Allied Warships

HMS Fame (H 78)

Destroyer of the F class


Photograph taken by Charles James Sadler, RCNVR. First Class Stoker, Official number V-4963, serving in the Canadian destroyer HMCS Columbia.

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassF 
PennantH 78 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Barrow-in-Furness, U.K.): Parsons 
Ordered17 Mar 1933 
Laid down5 Jul 1933 
Launched28 Jun 1934 
Commissioned26 Apr 1935 
End service 
History

Sold to the Dominican Navy in February 1949. Renamed Generalisimo.

 

Commands listed for HMS Fame (H 78)

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CommanderFromTo
1Cdr. Philip Norman Walter, RN28 Jul 19386 Jul 1940
2Cdr. Cecil Athos Newcome Chatwin, RN6 Jul 1940late 1940

3Cdr. Ralph Heathcote, RN10 Aug 194214 Jul 1943
4Cdr. Robert Alexander Currie, RN14 Jul 1943Apr 1945
5Lt.Cdr. John Anthony Luther, RNApr 194512 Jun 1945
6A/Lt.Cdr. Roland Lindsay Boddy, RN12 Jun 194511 Sep 1945
7Cdr. John Grant, DSO, RN11 Sep 194531 Oct 1946

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Notable events involving Fame include:


23 Nov 1939

Sinking of the armed merchant cruiser HMS Rawalpindi

Around midday on 21 November 1939 the German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, escorted by the light cruisers Köln and Leipzig and the destroyers Z 11 / Bernd von Arnim, Z 12 / Erich Giese and Z 20 / Karl Galster, departed Wilhelmshaven for a raid into the North Atlantic, this was to relieve the pressure of the pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee operating in the South Atlantic. Late on the 21st the escorts left the battlecruisers.

Just after 1500 hours on 23 November the British armed merchant cruiser HMS Rawalpindi (Capt. E.C. Kennedy, (retired), RN) sighted the Scharnhorst. Rawalpindi was part of the British Northern Patrol and was stationed south-east of Iceland in the Iceland-Faroer gap. Captain Kennedy at first tried to outrun the German ship, to report to the Admiralty that he sighted the German pocket battleship Deutschland, still believed to be operating in the North Atlantic, and to buy time so that other ships of the Northern patrol could come to his assistance. Just after 1600 hours, Rawalpindi came within range of the Scharnhorst and was quickly reduced to a flaming wreck. During this engagement Scharnhorst was hit by a 6in shell from Rawalpindi causing only light damage. Scharnhorst and Gneisenau together picked up 27 survivors from Rawalpindi. Rawalpindi finally sank around 2000 hours.

The British light cruiser HMS Newcastle (Capt J. Figgins, RN), that was also part of the Northern Patrol, picked up Rawalpindi's signal and closed the scene. She sighted the Gneisenau but the Germans managed to escape in the fog.

The Admiralty also thought the ship sighted by Rawalpindi and Newcastle was the Deutschland that was trying to return to Germany. In response to the sighting and destruction of the Rawalpindi the Admiralty took immediate action;
The battleships HMS Nelson (Capt. G.J.A. Miles, RN with Admiral Forbes aboard) HMS Rodney (Capt. F.H.G. Dalrymple-Hamilton, RN) and the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. J.M. Mansfield, DSC, RN) escorted by the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. C.S. Daniel, RN), HMS Fame (Cdr. P.N. Walter, RN), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, RN), HMS Foresight (Lt.Cdr. G.T. Lambert, RN), HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, RN), HMS Fortune (Cdr. E.A. Gibbs, RN) and HMS Fury (Cdr. G.F. Burghard, RN) departed the Clyde to patrol of Norway to cut off the way to Germany for the Deutschland.

The light cruisers HMS Southampton (Capt. F.W.H. Jeans, CVO, RN), HMS Edinburgh (Capt. F.C. Bradley, RN) and HMS Aurora (Capt. G.B. Middleton, RN) escorted by the destroyers HMS Afridi (Capt. G.H. Creswell, DSC, RN), HMS Gurkha (Cdr. F.R. Parham, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, RN) and HMS Isis (Cdr. J.C. Clouston, RN) departed Rosyth to patrol between the Orkney and Shetland islands.

Light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. E. de F. Renouf, CVO, RN) was sent from Loch Ewe to the last known position of the German ship(s).

On northern patrol, south of the Faroes were the light cruisers HMS Caledon (Capt. C.P. Clark, RN), HMS Cardiff (Capt. P.K. Enright, RN) and HMS Colombo (Capt. R.J.R. Scott, RN). These were joined by HMS Dunedin (Capt. C.E. Lambe, CVO, RN) and HMS Diomede (Capt. E.B.C. Dicken, RN).

