS Keppel (Cdr. I.J. Tyson, DSO, DSC, RNR) and HMS Whitehall (Lt.Cdr. P.J. Cowell, DSC, RN) and the British sloops HMS Mermaid (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Mosse, RN) and HMS Peacock (Lt.Cdr. R.B. Stannard, VC, DSO, RNR).

Media links


British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Sources

  1. ADM 173/16786
  2. ADM 199/2565
  3. ADM 173/18388
  4. ADM 173/17814
  5. ADM 173/17827
  6. ADM 173/18391

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


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