HMS Whirlwind (i) (D 30)
Destroyer of the Admiralty V & W class
|Navy||The Royal Navy|
|Class||Admiralty V & W|
|Built by||Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. (Wallsend-on-Tyne, U.K.): Wallsend|
|Ordered||9 Dec 1916|
|Laid down||May 1917|
|Launched||15 Dec 1917|
|Commissioned||15 Mar 1918|
|Lost||5 Jul 1940|
|Loss position||50° 17'N, 8° 48'W|
On 5 July 1940 HMS Whirlwind (Lt.Cdr. John Malcolm Rodgers, RN) was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-34 about 120 nautical miles west of Lands End, south-west England in position 50º17'N, 08º48'W.
Hit by U-boat
|U-boat Attack||See our U-boat attack entry for the HMS Whirlwind (i)|
Commands listed for HMS Whirlwind (i) (D 30)
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.
|1||Lt.Cdr. (retired) Michael Wentworth Ewart-Wentworth, RN||15 Jun 1939||10 Oct 1939|
|2||Lt.Cdr. John Malcolm Rodgers, RN||10 Oct 1939||5 Jul 1940|
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Notable events involving Whirlwind (i) include:
21 Sep 1939
Convoy SL 2.
This convoy departed Freetown on 21 September 1939. It was split into several sections at sea at dusk on 7 October 1939 and the ships then proceeded to several ports of arrival in the U.K.
This convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Apapa (British, 9332 GRT, built 1927), Athelduchess (British (tanker), 8940 GRT, built 1929), Athelprincess (British (tanker), 8882 GRT, built 1929), City of Karachi (British, 7140 GRT, built 1937), Clan Macindoe (British, 4635 GRT, built 1920), Clearton (British, 5219 GRT, built 1919), Forresbank (British, 5155 GRT, built 1925), Grangepark (British, 5132 GRT, built 1919), Leonian (British, 5424 GRT, built 1936), Nurtureton (British, 6272 GRT, built 1929), Port Hardy (British, 8705 GRT, built 1923), Shakespear (British, 5029 GRT, built 1926), Urbino (British, 5198 GRT, built 1918) and Warlaby (British, 4876 GRT, built 1927).
Escort was provided on leaving Freetown by the light cruiser HMS Despatch (Commodore 2nd cl. A. Poland, DSO, RN) which remained with the convoy until 28 September (0605A/28). On 21 September A/S escort was provided near Freetown by the destroyer HMS Hunter (Lt.Cdr. L. De Villiers, RN).
When approaching the U.K. the destroyers HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, RN) joined the convoy at dawn on 7 October 1940. They were reinforced by early in the evening by HMS Vanoc (Lt.Cdr. J.G.W. Deneys, RN) and HMS Whirlwind (Lt.Cdr. M.B. Ewart-Wentworth, RN). Shorly afterwards the convoy was split.
30 Oct 1939
HMS Walpole (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, RN) and HMS Whirlwind (Lt.Cdr. M.B. Ewart-Wentworth, RN) scuttle the British merchant Bronte with gunfire in position 50°07'N, 10°36'W. HMS Walpole takes on board the 42 crewmembers of the Bronte.
The Bronte was torpedoed and damaged on 27 October 1939 by German U-boat U-34 180 nautical miles west of Lands End in position 49°30'N, 12°15'W.
26 Nov 1939
Convoy HX 10.
This convoy departed Halifax on 26 November 1939 and the bulk of the convoy arrived at Liverpool on 10 December 1939.
