HMS Vanessa (D 29)
Destroyer of the Admiralty V & W class
|Navy||The Royal Navy|
|Class||Admiralty V & W|
|Mod||Long range escort|
|Built by||William Beardmore & Co. (Dalmuir, Scotland)|
|Ordered||30 Jun 1916|
|Laid down||16 May 1917|
|Launched||16 Mar 1918|
|Commissioned||27 Apr 1918|
Reconstruction to Long Range Escort at the Green and Silley Weir shipyard, London was finished in June 1942.
Sold to be broken up for scrap on 4 March 1947.
Commands listed for HMS Vanessa (D 29)
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|1||Lt.Cdr. John Henry Plumer, RN||31 Jul 1939||12 Feb 1940|
|2||Lt.Cdr. Eric Alonzo Stocker, RN||12 Feb 1940||7 Jan 1941|
|3||Lt. John Humphrey Albert Stucley, RN||7 Jan 1941||late 1941|
|4||Lt. Charles Edward Sheen, RN||31 Mar 1942||21 Feb 1944|
|5||Lt. Barry John Anderson, RN||21 Feb 1944||4 Oct 1944|
|6||T/A/Lt.Cdr. Arthur St. George Walton, RNVR||4 Oct 1944||Jan 1945 ?|
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Notable events involving Vanessa include:
16 Mar 1918
HMS Vanessa was launched by Mrs. Frederick Elvy. (1)
5 Sep 1939
A convoy of eleven passenger liners departed the U.K. for destinations in the Atlantic or Mediterranean (or Far East via the Mediterranean).
The convoy was assembled off the Clyde and was made up of the passenger liners / merchant vessels; Britannic (British, 26943 GRT, built 1930), Clan Ferguson (British, 7347 GRT, built 1938), Duchess of Bedford (British, 20123 GRT, built 1928), Durban Castle (British, 17388 GRT, built 1938), Montcalm (British, 16418 GRT, built 1921), Orcades (British, 23456 GRT, built 1937), Orford (British, 19941 GRT, built 1928), Orion (British, 23371 GRT, built 1935), Reina del Pacifico (British, 17702 GRT, built 1931), Scythia (British, 19761 GRT, built 1920) and Strathaird (British, 22281 GRT, built 1932).
On assembly the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Vivacious (Cdr. C.R.L. Parry, RN), HMS Vanessa (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Plumer, RN), HMS Vanquisher (Lt.Cdr. K.H. Fraser, RN), HMS Wakeful (Cdr. R.St.V. Sherbrooke, RN) as well as HMS Verity (Lt.Cdr. A.R.M. Black, RN), HMS Volunteer (Lt.Cdr. H. Gartside-Tippinge, RN), HMS Witherington (Lt.Cdr. G.C. Fryer, RN) and HMS Wolverine (Cdr. R.C. Gordon, RN).
Arond 2300A/5, the battleship HMS Ramillies (Capt. H.T. Baillie-Grohman, OBE, DSO, RN) departed Portland escorted by the destroyers HMS Exmouth (Cdr. R.S. Benson, RN) and HMS Escapade (Cdr. H.R. Graham, RN). They were joined around 0530A/6 by the destroyers HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Woodhall, RN) and HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) which had come from Plymouth.
Around 1845A/6, HMS Ramillies and her four escorting destroyers joined the convoy after which HMS Vivacious, HMS Vanessa, HMS Witherington and HMS Wolverine parted company. After conducting an A/S sweep astern of the convoy they proceeded to Plymouth where they arrived around noon on the 7th.
Around 1100A/8, HMS Verity, HMS Volunteer, HMS Witherington and HMS Wolverine parted company with the convoy to proceed to Milford Haven where they arrived in the morning of September 10th.
Late in the morning of September 10th, the French destroyers Le Fortune (Cdr. C.M.L. D'Hespel), La Railleuse (Lt.Cdr. J.E.C. Hourcade) and Simoun (Lt.Cdr. F. Hainguerlot) which had departed Gibraltar around 0810A/9, joined the convoy.
Around 1850A/10, the French destroyer Simoun was sent to Gibraltar with despatches. She arrived there around 0710A/11.
Around noon on the 11th, off Gibraltar, the British light cruiser HMS Galatea (Capt. E.G.H. Bellars, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral J.C. Tovey, CB, DSO, RN) and the French destroyers Tramontaine (Cdr. R.M.J.A. Renault), Tornade (Lt.Cdr. R.G.A. Labat) and Typhon (Lt.Cdr. Y.M.J. Le Hagre).
