HMS Churchill (I 45)
Destroyer of the Town class
|Navy||The Royal Navy|
|Built by||Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. (Newport News, Virginia, U.S.A.)|
|Laid down||25 Nov 1918|
|Launched||31 May 1919|
|Commissioned||9 Sep 1940|
|End service||16 Jul 1944|
USS Herndon (DD 198) was decommissioned and turned over to Great Britain under the lend lease program at Halifax, Nova Scotia on 9 September 1940. As HMS Churchill (I 45), she served as leader of the first Town-class flotilla in transatlantic convoys and patrol duty off the western approaches to the British Isles. High points in her career in the Royal Navy include participation in the search for Bismarck after the German battleship had sunk HMS Hood (51), and a visit by her namesake, the redoubtable Prime Minister, on his way home from the momentous Atlantic Conference with President Roosevelt in August 1941. HMS Churchill (I 45) also served as an escort for the pre- and post-invasion buildup for Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa. Transferred to the Russian Navy 16 July 1944, the destroyer was renamed Dejatelnyj (Active) and was probably sunk by an U-boat on 16 January 1945 about 40 miles east of Cape Tereberski while escorting the convoy KB-1 over the treacherous route from Kola Inlet to the White Sea.
|Former name||USS Herndon (DD 198)|
|Career notes||to Soviet Union as Dejatelnyj|
Commands listed for HMS Churchill (I 45)
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|1||Cdr. (retired) Gerald Roger Cousins, RN||9 Sep 1940||3 Mar 1942|
|2||Cdr. (retired) Peter John Fitzgerald, RN||3 Mar 1942||27 Feb 1943|
|3||Cdr. Godfrey Noel Brewer, RN||27 Feb 1943||Mar 1943|
|4||Cdr. (retired) Peter John Fitzgerald, RN||Mar 1943||1 Jun 1943|
|5||Lt. Anthony Charles Denniss Leach, RN||1 Jun 1943||early 1944|
|6||T/Lt. James Hume Millar, RNVR||early 1944||16 Jul 1944|
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Notable events involving Churchill include:
15 May 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. R.E. Boddington, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Lethbridge (T/Lt. H Freeland, RCNR), HMCS Shawinigan (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.P. Balfry, RCNR), HMCS Prescott (Lt. G.H. Davidson, RCN), HMS Churchill (Cdr.(Retd.) P.J. Fitzgerald, RN) and USS Saucy (Lt. A.J. Smith, USN). (2)
9 Jun 1942
HMS Churchill (Cdr. P.J. Fitzgerald, RN (retired)) picks up 3 survivors from the American tanker Franklin K. Lane that was torpedoed and damaged by German U-boat U-502 about 40 nautical miles north-north-east of La Guiara, Venezuela in position 11°12'N, 66°39'W. The destroyer also attacked the U-boat with 27 depth charges, picked up 47 survivors from the Belgian merchant Bruxelles that had been sunk in the same attack and later scuttled the drifting wreck of the tanker with gunfire.
13 Aug 1942
HMS Churchill (Cdr. P.J. Fitzgerald, RN (retired)) picks up 50 survivors from the American merchant Delmundo that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-600 about 18 nautical miles south of Cape Maysi, Cuba in position 19°55'N, 73°49'W.
5 Apr 1943
HMS H 34 (Lt. J.P. Angell, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Collingwood (Lt. D.W. Groos, RCN), HMCS Brandon (T/Lt. H.E. McArthur, RCNVR), HMS Churchill (Cdr.(Retd.) P.J. Fitzgerald, RN), HMCS Amherst (T/A/Lt.Cdr. L. de la C. Audette, RCNVR), HMS Landguard (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) T.S.L. Fox-Pitt, RN) and HMS Starwort (Lt. A.H. Kent, RNR). (3)
- ADM 173/17246
- ADM 173/17201
- ADM 173/17793
- ADM 173/19199
- ADM 173/18491
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.