Fleet Destroyer ordered from Hawthorn Leslie Newcastle on 2nd October 1939 with 2nd Emergency Flotilla. She was laid down en 6th February 1940 and launched on 28th January 1941 as HMS ONSLOW but in August
1941 her name was changed to PAKENHAM. This name had been introduced in 1798
for a Gun Vessel and previously used by a WW1 destroyer sold in 1921. The ship
was fitted with additional accommodation for use as the Leader of a destroyer
flotilla. Build was completed on 4th February 1942 at a cost of £416,710,
excluding Admiralty supplied equipment such as guns and communications
equipment. After a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings
campaign during March 1942 she was adopted by the civil
of Wallasey, then in the county of Cheshire.
B a t t
l e H o n o u r s
- MEDITERRANEAN 1942-43
H e r a l d i c D a t a
Badge: On a Field White, an eagle
displayed Green enfiled
with a mural crown Green.
D e t a i
l s o f W a r
S e r v i c e
(for more ship information,
to Naval History Homepage
and type name in Site Search)
1 9 4 2
January Contractors trials and commissioned for
service in 12th Destroyer Flotilla.
Damaged during sea trials
by collision with tug MALTA
Under repair for 4 days.
4th Build completion and commenced
Passage to Scapa Flow on completion.
February Worked-up at Scapa Flow with Home Fleet.
completion deployed in Clyde.
Nominated for service in support of
planned landings in Madagascar
23rd Joined military Convoy WS17 in
Clyde with HM Destroyers INCONSTANT and JAVELIN.
28th Detached with other escorts for
refuelling at Ponta Delgardo, Azores.
30th Rejoined WS17 and later detached
with HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS and took
passage to Freetown
(Note: Passage delayed when HMS ILLUSTRIOUS remained in area to provide
attack by commerce raider which never materialised.)
3rd At Freetown with HMS
ILLUSTRIOUS, HMS INCONSTANT and HMS JAVELIN.
9th Joined Convoy WS17A on
departure from Freetown with H M Battleship MALAYA, HMS
ILLUSTRIOUS and HM Cruiser HERMIONE, HM
Destroyers ACTIVE, ANTHONY,
INCONSTANT, JAVELIN, LAFOREY, LOOKOUT and LIGHTNING as escort for
to Indian Ocean.
(Note: Convoy WS17 split into two sections at Freetown. W317B sailed
two days after
18th At Capetown.
22nd Detached from WS17A on arrival
Prepared for Madagascar landing
Passage to Mombasa.
4th Part of escort for assault
convoy with HM Destroyers INCONSTANT .PANTHER,
LAFOREY, LIGHTNING, LOOKOUT, PALADIN, DUNCAN and
Corvettes and four Fleet Minesweepers.
For details see RELUCTANT
ENEMIES by W Tute, WATERY MAZE by B Fergusson and the Naval Staff History
9th On completion of IRONCLAD
transferred to Mediterranean Fleet with HMS PALADIN and
HMS INCONSTANT for escort of Malta supply convoy. Passage to Alexandria.
Deployed with HM Destroyers PALADIN and INCONSTANT in eastern
13th Part of escort for Malta relief
convoy (Operation VIGOROUS).
Joined HM Cruisers CLEOPATRA, DIDO,
CLEOPATRA, EURYALUS, ARETHUSA,
COVENTRY, NEWCASTLE and BIRMINGHAM with Fleet and Escort Destroyers of
Mediterranean Fleet for the passage to Malta. The WW1 battleship HMS
also used and had been disguised as a modem battleship of the KING
GEORGE V Class.
14th Under heavy and sustained air
15th After development of threat by heavy
Italian warships ordered to reverse course
by CinC at Alexandria. Under attack by E-Boats and continuing air
conflicting instructions from shore confused the situation.
16th Operation abandoned. Surviving
warships and mercantiles returned to Alexandria.
A later attempt by U77 to carry out a torpedo attack was frustrated by
(Note: A heavy
price in ships and men was paid - for details of this disastrous
operation and its conflicting and hesitant
instructions from shore see ENGAGE
THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and THE
BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN
28th Deployed with HM Destroyer
PALADIN as escort for HM Battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH
from Alexandria to enter Suez Canal.
(Note: HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH was going for repair in USA via Aden,)
Retained with Fleet in Mediterranean as Leader of 12th Destroyer
14th Deployed with HM Destroyers
PALADIN, JERVIS and JAVELIN as escort for convoy from
Port Said to Cyprus.
17th Returned to Port Said from
19th Deployed with H M Cruisers DIDO
and EURYALUS with H M Destroyers PALADIN,
JERVIS and JAVELIN during bombardment of Mersa Matruh.
10th Joined H M cruisers ARETHUSA
and EURYALUS with H M Destroyers JERVIS,
PAKENHAM, KELVIN, KELVIN, ALDENHAM, BEAUFORT,
HURSLEY, HURWORTH, HM Corvette HYACINTH and HM Auxiliary ANTWERP to
escort Convoy MW12 of three ships
from Port Said as a diversionary operation during
of relief Convoy from Gibraltar to Malta
(Operation PEDESTAL - See PEDESTAL by P. Smith.).
12th Convoy MW12 joined by HM
Cruisers CLEOPATRA and DUX) which had come from Haifa,
escorted by HM Destroyers JAVELIN, SIKH and ZULU for passage westward in
13th Returned to Port Said with MW12
and escorting warships.
