Allied Warships

HMS Brazen (H 80)

Destroyer of the B class


HMS Brazen sinking

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassB 
PennantH 80 
Built byPalmers Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd (Jarrow-on-Tyne, U.K.) 
Ordered22 Mar 1929 
Laid down22 Jul 1929 
Launched25 Jul 1930 
Commissioned8 Apr 1931 
Lost20 Jul 1940 
Loss position51° 01'N, 1° 17'E
History

HMS Brazen (Lt.Cdr. Sir Michael Culme-Seymour, RN) was sunk off Dover by German aircraft on 20 July 1940.
The wreck lies in 30 meters of water in position 51º01'05"N, 01º17'15"E.

 

Commands listed for HMS Brazen (H 80)

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.

CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Robert Henry Mills, RNApr 19391 Nov 1939
2Lt.Cdr. Roger Caton Beckett, RN1 Nov 193912 Feb 1940
3Lt.Cdr. Sir Michael Culme-Seymour, RN12 Feb 194020 Jul 1940

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Notable events involving Brazen include:


22 Sep 1939
HMS Thistle (Cdr. R.W. Stirling-Hamilton, RN) departed from Portsmouth for Dover where she arrived later the same day. She is escorted by HMS Skate (Lt.Cdr. A.O. Johnson, RN). Later HMS Brazen (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Mills, RN) took over from HMS Skate as escort. (1)

31 Oct 1939
Around 0745A/31, HMS Newcastle (Capt. J. Figgins, RN) departed Plymouth for Spithead. Here, around 1900A/31, she joined HMS Glasgow (Capt. F.H. Pegram, RN) and the destroyers HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN), HMS Basilisk (Cdr. M. Richard, RN), HMS Brazen (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Mills, RN) and HMS Venomous (Lt.Cdr. D.G.F.W. MacIntyre, RN). These ships then set course to proceed to Rosyth. En-route the cruisers were diverted for operations.

The destroyers parted company during 1 November, HMS Anthony at 0845A/1, HMS Basilisk and HMS Brazen around 1730A/1 and finally HMS Venomous around 1845/1. HMS Venomous had already been detached for a while in the morning. (2)

14 Feb 1940
HMS Diana (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Le Geyt, RN) returned to Rosyth.

She departed later the same day for Invergordon together with HMS Brazen (Lt.Cdr. Sir M. Culme-Seymour, RN). At sea they were joined by HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, RN).

15 Feb 1940
HMS Diana (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Le Geyt, RN), HMS Brazen (Lt.Cdr. M. Culme-Seymour, RN) and HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, RN) arrive at Invergordon. They departed again later the same day escorting the destroyer HMS Duncan (Cdr. J.S.C. Salter, RN) that was being towed from Invergordon to Rosyth by the tugs St. Mellons and Norman.

16 Feb 1940
HMS Duncan (Cdr. J.S.C. Salter, RN), under tow by the tugs St. Mellons and Norman and their escorting destroyers; HMS Diana (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Le Geyt, RN), HMS Brazen (Lt.Cdr. M. Culme-Seymour, RN) and HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, RN) arrive at Rosyth from Invergordon.

17 Feb 1940
HMS Diana (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Le Geyt, RN) and HMS Brazen (Lt.Cdr. M. Culme-Seymour, RN) departed Rosyth escorting two merchant vessels to Aberdeen after which they escorted the merchant vessels Hirondelle (British, 893 GRT, built 1925) and Rutland (1437 GRT, built 1935) to Lerwick and Scapa Flow respectively.

7 Apr 1940
In the evening, ships from the Home Fleet; battleships HMS Rodney (Capt. F.H.G. Dalrymple-Hamilton, RN, flying the flag of Admiral J.M. Forbes, KCB, DSO, RN), HMS Valiant (Capt. H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN), battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN), light cruisers HMS Penelope (Capt. G.D. Yates, RN), HMS Sheffield (Capt. C.A.A. Larcom, RN), Emile Bertin (Capt. R.M.J. Battet), with destroyers HMS Codrington (Capt. G.E. Creasy, MVO, RN), HMS Brazen (Lt.Cdr. M. Culme-Seymour, RN), HMS Electra (Lt.Cdr. S.A. Buss, MVO, RN), HMS Escapade (Cdr. H.R. Graham, RN), HMS Griffin (Lt.Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN), HMS Eskimo (Cdr. St.J.A. Micklethwait, DSO, RN), HMS Punjabi (Cdr. J.T. Lean, RN), HMS Jupiter (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. R.G.K. Knowling, RN) departed from Scapa Flow to patrol in Norwegian waters near position 61°00'N, 01°00'E.

10 Apr 1940
Around 1530 hours the destroyers HMS Jupiter (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, RN), HMS Afridi (Capt. P.L. Vian, RN), HMS Mashona (Cdr. W.H. Selby, RN), HMS Mohawk (Cdr. J.W.M. Eaton, RN), HMS Somali (Capt. R.S.G. Nicholson, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Electra (Lt.Cdr. S.A. Buss, MVO, RN), HMS Escapade (Cdr. H.R. Graham, RN), HMS Brazen (Lt.Cdr. M. Culme-Seymour, RN) and HMS Codrington (Capt. G.E. Creasy, MVO, RN) arrived at Sullom Voe to fuel. (3)

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).

