HMS Wensleydale (L 86)
Escort destroyer of the Hunt (Type III) class
|Navy||The Royal Navy|
|Class||Hunt (Type III)|
|Built by||Yarrow Shipbuilders Ltd. (Scotstoun, Scotland)|
|Ordered||28 Jul 1940|
|Laid down||28 Jul 1941|
|Launched||20 Jun 1942|
|Commissioned||30 Oct 1942|
|End service||21 Nov 1944|
HMS Wensleydale (A/Lt.Cdr. William Patterson Goodfellow, DSC, RNVR) was heavily damaged off Southend (in the Thames Estuary) in a collision with the British landing ship HMS LST-367 on 21 November 1944.
See also this website on HMS Wensleydale (offsite link).
Commands listed for HMS Wensleydale (L 86)
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.
|1||Lt. John Aylmer McClure, DSC, RN||22 Sep 1942||28 Jun 1943|
|2||Lt. William Pattisson Goodfellow, RNVR||28 Jun 1943||late 1944|
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Notable events involving Wensleydale include:
20 Nov 1942
The battleship HMS Anson (Capt. H.R.G. Kinahan, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral Sir B. Fraser, CB, KBE, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow during which she was escorted by the destroyers HMS Quilliam (Capt. S.H. Carlill, DSO, RN), HMS Racehorse (Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) and the escort destroyer HMS Wensleydale (Lt. J.A. McClure, DSC, RN). (2)
14 Dec 1942
With her refit completed, HMS Malaya (Capt. J.W.A. Waller, RN), conducted D/G trials in the Firth of Forth.
On completion of these she departed the Firth of Forth for Scapa Flow escorted by HMS Onslow (Capt. R.St.V. Sherbrooke, DSO, RN), HMS Goathland (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Pumphrey, RN, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and HMS Wensleydale (Lt. J.A. McClure, DSC, RN).
The arrived at Scapa Flow on the 15th. (3)
5 May 1943
With her refit completed, the battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. L.H. Ashmore, RN), departed Plymouth around 1100B/5 for Scapa Flow. She is escorted by the destroyers ORP Orkan (Cdr. S. Hryniewiecki), ORP Piorun (Cdr. S.T. Dzienisiewicz) and the escort destroyer HMS Wensleydale (Lt. W.P. Goodfellow, RNVR).
Around 1130B/5, the destroyer HMS Tumult (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN), HMS Blankney (Lt.Cdr. D.H.R. Bromley, RN) and HMS Brecon (Lt.Cdr. T.D. Herrick, DSC and Bar, RN) joined and the original escort parted company to return to Plymouth.
HMS Valiant, HMS Tumult, HMS Blankney and HMS Brecon arrived at Scapa Flow around 0730B/7. (4)
21 May 1943
HMS Thrasher (Lt.Cdr. A.R. Hezlet, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Plymouth with The British escort destroyers HMS Melbreak (Lt. G.E.C.G. Baines, RN) and ORP Krakowiak (Komandor Podporucznik (Lt.Cdr.) W. Maracewicz, ORP) in the morning and with HMS Wensleydale (Lt. W.P. Goodfellow, RNVR) and HMS Tanatside (Lt.Cdr. F.D. Brown, RN) in the afternoon. Upon completion of the A/S exercise in the afternoon Thrasher made a pracice attack on HMS Wensleydale. (5)
23 Jun 1943
HMS H 34 (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Limbourne (Cdr. C.B. Alers-Hankey, DSC, RN), HMS Wensleydale (Lt. J.A. McClure, DSC, RN), HMS Itchen (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) C.E. Bridgman, DSO, RNR), HMCS Galt (T/Lt. A.M. Kirkpatrick, RCNVR), HMCS St. Francis (A/Lt.Cdr. H.V.W. Groos, RCN) and HMCS Sackville (Lt. A.H. Rankin, RCNVR). (6)
11 Jul 1943
The British escort destroyers HMS Melbreak (Lt. G.E.C.G. Baines, RN), HMS Wensleydale (Lt. W.P. Goodfellow, RNVR) and the Norwegian escort destroyer HNoMS Glaisdale (Lt. D.E. Kjeholt, RNN) intercept a German convoy off Quessant, France. In the resulting battle the German minesweeper M-153 (874 tons) is sunk by the Glaisdale but Melbreak in turn is heavily damaged by the German torpedo boats T-24 and T-25.
