J-Class Destroyer ordered from J S White at
Cowes on 25th March 1937 under the 1936 Build Programme and laid down on 26th September 1937. The ship was
launched on 26th September 1938 as the 6th RN ship to carry the name, first used in 1654 and lastly by a
cutter sold in 1873. Build was completed on 28th April 1939 and she commissioned for service in the 7th Destroyer
Flotilla, Home Fleet.
B a t t l e H
o n o u r s
CRUZ 1657 - LOWESTOFT 1665 - ORFORDNESS 1666 - CATAGENA 1741 - LAGOS
1759 - MEDITERRANEAN 1941
H e r a l d i c
D a t a
Badge: On a Field White, upon water in base barry
wavy Blue and White
in front a trident Cules erect a Lion passant guardant Or.
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 9
April Contractors Trials
28th Commenced Acceptance
May Passage to Portland on
completion of trials
22nd Began Work-up for
June Work-up in
9th Passage to Jersey on
completion of work-up
10th Visited Jersey.
15th Return passage to
10th Passage to Scapa Flow
to join Flotilla.
12th Joined Home Fleet at
15th Took part in Fleet
exercises in Atlantic with French warships in preparation for war with
returned to Scapa Flow
station 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,
Naval History Homepage
and type name in Site Search)
1st Deployed with HM
Cruisers GLASGOW and SOUTHAMPTON and destroyers JERVIS,
JACKAL to intercept enemy shipping sweeping off the Norwegian coast.
4th Intercepted German
freighter JOHANNES MOLKENBUR east of Orkneys and
embarked crew and
passengers after enemy ship scuttled when sighted.
6th Landed enemy
personnel at Kirkwall
7th Joined Humber Force
17th Routine docking at
21st Deployed as part of
screen for HM Cruisers SOUTHAMPTON and GLASGOW
interception patrol in North Sea.
22nd Involved in collision
with sister ship HMS JAVELIN and sustained structural damage.
cancelled and ship escorted to Leith for repair.
JAVELIN was escorted to Tyne.)
23rd Under repair in
9th Repair completed.
14th New propeller fitted
16th Resumed Flotilla
duties on completed of refit.
change may have been carried out by HM Dockyard Rosyth.)
Passage to Scapa
Flow for Home Fleet duty.
18th Deployed with HM
Destroyers JERVIS, COSSACK and MAORI as screen for HM
REPULSE during search in NW Approaches for commerce raider.
23rd Carried out search
for American mercantile CITY OF FLINT which had been captured
commerce raider. During this deployment carried out in heavy weather
one of ship’s
company was lost overboard.
27th Resumed service with
Humber Force at Immingham after release from Home Fleet duty.
29th Sailed from Grimsby
with HM Destroyers JERVIS, JANUS, JUNO, JUPITER and
JACKAL to carry
out offensive sweep to intercept enemy shipping off Dutch coast and
Humber. (Operation AG)
8th Deployed with HM
Destroyers KEITH, JERVIS, KEITH, Polish destroyers ORP
BLYSKAWICA and ORP GROM to reinforce the escort of
FN33 which was perceived to be under threat of air attack after
9th On release returned
14th Joined southbound
convoy FS36 with HM Cruiser CALCUTTA and HMS JAGUAR to
additional support during passage to Southend.
returned to Humber
20th Joined HMS WHITLEY,
HMS WALLACE and HM Sloop STORK to supplement
northbound Convoy FN39 during passage to Methil in North Sea.
returned to Humber.
21st Deployed for patrol
BT2 in North Sea with HM Destroyers JUNO, JAGUAR and JANUS.
December Docked for repair in
2nd Deployed with HMS
JAGUAR to investigate report by aircraft of sighting of five Danish
fishing craft 90
miles east of Flamborough Head.
6th Carried out search
for German destroyers in North Sea with HMS JUNO.
7th In action with
German HANS LODY and ERICH GEISE had been laying
Haisborough Light and hit by torpedo which caused fire and
Ten of ship’s
company lost their lives and 13 other were injured.
taken in tow by HMS JUNO and joined by HMS JACKAL as cover
9th Docked at Immingham
in Humber Graving Dock for temporary repair.
Destroyer JANUS, also in the Humber, did not depart until the visibility
(251 tons) later took over JERSEY tow to Immingham.)
1 9 4 0
7th Undocked and taken
to Amos and Smith shipyard, Hull for permanent repair work.
February Under repair in Hull.
24th Post repair trials on
completion of shipyard work.
October Post repair harbour
10th Completed sea trials
11th During passage to
rejoin Flotilla a Plymouth detonated mine near East Knob Buoy
damage to hull and some equipment.
had been re-deployed to Plymouth Command because of threat posed
by arrival of
German destroyers at Brest.)
12th Passage to London for
13th Entered dry dock for
28th Undocked and took
passage to Plymouth.
29th Joined 5th Destroyer
Flotilla for interception of attacks on shipping.
November Deployed at Plymouth with
Flotilla for convoy defence.
