destroyer ordered from Hawthorn Leslie at
Newcastle on 31st March 1938 under the 1937
laid down on 1st November 1938. She was
launched on 26th December 1939 as the 2nd RN
ship to bear this
name, introduced for a destroyer built in 1914
sold in 1921. During 1940 the main armament
for this ship
and three others of this Class was changed.
HA mountings were fitted and these four ships
as AA Destroyers. Build was completed on 19th
December 1940 at a Tender cost was £445,684
items such as weapons and communications
supplied by the Admiralty. After a
successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings
campaign in November
1941 this destroyer was adopted by the civil community
of the Municipal Borough of Cheltenham,
a t t l e H o n o u r s
HELIGOLAND 1914 -
DOGGER BANK 1915 -
1941 - NORWAY 1941 -
ATLANTIC 1941 -
1941 - MALTA CONVOYS 1941-42 - LIBYA 1941-42 -
e r a l d i c D a t a
On a Field Blue, an eagle displayed upon a
e t a i l s o f
W a r S e r v i c e
Naval History Homepage
type name in Site Search)
9 4 0
Contractors trials and
commissioned for service.
Build completion and commenced First
Class Acceptance Trials.
in hand at commercial shipyard in Greenock for repair of defects arising during trials
9 4 1
3rd Passage to
Scapa Flow for work-up with ships of Home Fleet
Deployed at Scapa
Flow for working-up.
On completion of work-up took passage to
Greenock for service in Western Approaches
Deployed at Greenock with 11th Escort Group for convoy defence in NW Approaches.
During this period carried out
successful trial of modified Radar Type
using a rotating
instead of fixed aerial array. For details
of the development and use of
by the RN see RADAR AT SEA by D Howse. The new
aerial was then
put into production
and when fitted the modified RAF
Air/Surface outfit became
Radar Type 286P
far more suitable for ship use.)
with Polish destroyers ORP
PIORUN and joined HM
COTTESMORE, KEPPEL RESTIGOUCHE
(RCN) and ST LAURENT
as Local Escort for
military convoy WS6A during its passage
in NW Approaches.
12th Detached from
WS6A with HM Destroyers
ATHERSTONE, COTTESMORE, KEPPEL,
(RCN), ST LAURENT and ORP PIORUN and returned
by HM Cruisers BIRMINGHAM, PHOEBE and HM Armed
CATHAY deployed as Ocean Escort.)
Joined HM Destroyers HESPERUS and
HURRICANE with ORP GARLAND and ORP
PIORUN in Local Escort for
military convoy WS6B during passage in NW
(Note: HM Cruiser
MAURITIUS was also deployed as Ocean Escort.)
20th Detached from
WS6B with Local Escort and
returned to Clyde with Local Escort.
24th Deployed with ORP
PIORUN and joined HM
Destroyers BROADWATER, BEDOUIN,
MATABELE, SOMALI for
Local Escort from Clyde of military convoy
(Note: HM cruiser
EDINBURGH was also deployed. and HM
Battleship REVENGE as
26th Detached from WS7 with ORP
returned to Clyde.
detached service with Home Fleet and took
passage to Scapa Flow for
support of planned
raid on the Lofoten Islands.
for support of Operation CLAYMORE.
(Note: No. 3 and
No. 4 Commandos carried out CLAYMORE.)
1st Deployed with HM Destroyers
TARTAR and ESKIMO as escort for
two Landing Ships
during passage to Lofoten Islands.
by ships of Home Fleet.
For details see
COMBINED OPERATIONS (HMSO), THE WATERY MAZE
by B Fergusson and
Naval Staff History.)
3rd Provided support during
6th Resumed convoy defence
deployment in Western
Approaches on release from CLAYMORE.
14th Escort Group.
13th Rescued survivors from HM
Armed Merchant Cruiser
RAJPUTANA which had been sunk
in NW Approaches by
U108. 177 men were saved but 40 lost
with HMS RAJPUTANA for convoy escort to be
with HM Destroyers HURRICANE, OTTAWA (RCN),
ORP PIORUN and
SAGUENAY (RCN) for Local Escort of military
Destroyers HARVESTER, HAVELOCK, HESPERUS,
BEAGLE, and ERIDGE
also part of
29th Detached from WS8A with Local
returned to Clyde.
