Allied Warships

HMS Viscount (D 92)

Destroyer of the Admiralty V & W class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassAdmiralty V & W 
PennantD 92 
ModLong range escort 
Built byThornycroft (Southampton, U.K.) 
Ordered30 Jun 1916 
Laid down20 Dec 1916 
Launched29 Dec 1917 
Commissioned4 Mar 1918 
End service 
History

Reconstruction to Long Range Escort finished in December 1941.

Sold to be broken up for scrap on 20 March 1945. Scrapped on 27 May 1947.

 

Commands listed for HMS Viscount (D 92)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

CommanderFromTo
1Lt. Michael Southcote Townsend, RN24 Aug 1939mid 1941

2Lt.Cdr. John Valentine Waterhouse, RN9 Dec 194118 Jul 1943
3Lt.Cdr. Leslie Ernest Woodhouse, RN18 Jul 1943early 1945

You can help improve our commands section
Click here to Submit events/comments/updates for this vessel.
Please use this if you spot mistakes or want to improve this ships page.

Notable events involving Viscount include:


23 Oct 1939
HMS H 33 (Lt.Cdr. L.J. Caldwell, RN) departed Plymouth for Dover. She was escorted by HMS Viscount (Lt. M.S. Townsend, RN). (1)

13 Jan 1940
HMS Severn (Lt.Cdr. B.W. Taylor, RN) departed Freetown for Portsmouth. She was part of the ocean escort of convoy SL 16F together with Armed Merchant Cruiser HMS Cheshire (Capt. (Retd.) M.R. Bernard, RN) and the destroyers HMS Hardy (Capt. B.A. Warburton-Lee, RN) and HMS Hostile (Cdr. J.P. Wright, RN).

Besides the escort the convoy was made up of 12 British merchant ships; Adda (7816 GRT, built 1922), Anselm (5954 GRT, built 1935), Baronesa (8663 GRT, built 1918), City of Nagpur (10146 GRT, built 1922), Cordillera (6865 GRT, built 1920), Cumberland (10939 GRT, built 1919), Mahia (10014 GRT, built 1917), Mary Slessor (5027 GRT, built 1930), Orari (10350 GRT, built 1931), Port Sydney (9129 GRT, built 1914), Raranga (10043 GRT, built 1916) and Scientist (6198 GRT, built 1938).

The destroyers departed the convoy on the 20th and then proceeded to Gibraltar. On the 24th the destroyer HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, RN) and sloop HMS Rochester (Cdr. G.F. Renwick, RN) took over the escort from the HMS Cheshire and HMS Severn which then proceeded to Plymouth and Portsmouth respectively where they both arrived on the 26th. (2)

14 Jan 1940
Around noon, HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral S.S. Bonham-Carter, CVO, DSO, RN), departed Portsmouth for Halifax, Nova Scotia. She had on board £ 5 million of gold bullion.

She was being escorted by the destroyers HMS Achates (Cdr. R.J. Gardner, RN), HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) and HMS Arrow (Cdr. H.W. Williams, RN) until around 1630/15 when HMS Vanquisher (Lt.Cdr. C.B. Alers-Hankey, RN), HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, RN) and HMS Windsor (Lt.Cdr. P.D.H.R. Pelly, RN) took over until around 1200/16. HMS Royal Sovereign then proceeded unescorted. (3)

16 Jan 1940

Convoy SL 17.

This convoy departed Freetown on 16 January 1940 for the Liverpool where it arrived on 4 February 1940.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Clumberhall (British, 5198 GRT, built 1930), Harpasa (British, 5082 GRT, built 1932), Hawnby (British, 5380 GRT, built 1936), King Edgar (British, 4536 GRT, built 1327), Loch Ranza (British, 4958 GRT, built 1934), Marconi (British, 7402 GRT, built 1917), Northmoor (British, 4392 GRT, built 1928), Oswerty Grange (British, 4684 GRT, built 1935), River Lugar (British, 5423 GRT, built 1937), Salvus (British, 4815 GRT, built 1928), Stonepool (British, 4803 GRT, built 1928) and Thomas Holt (British, 3585 GRT, built 1929).

