HMS Wizard (R 72)
Destroyer of the W class
|Navy||The Royal Navy|
|Built by||Vickers Armstrong (Barrow-in-Furness, U.K.)|
|Laid down||14 Sep 1942|
|Launched||29 Sep 1943|
|Commissioned||30 Mar 1944|
Reconstructed as Type 15 frigate during 1954.
Scrapped at Inverkeithing in March 1967.
Commands listed for HMS Wizard (R 72)
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|1||Lt.Cdr. Donald Terry McBarnet, RN||21 Feb 1944||mid 1944|
|2||Lt.Cdr. Robert Hugh Hodgkinson, DSC, RN||27 Dec 1944||Jan 1946|
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Notable events involving Wizard include:
10 Apr 1944
HMS Trusty (Lt. M.F.R. Ainslie, DSO, DSC, RN) conducts exercises with HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN), HMS Verulam (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, DSC, RN) and HMS Wizard (Lt.Cdr. D.T. McBarnet, DSC, RN). (1)
14 Apr 1944
During 14/15 April 1944, HMS Rodney (Capt. R.O. Fitzroy, RN), conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. She was escorted by HMS Verulam (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, DSC, RN) and HMS Wizard (Lt.Cdr. D.T. McBarnet, DSC, RN). (2)
9 May 1944
HMS Voracious (Lt. F.D.G. Challis, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises at/off Scapa Flow with HMS Kelvin (Lt.Cdr. R.M.W. MacFarlan, RN), HMS Wizard (Lt.Cdr. D.T. McBarnet, DSC, RN), HMS Whelp (Cdr. G.A.F. Norfolk, RN) and HMS Danae (Capt. J.R.S. Haines, RN). (3)
19 May 1944
HMS Voracious (Lt. F.D.G. Challis, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises at/off Scapa Flow with HMS Nubian (Lt.Cdr. T.A. Pack-Beresford, RN), HMS Orwell (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Hodges, DSO, RN), HMS Whelp (Cdr. G.A.F. Norfolk, RN) and HMS Wizard (Lt.Cdr. D.T. McBarnet, DSC, RN). (3)
28 May 1944
Operations Tiger Claw, Cambridge and Lombard.
Operation Tiger Claw was a FAA attack on the German battleship Tirpitz. Operation Cambridge was a reconnaissance operation of the Narvik area. In the event, of both these operations being cancelled owing to weather, Operation Lombard, airstrikes on enemy shipping in the Aalesund area was planned.
Around 1400B/28,' Force 7 ', made up of the aircraft carriers Victorious, HMS Furious (Capt. G.T. Philip, DSO, DSC, RN), heavy cruisers HMS Berwick (Capt. N.V. Grace, RN), HMS Devonshire (Capt. D.K. Bain, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Whelp (Cdr. G.A.F. Norfolk, RN), HMS Wager (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Watkin, RN), HMS Wakeful (Lt.Cdr. G.D. Pound, DSC, RN), HMS Wizard (Lt.Cdr. D.T. McBarnet, DSC, RN) and HMS Nubian (Lt.Cdr. T.A. Pack-Beresford, RN).
Around 0355B/29, the destroyers HMS Milne (Capt. M. Richmond, DSO, OBE, RN), HMS Marne (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, DSO, RN), HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Walmsley, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Meteor (Lt.Cdr. D.J.B. Jewitt, RN) and HMS Musketeer (Cdr. R.L. Fisher, OBE, DSC, RN) joined coming from Skaalefjordl, Faeroer Islands. HMS Whelp and HMS Nubian then parted company to return to Scapa Flow.
Before reaching the flying off position for operation Tiger Claw a sighting report from an enemy U-boat was intercepted on 30 May by HMS Milne and judged to be within 30 miles. In view of this and the quite unsuitable weather reports of the target area, Vice Admiral Moore decided to abandon operations Tiger Claw and Cambridge and turned southwards to carry out Operation Lombard in the Aalesund area. The report of HMS Milne was indeed correct as the German submarine U-957 had sighted and reported ' Force 7 ' and had even fired a T-5 acoustic torpedo at it.
