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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2

by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2005

HMS ELECTRA (H 27) -  E-class Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Electra (Navy Photos, click photographs for enlargements)

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E-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered on 1st November 1932 from Hawthorn Leslie, Newcastle under the 1931 Build Programs. The ship was laid down on 15th March 1933, the same day as her sister ship HMS ENCOUNTER also built in this shipyard. She was launched on 15th February 1934 as the seventh RN snip to carry the name introduced for a Brig Sloop in 1760 and last used for hired Trawler in WW1 as well as for a Boom Defence Vessel known as ELECTRA II during WW2. Build was completed on 13th September 1934 for a cost of 253,350 excluding the items supplied by the Admiralty such as guns and communications equipment. Her peace time service in the Home Fleet included deployment for intervention patrol during the Spanish civil war. The ship was refitted at Sheerness in 1938 before being place in Reserve.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

 

ATLANTIC 1939-40  - NORWAY  1940 -  BISMARCK Action   1941 - ARCTIC  1941

 

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Blue, a  female head proper,  rising out of wavelets Silver and Green.

 

M o t t o

Fulgens ab undis: 'Shining from the waves'

 

 

D e t a i l s   o f   W a r   S e r v i c e

 

(for more ship information, go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search)

 

 

1 9 3 9

 

August

                2nd         Brought forward with Reservist ship's company for Royal Review in Weymouth Bay.

                26th        Attended Review by King George VI.

 

September             Retained in commission and took passage to war station.

                                Joined 12th Destroyer Flotilla at Portland for anti-submarine patrol and convoy defence

                                duty in SW Approaches.

                3rd          Took part in rescue of survivors from ss ATHENIA and arrived before the sinking of this

                                liner after being torpedoed by U30 west of Ireland.

 

October                  Transferred to Greenock Escort Force for service in in NW Approaches.

to                            Deployed for defence of convoys between Clyde and Forth.

December              Boiler cleaning carried out at Rosyth.

 

1 9 4 0

 

January                  Atlantic aid North Sea convoy defence in continuation.

to

March

 

April                       Deployment with 12th Flotilla in Rosyth Command for escort of convoys between Forth

                                and Clyde

                8th          Transferred with Flotilla for service with Home Fleet after German invasion of Norway.

                                (Note: Flotilla also included HM Destroyers ECHO, ESCORT, ESCAPADE,

                                ENCOUNTER  and ECLIPSE.)

                12th        Joined HM Cruiser SOUTHAMPTON as escort during passage to Vaagsfjord with HMS

                                ESCAPADE.

                                (Note: General Mackesey, Commanding Land Forces in Norway was embarked in HM

                                Cruiser  SOUTHAMPTON with an Advance Party to prepare for the planned military

                                operation. See NAVAL OPERATIONS OF THE CAMPAIGN OFF NORWAY (HMSO.)

                14th        Arrived at Vaagsfjord and remained for support duties in Norway.

                24th        Escorted HM Cruiser VINDICTIVE during passage from Bogen for landing by Irish

                                Guards in Narvik area after bombardment by HM Battleship WARSPITE, HM Cruisers

                                AURORA, EFFINGHAM and ENTERPRISE.

 

May                        Norwegian support and convoy escort duties in continuation

                                (For details of the disastrous operations off Norway sea CARRIER GLORIOUS by J

                                Winton, NARVIK by D Macintyre, THE DOOMED EXPEDITION by Adams and Naval

                                Staff History (HMSO, 2001) )

                8th          Ship had been at 30 mins Notice for steam or under way since 3rd April.

                                Returned to Scapa Flow to replenish..

 

June                        Deployed for screening of  Home Fleet ships covering passage of evacuation

                                convoys from Narvik area.

                11th        Part of escort for HM Aircraft Carrier ARK ROYAL during air attacks on Trondheim.

                13th        Sustained major structural damage in collision with HM Destroyer ANTELOPE.

                                Passage to UK.

                                Taken in hand for repair in commercial shipyard at Troon.

 

July                         Under repair at Troon.

                                (Note: During this period the after torpedo tubes were removed and replaced by a 3in

                                AA gun. 20mm Oerlikon guns were fitted on the bridge wings as an additional defence

                                against close range air attack).

 

August                  Refit and modifications in continuation.

                31st         Carried out post refit trials on completion of shipyard work.

 

September             On completion of trials joined 3rd Destroyer Flotilla, Hone Fleet based at Scapa Flow for

                                escort of major Fleet units.

                11th        Deployed for escort of ships of 1st Minelaying Squadron with HM Destroyers JACKAL,

                                VERSATILE and VIMY during lay of deep minefield in NW approaches to Irish Sea.

                                (Operation SN41 - See the Naval Staff History (MINING).

 

October                  Home Fleet deployment in continuation.

 

November

                6th          Part of escort for HM Battlecruiser REPULSE during search for German battleship

                                SCHEER after sinking of HM Armed Merchant Cruiser RAWALPINDI.

