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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2004

HMS HYPERION (H 97) -  H-class Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Hero, sister-ship (David Sutherland,  click to enlarge)

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H-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered from Swan Hunter, Wallsend under 1934 Programme on 13th December 1934. The ship was laid down on 26th March 1935 and launched on 8th April 1936 as the 2nd RN ship to carry this name, previously used for a 5th Rate In 1807. Her build completed on 3rd December 1936 at a cost of £255,461.10s, excluding Admiralty supplied items such as guns, ammunition and signalling outfits. Her service prior to WW2 was with the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, Mediterranean Fleet and included Non-intervention patrol duties during the Spanish Civil War.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s




H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a  Field White, a Sun Red,  bordered Gold.


M o t t o

Fulget virtus in arduis :  'Valour shines under difficulties’



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                  Arrived at Portsmouth for refit.

                16th        Refit restricted to essential repairs.

                27th        On completion took passage to Freetown for convoy defence.



                3rd          On passage to take up war station at Freetown.

                4th          Deployed for patrol duty, trade protection and search for blockade runners and commerce

                                raiders in South Atlantic.


October                  Freetown deployment in continuation including escort of major units organised in

                                Hunting Groups for interception of commerce raiders active in Atlantic.


November              Transferred to Bermuda for patrol and escort duty in Caribbean area.

                                Established blockade to prevent German mercantiles leaving ports in Mexico and USA.


December              Caribbean deployment in continuation.

                19th        Intercepted German liner COLUMBUS (32,950 CRT) off Cape Hatteras during passage to


                                Approached when clear of American water-sand promptly scuttled.

                                (Note: Movements of the German ship had been reported by US Navy


1 9 4 0


January                  Nominated for return to UK and took passage to Portsmouth.

                25th        Taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard, Portsmouth.


February                Under refit.


March                    Post refit trials.

                6th          On completion took passage to Scapa Flow to rejoin 2nd Flotilla for service for screening

                                of Home Fleet major units and patrol duties in NW Approaches.

                31st         Nominated with HM Destroyer HERO for simulated minelay operation off Bud, North

                                Norway as Force WB (Operation WILFRED).



                5th          Sailed from Scapa Flow as escort for HM Battlecruiser RENOWN during passage to

                                Norwegian waters.

                6th          Detached to refuel at Sullom Voe.

                7th          Passage to Bud in heavy weather.

                8th          Carried out simulated minelay.

                                Remained in area to warn shipping until Safety patrol taken over by Norwegian warship


                9th          Returned to Sullom Voe to refuel and took passage to rejoin Fleet off Narvik.

                10th        Deployed as escort to Fleet units off Norway.


                11th        Escorted HM Cruiser CALCUTTA with HM Destroyer ESCORT during tow of the damaged0

                                destroyer HMS ECLIPSE to UK

                14th        Rejoined Fleet off Norway for screening duty and support to shore operations.

                23rd        Deployed with HM Destroyers HEREWARD, HASTY, FEARLESS, FURY and JUNO as

                                screen for HM Aircraft Carriers GLORIOUS and ARK ROYAL, H M Cruisers BERWICK

                                and CURLEW during passage to carry cut Carrier Group operations off Norway

                                (Operation DX).

                24th        Rejoined Fleet on arrival.

                27th        Escorted HMS ARK ROYAL during Carrier operations when HMS GLORIOUS detached.

                                (For details of the disastrous operations in Norway see NARVIK by D. Macintyre, THE

                                DOOMED EXPEDITION by J Adams. CARRIER GLORIOUS by J Winton, NORWAY

                                1940 by F Kersaudy, ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett and Naval

                                Staff History (HMSO-2001).


May                        Took part in evacuation operations from Andalsnes and Molde.

                4th          Returned to Scapa Flow on completion of evacuation deployment.

                7th          Transferred to Nore Command for patrol and escort duty.

                9th          Assisted in evacuation of British nationals and refugees from Hook of Holland.

                12th        Nominated to escort HM Destroyer CODRINGTON for passage to UK with Dutch Royal

                                family from Holland (Operation J)

                                (Note: This was later cancelled ).

                16th        Transferred with ships of Flotilla for Fleet duty in Mediterranean.

                30th        Deployed with Flotilla at Alexandria for screening of major Fleet units.


June                        Mediterranean Fleet screening duties based at Alexandria in continuation.

                                (For details of operations in the Mediterranean after the entry of Italy in WW2

                                see THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by Donald MacIntyre, ENGAGE

                                THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and Naval Staff History (HMSO-2002).



