Allied Warships

HMS Gipsy (H 63)

Destroyer of the G class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassG 
PennantH 63 
Built byFairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. (Govan, Scotland) 
Ordered5 Mar 1934 
Laid down5 Sep 1934 
Launched7 Nov 1935 
Commissioned22 Feb 1936 
Lost21 Nov 1939 
Loss position51° 57'N, 1° 19'E
History

HMS Gipsy (Lt.Cdr. Nigel John Crossley, RN) was mined and sunk in the channel to Harwich Harbour in position 51º57'N, 01º19'E.  

Commands listed for HMS Gipsy (H 63)

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and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Nigel John Crossley, RN3 Jan 193921 Nov 1939

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Notable events involving Gipsy include:


7 Sep 1939

Convoy Green 1.

The convoy departed Gibraltar on 7 September 1939. Destination of the convoy was for most ships Suez but several ships were detached for Mediterranean ports en-route.

On departure from Gibraltar the convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Alpera (British, 1777 GRT, built 1920), Andalusian (British, 3082 GRT, built 1918), Balmore (British, 1925 GRT, built 1920), Bandar Shahpour (British, 5236 GRT, built 1927), Blackhill (British, 2492 GRT, built 1919), Brighton I (British, 5359 GRT, built 1928), British Faith (British (tanker), 6955 GRT, built 1928), City of Christchurch (British, 6009 GRT, built 1915), City of Oxford (British, 2759 GRT, built 1926), Destro (British, 3553 GRT, built 1920), Draco (British, 2018 GRT, built 1922), Dromore (British, 4096 GRT, built 1920), Elizabeth Massey (British, 4323 GRT, built 1929), Frederick S. Fales (British (tanker), 10525 GRT, built 1939), Garesfield (British, 2168 GRT, built 1924), Laomedon (British, 6491 GRT, built 1912), Kyle Glen (British, 3670 GRT, built 1917), Lassell (British, 7417 GRT, built 1922), Llandaff Castle (British, 10799 GRT, built 1926), Loch Maddy (British, 4996 GRT, built 1934), Lylepark (British, 5186 GRT, built 1929), Mardinian (British, 2434 GRT, built 1919), Marklyn (British, 3090 GRT, built 1918), Mervyn (British, 3402 GRT, built 1924), Rosewood (British (tanker), 5989 GRT, built 1931), Star of Egypt (British, 4372 GRT, built 1921) and Uskmouth (British, 2482 GRT, built 1928).

On departure from Gibraltar the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Douglas (Cdr. R.F.B. Swinley, RN), HMS Velox (Cdr.(Retd.) J.C. Colvill, RN), HMS Vidette (Cdr.(Retd.) D.R. Brocklebank, RN) and HMS Vortigern (Lt.Cdr. W.J.B. Handley, RN).

Around 1600A/8, the French destroyers L'Alcyon (Lt.Cdr. V.A.M. Albertas) and Trombe (A.A.M. Lepotier) joined the convoy escort [No details available on when they left the convoy.]

Also on 8 September, the merchant vessel Marklyn arrived at Melilla after having parted company with the convoy.

On 9 September, the merchant vessel Balmore arrived at Oran.

Around 0630A/10, the destroyers HMS Cossack (Capt. D. de Pass, RN) and HMS Maori (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN), HMS Nubian (Cdr. R.W. Ravenhill, RN) and HMS Zulu (Cdr. J.S. Crawford, RN) joined and HMS Douglas, HMS Velox, HMS Vidette and HMS Vortigern then parted company to return to Gibraltar.

Also on the 10th, the merchant vessel Uskmouth arrived at Algiers after having been detached from the convoy.

Around 1100A/11, the merchant vessel Blackhill parted company to proceed to Bone.

Around 0400A/12, the merchant vessel Mervyn parted company to proceed to Bizerta.

Around 0845A/13, the destroyers HMS Garland (Cdr. C.A.N. Chatwin, RN), HMS Gipsy (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Crossley, RN), HMS Grenade (Cdr. R.C. Boyle, RN) and HMS Griffin (Lt.Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, RN) joined coming from Malta.

