K-Class Destroyer ordered from JS
White at Cowes Isle of Wight under the 1937 Programme and laid down on 26th October 1937. She
was launched on 19th January 1939 as the 1st RN ship to carry the name Build was completed on
22nd December 1939. Following a successful WARSHIP WEEK campaign for National Savings in December
1941 this ship was adopted by the civil community of Brighton, East Sussex.
B a t t l e H
o n o u r s
ATLANTIC 1939 - NORWAY 1940 - CRETE 1941 - MEDITERRANEAN 1941 - MALTA CONVOYS 1941-42 - LIBYA 1941-2
- SIRTE 1942
H e r a l d i c
D a t a
Badge : On a Field Blue, three bars wavy, white
an elephant’s head couped Black, tusked White,
holding a lotus flower Proper.
(Note: This was inspired by the
logo used for books
by Rudyard Kipling.)
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
December Contractors trials and commissioned
for service in 5th Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet
22nd Build completion and commenced
On completion took
passage to Portland for weapon calibration and work up.
1 9 4 0
January Worked-up at Portland for
operational service with Flotilla.
Defects in machinery found
17th Took passage from Portland to Clyde
20th Taken in hand at Barclay Curle
shipyard for repair by Yarrow personnel.
(Note: Turbine gearing defects repaired by
Fairfield Shipbuilders of Govan
February Under repair and prepared for
post repair machinery sea trials
4th On completion took passage to join
Flotilla in North Sea for convoy defence and
5th Commenced Flotilla duties at Scapa
(Note: One source
records that ship was deployed with HMS SALAMANDER
February in an operation connected with HM Minesweeper SPHINX.
SPHINX sank on 4th February after damage in an air attack on
February this may refer to an attempt to salvage the ship that had
capsized and drifted ashore north of Lobster. Further research is
22nd Taken in hand for repair at Hawthorn
Leslie shipyard in Newcastle.
(Note: Defects including leaks
from reserve feed water system, common to this Class
destroyer were dealt with and had made necessary withdrawal from service.)
March Under repair.
13th Passage from Tyne to resume Home
(Note: Ships of
Flotilla were deployed for support of operations off Norway.)
16th Sailed from Scapa
Flow with HM Destroyers JANUS, JUNO and HEREWARD as
screen for HM
Cruiser SUFFOLK during operation to carry out bombardment of airfield
Norway (Operation DUCK). For details see NAVAL OPERATIONS OF
THE CAMPAIGN IN NORWAY April to
June 1940 (HMSO). )
17th During return passage under heavy and
sustained air attacks in position 39.40N
Hit by two bombs
which caused major damage in structure including machinery mountings.
20th Repair arranged at Southampton and at
Humber Graving Dock for machinery.
24th Passage to Solent.
25th Taken in hand for repair at
May Under repair
to June Pennant Number for visual
signalling purposes changed to G91.
19th On completion took passage from
Southampton to Humber
21st Taken in hand for machinery repair
at Humber Graving Dock.
14th On completion took passage to resume
Home Fleet duties.
15th Arrived at Scapa
Flow for deployment.
September Further defects discovered during
Home Fleet deployment
13th Taken in hand for repair by HM
30th Resumed Home Fleet duties
October Deployed in English Channel
with Flotilla for convoy escort and patrol duties.
collision with mercantile QUEEN MAUD during escort of convoy.
(Note: One source
records the other ship was a transport and convoy identity
This series of convoys did not start till 1942. Further research
3rd Under repair by HM Dockyard Devonport.
10th Resumed service at Plymouth with 5th
17th. Deployed with HM Destroyers JACKAL,
JUPITER, KASHMIR and KELVIN
as screen for HM
Cruiser NEWCASTLE to intercept German warships on passage
to attack shipping
in SW Approaches.
27th Withdrawn from service for repair
and took passage to Tyne for repair
29th Taken in hand for mechanical repair
at commercial shipyard in Newcastle
24th On completion of post repair trials
took passage to rejoin Flotilla at Plymouth.
December Channel deployment in
2nd Provided escort for HM Cruiser
ADVENTURE with HM Destroyers KASHMIR and
JUPITER for lay
of minefield on Little Sole Bank in SW Approaches (Operation GQ1).
3rd Deployed as escort for HM
Destroyer ICARUS with HM Destroyers KASHMIR and
PUNJABI for lay
of minefield off Isle de Bas (Operation GR).
to Plymouth with HMS ICARUS when operation was cancelled due to
in the minelayer.)