                                (Note: Provided covered for passage of Convoy HX 84 during this operation.)

 

December              Deployed with Home Fleet in search for commerce raider in North Atlantic lasting over

                                Xmas period.

                                (See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Bamett for details of this period).

 

1 9 4 1

 

January                  Home Fleet deployment in continuation.

                3rd          Part of screen for HM Battlecruiser HOOD during provision of cover for minelay in the

                                Northern Barrage by ships of 1st Minelaying Squadron.

                                (Operations SN6 and SN65 - See above reference).

                7th          Resumed Flotilla duties in (tea Fleet on release from SN65)

                                Escorted single merchant ship through Irish Sea and on return passage rescued three

                                survivors from Coastal Command ANSON aircraft which crashed nearby.

                25th        Part of screen for Fleet units engaged in escort of Norwegian mercantiles which had

                                escaped from Baltic ports (Operation RUBBLE).

                26th        Deployed with screen for major Home Fleet units during search in NW Approaches for

                                German battleships SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU.

                30th        Resumed Home Fleet Flotilla duties.

 

February

                8th          Part of anti-submarine screen for HM Battleship RODNEY during Hone Fleet cover for

                                minelay in Northern Barrage (Operation SK7A - See above reference).

                15th        Deployed as screen for HMS RODNEY with HM Destroyer ECLIPSE during Ocean

                                Escort of military Convoy WS6A during passage from Clyde to Freetown

                17th        Detached from WS6A with HMS RODNEY and HMS ECLIPSE on relief by HM

                                Battlecruiser RENOWN.

                19th        Escorted HM Battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH and HM Battlecruiser HOOD during

                                search for SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU after sighting by RODNEY.

                                (Note: This search lasted three days.)

                29th        Escorted HM Battleship PRINCE OF WALES during contractor's trials.

 

March                    Home Fleet screening duties in continuation.

to

April

 

May

                15th        Escorted ships of 1st Minelaying Squadron during minelay in Northern Barrage.

                                (Operation SN9B - See above reference).

                23rd        Escorted HMS HOOD from Scapa Flow with HM Destroyers ICARUS and ANTHONY

                                for the interception of the German battleship BISMARCK known to be on passage to

                                attack Atlantic convoys.

                                (Note: Ship was therefore not present when HMS HOOD was sunk)

                24th        Detached with other escorts to carry cut search towards the north.

                                Returned to area and rescued the only 3 survivors.

                                Refuelled in Iceland.

                29th        Escorted damaged PRINCE OF WALES to Rosyth.

 

June                        Nominated for refit.

                23rd        Joined escort for routine convoy to Thames for passage to refit in London at Green and

                                Silley Weir shipyard.

                25th        Taken in hand for refit.

 

July                         Under refit.

                                (Note: Radar Type 286 to provide limited surface and air warning fitted.

                                See RADAR AT SEA by D. Hawse for details of the development and use of radar in

                                RN.

 

August                  Post refit trials.

                5th          On completion of dockyard work took passage to Sheerness to ammunition after carrying

                                out post refit trials..

                                Joined escort for routine East Coast convoy on return to rejoin Home Fleet.

                12th        Deployed as Senior Officers ship of the escort for first Russian Convoy.

                                (Operation DERVISH)

                                Passage via Iceland to Archangel.

                                (Note: For details of all Russian convoys see CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by RA Ruegg,

                                ARCTIC CONVOYS by R Woodman and THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS by

                                B Schoefield

                31st         Remained at Archangel after arrival of DERVISH convoy.

 

September             Deployed at Archangel and carried cut anti-submarine patrol duties.

                26th        Joined escort for first returning Russian Convoy OP1 with HM Destroyer ACTIVE,

                                HM Cruisers LONDON and SHROPSHIRE.

 

October

                8th          Detached from QP1 and took passage to Scapa Flow.

                                Nominated for foreign service.

                10th        At Rosyth to give leave.

                18th        Deployed at Scapa Flow with Home Fleet.

                21st         Took passage to Greenock to embark stores prior to foreign service.

                23rd        Sailed from Greenock with HM Destroyer EXPRESS to join HM Battleship PRINCE OF

                                WALES as escort during passage to Singapore.

 

November              On passage with calls at Freetown and Capetown.

                28th        Joined HM Battlecruiser REPULSE, HM Destroyers ENCOUNTER and JUPITER after

                                arrival at Colombo.

                                (Note: These ships formed FORCE Z ).

                30th        Passage to Singapore with Force Z

 

December

                2nd         Arrived at Singapore with Force Z.

                8th          Sailed with Force Z to Intercept reported landings on East coast of Malaya.

                10th        Under attack by Japanese aircraft during which both HMS PRINCE OP WALES and

                                HMS REPULSE were sunk.

