Allied Warships

HMS Vimy (D 33)

Destroyer of the Admiralty V & W class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassAdmiralty V & W 
PennantD 33 
ModLong range escort 
Built byWilliam Beardmore & Co. (Dalmuir, Scotland) 
Ordered30 Jun 1916 
Laid down15 Mar 1917 
Launched28 Dec 1917 
Commissioned19 Mar 1918 
End service 
History

Reconstruction to Long Range Escort at Portsmouth Dockyard was finished in June 1941. This ship was the first of the V & W-class destroyers to be converted to a Long Range Escort.

HMS Vimy is not listed as active unit in the July 1945 Navy list

Scrapped in February 1948.

 

Commands listed for HMS Vimy (D 33)

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

CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Ivo Thomas Clark, RN15 Jun 19398 Nov 1939
2Lt.Cdr. Colin George Walter Donald, RN8 Nov 193923 May 1940 (+)
3Lt.Cdr. Richard George Kirby Knowling, RN23 May 194028 May 1940 (+)
4Lt. Adrian Paul Northey, RN28 May 194030 May 1940
5Lt.Cdr. (retired) Michael Wentworth Ewart-Wentworth, RN30 May 194020 Jul 1940
6Lt.Cdr. Dermod James Boris Jewitt, RN20 Jul 1940early 1941

7Lt.Cdr. Henry Graham Dudley de Chair, RN20 May 19411 Dec 1942
8Lt.Cdr. Richard Been Stannard, VC, RD, RNR1 Dec 194228 Mar 1943
9Lt.Cdr. John Neil Kelly Knight, RN28 Mar 194324 Jun 1944
10Lt.Cdr. Karl Henry John Lynch Phibbs, RN24 Jun 1944mid 1945

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Notable events involving Vimy include:


29 Dec 1939

Convoy HX 14

Convoy from Halifax to the U.K.
Departure date: 29 December 1939.
Arrival date: 12 January 1940.

The following merchant ships were part of this convoy;
British:
tanker Athelsultan (8882 GRT, built 1929), cargo ship Baron Douglas (3899 GRT, built 1932), cargo ship Baron Lovat (3395 GRT, built 1926), Baron Pentland (3410 GRT, built 1927), tanker Benedick (6978 GRT, built 1928), cargo ship Blairmore (4141 GRT, built 1928), cargo ship Bonheur (5327 GRT, built 1920), cargo ship Bridgepool (4845 GRT, built 1924), cargo ship Bristol City (2864 GRT, built 1920), cargo ship Brookwood (5100 GRT, built 1929), cargo ship Dallas City (4952 GRT, built 1935), tanker El Ciervo (5841 GRT, built 1923), tanker El Oso (7267 GRT, built 1921), cargo ship Greyburn (6342 GRT, built 1938), cargo ship Grelhead (4274 GRT, built 1925), tanker Horn Shell (8272 GRT, built 1931), tanker Inverilen (9456 GRT, built 1938), cargo ship Kenbane Head (5225 GRT, built 1919), tanker Luculus (6546 GRT, built 1929), cargo ship Montreal City (3066 GRT, built 1920), cargo ship New Westminster City (4747 GRT, built 1929), cargo ship Penrose (4393 GRT, built 1928), cargo ship Queen Adelaide (4933 GRT, built 1936), cargo ship Queen Anne (4937 GRT, built 1937), tanker Reginolite (9069 GRT, built 1926), cargo ship Ridley (4993 GRT, built 1937), tanker Saranac (12049 GRT, built 1918), cargo ship Swiftpool (5205 GRT, built 1929), cargo ship Tacoma City (4738 GRT, built 1929), tanker Vaclite (5026 GRT, built 1928), tanker Vancouver (5729 GRT, built 1928), tanker Wellfield (6054 GRT, built 1924), tanker Winamac (8621 GRT, built 1926)

French:
tanker Limousin (7619 GRT, built 1930),

Greek:
cargo ship Keramiai (5085 GRT, built 1917)

Panamanian:
tanker H. H. Rogers (8807 GRT, built 1916), tanker H.M. Flagler (8208 GRT, built 1918),

Norwegian:
cargo ship Rio Branco (3210 GRT, built 1924), tanker Solstad (5952 GRT, built 1927), tanker South America (6246 GRT, built 1931),

Escort was provided by the following warships;
Ocean escort: Licht cruiser HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) and submarine HMS Cachalot (Lt.Cdr. S.W.F. Bennetts, RN) from 29 December 1939 to 9 January 1940.

