TRIBAL-Class Destroyer ordered on 10th March 1936
from John I Thornycroft at Woolston under the 1935 Build Programme and laid down on 16th
July that year. The ship was launched on 5th October 1937 as the 11th RN ship to bear this name, introduced in 1756 for a 6
gun Sloop built on the Canadian lakes at Oswega and soon after completion captured by the French. It was last
used in 1917 for a destroyer which was sold in 1919. Build was
completed on 7th September 1938 for a tender price of £339,585 which excluded
supply of weapons and communications
outfits by the Admiralty. The name is
that of a North American tribe and dates from 1813.
B a t t l e H
o n o u r s
DOVER PATROL 1914-17 - NORWAY 1940 - CALABRIA 1940 - LIBYA 1940 - MEDITERRANEAN 1940-41
- SFAX 1941 - MATAPAN 1941 - MALTA CONVOYS
H e r a l d i c
D a t a
Badge: On a
Field gold, a head of a Mohawk couped
at the shoulders proper.
M o t t o:
Bold, vigilant, brave.
Manning Division: Portsmouth
D e t a i l s
o f P r e - W a r S e r v i c e
1 9 3 8
September Contractors Trials and
commissioning for service in 1st Tribal Destroyer, Flotilla
7th Build completion and commenced Acceptance
revised allocation for service in the Home Fleet because of the Munich crisis
not implemented and the ship planned deployment with the Mediterranean
Fleet was restored.)
On completion of
trials and storing took passage to Portland to work-up for service at
October Took passage to Mediterranean
after Portland deployment.
13th Arrived in Malta and joined HM
Destroyers AFRIDI and COSSACK for service as 1st
November Deployed for Flotilla duties
based at Malta including taking British Ambassador to
Turkey from Cape
Helles to Istanbul.
December Carried out Shakedown exercises
and visits in Aegean
Returned to Malta for Xmas.
for visual signalling purposes changed to F31.
1 9 3 9
January Flotilla deployment at
Malta in continuation.
Took part in Mediterranean Fleet Spring
exercise and visits programme.
February Passage to Gibraltar to take
part in Mediterranean and Home Fleet joint annual
Non-intervention Patrol duty
March On release from Fleet
Exercises deployed off Spanish Mediterranean coast to enforce
embargo on provision of
support to belligerents in Spanish civil war.
23rd Rescued five German airmen from
crashed seaplane off Barcelona.
Malta on release from patrol
April Transferred to 4th
Destroyer Flotilla with HM Destroyers AFRIDI, COSSACK,
GURKHA, NUBIAN, SIKH and ZULU.
May Deployed with
Flotilla For Mediterranean Fleet Exercise and Visits Programme
to July (Note: In addition to
Fleet and Flotilla exercises ships visited ports in Greece
and North Africa.)
August Took part in Fleet
exercises in Aegean, arranged in anticipation of war with Italy.
ships of Flotilla visited Istanbul but this visit was curtailed and
Mediterranean Fleet returned to Alexandria to take up war stations.)
for surveillance operation in Red Sea.
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)
September Took passage with HM
Destroyers AFRIDI, GURKHA and SIKH to Red Sea
for surveillance of Italian movements at
Alexandria on release from surveillance and resumed Flotilla duties
October Nominated for return to
UK with Flotilla for service in Home waters.
UK with calls at Malta and Gibraltar
13th Arrived at Harwich for North
Sea convoy defence and patrol to intercept German
submarines carrying out attacks on shipping, minelaying or on
of naval activities in Home waters after outbreak of war see Naval
History and ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE
CLOSELY by C Barnett.
14th Deployed as escort for North
16th After arrival in Forth came
under air attacks by Ju88 aircraft and straddled by
which on explosion scattered splinters causing extensive
to personnel on bridge and upper decks. 15 of ship’s company
and 30 were injured, one of whom was commanding Officer,
Jolly, RN who later died of his injuries.
Jolly was posthumously awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal)
17th Under temporary repair by HM
Dockyard, Rosyth to enable passage to
for permanent repair.
November Under repair by Hawthorn
Leslie shipyard, Hebburn on Tyne.
14th On completion of shipyard work
prepared to resume Flotilla duties in North Sea.
15th Sailed from Tyne with HM
Destroyer KELLY for North Sea patrol.
KELLY in tow after she had sustained serious damage caused when mine
detonated during passage from Tyne.
flooding in Tiller Flat.
escort to Tyne when tow taken over by tug.
1 9 4 0
January Deployed for Home
Fleet duties with Flotilla including service based at Scapa
to February Flow for Atlantic convoy
defence and anti-submarine patrol in addition to
of major Home Fleet warships.
March Flotilla duties
with Home Fleet in continuation.
