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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2003

HMS JACKAL (F 22) -  J-class Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Jackal (Howard Bell, whose father served on her, click to enlarge)

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J or JAVELIN-Class Destroyer ordered from John Brown at Clydebank on 25th March 1937 under the 1936 Build Programme and laid down on 24th September 1937. She was launched on 25th October 1938 as the 7th RN ship to carry the name introduced in 1778 and last used by a WW1 destroyer sold in 1920. She was the Lead Ship of this Class and ran her preliminary builders trials during February 1939. Build was completed on 31st March 1939 and after final trials entered service with the 4th Destroyer Flotilla in the Home Fleet on 13th April that year. Following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in November 1941 this ship was adopted by the civil community of Colwyn Bay, then in the county of Denbighshire, Wales, now part of Clywd. The total cost of her build was £391,370, excluding equipment supplied by the Admiralty such as communications outfits and weapons.


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

B a d g e: On a Field Red a Jackal statant gold



1 9 3 9


August                  Deployed at Scapa Flow after completion of minor repairs at Devonport.

                                War Station allocated as Huber Force and took passage

                31st         Deployed with Humber force 



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)



September             Deployed with 7th Destroyer Flotilla in Home Fleet based in Humber.

                                (Note: Flotilla comprised HM Destroyers JACKAL, JANUS, JAVELIN, JERSEY, JERVIS and

                                JUPITER with HMS JAGUAR working-up at Portland.)

                6th          Deployed with HMS JANUS and HMS JUNO as escort for ss BATAVIA

                                in North Sea from Mass Light Vessel to Tongue Light Vessel.

                                (Note: This ship was carrying British Embassy staff in Berlin back to UK)

                                On completion transferred for convoy defence and patrol in Channel and SW Approaches.


October                  Based at Plymouth for convoy defence and patrol in SW Approaches and Channel.

                                Transferred to Rosyth for screening of 2nd Cruiser Squadron.

                14th        Sustained damage in collision with HMS JANUS at Kirkwall, and took passage

                                to Scapa Flow for repair and routine maintenance.

                15th        Under repair.

                24th        Resumed operational service in North Sea for convoy defence and patrol.



                8th          Under refit in Amos & Smith shipyard at Grimsby

                21st         Resumed operational service in North Sea


December              North Sea deployment with Flotilla in continuation.


1 9 4 0


January                  Flotilla duties in continuation in North Sea

                                Carried out anti-submarine patrol and convoy defence.


February                North Sea deployment in continuation.

                28th        Involved in collision in North Sea in which Swedish ship STORFORS sank and ship

                                sustained serious damage.

                                Took passage to Tyne escorted by HMS JANUS

                29th        Arrived in Tyne and repair arranged at Blyth Dry Dock shipyard.


March                    Under repair to damaged bow structure at Blyth.



                18th        Resumed Flotilla duties at Scapa Flow after Post Repair trials.

                20th        Escorted troopships ST MAGNUS, ST SUNNIVA and CEDAR BANK

                                from Aberdeen to Andalsnes, Norway for landings (Operation SICKLE).

                21st         CEDARBANK sunk by torpedo during passage.

                                Detached on arrival at Rombaksfjord.

                22nd       Deployed in support of military operations off Norway.

                29th        Escorted HM Cruisers GLASGOW with HMS JAVELIN to Molde,

                                On arrival embarked HM King Haakon of Norway and members of the Government with a

                                quantity of bullion for transhipment. After transfer to HMS GLASGOW deployed with

                                HMS JAVELIN as escort during passage to Tromso


May                        Support of military operations in continuation

                10th        Deployed with HMS JAVELIN as escort for military convoy to Norway.

                11th        On arrival diverted with convoy to Mo for support of landing of the troops.

                12th        Provided naval gunfire support with HM Cruiser ENTERPRISE during the

                                landings and came under sustained air attacks.

                13th        Escorted coastal steamer to Bodo after release from Mo.

                                Transferred for duty in Nore Command and took passage to Scapa Flow.

                                as escort for HM Sloop PELICAN from Andalsnes to Kirkwall.

                                (Note HMS PELICAN had been badly damaged during operations in Norway.

                16th        Arrived at Harwich for service in Nore Command.

                18th        Deployed at Harwich for convoy defence and interception patrols.