Battlecruiser REPULSE and HM Cruiser NAIAD
with HM Canadian Destroyers
ASSINIBOINE and SAGUENAY as screen for
REPULSE during passage from Clyde to join HM
Butt of Lewis.
(Note: This was
prior to commencement of later Home Fleet
search for the German
deployed for screening of Home Fleet major
24th Detached from Home Fleet
initial stage of search for BISMARCK
took passage to
Iceland to refuel.
Home Fleet screen after sinking of BISMARCK.
On release took
passage to Clyde to resume convoy defence
31st Deployed with HM Destroyers
BRIGHTON, SAGUENAY. ST MARY’S, SHERWOOD.
WILD SWAN and
as Local Escort for military convoy WS8X
during passage in
NW Approaches from Clyde.
(Note: HM Cruiser
NORFOLK was deployed as Ocean Escort during
passage to Freetown.)
3rd Detached from WS8X with Local
returned to Clyde.
escort for HM Aircraft
Carrier FURIOUS with HM destroyer LANCE during
Gibraltar prior to Malta Aircraft delivery.
25th Arrived at Gibraltar.
were transferred to HMS ARK ROYAL for launch
in western Mediterranean).
Deployed with HM Destroyers FAULKNOR,
FORESTER, FURY and LEGION as
HM Aircraft Carrier ARK ROYAL, HM
Battlecruiser RENOWN and HM Cruiser
to provide cover
for Malta aircraft delivery by HMS ARK ROYAL
with covering force after launch of
30th Deployed with HM Destroyers
FOXHOUND as screen for HMS FURIOUS
and HM Cruiser
HERMIONE as Group A during delivery of
aircraft in western Mediterranean
by HMS FURIOUS
(Operation RAILWAY II).
(Note: Cover was
provided by ships of Force H based at
were also launched from HMS ARK ROYAL deployed
as Force B.)
of Phase two by Group B was delayed by a fire
in HMS FURIOUS
an aircraft crashed
on launch. See MALTA CONVOYS by R Woodman.)
On release from service
at Gibraltar took passage to Greenock to resume deployment in Western
Special Greenock Escort Group.
Deployed for convoy
defence in Western Approaches.
Provided Local Escort for military
convoy WS10 during passage from Clyde in NW
with HM Destroyers
BROADWAY. GURKHA, LANCE
and Dutch ISAAC SWEERS.
6th Detached from WS110 with Local
returned to Greenock.
service at Gibraltar with 4th Destroyer
Flotilla and took passage from Clyde.
On arrival at Gibraltar deployed for anti-submarine patrol and local escort of convoys to
and from UK
as part of escort for OG71 to be
20th Deployed to reinforce escort
for Convoy OG71
on passage to UK and under attacks by U559,
U201 and U564. which
were unable to
penetrate screen and attacks failed.
Joined by HM Destroyer
had established positions of U-Boats with
Direction Finding equipment.
U-BOAT WAR by C Blair details of attacks on
OG71 and SEEK AND
STRIKE by W
Hackmann for details of use of D/F
23rd Submarine attacks
discontinued by strong
escort and availability of air cover.
on arrival of OG71 at Liverpool.
Destroyer BATH, HM Corvette ZINNIA and seven
mercantiles were lost
31st Joined military convoy
WS11 in Clyde
and deployed with HM Cruiser CAIRO, HM
HIGHLANDER, LIVELY, WINCHELSEA, ZULU Polish
and Dutch ISAAC SWEERS as escort
during Atlantic passage.
4th Detached from WS11 and took
passage to Gibraltar to resume Flotilla duties.
7th Deployed with Flotilla at
included HM Destroyers COSSACK, LANCE.
MAORI, SIKH and ZULU.)
Deployed with HM Destroyers
FORESTER, LANCE and LIVELY as screen for HM
ARK ROYAL and HM Cruiser HERMIONE during Malta
Returned to Malta
with same ships after launch of
Deployed with HMS ZULU, HMS LANCE
and HMS LIVELY as screen for HM Battleship
NELSON and HMS ARK
ROYAL as Force A to provide cover during Malta
Returned to Gibraltar with Ships of Force A after launch of aircraft from HMS FURIOUS and
out series of exercises in preparation for
planned Malta relief operation.