2nd During escort of rms QUEEN
ELIZABETH in NW Approaches sustained
damage in collision with ss GARTBRATTAN.
rms QUEEN ELIZABETH was on maiden voyage to New York.)
passage to Troon for repair in commercial shipyard.
19th Resumed service in Home
Fleet with Flotilla at Scapa Flow.
April Home Fleet
Flotilla duties in continuation.
7th Sailed from Forth with HM
Destroyers AFRIDI, GURKHA, ZULU,
KASHMIR, KELVIN, Polish destroyers ORP GROM,
BLYSKAWICA and ORP BURZA as screen for HM Cruisers
and GALATEA to carry out search for German warships
by aircraft as on passage in North Sea.
8th Deployed as striking force
in search north of position 58.30N
9th Recalled to join Home Fleet
units also engaged in search operation.
with HM Destroyers AFRIDI, SIKH, GURKHA, SOMALI,
and MASHONA as screen for HM Cruisers MANCHESTER,
SOUTHAMPTON, SHEFFIELD and GLASGOW to carry out an attack
warships reported at Bergen.
cancelled by Admiralty and rejoined Home Fleet units with same
rejoining Home Fleet came under heavy and sustained air attacks.
which HMS SOUTHAMPTON and HMS GLASGOW were damaged
misses and HMS GURKHA was hit and sunk later.
11th Sailed from Scapa Flow with
HM Destroyers SOMALI, AFRIDI, SIKH,
and MOHAWK to carry out sweep inshore northward of
Alesund to intercept enemy warship movements prior to planned allied
12th Carried out search for enemy warships
13th Under air attacks at
Alesund without damage.
14th Deployed in support of
landings by RM from cruisers at Namsos.
completion took passage to meet troopship convoy
15th Arrived with troopships.
21st Deployed for patrol off Norwegian coast with HM Destroyers ASHANTI.
TARTAR, SIKH and NUBIAN for patrol to intercept
attempt by enemy ships to interfere with allied landings.
(Note: These ships were
deployed in pairs and returned periodically to
Scapa Flow to refuel.)
28th Escorted four ships of return
convoy to UK with HM Destroyers
AFRIDI, WITHERINGTON, AMAZON and SIKH.
(Note: These ships had delivered stores to Molde and Andalsnes
in support of landings (Operation SICKLE
OPERATIONS OF THE CAMPAIGN IN NORWAY, April-
June 1940 (HMSO).
campaign support in continuation..
4th Arrived at Mo as escort
for HM Landing Ship ROYAL ULSTERMAN
for landing of
by troops of Commando Unit. See above reference.
10th Detached for special
operation in Nore Command.
11th Deployed with HM
Destroyer VANSITTART to embark British diplomats
Hook of Holland for passage to UK after German invasion of Holland
(Note: Some other officials and refugees were also embarked.)
12th Returned to UK
14th Withdrawn from operations
in Norway and transferred for service
(Note: HM Destroyers HERO, HASTY, ILEX, IMPERIAL, JUNO,
NUBIAN, KHARTOUM and KINSTON were also transferred
to the Mediterranean.
For details of the disastrous naval operations off Norway see
NARVIK by D Macintyre, CARRIER GLORIOUS by J Winton,
THE DOOMED EXPEDITION by Adams and above reference.)
Transferred to 14th Destroyer Flotilla and prepared for foreign service.
(Note: Other ships in Flotilla
were HM Destroyers JERVIS, JANUS, JUNO,
17th During passage to
Mediterranean developed defects in steering equipment
24th On completion of repair by
HM Dockyard at Gibraltar took passage
join Flotilla at Alexandria.
29th Arrived at Alexandria for
Mediterranean Fleet duties with Flotilla.
Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to G 31
with Mediterranean Fleet for extensive exercises in preparation for war with
Italy for escort of convoys in eastern Mediterranean.
July Deployed at
Alexandria for Fleet screening duties.
7th Part of screen for HM
Battleship WARSPITE with HM Destroyers
NUBIAN, HERO, HEREWARD and DECOY as Force B to provide cover
passage of convoys MF1 and MS1 from Malta to Egypt
(Note: Force A comprising cruisers of 7th Cruiser Squadron and Force C
comprising HM Aircraft Carrier EAGLE, HM Battleships MALAYA
and ROYAL SOVEREIGN screened by ten destroyers were also
deployed for this operation For
details of Malta Convoy operations
MALTA CONVOYS by R Woodman.)
9th Present at first capital
ship engagement with Italian warships off Punto
Stilo. (Battle of Calabria – This established British
ascendancy over Italian
ships since the enemy fleet withdrew after their Flagship and a
cruiser were damaged by initial long range salvoes from HMS WARSPITE.
