HMS Wakeful (H88)
|Ordered:||9 December 1916|
|Builder:||John Brown & Company, Clydebank, Scotland|
|Laid down:||17 January 1917|
|Launched:||6 October 1917|
|Commissioned:||16 December 1917|
|Identification:||Pennant number: H88|
|Fate:||Sunk on 29 May 1940 by E-Boat S-30|
|Class and type:||Admiralty W-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) in deep|
|Speed:||34 knots (63 km/h; 39 mph)|
|Range:||320-370 tons oil, 3,500 nmi (6,500 km) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph), 900 nmi (1,700 km) at 32 knots (59 km/h; 37 mph)|
HMS Wakeful was a W-class destroyer of the Royal Navy. She was built under the 1916-17 Programme in the 10th Destroyer order. Wakeful was assigned to the Grand Fleet after completion, and served into the early years of the Second World War. Wakeful was torpedoed and sunk during Operation Dynamo by a German E-Boat on 29 May 1940.
First World War
Second World War
Just prior to the start of the war in August 1939 Wakeful was reactivated and recommissioned to attend the Royal Review of the Reserve Fleet in Weymouth Bay. At the outbreak of war Wakeful was assigned to convoy escort duty with the 17th Destroyer Flotilla, which was part of the Western Approaches Command.
Wakeful was selected to support Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of allied troops from Dunkirk, on 26 May 1940. On 27 May 1940 Wakeful embarked 631 Allied troops. While returning them to Dover Wakeful came under air attack and received minor damage below the waterline. Despite the near miss Wakeful returned to Dunkirk to continue the evacuation, embarking 640 Allied troops on 28 May 1940. While carrying this out Wakeful was torpedoed by the German E-Boat S-30. The destroyer was struck by two torpedoes, one hitting the forward boiler room. Casualties were heavy, only one of the 640 allied troops and 25 of Wakeful's crew surviving. A number of ships stopped to pick up the survivors, but one of these, the destroyer Grafton, was then in turn sunk by a German U-Boat.
The wreck is a designated War Grave, lying at a depth of 24m in busy waters along the approaches to Zeebruge harbour at 51° 22'N, 2° 43'E. Permission is needed from Belgian Nautical Authority to dive on the site. In 2003 work was done to remove parts of the superstructure and funnel that were considered to be a potential danger to navigation and the recovered ship's crest and foot plate were placed in the Royal Naval Museum.
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