W and Z-class destroyer

The W and Z class was a class of sixteen destroyers of the Royal Navy launched in 19431944. They were constructed as two flotillas, with names beginning with "W-" and "Z-", respectively, although, like the preceding U and V class, two of the flotilla leaders were named after historical naval figures (as had been Royal Navy practice during the inter-war years). They were known as the 9th and 10th Emergency Flotilla, respectively and served as fleet and convoy escorts in World War II. None were lost during World War II but INS Eilat (originally HMS Zealous) was sunk during the Israel-Egypt conflict in October 1967 by Egyptian missile boats and the El Qaher (originally HMS Myngs) of the Egyptian Navy was sunk at Berenice, Egypt on 16 May 1970 by Israeli Air Force aircraft during the War of Attrition.

Class overview
Name: W and Z class
Operators:
Preceded by: U and V class
Succeeded by: C class
Subclasses: W, Z
In commission: 1943 - 1971
Completed: 16
Lost: 4 (as targets)
Retired: 12
General characteristics (W class)
Type: Destroyer
Displacement:
  • 1,710 tons (1,730 tonnes)
  • 2,530 tons full (2,570 tonnes)
Length: 362.75 ft (110.57 m) o/a
Beam: 35.75 ft (10.90 m)
Draught: 10 ft (3.0 m)
Propulsion:
  • 2 Admiralty 3-drum boilers,
  • Parsons single-reduction geared steam turbines,
  • 40,000 shp (30 MW), 2 shafts
Speed: 36 knots (67 km/h; 41 mph) / 32 knots (59 km/h; 37 mph) full
Range: 4,675 nautical miles (8,658 km; 5,380 mi) at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Complement: 179 (225 as leader)
Sensors and
processing systems:
Armament:
General characteristics (Z class)
Displacement:
  • 1,830 tons (1,860 tonnes)
  • 2,530 tons full (2,570 tonnes)
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Type 293 radar target indication
  • Type 285 fire-control radar on director type K
Armament: 4 x QF 4.5 in (113 mm) Mk.IV guns, single mounts CP Mk.V
Notes: Other characteristics as per W class

Design

Repeats of the preceding U and V-class destroyers, with modified director structures. The Z class were armed with 4.5 inch guns.[1]

Ships

W class

Ship Shipyard Launched Fate/notes
Kempenfelt John Brown, Clydebank 8 May 1943 Flotilla leader. Sold to Yugoslavia 1956. After refit served as Kotor. Scrapped 1971[2]
Wager 1 November 1943 Sold to Yugoslavia 1956, served as Pula after refit. Scrapped 1971.
Wakeful Fairfields of Glasgow 30 June 1943 converted to Type 15 anti submarine frigate, later a training ship, scrapped 1971
Wessex 2 September 1943 Transferred to South Africa, 1950 as Jan van Riebeeck Scrapped 1978.[3]
Whelp Hawthorn Leslie 3 June 1943 Transferred to South Africa, 1953 as Simon van der Stel. Scrapped Durban 1976.
Whirlwind 30 August 1943 converted to Type 15 A/S frigate, lost while used as target 1974
Wizard Vickers-Armstrong, Barrow 29 September 1943 Broken up in March 1967 at Inverkeithing.
Wrangler 30 December 1943 Transferred to South Africa, 1957 as Vrystaat. Sunk as target 1976.

Z class

Ship Shipyard Launched Fate/notes
Myngs Vickers-Armstrong, Tyneside 31 May 1943 Flotilla leader completed June 1944. Transferred to Egypt, 1955 as El Qaher. Sunk in 1970 by Israel aircraft[4]
Zephyr 15 July 1943 Broken up July 1958 at Dunston.
Zambesi Cammell Laird, Birkenhead 12 November 1943 Broken up December 1959 at Briton Ferry.
Zealous 28 February 1944 Transferred to Israel 1955 as Eilat, sunk 1967 by an Egyptian missile boat.
Zebra William Denny and Brothers, Dunbarton 8 March 1944 Broken up February 1959 at Newport.
Zenith 5 June 1944 Refitted 1950. Transferred to Egypt, 1955 as El Fateh Modernised in UK 1963-1964.[5]
Zest John I. Thornycroft, Woolston 14 October 1943 Refitted 1945. Sold in 1969 and broken up 1970[6]
Zodiac 11 March 1944 Transferred to Israel, 1955 as Yaffo. Taken out of service in 1972[7]

See also

References

Notes
  1. March, p.419.
  2. Mason, Geoffrey B. (2002). Gordon Smith (ed.). "HMS Kempenfelt (ii) (R 03) - W-class Flotilla Leader". naval-history.net. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  3. Mason, Geoffrey B. (2002). Gordon Smith (ed.). "HMS Wessex (ii) (R 78) - W-class Destroyer". naval-history.net. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  4. Mason, Geoffrey B. (2006). Gordon Smith (ed.). "HMS Myngs (R 06) - Z-class Flotilla Leader". naval-history.net. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  5. Mason, Geoffrey B. (2004). Gordon Smith (ed.). "HMS Zenith (R 95) - Z-class Destroyer". naval-history.net. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  6. Mason, Geoffrey B. (2004). Gordon Smith (ed.). "HMS Zest (R 02) - Z-class Destroyer". naval-history.net. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
  7. Mason, Geoffrey B. (2004). Gordon Smith (ed.). "HMS Zodiac (R 52) - Z-class Destroyer". naval-history.net. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
Bibliography
  • Cocker, Maurice (1981). Destroyers of the Royal Navy, 1893-1981. Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-1075-7.
  • Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) [1969]. Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8.
  • Robert Gardiner (ed.). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1922-1946. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-913-8.
  • March, Edgar (1966). British destroyers: A history of development 1892-1953. London: Billing and Sons Ltd.
  • Marriott, Leo (1994). Royal Navy Destroyers since 1945. Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-1817-0.
  • Raven, Alan; Roberts, John (1978). War Built Destroyers O to Z Classes. London: Bivouac Books. ISBN 0-85680-010-4.
  • Whitley, M. J. (1988). Destroyers of World War 2. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-326-1.
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