                19th        Escorted HM Trawlers GRAMPIAN, PELTON, JAMES LAY, MILFORD

                                QUEEN, MILFORD PRINCES and CAPE MELVILLE with HMS JAGUAR

                                HMS JAVELIN and HM Corvette PUFFIN to cut commercial cables for

                                UK to Continent communications off coast of Norfolk (Operation QUIXOTE)

                25th        Carried out unsuccessful attack on U9 off East Anglia.

                                (Note: Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to G22.)

                                Following evacuation from Holland and Belgium patrols were

                                carried out as an anti-invasion measure.)


June                        Harwich deployment for patrol and convoy defence in continuation.

                                (Note: This ship was the only member of the Flotilla operational.)


July                         Harwich patrol and convoy defence duties in continuation.

                4th          Deployed with HMS JAGUAR as escort of HM Auxiliary Minelayer

                                TEVIOT BANK during minelay in East Coast Barrier (Operation BS21)


August                  Harwich deployment in continuation for anti-invasion patrols.


September             Transferred to Scapa Flow for Home Fleet duties.

                11th        Deployed with HM Destroyers VERSATILE, VIMY and ELECTRA as escort

                                for HM Auxiliary Minelayers SOUTHERN PRINCE, PORT NAPIER, PORT

                                QUEBEC and MENESTHEUS during minelay in Northern Barrage

                                (Operation SN41)

                                Resumed North Se duties on completion.



                2nd         Transferred to 5th Destroyer Flotilla for the interception of enemy craft attacking

                                Channel coastal convoys. and took passage to Plymouth.

                10th        Escorted HM Battleship REVENGE with HM Destroyers JAVELIN,

                                JUPITER, JAGUAR, KASHMIR and KIPLING during bombardment of Cherbourg.

                                (Note: Cover was provided by HM Cruisers NEWCASTLE and EMERALD.

                11th        Took part in bombardment with other ships.

                12th        Returned to Portsmouth as escort for HMS REVENGE.

                                Detached on arrival and took passage to Plymouth to rejoin Flotilla.

                17th        During patrol engaged enemy vessels off Brest (To be confirmed)


November              Channel deployment in continuation.

                28th        Deployed with HM Destroyers JAVELIN, JUPITER, JERSEY and

                                KASHMIR to establish a patrol line between Lands End and Start Point

                                to intercept three German destroyers reported on passage to attack Channel traffic.

                29th        Took part in brief engagement with KARL GALSTER, HANS LODY and

                                ERICH STEINBRINCK which were retiring after torpedo attack during

                                which HMS JAVELIN was hit and badly damaged in position 50.37N

                                4.00W. After chase was broken off returned to stand-by HMS JAVELIN which had

                                been hit by forward and aft by two torpedoes.

                                (Note: Flotilla was led by Captain, The Lord Louis Mountbatten in HMS

                                JAVELIN. Enemy ships had previously attacked a convoy off Start Point

                                and had sunk two ships. The tactics used by the Flotilla were subsequently

                                criticised and have been the subject of significant controversy.

                                See HOLD THE NARROW SEA by P Smith and ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE

                                CLOSELY by C Barnett.)

                30th        Embarked wounded from HMS JAVELIN and returned to Plymouth at dawn.


December              Nominated for refit and took passage to Humber.

                5th          Taken in hand for refit by Humber Graving Dock & Engineering Co.

                                Nominated for escort of military convoy on completion.


1 9 4 1



                10th        Carried out post refit trials and took passage to Clyde.

                12th        Joined Convoy WS5B in Clyde with HM Destroyers BEAGLE, FEARLESS,


                                And WATCHMAN as Local Escort for passage in NW Approaches.

                16th        Detached with Local Escort for return to Clyde.

                                Passage to Plymouth to resume Channel duties.


February                Channel deployment in continuation.

                20th        Provided cover for minelay off Best by HM Destroyers IMPULSIVE, INTREPID

                                and ICARUS with HM Destroyers KELLY, KIPLING and KASHMIR of the 5th

                                Flotilla (Operation GS – See above reference.)


March                    Channel deployment based at Plymouth in continuation.

                19th        Provided cover for minelay off Ile de Bas by HM Destroyers ICARUS, INTREPID

                                and IMPULSIVE with ships of 5th Flotilla and four Motor Launches.

