C and D class destroyer: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

HMS Duncan.jpg
Duncan with wartime modifications
Class overview
Name: C and D
Operators:  Royal Navy
Canadian Blue Ensign 1921.svg Royal Canadian Navy
Preceded by: B class
Succeeded by: E and F class
Subclasses: C, D
In service: - 1945
In commission: 1932-04-21
Building: 0
Planned: 4 (C class)
Completed: 14
Active: 0
Laid up: 0
Lost: 10
Preserved: 0
General characteristics (as per Lenton[1])
Type: destroyer
Displacement: 1,375 tons (1,397 tonnes) standard
1,942 tons (1,974 tonnes) deep
Length: 329 feet (100 m) o/a
Beam: 33 feet (10.1 m)
Draught: 12.5 feet (3.8 m)
Propulsion: 3 x Admiralty 3-drum water tube boilers (except Kempenfelt, Yarrow boilers), Parsons geared steam turbines, 36,000 shp on 2 shafts
Speed: 35.5 kt
Range: 5,500 nmi at 15 knots
Complement: 145 (175 in flotilla leader)
Armament: {

The C and D class was a class of fourteen destroyers of the Royal Navy. As in previous years, it was originally intended to order a complete flotilla comprising eight destroyers - plus a leader as the ninth unit - in each year. However only four ships - plus a leader - were ordered under the 1929-30 Programme as the "C" class. The other four ships planned for the C class were never ordered as an economy measure and disarmament gesture by the Labour government of Ramsay Macdonald[1][2]. A complete flotilla - the "D" class - was ordered under the 1930-31 Programme. The five ships of the "C" class were transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy in 1937-39, as were two of the "D" class subsequently during the War.



These ships were based on the preceding B class, but were enlarged to increase their operating range and to allow for the inclusion of a 3-inch anti-aircraft gun[1]. This class introduced a director control tower into British destroyer design. The C class were unique in having a split bridge, with the compass platform and wheelhouse separated from the chartroom and director tower. This unusual layout was not repeated.

The D class were repeats of the Cs, except that the minesweeping gear of the latter was replaced by increased capacity for depth charges and the fitting of asdic (sonar), to suit them better to anti-submarine (A/S) work. The Ds had been intended to carry the new Vickers .5 inch machine gun in quadruple mountings but these were not initially available, so the old 2 pounders were retained in Daring, Diana, Diamond and Defender[2].

Initially, all ships carried a 3-inch anti-aircraft gun between the funnels, not an ideal location due to an obscured field of fire. This weapon was removed around 1937, and the 2 pounders were relocated here.



Kempenfelt and Duncan were flotilla leaders. Unlike those of the A, the leaders were built to the same design as the flotilla vessels, to allow for tactical homogeneity. Kempenfelt had Yarrow-type boilers that operated at a higher temperature than the standard Admiralty design[1].

Wartime modifications

Six of the D class and one C class were lost within the first 2 years of the war, so it is unlikely that many modifications were made[2]. Generally, the after bank of torpedo tubes was removed and replaced with the old 3-inch anti-aircraft gun, the after mast and funnel being cut down to improve the field of fire[1]. Air warning metric-wavelength radar Type 286 was added in some ships, along with a pair of QF 20 mm Oerlikon were added in the bridge wings.

By 1942, Duncan was on escort duty in the North Atlantic, and was modified accordingly. 'Y' gun mounting on the quarterdeck was removed to allow for additional stowage of depth charges and the director tower and rangefinder on the bridge were replaced by the centimetric wavelength radar Type 271. A Huff-Duff (High-Frequency Direction Finder) loop was carried on a new mast between the torpedo tubes, six Oerlikon guns were added and a Hedgehog A/S (anti-submarine) projector was added in place of 'A' gun on the fo'c'sle. Decoy, by now HMCS Kootenay, was similarly altered[1], but retained A gun and the 3-inch anti-aircraft gun and had only four Oerlikons. Instead, the Hedgehog replaced 'B' gun, along with a pair of QF 6 pounder (2.25 inch / 57 mm) anti-tank guns for anti-E boat use. Comet, by now HMCS Restigouche, was similarly modified but had Huff-Duff instead of the 3-inch AA gun, as per Duncan.


Name Builder Laid down Launched Completed Fate
C class
D18 (changed in 1940 to I18) Kempenfelt J. Samuel White, Cowes 18 October 1930 29 October 1931 30 May 1932 To Canada as HMCS Assiniboine 1939, wrecked Prince Edward Island, 10 November 1945
H00 Comet HM Dockyard, Portsmouth 12 September 1930 30 September 1931 2 June 1932 To Canada as HMCS Restigouche 1938, sold for scrapping 9 November 1945
H60 Crusader HM Dockyard, Portsmouth 12 September 1930 30 September 1930 2 May 1930 To Canada as HMCS Ottawa 1938, torpedoed by German submarine U-91 Gulf of St Lawrence, 13 September 1942
H83 Cygnet Vickers Armstrongs, Barrow 1 December 1930 29 September 1931 15 April 1932 To Canada as HMCS St. Laurent 1937, sold for scrapping 1946
H48 Crescent Vickers Armstrongs, Barrow 1 December 1930 29 September 1931 1 April 1934 To Canada as HMCS Fraser 1937, lost in collision with HMS Calcutta in Gironde estuary, 25 June 1940
D class
D99 (changed in 1940 to I99) Duncan HM Dockyard, Portsmouth 25 September 1931 7 July 1932 31 March 1933 Sold for scrapping November 1945
H53 Dainty Fairfield, Govan 20 April 1931 3 May 1932 22 December 1932 Bombed and sunk off Tobruk, 24 February 1941
H16 Daring Thornycroft, Woolston 18 June 1931 7 April 1932 25 November 1932 Torpedoed by German submarine off Duncansby Head, 18 February 1940
H75 Decoy Thornycroft 25 June 1931 7 June 1932 17 January 1933 To Canada as HMCS Kootenay 1943, sold for scrapping 1946
H07 Defender Vickers Armstrongs 22 June 1931 7 April 1932 31 October 1932 Bombed and sunk off Sidi Barani, Egypt, 11 July 1941
H38 Delight Fairfield 22 April 1931 2 June 1932 31 January 1933 Bombed and sunk off Portland, 29 July 1940
H22 Diamond Vickers Armstrongs 29 September 1931 8 April 1932 3 November 1932 Bombed and sunk off Morea, 27 April 1941
H49 Diana Palmers, Jarrow 12 June 1931 16 June 1932 21 December 1932 To Canada as HMCS Margaree 1940, lost in collision with merchantman Port Faity in North Atlantic, 22 October 1940
H64 Duchess Palmers 12 June 1931 19 July 1932 27 January 1933 Lost in collision with battleship HMS Barham in North Channel, 12 December 1939


  1. ^ a b c d e f British and Empire Warships of the Second World War, H. T. Lenton, Greenhill Books, ISBN 1-85367-277-7
  2. ^ a b c Destroyers of World War Two, M. J. Whitley, 1988, Cassell Publishing ISBN 1-85409-521-8

See also


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address