Escort was provided on leaving Freetown by the destroyer HMS Dainty (Cdr. F.M. Walton, RN). On 18 January near Dakar, the armed merchant cruiser HMS Carnarvon Castle (Capt.(Retd.) G.B. Lewis, RN) joined. She remained with the convoy until 2 February. HMS Dainty left the convoy when Carnarvon Castle joined.

A/S escort in the Western Approaches was provided from 2 February onwards by the sloop HMS Rochester (Cdr. G.F. Renwick, RN) and the destroyers HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, RN) and HMS Walker (Lt.Cdr. A.A. Tait, RN).

5 May 1940
At 0900/5 the troopships Ulster Prince (3791 GRT, built 1930) and Royal Scotsman (3244 GRT, built 1936) departed the Clyde for Mosjoen and Bodo, respectively. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Veteran (Cdr. J.E. Broome, RN), HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, RN) and HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSC, RN).

At 0400/6 the destroyers HMS Nubian (Cdr. R.W. Ravenhill, RN) and HMS Juno (Cdr. W.E. Wilson, RN) to make rendez-vous at 1030/6 after which HMS Viscount was to proceed to Scapa Flow where she arrived at 1400/6.

The Mosjoen and Bodo groups parted company at 1540/8. The Ulster Prince proceeded to Mosjoen escorted by HMS Veteran and HMS Juno arriving there on the 9th. At 1400/10, HMS Juno was ordered to leave the Ulster Prince and proceed to Scapa Flow at high speed. She arrived at Scapa Flow at 1130/11. HMS Veteran then took the Ulster Prince back to the Clyde arriving there at 0330/13 having made a stop to fuel at Sullom Voe on the 11th.

The Royal Ulsterman proceeded to Bodo escorted by HMS Firedrake and HMS Nubian. HMS Firedrake conducted a reconnaissance of the Ranenfjord to look for reported enemy activity. The Royal Ulsterman and HMS Nubian arrived at Bodo in the evening of the 9th. Shortly afterwards they were rejoined by HMS Firedrake. They all departed Bodo at 0200/10 and proceeded to Scapa Flow. HMS Firedrake went ahead and arrived there at 2210/11 followed later, at 0030/12, by the Royal Ulsterman and HMS Nubian. (4)

12 May 1940
At 1100 hours HMS Furious (Capt. T.H. Troubridge, RN) departed the Clyde for operations escorted by the destroyers HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN) and HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, RN).

At 1300 hours the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious (Capt. G. D’Oyly-Hughes, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) also departed the Clyde for operations. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Delight (Cdr. M. Fogg-Elliott, RN), HMS Diana (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Le Geyt, RN).

Both groups were recalled to the Clyde later the same day.

14 May 1940
Around 2100 hours, the aircraft carriers HMS Furious (Capt. T.H. Troubridge, RN) and HMS Glorious (Capt. G. D’Oyly-Hughes, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) departed the Clyde for operations off Norway. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Diana (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Le Geyt, RN), HMS Veteran (Cdr. J.E. Broome, RN), HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, RN) and HMS Witherington (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Palmer, RN). HMS Witherington was however soon replaced by HMS Amazon (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Roper, RN).

23 May 1940
The aircraft carriers HMS Furious (Capt. T.H. Troubridge, RN) and HMS Glorious (Capt. G. D’Oyly-Hughes, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and their destroyer escort made up of HMS Diana (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Le Geyt, RN), HMS Amazon (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Roper, RN), HMS Veteran (Cdr. J.E. Broome, RN) and HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, RN) arrived at Scapa Flow.

12 Jul 1940
At 1519A/12, the light cruiser HMS Newcastle (Capt. J. Figgins, RN) and the destroyers HMS Mackay (Cdr. G.H. Stokes, RN) and HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, DSC, RN) departed Plymouth to patrol off the south coast of Ireland. The Admiralty had reported that a German auxiliary vessel, disguised as Russian, had been sighted in position 51°42'N, 07°15'W.

They returned to Plymouth around 1200A/14. (5)

7 Oct 1940

Convoy WS 3 (Fast).