(Note: For details of naval activities in Mediterranean between 1940 and
1943 see THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by Donald
ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett
and THE NAVAL WAR IN
MEDITERRANEAN by J Greene and
August Nominated with HM
Destroyers NUBIAN and JANUS for detached service with
H at Gibraltar to reinforce the escort for transit of HM Aircraft Carrier
ILLUSTRIOUS, HM Battleship VALIANT, HM Cruisers COVENTRY and
CALCUTTA during passage to Alexandria to reinforce Mediterranean Fleet.
(Operation HATS). Passage to
30th Joined HM Destroyers HERO,
JANUS, GALLANT, GREYHOUND, GRIFFIN
HOTSPUR and NUBIAN in Force A for escort of warships in transit
Force F and sailed from Gibraltar covered by ships of Force H.
August Deployed for convoy defence in
from Force H ships with Force A and took passage as escort through
2nd Rejoined Mediterranean
Fleet east of Sicilian Narrows and deployed with screen.
5th Arrived at Alexandria with
ships of Mediterranean Fleet
Flotilla duties in continuation.
16th Deployed with six other
destroyers as screen for HMS VALIANT. HMS ILLUSTRIOUS
Cruisers KENT. COVENTRY and CALCUTTA during operations including
attacks on Benghazi and bombardment of shore targets in support of military
17th Detached with HMS NUBIAN to
screen HM Cruiser KENT during bombardment
Provided escort for tow of HMS KENT by HMS NUBIAN for passage
(Note: HMS KENT had been damaged by torpedo from and Italian aircraft during this
19th Arrived at Alexandria.
21st Carried out bombardment of Sidi Barrani with HM Destroyers
8th Deployed with HM Destroyers
DAINTY, DECOY, IMPERIAL, JERVIS, JANUS
STUART (RAN) and VAMPIRE (RAN) as screen for HMS ILLUSTRIOUS,
EAGLE, HMS MALAYA, HMS RAMILLIES, HMS VALIANT, HMS
WARSPITE, HM Cruisers AJAX,
GLOUCESTER, LIVERPOOL, ORION,
SYDNEY (RAN) and YORK to provide
cover for passage of Convoy MW2 to
and ME2 from Malta (Operation MB6)
12th Under attacks by Italian
torpedo boats which were driven off.
(Note: Three were sunk. See above references).
14th Returned to Alexandria with
Fleet units after air attacks by carriers on Leros.
6th Deployed with HM Destroyers DECOY,
DEFENDER, HASTY, HAVOCK,
HEREWARD, HERO, HYPERION, ILEX, JERVIS, JUNO, JANUS and
NUBIAN as screen for HMS ILLUSTRIOUS, HMS MALAYA, HMS
RAMILLIES, HMS VALIANT, HMS WARSPITE, HMS AJAX,
6th HMS GLOUCESTER, HMS ORION, HMAS
SYDNEY and HMS YORK
provide cover for passage of Convoy MW3 to Malta, ME3 from Malta
and Convoy AN6 on
passage to Suda Bay (Operation MB8)
9th Remained with screen for
passage to meet HM Battleship BARHAM, HM
GLASGOW, HM Destroyers GALLANT, GRIFFIN
GREYHOUND off Pantelleria.
(Note: These ships designated Force F were on passage from Gibraltar to
10th Deployed as screen for
reinforced Mediterranean Fleet and took passage
transit of Convoy ME3 for passage from Malta to Egypt.
11th Remained with screen
during air operations against Italian Fleet at Taranto
After completion of JUDGEMENT detached with HMS NUBIAN for
screening of HM Cruisers AJAX, ORION and SYDNEY (RAN) during
anti-shipping sweep operation against Italian shipping in Straits of
Otranto as Force X
12th Sighted Italian convoy of four
mercantiles escorted by Torpedo Boat
NICOLA FABRIZI and an Auxiliary cruiser RAMB III off Albanian
coast. Took part in consequent engagement during which the ships
the convoy were all sunk and escorting warships damaged.
above references for details.
Rejoined Mediterranean Fleet and formed part
14th Arrived at Alexandria with
24th Deployment with screen
for major Fleet units providing cover
passage of Convoy MW4
to be confirmed (Operation MB9)
29th Mediterranean Fleet units
returned to Alexandria after air attack on Tripoli
11th Deployed as escort for HM
Monitor TERROR during bombardment
13th Deployed as escort for HM
Cruiser COVENTRY during passage to
Alexandria after being badly damaged by aircraft torpedo off the coast
16th Deployment with screen for
HMS ILLUSTRIOUS, HMS VALIANT,
HMS WARSPITE, HMS AJAX, HMS
GLOUCESTER, HMS ORION,
HMAS SYDNEY and HMS YORK to provide Distant Cover for passage
Malta Convoys MW5 , ME5, air attacks on Rhodes and Stampalia
with a bombardment of Valona to be confirmed.
