Allied Warships

HMS Widnes (J 55)

Minesweeper of the Hunt class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeMinesweeper
ClassHunt 
PennantJ 55 
Built byNapier & Miller (Old Kirkpatrick, Scotland) 
Ordered 
Laid down 
Launched28 Jun 1918 
Commissioned17 Sep 1918 
Lost20 May 1941 
History

HMS Widnes was laid up in reserve at Singapore when the Second World War started

HMS Widnes (Lt.Cdr. Robert Bruce Chandler, RN) was sunk by German aircraft in Suda Bay, Crete on 20 May 1941.

Raised and repaired by the Germans and commissioned into the Kriegsmarine as UJ 2109.

Sunk off Kalymnos by the British destroyers HMS Jervis and HMS Penn on 17 October 1943.

 

Commands listed for HMS Widnes (J 55)

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.

CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. William Maurice Passmore, RNOct 19399 Dec 1939
2Lt.Cdr. Robert Bruce Chandler, RN9 Dec 193920 May 1941

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Notable events involving Widnes include:


23 Dec 1939
Around 0250Z/23, the Australian light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) departed Colombo to make rendezvous with the French heavy cruiser Suffren (Capt. R.J.M. Dillard).

On departure from Colombo HMAS Hobart conducted gunnery exercises on a target that was being towed by the minesweeper HMS Widnes (Lt.Cdr. R.B. Chandler, RN).

Rendezvous with the Suffren was effected around 1015Z/24 in position 07°06'N, 85°48'E.

The cruisers made rendezvous with a convoy escorted by the French sloop Savorgnan de Brazza (Cdr. A.R.D. De Badens) around 2336Z/25 (dawn on 26 December in local time). The convoy was made up of the transports; Bougainville (French, 7293 GRT, built 1914), Yalou (French, 6783 GRT, built 1915) and Si-Kiang (French, 6738 GRT, built 1915).

HMAS Hobart parted company with the convoy around 1200Z/27 and set course for Colombo where she arrived around 1235Z/28 and then completed with oil fuel.

HMAS Hobart departed Colombo to make rendezvous with the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious (Capt. G. D’Oyly-Hughes, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and the destroyer HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN). They later joined the French convoy as additional escorts.

Around 0235Z/6, near Socotra, in position 12°00'N, 52°05'E, HMAS Hobart parted company and set course to return to Colombo where she arrived around 0325Z on 10 January 1940. (1)

15 Feb 1940
HMS Orpheus (Cdr. C.J. Blake, RN) conducted exercises off Colombo together with aircraft and HMS Widnes (Lt.Cdr. R.B. Chandler, RN). (2)

23 Feb 1940
HMS Olympus (Lt.Cdr. H.G. Dymott, RN) conducted exercises off Colombo together with HMS Widnes (Lt.Cdr. R.B. Chandler, RN). (3)

15 Mar 1940
HMS Orpheus (Cdr. C.J. Blake, RN) departed Colombo for her 4th war patrol. She was ordered to proceed to Diego Suarez, Madagascar. En-route she was to inspect several anchorages. Upon departing Colombo exercises were carried out with HMS Widnes (Lt.Cdr. R.B. Chandler, RN). (4)

16 Mar 1940
HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) arrived at Colombo. Before entering harbour gunnery exercises were carried out on a target that was being towed by HMS Widnes (Lt.Cdr. R.B. Chandler, RN). (1)

Sources

  1. Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart from 1 October 1939 to 31 March 1940
  2. ADM 173/16368
  3. ADM 173/16356
  4. ADM 173/16369

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


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