L-Class destroyer ordered from Scotts at Greenock on 31st March 1938 under the 1937 Programme and laid
down on 23rd November 1938 at the same time as her sister destroyer HMS
LOOKOUT. She was launched on 8th
October 1941 after delays due to design changes and other priority requirements. She was the 2nd RN ship to bear this name, introduced for a destroyer built in
1913 and sold in 1921. Build of this ship was completed on 31st October
1942. Tender cost was
£440,204 which excluded items such as weapons and communications
equipment supplied by the Admiralty. After a successful WARSHIP
WEEK National Savings campaign in January 1942 this destroyer was adopted by the civil
community of Cambridge.
B a t t l e H o n o u r s
SICILY 1943 - SALERNO 1943 - MEDITERRANEAN 1943 - ANZIO 1944 - ADRIATIC
H e r a l d i c D a t a
Badge: On a
Field barry wavy of four White and Blue, a red rose barbed
and seeded proper charged with the Royal Crest.
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 4 2
October Contractors Trials and commissioned
for service in 19th Destroyer Flotilla.
31st Build completion and commenced Acceptance
November On completion of trials and storing took
passage to Scapa Flow.
11th Began work-up for operational service at
Scapa Flow with ships of Home Fleet.
15th Completed work-up
16th Under repair at Greenock to rectify defects
found during work-up.
26th Sailed from Greenock to join Flotilla in
Mediterranean as part of escort for
routine convoy to
1 9 4 3
January Joined Flotilla at Bone after call
Deployed for screening
of cruisers of Force Q and interception patrol duties.
(Note: Ships of Force
Q included HM Cruisers AJAX, AURORA, PENELOPE., DIDO
Destroyers LIGHTNING and LOOKOUT.
18th Deployed with HMS LIGHTNING for
interception patrol south of Cagliari and sank one
exploded after surface gunfire. Repelled aircraft during intermittent attacks.
(Note: One source record
that this was Italian naval oiler TANARO sunk in Gulf of Gabes
23rd Returned to Algiers.
30th Deployed as escort for HM Fast Minelayer
ABDIEL during minelay on Skerki Bank.
See Naval Staff History
(Mining) for details.)
31st Minelay abandoned after engagement with
E-Boats and returned to Bone
(Note: One unconfirmed
source records sinking of two Italian mercantiles.)
1st Deployed with HMS LIGHTNING as escort for
HM Fast Minelayer ABDIEL during resumed
2nd On completion of lay escorted HMS ABDIEL to
Oran with HMS LIGHTNING to load mines.
5th Escorted HMS ABDIEL with HMS LIGHTNING
during passage to Bone.
6th Escorted HMS ABDIEL with HMS LIGHTNING
during second minelay in Skerki Bank.
7th Escorted HMS ABDIEL back to Bone with HMS
LIGHTNING after completion of lay.
attack by Italian submarine ACCACIO during passage
16th Rescued survivors from HM Canadian Corvette
LOUISBERG off Oran.
(Note: HMCVS LOUIS BERG
had been sunk after attack by torpedo aircraft.)
damage during air raid at Bone with 10 casualties, two of whom later died..
passage to Algiers for minelaying escort.
with HMS LIGHTNING for escort of HMS ABDIEL during passage for further
minelay on Skerki Bank.
out diversionary sweep to the north during minelay.
6th Escorted HMS ABDIEL to reload mines at
Algiers and for return passage to Bone
8th Deployed with HM Destroyers LIGHTNING,
PAKENHAM and PALADIN for escort and
cover during minelay on
to north east of lay position with HMS LIGHTNING during operation.
(Note: The other two destroyers
were stationed south east of lay position.)
Passage to Algiers.
with HMS LIGHTNING as escort for HM Landing Ship Infantry ROYAL
ULSTERMAN during passage from Algiers to Bone
torpedo attack by aircraft on passage.
from Bone with Landing Ships after refuelling and took passage to Algiers.
