TRIBAL-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered on 10th March 1936 under the 1935 Build Programme.
The contract for the hull and engines was
placed with Vickers-Armstrong at Newcastle and the ship was laid down on 9th
Launched on 8th June 1937, she was the 6th RN warship to carry the name, which had
been introduced in 1806 when the 6th Rate PANDOUR was renamed. It was last used
for a destroyer built in 1907 by Cammell Laird which was sold in 1919. Build of this
destroyer was completed on 7th June 1938 and she commissioned for service in
Tribal Destroyer Flotilla and served with the Flotilla in the Mediterranean.
The ship took
part in patrols during the Spanish civil war and in Mediterranean Fleet
exercises and visits
programmes before the outbreak of war with Germany.1939. In April that year the Flotilla
identity was changed to the 4th Destroyer Flotilla. Her Pennant Number for
purposes was L03 when she commissioned but this was changed in December 1938
to F03. In the early months of 1940 her name became renowned when her exploits
in boarding the German tanker ALTMARK to rescue British seamen received
In January 1942 her successor was “adopted ”by the civil community of Esher and
Claygate, Surrey after a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in January
1942, but it is believed that a relationship with this ship existed before her
loss in October 1941.
B a t t l e H o n o u r s
1835 - DOVER
PATROL 1914-19 - NARVIK
1940 - NORWAY
1940 - ATLANTIC
1940-41 - BISMARCK Action 1941 - MALTA CONVOYS
1941 - KOREA 1950-53*
(* Awarded to HMS
H e r a l d i c D a t a
Badge: On a Field Blue,
riding in water barry wavy. White and Blue,
a mounted Cossack proper.
D e t a i l s o f
W a r S e r v i c e
(for more ship information,
Naval History Homepage
and type name in Site Search)
1 9 3 9
August Deployed with 4th Flotilla in the
2nd Visited Istanbul with HM Battleship
Took-up war station later.
September Nominated for convoy escort in
Fleet ships also carried out patrols to enforce
to prevent landing of cargoes destined for Germany.
3rd Deployed for escort of convoys between
Marseilles and Mediterranean
October Nominated for return to Home
waters with ships of Flotilla..
2nd Took passage to join Home Fleet for
November Deployed in North Sea for convoy
defence and patrol.
7th Sustained damage in collision with ss
BORTHWICK off May Island,
Firth of Forth
during escort duty. Four of the ship’s company were
killed and ship was
withdrawn from duty for repair.
8th Passage to Leith for repair by Robb’s
9th Under repair including repairs to turbine
of these items were also found necessary in other
ships of the Class. See AFRIDI TO
NIZAM by J English and
DESTROYERS by E J March.)
December Under repair at Leith.
1 9 4 0
9th Resumed Home Fleet duties with Flotilla
in North Sea.
February Took part in search for German
tanker ALTMARK known to be on
return passage to
Germany and believed to be carrying British personnel
from merchant ships
captured by German battleship GRAF SPEE
during her commerce
raiding activities in 1939-40. Deployed with HM
HM Destroyers SIKH, NUBIAN, INTREPID and
16th After interception of ALTMARK by HMS
INTREPID and HMS
German ship in Joessing Fjord. Norway and
released the 299
British seamen held on board.
(For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY
MORE CLOSELY and The
structural damage to bows during boarding.
17th Released prisoners were landed at Leith
with substantial press coverage.
22nd Taken in hand for repair at Leith in same
23rd Resumed Home Fleet duties.
March Home Fleet deployment in
April Planning for Home Fleet
operation R4 to lay mines off Norway in hand.
(Note: This ship was
not part of screen for minelayers or for Fleet major
details of all naval activities following execution of R4 and
support of allied military operations in Norway see NAVAL
OPERATIONS OF THE CAMPAIGN IN NORWAY (HMSO).)
