Allied Warships

HMS Whirlwind (i) (D 30)

Destroyer of the Admiralty V & W class

NavyThe Royal Navy
ClassAdmiralty V & W 
PennantD 30 
Built bySwan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. (Wallsend-on-Tyne, U.K.): Wallsend 
Ordered9 Dec 1916 
Laid downMay 1917 
Launched15 Dec 1917 
Commissioned15 Mar 1918 
Lost5 Jul 1940 
Loss position50° 17'N, 8° 48'W

On 5 July 1940 HMS Whirlwind (Lt.Cdr. John Malcolm Rodgers, RN) was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-34 about 120 nautical miles west of Lands End, south-west England in position 50º17'N, 08º48'W.


Hit by U-boat
Sunk on 5 Jul 1940 by U-34 (Rollmann).

U-boat AttackSee our U-boat attack entry for the HMS Whirlwind (i)

Commands listed for HMS Whirlwind (i) (D 30)

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1Lt.Cdr. (retired) Michael Wentworth Ewart-Wentworth, RN15 Jun 193910 Oct 1939
2Lt.Cdr. John Malcolm Rodgers, RN10 Oct 19395 Jul 1940

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Notable events involving Whirlwind (i) include:

21 Sep 1939

Convoy SL 2.

This convoy departed Freetown on 21 September 1939. It was split into several sections at sea at dusk on 7 October 1939 and the ships then proceeded to several ports of arrival in the U.K.

This convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Apapa (British, 9332 GRT, built 1927), Athelduchess (British (tanker), 8940 GRT, built 1929), Athelprincess (British (tanker), 8882 GRT, built 1929), City of Karachi (British, 7140 GRT, built 1937), Clan Macindoe (British, 4635 GRT, built 1920), Clearton (British, 5219 GRT, built 1919), Forresbank (British, 5155 GRT, built 1925), Grangepark (British, 5132 GRT, built 1919), Leonian (British, 5424 GRT, built 1936), Nurtureton (British, 6272 GRT, built 1929), Port Hardy (British, 8705 GRT, built 1923), Shakespear (British, 5029 GRT, built 1926), Urbino (British, 5198 GRT, built 1918) and Warlaby (British, 4876 GRT, built 1927).

Escort was provided on leaving Freetown by the light cruiser HMS Despatch (Capt. A. Poland, RN) which remained with the convoy until 28 September. On 21 September A/S escort was provided near Freetown by the destroyer HMS Hunter (Lt.Cdr. L. De Villiers, RN).

When approaching the U.K. the destroyers HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, RN) joined the convoy at dawn on 7 October 1940. They were reinforced by early in the evening by HMS Vanoc (Lt.Cdr. J.G.W. Deneys, RN) and HMS Whirlwind (Lt.Cdr. M.B. Ewart-Wentworth, RN). Shorly afterwards the convoy was split.

30 Oct 1939
HMS Walpole (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, RN) and HMS Whirlwind (Lt.Cdr. M.B. Ewart-Wentworth, RN) scuttle the British merchant Bronte with gunfire in position 50°07'N, 10°36'W. HMS Walpole takes on board the 42 crewmembers of the Bronte.

The Bronte was torpedoed and damaged on 27 October 1939 by German U-boat U-34 180 nautical miles west of Lands End in position 49°30'N, 12°15'W.

12 Apr 1940
HMS Manchester (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN) and HMS Birmingham (Capt. A.C.G. Madden, RN) departed Scapa Flow to rendez-vous with convoy NP 1 at sea and to take the troopships Chrobry (11442, built 1939) and Empress of Australia (21560 GRT, built 1920) to Namsos together with AA cruiser HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) and escorted by the destroyers HMS Vanoc (Lt.Cdr. J.G.W. Deneys, RN), HMS Whirlwind (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Rodgers, RN) and HMS Highlander (Cdr. W.A. Dallmeyer, RN). (1)

17 Apr 1940
Troopship Chrobry departed Lillesjona for Namsos to land more troops and stores together with the troops that had been put on board the destroyers HMS Afridi (Capt. P.L. Vian, RN), HMS Nubian (Cdr. R.W. Ravenhill, RN), HMS Sikh (Cdr. J.A. Giffard, RN), HMS Matabele (Cdr. G.K. Whitmy-Smith, RN) and HMS Mashona (Cdr. W.H. Selby, RN). The newly arrived AA cruiser HMS Curlew (Capt. B.C.B. Brooke, RN) went in with the Chrobry and the five destroyers while HMS Manchester (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN) remained at sea while the other AA cruiser, HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN), was sent north to Skjel Fjord to fuel. The Empress of Australia was ordered to return to the U.K. escorted by HMS Birmingham (Capt. A.C.G. Madden, RN) and the destroyers HMS Vanoc (Lt.Cdr. J.G.W. Deneys, RN) and HMS Whirlwind (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Rodgers, RN). HMS Highlander (Cdr. W.A. Dallmeyer, RN) was also initially have to been part of this escort but she had run aground while on A/S patrol off Lillesjona around 0130 hours and had been damaged. She was detached soon after departure for the Tyne where she was to undergo repairs. Shortly before Highlander was detached she forced a German submarine to dive which enabled the convoy to pass unharmed.

At 0200/18 unloading of the Chrobry was halted and she went out to sea again with 170 tons of stores still onboard. She had to clear the area before daylight and the expected air attacks. She was to return the next night. Chrobry indeed succeeded in landing her remaining stores in the evening of the 18th. She then took on board a cargo of timber and set course for the U.K. escorted by HMS Sikh and HMS Mashona. HMS Matabele and HMS Curlew meanwhile had gone back to the U.K. for fuel. HMS Manchester was also on her way back home but was ordered to return to assist a French convoy that was next to land troops at Namsos. HMS Manchester could not be back in time to assist in the landings but course and speed were adjusted so as to meet the convoy at sea and escort it on the return passage. HMS Manchester joined the convoy in the evening of the 20th and remained with it until off the Shetlands the next day after which she was detached and set course for Scapa Flow. HMS Cairo had meanwhile also returned after fueling at Skjel Fjord and assisted the French during the landings. Cairo then returned to the U.K. bolstering the escort of the French convoy. (1)

Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor
(£ 38.25)

British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.


  1. ADM 53/112663 + ADM 186/798

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

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