Allied Warships

HMS Kempenfelt (ii) (R 03)

Destroyer of the W class

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantR 03 
ModFlotilla leader 
Built byJohn Brown Shipbuilding & Engineering Company Ltd. (Clydebank, Scotland) 
OrderedDec 1941 
Laid down24 Jun 1942 
Launched8 May 1943 
Commissioned25 Oct 1943 
End service 

In January 1944 HMS Kempenfelt was a member of the 19th DD Flotilla, and was involved in the shelling of enemy held positions at Anzio before the landing of the Allied troops. On June 6th during D-day operation Neptune she was assigned to the Gunfire Bombardment Support Force E (Juno Beach). In 1945 Kempenfelt was amongst the many destroyers that joined the British Pacific Fleet, her task being the prevention of Japanese supplies reaching Okinawa, it was here that the Kamikazes were used for the first time, being nicknamed by the British as "deadly Johnsons”. The dropping of the Atomic Bomb put an end to the war in the Pacific, and she teamed up with the mightiest array of naval vessels ever formed, and sailed into Japanese waters to accept the unconditional surrender of the Japanese Empire.

Sometime after this she returned to U.K. to be decommissioned. In November 1947 Kempenfelt was brought forward from reserve and with a delivery crew she sailed from the U.K. to join the Cape Station Reserve Fleet at Simonstown, South Africa where she was used as a living in ship. On 27 April 1948 Kempenfelt entered the Selborne dry dock to commence her refit. On June 30th she was undocked. In 1953 the admiralty decided there was no need for a Reserve Destroyer Squadron to be based in the South Atlantic and Kempenfelt sailed from Simonstown for the U.K. to join the Reserve Fleet there. In 1956 Kempenfelt was purchased by the Yugoslavian government, and towed to that country where she was refitted at Split. On 10 September 1959 Kempenfelt was fully commissioned into the Yugoslavian Navy and renamed Kotor. Her appearance did not vary greatly from the original configuration. In 1970 Kotor was broken up at Split.

Her original R.N. ships badge can still be seen today displayed on the side of the Selborne dry dock wall.

Former nameHMS Valentine

Commands listed for HMS Kempenfelt (ii) (R 03)

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

1Lt.Cdr. James Bogue Marjoribanks, RN31 Aug 194324 Apr 1944
2Capt. Manley Lawrence Power, OBE, RN24 Apr 19449 Jul 1944
3T/A/Lt.Cdr. John Farquhar Dibben, RNVR9 Jul 194410 Feb 1945
4Capt. Eric George McGregor, DSO, RN10 Feb 1945early 1946

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 Kempenfelt (ii) include:

19 Nov 1943
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Scapa Flow together with HMS Kempenfelt (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Marjoribanks, RN) and HMS Halcyon (T/A/Lt.Cdr. L.J. Martin, RNVR). (1)

29 Nov 1943
HMS Taku (Lt. A.J.W. Pitt, RN) participated in A/S exercises off Scapa Flow together with HMS Milne (Capt. I.M.R. Campbell, DSO, RN), HMIS Cauvery (A/Cdr. A.W. Beeton, RIN) and HMS Kempenfelt (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Marjoribanks, RN). (1)

6 Dec 1943
HMS Telemachus (Cdr. W.D.A. King, DSO, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow together with HMS Obdurate (Lt.Cdr. C.E.L. Sclater, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Kempenfelt (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Marjoribanks, RN), HMS Tenacious (Lt.Cdr. D.F. Townsend, RN) and HMS Speedwell (Lt.Cdr. T.E. Williams, RD, RNR). (2)

6 May 1944
HMS Voracious (Lt. F.D.G. Challis, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises at/off Scapa Flow with HMS Eskimo (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Sinclair, DSC, RN), HMS Kempenfelt (Capt. M.L. Power, OBE, RN) and HMS Kelvin (Lt.Cdr. R.M.W. MacFarlan, RN). (3)

12 Aug 1945
HMS Virtue (Lt. R.D. Cairns, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Sydney with (at least) HMS Swiftsure (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) and HMS Kempenfelt (Capt. E.G. McGregor, DSO, RN). (4)

Media links

British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.


  1. ADM 173/18180
  2. ADM 173/18214
  3. ADM 173/19434
  4. ADM 173/20293

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

Return to the Allied Warships section