HMS Wessex (i) (D 43)
Destroyer of the Admiralty V & W class
|Navy||The Royal Navy|
|Class||Admiralty V & W|
|Built by||Hawthorn Leslie & Co. (Hebburn-on-Tyne, U.K.)|
|Ordered||9 Dec 1916|
|Laid down||23 May 1917|
|Launched||12 Mar 1918|
|Commissioned||11 May 1918|
|Lost||24 May 1940|
|Loss position||51° 01'N, 1° 45'E|
On 24 May 1940 HMS Wessex (Lt.Cdr. William Archibald Rosebery Cartwright, RN) was bombed and sunk off Calais by German aircraft.
Commands listed for HMS Wessex (i) (D 43)
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|1||Lt.Cdr. William Archibald Rosebery Cartwright, RN||31 Jul 1939||24 May 1940|
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Notable events involving Wessex (i) include:
24 May 1940
The Polish destroyer Burza was ordered to join the British destroyers HMS Vimiera and HMS Wessex and shell German positions in Calais area. At 16.20 the Allied vessels opened fire on enemy armoured column at Sangatte Hill, west of Calais. 10 minutes later they were attacked by 27 German airplanes which hit and sank HMS Wessex. HMS Vimiera managed to escape. Then the entire enemy air group concentrated on the Polish destroyer. The AA guns (2 40 mm) jammed due to shrapnel hits, three bombs exploded in the water. They caused boiler damage and loss of speed. The commander (Lt.Cdr. Francki) ordered to emergency launch the torpedoes and drop all depth charges, trying to avoid additional explosions. Shortly after this, two bombs hit the Burza and badly damaged her. However the airplanes had dropped all of their bombs and broke off the attack. The crew managed to stop the leakage and return to Dover. One German airplane was shot down during the action. (1)
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