Allied Warships

HMS Deptford (L 53 / U 53)

Sloop of the Grimsby class

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantL 53 / U 53 
Built byDevonport Dockyard (Plymouth, U.K.): J.S. White & Co. (Cowes, U.K.) 
Ordered10 Jan 1934 
Laid down30 Apr 1934 
Launched5 Feb 1935 
Commissioned20 Aug 1935 
End service 

Sold 8 March 1948.


Commands listed for HMS Deptford (L 53 / U 53)

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1Cdr. Charles Alfred Evelyn Stanfield, RN11 Jan 193819 Jan 1940
2Lt.Cdr. George Arthur Thring, RN19 Jan 19403 May 1941
3Lt.Cdr. Hugh Robert White, RN3 May 1941mid 1944
4T/A/Lt.Cdr. Henry Ogle Morris, RNRmid 1944mid 1945

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Notable events involving Deptford include:

26 Sep 1939
HMS Salmon (Lt.Cdr. E.O. Bickford, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Alexandria with HMS Deptford (Cdr. C.A.E. Stanfield, RN) and later with HMS Delight (Cdr. M. Fogg-Elliott, RN) and HMS Duchess (Lt.Cdr. R.C.M. White, RN). (1)

27 Sep 1939
HMS Snapper (Lt. W.D.A. King, RN) conducted exercises off Alexandria. These exercises included an A/S exercise with HMS Jade, HMS Amber (Boatswain H.W. Clark, RN) and later with HMS Grimsby (Capt. A.S. Russell, RN) and HMS Deptford (Cdr. C.A.E. Stanfield, RN). (2)

28 Sep 1939
HMS Salmon (Lt.Cdr. E.O. Bickford, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Alexandria with A/S trawlers and later with HMS Gallant (Lt.Cdr. C.P.F. Brown, RN).

Upon completion of these exercises she set course for Malta. She made this passage together with HMS Deptford (Cdr. C.A.E. Stanfield, RN) and HMS Snapper (Lt. W.D.A. King, RN).

For the daily positions of HMS Salmon during this passage see the map below.


9 Feb 1941
HMS Deptford (Lt.Cdr. G.A. Thring, DSO, RN) picks up 26 survivors from the British merchants Courland and Estrellano that were torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-37 about 160 nautical miles south-west of Cape St. Vincent, Portugal in position 35°53'N, 13°13'W. One of them died of wounds and was buried at sea the next day.

31 May 1941
HMS Deptford (Lt.Cdr H.R. White, RN) picks up 25 survivors from the British merchant Gravelines which had been torpedoed by U-147 north-west of Bloody Foreland in position 56°00'N, 11°13'W.

21 Sep 1941
The British merchant Runa is torpedoed and sunk north-north-east of the Azores in position 46°20'N, 22°23'W by German U-boat U-201. HMS Deptford (Lt.Cdr. H.R. White, RN) later picks up 9 survivors.

16 Nov 1941

Operation Chieftan

Dummy convoy to Malta from Gibraltar to create a diversion for the enemy during army operations in Libya.

16 November 1941.

Western Mediterranean.

On 16 November a dummy convoy departed Gibraltar and proceeded eastwards, it was made up of the merchant vessels; Baron Newlands (British, 3386 GRT, built 1928), Blairatholl (British, 3319 GRT, built 1925), Cisneros (British, 1886 GRT, built 1926), Ottinge (British, 2818 GRT, built 1940) and Shuna (British, 1575 GRT, built 1937).

The RFA tanker Brown Ranger (3417 GRT, built 1941) was also part of the convoy.

Escort was provided by the destroyer HMS Wild Swan (Lt.Cdr. C.E.L. Sclater, RN), sloop HMS Deptford (Lt.Cdr. H.R. White, RN), and the corvettes HMS Convolvulus (T/Lt. R.C. Connell, RNR), HMS Marigold (T/Lt. J. Renwick, RNR) and HMS Rhododendron (Lt.Cdr. W.N.H. Faichney, DSO, RNR).

HMS Wild Swan got an A/S contact and was detached to hunt it reinforced by the corvette HMS Samphire (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Renny, DSC, RNR) from Gibraltar.

The corvette Marigold detected and depth charged the German submarine U-433. The submarine surfaced and was sunk at 2155/6 on 16 November 1941 in the Mediterranean east of Gibraltar, in position 36°13'N, 04°42'W.

17 November 1941.

Western Mediterranean.

The dummy convoy turned back to the eastwards again on the 17th.

18 November 1941.

Western Mediterranean.

The dummy convoy arrived back at Gibraltar in the evening of the 18th.

Eastern Mediterranean.

Around 0730/18 the battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth (Capt. C.B. Barry, DSO, RN, flying the flag of Admiral Sir A.B. Cunningham, GCB, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Barham (Capt. G.C. Cooke, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.D. Pridham-Whippell, KCB, CVO, RN), HMS Valiant (Capt. C.E. Morgan, DSO, RN), light cruisers HMS Naiad (Capt. M.H.A. Kelsey, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral P.L. Vian, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Euryalus (Capt. E.W. Bush, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Galatea (Capt. E.W.B. Sim, RN) and the destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN), HMS Kimberley (Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, DSO, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St.Clair Ford, RN), HMAS Napier (Capt. S.H.T. Arliss, RN), HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN), HMS Decoy (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Avon Vale (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, DSO, RN) and HMS Eridge (Lt.Cdr. W.F.N. Gregory-Smith, RN) departed Alexandria to be at sea to support several operations in the Mediterranean.

The fleet turned back towards Alexandria after dark.

On the 18th HMS Naiad and HMS Euryalus split off together with the destroyers HMS Jackal and HMS Kipling for a night bombardment of the Helfaya pass area upon which they also returned to Alexandria. They too arrived before noon on the 19th.

' Force K ', made up of light cruisers HMS Aurora (Capt. W.G. Agnew, RN), HMS Penelope (Capt. A.D. Nicholl, RN) and the destroyers HMS Lance (Lt.Cdr. R.W.F. Northcott, RN) and HMS Lively (Lt.Cdr. W.F.E. Hussey, DSC, RN), departed Malta around 1845/18 to create a diversion during the night.

19 November 1941.

Eastern Mediterranean.

' Force K ' returned to Malta around 0730/19.

The fleet arrived back in harbour before noon on the 19th followed shortly afterwards by HMS Naiad, HMS Euryalus, HMS Jackal and HMS Kipling. (3)

21 Dec 1941
German U-boat U-567 was sunk in the North Atlantic north-east of the Azores, in position 44°02'N, 20°10'W, by depth charges from the British sloop HMS Deptford (Lt.Cdr. H.R. White, RN).

22 Sep 1942
HMS H 43 (Lt. B.J.B. Andrew, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Stork (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN), HMS Deptford (Lt.Cdr. H.R. White, RN), ORP Garland (Lt.Cdr. H. Eibel), HMS Inkpen (T/Lt. H. Vernon, RNR) and aircraft. (4)


  1. ADM 173/16021
  2. ADM 173/16103
  3. ADM 199/415
  4. ADM 173/17253

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

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