Local escort in Canadian waters: Destroyers HMCS Saguenay (Lt.Cdr. G.R. Miles, RCN) and HMCS Skeena (Lt.Cdr. E.P. Tisdall, RCN) from 29 to 30 December 1939.

Local escort in British waters HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. R.T. White, RN), HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. C.G.W. Donald, RN), HMS Walker (Cdr. W.J.C. Robertson, RN) and HMS Whitshed (Cdr. E.R. Conder, RN) from 9 January to 12 January 1940.

Losses:
Tanker El Oso was mined and sunk on 11 January 1940. (1)

23 Jul 1941
At 0947 hours (zone -2), HMS Manchester (Capt. H. Drew, DSC, RN), is damaged by a torpedo fired by an Italian aircraft. The result was that only one engine out of four remained operational and she could only do 8 knots. Later this was increased to 12 knots. Manchester, who had 750 soldiers for Malta onboard, was ordered to return to Gibraltar escorted by HMS Avon Vale (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, RN). Around 1800 hours, HMS Manchester was attacked by 3 Italian torpedo bombers but these obtained no more hits. At 0920/24 HMS Manchester and HMS Avon Vale were joined by two more destroyers coming from Gibraltar, HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. H.G.D. de Chair, RN) and HMS Vidette (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Walmsley, RN). At 0730/25 HMS Wishart (Cdr. E.T. Cooper, RN) also joined the screen relieving HMS Avon Vale that had left the screen after fueling from HMS Manchester the previous evening. (2)

24 Jul 1941
HrMs O 23 (Lt.Cdr. G.B.M. van Erkel, RNN) carries out an A/S exercise off Gibraltar with the British destroyers HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. H.G.D. de Chair, RN) and HMS Vidette (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Walmsley, RN).

29 Jul 1941
HMS Talisman (Lt. M. Willmott, RN) departed from Gibraltar for Malta. Before departing A/S exercises were carried out with HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. H.G.D. de Chair, RN) and HMS Vidette (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Walmsley, RN).

No map of this passage can be displayed as there are no logs available for HMS Talisman for this period. (3)

19 Aug 1941
HMS Severn (Lt.Cdr. A.N.G. Campbell, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Gibraltar together with HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. H.G.D. de Chair, RN) and HMS Vidette (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Walmsley, RN). (4)

21 Sep 1941
The Italian submarine Luigi Torelli (offsite link) is heavily damaged by depth charges from HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. H.G.D. de Chair, RN) while escorting the convoy HG-73 in the North Atlantic.

The loss of the Italian submarine Alessandro Malaspina (offsite link) that is often credited to HMS Vimy is incorrect. Her fate was revised in March 2004 by Dr. Axel Niestlé and Eric Zimmerman.

29 Sep 1941

Convoy WS 12

This convoy departed U.K. ports on 29 / 30 September 1941. Destination for the majority of the convoy was Aden where the convoy arrived on 20 November 1941. It was then dispersed and the remaining ships then proceeded to Suez independently.

The convoy assembled assembled at sea near Oversay on 1 October 1941.

The convoy was made up of the following troop transports / transports; Almanzora (15551 GRT, built 1914), City of Paris (10902 GRT, built 1922), Clan Campbell (7255 GRT, built 1937), Clan Lamont (7250 GRT, built 1939), Dominion Monarch (27155 GRT, built 1939), Duchess of Richmond (20022 GRT, built 1928), Empire Pride (9248 GRT, built 1941), Empire Trust (8143 GRT, built 1941), Empress of Canada (21517 GRT, built 1922), Empress of Russia (16810 GRT, built 1913), Franconia (20175 GRT, built 1923), Highland Brigade (14134 GRT, built 1929), Highland Princess (14133 GRT, built 1930), Prince Badouin (3219 GRT, built 1933), Leopoldville (11509 GRT, built 1929), Mendoza (8233 GRT, built 1919), Narkunda (16632 GRT, built 1920), Ormonde (14982 GRT, built 1917), Perseus (10272 GRT, built 1923), Perthshire (10496 GRT, built 1936), HMS Royal Ulsterman (T/Cdr. H.F. Jackson, RNR) (3244 GRT, built 1936), Samaria (19597 GRT, built 1921), Sarpedon (11321 GRT, built 1923) and Strathaird (22281 GRT, built 1932).

Escort was initially provided by the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. R.D. Oliver, DSC, RN) (from 30 September until 14 October. On 12 October HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. A.W.S. Agar, VC, DSO, RN) joined HMS Devonshire and escorted the convoy until 14 October when it arrived at Freetown.

