Allied Warships

HMS Castleton (I 23)

Destroyer of the Town class

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantI 23 
Built byBath Iron Works (Bath, Maine, U.S.A.) 
Laid down1 Aug 1918 
Launched10 Apr 1919 
Commissioned9 Sep 1940 
End service13 Mar 1945 

During World War II HMS Castleton saw active duty in the North Atlantic as a convoy escort. In November 1940 she picked up all the survivors of two torpedoed steamships, Daydawn and Victoria. She was damaged by an explosion 19 November 1941 and was out of action, under. going repairs, until 20 April 1942. On 20 August 1942 she and HMS Newark captured 51 survivors of the German submarine U-464 who had taken refuge in an Icelandic trawler. HMS Castleton was reduced to reserve at Grangemouth, Scotland, 13 March 1945 until sold for scrap on 4 Mar, 1947 at Bo'ness.

Former nameUSS Aaron Ward (DD 132)

Commands listed for HMS Castleton (I 23)

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1Cdr. (retired) Frank Harold Elcho Skyrme, RN9 Sep 194025 Sep 1941
2Lt.Cdr. Cuthbert Richard Purse, DSC, RN25 Sep 194131 Jan 1942
3Lt.Cdr. Robert Henry Bristowe, DSO, RN31 Jan 1942late 1942
4T/Lt. John Richard Clarke, DSC, RNVRlate 19426 Mar 1943
5Cdr. (retired) Charles William Vane Tempest Stewart Lepper, RN6 Mar 19431 Jan 1944
6Lt. Shirley Elliston Jagger, RN1 Jan 1944early 1945

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Notable events involving Castleton include:

30 Jul 1941
HMS Prince of Wales (Capt. C.H.J. Harcourt, RN) conducted exercises to the west of Scapa Flow. During these exercises she was escorted by the destroyers HMS Oribi (Lt.Cdr. J.E.H. McBeath, DSO, RN), HMS Charlestown (Lt.Cdr. T. Johnston, RN) and HMS Castleton (Cdr. (Retd.) F.H.E. Skyrme, RN). (1)

15 Sep 1941
HMS Prince of Wales (Capt. J.C. Leach, MVO, RN) and light cruiser HMS Euryalus departed Scapa Flow for Greenock. She was escorted by HMS Eskimo (Cdr. E.G. Le Geyt, RN) and HMS Castleton (Cdr. (Retd.) F.H.E. Skyrme, RN). Later HMS Laforey (Capt. R.M.J. Hutton, DSO, RN) also joined the screen. (2)

18 Sep 1941
HMS H 34 (Lt. W.A. Phillimore, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Campbeltown with HMS Castleton (Cdr.(Retd.) F.H.E. Skyrme, RN) and HMS Incholm (Skr. W. Martin, RNR). (3)

4 Jun 1942
HMS P 45 (Lt. H.B. Turner, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Speedwell (Lt.Cdr. J.J. Youngs, OBE, RD, RNR) and HMS Castleton (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Bristowe, DSO, RN). (4)

9 Apr 1943
HMS P 511 (Lt. J.S. Launders, RN) conducted A/S exercises off the Isle of Mull together with FFS Commandant Detroyant and HMS Promise (T/Lt. S.A. Sargent, RNVR), HMS Castleton (Cdr.(Retd.) C.W.V.T.S. Lepper, RN) and HMS Sapper (T/Lt. R.C. Lees, RNR). (5)

23 Aug 1943
HMS Varangian (Lt. J. Nash, DSC, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with HMS White Bear (Cdr.(Retd.) C.C. Flemming, RN) and HMS Castleton (Cdr.(Retd.) C.W.V.T.S. Lepper, RN). (6)

Media links

British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.


  1. ADM 53/114890
  2. ADM 53/114892
  3. ADM 173/16764
  4. ADM 173/17407
  5. ADM 173/17923
  6. ADM 173/18446

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

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