This convoy departed Liverpool and the Clyde on 7 October 1940. The convoy arrived at Suez on 16 November 1940.

The Liverpool section was made up of the troop transports; Duchess of York (British, 20021 GRT, built 1929), Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931) and Orontes (British, 20097 GRT, built 1929).

It was escorted by the destroyers HMS Douglas (Cdr.(Retd.) J.G. Crossley, RN) and HMCS St. Laurent (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN). HMCS St. Laurent however collided with a small merchant vessel very early on the 8th and had to return to Liverpool for repairs.

The Clyde section was made up of the transports; Capetown Castle (British, 27000 GRT, built 1938), Georgic (British, 27759 GRT, built 1932), Oronsay (British, 20043 GRT, built 1925) and Winchester Castle (British, 20012 GRT, built 1930).

It was escorted by the destroyers HMCS Ottawa (Cdr. E.R. Mainguy, RCN) and HMS Active (Lt.Cdr. E.C.L. Turner, RN).

At 0700/8, the Clyde section was joined by the destroyers HMS Arrow (Cdr. H.W. Williams, RN), HMS Achates (Lt.Cdr. Viscount Jocelyn, RN) and HMS Whitehall (Lt.Cdr. A.B. Russell, RN) which came from Londonderry.

At 1012/8, a large enemy bomber was seen to approach the Capetown Castle off the Clyde section and dropped a bomb which missed.

At 1050/8, HMCS Ottawa and HMS Active were ordered to close the Oronsay which had been damaged by air attack and needed assistance. HMS Active however misunderstood the order and remained with the convoy. Meanwhile the Oronsay had dropped out of the convoy.

At 1152/8, HMS Arrow joined the damaged Oronsay as well.

Around 1400/8, the armed merchant cruisers HMS Cheshire (Capt.(Retd.) M.R. Bernard, RN) and HMS Salopian (Capt.(Retd.) J.M. Alleyne, DSO, DSC, RN) also arrived on the scene. HMS Salopian later departed to continue her patrol. HMS Cheshire remained with Oronsay and the two destroyers.

At 1440/8, Oronsay got underway at slow speed and was able to increase speed to 9 knots.

At 1520/8, the ships that were with the Oronsay sighted the Liverpool section of the convoy which apparently had been delayed by bad weather conditions and therefore unable to have joined up with the Clyde section as had been intended. HMS Douglas, one of the escorting destroyers of the Liverpool section had been unable to keep up with it due to the weather conditions now joined the Oronsay group.

At 1900/8, the destroyers HMS Verity (Cdr. R.H. Mills, RN) and HMS Sabre (Cdr.(Retd.) B. Dean, RN) joined.

The destroyer HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, DSC, RN) also joined but it is unknown when.

At 2115/8, the AA cruiser HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) joined.

At 0205/9, HMS Arrow and HMCS Ottawa parted company with Oromsay and the other escorts to proceed to Londonderry.

Around 1030/9, the damaged Oronsay escorted by HMS Cairo, HMS Cheshire, HMS Douglas, HMS Verity, HMS Viscount and HMS Sabre arrived at Greenock.

Meanwhile the Clyde section had continued on escorted by HMS Whitehall, HMS Achates and HMS Active. As did the Liverpool section but apparently unescorted. They had failed to make rendezvous with each other in the heavy weather.

Around 1215/9, the Clyde section was joined by the light cruiser HMS Kenya (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, RN). It seems that at this time the destroyers were no longer present.

At noon on the 12th the Clyde section, with HMS Kenya was finally joined by the Liverpool section of the convoy.

The convoy arrived at Freetown in the afternoon of October 18th.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The convoy departed Freetown on 20 October 1940 and was made up of the Capetown Castle, Duchess of York, Georgic, Monarch of Bermuda, Orontes and Winchester Castle.

The convoy was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. B.C.S. Martin, RN).

The convoy arrived at Capetown on 28 October 1940. HMS Dorsetshire then proceeded to Simonstown where she arrived also on the same day.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On 30 October the convoy, now made up of the Duchess of York, Georgic, Monarch of Bermuda and Orontes departed Capetown for Suez. They were escorted by HMS Dorsetshire.

