Allied Warships

HMS Stanley (I 73)

Destroyer of the Town class

HMS Stanley as reconstructed, note the two funnels instead of four

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantI 73 
Built byBethlehem Shipbuilding Corp. (Quincy, Massachusetts, U.S.A.) 
Laid down25 Sep 1918 
Launched28 Mar 1919 
Commissioned23 Oct 1940 
Lost19 Dec 1941 
Loss position38° 12'N, 17° 23'W

USS McCalla decommissioned and became HMS Stanley of the Royal Navy 23 October 1940 at Halifax as one of the overage destroyers transferred to England in exchange for bases in the West Indies.

She was designated for service in the Fourth "Town" Flotilla and departed Halifax 1 November. At St. John's on the 5th, when the German pocket battleship Admiral Scheer attacked a convoy underway for the United Kingdom, sinking six ships, HMS Stanley was dispatched to escort the convoy back to Nova Scotia. She rendezvoused with ships 60 miles out and escorted 15 vessels to Trinity Harbour. Delayed further for repairs, she finally got underway 14 December, arriving at Plymouth, England, 2 January 1941.

After reconstruction she was ready for service by August, Stanley was assigned first to the Western Approaches Command and then to the 40th Escort Group. One of her first convoys took her to Freetown, Sierra Leone, escorting ships carrying troops and equipment for Commonwealth units in the Middle East. On the return voyage she escorted a merchant convoy, departing 30 November. At Gibraltar in mid December she joined convoy HG 76, departing 14 December for Britain. On the 17th one of the auxiliary carrier HMS Audacity aircraft sighted a submarine 22 miles on the port beam of the convoy. HMS Stanley and four other escorts quickly established contact, sank the enemy, U-131, and picked up 47 survivors. The next day, HMS Stanley, with HMS Blankney, scored another success, sinking U-434 and picking up 42 of her crew.

On the 19th, success ran out. HMS Stanley (Lt.Cdr. David Byam Shaw, OBE, (retired), RN) on station astern of the convoy reported the presence of another U-boat. Half an hour later U-574 scored a direct hit; HMS Stanley exploded and sank in position 38º12'N, 17º23'W with the loss of all but 25 of her crew. Within 12 minutes, however, sloop HMS Stork gained revenge by sinking the submarine; 16 survivors were picked up.


Hit by U-boat
Sunk on 19 Dec 1941 by U-574 (Gengelbach).

U-boat AttackSee our U-boat attack entry for the HMS Stanley
Former nameUSS McCalla (DD 253)

Commands listed for HMS Stanley (I 73)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

1A/Lt.Cdr. Richard Been Stannard, VC, RNR23 Oct 1940early 1941

2Lt.Cdr. (retired) David Byam Shaw, OBE, RN14 Apr 194119 Dec 1941 (+)

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Notable events involving Stanley include:

17 Dec 1941
German U-boat U-131 was sunk north-east of Madeira, Portugal, in position 34°12'N, 13°35'W, by depth charges and gunfire from the British escort destroyers HMS Exmoor (Lt.Cdr. L.StG. Rich, RN) and HMS Blankney (Lt.Cdr. P.F. Powlett, DSC, RN), the British destroyer HMS Stanley (Lt.Cdr. D.B. Shaw, OBE, RN), the British corvette HMS Pentstemon (Lt.Cdr. J. Byron, RNR (retired)) and the British sloop HMS Stork (Cdr. F.J. Walker, RN), and by depth charges from a Martlet aircraft (Sqdn. 802) of the British escort carrier HMS Audacity (Cdr. D.W. Mackendrick, RN).

18 Dec 1941
German U-boat U-434 was sunk in the North Atlantic north of Madeira, Portugal, in position 36°15'N, 15°48'W, by depth charges from the British escort destroyer HMS Blankney (Lt.Cdr. P.F. Powlett, DSC, RN) and the British destroyer HMS Stanley (Lt.Cdr. D.B. Shaw, OBE, RN).

Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor
($ 48.62)
(£ 45.00)
(EUR 43.58)

British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

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