HMS Ramillies, and the French destroyers Le Fortune and La Railleuse then proceeded to Gibraltar as did the liner Scythia. Apparently the French destroyers, including Simoun, later proceeded again to rejoin the convoy.
HMS Exmouth, HMS Eclipse, HMS Encounter and HMS Escapade most likely detached from the convoy on 12 September as they arrived at Gibraltar on the 14th via Oran.
The French destroyers were relieved near Malta on 14 September 1939 by the destroyers HMS Greyhound (Cdr. W.R. Marshall-A'Deane, RN) and HMS Glowworm (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Roope, RN). Also a French convoy (L 2), made up of the merchant vessels Sphinx (French, 11375 GRT, built 1915) and Ville de Strasbourg (French, 7007 GRT, built 1920), which had departed Marseilles on 12 September, joined the convoy for onward passage to Beirut. This French convoy had probably been escorted by the destroyers Maille Breze (Cdr. H.M.E.A. Glotin), Cassard (Cdr. R.A.A. Braxmeyer) and Kersaint (Cdr. G.R.J. Rebuffel) which apparently also joined the convoy. The Durban Castle also detached off Malta at 1000B/14 and entered Valetta.
Around 1600B/15 the Clan Ferguson parted company. She was carrying important stores for Istanbul, Turkey. She was escorted by the destroyer HMS Gallant (Lt.Cdr. C.P.F. Brown, RN).
At 0700B/16, the Britannic, Duchess of Bedford, Montcalm, Reina del Pacifico and Strathaird were detached to Port Said.
the Orcades, Orford and Orion arrived at Alexandria in the evening of the 16th. HMS Galatea did not enter but went to the west to make rendezvous with the destroyers HMS Griffin and HMS Garland of which the former was towing the later after she had been damaged by her own depth charges.
18 Mar 1940
Convoy HX 28.
This convoy departed Halifax on 18 March 1940 and arrived at Liverpool 2 April 1940.
Upon departure from Halifax the convoy was made up of the following merchant ships: Aldersdale (British (tanker), 8402 GRT, built 1937), Annik (Norwegian, 1333 GRT, built 1940), Antigone (British, 4545 GRT, built 1928), Athelknight (British (tanker), 8940 GRT, built 1930), Avelona Star (British, 13376 GRT, built 1927), Beckenham (British, 4636 GRT, built 1937), Bengore Head (British, 2609 GRT, built 1922), Boreas (Norwegian, 2801 GRT, built 1920), Bridgepool (British, 4845 GRT, built 1924), British Captain (British (tanker), 6968 GRT, built 1923), British Prudence (British (tanker), 8620 GRT, built 1939), Cardita (British (tanker), 8237 GRT, built 1931), Collegian (British, 7886 GRT, built 1923), Cordelia (British (tanker), 8190 GRT, built 1932), Dalcroy (British, 4558 GRT, built 1930), Dromore Castle (British, 5242 GRT, built 1919), Edward F. Johnson (British (tanker), 10452 GRT, built 1937), Empire Confidence (British, 5023 GRT, built 1935), Eskdalegate (British, 4250 GRT, built 1930), Europe (Norwegian (tanker), 8371 GRT, built 1934), Grainton (British, 6341 GRT, built 1929), Harlingen (British, 5415 GRT, built 1933), Henri Desprez (French (tanker), 9805 GRT, built 1932), Hopepeak (British, 5179 GRT, built 1938), Indiana (French, 5751 GRT, built 1915), Induna (British, 5086 GRT, built 1925), Inversuir (British, 9456 GRT, built 1938), Jean L.D. (French, 5795 GRT, built 1935), Jumna (British, 6078 GRT, built 1929), Jutland (British, 6153 GRT, built 1928), Lancaster Castle (British, 5172 GRT, built 1937), Lucerna (British (tanker), 6556 GRT, built 1930), Macharda (British, 5998 GRT, built 1938), Malayan Prince (British, 8953 GRT, built 1926), Manchester Citizen (British, 5343 GRT, built 1925), Manchester Port (British, 7071 GRT, built 1935), Matheran (British, 7653 GRT, built 1919), Mathilda (Norwegian, 3650 GRT, built 1920), Narragansett (British (tanker) 10389 GRT, built 1936), Newfoundland (British, 6791 GRT, built 1925), Nicolaou Georgios (British, 4108 GRT, built 1930), Politician (British, 7939 GRT, built 1923), Pomella (British (tanker), 6766 GRT, built 1937), Ramsay (British, 4855 GRT, built 1930), Rio Azul (British, 4088 GRT, built 1921), Rockpool (British, 4892 GRT, built 1927), San Demetrio (British (tanker), 8073 GRT, built 1938), San Ernesto (British (tanker), 8078 GRT, built 1939), San Gabriel (British, 4943 GRT, built 1920), Sarthe (British, 5271 GRT, built 1920), Scoresby (British, 3843 GRT, built 1923), Selvistan (British, 5136 GRT, built 1924), Shirak (British (tanker), 6023 GRT, built 1926), Stanwell (British, 5767 GRT, built 1914), Stiklestad (Norwegian (tanker"), 9349 GRT, built 1938), Torr Head (British, 5021 GRT, built 1937), Trecarrell (British, 5271 GRT, built 1919), Tuira (Panamanian, 4397 GRT, built 1912), Varanger (Norwegian (tanker), 9305 GRT, built 1925), W.B. Walker (British (tanker), 10468 GRT, built 1935) and Walter D. Munson (Greek, 3703 GRT, built 1917).