7th Sailed from Forth with HM Destroyers AFRIDI, GURKHA (i), SIKH
KASHMIR, KELVIN, Polish destroyers ORP
BURZA as screen for HM Cruisers
ARETHUSA and GALATEA
to carry out interception sweep northward
(Note: German warships had been
reported by aircraft as being on
in North Sea. Part of planned minelay in R4 was
cancelled and Home Fleet ships deployed to find the enemy.
not take part in Home Fleet operations after the
of HM Destroyer GLOWWORM.)
8th HM Destroyers SOMALI, MATABELE, MASHONA and
9th Following collision between HMS KELVIN AND
Detached from screen
with HMS ZULU during passage of cruisers
to join assembly of
Home Fleet units
Deployed for tow of
HMS KASHMIR to Leith for repair.
(Note: HMS: :This
ship did not take part in 1st Battle of Narvik.)
12th Rejoined Home Fleet units off Narvik.
Deployed with HM
Destroyers ESKIMO, PUNJABI. HERO,
FORESTER and FOXHOUND as screen
for HM Battleship
WARSPITE and took passage to enter Vest
Fjord to provide cover for entry of
destroyers into Narvik harbour.
13th Deployed as screen for HMS WARSPITE in Vest
Fjord with HM
FOXHOUND and FORESTER, joined later by
HM Destroyers BEDOUIN, PUNJABI,
Detached from HMS
WARSPITE and deployed to enter harbour at
Narvik with HMS
FOXHOUND and HMS KIMBERLEY covered
by HMS WARSPITE gunfire.
2nd Battle of Narvik. Engaged and
sank German destroyer
ERIC GIESE with HMS FOXHOUND.
German destroyer DIETHER VON ROEDER with
the other two Home Fleet destroyers
and hit by nine 5in shells in
return fire before
enemy destroyer sank
damage with 11 killed and 23 of ship’s company
wounded. One shell exploded in forward
structure killing all of
the ammunition supply party for “A” gun.
Other hits in Boiler
consequential damage disabled ship which grounded
as then unable
sources records that the German destroyer was scuttled.)
shore fire after damage..
14th Ship refloated on rising tide and took
passage under stern way
escorted by HMS KIMBERLEY.
(See ESCORT COMMANDER by P
Gretton, NARVIK by D
above reference for details of 2nd Battle of Narvik.)
16th Under temporary repair,.
26th Deployed as escort for tanker BRITISH
LADY during passage to
29th Passage to Portsmouth for permanent
30th Taken in hand for repair.
May Repair arranged at J I
Thornycroft shipyard at Southampton
. Taken in hand
for visual signalling purposes changed to G03.
(Note: Refit work included:
Installation of Radar Type 286, which was an RAF
air/surface equipment modified for naval use and the
first radar outfit to be fitted in RN destroyers. For
details of the development and use of radar equipment
the Royal Navy see RADAR AT SEA by D Howse.)
mounting in X position was replaced by twin
HA mounting and modifications were made to other
15th Carried out post repair trials and
prepared for return to Home
Fleet duties as
Leader of 4th Flotilla.
Replaced HMS AFRIDI lost in air attack off Namsos
of post refit trials took passage to Clyde for special
24th Deployed as escort for HM Cruiser
EMERALD with HM Destroyer
cruiser was taking gold bullion and securities from UK
to Canada for safe keeping.)
25th Detached from escort owing to extreme
weather conditions and
Passage to Scapa Flow
to resume Flotilla duties in Home Fleet.
7th Deployed with screen for Home Fleet
major warships during an
for search for HM Submarine SHARK which was
known to be
in difficulties during patrol off Norway.
SHARK was sunk by German minesweepers after
damage by air attacks.)
Home Fleet ships took part in anti-invasion patrols in North
Sea as well as in screening of Home Fleet major warships
during interception patrols in NW
Approaches to deter
passage of enemy warships and commerce raiders.