Army personnel and sailed from Algiers
from Bone with HMS LIGHTNING as screen for HMS AURORA, HMS SIRIUS
during planned attack on convoy during its
passage from Sicily to North Africa.
Under air attack soon after departure and
threat of attack by E-Boats.
Remained with cruiser force when HMS LIGHTNING
hit by torpedo and disabled.
(Note: HMS LIGHNING sank later.)
183 survivors after some delay.
(Note: Result of search for this convoy is
survivors in Bone.
Further details of the loss are given in
STRUCK BY LIGHTNING and privately published by
E Gilroy of 33a Nickleby Close, ROCHESTER ME21
April Bone deployment with Force Q in continuation.
May Deployed with HM Destroyers LOYAL, TARTAR,
ZETLAND, LAMERTON, ALDENHAM,
BICESTER, HURSLEY, DULVERTON, LAUDERDALE,
OAKLEY, WILTON, ZETLAND
and Polish destroyer BLYSKAWICA to intercept
craft evacuating personnel from Cape Bon
area after defeat of the Afrika Korps .
(Operation RETRIBUTION – For details see
ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by
C Barnett and Naval Staff History.)
with HMS TARTAR and HMS LAFOREY. Intercepted two ships which were sunk.
One source identifies these as KT5 and KT21.)
out bombardment of gun battery at Sidi David near Cape Bon with HMS TARTAR.
Nominated for support of planned British
landings on Pantelleria and Lampedusa.
Took part in preparatory exercises for
Sank two mercantiles
during interception patrol with HM Destroyer TARTAR
small boat carrying 12 Germans attempting passage from Cape Bon to
to coast of Europe.
23rd Sank small supply ship off Cape Bon.
June Nominated for support of planned landings in
Pantalleria (Operation CORKSCREW).
(Note: Other ships involved included HM Cruisers AURORA, NEWFOUNDLAND,
ORION, PENELOPE and EURYALUS, HM
Destroyers LOOKOUT, LOYAL,
JERVIS, TARTAR, NUBIAN, TROUBRIDGE and WHADDON.)
out bombardment of Pantellaria with Fleet units.
11th Deployed for further bombardment during
Came under unsuccessful
dive bombing attack
July Nominated for support of planned allied
landings in Sicily (Operation HUSKY)
support Force East and deployed for screening duties on passage to assault
Provided naval gunfire support during
(Note: See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and
Naval Staff History for
details of HUSKY.)
19th Deployed with HM Destroyers
LOOKOUT, JERVIS, NUBIAN and ESKIMO as escort for HM
AURORA taking HM
King George from Tripoli during passage to Malta for Royal visit to the
Returned to Tripoli with
HMS AURORA during return passage to Tripoli from Malta
Passage to resume
duties at Salerno
August HUSKY support and patrol in continuation.
On release from HUSKY
deployed in central Mediterranean based in Malta
1st Deployed with HM Destroyer OFFA and Polish
destroyer ORP PIORUN for patrol off Sicily.
2nd Carried out bombardment of shore positions
on Italian mainland between Reggio Calabria and
Pessaro prior to
landings by British XXX Corps across the Straits of Messina.
(Note: HM Battleships
VALIANT, WARSPITE, HM Cruisers ORION, MAURITIUS, HM
ROBERTS, ABERCROMBIE, EREBUS, HM River Gunboats APHIS,
also took part.
8th Deployed with ships of Flotilla as part of
Northern Attack Force for support during planned landings
at Salerno (Operation
(Note: Flotilla then
included HM Destroyers LAFOREY, LOOKOUT, NUBIAN and TARTAR)
During deployment with
HM Cruiser ORION came under unsuccessful rocket attack from
slight damage by near misses.
9th Deployed with Support and Escort Groups
during landings by British X Corps, 7th Armoured
Division, 46th and 56
Infantry Divisions supported by Two Commando Groups and 3rd US Rangers.
Provided naval gunfire
support and carried out night patrol to intercept any enemy attempt to
interfere with landings.