The convoy was made up of the following ships; Alexia (British (tanker), 8016 GRT, built 1935), Anthea (British, 5186 GRT, built 1924), Ary Lensen (British, 3214 GRT, built 1930), Birchbank (British, 5151 GRT, built 1924), Blairclova (British, 5083 GRT, built 1938), British Workman (British (tanker), 6994 GRT, built 1922), C.O. Stillman (Panamanian, 13006 GRT, built 1928), Caroni River (British, 7807 GRT, built 1928), Cefn-Y-Bryn (British, 5164 GRT, built 1939), Cliona (British (tanker), 8375 GRT, built 1931), Dalemoor (British, 5835 GRT, built 1922), Esmond (British, 4976 GRT, built 1930), Gemstone (British, 4986 GRT, built 1938), Generton (British, 4797 GRT, built 1936), Gold Shell (British (tanker), 8208 GRT, built 1931), King William (British, 5274 GRT, built 1928), Lerwick (British, 5626 GRT, built 1938), Lunula (British (tanker), 6363 GRT, built 1927), Maimoa (British, 10123 GRT, built 1920), Middleton (British, 4297 GRT, built 1935), Nailsea Lass (British, 4289 GRT, built 1917), New York City (British, 2710 GRT, built 1917), Newton Moore (British, 5673 GRT, built 1937), Pacific President (British, 7113 GRT, built 1928), Pacific Shipper (British, 6290 GRT, built 1924), Rothley (British, 4996 GRT, built 1936), San Gaspar (British (tanker), 12910 GRT, built 1921), Scottish Chief (British, 7006 GRT, built 1928), Stagpool (British, 4560 GRT, built 1930), Stanburn (British, 2881 GRT, built 1924), Statira (British, 4852 GRT, built 1937), Vancolite (British (tanker), 11404 GRT, built 1928) and Victor Ross (British (tanker), 12247 GRT, built 1933).
On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN) and the destroyers Assiniboine (Cdr. E. Mainguy, RCN) and HMCS Skeena (Cdr. H.T.W. Grant, RCN).
At 0800/28, HMCS Assiniboine and HMCS Skeena parted company with the convoy and set course to return to Halifax.
HMS York parted company with the convoy at 0920/8 shortly after the destroyers HMS Wakeful (Cdr. R.St.V. Sherbrooke, RN), HMS Whirlwind (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Rodgers, RN), HMS Winchelsea (Cdr. C.T. Jellicoe, RN) and the sloop HMS Aberdeen (Cdr. H.P. Currey, RN) had joined the convoy.
11 Apr 1940
Convoy NP 1.
This troop convoy departed the Clyde on 11 April 1940 for Harstad, Norway. In the end the convoy was split up and one part arrived at Harstad on 15 April. The other part arrived off Namsos on 16 April.
It was made up of the troopships Empress of Australia (British, 21833 GRT, built 1914), Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931) and Reina del Pacifico (British, 17702 GRT, built 1931).
They were escorted by the destroyer HMS Amazon (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Roper, RN).
Early in the afternoon of 12 April the troopships Batory (Polish, 14387 GRT, built 1936) and Chrobry (Polish, 11442 GRT, built 1939) departed Scapa Flow to join convoy NP 1 at sea.
They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Highlander (Cdr. W.A. Dallmeyer, RN), HMS Vanoc (Lt.Cdr. J.G.W. Deneys, RN), HMS Volunteer (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN), HMS Whirlwind (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Rodgers, RN) and HMS Witherington (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Palmer, RN). The netlayer HMS Protector (Capt. W.Y la L. Beverley, RN) also departed Scapa Flow with these ships.
Around 1600/12, the light cruisers HMS Manchester (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN, flying the flag of Vice Admiral G. Layton, CB, DSO, RN) and HMS Birmingham (Capt. A.C.G. Madden, RN) departed Scapa Flow to join the convoy at sea which they did around 1945/12.
Shortly afterwards the convoy was also joined by the AA cruiser HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) and the destroyers HMS Brazen (Lt.Cdr. M. Culme-Seymour, RN), HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN) and HMS Griffin (Lt.Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, RN) which had sailed from Sullom Voe around 1130/12.
Late in the evening of 12 April repair ship HMS Vindictive (Capt. A.R. Halfhide, RN) escorted by the destroyers HMS Codrington (Capt. G.E. Creasy, MVO, RN), HMS Acasta (Cdr. C.E. Glasfurd, RN) and HMS Ardent (Lt.Cdr. J.F. Barker, RN) departed Scapa Flow to join the convoy which they did late in the afternoon of the 13th.
