Allied Warships

HMS Campbeltown (I 42)

Destroyer of the Town class

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantI 42 
Built byBath Iron Works (Bath, Maine, U.S.A.) 
Laid down29 Jun 1918 
Launched2 Jan 1919 
Commissioned9 Sep 1940 
Lost28 Mar 1942 

Upon her arrival at Devonport, England, 29 September 1940, HMS Campbeltown was allocated to the 7th Escort Group, Liverpool, in the Western Approaches Comm and. In January 1941 she was provisionally allocated to the Royal Netherlands Navy, but reverted to the Royal Navy in September 1941. Between September 1941 and March 1942 she served with Atlantic convoys and was attacked on several occasions by enemy U-boats and aircraft, but escaped without damage. On 15 September 1941 she picked up the survivors of the Norwegian motor tanker Vinga, damaged by an enemy air attack.

Destroyed as explosive vessel against the gate of the massive dry dock Normandie at St. Nazaire, France (to deny large German surface ships the use of it for repair). The commander of the destroyer, Lt. Cdr. Stephen Halden Beattie, RN, who was taken prisoner of war, was awarded the Victoria Cross for this raid.

Former nameUSS Buchanan (DD 131)

Commands listed for HMS Campbeltown (I 42)

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.

1Lt. Isaac William Trant Beloe, RN9 Sep 1940Jan 1941

2Lt.Cdr. (emergency) Lord Teynham, RN29 Oct 194113 Mar 1942
3Lt.Cdr. Stephen Halden Beattie, RN13 Mar 194228 Mar 1942

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Notable events involving Campbeltown include:

29 Nov 1940
HMS Campbeltown rammed and sank the British merchant ship Fiddown (319 GRT) in the Mersey estuary. The Fiddown was later raised.

4 Nov 1941
HrMs O 9 (Lt. H.A.W. Goossens, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Alisma (A/Lt.Cdr. M.G. Rose, RANVR), HMS Chelsea (Lt.Cdr. A.F.C. Layard, RN), HMS Exmoor (Lt.Cdr. L.StG. Rich, RN) and HMS Campbeltown (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) Lord Teynham, RN). (1)

16 Nov 1941
HMS H 44 (Lt. J.S. Stevens, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Dahlia (T/Lt. M.S. Work, RNR) and HMS Campbeltown (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) Lord Teynham, RN). (2)

28 Mar 1942
HMS Campbeltown was used as an explosive vessel against the massive dry-dock / entrance lock dock at St. Nazaire, France (to deny large German surface ships the use of it for repair). (3)

Media links

British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.


  1. File (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  2. ADM 173/16787
  3. Personal communication

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

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