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HMS Wryneck (D21)
HMS Wryneck 1940 AWM P00219.013.jpeg
Wryneck with a tug in background, circa. 1940, probably at Sollum, Egypt
Name: HMS Wryneck
Namesake: Wryneck
Ordered: 16 December 1916
Builder: Palmers, Jarrow
Laid down: April 1917
Launched: 13 May 1918
Completed: 11 November 1918
Motto: Lay on
Honours and
Libya 1941
Mefditerranean - Greece 1941
Fate: Sunk by aircraft in Souda Bay, Crete, 27 April 1941
Badge: On a Field Green a Wryneck on a branch all Proper
General characteristics
Class & type: Admiralty W-class destroyer
Displacement: 1,100 long tons (1,118 t)
Length: 312 ft (95 m) o/a
300 ft (91 m) p/p
Beam: 26 ft 9 in (8.15 m)
Draught: 9 ft (2.7 m) standard
11 ft (3.4 m) deep
Propulsion: 3 × Yarrow-type water tube boilers
Parsons steam turbines
27,000 shp (20,000 kW)
2 shafts
Speed: 34 knots (63 km/h; 39 mph)
Range: 320-370 tons oil
3,500 nmi (6,500 km; 4,000 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
900 nmi (1,700 km; 1,000 mi) at 32 knots (59 km/h; 37 mph)
Complement: 110
Armament: As built
4 × QF 4 in Mk.V (102mm L/45) guns, mount P Mk.I
2 × QF 2 pdr Mk.II "pom-pom" (40 mm L/39) anti-aircraft guns or 1 × QF 3 inch 20 cwt anti-aircraft gun
6 (2×3) tubes for 21-inch (530 mm) torpedoes
From April 1940
4 × QF 4 inch L/45 Mark XVI guns in two twin mounts HA/LA Mark XIX
2 × quadruple Mark III Vickers .50 machine guns
2 × racks and throwers for depth charges

HMS Wryneck was an Admiralty W-class destroyer of the British Royal Navy, which was sunk during the Battle of Greece on 27 April 1941.[1]


The ship was ordered on 16 December 1916 from Palmers Shipbuilding and Iron Company at Jarrow in the 10th Order of the 1916-17 Programme. She was laid down in April 1917, launched on 13 May 1918, and completed on the last day of the war, 11 November 1918.[1]

Service history

After being accepted in service Wryneck took part in operations in the Baltic against the Bolsheviks. She was part of the 5th Destroyer Flotilla in the Atlantic Fleet in 1921, which was transferred to the Mediterranean Fleet in 1925 as the 1st Destroyer Flotilla.[1]

Wryneck was put into Reserve during the economic crisis of the 1930s and laid up in Gibraltar. In 1938 she was selected for WAIR conversion to a fast escort ship at Gibraltar Dockyard. The work began in September 1939 and was not completed until March 1940. In April 1940, after sea trials, Wryneck was recommissioned for service with the new pennant number L04, and assigned to convoy defence duty based at Alexandria. In December she was detached to support military operations against the Italian army in Egypt.[1]

In January 1941 she resumed convoy defence duties, and in March formed part of the escort of military convoys taking British troops to Greece as part of "Operation Lustre". In April, with the fall of Greece, Wryneck returned to assist in the evacuation of Allied troops. On 26 April she and Diamond rescued troops from Nauplia. The next day, 27 April, she sailed with Diamond to assist in the rescue of survivors from the Dutch troopship Slamat, which had been disabled in air attacks. After picking up 700 crewmen and troops, the two ships came sustained air attack from Ju 87 Stukas of JG 77. Wryneck and Diamond were both sunk about 20 nautical miles (37 km; 23 mi) east of Cape Maleas?, Greece, in position 36°30′N 23°34′E / 36.5°N 23.567°E / 36.5; 23.567Coordinates: 36°30′N 23°34′E / 36.5°N 23.567°E / 36.5; 23.567.[1] Of the 983 men from all three ships, only 66 survived.[2]



  • Preston, Antony (1971). 'V & W' Class Destroyers 1917-1945. London: Macdonald. OCLC 464542895. 
  • Raven, Alan; Roberts, John (1979). 'V' and 'W' Class Destroyers. Man o' War. 2. London: Arms & Armour. ISBN 0-85368-233-X. 

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