                                (Operation GU)

                28th        Provide cover for minelay off Brest by same minelaying destroyers with HM

                                Destroyers KELLY, KASHMIR and KELVIN (Operation GX).

                29th        Deployed as escort for HM Cruiser ABDIEL during passage to Brest area for

                                minelay (Operation GY)

                                (Note: Operation was cancelled when HMS ABDIEL developed machinery

                                defects and had to return to Cowes for repair.)


April                       Nominated for transfer to Mediterranean with Flotilla.

                2nd         Took passage to Gibraltar

                24th        Joined Force S at Gibraltar and deployed as screen for HM Cruisers ABDIEL

                                and DIDO with HM Destroyers KASHMIR, KELLY, KIPLING, KELVIN and

                                and JERSEY of Flotilla during passage to join Mediterranean Fleet.

                                (Operation SALIENT – Malta Aircraft delivery by HMS ARK ROYAL was

                                was carried out at the same time and covered by ships of Force H based

                                at Gibraltar (Operation DUNLOP.)

                27th        On completion of launch of aircraft detached from Force H ships which returned to Gibraltar

                                and took passage to Malta to relieve 14th Destroyer Flotilla as Malta Strike Force.

                28th        On arrival in Malta deployed as Force K for attacks on enemy supply convoys

                                to and from North Africa.



                1st           Deployed with HM Destroyers KELLY, JERSEY, KELVIN for interception patrol.

                2nd         Trapped inside Grand Harbour, Malta after HMS JERSEY had been mined and

                                sunk on entry with ships of Flotilla from patrol..

                9th          Sailed from Malta with HM Destroyers JANUS, KELLY and JAVELIN to join

                                HM Cruisers AJAX, DIDO, ORION and PERTH (RAN) for escort of military

                                convoy for onward passage from Sicilian Narrows (Operation TIGER)

                                (See THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by D Macintyre, NAVAL WAR

                                IN THE MEDITERRANEAN by J Greene and A Massignani.), MALTA CONVOYS

                                by R Woodman and Naval Staff History HMSO 2002.)

                10th        Detached from TIGER Convoy escort with HM Destroyers KASHMIR, KELLY

                                KELVIN and KIPLING when Mediterranean Fleet joined for escort.

                11th        Carried out bombardment of Benghazi with ships of Flotilla during passage

                                to Malta. Under air attack and near missed by bomb which failed to explode.

                12th        Resumed Force K interception duties at Malta.

                21st         Took passage from Malta with HM Destroyers KELLY, KELVIN, KASHMIR and

                                KIPLING to join ships of Mediterranean Fleet deployed off Crete for the interception

                                of invasion craft.

                22nd       Joined ships off Crete and detached later to search for survivors from HM Cruiser


                                Carried out search of Cannea Bay and remained off Crete overnight.

                23rd        Deployed with HMS KELLY, HMS KELVIN and HMS KASHMIR in attacks

                                on invasion craft and came under heavy and sustained air attacks during which

                                HMS KELLY and HMS KASHMIR were sunk.

                                Carried out search in Kisamos and Cannea Bays for invasion craft and returned

                                to Alexandria with HMS KELVIN.

                25th        Deployed with HM Destroyers NAPIER (RAN) and KELVIN as screen for

                                HM Cruisers DIDO and AJAX during sweep of Kaso Strait for invasion craft.

                                (Note: Transferred to 7th Destroyer Flotilla when 5th Flotilla disbanded.

                26th        Rejoined Fleet units for evacuation of allied troops from Crete.

                                Under air attacks.

                27th        Detached with same ships and returned to Alexandria to replenish.

                28th        Took part in evacuation from Heraklion.

                29th        Returned to Alexandria.

                31st         Passage to carry out evacuation at Sphakia. with HM Cruisers PHOEBE, ABDIEL.

                                HM Destroyers HOTSPUR and KIMBERLEY. 4,000 men were rescued by these ships.



                1st           Returned to Alexandria.

                4th          Nominated for support of military operations against Vichy French in Syria

                                (Operation EXPORTER)

                7th          Took passage from Alexandria to join ships of Force B off Syrian coast for gunfire support

                                of military operations and defence of cruisers against Vichy French warships.