Of the ships of the Denmark strait patrol, the heavy cruisers HMS Suffolk (Capt. J.W. Durnford, RN) and HMS Norfolk (Capt. A.G.B. Wilson, MVO, DSO, RN) were ordered to proceed to the Bill Bailey Bank (to the south-west of the Faroes).

The light cruiser HMS Glasgow (Capt. F.H. Pegram, RN) escorted by the destroyers HMS Maori (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN) and HMS Zulu (Cdr. J.S. Crawford, RN) were already at sea patrolling north-east of the Shetlands were to be joined by the destroyers HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, RN), HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. C.A.de W. Kitcat, RN), HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Imogen (Cdr. E.B.K. Stevens, RN).

Despite the British effort to intercept the German ships, both German battlecruisers returned to Wilhelmshaven on the 27th.

14 Sep 1942
HMS H 43 (Lt. J.C.Y. Roxburgh, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Dunkery (T/Lt. S.M. Booker, RNVR), HMS Fame (Cdr. R. Heathcote, RN) and HMS Chelsea (Lt.Cdr. J.E.R. Wilford, RNR). (1)

15 Sep 1942
HMS H 43 (Lt. J.C.Y. Roxburgh, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Dunkery (T/Lt. S.M. Booker, RNVR) and HMS Fame (Cdr. R. Heathcote, RN). (1)

16 Sep 1942
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.R. Drummond, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Fame (Cdr. R. Heathcote, RN). (2)

16 Oct 1942
German U-boat U-353 was sunk in the North Atlantic, in position 53°54'N, 29°30'W, by depth charges from the British destroyer HMS Fame (Cdr. R. Heathcote, RN).

17 Feb 1943
German U-boat U-69 was sunk in the North Atlantic east of Newfoundland in position 50°36'N, 41°07'W by depth charges from the British destroyer HMS Fame (Cdr. R. Heathcote, DSO, RN).

2 Jul 1943
HMS H 34 (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Sabre and HMS Fame (Capt. R. Heathcote, DSO, RN). (3)

3 Jul 1943
HMS H 34 (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Sabre and HMS Fame (Capt. R. Heathcote, DSO, RN), HMS Rochester (Cdr. H.V. King, OBE, RN) and HMS Azalea (Lt. G.C. Geddes, RNR). (3)

6 Jul 1943
HMS P 511 (Lt. C.W. Taylor, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Saladin (Lt. A.A. Diggens, DSC, RN), HMS Hugh Walpole (T/Lt. J. Mackenzie, RNR), HMS Cape Portland (T/Lt. K.F. Rasmussen, RNR), HMS Fame (Capt. R. Heathcote, DSO, RN) and HMS Moyola (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lawson, RD, RNR). (4)

7 Jul 1943
HMS P 511 (Lt. C.W. Taylor, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Fame (Capt. R. Heathcote, DSO, RN) and HMS Landguard (Lt.Cdr. (retired) T.S.L. Fox-Pitt, RN). (4)

8 Jul 1943
HMS H 32 (Lt. J.A.R. Troup, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Fame (Cdr. R. Heathcote, DSO, RN), HMS Warwick (Cdr. Y.M. Cleeves, DSO, DSC, RD, RNR), HMS Landguard (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) T.S.L. Fox-Pitt, RN), HMCS Bittersweet (T/Lt. F.B. Brooks-Hill, RCNVR), HMCS Mayflower (Lt. V. Browne, RCNR) and HMCS La Malbaie (T/Lt. J.S. Davis, RCNVR). (5)

8 Jul 1943
HMS H 34 (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Fame (Capt. R. Heathcote, DSO, RN), HMS Warwick (Cdr. Y.M. Cleeves, DSO, DSC, RD, RNR) and HMS Burnham (Lt. C.H. Rankin, RN). (3)

9 Jul 1943
HMS H 34 (T/Lt. R.L. Willoughby, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Fame (Capt. R. Heathcote, DSO, RN), HMS Warwick (Cdr. Y.M. Cleeves, DSO, DSC, RD, RNR) and HMS Landguard (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) T.S.L. Fox-Pitt, RN). (3)

22 Jul 1943
HMS P 511 (Lt. C.W. Taylor, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle together with HMS Wallflower (Lt. G.R. Greaves, RNR), HMS Fame (Cdr. R.A. Currie, RN), HMS Shikari (Lt.Cdr. D.A. Rayner, DSC, VRD, RNVR) and HMS Scimitar (Lt.Cdr. C.G. Cuthbertson, DSC, RNR or Lt. G.C. Potter, DSC, RN). (4)

18 Jun 1944
German U-boat U-767 was sunk in the English Channel south-west of Guernsey, in position 49°03'N, 03°13'W, by depth charges from the British destroyers HMS Fame, HMS Inconstant and HMS Havelock.

Media links


British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Sources

  1. ADM 173/17253
  2. ADM 173/17217
  3. ADM 173/17796
  4. ADM 173/17926
  5. ADM 173/17772

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


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