HMS Lawford 1944 IWM A 21817.jpg
HMS Lawford at Liverpool, 13 February 1944
United States
Name: USS Lawford (DE-516)
Fate: Transferred to Royal Navy under Lend-Lease
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Lawford (K514)
Fate: Sunk by Aerial attack during Normandy Landings, 8 June 1944
General characteristics
Class and type: Evarts-class destroyer escort
Displacement: 1,140 tons
Length: 289.5 ft (88.2 m)
Beam: 35 ft (11 m)
Draught: 9 ft (2.7 m)
  • Four General Motors 278A 16-cylinder engines
  • GE 7,040 bhp (5,250 kW) generators (4,800 kW)
  • GE electric motors for 6,000 shp (4,500 kW)
  • Two shafts
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h)
Range: 5,000 nautical miles (9,260 km) at 15 knots (28 km/h)
Complement: 156
Sensors and
processing systems:

HMS Lawford (K514) was a Royal Navy converted Captain class frigate (pennant DE-516), built in the US in 1944. She was converted into an HQ ship for the Normandy landings. On 8 June 1944, whilst operating off Juno Beach, she was hit by enemy fire during an air attack and sunk. Thirty-seven of her crew died. The Royal Navy's damage summary report[1] states that the ship was hit by an "aerial torpedo", which has been taken to mean a torpedo dropped from an aircraft. However, a survey of the ship undertaken as part of the Channel 4 TV series "Wreck Detectives"[2] found evidence that the vessel was broken up and sunk by an internal explosion, indicating a hit from one or more bombs or from an early guided missile such as an Hs-293 or (less likely) a Fritz X. The ship was sunk by KG 100.

Further consideration suggests that the term "aerial torpedo" used in the RN damage summaries was actually intended to refer to guided missiles.[2]

The wreck lies in 21 meters of water at 49°25′43″N 00°23′47″W / 49.42861°N 0.39639°W / 49.42861; -0.39639.

See also


  1. ^ Donald. The Captain Class Frigates in the Second World War. pp. 152–153.
  2. ^ a b " - Wreck Detectives - The wrecks - HMS Lawford - Introduction". Channel4. Retrieved 23 February 2008.