                                Took part in rescue operations and embarked 600 survivors.

                                Signalled news of sinking of HMS PRINCE OF WALES to Singapore.

                11th        Arrived at Singapore with survivors.

                                (For details see THE HUNTING OF FORCE Z by R Hough. ENGAGE THE ENEMY

                                MORE CLOSELY and Naval Staff History).

                15th        Deployed on convoy escort including inward military convoys and ships evacuating

                                civilians from Singapore to Ceylon.

 

1 9 4 2

 

January                  Convoy defence at Singapore in continuation.

                18th        In action with aircraft in Sunda Strait.

                27th.       In action with HM Australian Destroyer VAMPIRE against invasion craft In Gulf of Slam

 

February

                3rd          Towed HM Destroyer ISIS to Java.

                                (Note: This ship has been under repair at Singapore)

                                Returned to Singapore on completion of tow.

                11th        Deployed with HM Cruisers EXETER, HOBART (RAN) and Dutch cruiser JAVA in

                                search for Japanese invasion craft off Singapore.     

                                Redeployed at Tangjong Prick for escort duties with allied fleet units.

                                Subjected to many air attacks

                25th        Sailed for Sourabaya with HMS EXETER, HMAS PERTH, HMS ENCOUNTER and HMS

                                JUPITER to join ABDA Fleet.

                27th        Deployed in unsuccessful search with ABDA ships for invasion ships.

                                During return passage enemy ships reported and deployed to intercept.

                                In action with Japanese cruiser JINTSU and destroyers.

                                Engaged Japanese destroyer ASAGUMA and obtained hits.

                                Hit by 5in return fire whilst making torpedo attack and caught fire.

                                Ship disabled and sank rapidly with the loss of 108 of her ship's company.

                                54 survivors ware rescued by US submarine USS S38 and taken to Java.

                                (Note: 7 of those rescued later died leaving only 42 from 178 on board.

                                Further details of war service are in available in T. J. Cain's book HMS ELECTRA.

                                Mailer 1959).

                                See also THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by J Winton and WAR WITH JAPAN

                                (HMSO).)

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS ELECTRA

by Don Kindell

 

This convoy list has not been cross-checked with the text above

 

 

 

 

 

Date convoy sailed

Joined convoy as escort

Convoy No.

Left convoy

Date convoy arrived

 

 

 

 

 

05/09/39

06/09/39

RED 1

06/09/39

27/09/39

17/09/39

17/09/39

BC 001S

19/09/39

19/09/39

17/09/39

17/09/39

BC 001FR

19/09/39

19/09/39

21/09/39

21/09/39

BC 004/1

23/09/39

23/09/39

21/09/39

21/09/39

BC 003FR

22/09/39

22/09/39

21/09/39

21/09/39

BC 004F

23/09/39

23/09/39

23/09/39

23/09/39

BC 004R

25/09/39

25/09/39

30/09/39

30/09/39

BC 007/1

02/10/39

02/10/39

02/10/39

02/10/39

BC 006R

03/10/39

03/10/39

13/10/39

13/10/39

OA 019

17/10/39

17/10/39

13/10/39

19/10/39

HG 003

19/10/39

21/10/39

23/10/39

23/10/39

OA 024G

26/10/39

26/10/39

23/10/39

08/11/39

SL 006

10/11/39

10/11/39

12/11/39

12/11/39

OA 034

14/11/39

unknown

28/11/39

28/11/39

OA 043

30/11/39

01/12/39

08/12/39

10/12/39

HN 004

12/12/39

12/12/39

17/02/40

17/02/40

ON 014/1

22/02/40

22/02/40

22/02/40

22/02/40

HN 014

25/02/40

26/02/40

28/02/40

28/02/40

ON 016/1

02/03/40

02/03/40

02/03/40

02/03/40

HN 016

05/03/40

05/03/40

07/03/40

07/03/40

ON 018/1

10/03/40

10/03/40

10/03/40

10/03/40

HN 018

13/03/40

13/03/40

15/03/40

15/03/40

ON 020/1

18/03/40

18/03/40

18/03/40

18/03/40

HN 020

21/03/40

22/03/40

08/03/41

09/03/41

OB 295

14/03/41

14/03/41

20/04/41

04/05/41

HX 122

08/05/41

08/05/41

12/08/41

12/08/41

DERVISH

29/08/41

31/08/41

28/09/41

28/09/41

QP 001

09/10/41

10/10/41

08/01/42

20/01/42

BM 010

22/01/42

25/01/42

19/01/42

24/01/42

BM 011

29/01/42

29/01/42

03/02/42

12/02/42

JS 001

14/02/42

14/02/42

17/02/42

17/02/42

SJ 003

unknown

unknown

21/02/42

21/02/42

SJ 006

22/02/42

23/02/42

22/12/41

03/01/43

BM 009B

06/01/42

06/01/42

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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revised 29/7/11
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