Coming south from a patrol off the Vestfjord area were the battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN), battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Janus (Cdr. J.A.W. Tothill, RN), HMS Javelin (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN) and HMS Juno (Cdr. W.E. Wilson, RN). These ships made rendez-vous with the convoy in the afternoon of the 13th after which HMS Repulse with the three J-class destroyers continued on towards Scapa Flow while HMS Valiant joined the convoy.
On April 14th it was decided that some of the troops were to be sent to Namsos and the convoy split up;
Troopships Chrobry and Empress of Australia escorted by the light cruisers HMS Manchester and HMS Birmingham, AA cruiser HMS Cairo and the destroyers HMS Highlander, HMS Vanoc and HMS Whirlwind split off late in the afternoon. This convoy arrived off Namsos early in the morning of the 16th.
The remainder of the ships; troopships Batory, Monarch of Bermuda, Reina del Pacifico, repair ship HMS Vindictive and netlayer HMS Protector with their escort made up of the battleship HMS Valiant and the destroyers HMS Codrington, HMS Amazon, HMS Acasta, HMS Ardent, HMS Brazen, HMS Fearless, HMS Griffin, HMS Volunteer and HMS Witherington arrived at Vaagsfjord late in the morning of the 15th. They had been escorted in by the light cruisers HMS Southampton (Capt. F.W.H. Jeans, CVO, RN) and HMS Aurora (Capt. L.H.K. Hamilton, DSO, RN).
17 Apr 1940
Troopship Chrobry (Polish, 11442 GRT, built 1939) departed Lillesjona for Namsos to land more troops and stores together with the troops that had been put on board the destroyers HMS Afridi (Capt. P.L. Vian, RN), HMS Nubian (Cdr. R.W. Ravenhill, RN), HMS Sikh (Cdr. J.A. Giffard, RN), HMS Matabele (Cdr. G.K. Whitmy-Smith, RN) and HMS Mashona (Cdr. W.H. Selby, RN). The newly arrived AA cruiser HMS Curlew (Capt. B.C.B. Brooke, RN) went in with the Chrobry and the five destroyers while HMS Manchester (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN, flying the flag of Vice Admiral G. Layton, CB, DSO, RN) remained at sea while the other AA cruiser, HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN), was sent north to Skjel Fjord to fuel. The troopship Empress of Australia (British, 21833 GRT, built 1914) was ordered to return to the U.K. escorted by HMS Birmingham (Capt. A.C.G. Madden, RN) and the destroyers HMS Vanoc (Lt.Cdr. J.G.W. Deneys, RN) and HMS Whirlwind (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Rodgers, RN). HMS Highlander (Cdr. W.A. Dallmeyer, RN) was also initially have to been part of this escort but she had run aground while on A/S patrol off Lillesjona around 0130 hours and had been damaged. She was detached soon after departure for the Tyne where she was to undergo repairs. Shortly before HMS Highlander was detached she forced a German submarine to dive which enabled the convoy to pass unharmed.
At 0200/18 unloading of the Chrobry was halted and she went out to sea again with 170 tons of stores still onboard. She had to clear the area before daylight and the expected air attacks. She was to return the next night. Chrobry indeed succeeded in landing her remaining stores in the evening of the 18th. She then took on board a cargo of timber and set course for the U.K. escorted by HMS Sikh and HMS Mashona. HMS Matabele and HMS Curlew meanwhile had gone back to the U.K. for fuel. HMS Manchester was also on her way back home but was ordered to return to assist a French convoy that was next to land troops at Namsos. HMS Manchester could not be back in time to assist in the landings but course and speed were adjusted so as to meet the convoy at sea and escort it on the return passage. HMS Manchester joined the convoy in the evening of the 20th and remained with it until off the Shetlands the next day after which she was detached and set course for Scapa Flow. HMS Cairo had meanwhile also returned after fueling at Skjel Fjord and assisted the French during the landings. HMS Cairo then returned to the U.K. bolstering the escort of the French convoy. (1)
27 May 1940
Assault on Narvik.