15 Apr 1940
German U-boat U-49 was sunk near Narvik, Norway in position 68°53'N, 16°59'E, by depth charges from the British destroyers HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN) and HMS Brazen (Lt.Cdr. Sir M. Culme-Seymour, RN).

18 Apr 1940
Around 1200A/18, the battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN) escorted by the destroyers HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN), HMS Griffin (Lt.Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, RN) and HMS Brazen (Lt.Cdr. M. Culme-Seymour, RN), arrived at Scapa Flow. (4)

4 May 1940
Around 1600A/4, the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal (Capt. C.S. Holland, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral L.V. Wells, CB, DSO, RN), AA cruiser, AA cruiser HMS Curlew (Capt. B.C.B. Brooke, RN) and the destroyers HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, RN), HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St J. Morgan, RN), HMS Mashona (Cdr. W.H. Selby, RN), HMS Sikh (Cdr. J.A. Giffard, RN), HMS Tartar (Cdr. L.P. Skipwith, RN) and HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN) departed Scapa Flow for operations off Norway.

On the 6th, HMS Ark Royal flew of a Walrus to Harstad with the Staff Officer Operations onboard. He was to confer with Admiral of the Fleet W.H.D. Boyle (Lord Cork), GCB, GCVO, RN, the Flag Officer, Northern Norway.

In the afternoon of the 6th, HMS Ark Royal flew off six Skua's for a fighter patrol over Tjelsundet, Bogen and Harstad. One aircraft reported having sighted a submarine near the Andenes Lighthouse. Therefore an A/S patrol of three Swordfish was flown off but these sighted nothing.

At 0640A/7, HMS Encounter and HMS Jaguar were detached to fuel at Harstad. They returned at 2000A/7 at which time HMS Sikh and HMS Tartar were detached to fuel at Harstad.

On the 7th, flight operations were carried out by HMS Ark Royal, these included fighter patrols in the Narvik / Harstad area. Also the Walrus aircraft with the Staff Officer Operations returned to HMS Ark Royal. Two Swordfish aircraft carried out a photographic reconnaissance of the area east of Bogen.

HMS Sikh and HMS Tartar rejoined at 1054/8. Later that day, at 1737A/8, HMS Inglefield and HMS Mashona were sent to Harstad to fuel.

On the 8th, flight operations were carried out by HMS Ark Royal, these included the usual fighter patrols in the Narvik / Harstad area. In the afternoon Skua's damaged two enemy bombers and forced a enemy flying boat down. One of the Skua's was lost in this last engagement. The crew was safe and later returned to HMS Ark Royal. Also one Swordfish carried out a photographic reconnaissance of the east east of Bogen and the Herjangsfjord. In the afternoon two more Swordfish conducted an A/S patrol around the carrier force.

At 0902A/9, HMS Inglefield and HMS Mashona rejoined. At 1315A/9, HMS Jaguar was detached to Harstad. At 2253A/9, HMS Encounter was detached to Harstad.

On the 9th, flight operations were carried out by HMS Ark Royal. The flying operations started around 0800A/9 with a strike force of 9 Swordfish aircraft which were to to carry out an attack on the railway line at Nordalsbroen, Hundalen and Sildvik. They were followed by three Skua's which were to give fighter protection for this Swordfish strike force. Two more Skua's were then flown off for a defensive patrol. Three of the Swordfish had to return to HMS Ark Royal and one had to ditch and the crew was picked up by a destroyer. The remaining Swordfish successfully attacked railway infrastructure. One of the Skua's of the fighter cover for the Swordfish had to crash land due to engine problems. It's crew survived and managed to escape capture by the Germans. No flying was prossible for the remainder of the day due to the weather conditions.

At 0225/10, HMS Jaguar rejoined followed by HMS Encounter at 1703A/10 at which time HMS Sikh and HMS Tartar were detached for Harstad.

On the 10th, no flying was possible until early afternoon when 2 flights of three Skua's each were flown off for fighter patrols in the Narvik, area. Fighted patrols were maintained throughout the remainder of the day.

At 1355A/11, HMS Sikh and HMS Tartar rejoined and HMS Mashona and HMS Jaguar were detached with orders to proceed to Scapa Flow.

On the 11th, flying commenced around 1000 hours when three Skua's were flown off to provide fighter cover for Allied convoys. This fighter cover was maintained throughout the day.

On the 12th, flying commenced around 0400 hours with Skua's been again flown off for convoy fighter cover. These fighter patrols were discontinued around noon. In late afternoon aircraft were flown off for operations and fighter patrols in the Narvik area.

At 1304A/13, HMS Curlew and HMS Inglefield were detached to fuel at Harstad.

