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HMS Whimbrel (U29)

HMS Whimbrel WWII IWM FL 21590.jpg
Whimbrel during World War II
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Whimbrel
Builder: Yarrow Shipbuilders
Laid down: 31 October 1941
Launched: 25 August 1942
Commissioned: 13 January 1943
Identification: pennant number U29
Honours and
  • Sicily 1943
  • Atlantic 1943-44
  • Normandy 1944
  • English Channel 1944
  • Arctic 1944
  • Okinawa 1945
Fate: Sold to Egypt November 1949
Name: El Malek Farouq
Acquired: November 1949
Renamed: Tariq 1954
Status: Active
General characteristics
Class and type: Black Swan-class sloop
  • 1,250 tons original
  • 1,350 tons modified
Length: 299 ft 6 in (91.29 m)
  • 37 ft 6 in (11.43 m) original
  • 38 ft 6 in (11.73 m) modified
Draught: 11 ft (3.4 m)
  • Geared turbines, 2 shafts:
  • 3,600 hp (2.68 MW) (original)
  • 4,300 hp (3.21 MW) (modified)
  • 19 knots (35 km/h) (original)
  • 20 knots (37 km/h) (modified)
Range: 7,500 nmi (13,900 km) at 12 kn (22 km/h)
  • 180 (original)
  • 192 (modified)

HMS Whimbrel is the last surviving Royal Navy warship present at the Japanese Surrender in World War II. She was a sloop of the Black Swan-class, laid down on 31 October 1941 to the pennant number of U29 at the famed yards of Yarrow Shipbuilders, Scotstoun, Glasgow.

Second World War Service

Lt Cdr W.J.Moore RNR, first commanding officer of Whimbrel shortly after commissioning at Greenock, 27 January 1943 (IWM A14160)

Launched on 25 August 1942 almost nine months after laying down which was about average for this class of vessel. She was commissioned on 13 January 1943 and was to primarily serve in the Atlantic as part of several escort groups. In 1945 she was sent to the Pacific for the last few months in war being part of the large exodus of ships there. She was present at the Japanese surrender.

Post war

In November 1949 she was sold to Egypt and renamed El Malek Farouq. In 1954 she was renamed Tariq.[1]

A preservation attempt launched in 2006 [2] aimed to bring her to Canning Dock Liverpool as a memorial to those who died on the Atlantic Convoys. On 26 March 2008 a plaque celebrating the ship was presented to the Mayor of Sefton. John Livingston, president of the Liverpool branch of the Whimbrel Project, said: "She’d be a marvellous addition to our waterfront and a reminder of the sacrifice of our seamen". The Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Richard Hands, said: "HMS Whimbrel forms a unique part of both our social and maritime history and I fully support the campaign to bring her back to Liverpool".[3] The attempt stalled when it was not possible to agree a price with the Egyptian Government. Then, in 2016, it was reported in Parliament that the Egyptian Navy had offered her for sale to the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth for £725,000, and that the museum had shown an interest in housing HMS Whimbrel and is investigating the possibility of bringing it back to the UK.[4]


  1. ^ Blackman, Raymond V B, Jane's Fighting Ships 1963-4, Sampson Low, Marston & Co. Ltd, London, p71
  2. ^ HMS Whimbrel (1942-49) Battle of the Atlantic Memorial Project
  3. ^ HMS Whimbrel honoured with special plaque - Liverpool
  4. ^ "House of Commons Debate 15/12/16: HMS President and Historic Warships". TheyWorkForYou. Retrieved 21 August 2019.


External links