                7th          Part of screen for HM Aircraft Carrier EAGLE, HM Battleships MALAYA, WARSPITE,

                                and ROYAL SOVEREIGN, HM Cruisers GLOUCESTER, LIVERPOOL, NEPTUNE,

                                ORION and SYDNEY (RAN) with HM Destroyers DAINTY, DEFENDER, HASTY,

                                HOSTILE, ILEX, IMPERIAL, JANUS, JUNO, VAMPIRE (RAN), and VOYAGER (RAN)

                                to provide cover for passage of convoys MF1/MS1 to and from Malta (Operation MA5)

.                               (Note: This was a repeat of Operation MA3 which had been cancelled following an

                                engagement with Italian cruisers. See above references).

                9th          Participated in engagement with Italian Fleet off Punta Stilo. (Battle of Calabria - See above


                14th        Returned to Alexandria with Fleet.

                16th        Detached with HM Destroyers HASTY, HERO and ILEX to carry cut an anti-submarine

                                search in an area north of Crete.

                19th        In action with two Italian cruisers which were then engaged by HMS SYDNEY (RAN)

                                already deployed in the area.

                                In subsequent attacks Italian cruiser BARTOLOMEO COLLEONI was disabled.

                                Wreck was sunk by torpedoes from HYPERION and ILEX.

                                (Battle of Cape Spada - See above references).

.                               Rescued some survivors from BARTOLOMEO COLLEONI.


August                  Fleet screening and escort duties in eastern Mediterranean in continuation.

to                            (Note: Reinforcement of Fleet at Alexandria was carried cut during September.

October                  (Operation HATS) and Malta convoys exchanged (Operation MB3).

                                See above references)



                6th          Deployed with HM Destroyers DECOY, DEFENDER, HASTY, HAVOCK, HEREWARD,

                                HERO, ILEX, JANUS, JERVIS, JUNO, MOHAWK and NUBIAN as screen for HM

                                Battleships MALAYA, VALIANT, RAMILLIES AND WARSPITE, HM Aircraft Carrier

                                ILLUSTRIOUS, HM Cruisers AJAX., ORION, GLOUCESTER and SYDNEY (RAN) to

                                provide Distant Cover for passage of Convoy MW3 to Malta and Convoy ME3 to Alexandria

                                (Operation MB8)

                                (Note: This was part of a major operation to pass further reinforcement ships including HM

                                Battleship BARHAM to the Fleet at Alexandria.

                                (Operation COAT - See above references).

                14th        Returned to Alexandria with Fleet.

                25th        Deployed with Fleet screen

                24th        Deployed with screen for HM Battleship MALAYA and m Cruiser BERWICK to provide

                                cover for passage of convoy to Suda Bay (Operation MB9).

                                (Note: Part of Operation COLLAR which included an air attack on Rhodes by HMS

                                ILLUSTRIOUS and the transfer of HM Cruisers MANCHESTER and

                                SOUTHAMPTON to join Mediterranean Fleet at Alexandria.

                                Did not take part in the action with Italian battle group. Battle of Spartivento.

                                See DESTROYER LEADER by P Smith and references as above).

                29th        Passage to Alexandria with Fleet units.


December              Deployed for support of military operation by 8th Army.

                                Carried out bombardments.

                14th        Participated in sinking of Italian submarine NAIADE off Bardia with HMS HEREWARD.

                16th        Joined Force F as escort for HM Battleship MALAYA and ships of Convoy MW 5 with

                                Destroyer ILEX for passage to Malta.

                                (Operation MC2 - Part of Operation HIDE -See references above)

.                               (Note: HMS MALAYA was being transferred to Gibraltar.

                                Convoy comprised supply ships DEVIS, HOEGH HOOD, LANARKSHIRE,

                                PONTFIELD, RODI, TROCAS, VOLO and WAIWERA).

                20th        Under attack by Italian submarine SERPENTE which failed.

                                (Note: Italian reports claimed sinking of this ship))

                                Supply ships detached to enter Malta and ss CLAN FORGES and CLAN FRASER joined

                                HMS MALAYA in Force F from Malta to take passage to Gibraltar.

                                Escort augmented by HM Destroyer HERO, HASTY AND HEREWARD from Fleet


                21st         Detached from mercantiles when escort taken over by HM Destroyers DUNCAN, JAGUAR

                                ENCOUNTER and ISIS after passage through Sicilian Narrows.

                22nd       Took passage through Narrows with HMS JERVIS and HMS ILEX

                                Ship struck mine off Cape Bon and sustained major structural damage.

                                Two attempts by HMS ILEX to tow were unsuccessful and ship's company taken on board

                                HMS ILEX.

                                Since tow clear of the area could not be accomplished before dawn and would be in sight

                                of Pantelleria, ship was sunk by HM Destroyer JANUS in position 37.04N 11.31E.

                                Two of the ship's company were not accounted for and reported missing presumed killed.

                                (Note: The mine was laid in Field 4AN between Cape Bon and Pantelleria on 7th October

                                by Italian destroyers

                                Casualty List was published on 30 June 1941.)






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








SL 006





HX 011





TC 001





MW 003





MW 004








(Note on Convoys)


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revised 31/7/11
further editing and formatting is required