The aircraft carrier HMS Argus (Capt. T.O. Bulteel, RN) escorted the convoy from 30 September to 5 October when she was detached to Gibraltar, escorted by three destroyers (see below).

The armed merchant cruiser ), HMS Cathay (A/Capt.(Retd.) C.M. Merewether, RN), auxiliary minelayer HMS Agamemnon (Capt.(Retd.) F. Ratsey, RN) and the Canadian destroyers HMCS Assiniboine (A/Lt.Cdr. J.H. Stubbs, RCN), HMCS Saguenay (Lt. P.E. Haddon, RCN) escorted the convoy from 30 September to 4 October 1941 when they were detached and ordered to proceed with Halifax with the Highland Princess whih was then also detached from the convoy.

The destroyer HMS Sikh (Cdr. G.H. Stokes, RN) escorted the convoy from 30 September to 5 October when she was detached escorting HMS Argus to Gibraltar together with her sister ships HMS Cossack (Capt. E.L. Berthon, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Zulu (Cdr. H.R. Graham, DSO, RN) which were met at sea after they had escorted a convoy part of the way from Gibraltar to the U.K. HMS Argus and her three escorting destroyer arrived at Gibraltar on 8 October.

The AA (light) cruiser HMS Cairo (A/Capt. I.R.H. Black, RN) and the destroyers HMS Whitehall (Lt.Cdr. A.B. Russell, RN), HMS Witch (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Holmes, RN) and ), HMS Verity (Cdr. R.H. Mills, RN) escorted the convoy from 1 to 4 October.

The destroyers HMS Lancaster (A/Cdr. N.H. Whatley, RN), HMS Newark (Lt.Cdr. R.H.W. Atkins, RN) escorted the convoy from 1 to 3 October. HMS Bradford (Lt.Cdr. J.N.K. Knight, RN) was also to be part of this group. She did sail from Londonderry but had to return to that port soon after departure owning to defects.

The destroyer HMS Stanley (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) D.B. Shaw, OBE, RN) escorted the convoy from 1 to 7 October.

The escort destroyer HMS Blankney (Lt.Cdr. P.F. Powlett, DSC, RN) escorted the convoy from 1 to 7 October.

The destroyer HMS Beverley (Lt.Cdr. J. Grant, RN) escorted to convoy from 2 to 5 October.

The destroyers HMS Gurkha (Cdr. C.N. Lentaigne, RN) and HrMs Isaac Sweers (Cdr. J. Houtsmuller, RNN) were to join the convoy on 7 October coming from Gibraltar. HrMs Isaac Sweers joined the convoy around noon but HMS Gurkha failed to find the convoy and only joined the following day.

On 11 October 1941, when approaching Freetown, the convoy was joined by the destroyers HMS Wrestler (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN), HMS Velox (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Roper, DSC, RN), HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. H.G.D. de Chair, RN) and HMS Vansittart (Lt.Cdr. R.L.S. Gaisford, RN) as well as the corvettes HMS Amaranthus (T/Lt. W.S. Thomson, RNR) and HMS Armeria (T/Lt. H.N. Russell, DSC, RNR).

The convoy, minus the Narkunda departed Freetown for South Africa on 19 October. Escort was provided by the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire which joined the convoy early on 20 October after having patrolled south of Freetown since 16 October.

Local A/S escort out of Freetown was provided from 19 to 2 1 October 1941 and consisted of the destroyers HMS Velox, HMS Wrestler and the corvettes HMS Anchusa (Lt. J.E.L. Peters, RNR), HMS Calendula (Lt.Cdr. A.D. Bruford, RNVR) and HMS Mignonette (Lt. H.H. Brown, RNR).

On 21 October 1941, HMS Royal Ulsterman and Ulster Monarch were detached and proceeded to Takoradi. As did Prince Badouin which went on to St. Helena.

On 30 October 1941 the convoy was off Capetown and the following ships of the convoy then split off to proceed into that port; Clan Campbell, Dominion Monach, Empire Pride, Empire Trust, Empress of Canada, Leopoldville, Mendoza, Perthshire, Sarpedon and Strathaird as did HMS Devonshire which went to Simonstown.

The other ships of the convoy; Empress of Russia, Franconia, Highland Brigade, Ormonde, Perseus, Richmond and Samaria then proceeded to Durban where they arrived on 3 November escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Derbyshire (Capt.(Retd.) E.A.B. Stanley, DSO, MVO, RN) which had joined them off Capetown early on 31 October.

On 4 November 1941 the Strathaird departed Capetown for Durban where she arrived on 7 November.