19th Joined military convoy WS5A in
Clyde with HM Destroyers KELVIN, OTTAWA (RCN),
ST LAURENT (RCN)
and Polish destroyer ORP PIORUN for Local Escort during passage
in NW Approaches.
22nd Detached from WS5A with Local Escort
and returned to Clyde.
24th Return passage to Plymouth.
27th Deployed for escort of damaged cruiser HMS KENT during passage in SW
(Note: HMS KENT
had been hit by a torpedo and badly damaged during bombardment
Fort Capuzzo in September and was returning to UK for repair.)
30th Arrived at Plymouth with HMS KENT.
1 9 4 1
January Flotilla deployment in Channel
and SW Approaches in continuation.
20th Deployed with HMS KASHMIR and HMS
JACKAL as escort for ships of 20th Destroyer
minelay off Brest (Operation GS)
24th Deployed with HMS KASHMIR as escort
for HM Fast Minelayer ABDIEL for minelay
off Brest (Operation GV).
minelaying operations off Brest were carried out because of the arrival of the
German warships GNEISENAU and SCHARNHORST and intended to restrict
movements during their departure. HMS ABDIEL had recently commissioned
and this was her
first operation. Other ships of the 5th Flotilla provided escort for
minelay by destroyers of 20th Destroyer Flotilla on 30th March.)
16th Rescued 13 survivors from freighter ss
BOLETTE which had been sunk in an air attack.
20th Transferred to Mediterranean with
HM Destroyers JERSEY, JUPITER, KASHMIR and
for foreign service.
21st Took passage from Plymouth with
ships of Flotilla for service in Malta as a Striking Force
for attacks on
shipping supporting military operations in North Africa.
24th Joined HM Cruisers ABDIEL, DIDO,
HM Destroyers JACKAL, JERSEY, KASHMIR,
and KELVIN at Gibraltar to form Force S and took passage to Malta as part
of escort for
reinforcement ships for Mediterranean Fleet (Operation SALIENT)
for the transit of this convoy and also for concurrent Operation DUNLOP
launch aircraft from HM Aircraft Carrier ARK ROYAL for use in Malta was
provided by ships of Force H based at Gibraltar.)
28th Arrived in Malta with ships of
Force S and deployed with Flotilla as Force K for attacks
on shipping to
North Africa for support of enemy military operations.
For details of
naval operations in the Mediterranean see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE
CLOSELY by C
Barnett, THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by D MacIntyre,
MALTA CONVOYS by
R Woodman and THE NAVAL WAR IN THE MEDITERRANEAN
by J Greene and
relief of ships of the 14th Destroyer Flotilla as Force K enabled them to
Ship BRECONSHIRE to Alexandria for more supplies to the
beleaguered garrison. For details see above references and
CONVOYS by R Woodman.)
1st Deployed with Force K to intercept
supply convoy on passage to North Africa.
2nd Returned to Malta and detached
before the other ships entered Grand Harbour.
HMS KASHMIR as screen for HMS GLOUCESTER during passage
entrance to Grand Harbour was blocked by wreck of HMS JERSEY
which had sunk after
detonating a recently laid mine
4th Arrived at Gibraltar with HMS
GLOUCESTER and HMS KASHMIR.
GLOUCESTER was damaged during passage through Sicilian
Narrows when a mine exploded in her paravane gear,
5th Deployed with HMS KIPLING and HMS
GLOUCESTER as Force D for defence
convoy during passage to Malta and joined convoy near Gibraltar.
9th Rejoined Flotilla after TIGER
convoy escort was reinforced by ships of Mediterranean
Fleet off Malta
and deployed with screen.
10th Detached from TIGER convoy screen
with ships of Force K and took passage to carry
bombardment with Flotilla at Benghazi before return to resume strike duties in Malta.
11th Arrived at Malta with HM
Destroyers KELLY, JACKAL, KELVIN and KIPLING.
21st Sailed from Malta with HMS KELLY
and HMS KASHMIR for support of defence of Crete.
22nd Deployed for patrol off Crete for
interception of invasion craft.
HMS KELLY and HMS KASHMIR after steering defect.
Under heavy and
sustained attacks by dive-bombers.
(Note: This defect probably saved ship from damage in the later bombing when
KELLY and HMS KASHMIR were sunk.