1st Sailed from Plymouth with HM Cruisers NIGERIA and NEWCASTLE
HM Destroyers JERVIS, JANUS, JAGUAR, JACKAL and KASHMIR to intercept
reported on passage
from Brest in
2nd Returned to Plymouth after unsuccessful operations
destroyers had returned to Brest.)
28th Sailed from Plymouth
with HMS JACKAL, HMS JUPITER, HMS JAVELIN and
HMS KASHMIR to
intercept German destroyers reported by an aircraft as on
Channel from Brest.
patrol between Lands End and Start Point.
29th Sighted enemy
destroyers KARL GALSTER, HANS LODY and ERICH
had attacked convoy off Start Point.
Carried out night
engagement with enemy ships which had fired torpedoes.
JAVELIN was hit by two torpedoes and sustained major damage with
and continued pursuit of enemy ships which escaped.
assist HMS JAVELIN with HMS JACKAL, HMS JUPITER and HMS
passage to Plymouth after arrival of tug and came under air attacks which
were repelled by
shore based aircraft.
Lord Louis Mountbatten embarked in HMS JAVELIN was in command
of the Flotilla
during this action and his execution of the night attack was subject
criticism. See DESTROYER MAN by A F Pugsley who was in command
of HMS JAVELIN,
HOLD THE NARROW SEA by P Smith and ENGAGE THE
CLOSELY by C Barnett for details.)
December Plymouth deployment with
Flotilla in continuation.
31st Deployed with HMS
JUPITER and HMS KASHMIR to provide cover during minelay by
ADVENTURE in SW Approaches.
(Operation GQ2 –
Carried out to reduce the threat presented by German destroyers at Brest.
See Naval Staff
1 9 4 1
January Transferred to Greenock with HMS KASHMIR and HMS KIPLING for convoy defence
in NW Approaches.
(Note: HMS KELLY
joined them later from Scapa Flow.)
18th Resumed duties at
Plymouth and nominated for temporary service in Mediterranean
with Force H for
planned special operations
31st Deployed with HM
Destroyers FEARLESS, FURY, FOXHOUND, FORESIGHT and
Group 2 as escort for HM Battlecruiser RENOWN, HM Battleship
Aircraft Carrier ARK ROYAL to provide cover during air attack on
Tiro Dam in
Sardinia by HMS ARK ROYAL (Operation PICKET).
4th Returned to
Gibraltar with ships of Group 2 on completion of PICKET.
6th Joined HM Destroyers
FEARLESS, FOXHOUND, FORESIGHT, FIREDRAKE
ENCOUNTER as Group 2 for escort of HMS RENOWN. HMS MALAYA,
HMS ARK ROYAL and
HM Cruiser SHEFFIELD during passage from
Gibraltar to carry out bombardment of Genoa
and for air attacks on Leghorn and Spezia.
(Operation GROG –
This replaced the earlier Operation RESULT which had been
9th After arrival off
Genoa remained with bombardment ships as screen when HMS ARK
for air strikes.
11th Returned to Gibraltar
with Group 2 on completion.
details of naval activities in Mediterranean during 1941-42 see THE
BATTLE FOR THE
MEDITERRANEAN by D Macintyre and
ENGAGE THE ENEMY
MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett.)
On release from
detached service took passage from Gibraltar for return to UK.
steering problems requiring dockyard attention.
March Passage to Portsmouth
3rd Under repair to
steering equipment at Portsmouth.
6th Repair completed and
resumed Flotilla duties at Plymouth after trials.
patrol in Bay of Biscay with HM Destroyers KASHMIR, KELVIN,
KELLY and JACKAL
for interception of any attempt by German warships
to leave Brest
for attacks in Atlantic
21st Nominated for
transfer to Mediterranean with Flotilla and took passage
to Gibraltar with HM Destroyers KELLY, KIPLING,
24th Joined HM Cruisers
DIDO and ABDIEL with ships of Flotilla as Force S for
transit to Malta
covered by ships of Force H during passage to Sicilian Narrows
SALIENT – Passage of reinforcement warships to the already
strength in the eastern Mediterranean.)
28th Arrived at Malta for
deployment as newly formed Force K for interception of
traffic to and from North African ports.
(Note: This also
enabled ships of the 14th Destroyer Flotilla to escort HM
BRECONSHIRE to Alexandria for more supplies to the
garrison. For details see above references and MALTA
CONVOYS by R
1st Deployed with ships
of Force K to intercept supply convoy on passage to Tripoli
from Augusta and
a coincident return convoy to Italy.
2nd When entering Malta
with ships of Force K after a fruitless search, detonated
mine laid in the
entrance to Grand Harbour Malta by aircraft
night. 35 of
ship’s company lost their lives in the explosion and the ship sank
entrance. No movements were possible for some days.
rescued by other ships some of which had to take passage to
(Note: HMS KELLY,
HMS KELVIN and HMS JACKAL had entered harbour and
were marooned for
some days until wreck was cleared.).
5th Wreck broke in two
The after section was not cleared from the
entrance until after1946 when a series of demolitions was carried out until