C and D class destroyer

C and D class destroyer

The C and D class was a class of fourteen destroyers of the Royal Navy. The five ships of the C class were later transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy, as were two of the D class. The C class were ordered in 1930, with the Ds following in 1931. Four more ships planned for the C class were never ordered as an economy measure and disarmament gesture by the Labour government of Ramsay Macdonald"Destroyers of World War Two", M. J. Whitley, 1988, Cassell Publishing ISBN 1-85409-521-8] .


These ships were based on the preceding B class, but were enlarged to increase their operating range and to allow for the inclusion of a 12-pounder anti-aircraft (A/A) gun. This class introduced a director control tower into British destroyer design. The C class were unique in having a split bridge, with the compass platform and wheelhouse separated from the chartroom and director tower. This unusual layout was not repeated.

The D class were repeats of the Cs, except that the minesweeping gear of the latter was replaced by increased capacity for depth charges and the fitting of asdic (sonar), to suit them better to anti-submarine (A/S) work. The Ds had been intended to carry the new QF 0.5 inch Vickers machine gun in quadruple mountings but these were not initially available, so the old 2 pounders were retained in "Daring", "Diana", "Diamond" and "Defender".

Initially, all ships carried a 12 pounder A/A gun between the funnels, not an ideal location as the latter obscured its' field of fire. This weapon was removed around 1937, and the 2 pounders were relocated here.


"Kempenfelt" and "Duncan" were flotilla leaders. Unlike those of the A, the leaders were built to the same design as the flotilla vessels, to allow for tactical homogeneity. "Kempenfelt" had Yarrow-type boilers that operated at a higher temperature than the standard Admiralty design.

Wartime modifications

Six of the D class and one C class were lost within the first 2 years of the war, so it is unlikely that many modifications were made. Generally, the after bank of torpedo tubes was removed and replaced with the old 12 pounder gun, the after mast and funnel being cut down to improve the field of fire. Air warning metric-wavelength radar Type 286 was added in some ships, along with a pair of QF 20 mm Oerlikon were added in the bridge wings.

By 1942, "Duncan" was on escort duty in the North Atlantic, and was modified accordingly. 'Y' gun mounting on the quarterdeck was removed to allow for additional stowage of depth charges and the director tower and rangefinder on the bridge were replaced by the centimetric wavelength radar Type 271. A Huff-Duff (High-Frequency Direction Finder) loop was carried on a new mast between the torpedo tubes, six Oerlikon guns were added and a Hedgehod A/S projector was added in place of 'A' gun on the fo'c'sle. "Decoy", by now HMCS Kootenay, was similarly altered, but retained A gun and the 12 pounder and had only four Oerlikons. Instead, the Hedgehog replaced 'B' gun, along with a pair of QF 6 pounder (2.25 inch / 57 mm) anti-tank guns for anti-E boat use. "Comet", by now HMCS "Restigouche", was similarly modified but had Huff-Duff instead of the 12 pounder, as per "Duncan".



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