Fleet Destroyer ordered from
Vickers Armstrong, .Newcastle en 2nd
October 1939 with 2nd Emergency Flotilla. She
was laid down on 26th December 1939 at the same
as sister ships HMS PENN and PORCUPINE. The ship
then was intended to be named
PERSISTENT but this was changed to PETARD as
part of a rationalisation of names
for the Flotilla. She was launched as HMS PETARD
on 27th March 1941 as the 2nd RN ship to bear
name, previously used by a WW1 destroyer sold in
1921. Her build was completed
on 15th June 1942 at a cost
of £408,200 excluding the cost of guns and
communications equipment supplied by
the Admiralty. After a successful WARSHIP WEEK
National Savings campaign in
March 1942 she was adopted by the civil
community of Paddington, London.
a t t
l e H o n o
1916 - MEDITERRANEAN 1942-43 -
1943 - AEGEAN 1943
e r a l d i
c D a t a
On a Field, a Petard Gold
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9 4 2
Contractor's sea trials and
commissioned for service in 12th Destroyer
Build completion and commenced Acceptance
On completion of trials
and storing took passage
Flow for work-up with Home Fleet
for service in Indian Ocean with Flotilla.
Joined military convoy WS21 with HM
Destroyers CATTERICK, LEDBURY and HM Auxiliary
RANPURA for Ocean Escort to Freetown from
Passage with escort for WS21.
Deployed as Ocean Escort
with HM Cruiser HAWKINS and HMS CATTERICK
during passage to
Detached en arrival at
Capetown and made independent passage to Durban.
to join Mediterranean Fleet at Alexandria
was made to reinforce Mediterranean Fleet
after losses during defence of Crete.
Escorted ss SAMARIA
and VOLENDAM from Durban to join WS21.
with HM Armed Merchant Cruiser RANPURA as
Ocean Escort for WS21.
When WS21 divided into Aden
and Bombay sections joined WS21A as
escort for five mercantiles
passage to Aden.
from WS21A when
dispersed and made independent passage to Alexandria.
Arrived at Alexandria
and joined Flotilla for
Fleet duties including anti-submarine
and convoy defence.
Flotilla in eastern Mediterranean.
After U559 was
reported on surface 70 miles north of Nile Delta
sailed from Port
Said with HM
Destroyers PAKENHAM, DULVERTON and HURWORTH to
relieve HM Destroyer
On arrival took
part in submarine search operation with the
other 3 ships and WELLESLEY
aircraft of 47 Squadron RAF .
After submarine located,
carried series of joint depth charge
attacks lasting nearly 10 hours. When
U559 was forced to surface after night fall,
engaged with main 4in
and secondary armament.
As range closed main armament could not be used.
Seaboat launched with a Boarding Party
when U559 crew seen
to abandon. Lieutenant Tony
Fasson RN and Able Seaman Colin Grazier
swam to U559 and
They recovered moveable parts of ENIGMA coding
documentation and some
Charts which they handed to
Tommy Brown, a NAAFI Canteen Assistant who also
had swum to the
From a position at the bottom of conning tower
he made three trips
carrying vital items to
As seacocks had
been opened before crew
abandoned, U559 was flooding rapidly and sank
with the two courageous men still
inside and unable to
overcome the inrush of water.
they went down with the
gallantry in obtaining this invaluable
information was posthumously
recognised by the
award to each of the George Cross.
awarded the George Medal and promoted to Senior
He was not
discharged despite his age when entering NAAFI
service in 1941.
he later died in April 1945 when he was
trapped in a fire at his family
home in North
from U559 were rescued.)
November Took the ENIGMA
material to Haifa, escorted by HMS DULVERTON.
enabled enemy encrypted signal traffic to be
read by Bletchley
and resulted in
allied convoy traffic being
diverted away from known U-Boat
during the 1943 Atlantic battles
thus saving the lives of many seamen.
details see GCHQ by Nigel West, BREAKING THE
ENIGMA by David Kahn,
Fleet Orders, .Report No 5 by P Wescombe
and J Gallehawk
and SEEK AND STRIKE by W Hackmann.)
Joined HM Cruiser EURYALUS, HM
Destroyers JAVELIN, JERVIS, KELVIN , NUBIAN
PALADIN as escort for
Convoy MW13 comprising
4 ships for passage to Malta.
Under air attacks during which HMS
ARETHUSA was hit and sustained major damage.
assistance in fighting fires on HMS
Towed HM Cruiser ARETHUSA stern first back to
Alexandria after torpedo
damage during air
attacks on MW13 convoy.
Deployed as escort for HMS
ARETHUSA after tug took over tow.
This convoy provided sufficient stores to last
until the New Year and so
Deployed with HM Destroyers PAKENHAM and Greek
VASILISSA OLGA as screen for HM
Cruiser ORION to supplement escort of
Convoy MW14 to Malta from Port Said.
Convoy escort joined by Force K from Malta.
Arrived in Malta with Convoy MW14.
comprising four mercantiles was the last Malta
Sailed from Malta as escort for Convoy
ME11 to Port Said with H M Cruiser ORION,
ALDENHAM, BELVOIR, CROOME, DULVERTON, EXMOOR
Greek VASILISSA OLGA and Greek PINDOS.
Convoy comprised 9 ships).
Remained with ME11 when HMS ORION, HM
Destroyers ALDENHAM, CROOME,
HURSLEY detached to join Convoy MW15 on
Benghazi from Port
On arrival at Alexandria with ME11
deployed for anti-submarine patrol.