(Note: Fleet returned to Alexandria on 24th.)
1 9 4 1
3rd Deployed as escort for HM
Cruiser CALCUTTA with HM Destroyers NUBIAN
DAINTY and VOYAGER (RAN)
7th Joined HM Destroyers
DAINTY, GALLANT, GREYHOUND, GRIFFIN, JERVIS
JUNO and NUBIAN as screen for HMS ILLUSTRIOUS, HMS WARSPITE, HMS
HMS VALIANT of Force A to provide Distant Cover for passage of Malta
convoys MW5 ½, ME5 ½ and ME6 (Operation MC4)
10th Passage with Force A
screen from Malta to join military convoy WS5A south of
Detached from screen for tow of HM Destroyer GALLANT which had been
damaged after hitting a mine.
attacks during tow operation.
(Note: Escort to Malta was provided by HM Cruisers BONAVENTURE,
GLOUCESTER, SOUTHAMPTON, HM Destroyers GRIFFIN and
During absence from some Fleet units, HMS ILLUSTRIOUS was badly
damaged by German air attacks.
See above references.)
11th After release of tow took
passage to rejoin Fleet and under heavy and sustained air
attacks during which HMS SOUTHAMPTON was damaged and had to be sunk.)
15th Returned to Alexandria
with Fleet units which had covered passage of ME6.
19th Escorted ships of Inshore
Squadron for bombardment of Tobruk in support of an
advance by ANZAC troops.
(Note: Inshore Squadron ships involved included HM Monitor TERROR, HM
River Gunboats LADYBIRD, APHIS and GNAT
25th Deployed to cover return
passage of HMS ILLUSTRIOUS into Alexandria after
temporary repair in Malta.
with HM Cruisers AJAX, HMS GLOUCESTER, ORION and HMS
NUBIAN to take troops to Malta. (Operation
in Malta after fast uninterrupted passage.
from escort and returned to Alexandria.
24th Sailed from Alexandria with HM
Australian Cruiser PERTH and HMS NUBIAN to assist
Monitor TERROR which had been damaged during air attacks and was under tow .
(Note: HMS TERROR later sank in tow
and ship returned to Alexandria.)
as screen for HM Aircraft Carrier FORMIDABLE, HMS WARSPITE,
BARHAM, HMS VALIANT, HM Cruisers GLOUCESTER and YORK to
provide cover for passage of Malta convoy MW6 (Operation MC9).
(Note: Other destroyers in screen included HM Destroyers HASTY, HEREWARD.
ILEX, JERVIS, STUART (RAN) and VENDETTA (RAN).)
to Alexandria with covering force.
from Alexandria with HMS JERVIS, HMS JANUS and HMS NUBIAN as
screen for HMS FORMIDABLE prior to Fleet deployment for interception of
Italian battle squadron reported on passage to attack military convoys
convoys taking reinforcements for defence of Greece.
screen for HMS WARSPITE, HMS VALIANT and BARHAM deployed as
part in night action against Italian squadron which included battleship
VITTORIO VENETO, nine cruisers and 17 destroyers off Cape Matapan.
(Battle of Matapan – See MATAPAN by SW Pack,
and above references.)
30th Returned to Alexandria
with Mediterranean Fleet.
April Nominated for detached service based
at Suda Bay with HMS JERVIS, JANUS,
NUBIAN of Flotilla to carry out attacks on convoys off the North African
to Suda Bay
Transferred to Malta after air threat judged to have reduced.
with same ships from Malta after aircraft reported convoy of four ships
believed to be taking troops and stores to Tripoli with an escort of
(Note: Escorts were Italian
destroyers LUCA TARIGO, LAMPO and
16th After radar detection of
convoy took part in night action with other ships of the
Flotilla against convoy and sank all ships in convoy and two of the
Before her sinking LUCA TARIGO
launched torpedoes, two of which hit this
ship which was totally disabled although remained afloat.
of the ship’s company lost their lives and 168 survivors were rescued.
Ship was sunk by gunfire from HMS JANUS and settled on a sandbank in
position 34.56N 11.42E.
details of this highly successful night engagement see above references.
Casualty List was published in the TIMES 27th May 1941
The Italian Navy later
recovered documents from the hulk. These provided information about access to the harbour at Alexandria which assisted in the planning of an
attack by frogmen on capital ships of the Mediterranean Fleet. On
18th December 1941 Charges were placed by divers on HMS VALIANT, HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH and the Norwegian tanker
resulted in very serious damage. See references.
P o s t W a
r N o t e s
The twelfth ship to carry this name was a TRIBAL
Class, Type 81 Frigate launches at Barrow on 5th April 1962. This ship saw extensive service on foreign stations before being placed on the Disposal List in
CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of
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)