Allied Warships

HMS Spaniard (FY 144)

ASW Trawler

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeASW Trawler
Class[No specific class] 
PennantFY 144 
Built bySmiths Dock Co., Ltd. (South Bank-on-Tees, U.K.) 
Laid down 
Launched14 Jan 1937 
CommissionedSep 1939 
Lost5 Dec 1942 

Completed in February 1937.
Taken over by the Admiralty in August 1939.
Displacement: 455 tons.
Armament: 1 4" gun.

HMS Spaniard (T/Lt. Joseph Davidson Love, RNR) was sunk by an accidental fire at Lagos, Nigeria on 5 December 1942.

The cause of the disaster was a spillage from the oil tanker Athelvictor. She had been berthed about 400 yards from the trawlers at the oil storage berth and had been discharging her cargo. However, it was soon realised that something was not ok, as the fuel could be seen to be escaping from the tanker into the sea. It was found that valves used to admit water ballast and to flush pipelines for cleaning, had not been closed after her last discharge. In consequence about sixty tons of benzene had spilled into the harbour. The petrol vapour exploded soon after and caused a huge fire.


Commands listed for HMS Spaniard (FY 144)

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

1Lt.Cdr. Francis James Webster, RNR22 Sep 1939mid 1941

2Lt. Harry Riding, RNR25 Feb 1942Apr 1942
3T/Lt. Joseph Davidson Love, RNRApr 19425 Dec 1942

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 Spaniard include:

13 Oct 1939
HMS H 49 (Lt. E.F. Balston, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Portland with HMS Spaniard (Lt.Cdr. F.J. Webster, RNR). (1)

14 Oct 1939
HMS H 49 (Lt. E.F. Balston, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Portland with HMS Spaniard (Lt.Cdr. F.J. Webster, RNR). (1)

5 Mar 1940
HMS Kelt (Skr. W.McK. Smith, RNR), while returning from the 'outer patrol' to Freetown, obtained an A/S contact. HMS Spaniard (Lt.Cdr. F.J. Webster, RNR), which was on the 'inner patrol' came to assist. Depth charge attacks were carried out by the trawlers. HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) was sailed from Freetown to assist. Aircraft were also ordered to proceed to the scene as was HMS Bridgewater (Cdr. R.C. Harry, RN) from the 'outer patrol'. (2)


  1. ADM 173/15746
  2. ADM 199/380

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

Return to the Allied Warships section