Allied Warships

HMS Whitley (L 23)

Destroyer of the Admiralty V & W class

NavyThe Royal Navy
ClassAdmiralty V & W 
PennantL 23 
ModFast escort 
Built byDoxford Shipyard (Sunderland, U.K.) 
Ordered9 Dec 1916 
Laid downJun 1917 
Launched13 Apr 1918 
Commissioned14 Oct 1918 
Lost19 May 1940 
Loss position51° 09'N, 2° 39'E

Reconstruction to Fast Escort at Chatham Dockyard was completed in October 1938.

On 19 May 1940 HMS Whitley (Lt.Cdr. Guy Neville Rolfe, RN) was badly damaged by German aircraft and beached between Nieuport and Ostend. She was later sunk by HMS Keith in position 51º09'04"N, 02º39'34"E.
The wreck lies in only 5 meter of water.


Commands listed for HMS Whitley (L 23)

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.Cdr. Eric Hart Dyke, RN24 Jun 193911 Dec 1939
2Lt.Cdr. Guy Neville Rolfe, RN11 Dec 193919 May 1940

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Notable events involving Whitley include:

20 Feb 1940
Convoy MT 15 (26 ships) departed Methil for the Tyne where it arrived later today. It was escorted by AA destroyer HMS Whitley (Lt.Cdr. G.N. Rolfe, RN) and the sloop HMS Egret (Cdr. D.P. Evans, RN). Additionally the destroyer HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN) was also part of the escort.

The same escort departed the Tyne later the same day with convoy FS 101 (22 ships) from the Tyne to Southend where it arrived on 22

15 May 1940
HMS Valentine (Cdr. H.J. Buchanan, RAN), HMS Whitley (Lt.Cdr. G.N. Rolfe, RN) and HMS Winchester (Lt.Cdr. S.E. Crewe-Read, RN) were operating off Flushing during the night of 14/15 May 1940.

Early in the afternoon of the 15th, HMS Valentine and HMS Whitley were ordered to give AA protection to the Terneuzen - Hoedekenskerke ferry but they came under air attack and HMS Valentine was badly damaged and had to be beached near Terneuzen after which her wreck was scuttled by HMS Whitley. HMS Whitley then returned to Flushing.

Media links

British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

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