Allied Warships

HMS Vanessa (D 29)

Destroyer of the Admiralty V & W class

NavyThe Royal Navy
ClassAdmiralty V & W 
PennantD 29 
ModLong range escort 
Built byWilliam Beardmore & Co. (Dalmuir, Scotland) 
Ordered30 Jun 1916 
Laid down16 May 1917 
Launched16 Mar 1918 
Commissioned27 Apr 1918 
End service 

Reconstruction to Long Range Escort at the Green and Silley Weir shipyard, London was finished in June 1942.

Sold to be broken up for scrap on 4 March 1947.


Commands listed for HMS Vanessa (D 29)

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1Lt.Cdr. John Henry Plumer, RN31 Jul 193912 Feb 1940
2Lt.Cdr. Eric Alonzo Stocker, RN12 Feb 19407 Jan 1941
3Lt. John Humphrey Albert Stucley, RN7 Jan 1941late 1941

4Lt. Charles Edward Sheen, RN31 Mar 194221 Feb 1944
5Lt. Barry John Anderson, RN21 Feb 19444 Oct 1944
6T/A/Lt.Cdr. Arthur St. George Walton, RNVR4 Oct 1944Jan 1945 ?

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Notable events involving Vanessa include:

16 Mar 1918
HMS Vanessa was launched by Mrs. Frederick Elvy. (1)

18 Mar 1940

Convoy HX 28.

This convoy departed Halifax on 18 March 1940 and arrived at Liverpool 2 April 1940.

Upon departure from Halifax the convoy was made up of the following merchant ships: Aldersdale (British (tanker), 8402 GRT, built 1937), Annik (Norwegian, 1333 GRT, built 1940), Antigone (British, 4545 GRT, built 1928), Athelknight (British (tanker), 8940 GRT, built 1930), Avelona Star (British, 13376 GRT, built 1927), Beckenham (British, 4636 GRT, built 1937), Bengore Head (British, 2609 GRT, built 1922), Boreas (Norwegian, 2801 GRT, built 1920), Bridgepool (British, 4845 GRT, built 1924), British Captain (British (tanker), 6968 GRT, built 1923), British Prudence (British (tanker), 8620 GRT, built 1939), Cardita (British (tanker), 8237 GRT, built 1931), Collegian (British, 7886 GRT, built 1923), Cordelia (British (tanker), 8190 GRT, built 1932), Dalcroy (British, 4558 GRT, built 1930), Dromore Castle (British, 5242 GRT, built 1919), Edward F. Johnson (British (tanker), 10452 GRT, built 1937), Empire Confidence (British, 5023 GRT, built 1935), Eskdalegate (British, 4250 GRT, built 1930), Europe (Norwegian (tanker), 8371 GRT, built 1934), Grainton (British, 6341 GRT, built 1929), Harlingen (British, 5415 GRT, built 1933), Henri Desprez (French (tanker), 9805 GRT, built 1932), Hopepeak (British, 5179 GRT, built 1938), Indiana (French, 5751 GRT, built 1915), Induna (British, 5086 GRT, built 1925), Inversuir (British, 9456 GRT, built 1938), Jean L.D. (French, 5795 GRT, built 1935), Jumna (British, 6078 GRT, built 1929), Jutland (British, 6153 GRT, built 1928), Lancaster Castle (British, 5172 GRT, built 1937), Lucerna (British (tanker), 6556 GRT, built 1930), Macharda (British, 5998 GRT, built 1938), Malayan Prince (British, 8953 GRT, built 1926), Manchester Citizen (British, 5343 GRT, built 1925), Manchester Port (British, 7071 GRT, built 1935), Matheran (British, 7653 GRT, built 1919), Mathilda (Norwegian, 3650 GRT, built 1920), Narragansett (British (tanker) 10389 GRT, built 1936), Newfoundland (British, 6791 GRT, built 1925), Nicolaou Georgios (British, 4108 GRT, built 1930), Politician (British, 7939 GRT, built 1923), Pomella (British (tanker), 6766 GRT, built 1937), Ramsay (British, 4855 GRT, built 1930), Rio Azul (British, 4088 GRT, built 1921), Rockpool (British, 4892 GRT, built 1927), San Demetrio (British (tanker), 8073 GRT, built 1938), San Ernesto (British (tanker), 8078 GRT, built 1939), San Gabriel (British, 4943 GRT, built 1920), Sarthe (British, 5271 GRT, built 1920), Scoresby (British, 3843 GRT, built 1923), Selvistan (British, 5136 GRT, built 1924), Shirak (British (tanker), 6023 GRT, built 1926), Stanwell (British, 5767 GRT, built 1914), Stiklestad (Norwegian (tanker"), 9349 GRT, built 1938), Torr Head (British, 5021 GRT, built 1937), Trecarrell (British, 5271 GRT, built 1919), Tuira (Panamanian, 4397 GRT, built 1912), Varanger (Norwegian (tanker), 9305 GRT, built 1925), W.B. Walker (British (tanker), 10468 GRT, built 1935) and Walter D. Munson (Greek, 3703 GRT, built 1917).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the battleship HMS Royal Sovereign (Capt. H.B. Jacomb, RN) and the destroyers HMCS Saguenay (Cdr. G.R. Miles, RCN), HMCS Skeena (Lt. H.S. Rayner, RCN) and HMCS Ottawa (Capt. G.C. Jones, RCN).

