Allied Warships

HMS Penzance (L 28)

Sloop of the Folkestone class

Photo taken during a visit at New Bedford MA in July 1939. Photo courtesy of Marianne Donovan

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantL 28 
Built byDevonport Dockyard (Plymouth, U.K.) 
Ordered4 Apr 1929 
Laid down29 Jul 1929 
Launched10 Apr 1930 
Commissioned15 Jan 1931 
Lost24 Aug 1940 
Loss position56° 16'N, 27° 19'W

HMS Penzance (Cdr. Allan John Wavish, RN) was torpedoed and sunk on 24 August 1940 in the North Atlantic, south-west of Iceland in position 56º16'N, 27º19'W by U-37. 90 men went down with the ship, there were only 13 survivors which were picked up by the British merchants Fylingdale and Blairmore, the latter being torpedoed later that night by the same U-boat. Seven of the survivors had to abandon ship once again and this time they were picked up after some 17 hours by the Swedish merchant Eknaren and taken to Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.


Hit by U-boat
Sunk on 24 Aug 1940 by U-37 (Oehrn).

U-boat AttackSee our U-boat attack entry for the HMS Penzance

Commands listed for HMS Penzance (L 28)

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and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1Cdr. Allan John Wavish, RN16 May 193824 Aug 1940 (+)

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Notable events involving Penzance include:

8 Feb 1940
HMAS Perth (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) and HMS Dundee (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN) are order to remain on patrol near Curacao as information had been received that the German merchant vessels Seattle (7369 GRT, built 1928) and Vancouver (8269 GRT, built 1930) were expected to leave within the next week.

HMS Penzance (Cdr. A.J. Wavish, RN) was also ordered to the Curacao area as was the French armed merchant cruiser Barfleur. The RFA tanker War Brahmin (5545 GRT, built 1921) was ordered to proceed to the Bonaire area so as to be in position to fuel the ships on patrol if needed. (1)

Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor
(£ 38.25)


  1. Report of proceedings of HMAS Perth from September 1939 to March 1940

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