Leader for W-Class Destroyers ordered from John Brown at Clydebank
with the 9th Emergency Flotilla in December 1941. The ship was laid down on
24th June 1942 and was to be named HMS
VALENTINE. This was changed as part of a rationalisation of the names to be
used for V and W-Class destroyers. She was launched as
HMS KEMPENFELT on 8th May 1943 and was the 3rd RN
ship to carry the name, previously used by a Flotilla Leader built in 1932 and
transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy in 1939 as HMCS
ASSINIBOINE. Build was completed on 25th October 1943
and she had been adopted after a successful WARSHIP WEEK National
Savings campaign in March 1943 by the civil community of Hammersmith, London
B a t t l e H o n o
u r s
JUTLAND 1916 - ATLANTIC 1939 - ANZIO 1944
- NORMANDY 1944 - OKINAWA 1945
H e r a l d i c D a ta
B a d g e: On a field Black a Swan proper between two
Green over wavelets Silver and Blue.
M o t t o
D e t a i l s o f W a r S e r v
i c e
(for more ship information,
Naval History Homepage
and type name in Site Search)
1 9 4 3
October Contractors trials and
commissioned for service.
25th Build completion and commenced Acceptance
November On completion of trials, storing and
weapon system calibration took passage to Scapa Flow
work-up with ships of
December On completion of work-up took passage
to Mediterranean and to join 24th Destroyer Flotilla
support of allied landings at Anzio with ships of
Flotilla. (Operation SHINGLE.)
1 9 4 4
January Joined Support and Escort Group
of Northern Attack Force (PETER) for landings
of 1st British
Infantry Division at Anzio.
2nd Sailed from Naples with Assault Force
21st Bombarded Gaeta
with HM Destroyer INGLEFIELD and Free French destroyer
22nd Deployed with HM Destroyers JERVIS, JANUS,
LAFOREY, LOYAL, INGLEFIELD,
and URCHIN, HM
Escort Destroyers BRECON, BEAUFORT, TETCOTT and WILTON as screen
for HM Cruisers ORION and SPARTAN to provide naval gunfire support
(For details see The
Naval Staff History.)
27th Shelled train
February On release from SHINGLE support
resumed convoy defence and patrol in central
May Passage to UK for service with 26th
Destroyer Flotilla in support of Normandy landings
details of naval activities prior to and during allied
see OPERATION NEPTUNE by K Edwards
and LANDINGS IN
NORMANDY (HMSO).) Took part in preliminary NEPTUNE exercises.
service in Force J with designated target in Fire Plan as Beach
defences at Lagrune sur Mer.
June Joined ships of Force J
4th Operation delayed 24 hours.
5th Part of escort for
Convoy J10 through swept channel with HM
BLEASDALE and Norwegian destroyer
(Note: Convoy comprised HM Frigate WAVENEY
(Force J2 HQ Ship),
nine Landing Ships (Infantry),
three Motor Gunboats and two US Navy Coastguard Cutters.).
6th On arrival off beachhead
joined HM Cruisers BELFAST and DIADEM, HM Destroyers FAULKNOR,
VENUS, FURY, VIGILANT, Canadian Destroyers ALGONQUIN and SIOUX, BLEASDALE,
GLAISDALE (Norwegian). STEVENSTONE. and
French LA COMBBATTJ\NTE in Bombardment
naval gunfire support in accordance with Fireplan.
On completion joined HM Cruiser DIADEM to support
landings at Beny
12th During Build-up Phase deployed for
gunfire support and patrols for the interception of enemy craft
to enter Eastern Task Force area
July On release from NEPTUNE resumed Home
Fleet duties with Flotilla at
for refit at Cardiff to prepare for foreign service as Leader of 27th Destroyer
August Deployed with 27th Destroyer Flotilla
for screening of Home Fleet major units during planned operations.
22nd Part of screen for
HM Aircraft Carriers INDEFATIGABLE, FURIOUS and FORMIDABLE, HM
DUKE OF YORK, HM Cruisers DEVONSHIRE
and BERWICK with HM Destroyers MYNGS,
(RCN), VIGILANT, ALGONQUIN (RCN)
and Norwegian STORD
during air attacks on German
battleship TIRPITZ in Kaafjord.
24th On release from Home Fleet took passage to Cardiff for refit to prepare
for service with Flotilla in
September Under refit
On completion of post refit trials took passage to Gibraltar.
14th Sailed from Gibraltar to join Eastern
Fleet in Ceylon.
Arrived at Trincomalee and prepared for
operational service with ships of Flotilla.
22nd Joined British
Pacific Fleet on formation at Trincomalee with
December Nominated for screening
duties with Flotilla for ships of British Pacific
for first air operations by RN
oilfields in Sumatra Operation OUTFLANK)
17th Sailed from Trincomalee
as part of screen for HM Aircraft Carriers ILLUSTRIOUS and
HM Cruisers BLACK PRINCE, ARGONAUT and NEWCASTLE with HM
WHIRLWIND, WESSEX and WAKEFUL as Force 67, Eastern Fleet.
18th Refuelled from Force 69.
69 comprised HM RFA WAVE KING escorted by HM
Destroyers WHELP and
WAGER of Flotilla.
20th Arrived at flying-off position 60
miles north of entrance to Malacca Straits
with Force 67.
