Allied Warships

HMS Woodruff (K 53)

Corvette of the Flower class

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantK 53 
Built byWilliam Simons & Co. Ltd. (Renfrew, Scotland) 
Ordered21 Sep 1939 
Laid down29 Apr 1940 
Launched28 Feb 1941 
Commissioned7 Apr 1941 
End service 

HMS Woodruff is not listed as active unit in the October 1945 Navy List.

Sold in 1947 and became the merchantile Southern Lupin in 1948.
Sold to Salvesen 1948 and refitted as bouy-boat at Clelands Ltd., Willington Quay in Tyne in September 1948.
Last season as whaler was 1953/1954.
. Laid up in Stromness.
Sold to ship breakers in Odense in 1959.


Commands listed for HMS Woodruff (K 53)

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1Lt. Richard Valentine Smith, RNR17 Dec 194023 Apr 1941
2T/Lt. Thomas Muir, RNVR23 Apr 194128 Feb 1942
3Lt. Francis Harden Gray, RNR28 Feb 1942mid 1943
4T/Lt. Thomas Muir, RNVRmid 1943Sep 1944
5Lt. William Kilvington Tadman, RNRSep 1944mid 1945

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Notable events involving Woodruff include:

8 Oct 1941
HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. A.W.S. Agar, VC, DSO, RN) and HMS Albatross (Capt. W.A. Dallmeyer, DSO, RN) departed Freetown to patrol in the mid-Atlantic between 06°N and 10°N and 28°W and 31°W. Two corvettes were sent along as escorts, these were HMS Mignonette (Lt. H.H. Brown, RNR) and HMS Woodruff (T/Lt. T. Muir, RNVR). (1)

30 Nov 1941
HMS Severn (Lt.Cdr. A.N.G. Campbell, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Freetown together with HMS Wild Swan (Lt.Cdr. C.E.L. Sclater, RN), HMS Woodruff (A/Lt.Cdr. F.H. Gray, RNR), HMS Nigella (T/Lt. L.J. Simpson, RNR) and HMS Freesia (T/Lt. R.A. Cherry, RNR). (2)

21 May 1942
HMS Woodruff (A/Lt.Cdr. F.H. Gray, RNR) scuttles the British tanker Montenol with gunfire. The Montenol was torpedoed and damaged by German U-boat U-159 about 140 nautical miles east-south-east of Santa Maria, Azores in position 36°41'N, 22°45'W.

HMS Woodruff also picks up 5 survivors from the British merchant New Brunswick that was also torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-159 about 140 nautical miles east-south-east of Santa Maria, Azores in position 36°53'N, 22°55'W.

27 Oct 1942
The British merchant Stentor is torpedoed and sunk north-west of the Canary Islands in position 29°13'N, 20°53'W by German U-boat U-509. 207 survivors were picked up by HMS Woodruff (A/Lt.Cdr. F.H. Gray, RNR).


  1. ADM 53/113558 + ADM 53/114138 + ADM 199/395
  2. ADM 173/16988

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

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