HMCS Ottawa parted company with the convoy later on the 18th. HMCS Saguenay and HMCS Skeena parted company on the 19th.

The convoy then continued on eastwards escorted by HMS Royal Sovereign which parted company with the convoy on the 27th.

On approaching the British Isles the destroyers HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. R.T. White, RN) and HMS Warwick (Lt.Cdr. M.A.G. Child, RN) joined the convoy on the 27th, HMS Havock (Lt.Cdr. R.E. Courage, RN) and HMS Vanessa (Lt.Cdr. E.A. Stocker, RN) on the 28th and HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. C.G.W. Donald, RN) on the 29th. Apparently only HMS Antelope remained with when the convoy until it arrived at Liverpool.

13 Jul 1940
Shortly after leaving Dover, escorting a convoy HMS Vanessa (Lt.Cdr. E.A. Stocker, DSC, RN) was damaged by near misses during a German air attack. Vanessa's propellers were damaged and put out of action by a bomb exploding 6 yards astern. Vanessa was towed to Sheerness by HMS Griffin (Lt.Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, RN). Repairs to Vanessa were completed on 4 November 1940.

19 Jun 1941
HMS Vanessa is damaged by a German aircraft while on patrol in the North Sea. She suffered a direct amidships, blowing up boilers, the fore funnel was blasted overboard, and the deck opened up. Eleven ratings and the engineer officer were killed and many of the crew were injured and burned. The damaged destroyer collided with anti-submarine trawler HMS Turquoise. Vanessa was towed to Yarmouth by destroyer HMS Vesper.

22 May 1942
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.S. Bridger, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Beagle (Cdr. R.C. Medley, RN), HMS Scarborough (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Carnduff, RN), HMS Sandwich (Lt.Cdr. H. Hill, RD, RNR), HMS Leamington (Lt. B.M.D. I'Anson, RN), HMS Sardonyx (Lt.Cdr. A.F.C. Gray, RNR), HMS Columbine T/Lt. A.L. Turner, RNR) and HMS Vanessa (Lt. C.E. Sheen, RN). (2)

26 Dec 1942
German U-boat U-357 was sunk in the North Atlantic north-west of Ireland, in position 57°10'N, 15°40'W by the British destroyers HMS Hesperus (Cdr. D.G.F.W. MacIntyre, DSO, RN) and HMS Vanessa (Lt. C.E. Sheen, RN). U-357 was forced to the surface by depth charges and was rammed by HMS Hesperus.

2 Mar 1943
HMS H 44 (Lt. P.S. Beale, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMS Vanessa (Lt. C.E. Sheen, RN), HMS Whitehall (Cdr. H. Bell, RD, RNR), HMS Heather (T/Lt. W.L. Turner, RNR) and HNoMS Rose. (3)

17 Oct 1943
HrMs O 9 (Lt. J.B.M.J. Maas, RNN) participated in A/S exercises off Tobermory together with HMS Chelmer (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R.A. Cherry, RNR), HMS Grassholm (T/Lt. J.A. Antonsen, RNR), HMS Vanessa (Lt. C.E. Sheen, DSC, RN) and HMS Northern Sun (T/Lt. H. Meredith, RNVR), (4)

Media links

British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.


  1. Personal communication
  2. ADM 173/17201
  3. ADM 173/17814
  4. File (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)

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

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