Hit by return fire from
88m battery. Shell damaged No 2 Boiler Room which sustained damage and was
Ship remained operationally available for
10th Returned to Malta for repair.
12th Resumed support of landings
During support of
counter attack by three German divisions came under air attacks using radio
FX1400 weapons and Hx293 Glider Bombs and sustained damage by near miss.
(Note: Other ships providing gunfire support
were HM Cruisers MAURITIUS, UGANDA,
AURORA, US Cruisers USS PHILADELPHIA and USS BOISE. HM Destroyers
TARTAR, NUBIAN, BRECON, QUANTOCK and EGGESFORD were
deployed for fire support.
and HMS TARTAR were also damaged.)
For details of
AVALANCHE see above references.
October Based at Naples and deployment for support and
convoy defence in continuation.
bombardment of targets north of Volturno during
landings from Tank Landing Craft.
Under air attacks.
November Transferred for interception patrol and
gunfire support deployment off east coast of Italy with con
HM Destroyer QUILLIAM.
attack on convoy hit by return fire but remained operational.
out shore bombardment at Civita Nova.
out bombardment of at San Bendedetto and Ancona
Passage to Malta for
service with Force K in support of planned allied landings at Anzio
with Northern Attack
1 9 4 4
January Deployed with HM Cruisers ORION and
SPARTAN, HM Auxiliary AA Ships ULSTER QUEEN,
and PALOMARES. HM Destroyers JERVIS, JANUS,
LAFOREY, INGLEFIELD, TENACIOUS,
URCHIN and KEMPENFELT for support and
Escort duties during landings by 1st British Infantry
Division at Anzio.
22nd Present at landings and provided naval gunfire
support. Under air attacks.
air attacks during which HMS JANUS is sunk and HMS JERVIS damaged.
(Note: Attacks by U-boats were made during
the period after 23rd.)
Took part in rescue of survivors when HM Cruiser SPARTAN was hit by a
bomb and later sank.
February Anzio support in continuation. U Boat
attacks were countered by destroyer patrols.
(Note: Cruisers were deployed in pairs
with destroyer screen attached and replenished at
damage in Boiler Room by return fire from shore.
Withdrawn from operational area and
returned to Naples at reduced speed.
arranged at Taranto. Passage to Taranto arranged by tow.
in hand for repair.
March Under repair.
30th On completion took
passage to Malta
April Deployed in Malta for work-up
in support of military operations at Anzio
9th Under air attacks off Anzio and
straddled by bombs causing structural damage,
Passage to Malta for repair
27th Taken in hand for repair at Taranto.
July Under repair
out post repair trials on completion.
Nominated for support and convoy
defence in Adriatic based at Ancona.
September Adriatic deployment in continuation
with HM Destroyers UNDINE, URCHIN,
River Gunboats APHIS and SCARAB for support of military operations
by 8th Army in
4th Carried out bombardment with HMS
7th Carried out bombardment with HMS
11th Carried out bombardment in Cesebatico area with HMS LOOKOUT
12th During return passage sustained major
structural and shock damage to machinery
consequential flooding after detonating a mine.
Taken in tow to
Ancona by HMS LOOKOUT
21st Withdrawn from operational service and towed
to Taranto for docking and survey.
November Under survey at Taranto.
Survey result determined that future use
required extensive repair to hull structure.
To remain at Taranto pending
arrangements for tow.
December Paid-off and placed in Care and Maintenance
1 9 4 5
January Retained at Taranto pending tow to Malta.
P o s t W a
r N o t e s
HMS LOYAL remained at Taranto
until 1946 when she was towed to Malta for repair sufficient for use as an Accommodation Ship. In 1947 having been declared a Constructive Total Loss, approval
was given for the ship to be placed on the Disposal List. Sold to BISCO for demolition by TW Ward, she
was towed to UK by HM Tug EARNER on 15th July 1948 and arrived at the Beaker’s
yard at Milford Haven on 31s July. 1948.
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)