Allied Warships

USS Henley (i) (DD 391)

Destroyer of the Bagley class

NavyThe US Navy
PennantDD 391 
Built byMare Island Navy Yard (Vallejo, California, U.S.A.) 
Laid down28 Oct 1935 
Launched12 Jan 1937 
Commissioned14 Aug 1937 
Lost3 Oct 1943 
Loss position7° 40'S, 148° 06'E

USS Henley (Cdr. Carlton Rolla Adams, USN) was sunk after being torpedoed by the Japanese submarine RO-108 (offsite link) off Cape Cretin, New Guinea in position 07º40'S, 148°06'E.
17 crewmembers lost their lives.


Commands listed for USS Henley (i) (DD 391)

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1Ruthledge Barker Tomkins, USN23 May 193814 Jan 1941 (1)
2Lt.Cdr. Robert Hall Smith, USN14 Jan 194114 Aug 1942 (1)
3Lt.Cdr. Earl Kendall van Swearingen, USN14 Aug 19429 Apr 1943
4T/Cdr. Carlton Rolla Adams, USN9 Apr 19433 Oct 1943

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Notable events involving Henley (i) include:

1 Feb 1943

'Pamphlet' convoy, Suez - Sydney, 1 February to 27 February 1943.

This convoy, made up of the troopships Queen Mary (81235 GRT, built 1936), Aquitania (45647 GRT, built 1914), Ile de France (43548 GRT, built 1927, former French), Nieuw Amsterdam (36287 GRT, built 1938) and the British auxiliary cruiser Queen of Bermuda (A/Capt.(Retd.) the Hon. Sir A.D. Cochrane, DSO, RN) (22575 GRT, built 1933) were transporting 30000 men of the Australian 9th Division from Suez to Melbourne and Sydney.

This convoy had departed Suez on 1 February 1943 and were escorted during their passage through the Red Sea by the destroyers HMS Pakenham (Capt. E.B.K. Stevens, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Petard (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Egan, RN), HMS Isis (Cdr. B. Jones, DSC, RN), HMS Hero (Lt.Cdr. W. Scott, DSC and Bar, RN), RHS Vasilissa Olga (Lt.Cdr. G. Blessas, DSO, RHN) and the escort destroyer Derwent (Cdr. R.H. Wright, DSC, RN).

The convoy was joined around 1545C/4 by the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. D. Young-Jamieson, RN).

Around 1800E/6, HMS Hero and HMS Derwent parted company with the convoy to proceed to Aden.

Around 2000E/6, HMS Pakenham, HMS Petard, HMS Isis and RHS Vasilissa Olga parted company with the convoy to proceed to Aden.

Around 1230FG/9, the destroyers HMS Quilliam (Capt. S.H. Carlill, DSO, RN) and HMS Foxhound (Cdr. C.J. Wynne-Edwards, DSC and Bar, RN) joined the convoy.

The convoy entered Addu Atoll late in the afternoon / early in the evening of the 9th where all warships fuelled.

The convoy departed Addu Atoll to continue its passage to Australia in the afternoon of the 10th. The light cruiser HMS Gambia (Capt. M.J. Mansergh, CBE, RN) had joined the convoy escort.

Around 0030FG/11, HMS Quilliam and HMS Foxhound parted company to proceed to Addu Atoll.

Around 0840H/16, the light cruiser HrMs Tromp (Capt. J.B. de Meester, RNN) and the destroyer HrMs Van Galen (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Burghard, RNN) joined the convoy in approximate postion 26°06'S, 101°09'E.

Around 2000H/16, the AA cruiser HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck (Capt. E.J. van Holthe, RNN) joined the convoy in approximate position 27°41'S, 104°35'E.

Around 2000H/17, the destroyer HrMs Tjerk Hiddes (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Kruys, RNN) joined the convoy in approximate position 30°30'S, 112°52'E.

In the afternoon of the 18th the convoy arrived off Fremantle.

In the evening of the 20th the convoy departed Fremantle now escorted by the light cruisers HMAS Adelaide (A/Capt. J.C.D. Esdaile, OBE, RAN), HMS Tromp, AA cruiser HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck and the destroyers HrMs Van Galen and HrMs Tjerk Hiddes (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Kruys, RNN). HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck and HrMs Van Galen only remained with the convoy for a short period.

Around 1615 hours on the 24th the convoy was joined by the heavy cruiser Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, MVO, DSO, RAN) and the destroyers USS Henley (Lt.Cdr. E.K. van Swearingen, USN) and USS Bagley (Lt.Cdr. T.E. Chambers, USN). The New Amsterdam escorted by HMAS Adelaide, HrMs Heemskerk and HrMs Tjerk Hiddes then departed the convoy and proceeded to Melbourne where they arrived arrived noon on the 25th. The other ships continued to Sydney.

In the afternoon of the 26th the HrMs Heemskerck rejoined the convoy. Later in the afternoon the destroyer Le Triomphant (Capt. Ortoli) also joined.

The convoy arrived at Sydney on the 27th.

Media links

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Blood on the Sea

Parkin, Robert Sinclair
($ 15.98)

U.S. Destroyers

Friedman, Norman

United States Destroyer Operations In World War II.

Roscoe, Theodore

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