Mediterranean deployment for screening, patrol
and escort duties in continuation.
duties and patrol in continuation.
30th Shared credit for sinking U559
with HM Destroyers PETARD, HERO, DULVERTON and an
RAF aircraft of 4? Squadron. See U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp.
(Note: There were no survivors
from the submarine which had been boarded by a party
from HMS PETARD to
recover ENIGMA Coding equipment and documents. An
officer and seaman rating from the boarding party were lost when
scuttling charges detonated and U559 sank. Their self sacrifice enabled
documents to be retrieved. When received, the decryption teams at
GC&CS were able to read U-Boat signals which saved many lives during
diversion of Atlantic convoys in 1943. They were both posthumously awarded
details see BREAKING THE ENIGMA by D Kahn and Bletchley Park Trust
No 5, June 1997.)
16th Escorted Malta Relief Convoy
MH13 from Port Said with H M Cruiser EURYALUS, HM
Destroyers JAVELIN, JERVIS, KELVIN, NUBIAN, PALADIN and PETARD.
17th Detached fron
MW13 when HM Destroyers ALDENHAM, BEAUFORT, CROOME,
DULVERTON, EXMOOR, HURSLEY, HURWORTH, TETCOTT and Greek PINDOS joined
Took passage to
Alexandria for Fleet screening duty.
18th Deployed with same destroyers as
screen for HM Cruisers ARETHUSA, CLEOPATRA, DIDO
and ORION to provide cover during passage of MW13 to Malta.
Under air attack on MW13 off Derna during which
HMS ARETHUSA was torpedoed and
returned to Alexandria in tow by HMS PETARD.
19th Detached from MW13 with
Mediterranean Fleet ships and returned to Alexandria.
(Note: Close escort of HUNT Class remained until MW13 arrived in Malta.
of this convoy effectively raised the siege of the Island.)
2nd Deployed with HMS ORION, HMS
PETARD and Greek VASILISSA OLGA as additional escort
for Convoy MW14 to Malta.
(Note: MW14 had a Close Escort of seven HUNT Class destroyers.)
4th Force K from Malta joined MW14
SW of Crete.
(Note: Force K comprised HM Cruisers CLEOPATRA, DIDO, EURYALUS screened
Destroyers JAVELIN, JERVE3,
KELVIN and NUBIAN.)
5th Remained in Malta when MW
14 reached Grand Harbour.
7th Escorted Convoy ME11 from Malta
to Egypt with HMS ORION and HM Destroyers PETARD
ALDENHAM, BELVOIR, CROOME,
DULVERTON, EXMOOR, HURSLEY, TETCOTT and
Greek PINDOS. (Operation ME).
8th Under air attacks over 48 hour
11th Detached from ME11 on arrival at
Port Said and took passage to refit.
1 9 4 3
completion of refit at Alexandria took passage to Malta
13th Deployed with HM Cruiser ORION,
HM Destroyers PALADIN, JAVELIN, NUBIAN and
HURSLEY as escort for Convoy ME13 during
passage to Port Said.
14th Sank Italian submarine NARVALLO
with HM Destroyer HURSLEY in position 34.01N,16.21E
Detached from ME13 later and returned to
16th Deployed with HMS JAVELIN for
interception patrol off North African coast.
Sank Italian naval Auxiliary TANARO on passage from Tripoli to Sfax.
17th Returned to Malta with HMS
18th Deployed with HMS NUBIAN and
Greek VASILISSA OLGA for interception patrol.
Sank Italian transport STROMBOLI by surface gunfire with HM Destroyer
Greek VASILISSA OLGA.
Rescued 10 survivors from enemy ship which had been carrying petrol.
Detached for duty in Red Sea.
4th Part of escort for military convoy taking ANZAC troops through Red Sea for
return to Australia
with HM Destroyers PETARD, ISIS, HERO, HM Frigate DERWENT and Greek
OLGA (Operation PAMPHLET).
8th Rejoined Fleet at Alexandria
after release from PAMPHLET.
Took passage to resume Flotilla duties in Malta.
Deployed with Flotilla in Malta for interception and patrol duties.
8th Escorted HM Minelaying Cruiser
ABDIEL to Malta after minelay in Sicilian Narrows
and sank ferry barge off Pantallaria with HMS
9th Returned to Malta with HMS
15th Deployed with HMS PETARD and VASILISSA OLGA to join Convoy MJ23 to supplement
escort by HM Destroyers HURWORTH, CROOME and Greek KANARIS
16th Joined MW23and came under air
attack after fighter cover left.
No damage was incurred.
Malta deployment in continuation.
16th Deployed with HM Destroyer
PALADIN SW of Marsala and intercepted convoy escorted
Italian torpedo boats TIFONE, CLIMENE, CIGNO and CASSIOPEA.
Engaged Italian torpedo boats GIGNO and CASSIOPEA.
(Note: Convoy escaped with the other two escorts.)
Sank CIGNO by torpedo after vessel disabled by
Hit four times by return fire and sustained major damage with some
flooding in Engine Room.
Disabled and taken in
tow by HMS PALADIN but operation had to be abandoned due to threat
of air attacks.
Ship's company taken off by HMS PALADIN before being sunk by torpedo in
12.30 E off Cape Granitola.
HMS NUBIAN later joined as escort for passage to Malta.
(Note: 103 survivors from CIGNO had been rescued.)
CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of
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)