HMS Vortigern (D 37)
Destroyer of the Admiralty V & W class
|Navy||The Royal Navy|
|Class||Admiralty V & W|
|Mod||Short range escort|
|Built by||J.S. White & Co. (Cowes, U.K.)|
|Laid down||17 Jan 1916|
|Launched||5 Oct 1917|
|Commissioned||25 Jan 1918|
|Lost||15 Mar 1942|
|Loss position||53° 13'N, 1° 07'E|
On 15 March 1942 HMS Vortigern (Lt.Cdr. Ronald Stanley Howlett, RN) was torpedoed and sunk off Cromer in position 55º06'N, 01º22'E by the German motor torpedo boat (E-boat) S-104. HMS Vortigern was escorting coastal convoy FS-749 at the time of her loss.
The wreck lies in 17 meters of water in position 53º13'06"N, 01º06'54"E.
Commands listed for HMS Vortigern (D 37)
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|1||Lt.Cdr. Walter James Burberry Handley, RN||15 Jun 1939||2 Jan 1940|
|2||Lt.Cdr. Ronald Stanley Howlett, RN||2 Jan 1940||15 Mar 1942 (+)|
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Notable events involving Vortigern include:
18 May 1940
HMS Cornwall (Capt. C.F. Hammill, RN) and HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. B.C.S. Martin, RN) arrived at Gibraltar around 2000 hours (zone 0, GMT). Around 0830 hours the cruisers had been joined by the destroyers HMS Keppel (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) E.G. Heywood-Lonsdale, RN) and HMS Vortigern (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Howlett, RN) for A/S escort in the approaches to Gibraltar. (1)
31 Aug 1940
On 31 August 1940 a group of destroyers sailed from Immingham on a mine laying mission off the Dutch coast. The minelayers were from the 20th Destroyer Flotilla and consisted of the destroyers HMS Express (Cdr. J.G. Bickford, DSC, RN), HMS Esk (Lt.Cdr. R.J.H. Couch, DSC, RN), HMS Icarus (Cdr. C.D. Maud, DSC, RN), HMS Intrepid (Cdr. R.C. Gordon, RN) and HMS Ivanhoe (Cdr. P.H. Hadow, RN). The minelayers were escorted by members of the 5th Destroyer Flotilla consisted of the destroyers HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN), HMS Jupiter (Cdr. D.B. Wyburd, RN) and HMS Vortigern (Lt.Cdr. R.S. Howlett, RN). Aerial reconnaissance detected a German force and the ships of the 20th and 5th DF were ordered to intercept, believing wrongly that the German ships were part of an invasion force. HMS Express struck a mine and was badly damaged, HMS Esk went to her assistance and hit mine and sank immediately, HMS Ivanhoe also went to her assistance and hit a mine and was badly damaged, so much so she had to be sunk by HMS Kelvin. The following day they were joined by the light cruisers HMS Aurora (Capt. L.H.K. Hamilton, DSO, RN) and HMS Galatea (Capt. B.B. Schofield, RN) and while returning to base HMS Galatea struck another mine and was slightly damaged off Cleaner Shoal Buoy near the Humber light vessel.
- ADM 53/112035
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.