Allied Warships

HMS Churchill (I 45)

Destroyer of the Town class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassTown 
PennantI 45 
Built byNewport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. (Newport News, Virginia, U.S.A.) 
Ordered 
Laid down25 Nov 1918 
Launched31 May 1919 
Commissioned9 Sep 1940 
End service16 Jul 1944 
History

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 nameUSS Herndon (DD 198)
Career notesto Soviet Union as Dejatelnyj

Commands listed for HMS Churchill (I 45)

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CommanderFromTo
1Cdr. (retired) Gerald Roger Cousins, RN9 Sep 19403 Mar 1942
2Cdr. (retired) Peter John Fitzgerald, RN3 Mar 194227 Feb 1943
3Cdr. Godfrey Noel Brewer, RN27 Feb 1943Mar 1943
4Cdr. (retired) Peter John Fitzgerald, RNMar 19431 Jun 1943
5Lt. Anthony Charles Denniss Leach, RN1 Jun 1943early 1944
6T/Lt. James Hume Millar, RNVRearly 194416 Jul 1944

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Notable events involving Churchill include:


26 Feb 1942
HMS H 43 (Lt. R.B. Lakin, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Churchill (Cdr.(Retd.) G.R. Cousins, RN) and HMS Scimitar (Lt.Cdr. R.D. Franks, OBE, RN). (1)

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)

22 Jan 1944
HMS Unbending (Lt. J.D. Martin, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises in Lough Foyle with HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Hickey, RNR) and HMS Churchill (Lt. A.C.D. Leach, RN). (4)

26 Jan 1944
HMS H 34 (Lt. R.L. Jay, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Churchill (Lt. A.C.D. Leach, RN) and aircraft. (5)

27 Jan 1944
HMS H 34 (Lt. R.L. Jay, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Erne (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Hickey, RNR) and HMS Churchill (Lt. A.C.D. Leach, RN). (5)

Media links


British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Sources

  1. ADM 173/17246
  2. ADM 173/17201
  3. ADM 173/17793
  4. ADM 173/19199
  5. ADM 173/18491

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


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