Allied Warships

HMS Berkeley Castle (K 387)

Corvette of the Castle class

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantK 387 
Built byBarclay, Curle & Co. Ltd. (Glasgow, Scotland) 
Ordered2 Feb 1943 
Laid down23 Mar 1943 
Launched19 Aug 1943 
Commissioned18 Nov 1943 
End service 

In reserve at Harwich during 1947-1948.
Completed a refit at London for the Harwich Reserve on 27 August 1949.
Badly damaged when she capsized whilst in dock at Sheerness during the East Coast floods during February 1953, later refloated.
In reserve at Sheerness during 1953-1956.
Arrived at Grays, Essex on 29 February 1956 to be broken up by T.W. Ward Ltd.


Commands listed for HMS Berkeley Castle (K 387)

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1T/Lt. Frank Arnold Darrah, RNVR1 Sep 194311 Sep 1944
2Cdr. Norman Winder Duck, DSC, RD, RNR11 Sep 19448 Mar 1945
3T/A/Lt.Cdr. Arthur Charles Palmer, DSC, RNR8 Mar 194511 Dec 1945

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Notable events involving Berkeley Castle include:

7 Jan 1944
HrMs O 10 (Lt.Cdr. A. van Altena, RNN(R)) participated in A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Ettrick (T/A/Lt.Cdr. N.J.T. Monsarrat, RNVR), HMCS Galt (T/Lt. A.M. Kirkpatrick, RCNVR), HMS Kenilworth Castle (Lt. J.J.Allon, RNR), HMS Berkeley Castle (T/Lt. F.A. Darrah, RNVR). (1)

8 Jan 1944
HMS H 44 (Lt. P.N. Joyce, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Berkeley Castle (T/Lt. F.A. Darrah, RNVR). (2)

20 Jan 1944
In company with HMS Carisbrooke Castle en route to Newfoundland. The latter broke down and was towed for several days by Berkeley Castle and arrived off Argentia in bad weather. Authorities stated that conditions too bad for the ships to enter harbour or for the tug to operate. However the Commanding Officer of Berkeley Castle would have none of it and successfully towed Carisbrooke Castle into harbour and to her berth. (3)

1 Feb 1944
HMS H 44 (Lt. P.N. Joyce, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Berkeley Castle (T/Lt. F.A. Darrah, RNVR) and HMS Watchman (Lt.Cdr. G.H.D. Williams, RN). (4)

11 Apr 1944
HMS United (Lt. N.R. Wood, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory together with HMS Havelock (Lt.Cdr. R. Hart, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Tyler (Lt. C.H. Ranking, RN), HMS Dumbarton Castle (T/A/Lt.Cdr. P.F. Broadhead, RNR) and HMS Berkeley Castle (T/Lt. F.A. Darrah, RNVR). (5)


  1. File (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  2. ADM 173/17812
  3. Personal communication
  4. ADM 173/18513
  5. ADM 173/19218

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

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