Around the 10th of October 1943 HMS Wensleydale was ordered to first find and then escort the Free French Submarine Minerve (P26) back to port. Ken England remembers that "the submarine was transmitting the morse letter 'A' on a known frequency and by manning our MF D/F set we were able to get a fix on the sub's position". This submarine had been a victim of 'friendly fire' and was unable to dive. A Liberator, piloted by Mick Ensor spotted a submarine about 300 miles west of Brest. The submarine was attacked with eight 5"rockets. One 25lb rocket entered the starboard side just below the external torpedo tubes. Two men were killed. One by the rocket head and another by a fragment of the pressure hull. The submarine was off course and not reported in the area. Pilot Mick Ensor (see Enser's Endevour, by Vincent Orange) was cleared of any blame. The damage to Minerve proved very useful to navy intelligence. Many photographs were taken of the damage, angle of entry etc. The projectile was said to be virtually undamaged, but was unfortunately thrown overboard as it was considered likely to explode. (source: http://www.hmswensleydale.co.uk)
22 Oct 1943
Around 1900A/22, ' Force 28 ', made up of the AA cruiser HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN), destroyers HMS Grenville (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Hill, DSO, RN), HMS Rocket (Lt.Cdr. H.B. Acworth, OBE, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Limbourne (A/Cdr. W.J. Phipps, MVO, RN), HMS Melbreak (Lt. G.J. Kirkby, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Talybont (Lt. E.F. Baines, DSO, RN) and HMS Wensleydale (Lt. J.A. McClure, DSC, RN) departed Plymouth for a sweep along the north coast of Brittany. (7)
23 Oct 1943
Sinking of HMS Charybdis and HMS Limbourne.
Around 0135A/23, ' Force 28, made up of HMS Charybdis (Capt. G.A.W. Voelcker, RN), HMS Grenville (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Hill, DSO, RN), HMS Rocket (Lt.Cdr. H.B. Acworth, OBE, RN), HMS Limbourne (A/Cdr. W.J. Phipps, MVO, RN), HMS Melbreak (Lt. G.J. Kirkby, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Talybont (Lt. E.F. Baines, DSO, RN) and HMS Wensleydale (Lt. J.A. McClure, DSC, RN) encountered the German 4. Torpedo Boat Flotilla made up of T 22, T 23, T 25, T 26 and T 27.
In the resulting action HMS Charybdis and HMS Limbourne were hit by torpedoes and both sank as a result. HMS Charybdis was hit by the T 23 and T 27 while HMS Limbourne was hit by T 22.
' Force 28 ' was proceeding to the west at 14 knots when HMS Charybdis obtained a contact about 7 miles north of Triagoz Island. Two units were contacted about 9000 yards almost right ahead. HMS Charybdis opened fire with star shell but before these burst she was torpedoed amidships on the port side.
A number of torpedoes were observed by the other ships. HMS Charybdis was then hit by a second torpedo. HMS Limbourne was shortly afterwards also hit by one torpedo on the port side forward and the bow was blown off.
The enemy was not seen by the remaining ships and they soon became scattered in a heavy rain squall. HMS Grenville, which was now the ' Senior ' ship, reformed the surviving the ships and they returned to the scene of the action. The three remaining Hunt-class destroyers where then ordered to search for survivors while HMS Grenville and HMS Rocket searched for the enemy to the westward. They rejoined with the Hunt-class destroyers around 0500A/23. After picking up the survivors the force departed the scene of the action around 0630A/23. 4 Officers and 103 ratings were picked up from HMS Charybdis while from HMS Limbourne 11 Officers, including the Commanding Officer, and 92 ratings were picked up. (8)
26 Apr 1944
HMS Seraph (Lt. T. Russell-Walling, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Plymouth with HMS Steepholm (T/Lt. S.C. Dickenson, RNVR), HMS Ambrose Pare (Ch.Skr. J.W. Morris, RNR) and HMS Wensleydale (A/Lt.Cdr. W.P. Goodfellow, RNVR). (9)
3 Jul 1944
German U-boat U-1191 was sunk in the English Channel, south-west of Brighton, in position 50°09'N, 00°15'W, by depth charges from the British destroyers HMS Onslaught (Cdr. the Hon. A. Pleydell-Bouverie, RN) and HMS Oribi (Lt.Cdr. J.C.A. Ingram, DSC, RN), the British escort destroyers HMS Brissenden (Lt. the Hon. D.D.E. Vivian, RN), HMS Wensleydale (A/Lt.Cdr. W.P. Goodfellow, RNVR) and HMS Talybont (Lt.Cdr. E.F. Baines, DSO, RN) and the British frigate HMS Seymour (Lt. G.J. Parry, RNR).
5 Aug 1944
German U-boat U-671 was sunk at 0200hrs on 5 Aug 1944 in the English Channel south of Brighton, in position 50°23'N, 00°06'E, by depth charges from the British frigate HMS Stayner (Lt.Cdr. H.J. Hall, DSO, DSC, RNR) and the British escort destroyer HMS Wensleydale (A/Lt.Cdr. W.P. Goodfellow, RNVR).
20 Aug 1944
German U-boat U-413 was sunk in the English Channel south of Brighton, in position 50°21'N, 00°01'W, by depth charges from the British escort destroyer HMS Wensleydale (A/Lt.Cdr. W.P. Goodfellow, RNVR) and the British destroyers HMS Forester (Lt. D.C. Beatty, RN) and HMS Vidette (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G.S. Wooley, RNVR).
- ADM 173/17255
- ADM 53/115326
- ADM 53/116222 + ADM 199/427
- ADM 53/118672
- ADM 173/18225
- ADM 173/17795
- ADM 199/2280
- ADM 199/2281
- ADM 173/18697
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.