On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Saguenay (Cdr. G.R. Miles, RCN), HMCS Skeena (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN) and HMCS Ottawa (Capt. G.C. Jones, RCN).
HMCS Ottawa parted company with the convoy later on the 18th. HMCS Saguenay and HMCS Skeena parted company on the 19th.
The convoy then continued on eastwards escorted by HMS Royal Sovereign which parted company with the convoy on the 27th.
On approaching the British Isles the destroyers HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. R.T. White, RN) and HMS Warwick (Lt.Cdr. M.A.G. Child, RN) joined the convoy on the 27th, HMS Havock (Lt.Cdr. R.E. Courage, RN) and HMS Vanessa (Lt.Cdr. E.A. Stocker, RN) on the 28th and HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. C.G.W. Donald, RN) on the 29th. Apparently only HMS Antelope remained with when the convoy until it arrived at Liverpool.
13 Jul 1940
Shortly after leaving Dover, escorting a convoy HMS Vanessa (Lt.Cdr. E.A. Stocker, DSC, RN) was damaged by near misses during a German air attack. Vanessa's propellers were damaged and put out of action by a bomb exploding 6 yards astern. Vanessa was towed to Sheerness by HMS Griffin (Lt.Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, RN). Repairs to Vanessa were completed on 4 November 1940.
19 Jun 1941
HMS Vanessa is damaged by a German aircraft while on patrol in the North Sea. She suffered a direct amidships, blowing up boilers, the fore funnel was blasted overboard, and the deck opened up. Eleven ratings and the engineer officer were killed and many of the crew were injured and burned. The damaged destroyer collided with anti-submarine trawler HMS Turquoise. Vanessa was towed to Yarmouth by destroyer HMS Vesper.
22 May 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Beagle (Cdr. R.C. Medley, RN), HMS Scarborough (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Carnduff, RN), HMS Sandwich (Lt.Cdr. H. Hill, RD, RNR), HMS Leamington (Lt. B.M.D. I'Anson, RN), HMS Sardonyx (Lt.Cdr. A.F.C. Gray, RNR), HMS Columbine T/Lt. A.L. Turner, RNR) and HMS Vanessa (Lt. C.E. Sheen, RN). (2)
26 Dec 1942
German U-boat U-357 was sunk in the North Atlantic north-west of Ireland, in position 57°10'N, 15°40'W by the British destroyers HMS Hesperus (Cdr. D.G.F.W. MacIntyre, DSO, RN) and HMS Vanessa (Lt. C.E. Sheen, RN). U-357 was forced to the surface by depth charges and was rammed by HMS Hesperus.
2 Mar 1943
HMS H 44 (Lt. P.S. Beale, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Vanessa (Lt. C.E. Sheen, RN), HMS Whitehall (Cdr. C.L.de H. Bell, RD, RNR), HMS Heather (T/Lt. W.L. Turner, RNR) and HNoMS Rose. (3)
17 Oct 1943
HrMs O 9 (Lt. J.B.M.J. Maas, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Tobermory together with HMS Chelmer (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.A. Cherry, RNR), HMS Grassholm (T/Lt. J.A. Antonsen, RNR), HMS Vanessa (Lt. C.E. Sheen, DSC, RN) and HMS Northern Sun (T/Lt. H. Meredith, RNVR), (4)
- Personal communication
- ADM 173/17201
- ADM 173/17814
- File 2.12.03.6372 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.
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