In the morning of 3 November the convoy overtook and then merged with the slow section of convoy WS 3 which was made up of the transports Dorset (British, 10624 GRT, built 1934), Erinpura (British, 5143 GRT, built 1911), Highland Brigade (British, 14134 GRT, built 1929), Khedive Ismael (British, 7290 GRT, built 1922), Oropesa (British, 14118 GRT, built 1920), Perthshire (British, 10496 GRT, built 1936) and Port Chalmers (British, 8535 GRT, built 1933) and their escort the armed merchant cruiser HMS Carthage (Capt.(Retd.) B.O. Bell-Salter, RN).

Shortly before noon the Erinpura and Khedive Ismael split off from the convoy and set course for Mombasa escorted by HMS Carthage. HMS Dorsetshire continued on with the remainder of the convoy towards Suez.

In the morning of November 11th, the light cruiser HMS Caledon (Capt. C.P. Clarke, RN) joined the convoy at the entrance to the Gulf of Aden.

The transport City of Lille (British, 6588 GRT, built 1928) and several more escort vessels, the AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN), destroyer HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN), sloops HMS Auckland (Cdr. J.G. Hewitt, DSO, RN) and HMAS Parramatta (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Walker, MVO, RAN) joined on 12 November 1940 for the passage through the Red Sea in which the Italian Navy was still active at this time.

The troopships Duchess of York and Georgic also re-joined the convoy after a brief visit to Aden. HMS Caledon also briefly left the convoy to oil at Aden before re-joining it.

Around 2130/12, the convoy entered the Perim Strait.

HMS Dorsetshire parted company with the convoy at 0915/14.

The convoy arrived at Suez on 16 November 1940. (6)

2 Dec 1940
HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, DSC, RN) picks up survivors from the British armed merchant cruiser HMS Forfar that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-99 about 500 nautical miles west of Ireland in position 54°35'N, 18°18'W.

HMS Viscount also picks up 36 survivors from the British merchant Goodleigh that is torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-52 367 nautical miles west of Bloody Foreland in position 55°02'N, 18°45'W.

HMS Viscount also picks up 16 survivors from the British merchant Kavak that is torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-100 about 340 nautical miles west of Bloody Foreland in position 55°00'N, 19°30'W.

HMS Viscount also picks up 27 survivors from the British merchant Tasso that is torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-52 sink about 360 miles west of Bloody Foreland in position 55°03'N, 18°04'W.

15 Jan 1941

Convoy HX 103.

This convoy departed Halifax on 15 January 1941 for Liverpool where it arrived on 1 February 1941.

Upon departure from Halifax the convoy was made up of the following merchant ships: Botusk (British, 3091 GRT, built 1919), Emmaplein (Dutch, 5436 GRT, built 1926), Gandia (Belgian, 9629 GRT, built 1907), Gard (Norwegian (tanker), 8259 GRT, built 1938), Jean Jadot (Belgian, 5859 GRT, built 1929), King William (British, 5274 GRT, built 1928) and Trehata (British, 4817 GRT, built 1928).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN), the destroyer HMCS Restigouche (Cdr. H.N. Lay, OBE, RN) and the corvette HMCS Arrowhead (T/Lt. V.H. Torraville, RCNR).

The destroyer and the corvette parted company with the convoy on the 16th and returned to Halifax.

On 18 January convoy BHX 103 coming from Bermuda merged with convoy HX 103. Convoy BHX 103 had been made up of the merchant vessels Athelfoam (British (tanker), 6554 GRT, built 1931), Dolabella (British (tanker), 8142 GRT, built 1939), Empire Shearwater (British, 4970 GRT, built 1920), Mamura (Dutch (tanker), 8245 GRT, built 1932) and Mijdrecht (Dutch (tanker), 7493 GRT, built 1931). It had departed Bermuda on 13 January 1941 and had been escorted to the rendez-vous position by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Montclare (Capt.(Retd.) H.M. Spreckley, RN) which was then detached.

The battleship parted company with the convoy on 26 January and then returned to Halifax.

