H-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered from Parsons
Marine: Turbine Company with the hull ruction
sub-contracted to Vickers Armstrong at
Newcastle under the 1934
Programme en on 28th February 1935 at the same
time as sister ship HMS HERO. She was
1st Royal Navy warship to carry this name
and was launched on 19th March 1936
on the same date as HMS HERO. Build
was completed on 9th December 1936 at a tender
price of £249,591, excluding cost of Admiralty
supplied items such as guns and signalling
outfits. This destroyer was fitted with a
prototype twin 4.7in gun mounting in
with no gun fitted in A position. During
trials the new mounting was found
unsatisfactory and the twin mounting was
replaced by the normal single 4.7in
mounting with a second single mounting fit of
two single in B position. This destroyer
served with the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla in
the Mediterranean until the outbreak of WW2,
apart from a refit at Portsmouth in mid 1939.
a t t l e
H o n o
u r s
1940 - CALABRIA 1940 - SPARTIVENTO 1940 -
1940 - MATAPAN 1941 GREECE 1941 - CRETE
1941 - MEDITERRANEAN
1940-41 - MALTA CONVOYS 1941
e r a l d i
c D a t a
On a Field Red , the "Wake" knot Gold
et ora :
'Watch and pray'.
e t a i
l s o f W a r
S e r v i
(for more ship
Naval History Homepage
type name in Site Search)
9 3 9
Deployed in Mediterranean with 2nd Destroyer
Flotilla for Contraband Control duty
and screening of major Fleet units.
Transferred to Freetown for convoy escort
Intercepted German mercantile UHENFELS 300
miles SW Freetown and took her to
Freetown as Prize.
Escorted HM Aircraft Carrier ARK ROYAL during
search for raiders in South Atlantic.
Deployed for convoy defence based at Trinidad.
South Atlantic convoy defence in continuation.
At Plate Estuary after GRAF SPEE action.
On release from duty in South Atlantic resumed
duty in Caribbean area.
Maintained blockade on Port Everglades,
Florida to prevent German mercantile ARAUCA
leaving harbour to return to Germany.
1 9 4
Deployed for special escort duty.
Sailed from Bermuda for Halifax with HM
Destroyer HUNTER as escorted for HM Battleship
VALIANT and HM Cruiser ENTERPRISE with HM
(Note: HMS VALIANT had been working-up in the
Taken in hand for weather damage repair on
arrival at Halifax
Repair work completed.
Escorted HM Cruiser ORION, carrying ashes of
Governor General of Canada to UK.
On passage to UK.
Taken in hand for repair and installation of
Degaussing at Portsmouth.
On completion of repair and worked-up for
service with Home Fleet.
(Note: The repair work prevented the ship
being with her Flotilla during the 1st Battle
Escorted HM Cruiser SUFFOLK for bombardment of
Sola airfield, Stavanger.
(Operation DUCK – To support landings at
Andalsnes (Operation PRIMROSE)).
Deployed with Fleet units in convoy escort and
support of military operations off Norway.
Escorted HI Aircraft Carriers ARK ROYAL and
GLORIOUS with HM Destroyers HASTY.
FURY, FEARLESS and JUNO from Scapa Flow to
carry cut flying operation and protection
of Fleet units off Norway (Operation DX).
Deployed as escort for HMS ARK ROYAL with HM
Destroyers HYPERION, FEARLESS
(Note: HMS GLORIOUS returned to Scapa Flow to
Norwegian deployment in continuation
(For details of the disastrous Norwegian
operations see NARVIK by D Macintyre, THE
DOOMED EXPEDITION by Adams and Naval Staff
History (HMSO – 2001) ).
Nominated for transfer to Harwich with HM
Destroyers JANUS, HYPERION, HAVOCK,
KELLY, KIMBERLEY, KANDAHAR and HOSTILE for
support of military operations
in Nore Command.
Passage to Rosyth.
During passage from Rosyth to Harwich with HM
Cruiser BIRMINGHAM, HM Destroyers
JANUS, HYPERION and HAVOCK detached with
destroyers to take part in search by other
Home Fleet destroyers for enemy minelayers
reported in North Sea.
Deployed with Flotilla at Harwich to assist
with operations off Dutch coast.
(Note: HMS BIRMINGHAM was later joined by
destroyers of 5th Destroyer Flotilla
commanded by Captain Lord Louis Mountbatten.
These destroyers later engaged enemy torpedo
boats and HMS KELLY was hit
by a torpedo and sustained major damage,
On release from search resumed passage to
Escorted trawlers to Scheveningen to evacuate
British nationals from Holland.
Embarked HM Queen Wilhelmina of Netherlands
for passage to Harwich.
Transferred with Flotilla to Mediterranean for
Fleet screening and patrol duties.
Took passage to Alexandria.
On arrival at Alexandria deployed with
Deployed with Fleet units in eastern
(Note: Extensive exercises were carried out by
Fleet units in anticipation of was with Italy.
See Naval Staff History (HMSO- 2001).)
