Allied Warships

HMS Mackay (D 70)

Destroyer of the Admiralty Leader class

NavyThe Royal Navy
ClassAdmiralty Leader 
PennantD 70 
Built byCammell Laird Shipyard (Birkenhead, U.K.) 
OrderedApr 1917 
Laid down5 Mar 1918 
Launched21 Dec 1918 
Commissioned19 May 1919 
End service 

Mackay was converted into a long-range escort at the outbreak of WWII with a reduced gun armament but carrying a complement of 50 DCs.
In May 1940 she took part in the evacuation of Dunkirk, in 2/1941 was with Capt Pizey's Division when it attempted attacking Scharnhorst & Gneisenau as they returned to Germany via the Channel but failed to get in range.
Spent a short time escorting Russian convoy then switched to the East coast where she remained until the Normandy invasion. On 6 June 1944 she was escorting one of the invasion convoys.
Sold to be broken up for scrap on 18 February 1947.

Former nameHMS Claverhouse

Commands listed for HMS Mackay (D 70)

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

1Capt. Philip Louis Vian, RN3 Aug 193926 Sep 1939
2Cdr. Graham Henry Stokes, RN26 Sep 19391 May 1940
3Lt.Cdr. (retired) Ernest Adams, RN1 May 194010 Jun 1940
4Cdr. Graham Henry Stokes, RN10 Jun 194015 Oct 1940
5Cdr. Eric George Anderson Clifford, RN15 Oct 1940late 1940
6Lt.Cdr. (retired) Ernest Adams, RNlate 194025 Jan 1941
7Lt.Cdr. Ernest Colin Coats, RN25 Jan 194115 May 1941
8Capt. Thomas Edgar Halsey, DSO, RN15 May 194116 Sep 1941
9Capt. John Piachaud Wright, DSO, RN16 Sep 19415 Jul 1942
10Capt. Selwyn Victor Jephson, RN5 Jul 194222 Aug 1942
11Lt. James Bogue Marjoribanks, RN22 Aug 194229 Sep 1942
12Capt. Selwyn Victor Jephson, RN29 Sep 194215 Nov 1943
13Cdr. Richard Frederick Jessel, DSO, DSC, RN15 Nov 1943Mid 1944
14Lt. James Woore Cortlandt-Simpson, RN Jun 1944
15Capt. Jocelyn Stuart Cambridge Salter, DSO, OBE, RNJun 1944Oct 1944 (1)

16Cdr. (retired) Walter John Phipps, OBE, RN1 Dec 1944mid 1945

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Notable events involving Mackay include:

17 Jan 1940
HMS Mackay (Cdr G.H. Stokes, RN) picks up 48 survivors from the British merchant Cairnross that was sunk after hitting a mine laid on 6 January 1940 by German U-boat U-30 seven nautical miles bearing 276 from the Bar Light vessel, Liverpool in position 53°32'N, 03°27'W.

28 Apr 1941
HMS Sealion (Cdr. B. Bryant, DSC, RN) departed Portsmouth for her 16th war patrol. She was ordered to patrol in the Bay of Biscay. Before proceeding on patrol on the 30th two days of A/S exercises were to be run off Dartmouth together with trawlers and HMS Mackay (Lt.Cdr. E.C. Coats, RN).

For the daily positions of HMS Sealion during this patrol see the map below.


24 Dec 1942
HrMs O 15 (Lt. A.J. Schouwenaar, RNN) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Mackay (Capt. S.V. Jephson, RN) and ORP Piorun (Cdr. T. Gorazdowski). (3)

Media links

British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.


  2. ADM 199/1835
  3. File (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)

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

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