Allied Warships

HMS Berkeley (L 17)

Escort destroyer of the Hunt (Type I) class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeEscort destroyer
ClassHunt (Type I) 
PennantL 17 
Built byCammell Laird Shipyard (Birkenhead, U.K.) 
Ordered21 Mar 1939 
Laid down8 Jun 1939 
Launched29 Jan 1940 
Commissioned6 Jun 1940 
Lost19 Aug 1942 
Loss position49° 57'N, 1° 04'E

HMS Berkeley (Lt. James John Simon Yorke, RN) was badly damaged by German aircraft bombs while taking part in operation 'Jubilee', the raid on Dieppe, France. Her keel was broken and she had to be sunk in position 49º57'N, 01º04'E by HMS Albrighton.
The wreck lies in 20 meters of water in position 49º59'43N, 01º02'25E.

Was named after a 'Hunt' in Gloucestershire, England.
First ship of the name.

Battle Honours;
North Sea 1942
English Channel 1942
Dieppe 1942.


Commands listed for HMS Berkeley (L 17)

Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1Lt.Cdr. Hugh Greaves Walters, RN26 Feb 1940Dec 1941
2Lt. Henry Alexander Stuart-Menteth, RNDec 194127 Mar 1942
3Lt. James John Simon Yorke, RN27 Mar 194219 Aug 1942

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Notable events involving Berkeley include:

18 Jul 1940
The destroyer HMS Diana (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Le Geyt, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Berkeley (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Walters, RN) and HMS Garth (Lt.Cdr. E.H. Dyke, RN) departed Scapa Flow at 0645/18 to assist in an A/S hunt off Cape Wrath. HMS Berkeley and HMS Garth returned to Scapa Flow at 0045/19 while HMS Diana remained on patrol in the area.

8 Sep 1940
Around 2130A/8, the light cruisers HMS Galatea (Capt. B.B. Schofield, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.T.B. Curteis, CB, RN) and HMS Aurora (Capt. L.H.K. Hamilton, DSO, RN), destroyers HMS Campbell (Capt. C.R.L. Parry, RN), HMS Venetia (Lt.Cdr. D.L.C. Craig, RN), HMS Vesper (Lt.Cdr. W.E.F. Hussey, DSC, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Garth (Lt.Cdr. E.H. Dyke, RN), HMS Hambledon (Cdr. S.H. Carlill, RN) and HMS Holderness (Lt.Cdr. D.E. Holland-Martin, DSC, RN) departed Sheerness to bombard enemy shipping concentrations at Calais and Boulogne.

HMS Galatea with HMS Campbell, HMS Vesper and HMS Garth were to bombard Calais while HMS Aurora, HMS Venetia, HMS Hambledon and HMS Holderness bombarded Boulogne.

Between 0225A/9 and 0245A/9, British aircraft dropped flares over both ports. No shipping was however found to be present in Calais Roads so HMS Galatea and her escorts did not conduct a bombardment. HMS Aurora and her escorts however did bombarded the Boulogne harbour area.

They returned to Sheerness around 0700A/9. HMS Galatea had detonated a mine around 0525A/9 and was again damaged [see 1 September] damage was again minor. As Galatea was due for refit it was decided not to undertake repairs. HMS Galatea was to commence refit and repairs at the Chatham Dockyard upon completion of the refit of HMS Arethusa. For the moment HMS Galatea remained at Sheerness.

During the same night the destroyers HMS Beagle (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Wright, RN), HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. F.J.G. Hewitt, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Atherstone (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, RN), HMS Berkeley (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Walters, RN) and HMS Fernie (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, RN) departed Portsmouth to conducted a sweep along the French coast just south of Boulogne up to Cape Antifer (near Le Havre). On completion of the sweep they returned to Portsmouth. (1)

23 Nov 1940
Around 1945A/23, the light cruiser HMS Dunedin (Capt. R.S. Lovatt, RN), destroyer HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Holmes, RN) and escort destroyer HMS Berkeley (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Walters, RN) departed Portsmouth to carry out a sweep westwards in the Channel to the limit of the Portmouth Command arriving in position 50°10'N, 03°00'W at 0030A/24 and then steer southwards for 20 nautical miles, then returning to Portsmouth to be off the Nab at 0745A/24.

During the sweep they sighted nothing and they returned to Portsmouth around 0915A/24. (2)

22 Jan 1941
HMS Unbeaten (Lt. E.A. Woodward, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Portsmouth with HMS Berkeley (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Walters, RN) and HMS Cleveland (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Clouston, RN). These A/S exercises were followed by independent exercises. (3)

24 Nov 1941
Around 1630A/24, the battleship HMS Resolution (Capt. A.R. Halfhide, CBE, RN) departed Plymouth for Scapa Flow. She was escorted by the escort destroyers HMS Berkeley (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Walters, RN) and ORP Kujawiak (Kpt.mar. (Lt.Cdr.) L. Lichodziejewski). (4)

27 Nov 1941
Around 0930A/27, HMS Resolution (Capt. A.R. Halfhide, CBE, RN), HMS Berkeley (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Walters, RN) and ORP Kujawiak (Kpt.mar. (Lt.Cdr.) L. Lichodziejewski) arrived at Scapa Flow from Plymouth. (4)


  1. ADM 53/112284 + ADM 199/375 + ADM 199/379
  2. ADM 53/112069 + ADM 199/2217
  3. ADM 173/17106
  4. ADM 53/114994

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

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