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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2001

HMS WIZARD (R 72) -  W-class Destroyer

HMS Wizard (Navy Photos/George Knights, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 
W-Class destroyer ordered in December 1941 from Vickers-Armstrong at Barrow with ships of the 9th Emergency Flotilla and laid down as Yard No 833 on 14th September 1942. Launched on 29th September 1943 she was the 5th RN ship to bear this name. It had been first used for a Brig-Sloop in 1805 and lastly by a destroyer built in 1895 which was sold in 1920. Build was completed on 30th March 1944 and she was initially deployed in the Home Fleet. After a successful WARSHIP WEEK campaign for National Savings in March 1942 this destroyer was adopted by the civil community of Wood Green, Middlesex, now part of the Borough of Haringey.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s



H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge : On a field White a pentacle Red within an annulet also Red.


M o t t o

'Endless endeavour'



D e t a i l s   o f   W a r   S e r v i c e


(for more ship information, go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search)



1 9 4 4


March                    Contractorís sea trials and commissioning.

         30th              Build completion and acceptance trials.


April                      Passage to Scapa Flow on completion of trials, calibrations and storing.

                              Work-up with ships of Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.

                              On completion deployed with 3rd Destroyer Flotilla Home Fleet pending formation

                              of 27th Destroyer Flotilla.



          6th              Deployed with HM Destroyers SAVAGE, WAKEFUL, ALGONQUIN (RCN). Polish ORP

                             PIORUN and ORP BLYSKAWICA as screen for HM Aircraft Carrier FURIOUS, HM Escort

                             Aircraft Carrier SEARCHER and HM Cruiser BERWICK during air operations against coastal

                             convoy traffic of Kristiansund, North, Norway.

                             (For details of the successful attack see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C

                             Barnett, CONVOY ! by P Kemp and Naval Staff History.)


June                      Remained at Scapa Flow for deployment with Flotilla as Home Fleet screen providing Distant

                             Cover if required to prevent interference by major German warships during the allied landings

                             in Normandy.

                             (Operation NEPTUNE).

                             (For details of naval activities prior to and during landings see LANDINGS IN NORMANDY,

                             June 1944 (HMSO) and OPERATION NEPTUNE by K Edwards.

                             Deployed in NW Approaches with Flotilla.

          9th              Sustained major structural damage from explosion of own depth charges.

                             After structure buckled causing considerable flooding in compartments.

        10th              Taken in tow to Lyness for emergency repair in dry dock.

                             On completion towed to Middlesbrough for repair in commercial shipyard

                             (Note : In addition to carrying oil drums filled with water, The Bofors mountings, searchlight,

                                         gunnery director and all torpedoes were landed as well as having forward fresh water

                                         and fuel tanks filled with sea water to ensure stability during passage. Portable pumps

                                         were also embarked in case of dire emergency!)


July                      Paid-off during repair at Middlesbrough..

                            Nominally joined 27th Destroyer Flotilla on its formation.

                            (Note : This Flotilla was intended for service in British Pacific

                                         Fleet and to prepare for foreign service before sailing

                                         to Australia in September.)


August                Under repair.




1 9 4 5


January              Under repair




April                   Re-commissioned for service in 27th Destroyer Flotilla, British Pacific Fleet.

to                        On completion of repairs carried out sea trials and took passage to complete

May                    re-storing and prepare for work-up.


June                   Worked-up for operational service


July                    Passage to Sydney to prepare for service in 3rd US Fleet as part of Task

                           Force 37 with Flotilla.


August              Arrived in Sydney and prepared for operational use.

                           Pennant Number D35 for visual signalling was allocated to conform with

                           US Navy identification for destroyers.)

                           (Note : Although nominally part of the British Pacific Fleet on VJ Day

                                        this ship was not deployed operationally with the Flotilla off Japan

                                        during the final bombardments and air operations. Battle Honour

                                        not therefore awarded.)


P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


HMS WIZARD was however deployed with the Flotilla off Japan and took part with HM Destroyer TENACIOUS in the repatriation of allied personnel captured by Japan, held at Hammamatsu. Later she returned to Sydney and was under repair there in November 1945 before taking passage with the Flotilla to return to UK. In February 1946 she joined the Local Flotilla at Plymouth until selected for conversion to a Type 15 Anti-submarine Frigate in 1951. Recommissioned in 1954 she served in the Mediterranean with the 5th Frigate Squadron and took part in the Suez operations in November 1956. On return to UK in May 1957 she refitted at Chatham before joining the Dartmouth Training Squadron for two years before being deployed in the West Indies with the 8th Frigate Squadron until 1964 (see note below). On return she resumed Cadet training and remained with the Dartmouth Squadron until 1966 when she paid-off and was reduced to Reserve status. This ship was placed on the Disposal List and sold to T W Ward for demolition on 16th February 1967. Taken in tow to Inverkeithing she arrived at the breakerís yard on 7th March that year.







by Jim White


I note that the record says that she returned from the West Indies in 1964 to rejoin the Dartmouth Training Squadron. For the record I sailed on her as a cadet at the end of July 1963 when she was part of the Training Squadron. For a week we were accompanied by five other frigates of the squadron namely ROEBUCK, JUNO, JUPITER, VENUS and VIRAGO. We sailed from Plymouth and met the Royal Yacht near Eddystone and accompanied her to Dartmouth after which we sailed to Morgat in Brittany, returning to Plymouth.



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