Deployed with HM Destroyers DUNCAN,
GURKHA (ii), LANCE, LIVELY, FURY, Dutch
ISAAC SWEERS, Polish destroyers ORP GARLAND
and PIORUN as screen for Force
A comprising HM
Battleships NELSON, RODNEY, PRINCE OF WALES
and HMS ARK ROYAL
provide cover for passage to Sicilian Narrows
of Convoy GM2 destined for Malta under escort
Force X (Operation HALBERD)
Under threat of surface attack by
Italian battle squadron but this was not
located by an air search
HMS ARK ROYAL,
It was later
established that the Italian warships had
retired when the strength of the
covering force was known.)
Under further air attacks during
which HMS RODNEY was hit by an aircraft
in covering force at a reduced speed.
Remained west of Narrows to provide cover during passage of Convoy MG2 and returning
Force X ships
during passage to Gibraltar.
Under threat of air attacks but
these were deterred by effective use of
aircraft away from Force A
Met returning warships and under
threat of submarine attack.
(Note: HMS NELSON
was detached and returned to Gibraltar with HMS PRINCE OF WALES,
Cruisers KENYA and HMS SHEFFIELD (Force X), HM
ORIBI, FORESIGHT, FORESTER (Force X) and HMS
During return passage carried out
anti-submarine operations with HMS GURKHA (ii)
ADUA in position 37.10N
00.56E by depth charge attacks.
1st Returned to Gibraltar with remainder of ships of Force X and Force A
10th Deployed with HM destroyers
ZULU, FORESTER and FORESIGHT
as screen for HMS
ARK ROYAL and HMS HERMIONE to [provide
cover for Malta aircraft
HMS ARK ROYAL (Operation CALLBOY)
with covering force on completion
from Gibraltar with HMS COSSACK, HM Destroyers LAMERTON, DUNCAN and
Local Escort for inward Convoy HG75 during
initial stage of passage to Liverpool.
Escort included CAM Ship ARIGUANI, Free French
out unsuccessful anti-submarine
operations against U205.
survivors from the disabled destroyer HMS
COSSACK after being torpedoed by U563
during an attack on
HG75 200 miles west of Cape Spartel
See WARSHIP LOSSES in WW2
by D Brown.)
Part of 4th Destroyer Flotilla.
10th Deployed with HM Destroyers
LIGHTNING, SIKH, ZULU, GURKHA and
ISAAC SWEERS as screen for HM Battleship
MALAYA, HM Aircraft
ARGUS and HM Cruiser HMS HERMIONE during
cover for Malta
aircraft delivery from the two aircraft
out unsuccessful anti-submarine
operations after torpedo attack from U205.
by U81 during which HMS ARK ROYAL was hit by
torpedo and disabled.
Stood by stricken ship
with HMS LIGHTNING.
survivors and later returned to HMS ARK ROYAL
for transfer of key
24th Arrived back at Gibraltar after HMS ARK ROYAL sank during tow.
Transferred with HM Destroyers
SIKH, MAORI and Dutch ISAAC SWEERS to
for service with
11th Sailed from Gibraltar to join Fleet based at Alexandria.
Intercepted Italian cruisers ALBERTO DI
GUISSANO and ALBERICO DA BARBIANO.
Engaged with main armament
and torpedoes. Both ships were
sunk whilst taking fuel and
and stores to
Tripoli. Italian torpedo boat CIGNO in company
was able to
attack was made after Italian signal traffic
had been decyphered.)
to stirring reception and deployed
with Force K.
Force K had been formed specifically
to carry out attacks on Axis
convoys on passage
Mediterranean for support of military
15th Sailed from Malta with HM
Cruisers AURORA and PENELOPE, HM Destroyers
SIKH, ZULU and Dutch ISAAC SWEERS as Force K
to meet HM Supply
during passage from Alexandria escorted by
ships of Mediterranean
as Force C (Operation MF1)
16th Passage of HMS BRECONSHIRE
under threat of
attack by Italian warships escorting Convoy
M42 on passage to
North Africa and covered by another Italian
Force C. Force K remained with the
Mediterranean Fleet ships to ensure that
was available for HMS BRECONSHIRE.
(Note: HM Cruiser
NEPTUNE, HM Destroyers JAGUAR and KANDAHAR at
identified as Force
B were ordered to join Force C and K.)
Under air attacks.
Took part in
brief engagement with Italian warships which
retired when a threat of night
attack by British
destroyers with radar fitted was
anticipated (1st Battle of Sirte.)