11th Deployed with HM Destroyers MAORI,
SIKH and DUNCAN as
part of escort
for ships of 1st Minelaying Squadron during the lay
northern section of East Coast Miner Barrier.
September Home Fleet deployment in
details of Home Fleet activities including ant-
invasion contributions for defence of UK see The
Naval Staff History
and ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE
28th Under repair at Rosyth
result of damage sustained during high speed operations
in rough weather.)
October Carried out post repair
trials and resumed Flotilla duties with Home
14th Took part in attack on convoy off
Egersund and sustained damage.
15th Under repair to rudder damage.
4th Resumed Flotilla duties in Home
Deployed with screen for major warships during search
operations in NW Approaches for German
attempting break-out into Atlantic for attacks on convoys.)
December Home Fleet duties in
1 9 4 1
January Withdrawn from operational duties for
repairs and refit.
7th Taken in hand for repair and refit by
J I Thornycroft.
Repair included docking for structural work on plating
and modification of accommodation in view of the
increase in complement to 236 because of changes in
Type 286 radar modified to allow use of a rotating
aerial unit. See above reference.)
20th On completion of post refit trials
resumed duties with Flotilla
Fleet based at Scapa Flow.
11th Deployed with HM Destroyers ST MARY'S,
MAORI as escort for ships
of 1st Minelaying Squadron during
mine lay in
Northern Barrage (Operation SN6B)
Cover was provided by HM Cruisers EDINBURGH and
April 6th Deployed with HM Destroyers ANTHONY,
and ST MARY'S
as escort for ships of 1st Minelaying Squadron
during minelay in Northern Barrage
May Nominated for
escort of military convoy in NW Approaches
perceived threat of attack by German battleship
BISMARCK, believed to be
preparing for sortie into Atlantic
22nd Joined Convoy WS8B in Clyde which was
taking passage to
Indian Ocean with troop reinforcements.
(Note: Escort included HM
Destroyers ERIDGE, MAORI,
OTTAWA (RCN), SIKH,
(RCN) and Polish ORP PIORUN with HM Cruiser
deployed to provide AA defence and HM Cruiser
SCYLLA as Ocean Escort during passage to Freetown.)
25th Detached with HM Destroyers
MAORI, SIKH, ZULU and
PIORUN of Flotilla to join Home Fleet ships in search
German battleship BISMARCK which had sunk HM
Battlecruiser HOOD and evaded shadowing cruisers.
26th Ordered to join HM Battleship KING GEORGE V with
SIKH and HMS ZULU, but after BISMARCK had
sighted by CATALINA aircraft attempted to intercept
27th Delayed by weather conditions
and sighted HM Cruiser
part in torpedo attacks on BISMARCK with HMS
and HMS ZULU without success.
BATTLESHIP BISMARCK by Mullenheim Rechhberg,
Naval Staff History and PURSUIT by L Kennedy for
details of the action.)
28th Passage to Loch Ewe as escort
for HMS KING GEORGE V
June Resumed Home Fleet duties with
Flotilla at Scapa Flow.
17th Deployed as escort for HM
Aircraft Carrier VICTORIOUS
Gibraltar after providing air cover during passage of
relief convoy (Operation TRACER
20th On arrival in Clyde detached and
took passage to resume
Fleet duties at Scapa Flow.
for escort of military convoys and took passage
3rd Joined Convoy WS9A as Local
Escort during passage
Approaches with HM Cruiser CAIRO, HM Destroyers
MAORI, OTTAWA (RCN), RESTIGOUCHE (RCN),
RAMSEY, RICHMOND, SIKH, VANQUISHER, ZULU
WINCHELSEA. HM Cruiser BIRMINGHAM was
deployed as Ocean Escort for passage to Freetown.
7th Detached with Local Escort and
returned to Clyde.