23rd Rescued 279 survivors from HMS
KELLY and HMS KASHMIR including Captain
Mountbatten, Senior Officer of 5th
Destroyer Flotilla embarked in HMS KELLY.
During the rescue
struck wreck of HMS KELLY which caused oil leak and reduction of speed
to 20 knots.
24th During passage to Alexandria came
under several air attacks causing damage by near misses.
Ship disabled by
lack of oil fuel due to leaks and provided with supply by HM Netlayer
resumed passage to Alexandria.
25th Landed survivors at Alexandria.
27th Taken in hand for
repair at Alexandria.
included structure in Shell Room and leaks in Boiler Room and fuel tank.)
June Transferred to 7th
Destroyer Flotilla and joined HM Destroyers JERVIS, JACKAL, LIVELY,
NAPIER and NIZAM
for support of military operations against Vichy French in Syria.
(Note: Ships of
Mediterranean Fleet based at Alexandria provided naval gunfire support,
landings of commando parties and convoy defence against attack by
July On release from EXPORTER deployed
for convoy escort in eastern Mediterranean and support
of garrison at
Tobruk with ships of Flotilla
August Eastern Mediterranean Flotilla
deployment in continuation.
November Deployed for escort of convoys to
and from Tobruk and transport of stores and personnel.
General Sikorski embarked for visit to Polish troops at Tobruk.)
25th Deployed with HM Destroyers NAPIER
(RAN), NIZAM (RAN), JACKAL and JERVIS as
screen for HM
Battleships QUEEN ELIZABETH, BARHAM and VALIANT during Fleet
operation to cover
search by cruisers and Force K from Malta for supply convoys in eastern
In company with HMS
BARHAM when sunk by U331 with heavy loss of life.
Took part in
December Tobruk support in continuation
1st Deployed with HM Destroyers
JACKAL, JERVIS and JAGUAR to intercept three Italian
Under air attack
south of Crete during which HMS JACKAL was hit and steering disabled.
destroyer back to Alexandria with HMS JERVIS and HMS JAGUAR.
2nd Arrived at Alexandria.
5th Rescued 200 survivors from HM Armed
Boarding Vessel CHAKDINA sunk in air attacks
by U81 off Libyan
28th Sank U75 off Mersa Matruh in
position 31.50N 26.40E after 2 ½ hour
hunt following the
sinking of British ss VOLO.
escorted seven convoys in support of Tobruk).
1 9 4 2
5th Deployed with HM Cruisers DIDO,
EURYALUS, NAIAD, HM Destroyers FOXHOUND,
GURKHA, KINGSTON and SIKH as
Force B for escort of HM Supply Ship GLENGYLE
during passage to
Malta (Operation MF2)
6th Took over escort of HM Supply Ship
BRECONSHIRE for passage into Alexandria when
escort to Malta
transferred to Force C in position west of Derna.
9th Returned to Alexandria with HMS
16th Sailed from Alexandria as screen for
HMS DIDO, EURYALUS, NAIAD, HMS FOXHOUND,
HMS HAVOCK, HMS
HOTSPUR and KELVIN designated Force B to cover passage of
Convoy MW8A to
Malta (Operation MF3)
17th Convoy MW8B which sailed later merged
with Convoy MW8A.
18th Escort transferred to ships of Force
K from Malta and took passage to Alexandria with
Force B and close
escort for MW8.
20th Arrived at Alexandria after
unsuccessful air attacks.
24th Deployed as Force B with HM Cruisers
DIDO, EURYALUS, NAIAD, HM Destroyers
KINGSTON, JAGUAR, HASTY, ARROW and Dutch destroyer
ISAAC SWEERS to
provide cover for passage of HMS BRECONSHIRE to Malta.
26th Escort for HMS BRECONSHIRE taken over
by ships of by Force K from Malta.
Alexandria with ships of Force B escorting ss ROWALLAN CASTLE and
February Deployed for escort of convoys to
Cyprus when not required for Fleet duties.
13th Sailed from Alexandria with ships of Force B
to provided cover for passage of Convoys
MW9A/B to Malta
(Note: MW9A of two
mercantiles sailed on 12th escorted by HM Cruiser CARLISLE
screen of four destroyers. MW9B consisting of ss ROWALLAN CASTLE
escorted by four HUNT Class destroyers later that day.)
also included HM Cruisers DIDO, EURYALUS and NAIAD, HM
Destroyers GRIFFIN, HASTY, HAVOCK, JAGUAR, JERVIS and KELVIN.)