18th Under air
Joined Ships of
Force C with and took passage with them to
19th Arrived at Alexandria with
Italian submarine SCIRE with three
human torpedoes entered Alexandria when Boom
was raised to allow
Force C to enter harbour. The enemy then
laid explosive charges
Battleships QUEEN ELIZABETH, VALIANT and
tanker SAVONA with
results. See references.)
28th Took part in sinking of U75
Destroyer KIPLING off Mersa Matruh in position
26.40E after 2½
hour hunt following the sinking of British ss
(Note: This is
not confirmed in U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp
which gives credit to
KIPLING. Support of Tobruk garrison
may be assumed for both ships.
9 4 2
Alexandria deployment for
Escorted Convoy MW8B from Alexandria with HM
GURKHA and Dutch
ISAAC SWEERS for passage to Malta (Operation
17th Under attack by U133 north of
which HMS GURKHA (i) was sunk.
18th Convoy merged with MW8A to
form MW8 for
passage to Malta.
On arrival of
Force K ships from Malta to take over escort
of MW8 joined
Force K with
HMS MAORI as part of escort into Malta.
19th Arrived in Malta with HMS
Destroyers LANCE, MAORI,
LIVELY, SIKH and
25th Deployed with HMS PENELOPE,
HMS LIVELY, HMS
LANCE, HMS MAORI and HMS
ZULU as Force K
and sailed from Malta escorting Convoy ME9 for
initial part of passage to
(Note: ME9 comprised
HMS GLENGYLE and ss ROWALLAN CASTLE.)
26th Remained with Force K when
escort of ME9 was
transferred to Force B from Alexandria
and returned to
(Note: HM Destroyer
KINGSTON from Force B replaced HMS LANCE which
to Egypt with Force B.
27th Taken in hand for repair to
by HM Dockyard, Malta.
One source records this was
due to near misses in air attack.)
22nd Destroyer Flotilla as part of
re-organisation of destroyer Flotillas.
Force K and sailed from Malta with HMS
PENELOPE, HM Destroyers
LIVELY and ZULU as escort for Convoy ME10 for
passage to meet Force
Alexandria which was escorting Convoy MW9.
14th After exchange of convoys HMS
DECOY and HMS
FORTUNE transferred to Force B.
and HMS LANCE
detached from Force B and joined Force
with Force K as
escort for MW9 for passage into Malta.
ROWALLAN CASTLE was the only ship remaining
from the three which sailed
Egypt. This convoy had been under sustained
attack by aircraft.
details see above references.)
attacks during which ROWALLAN CASTLE was hit
attempt was unsuccessful and
this mercantile had to be sunk.
HMS ZULU, HMS
SIKH and HMS LIVELY detached from Force “K”
and took passage to
join Force B.
15th Arrived in Malta with HMS
PENELOPE and HMS
Operation MF4 was therefore a failure as no
relief supplies were landed in
Force K deployment in
from Malta with HMS PENELOPE to take over
escort of Convoy
MW10 from ships
of Force B (Operation MG1).
22nd Joined HMS CLEOPATRA, HMS DIDO, HMS
escorting MW10 and
remained with these ships and the convoy
because of threat from
squadron known to be on passage to intercept
this attempt to provide relief
supplies to the
island. (See above
Took part in
engagement with Italian ships and carried out
torpedo attack (2nd Battle of
Italian squadron withdrew from the action
after a confused exchange of shots
of threat of torpedo attacks by British
destroyers which were
fitted with radar
fire-control of main armament. For details see
above references, Naval Staff
DESTROYERS by E March and
MEDITERRANEAN MAELSTROM by
23rd Detached to join HM Destroyer
escorting ss CLAN CAMPBELL and under air
damage was sustained by near miss.
Ship able to
proceed using only one engine after damage
control and beached in Marsaloxx
cover from Malta had been promised to cover
passage of MW10 into Malta but the
hour delay caused by the engagement prevented
this being available.)
25th Taken in tow to HM Dockyard,
26th Alongside at Boiler Wharf
Hit by two bombs
during air raid on Grand Harbour and sustained
further serious damage when
Ship sank and
rolled over with bridge and funnel lying on
i n a l N o
LEGION was cut in two
during 1943 and attempts made to refloat were
unsuccessful. After the end of WW2 breaking-up
in situ was
carried out but not completed until 1946.
ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS LEGION
convoy lists have not been cross-checked
with the text above
convoy as escort