HMS Vortigern (D37)

Casualty List

Navy: Royal Navy
Type: Destroyer
Class: Admiralty V & W 
Pennant: D 37 
Mod: Short range escort 
Built by: J. S. White & Co. (Cowes, U.K.) 
Laid down: 17 Jan, 1916 
Launched: 5 Oct, 1917 
Commissioned: 25 Jan, 1918 
Complement: 134
Lost: 15 Mar, 1942 (Lt. Cdr. R. S. Howlett, RN., DSC)   (c 53-00'N, 1-15'E)  was torpedoed and sunk off Cromer by the German motor torpedo boat S-104. HMS Vortigern was escorting coastal convoy FS-749 at the time of her loss. 
History: 31 Aug, 1940
On 31 August 1940 a group of destroyers sailed from Immingham on a mine-laying mission off the Dutch coast. The minelayers were from the 20th Destroyer Flotilla and consisted of the destroyers HMS Express, HMS Esk, HMS Icarus, HMS Intrepid and HMS Ivanhoe. The minelayers were escorted by members of the 5th Destroyer Flotilla consisted of the destroyers HMS Kelvin, HMS Jupiter and HMS Vortigern. Aireal reconnaissance detected a German force and the ships of the 20th and 5th DF were ordered to intercept, believing wrongly that the German ships were part of an invasion force. HMS Express struck a mine and was badly damaged, HMS Esk went to her assistance and hit mine and sank immediately, HMS Ivanhoe also went to her assistance and hit a mine and was badly damaged, so much so she she had to be sunk by HMS Kelvin. The following day they were joined by the light cruisers HMS Aurora and HMS Galatea and while returning to base HMS Galatea struck another mine and was slightly damaged off Cleaner Shoal Buoy near the Humber light vessel.

Commanding Officers:
Lt.Cdr. Walter James Burberry Handley, RN
15 June 1939 - 2 January 1940

Lt.Cdr. Ronald Stanley Howlett, RN
2 January 1940 - 15 March 1942+ 

Return to List