The following naval vessels were operating in the Narvik area supporting the assauly by the army; light cruiser HMS Southampton (Capt. F.W.H. Jeans, CVO, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral M.L. Clarke, DSC, RN), AA cruisers HMS Coventry (Capt. D. Gilmour, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral J.G.P. Vivian, RN) and HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN, flying the flag of Admiral of the Fleet W.H.D. Boyle (Lord Cork), GCB, GCVO, RN), destroyers HMS Walker (Lt.Cdr. A.A. Tait, RN), HMS Whirlwind (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Rodgers, RN), HMS Beagle (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Wright, RN), HMS Delight (Cdr. M. Fogg-Elliot, RN), HMS Echo (Cdr. S.H.K. Spurgeon, DSO, RAN), HMS Fame (Cdr. P.N. Walter, RN), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSC, RN), HMS Havelock (Capt. E.B.K. Stevens, DSC, RN) and sloop HMS Stork (Cdr. A.C. Behague, RN).
Some of these ships bombarded Narvik very late in the evening following which the final assault by the Allies on Narvik began.
Narvik was captured from the German in the evening of the 28th.
During the 28th multiple ships sustained damage due to German air attacks;
The most serious damage was to AA cruiser HMS Cairo. She was hit by hit by two bombs at 0620/28 and was badly damaged. One bomb struck abaft B gun. It penetrated the deck and exploded among the supply ammunition party. The other bomb hit the starboard .5" anti-aircraft gun mounting. Twelve of the crew were killed.
Light cruiser HMS Southampton was near missed and damaged by bomb splinters. Her Commanding Officer was wounded and two ratings were killed.
AA cruiser HMS Coventry was also near missed and had one rating killed by bomb splinters.
The destroyers HMS Walker, HMS Whirlwind and HMS Havelock all sustained minor damage from near misses. The most serious damage was to Walker. (2)
29 Jun 1940
Convoy WS 1.
This convoy departed Liverpool around 0700A/29. It was made up of the troop transports Aquitania (British, 44786 GRT, built 1914) and Mauretania (British, 35739 GRT, built 1939).
Escort on departure from Liverpool was made up of the heavy cruiser HMS Cumberland (Capt. G.H.E. Russell, RN) and the destroyers HMS Harvester (Lt.Cdr. M. Thornton, RN), HMS Highlander (Cdr. W.A. Dallmeyer, RN), HMS Volunteer (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN) and HMS Whirlwind (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Rodgers, RN).
Around 1345A/29, the troopship Queen Mary (British, 81235 GRT, built 1936) joined coming from the Clyde escorted by the escort destroyers Atherstone and Fernie which did not join the convoy but returned.
At 0330ZA(-0.5)/30, the destroyers HMS Volunteer and HMS Whirlwind parted company with the convoy to return to Liverpool.
At 1345ZA/30, the destroyers HMS Harvester and HMS Highlander parted company to proceed to Plymouth. HMS Highlander apparently had sustained some weather damage in the heavy seas. The destroyers had been unable to keep up with the convoy at 18 knots without sustaining damage. Therefore they were detached and the convoy increased speed.
The convoy arrived at Freetown on 8 July 1940.
The convoy departed Freetown for Capetown in the same composition on 9 July 1940. Escort was still provided by HMS Cumberland.
The convoy arrived at Capetown on 16 July 1940.
On the 17th, HMS Cumberland took the Aquitania and Queen Mary from Table Bay to False Bay near Simonstown.
On the 18th HMS Cumberland returned to Table Bay where she picked up the Mauretania. They then proceeded to False Bay where they arrived later the same day.
On 19 July 1940 the three troopships and HMS Cumberland departed False Bay for Ceylon.
Around 0530Z/21, near Durban, HMS Cumberland turned over the escort of the troopships to her sister ship HMS Kent (Capt. D. Young-Jamieson, RN) which then took the convoy to Ceylon.
At 1500Z/28, in position 06°24'N, 82°00'E, the Queen Mary parted company with the other ships and set course for Trincomalee where she arrived on 29 July 1940.
The other two troopships and HMS Kent arrived at Colombo also on 29 July 1940. (3)
- ADM 53/112663 + ADM 186/798
- ADM 53/113252
- ADM 199/1136
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.
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