Meanwhile a battle force made up of the battleships HMS Duke of York (Capt. G.H.E. Russell, RN, flying the flag of Admiral B.A. Fraser, GCB, KBE, RN), HMS Anson, light cruisers HMS Bermuda (Capt. J.S. Bethell, CBE, RN), HMS Jamaica (Capt. J. Hugh-Hallett, DSO, RN), and the destroyers HMS Whelp, HMS Wessex (Lt.Cdr. R. Horncastle, RN) and HMS Nubian had departed Scapa Flow around 1745B/29 and proceeded north passing 40 nautical miles east of the Faroer Islands on 30th May in order to be sighted by the German air reconnaissance and thus create a diversion for ' Force 7 '. In this the force was successfully as it was sighted early on the 30th by an enemy aircraft which was heard to make a signal immediately afterwards. The battleforce then returned to Scapa Flow arriving there around 2115B/30.
In the evening of 1 June, ' Force 7 ' arrived in the flying off position and the weather was found to be favourable. A strikeforce of 6 Barracudas and 22 Corsairs from HMS Victorious and 10 Barracudas and 12 Seafires from HMS Furious was flown off and a convoy, reported during the afternoon by an RAF Mosquito, was found and attacked. All three merchant ships were hit by bombs and the escorting flak ships were nearly all hit by the fighters. It is believed that two merchant ships and one escort vessel subsequently sank. (The ammuniton ship Hans Leonhardt (4170 GRT, built 1938) was sunk and the Florida (5542 GRT, built 1944) and Sperrbrecher 181 (1864 GRT, built 1943) were bombed and caught fire following which they were run aground). No German aircraft were encountered either over the target or the Fleet. One Corsair from HMS Victorious and one Seafire from HMS Furious failed to return.
' Force 7 ' arrived back at Scapa Flow around 2045B/2.
Vice-Admiral H.R. Moore, KCB, DSO, CVO, RN, then struck his flag in HMS Victorious and hoisted it again in HMS Anson. (4)
7 Jun 1944
The object of this operation was to destroy enemy shipping off the Norwegian Coast in the Leads between Skorpen and Reksten Islands and Reksten and Sogne Sjoen.
The ships taking part of this operation were the aircraft carriers HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.R. McGrigor, CB, DSO, RN), HMS Furious (Capt. G.T. Philip, DSO, DSC, RN), heavy cruiser HMS Kent (Capt. G.A.B. Hawkins, DSC, MVO, RN), light cruiser HMS Jamaica (Capt. J. Hugh-Hallett, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Milne (Capt. M. Richmond, DSO, OBE, RN), HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Walmsley, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Meteor (Lt.Cdr. D.J.B. Jewitt, RN), HMS Musketeer (Cdr. R.L. Fisher, OBE, DSC, RN), HMS Wager (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Watkin, RN), HMS Wakeful (Lt.Cdr. G.D. Pound, DSC, RN), HMS Whelp (Cdr. G.A.F. Norfolk, RN) and HMS Wizard (Lt.Cdr. D.T. McBarnet, DSC, RN).
A convoy was reported in position 60°37'N, 04°53'E steering northwards and another one in position 61°41'N, 04°47'E steering southwards. Unfortunately weather conditions were unsuitable and the operation was postponed until the following day. However weather conditions were even more unpromising on the morning of 8th and Rear-Admiral McGrigor abandoned the operation. The force returned to Scapa Flow very late on the 8th. Rear-Admiral R.R. McGrigor, CB, DSO, RN, then transferred his flag from HMS Victorious to HMS Kent. (5)
9 Jun 1944
HMS Wizard (Lt.Cdr. D.T. McBarnet, DSC, RN) sustained major structural damage from the explosion of her own, accidentally dropped, depth charges. 6 members of the crew lost their lives in this mishap.
26 Jul 1945
During 26/27 July 1945, HMS London (Capt. S.L. Bateson, RN), conducted exercises off Trincomalee, these included night exercises.
On the 26th, a range and inclination exercise was carried out during which HMS Wizard (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Hodgkinson, DSC and Bar, RN) served as target. (7)
- ADM 173/19124
- ADM 53/120408
- ADM 173/19434
- ADM 199/1427
- ADM 53/119473 + ADM 53/119623 + ADM 53/119635 + ADM 53/120693 + ADM 199/1427
- ADM 173/19596
- ADM 53/121698
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.
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