On 5 November 1941 the following ships departed Capetown to continue their passage; Dominion Monarch, Empire Pride, Empire Trust, Empress of Canada, Leopoldville, Mendoza and Perthshire. They were escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Dunnottar Castle (Capt.(Retd.) C.T.A. Bunbury, RN).

On 8 November the following ships departed Durban and joined the Capetown group at sea; Almanzora, City of Paris, Clan Campbell, Clan Lamont, Duchess of Richmond, Empress of Russia, Franconia, Nieuw Amsterdam (36287 GRT, built 1938), Nova Scotia (6791 GRT, built 1926), Perseus, Samaria and Strathaird. The escort of the Capetown group HMS Dunnottar Castle was relieved by the battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. W.G. Tennant, CB, MVO, RN) which escorted the convoy from then on to until 14 November 1941 when she was relieved by the battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. L.V. Morgan, CBE, MVO, DSC, RN) which then escorted the convoy until it arrived off Aden on 20 November. The convoy then dispersed and all ships proceeded to Suez independently.

On 14 November the convoy was joined by the Ascania (13900 GRT, built 1925) which came from Mombasa.

On 17 November 1941, HMS Glasgow (Capt. H. Hickling, DSO, RN) made rendez-vous with convoy WS 12. The Dominion Monarch, Duchess of Richmond, Empress of Canada and Perseus then split off from the convoy and continued on as convoy WS 12J towards Colombo, escorted by HMS Glasgow. This convoy arrived at Colombo on 23 November.

On 24 November the Dominion Monarch and Empress of Canada departed Colombo for Singapore as convoy WS 12V. They were escorted by HMS Glasgow until 26 November when HMS Dragon (Capt. R.W. Shaw, MBE, RN) took over the escort. The convoy arrived at Singapore on 28 November 1941. (5)

15 Nov 1941
HMS Severn (Lt.Cdr. A.N.G. Campbell, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Freetown together with HMS Brilliant (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Poe, RN), HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. H.G.D. de Chair, RN), HMS Lavender (Lt.Cdr. J. Whayman, RNR), HMS Nigella (T/Lt. L.J. Simpson, RNR) and HMS Crocus (Lt.Cdr. E. Wheeler, RD, RNR). (6)

16 Nov 1941
HMS Severn (Lt.Cdr. A.N.G. Campbell, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Freetown together with HMS Brilliant (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Poe, RN), HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. H.G.D. de Chair, RN), HMS Nigella (T/Lt. L.J. Simpson, RNR) and HMS Crocus (Lt.Cdr. E. Wheeler, RD, RNR). (6)

11 May 1942
HMS Otway (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J.R.G. Harvey, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area with HMS Breda (Capt.(Retd.) A. E. Johnston, RN), HMS Z 5 (T/A/Lt.Cdr. S.T. Wenlock, RNR), HMS Alecto (Cdr. J.R.S. Brown, RN), HMS La Flore and HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. H.G.D. de Chair, RN). (7)

3 Sep 1942
German U-boat U-162 was sunk in the mid-Atlantic north-east of Trinidad, in position 12°21'N, 59°29'W, by depth charges from the British destroyers HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. H.G.D. de Chair, RN) HMS Pathfinder (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, DSO and Bar, RN) and HMS Quentin (Lt.Cdr. A.H.P. Noble, DSC, RN).

18 Sep 1942
HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. H.G.D. de Chair, RN) picks up 17 survivors of the American merchant West Lashaway that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-66 about 375 miles east of Trinidad on 30 August.

4 Feb 1943
German U-boat U-187 was sunk in the North Atlantic, in position 50°12'N, 36°35'W, by depth charges from the British destroyers HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. R.B. Stannart, VC, RNR) and HMS Beverley (Lt.Cdr. R.A Price, RN).

13 Feb 1943
HrMs Tromp (Capt. J.B. de Meester, RNN) and HrMs Van Galen (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Burghard, RNN) departed Fremantle to join convoy 'Pamphlet' at sea.

[For more info on the Pamplet convoy see the event for 1 February 1943.]

For the daily positions during the period of 13 February 1943 to 23 February 1943, see the map below.

Media links


British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.


In Peril On The Sea

Bell, R.W. and Lockerbie, D.Bruce

Sources

  1. ADM 53/108475
  2. ADM 53/114626 + ADM 234/335
  3. ADM 199/1151
  4. ADM 173/16985
  5. ADM 199/1138
  6. ADM 173/16988
  7. ADM 173/17337

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


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