Allied Warships

HMS Witherington (D 76)

Destroyer of the Admiralty Modified W class

NavyThe Royal Navy
ClassAdmiralty Modified W 
PennantD 76 
Built byJ.S. White & Co. (Cowes, U.K.) 
OrderedApr 1918 
Laid down27 Sep 1918 
Launched16 Jan 1919 
Commissioned10 Oct 1919 
End service 

HMS Witherington is not listed as an active unit in the October 1944 Navy List

Sold to Metal Idustries for breaking up on 20 March 1947. On the 29th April 1947, whilst under tow to the breakers yard at Charlestown, near Rosyth, Scotland, she broke the tow and was wrecked.

The wreck can be dived and lies on the south side of South Shields pier. As you turn south at the pier end turn immediately west. Travelling west alongside the pier you will see some concrete blocks, one of these has what looks like a monkey's face on it, anchor about 10m off this rock. Depth is about 7m. Watch out for fishing line and strong currents.


Commands listed for HMS Witherington (D 76)

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1Lt.Cdr. Geoffrey Cecil Fryer, RN31 Jul 19394 Dec 1939
2Lt.Cdr. Jack Barrington Palmer, RN4 Dec 1939Apr 1941
3Lt. William Edward Cranston Fairchild, RNApr 194123 Oct 1941
4Lt. Richard Horncastle, RN23 Oct 1941Aug 1942
5Cdr. Charles Graham Thompson, OBE, RNAug 19422 Oct 1942
6Lt.Cdr. Marcus Henry Reginald Crichton, RN2 Oct 194219 May 1943
7Lt.Cdr. Robert Basil Stewart Tennant, RN19 May 1943mid 1944

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Notable events involving Witherington include:

11 Mar 1941
HMS Witherington (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Palmer, RN) was damaged by German bombing at Portsmouth, she was beached to prevent her from sinking. Repairs took over 5 months to complete.

23 Mar 1942
HMS Witherington (Lt. R. Horncastle, RN) picks up 47 survivors from the British tanker British Prudence that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-754 north-east of Halifax in position 45°28'N, 56°13'W.

28 Jul 1942
HMS Witherington picks up 12 survivors from the American fishing vessel Ebb that was sunk by gunfire from German U-boat U-754 45 nautical miles south-east of Cape Sable, Nova Scotia, Canada in position 43°18'N, 63°50'W.

2 Nov 1943
German U-boat U-340 was sunk at 0430hrs on 2 November 1943 near Tangier, in position 35°33'N, 06°37'W, by depth charges from the British sloop HMS Fleetwood (Cdr. W.B. Piggott, DSC, RD, RNR) and the British destroyers HMS Active (Lt.Cdr. P.G. Merriman, DSC, RN) and HMS Witherington (Lt.Cdr. R.B.S. Tennant, RN) and by depth charges from a British Wellington aircraft (Sqdn. 179/R).

Media links

British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

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