After some delay due to weather conditions over target, air attacks were
carried out on oil
at Belawan Deli and Pangkalan
in Sumatra. Attacks were also carried out on
at Sabang and Oleelhoe as
well as the harbour at Kota Raja.
22nd Returned to Trincomalee
with ships of Force 67.
1 9 4 5
January Prepared for passage to
Sydney and planned air operations.
17th Deployed with HM Destroyers GRENVILLE, UNDINE, URSA,
WAGER and WHELP as screen for HM Battleship KING GEORGE V, HM
ILLUSTRIOUS, INDOMITABLE and VICTORIOUS, HM Cruisers
BLACK PRINCE and EURYALUS during passage as Force 63
to carry out a
air attacks on oil refinery at Plajoe north of Palembang (Operation MERIDAN I)
20th Refuelled from
replenishment tankers of Force 69.
24th Deployed with screen to provide
defence against air and submarine attacks during air operations.
Seven aircraft were lost during attacks and 25 in crashes whilst returning to carriers.)
. 26th Carried out further
29th Deployed with screen during
second series of attacks on refineries at Soengi Gerong, near
Palembang (Operation MERIDIAN II).
30th Took passage
to Fremantle as screen for Force 63 ships after
4th Arrived at Freemantle.
10th Arrived at Sydney to join
operations in SW Pacific with US Navy.
out exercises in preparation for joint deployment including use of new communications
and manoeuvring procedures
Pennant Number for visual signalling changed to D12 to suit US Navy identification for
28th Took passage to forward RN base
at Manus, Admiralty Islands with ships of BPF now
Task Force 113
March Carried out further
exercises during passage.
7th Arrived at Manus to await approval for
operational deployment with US Navy
This was eventually agreed by US Chiefs of Staff and BPF
ships were then to join US 5th
17th Took passage from Manus for US
forward base at Ulithi with BPF
20th Arrived at Ulithi
with Task Force 113 to refuel and obtain details of planned deployment of RN
22nd Detached from BPF
and joined British Fleet Train for screening of oil tankers and replenishment
ships of Task Force
See THE FORGOTTEN FLEET for details of Fleet Train organisation and activities.
BPF ships joined US 5th Fleet and was
designated as Task Force 57 on 23rd March after
sailing from Ulithi to begin operations off
the Sakishima-Gunto Group of islands SW of
Okinawa (Operation ICEBERG I).
30th During replenishment of Task
Force detached from screening duty in Task Unit 112.2.5 and
with HMS WHIRLWIND to relieve HM Destroyers QUALITY and WHELP in screen
for Task Force 57 ships during continuation of ICEBERG I
April ICEBERG I
screening duties in continuation.
For details of Task Force57 deployment for this operation see Naval Staff
WAR WITH JAPAN, Volume VI (HMSO), THE FORGOTTEN FLEET and TASK
FORCE 57 by P Smith.)
20th Took passage from operational
area to Leyte for R&R.
24th Arrived at US Forward-base at Leyte.
1st Joined Task Group 58.5 with HM
Destroyers GRENVILLE, URSA, UNDINE. URCHIN,
URANIA and UNDAUNTED of 25th
Destroyer Flotilla, HM Destroyers QUILLIAM,
QUEENBOROUGH, QUIBERON, QUICKMATCH and QUALITY of 4th Destroyer Flotilla,
HM Destroyers WHELP and WAGER for screening of Task Force 57 ships during
operations with US Navy off Sakishima-Gunto
(Operation ICEBERG II).
from Leyte with BPF ships.
11th Deployed as screen for HM
Cruiser SWIFTSURE detached from BPF
operations to act as
Picket to give advance warning of air attacks after earlier KAMIKAZE attacks on
warships off Sakishima-Gunto. See above
HMS WESSEX of Flotilla was deployed with HM Cruiser UGANDA
for the same duty.)
22nd Detached from Task Force 57
duties and took passage from the operational area with HMS
WHIRLWIND as escort for HM Aircraft Carrier FORMIDABLE during passage to
HMS FORMIDABLE had been withdrawn from Operation ICEBERG II after damage in
KAMIKAZE and a fire.)
June Passage to
Sydney with HMS FORMIDABLE.
in hand for repair and refit.
July On completion resumed
Did not rejoin BPF which had been assigned to 3rd US
Fleet and deployed off Japan
as Task Force 37.)
August Deployed at Manus
to RN control after end of hostilities and nominated for service in new Task
15th Passage to Subic
Bay to join BPF units assembling for support of the reoccupation of Hong
from Subic Bay with HM Destroyers URSA, QUADRANT
and WHIRLWIND as
screen for HMS INDOMITABLE and
HM Escort Aircraft Carrier VENERABLE,
Cruisers SWIFTSURE, EURYALUS
and BLACK PRINCE for passage to Hong Kong.
P o s t W a r N o t e s
HMS KEMPENFELT remained with British Pacific Fleet and was
deployed in Far East until December 1945. She arrived at Chatham in January
1946 to pay-off and de-store. After she had reduced to Reserve status she was
laid-up in Chatham Reserve Fleet for two years and then transferred to Simonstown. In 1953 the ship returned to UK and joined the
Portsmouth Reserve Fleet. She was placed on the Disposal List and sold to
Yugoslavia in 1956 with sister destroyer HMS WAGER. Both ships were towed for
refit in Yugoslavia during October that year. This destroyer was renamed KOTOR and remained in service until 1971 when sold for
No Convoy Escort Movements Reported