12th Deployed with HM Battleship
NELSON, HM Cruisers
MANCHESTER and ARETHUSA, HM Destroyers MAORI,
LIGHTNING, NESTOR (RAN) and SIKH for escort of
Convoy WS9C and took passage from Scapa Flow to join
convoy during passage in NW
(Operation SUBSTANCE – Malta relief convoy. For details
MALTA CONVOYS by R Woodman, The Naval
,ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY
THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by D
Macintyre for details.)
15th Remained with WS9C when Local
17th Detached from WS9C with HMS
ARETHUSA and HMS
SIKH as escort for troopship LEINSTER into Gibraltar.
20th Embarked reinforcement troops for
passage to Malta.
(Note: Convoy to Malta re-identified as GM1.)
Cover during passage to western entry to the
Sicilian Narrows was to be provided by HM
Battleship NELSON and ships of Force H based
at Gibraltar. These were HM
RENOWN, HM Aircraft Carrier ARK ROYAL,
HM Cruiser HERMIONE and screen of eight Fleet
Home Fleet ships detached for SUBSTANCE. were
designated Force X and were to provide escort for
GM1 through Narrows to Grand Harbour, Malta
21st Took passage from Gibraltar with
LEINSTER to join GM1.
When LEINSTER ran aground on
departure this ship was
deployed as part of destroyer
screen for HM Cruisers
EDINBURGH, MANCHESTER, ARETHUSA and
MANXMAN with HM
Destroyers MAORI, SIKH, NESTOR
(RAN), FEARLESS, FOXHOUND, FIREDRAKE,
ERIDGE, AVON VALE and FARNDALE. deployed as
22nd Refuelled from RFA BROWN RANGER.
(Note: HM Destroyer ENCOUNTER which had escorted
the tanker from Gibraltar joined
Convoy under attack by Italian submarine DIASPRO which
failed when convoy was alerted. See references.
23rd Under aiir
attacks during which HMS MANCHESTER was
hit by a torpedo and had to return to Gibraltar. HMS
FEARLESS, also hit and disabled, had to be sunk by
another of the Force H destroyers, HMS FORESTER.
Detached from covering Force
with HMS HERMIONE
and joined Force X to replace these two ships.
In last air attack HMS FIREDRAKE disabled and had to
be withdrawn under tow of HMS ERIDGE.
24th Under night attack by Italian
motor torpedo boats and
. engaged enemy
craft. Missed by one torpedo. ss SYDNEY
STAR was hit by torpedo but managed to
reach Grand Harbour covered by HMAS NESTOR.
Detached on arrival of WS9C in Malta and took passage
to rejoin ships of Force H which had covered passage to
Narrows and were deployed west of Pantellaria
return of Force X.
(For details of passage of SUBSTANCE convoy see the
Took passage with ships of Force X to rejoin Force H after
arrival of GM1
25th Met Force H ships off Bone and
took passage to Gibraltar.
28th Retained at Gibraltar for
planned operation and joined
30th Sailed from Gibraltar with HMS
MAORI as escort for
HM Cruisers ARETHUSA, HERMIONE and MANXMAN
taking personnel previously embarked in ss LEINSTER
(Operation STYLE - COSSACK and MAORI may have
sailed from Gibraltar on this date to create a diversion for STYLE,
instead of as escort)
1st Detached from escort with HMS
MAORI and carried out
bombardment of Alghero, Sardinia.
(Note: This was followed by air
attacks from HMS ARK
ROYAL which had been part of Force H cover for
STYLE. See references.)
4th Returned to Gibraltar after
deployment HM Destroyers
with HM Destroyers MAORI, NESTOR (RAN) and
AVON VALE in Group III as screen for HMS RENOWN
8th Passage to UK to resume Flotilla
duties with Home Fleet.
escort of military convoy after arrival at
Scapa Flow and took passage to Clyde.
31st Deployed with HM Destroyers
LIVELY, WINCHELSEA and ZULU, Dutch destroyer
ISAAC SWEERS, Polish destroyers ORP GARLAND and
ORP PIORUN as Local Escort of military convoy WS11
during passage from Clyde in NW Approaches.
