HMS Fame (H78)

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For other ships of the same name, see HMS Fame.
HMS Fame 1942 IWM FL 13040.jpg
Fame in September 1942
Career (United Kingdom)
Name: HMS Fame
Builder: Parsons Marine Steam Turbine Company, Wallsend (hull subcontracted to Vickers Armstrongs, Barrow-in-Furness)
Laid down: 5 July 1933
Launched: 28 June 1934
Commissioned: 26 April 1935
Motto: "Fama si merita"
("Fame comes if deserved")
Fate: Transferred to the Dominican Republic in February 1949 as Generalisimo
General characteristics
Class and type: F-class destroyer
Displacement: 1,405 long tons (1,427.5 t) standard
1,940 long tons (1,971.1 t) deep
Length: 329 ft (100.3 m) o/a
Beam: 33.3 ft (10.1 m)
Draught: 10.8 ft (3.3 m)
Propulsion: 3 x Admiralty 3-drum water tube boilers, Parsons geared steam turbines, 38,000 shp on 2 shafts
Speed: 35.5 kn (65.7 km/h), 31.5 kn (58.3 km/h) deep
Range: 6,350 nmi (11,760 km) at 15 kn (27.8 km/h)
1,275 nmi (2,361 km) at 35.5 kn (65.7 km/h)
Complement: 145

HMS Fame was an F-class destroyer of the Royal Navy. She was active during the Second World War, taking part in the Battle of the Atlantic.


Fame was built by Parsons Marine Steam Turbine Company, Wallsend, although her hull was sub-contracted to Vickers Armstrongs, Walker. She was launched on 28 June 1934, the same day as her sister-ship, Firedrake.

Service history[edit]

Second World War[edit]

In 1939 Fame was assigned to 8 Destroyer Flotilla attached to Home Fleet, acting as anti-submarine escort for the fleet. In 1940 she served in the Norwegian Campaign, and was involved in the Bodø evacuation. In October 1940 Fame collided with Ashanti, causing major damage. She was moved to Chatham and paid off into the hands of the dockyard where she remained for nearly two years.

In September 1942 Fame returned to active service and was assigned to B-6 Escort Group under Commander R Heathcote as group leader (SOE). In this role she was engaged in all the duties performed by escort ships; protecting convoys, searching for and attacking U-boats which attacked ships in convoy, and rescuing survivors.

Her first Atlantic convoy action was with SC 104, a major convoy battle that saw the loss of 8 ships, with 2 warships damaged, and 2 U-boats destroyed, with 2 more damaged and forced to retire. Fame was responsible for the destruction of the German submarine U-353 on 16 October 1942, but was damaged in the process.[1][2][3]

Fame was back in action in December, and while escorting ON 155 was dispatched to the aid of ON 154, which was under heavy attack. Heathcote was ordered to take command of the escort after the SOE (G Windeyer, in HMCS St. Laurent), had collapsed from exhaustion. In a five-day battle, ON 154 had lost 14 ships for one U-boat destroyed.[4]

In February 1943 Fame was escort to ON 165, which lost 2 ships for 2 U-boats destroyed. Fame destroyed U-69 in this battle,[5][6] and Viscount, another escort, destroyed U-201. (Viscount was originally credited with U-69, and Fame with U-201,[7][8] but post war analysis reversed this.

In August Fame, now under the command of RA Currie, was leader of the escort for ON 206 which was attacked during the U-boat Arm’s autumn offensive. This battle, which also involved the ships and escorts of ONS 20, saw 6 U-boats destroyed for the loss of one ship.

In May 1944 Fame was reassigned to patrol duty in the South-Western Approaches as part of Operation Neptune as senior ship of 14 Escort Group. During this time Fame participated in the sinking of U-767 by the 14th Escort Group on 18 June 1944.[9][10]

In July Fame returned to escort duty in the Atlantic, continuing there until the end of the war.

Post war[edit]

In 1947 Fame was placed in the Reserve, and in 1949 was transferred to the Dominican Republic as Generalisimo.[11] In 1962 she was renamed Sanchez, and in 1968 scrapped.


U-Boats destroyed[edit]

  • U-353 rammed by Fame on 16 October 1942[12]
  • U-69 rammed by Fame on 17 February 1943[13]
  • U-767 destroyed by Fame, and other ships of 14 EG on 18 June 1944[14]

Convoys escorted[edit]

Homebound Outbound
. ON 132
SC 104
HX 217 ON 155, ON 154
SC 116 ON 165
HX 227 ONS 1
SC 125 .
. ON 194
HX 251 ONS 17
HX 257 ON 206
SC 145 ON 212
SC 148 ON 218
SC 151 ONS 29
HX 281 ON 229
HX 286

Commanding officers[edit]

From To Captain
pre-war July 1940 Cdr P N Walter RN
July 1940 . ? Cdr C A Chatwin RN
August 1942 July 1943 Cdr R Heathcote RN
July 1943 April 1945 Cdr R A Currie RN
April 1945 post-war Cdr J A Luther RN


  1. ^ Rohwer & Hümmelchen 2005, p. 167
  2. ^ Blair 1998, pp. 38, 41
  3. ^ Kemp 1997, p. 92
  4. ^ Blair 1998, p. 134
  5. ^ Blair 1998, p. 184
  6. ^ Neistle 1998, p. 43
  7. ^ Kemp 1997, pp. 102–103
  8. ^ Roskill 1956, p. 357
  9. ^ Rohwer & Hümmelchen 2005, p. 284
  10. ^ Kemp 1997, p. 198
  11. ^ Blackman, Raymond V B, Jane's Fighting Ships 1963-4, Sampson Low, Marston & Co. Ltd, London, p66
  12. ^ Kemp 1997, p. 92
  13. ^ Neistle 1998, pp. 43, 224
  14. ^ Kemp 1997, p. 198


External links[edit]