Sailed from Alexandria as part of Force B to
provide cover for convoys on passage in
eastern Mediterranean (Operation MA3)
Deployed with ships of Flotilla as screen for
HM Battleships RAMILLIES, ROYAL
SOVEREIGN and HM Aircraft Carrier EAGLE.
(Note: During this operation ships of Force A
comprising HM Cruisers ORION,
NEPTUNE, SYDNEY (RAN), LIVERPOOL and
GLOUCESTER OF 7th Cruiser
Squadron engaged three enemy destroyers, one
of which ESPERO was sunk.
This engagement was not considered
satisfactory in view of the very significant
expenditure of ammunition. See Naval Staff
Escorted HM Battleship WARSPITE during
covering operation for transit of convoys in
eastern Mediterranean (Operation MA5 for
Took part in action against Italian Fleet off
(See Naval Staff History and THE BATTLE FOR
Detached from Fleet units with HM Destroyer
IMPERIAL and took passage to Port Said to
escort mercantiles on passage to join Convoy
AN2. See Naval Staff History
Deployed in Eastern Mediterranean.
Part of screen for HMS EAGLE., HM Battleships
MALAYA and WARSPITE, HM Cruisers
KENT, GLOUCESTER, LIVERPOOL, ORION and SYDNEY
(RAN) covering passage of
Convoy ME2 from Alexandria to Malta (Operation
Deployed with screen during meeting near
Pantellaria with reinforcement ships on
join the Fleet from Gibraltar (Operation
(Note: HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS, HM
Battleship VALIANT, HM Cruisers
CALCUTTA and Cruiser COVENTRY).
Arrived back in Alexandria with Fleet units.
Carried out bombardment of military target at
Sidi Baranni with HM Destroyers HYPERION,
JANUS and MOHAWK.
Eastern Mediterranean deployment fir convoy
defence in continuation.
(Note: Convoy MF3 was passed to Malta and
Convoy ME4 to Egypt with destroyer escort
from Alexandria (0peration MB6).
This ship was not deployed with Fleet screen
for cover of these convoys).
Joined HM Destroyers DECOY, DEFENDER, HASTY,
HAVOCK, HERO, HYPERION,
ILEX, JANUS, JERVIS, JUNO, MOHAWK and NUBIAN
as screen for Fleet units providing cover for
passage of Convoy MW3 to Malta.
(Note: This was part of a joint major
deployment with Force H to pass further
to join the Fleet at Alexandria (Operation
Ships being transferred were HM Battleship
BARHAM, HM Cruisers BERWICK and
GLASGOW screened by HM Destroyers GALLANT,
GRIFFIN and GREYHOUND.
Detached as escort for HM Aircraft Carrier
ILLUSTRIOUS during air attack on Italian Fleet
at Taranto (Operation JUDGEMENT)
Returned to rejoin Fleet with HMS ILLUSTRIOUS.
Arrived at Alexandria.
Deployed with HM Destroyers DEFENDER, DIAMOND,
GALLANT and GREYHOUND as
screen for HMS RAMILLIES, HM Cruisers BERWICK,
NEWCASTLE and COVENTRY to
provide cover for the passage of Convoy MW4 to
Malta and return of Convoy ME4 to Egypt
as Force D.
(Operation MB9 - Part of Operation COLLAR -
The transfer of HM Cruisers
MANCHESTER and SOUTHAMPTON with HM Destroyer
HOTSPUR (Force F) from UK
Force D met reinforcement ships and convoy
Present during brief engagement with Italian
warships which attempted to attack a convoy
from Gibraltar (Battle of Cape Spartivento)
(See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and Naval
Staff History for details)
Return passage to Alexandria as escort for
Convoy ME4 with ships of Mediterranean Fleet.
Deployed in support of military operations
after Italian provided naval gunfire support
Sank Italian submarine NAIADE with HM
Submarine crew were rescued.
Returned to Alexandria).
Detached from Fleet screen to join HMS MALAYA
and HM Destroyers HERO and HASTY as
escort for two mercantiles to Gibraltar
(Convoy MG1 ).
Despatched from Gibraltar to support Atlantic
convoy under attack by German cruiser HIPPER.
(See above references).
Returned to Gibraltar with three ships
dispersed from attacked convoy
1 9 4
Deployed as part of Force F with HM Destroyers
HASTY. HERO and JAGUAR to escort HM
Cruiser BONAVENTURE during passage to
reinforce Fleet in eastern Mediterranean.
Cover was provided by Ships of Force H.
(Part of Operation EXCESS - passage of
military convoy to Malta and Piraeus).
In action against Italian E-Boats CIRCE and
VEGA in Sicilian Channel.
Torpedoed and sank VEGA which had been damaged
by gunfire from HMS BONAVENTURE.
Force F met ships of Mediterranean Fleet later
(Note: Mediterranean Fleet had been under
heavy and sustained dive-bombing attacks by
German Fliegerkorps X during which HMS
ILLUSTRIOUS was badly damaged.
See above references).
Detached from Force F on arrival In Malta and
Under further heavy and sustained air attacks
during which HMS SOUTHAMPTON was hit and
Later this cruiser was sunk by HM Cruiser
Returned to Alexandria.
