Allied Warships

HMS Shearwater (L 39 / K 39)

Patrol vessel of the Kingfisher class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypePatrol vessel
PennantL 39 / K 39 
ModThird group 
Built byJ.S. White & Co. (Cowes, U.K.) 
Ordered6 Apr 1938 
Laid down15 Aug 1938 
Launched18 Apr 1939 
Commissioned7 Sep 1939 
End service 

Sold 21 April 1947.


Commands listed for HMS Shearwater (L 39 / K 39)

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. Philip Frederick Powlett, RN5 Sep 193920 Jan 1941
2Lt. Rupert Cyril Egan, RN20 Jan 194129 Jul 1941
3Lt. Trevor Henry Garwood, RN29 Jul 194115 Aug 1942
4Lt. William Richard Hugh Jeffery, RNR15 Aug 19423 Mar 1943
5T/Lt. Nicholas John Turney Monsarrat, RNVR3 Mar 194320 Oct 1943
6T/Lt. George Pattison, RNR20 Oct 1943mid 1945
7Lt. Desmond Henry Cope, DSC, RNRmid 1945early 1946

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Notable events involving Shearwater include:

8 Nov 1939
Around 0845A/8, HMS Queen of Bermuda (Capt.(Retd.) M.B. Birkett, DSO, RN) departed Belfast Lough for Portsmouth. She is escorted by the patrol vessels HMS Shearwater (Lt.Cdr. P.F. Powlett, RN) and HMS Sheldrake (Lt.Cdr. A.E.T. Christie, RN).

The patrol vessels parted company shortly after 1600A/8. (1)

22 Dec 1939

Convoy TC 2.

This convoy of troopships departed Halifax on 22 December 1939 for the Clyde where it arrived on 30 December 1939.

The convoy was made up of the following troopships / liners; Almanzora (British, 15551 GRT, built 1914, carrying 1284 troops), Andes (British, 25689 GRT, built 1939, carrying 1358 troops), Batory (Polish, 14287 GRT, built 1936, carrying 806 troops), Chrobry (Polish, 11442 GRT, built 1939, carrying 1045 troops) Orama (British, 19840 GRT, built 1924, carrying 935 troops), Ormonde (British, 14982 GRT, built 1917, carrying 1269 troops) and Reina del Pacifico (British, 17702 GRT, built 1931, carrying 1455 troops).

A/S escort was provided on leaving Halifax the Canadian destroyers HMCS Fraser (Cdr. W.N. Creery, RCN), HMCS Ottawa (Capt. G.C. Jones, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. W.B.L. Holms, RCN), HMCS St. Laurent (Lt.Cdr. H.G. de Wolf, RCN) and the British destroyer HMS Hunter (Lt.Cdr. L. De Villiers, RN). These destroyers remained with the convoy until 24 December 1939 when they set course to return to Halifax.

Ocean Escort was provided by the British battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. E.R. Archer, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral L.E. Holland, CB, RN) [Rear-Admiral Holland had hoisted his flag shortly before departure], French battlecruiser Dunkerque (Capt. M.J.M. Seguin and the French light cruiser Gloire (Capt. F.H.R. de Belot).

On 26 December, the battleship HMS Resolution (Capt. O. Bevir, RN), which was on passage from the Clyde to Halifax provided additional cover for the convoy. before she continued her passage to Halifax.

When the convoy approached the British isles, the destroyers HMS Somali (Capt. R.S.G. Nicholson, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN), HMS Eskimo (Cdr. St.J.A. Micklethwait, RN), HMS Matabele (Cdr. G.K. Whitmy-Smith, RN), HMS Mohawk (Cdr. J.W.M. Eaton, RN), HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSC, RN), HMS Fury (Cdr. G.F. Burghard, RN), HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. W. Kitcat, RN) and HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, RN) departed Greenock on the 25th to join the convoy on the 28th. On the 26th two more destroyers departed Greenock, these were HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN). These destroyers also joined the convoy on the 28th.

On the 29th the French battlecruiser Dunkerque and the light cruiser Gloire parted company with the convoy. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Fearless, HMS Firedrake and HMS Fury until they were relieved by the French large destroyers Mogador (Cdr. P. Maerte), Volta (Cdr. C.V.E. Jacquinet), Le Triomphant (Cdr. M.M.P.L. Pothuau), Le Fantasque (Capt. P.A.B. Still), and Le Terrible (Cdr. A.E.R. Bonneau).

Four more escorts joined the convoy on the 29th. These were the minesweepers HMS Jason (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Fryer, RN), HMS Gleaner (Lt.Cdr. H.P. Price, RN).and the patrol vessels HMS Puffin (Lt.Cdr. Hon. J.M.G. Waldegrave, DSC, RN) and HMS Shearwater (Lt.Cdr. P.F. Powlett, RN).

The convoy arrived safely in the Clyde area in the morning of 30 December 1939. (2)

12 Aug 1940
HMS H 49 (Lt. M.A. Langley, RN) shifted from Harwich to Lowestoft. She was escorted by HMS Shearwater (Lt.Cdr. P.F. Powlett, RN). (3)


  1. ADM 53/110135
  2. ADM 199/367 + ADM 199/393
  3. ADM 173/16326

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

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