                8th          Deployed inshore to interception of Vichy French warships attempting to interfere with shore


                9th          During deployment with HMS JANUS came under fire from Vichy French destroyers VALMY

                                and GUÉPARD.

                                Hit by one shell without casualties or serious damage.

                                (Note: HMS JANUS was hit by five shells and sustained both casualties and serious damage.)

                                French ships withdrew after HM Destroyers ISIS and HOTSPUR arrived.


July                         EXPORTER Deployment in continuation.

                4th          Carried out bombardment of Beirut with HM Cruisers NAIAD and AJAX.

                                Returned to Alexandria on release from EXPORTER and resumed Fleet

                                Screening and patrol duties for interception of supply convoys.

                                (For details of naval operations off Syria see RELUCTANT ENEMIES

                                by W Tute and NAVAL WAR IN THE MEDITERRANEAN.)

                22nd       Deployed with HM Destroyers HASTY, HAVOCK, JAGUAR, JERVIS, KANDAHAR,

                                KIMBERLEY, KINGSTON, NIZAM and NUBIAN as screen for HM Battleships QUEEN

                                ELIZABETH and VALIANT, HM Cruisers AJAX, CARLISLE, HOBART (RAN), LEANDER,

                                NEPTUNE, NAIAD, PHOEBE, ABDIEL and LATONA during offensive sweep in Eastern

                                Mediterranean (Operation MD5)

                                (Note: This was a diversion during passage of a Malta Relief convoy from Gibraltar.

                                (Operation SUBSTANCE).


August                  Fleet and military support deployment based at Alexandria in continuation.


September             Deployed with screen for Fleet units during a further diversionary operation during passage of

                                HALBERD relief convoy from Gibraltar.

                                (Note: Also deployed for escort of military convoys to reinforce Cyprus garrison.)


October                  Deployed for support of Tobruk garrison.


November              Tobruk support and Eastern Mediterranean convoy defence in continuation.

                25th        Part of screen when HMS BARHAM was torpedoed by U331 off the

                                Libyan coast. HMS BARHAM blew-up within 5 minutes.

                                Carried out unsuccessful anti submarine operations.

                                Took part in rescue of survivors with other ships.

                                (Note: Only 450 of her ship’s company of over 1,300 were saved.)

                30th        During deployment off Derna to intercept destroyers with HMS JAGUAR and HMS JERVIS

                                under air attacks by torpedo bombers.

                                Sustained damage to after structure after torpedo hit but was able to resume passage after

                                steering restored.



                2nd         Taken in hand for repair at Alexandria


1 9 4 2


January                  Under repair.

to April                  Transferred to 14th Destroyer Flotilla based at Alexandria.


May                        Deployed for interception of supply convoys and support of military operations.

                10th        Deployed with HM Destroyers JERVIS, JACKAL, KIPLING and LIVELY for interception

                                of convoy on passage to Benghazi.

                                (Note: Air cover by RAF in the area was known to be inadequate.)

                11th        Under heavy attacks by German dive-bombers during which HMS LIVELY was hit and sank

                                immediately in position 100miles NE of Tobruk with loss of 76 lives.

                                Sustained air attacks continued for several hours and ship sustained major damage after bomb hit

                                60miles north of Mersa Matruh which caused fires.

                                Taken in tow by HMS JERVIS whilst still on fire.

                                HMS KIPLING was sunk in these later attacks.

                12th        During tow by HMS JERVIS the fire in the Boiler Room became out of control and ship had

                                to be abandoned. Survivors were taken off by HMS JERVIS which sank the ship by torpedo

                                in position 32.28N 26.20E before returning alone to Alexandria with 650 personnel rescued

                                from the other three ships

                                (Note: 15 of the ship’s company were lost in this failed operation with inadequate air cover

                                which reduced the already destroyer strength available in the Mediterranean.

                                See above references for details.)






by Don Kindell


These convoy lists have not been cross-checked with the text above






Date convoy sailed

Joined convoy as escort

Convoy No.

Left convoy

Date convoy arrived








OA 002





OA 005





OA 008





OA 013





HN 000





FN 0048





MT 002





MT 003





MT 004





TM 011





MT 018





TM 015





AP 001/3





FS 0221





FS 0226





FN 0229





HG 050





SC 019





SL 062








(Note on Convoys)


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