HMS Vimiera (1917)
Vimiera circa 1918
|Builder:||Swan Hunter, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom|
|Laid down:||October 1917|
|Launched:||22 June 1918|
|Completed:||19 September 1918|
|Motto:||Sicut clin: ‘Victory as formerly’|
|Fate:||Sank on 9 January 1942 after striking a mine in the Thames estuary.|
|Class and type:||Admiralty V-class destroyer|
|Length:||300 ft (91.4 m) o/a, 312 ft (95.1 m) p/p|
|Beam:||26 ft 9 in (8.2 m)|
|Draught:||9 ft (2.7 m) standard, 11 ft 3 in (3.4 m) deep|
|Range:||320-370 tons oil, 3,500 nmi at 15 kn, 900 nmi at 32 kn|
|Notes:||Pennant number: L29|
One of her early missions was a trip to Reval, conveying Leonid Krasin and Viktor Nogin back to the Russian Socialist Federal Soviet Republic, following the first stage of negotiations in the Anglo-Soviet Trade Agreement.
Second World War
She was chosen for conversion to an escort destroyer (WAIR) with an enhanced anti-aircraft and anti-submarine capability as part of the naval rearmament programme preceding the outbreak of war in September 1939. Conversion was complete, whereon in January 1940 she joined the Nore Command for coastal convoy escort duty in the North Sea and English Channel. Her company was formed largely of men from the Clyde Division of the Royal Naval Reserve, HMS Graham.
In April 1940 she was transferred to Dover Command to support military operations in France. This included the Battle of Dunkirk to providing additional anti-aircraft defence in Dunkirk (Operation FA) and assisting in the evacuation of allied personnel from Flushing. With HMS Wolsey she provided naval gunfire support for military operations at Escault. On 19 May she rescued survivors from HMS Whitley and in the following days assisted in the both taking reinforcements to Boulogne and evacuating wounded soldiers and medical staff. Alongside HMS Wessex, ORP Burza, HMS Whitshed, and HMS Wolfhound she saw action around Boulogne and Calais, during which Wessex was sunk and Vimiera sustained substantial damage. She was taken into repair on 25 May 1940, and so was not involved in the evacuation from Dunkirk. She was subsequently redeployed to the North Sea in defence of East Coast convoys.
In December 1941, she was adopted by the civil community of Sandbach, Cheshire, following the successful Warship Week National Saving campaign. Vimiera, under the command of Lieutenant-Commander Angus Alexander Mackenzie, RNR, was sunk by a mine in the Thames estuary off East Spile Buoy on 9 January 1942 with the loss of 96 hands. Her loss was commemorated on a memorial within HMS Graham.
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