Around 0945A/13, the Malta bound ships, Andalusian, City of Oxford, Destro, Draco, Mardinian, parted company with the convoy escorted by HMS Cossack, HMS Maori, HMS Nubian and HMS Zulu.

On the 14th, the sloop HMS Aberdeen (Cdr. H.P. Currey, RN) joined the convoy.

On 16 September 1939, the merchant vessels Dromore and Rosewood arrived at Piraeus after having been detached from the convoy.

Also on 16 September 1939, HMS Garland was damaged by a depth charge explosion. A depth charge was dropped at to slow a speed and damaged the stern. Another depth charge then broke loose and exploded under the ship. She was taken in tow by HMS Griffin. They arrived at Alexandria on 17 September 1939.

On 18 September 1939, the merchant vessel Frederick S Fales arrived at Istanbul after having been detached from the convoy.

Also on 18 September 1939, the merchant vessels Alpera, Bighton I, Garesfield, Laomedon, Kyle Glen, Llandaff Castle, Lylepark and Star of Egypt arrived at Alexandria after having been detached from the convoy.

The remainder of the convoy, Bandar Shahpour, British Faith, City of Christchurch, Elizabeth Massey and Loch Maddy arrived at Port Said on the 18th.

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Cover for this convoy had been provided by ships from the Mediterranean Fleet, these were the battleships HMS Warspite (Capt. V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN, flying the flag of A/Admiral A.B. Cunningham, KCB, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN), heavy cruisers HMS Devonshire (Capt. J.M. Mansfield, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral J.H.D. Cunningham, CB, MVO, RN), HMS Sussex (Capt. A.R. Hammick, RN), light cruiser HMS Arethusa (Capt. Q.D. Graham, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral H.R. Moore, CB, DSO, CVO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Afridi (Capt. G.H. Cresswell, DSC, RN), HMS Gurkha (Cdr. F.R. Parham, RN), HMS Mohawk (Cdr. R.F. Jolly, RN) and HMS Sikh (Cdr. J.A. Giffard, RN).

9 Oct 1939
Around 2100 hours the British destroyers HMS Griffin (Lt.Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, RN with Capt. G.E. Creasy, MVO, RN aboard), HMS Gipsy (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Crossley, RN), HMS Keith (Cdr. H.T.W. Pawsey, OBE, RN), HMS Boadicea (Lt.Cdr. G.B. Kingdon, RN) and the Polish destroyer Grom (Lt.Cdr. A. Hulewicz, ORP) were ordered to leave Harwich and establish a patrol in the North Sea. Shortly before that, a German He 59 seaplane dropped two magnetic mines nearby, but there was no time for searching. HMS Gipsy hit one of those mines which tore her into two pieces. Most of the survivors were picked up by HMS Griffin and HMS Keith. (1)

9 Oct 1939
The battleships HMS Warspite (Capt. V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN, flying the flag of A/Admiral A.B. Cunningham, KCB, DSO and 2 Bars, RN), HMS Barham (Capt. H.T.C. Walker, RN, flying the flag of Vice Admiral G. Layton, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN), the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious (Capt. G. D’Oyly-Hughes, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN), the light cruiser HMS Penelope (Capt. G.D. Yates, RN) and the destroyers HMS Duncan (Capt. G.R.B. Back, RN), HMS Daring (Cdr. S.A. Cooper, RN), HMS Dainty (Cdr. F.M. Walton, RN), HMS Grafton (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN), HMS Gallant (Lt.Cdr. C.P.F. Brown, RN), HMS Gipsy (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Crossley, RN) and HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN) conducted exercises off Alexandria.

During the exercises HMS Malaya, HMS Glorious, HMS Daring and HMS Bulldog split off. They were to proceed to the Indian Ocean (Socotra area). They arrived at Port Said later the same day. (2)

Media links


British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Sources

  1. Personal communication
  2. ADM 199/389

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


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