Convoys merged and
under air attack during which ss CLAN CAMPBELL was badly
detached under escort for passage to Tobruk.
14th Under heavy and sustained air attacks
during which the remained two mercantiles were lost.
For details of this
disastrous operation see above references.
Took passage to
Alexandria with Force B escorting eastward Convoy ME10 of four ships
BRECONSHIRE which had been escorted from Malta by Force K.
15th Entered Alexandria.
March Transferred to 14th Destroyer
10th Deployed with HM Destroyers JERVIS, KIPLING, KELVIN, LIVELY,
HASTY, HAVOCK and
HERO as screen for HMS NAIAD and EURYALUS in unsuccessful
search for convoy
11th Joined by HM Cruiser CLEOPATRA and HM
Destroyer KINGSTON for return passage.
Under heavy and
sustained bombing and torpedo attacks by aircraft which were repelled
by heavy AA fire.
Force under attack
by U565 north of Mersa Matruh during which HMS NAIAD was hit
by torpedo and sank
in 20 minutes.
Took part in rescue
of survivors with HMS JERVIS and HMS LIVELY
(Note: 77 of ships
company of HMS NAIAD were lost. Flag of Admiral Vian was
transferred to HMS DIDO.)
20th Deployed with HM Destroyers ,JERVIS,
KELVIN and KINGSTON of 14th Flotilla as screen
for HM Cruisers
CLEOPATRA, DIDO and EURYALUS designated Force B to provide
cover for passage of
Convoy MW10 to Malta (Operation MG1)
comprised HMAS BRECONSHIRE and three mercantiles escorted by HMS
CARLISLE and six destroyers.)
22nd Convoy under threat of attack by
Italian battle squadron which included the battleship
BANDE NERE, GORIZIA and TRENTO with destroyer screens.
Deployed in striking
force with HMS JERVIS, KELVIN and KINGSTON for torpedo
Convoy detached to
south with HMS CARLISLE and HUNT Class destroyers.
Took part in
engagement with Italian warships and joined in torpedo attack under cover
of smoke screen.
Fired five torpedoes by local control (2nd Battle of Sirte).
exchange of fire HMS CLEOPATRA, HMS EURYALUS, HMS HAVOCK,
LIVELY and KINGSTON were hit. LITTORIO sustained one shell hit.
details of this renowned and brilliantly executed defence of MW10 see the
above references, the Naval
Staff History and MEDITERRANEAN MAELSTROM
23rd Two ships of MW10 arrived in Malta but
were later sunk by air attacks. One was HMS
BRECONSHIRE which had
plated a very significant part in many relief operations to Malta.)
(Note: No other
convoy was passed to Malta from Alexandria until November 1942)
24th Returned to Alexandria with ships of
April Alexandria deployment with
Flotilla in continuation.
16th Carried out landing of Royal Marines at
Kuphoris, Crete to destroy a wireless station.
May (Note: One source records
despatch from Alexandria to assist Hospital Ship
set on fire after air attack near Alexandria.
fighting party placed on board.
Alexandria on relief by HM Destroyer HASTY
10th Deployed with HM Destroyers JACKAL,
JERVIS and LIVELY to intercept convoy
on passage in eastern
Mediterranean to Benghazi (Operation MG2).
11th Came under heavy and sustained attacks
by 14 Ju 88 bombers based in Crete.
HMS LIVELY was hit
and sank quickly with loss of 76 members of ships company.
LIVELY with main armament of HA weapons deprived the ships of
a significant part of the
available AA defence as the other two ships had an
inferior fit of AA weapons.)
Hit during a second
attack by aircraft based in Greece and also sank quickly.
25 of the ships
company lost their lives.
(Note: HMS JACKAL
was also hit and set on fire during the later attacks.
in tow by HMS JERVIS the stricken ship had to sunk on 12th..
survivors were rescued by HMS JWERVIS1
Destroyers HASTY and SIKH escorted HMS JERVIS into Alexandria
arrived later that day. Some
wounded died after rescue and were buried
CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS
by Don Kindell
These convoy lists have not been cross-checked
with the text above
Date convoy sailed
Joined convoy as escort
Date convoy arrived
(Note on Convoys)