Allied Warships

HMS Wessex (ii) (R 78)

Destroyer of the W class

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantR 78 
Built byFairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. (Govan, Scotland) 
OrderedDec 1941 
Laid down25 Oct 1942 
Launched2 Sep 1943 
Commissioned11 May 1944 
End service 

Sold to South Africa on 29 March 1950 being renamed Jan Van Riebeeck.  

Commands listed for HMS Wessex (ii) (R 78)

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1Lt.Cdr. Richard Horncastle, RN27 Mar 1944Nov 1945

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Notable events involving Wessex (ii) include:

12 Oct 1944
During 12 and 13 October, HMS Shalimar (Lt. W.G. Meeke, DSC, MBE, RN), conducted exercises off Trincomalee. These included night exercises. Paractice attacks were made on HMS Wager (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Watkin, RN) and HMS Wessex (Lt.Cdr. R. Horncastle, RN). (1)

25 Mar 1980
She was paid off into reserve in 1975. Expended as missile target on 25 March, 1980. (2)

Media links

British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.


  1. ADM 173/18731
  2. Personal communication

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

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