(Note: HM Cruiser CAIRO was deployed with Local
Escort to provide AA
defence and Ocean Escort
by HM Battle cruiser REPULSE*, HM Armed
Merchant Cruiser DERBYSHIRE, HM Destroyers
ENCOUNTER* and NESTOR (RAN)*.HM Sloop
SUTLEJ (RIN), HM Cutters SENNEN and
TOTLAND during Atlantic
passage to Freetown.
* - On passage to join Eastern Fleet.)
2nd Detached from WS11 and took
passage to Gibraltar to join
Force H for planned Malta relief operation.
20th Deployed at Gibraltar with HM
to carry out search for submarines after attack on ships at
at Gibraltar by Italian human torpedo weapons
See MALTA CONVOYS by R Woodman
25th Part of destroyer screen for HM
HMS ARK ROYAL and HM Cruiser HERMIONE of
Force H with HM Destroyers ZULU, FORESIGHT,
LAFOREY and LIGHTNING. Identified
as Force A
(Note: Force A was providing cover for passage of
the Convoy identified asGM2 after arrival at
Gibraltar as WS11X. See above references for
details of passage.)
26th Detached from Force A screen to
refuel from RFA
27th Under air attack during which HMS
NELSON was hit by
torpedo and despite serious damage remained with the
Evaded torpedo during these attacks.
Detached from Force A screen and joined HM Destroyers
FORESIGHT, FORESTER, FURY, LAFOREY, ORIBI,
ZULU, FARNDALE and HEYTHROP as part of Force X
(Note: Force X also included HM
SHEFFIELD as Close
Escort for GM2 during the
passage to Grand Harbour, Malta through the
28th Arrived in Malta with GM2 ships
and Force X.
29th Passage through Sicilian Narrows
with Force X to rejoin
Force A west of Narrows.
1st Arrived at Gibraltar with
combined Force A and X ships.
Remained at Gibraltar for further deployment with Force
H during planned Malta support
16th Joined screen for HMS RODNEY, HMS
and HMS HERMIONE with HM Destroyers SIKH,
ZULU, FORESIGHT, FORESTER,
FURY and LEGION
to provide cover for delivery of aircraft to Malta from
HMS ARK ROYAL (Operation CALLBOY)
19th Returned to Gibraltar with Force
20th Nominated to join escort for
Convoy HG75 during passage
to UK. HG75. Departure had been delayed due to ENIGMA
information about six U-boats assembling west of Gibraltar
specifically for attacks on this convoy.
See HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR Volume 1 by C
U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp.
(Note: One source records that ship took part in anti
operations against this Group with HM
Sloop ROCHESTER, HM Corvettes MALLOW,
CARNATION and BLUEBELL during which U204
was sunk. This has to be confirmed.)
22nd Sailed from Gibraltar as part of
escort for Convoy HG75
with HM Destroyers VIDETTE and
ROCHESTER, HM Corvettes CARNATION , MALLOW
and five other corvettes.
23rd Under attacks by submarines of BRESLAU
which ship was hit by torpedo from U563 in position
35.36N 10.04W whilst stationed
astern of convoy.
forward of bridge demolished killing the
Captain and 158 of ship’s company. Survivors abandoned
ship which remained afloat.
Later ship survivors returned and carried out extensive
damage control to enable stern
way until HM Tug
THAMES arrived to take ship in tow to
escort by HM Corvette JONQUIL
27th Weather worsened and personnel
taken on board HMS
JONQUIL before ship sank at 1043 in position 35.12N
references and AFRIDI TO NIZAM by J
information on the famous service of this ship is available in THE TRIBALS by H
CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS
by Don Kindell
This convoy list has not been cross-checked with the text above
Date convoy sailed
Joined convoy as escort
Date convoy arrived
(Note on Convoys)