Detached for special duties.
Escorted HM Armed Boarding Vessel CHAKLA into
Participated in Commando raid on Castellorizio
in Aegean with HM Destroyer DECOY.
Deployed for escort of military convoys to
Greece (Operation LUSTRE)
See BATTLE OF THE WINE DARK SEA by L Lind and
Escorted Convoy AN17 to Piraeus with HM
Cruiser Coventry, HM Destroyer STUART (RAN)
and HM Corvette HYACINTH.
Deployed with H M Destroyers HASTY, ILEX,
JERVIS, STUART (RAN), and VENDETTA
(RAN) as screen for HM Aircraft Carrier
FORMIDABLE, HM Battleships BARHAM,
VALIANT, WARSPITE. HM Cruisers GLOUCESTER and
YORK to cover passage of Convoy
MW6 to Malta. (Operation MD9).
Escorted HM Cruisers AJAX, GLOUCESTER, ORION
and PERTH for offensive sweep in the
eastern Mediterranean to lure Italian Fleet
into surface action.
Deployed with Fleet screen during Battle of
For details see MATAPAN by SW Pack and Naval
Detached from Fleet screen and deployed with
HM Destroyer GRIFFIN and HMAS STUART
to escort Convey GA8 from Piraeus.
Joined screen for HMS FORMIDABLE, HM
Battleships BARHAM, VALIANT and
WARSPITE, HM Cruisers AJAX, CALCUTTA,
GLOUCESTER, ORION and PHOEBE with
HM Destroyers ENCOUNTER, HASTY, HAVOCK. HERO,
JAGUAR and JUNO to cover
passage of HM Supply Ship BRECONSHIRE to Malta
and return passage of Convoy ME7.
Refuelled at Suda Bay, Crete and sailed to
resume cover operation.
Detached from Fleet units and deployed as
screen for HM Battleships WARSPITE,, BARHAM,
VALIANT and HM Cruiser GLOUCESTER with HM
Destroyers HASTY, HAVOCK, HERO,
HOTSPUR, JAGUAR, JANUS, JERVIS and JUNO in
(Note: Other ships were deployed as Force C
for planned bombardment.
Deployed as screen for Force B during inshore
bombardment close inshore (Operation MD2).
Passage to Tripoli. to carry out Bombardment
On completion took passage with to Alexandria
with Forces B and C.
Arrived at Alexandria.
Deployed at Kalamata, Greece with HM Cruisers
PHOEBE, HM Destroyers DEFENDER, HERO,
HM Sloop FLAMINGO and two mercantiles for
evacuation of British troops from Crete.
(Note: For details se Naval Staff History.
7,000 troops were left.)
Under air attack during return passage to
(Note: One mercantile was sunk without
Deployed at Kalamata, Greece for evacuation
with HM Destroyers HERO, KANDAHAR,
KIMBERLEY, KINGSTON, NUBIAN, DEFENDER, DECOY
(Note: Troops were embarked from wharves and
taken to HM Cruisers PHOEBE and PERTH
(RAN) lying off-shore.)
Returned to Alexandria.
Deployed as screen for HMS FORMIDABLE, HMS
BARHAM, HMS VALIANT, HMS
WARSPITE, HM Cruisers ORION, PERTH (RAN),
ABDIEL and HMS BRECONSHIRE with
HM Destroyers HOTSPUR, HAVOCK, GRIFFIN, HERO,
JERVIS, JUNO, KANDAHAR,
KIMBERLEY, KINGSTON, NIZAM and NUBIAN
(Part of Operation TIGER - Clover for passage
of Convoy MW7 to Malta and that of a military
convoy in eastern Mediterranean bringing tanks
to 8th Army in Egypt.
Detached with Fleet units and took passage to
meet TIGER Convoy
Met TIGER Convoy.
Arrived at Alexandria with TIGER convoy.
Participated in defence of Crete against
Under air attacks
Deployed as Force D in position SW of Kithera
with HM Cruisers DIDO, ORION and AJAX with
HM Destroyers JANUS, KIMBERLEY and HASTY.
Moved westward into Aegean to intercept any
In action against invasion craft NW of Suda
Bay and sank caiques.
Ordered to return to Alexandria because of
shortage of AA ammunition.
Supported military operations and provided
defence for Fleet units off Crete.
Escorted HM Cruisers ORION, AJAX and DIDO with
HM Destroyers DECOY, JACKAL,
HOTSPUR, IMPERIAL and KIMBERLEY to evacuate
allied troops from Heraklion.
(Note: Under air attacks on passage and HMS
AJAX detached after sustaining damage by near
Under sustained aerial attacks after
completing evacuation and hit by bomb during
Alexandria which reduced speed.
(Note: Air cover had been expected but arrival
See Naval Staff History for details.)
Became isolated from other ships and subjected
to further air attacks 5 miles south of Crete.
Ship sank in position 35.20N 26.20E after
another bomb hit.
76 members of ship's company were killed and
89 were taken prisoner.
CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of
This convoy list has not been cross-checked
with the text above
convoy as escort