On 27 January 1941 the destroyer HMS Vanquisher (Lt. A.P. Northey, DSC, RN) and corvettes HMS Gentian (Lt.Cdr. R.O. Yeomans, RD, RNR) and HMS Verbena (Lt.Cdr. D.A. Rayner, DSC, RNVR) joined the convoy but they were detached later the same day. On 28 January 1941 the destroyers HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, DSC, RN), HMS Whitehall (Lt.Cdr. A.B. Russell, RN) and HMS Winchelsea (Lt.Cdr. W.A.F. Hawkins, DSC, RN) joined the convoy. They were detached on 31 January 1941.

The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 1 February 1941, apparently unescorted.

Two merchant vessels were lost when the convoy ran into the British minefield SN 2 (north-west of Rona Island, in approximate position 59°08'N, 05°52'W) on 31 January 1941. These were the Botusk and Emmaplein.

27 Mar 1942
HMS H 50 (Lt. M.L.C. Crawford, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Richmond (Lt.Cdr. A.F.L. Evans, RN), HMS Corinthian (A/Cdr. E.J.R. Pollitt, RNR), HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. J.V. Waterhouse, RN) and HMS Sabre (Lt. R.L. Caple, DSC, RN). (7)

28 Mar 1942
HrMs O 10 (Lt. J.H. Geijs, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Primrose (Lt.Cdr. (retired) A. Ayre, RNR), HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. J.V. Waterhouse, RN) and HMS Corinthian (A/Cdr. E.J.R. Pollitt, RNR). (8)

12 Apr 1942
HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN) departed Holy Loch for Londonderry (Moville). She was escorted by HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. J.V. Waterhouse, RN). (9)

13 Apr 1942
En-route, HMS P 614 (Lt. D.J. Beckley, RN), carried out A/S exercises with HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. J.V. Waterhouse, RN). (9)

15 Oct 1942
German U-boat U-661 was sunk in the North Atlantic, in position 53°42'N, 35°56'W, after being rammed by the British destroyer HMS Viscount.

22 Jan 1943
HMS H 34 (Lt. G.M. Noll, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Dahlia (T/Lt. M.S. Work, RNR), HMS Wallflower (Lt. G.R. Greaves, RNR), HMS Rockingham (Lt.Cdr. N.W. Duck, DSC, RD, RNR), HMS Watchman (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Rodgers, RN), HMS Clare (Lt.Cdr. J.P. Stewart, DSC, RNR) and HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. J.V. Waterhouse, DSO, RN). (10)

23 Jan 1943
HMS H 34 (Lt. G.M. Noll, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Bittersweet (T/Lt. F.B. Brooks-Hill, RCNVR), HMS Burnham (Lt.Cdr. T. Taylor, DSC, RN) and HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. J.V. Waterhouse, DSO, RN). (10)

24 Jan 1943
HMS H 34 (Lt. G.M. Noll, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. J.V. Waterhouse, DSO, RN) and HMCS Assiniboine (A/Cdr. E.P. Tisdall, RCN). (10)

17 Feb 1943
German U-boat U-201 was sunk in the North Atlantic east of Newfoundland, in position 50°50'N, 40°50'W, by depth charges from the British destroyer HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. J.V. Waterhouse, RN).

23 Jul 1943
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.A.R. Troup, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Vanquisher (Lt.Cdr. G.A.G. Ormsby, RN) and HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. L.E. Woodhouse, RN). (11)

24 Sep 1943
HMS H 33 (Lt. D.G. Kent, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Dart (Cdr. J.T. Jones, RD, RNR), HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. L.E. Woodhouse, RN) and ORP Burza (Cdr. F. Pitulko, ORP). (12)

Media links


British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Sources

  1. ADM 173/15709
  2. ADM 199/2572
  3. ADM 53/113145
  4. ADM 199/376
  5. ADM 53/112886 + ADM 199/371
  6. ADM 199/372 + ADM 199/1136
  7. ADM 173/17271
  8. File 2.12.03.6379 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  9. ADM 173/17521
  10. ADM 173/17790
  11. ADM 173/17772
  12. ADM 173/17786

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


Return to the Allied Warships section



As an Amazon Associate uboat.net earns a commission from qualifying purchases.