Sir Henry Blackwood (1770-1832) entered the Royal Navy at the age of eleven. In half a century of service--much of which he spent commanding frigates, ships of the line, and squadrons--he distinguished himself in combat and blockade duty. He earned high favor as one of Nelson's captains; Nelson wrote to him that "your conduct and character...stamps [sic] your fame as beyond the reach of envy...."
Blackwood ended his naval career as commander in chief at the Nore, with the rank of vice admiral.
(BDE-4: dr. 1,140; l. 289'6"; b. 35'2"; dr. 11'0"; s. 21.5 k. (tl.); cpl. 198; a. 3 3", 2 40mm., 5 20mm., 4 dcp., 1 dcp. (hh.), 2 dct.; cl. Evarts)
The destroyer escort DE-4 was laid down on 22 September 1942 at the Boston Navy Yard; launched on 23 November 1942; and transferred to the Royal Navy under lend lease on 27 March 1943 for service as HMS Blackwood (K. 313).
During World War II, Blackwood earned battle honors for service in the Atlantic in 1943 and 1944. During the latter year, she also served in the English Channel and, in June, participated in the invasion of Normandy. She helped to sink two U boats: U-648 on 23 November 1943, in company with sister ships Bazely (K. 312) (BDE-2) and Drury (K. 316) (BDE-46); and U-600 in company with Bazely on 25 November 1943. Ultimately, however, the hunted finally turned the tables on the hunter, when, on 15 June 1944, U-764 torpedoed Blackwood, and she sank the following day. The warship’s American hull number, BDE-4, was struck from the Navy list on 13 November 1944.
Robert J. Cressman
7 February 2006