Military Wiki
HMS Whitaker (K580)
Name: unnamed (DE-571)
Builder: Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard, Hingham, Massachusetts
Laid down: 20 October 1943
Launched: 12 December 1943
Completed: 28 January 1944
Commissioned: never
Fate: Transferred to United Kingdom 28 January 1944
Struck: 19 May 1945
Acquired: Returned by United Kingdom 3 December 1945
Fate: Sold 9 January 1947 for scrapping
Career (United Kingdom) Royal Navy Ensign
Class and type: Captain-class frigate
Name: HMS Whitaker (K580)
Namesake: Vice Admiral Sir Edward Whitaker (1660–1735), British naval officer who distinguished himself as commanding officer of HMS Dorsetshire in 1704
Acquired: 28 January 1944
Commissioned: 28 January 1944
Decommissioned: March 1945[1]
Fate: Constructive total loss 1 November 1944
Returned to United States 3 December 1945
General characteristics
Displacement: 1,400 tons
Length: 306 ft (93 m)
Beam: 36.75 ft (11.2 m)
Draught: 9 ft (2.7 m)
Propulsion: Two Foster-Wheeler Express "D"-type water-tube boilers
GE 13,500 shp (10,070 kW) steam turbines and generators (9,200 kW)
Electric motors for 12,000 shp (8,900 kW)
Two shafts
Speed: 24 knots (44 km/h)
Range: 5,500 nautical miles (10,200 km) at 15 knots (28 km/h)
Complement: 186
Sensors and
processing systems:
SA & SL type radars
Type 144 series Asdic
MF Direction Finding antenna
HF Direction Finding Type FH 4 antenna
Armament: 3 × 3 in (76 mm) /50 Mk.22 guns
1 x twin Bofors 40 mm mount Mk.I
7-16 x 20 mm Oerlikon guns
Mark 10 Hedgehog antisubmarine mortar
Depth charges
QF 2 pounder naval gun
Notes: Pennant number K580

The second HMS Whitaker (K580), and the first to enter service, was a British Captain-class frigate of the Royal Navy in commission during World War II. Originally constructed as a United States Navy Buckley class destroyer escort, she served in the Royal Navy from 1944 to 1945.

Construction and transfer

The ship was laid down as the unnamed U.S. Navy destroyer escort DE-571 by Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard, Inc., in Hingham, Massachusetts, on 20 October 1943 and launched on 12 December 1943. She was transferred to the United Kingdom upon completion on 28 January 1944.

Service history

The ship was commissioned into service in the Royal Navy under the command of Lieutenant Glynn Percy Watkin Edwards, RN,[1] as the frigate HMS Whitaker (K580) on 28 January 1944 simultaneously with her transfer. She served on patrol and escort duty and operated in support of the invasion of Normandy in the summer of 1944. The German submarine U-483 torpedoed Whitaker at 0210 hours on 1 November 1944, off Malin Head on the north coast of Ireland at position 55°30′00″N 007°39′00″W / 55.5°N 7.65°W / 55.5; -7.65 (HMS Whitaker (K580) torpedoed). Damage control measures brought the resultant fires under control by 0320 hours but not before the ship had lost much of her bow and suffered 79 dead.[2] Towed first to Londonderry (or Derry), Northern Ireland, and then to Belfast, Northern Ireland, Whitaker was declared a constructive total loss, remained inactive for the rest of the World War II, and was decommissioned in March 1945.[1] The U.S. Navy struck her from its Naval Vessel Register on 19 May 1945.

The Royal Navy returned Whitaker to the U.S. Navy on 3 December 1945.


After her return to the U.S. Navy, Whitaker remained in the United Kingdom for ultimate disposition. She was sold to John Lee of Belfast on 9 January 1947 for scrapping.


External links

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