On the 13th, flying already started at 0215 hours when two Skua's were flown off for fighter patrol over Herjangsfjord. Also a Swordfish was flown off for reconnaissance duty for the Army. Fighter patrols would be maintained over the Fleet and various areas throughout early in the morning. Also several strike forces were flown off to engage land targets. Flying was halted around 0800 hours due to the unsuitable weather conditions.

At 0830A/14, HMS Inglefield rejoined. At 1338A/14, the destroyers HMS Westcott (Lt.Cdr. W.F.R. Segrave, RN) and HMS Volunteer (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN) joined. At the same time HMS Inglefield and HMS Sikh were detached with orders to proceed to Scapa Flow while HMS Encounter was detached to Harstad. At 1350A/14, HMS Curlew rejoined but she left again at 2057A/14.

On the 14th, flying commenced only at 1100 hours when three Skua's were flown off for a fighter patrol over Bjerkvik. Fighted patrols were maintained throughout the day in various areas.

At 0615A/15, HMS Encounter rejoined. HMS Tartar parted company on the 15th, also to fuel at Harstad (no time given).

On 15 May, flying commenced shortly after 0400 hours, when two Skua's were flown off for a fighter patrol over Hartvig. Fighter patrols were maintained over several area's throughout the day. Also several stike forces of Swordfish aircraft were flown off during the day.

At 0703A/16, HMS Westcott parted company to proceed to Harstad to effect repairs there as she was suffering from engine trouble and her Asdic was out of action. At 1044A/16, HMS Tartar rejoined. At 1800A/16, HMS Volunteer was detached to fuel at Harstad.

On 16 May, flying commenced around 0300 hours, when a strike force of 9 Swordfish was flown off to attack enemy troops and stores on the Hemnes Peninsula in the Ranfjorden. Three Skua's were also flown off to give them fighter protection. They also were to sink the damaged troopship Chrobry (Polish, 11442 GRT, built 1939). One bomb hit the ship and she finally sank. Earlier attempts had failed to sink the derelict wreck. Fighter patrols made up of Skua's were flown off throughout the day to patrol in various areas. Also late in the afternoon a Swordfish was flown off for a photographic reconnaissance.

At 2100A/17, HMS Volunteer rejoined from Harstad.

On the 17th, fighter protection was provided for HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN), HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN), HMS Coventry (Capt. R.F.J. Onslow, DSC, RN), HMS Matabele (Cdr. G.K. Whitmy-Smith, RN) and HMS Echo (Cdr. S.H.K. Spurgeon, DSO, RAN) which where en-route from Harstard to Bodo carrying troops. These fighter patrols continued until 0630A/18.

At 0200A/18, the destroyer HMS Brazen (Lt.Cdr. Sir M. Culme-Seymour, RN) joined. At 1445A/18, the destroyer HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. R.T. White, RN) joined. At 1800A/18, HMS Encounter was detached to oil. HMS Tartar was also detached on this day (no time given).

Late the 18th, two groups of three Skua's were flown off by HMS Ark Royal for figher cover in the Narvik area.

At 1612A/19, HMS Encounter rejoined. At 1900A/19, HMS Volunteer parted company to oil at Harstad.

On the 19th, No flying took place as conditions inshore were unsuitable.

At 1830A/20, HMS Volunteer rejoined and HMS Brazen was detached to oil at Harstad.

On the 20th, around 0330 hours, HMS Ark Royal flew off a strike force of 9 Swordfish that was to attack Hundalen and Sildvik. Around the same time 3 Skua's were flown off for a fighter patrol in the Narvik area. More Skua fighters patrols for the Narvik area were flown off at 0400 and 0600 hours. When these aircraft all returned later in the morning, visibility had deteriorated and flying was halted for the remainder of the day.

At 1928A/21, HMS Brazen rejoined.

On 21 June HMS Ark Royal flew of 6 Skua's around 0300 hours for a fighter patrol near Bardufoss airfield to cover the landing of Gladiator fighters there that were flown off from HMS Furious. Later Skua's were flown off to conduct a fighter patrol off Bardufoss.

Around 2345A/22, HMS Volunteer and HMS Encounter lost touch in thick fog. They only rejoined at 1523/23, after the fog had cleared. HMS Ark Royal now ended her operations off Norway and course was set to return to Scapa Flow.

At 0455A/24, HMS Antelope was detached followed by HMS Brazen at 1518A/24. HMS Ark Royal, HMS Volunteer and HMS Encounter arrived at Scapa Flow around 1915A/24.

22 Jul 1940
Loss of the ship reported. She was sunk while returning under tow, to port, after being attacked by enemy aircraft. Three planes were reported shot down. All the ship's crew were saved. (5)

Media links


British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Sources

  1. ADM 173/16184
  2. ADM 53/108895 + ADM 53/108896 + ADM 53/109922 + ADM 53/109923
  3. ADM 199/376
  4. ADM 53/113358 + ADM 199/361 + ADM 199/376
  5. Personal communication

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


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