Deployed with Greek Destroyer VASILISSA
OLGA to escort HM Submarine P35 into
Carried cut depth charge attacks
Italian submarine UARSCIEK with Greek
VASILISSA OLGA and
forced submarine to surface.
Sustained some damage
to bow structure in collision with submarine
Boarding Party removed
documentation and took submarine in tow.
(Note: Details of
Italian minefields were recovered)
Submarine later sank
but Prize crew escaped.
Sustained slight damage at Benghazi
during air attack.
9 4 3
and repair in Alexandria.
completion detached for escort of military
convoy to Indian Ocean.
Part of escort for rms
QUEEN MARY, rms
AQUITANIA, French liner ILE DE
liner NIEUW AMSTERDAM and
QUEEN OF BERMUDA.
These ships were carrying ANZAC troops through
Red Sea on
passage to Australia
their recall from Middle East for defence of
Destroyers PAKENHAM, ISIS, DERWENT, HERO and
also part of escort.
Passage to rejoin Mediterranean Fleet.
to Malta and escorted two convoys to Tripoli.
defence and interception of enemy convoys in
ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and FIGHTING
DESTROYER by GC
Sailed with HMS PALADIN and Greek
VASILISSA OLGA from Malta to join Convoy
as escort during final stage of passage into
Malta from Egypt
Destroyers HURWORTH, CROOME and
Greek destroyer KANARIS escorting
and later came under air attacks after air
cover had left.
Deployed for exercises off Malta.
Sailed from Malta with HM Destroyers
HURSLEY, HURWORTH, CROOME., Greek
KANARIS and VASILISSA OLGA as escort for
Convoy ME20 during
of passage to Egypt
After detaching from ME20 escorted
tanker OVULA to Malta and on arrival carried
unsuccessful interception patrol in Gulf of Hammamet.
DESTRO into Malta.
Deployed for further interception
duties which were uneventful.
and convoy defence based at Malta in
Attacked convoy off Sicily with HI Destroyers
NUBIAN and PALADIN.
Damaged in air attack when leaving
Grand Harbour for patrol.
several casualties in strafing attacks.
Sank Italian transport FAUNA off
Sicily with HI Destroyer NUBIAN.
Deployed with HM Destroyers JERVIS
and NUBIAN for unsuccessful patrol.
Sank Italian torpedo boat PERSEO and
transport CAMPOBASSO off Kelebia,
Destroyers PALADIN and NUBIAN.
Carried cut patrol with HM
Destroyers ISIS, and VASILISSA OLGA in Souse
Commenced series of patrols off Tunisian
coast to intercept evacuation craft.
RETRIBUTION. See above references).
Carried out bombardment of
Pantellaria with HMS ORION.
Provided naval gunfire support prior
to landings in Pantellaria with HM Cruiser
Bombardment of Pantellaria repeated
with HM Cruiser PENELOPE and HMS PALADIN.
Escorted HM Landing Ship, Infantry LARGS with
HMS PALADIN and HM River Gunboat
for passage to Pantelleria carrying 1st
Under air attack during patrol off
sustained slight damage from
Damaged during air raid at Bizerta
when again near missed by three bombs which caused some
passage to Malta for repair.
Flotilla duties based at Malta.
for support pf planned landings in Sicily
Sailed from Malta for HUSKY
Part of screen for HM Battleships
KING GEORGE V. HOWE, HM Cruisers DIDO and
SIRIUS with HM Destroyers JERVIS, PANTHER,
PATHFINDER and PENN to
in Sicily (Operation HUSKY. See ENGAGE THE
ENEMY MORE CLOSELY
and Naval Staff History for details).
Embarked General Eisenhower for
passage to assault area to review progress of landings in
BARK area at Avola
Catania with HM Battleship WARSPITE.
Carried cut bombardment of
positions at Cape Colone,
Sicily with HM
PENELOPE, HM Destroyers TROUBRIDGE, TUMULT,
OFFA and Polish
Deployed at Bizerta with HI
Destroyers JERVIS, PATHFINDER and PALADIN for
part in bombardment of Castello
near Naples and Vibo
Escorted HM Cruisers SIRIUS and
DIDO with HM Destroyer PANTHER to bombard Scalea
east of Naples.
Detached to carryout unsuccessful
search for unidentified ship and rejoined.
replenishment deployed with same ships for bombardment
of Vibo Valentia.
passage took part in attack on convoy and sank
Returned to Bizerta after
Escorted HM Cruiser UGANDA with HM
Destroyers RAIDER and LOOKOUT during sweep
Mediterranean from Spartivento to Rizinto
part in bombardment of Italian mainland.
with HM Destroyers PANTHER and
WISHART to escort HM Battleships HOWE,
KING GEORGE V during
exercises off Algiers in preparation
for planned landings
Italian coast between Reggio
Calabria and Pessaro
with H M Battleships
RODNEY, HM Cruiser ORION, HM Destroyers OFFA,
QUAIL, QUILLIAM, TARTAR
TROUBRIDGE, TYRIAN and Polish destroyer PIORUN
mainland (Operation BAYTOWN) .
Deployed with VASILISSA OLGA to
join H M Escort Carriers BATTLER and STALKER
of Convoy UGF10.
Passage to Malta on release from
Deployed with screen for HMS HOWE,
HMS KING GEORGE V, HMS NELSON and
HMS RODNEY to
cover planned allied landings at Salerno.
AVALANCHE) and the surrender of Italian
warships at Taranto.
SLAPSTICK) For details see above references).
Part of screen for HM Battleships
WARSPITE and VALIANT during the bombardment of
at Salerno. During an air attack on bombarding
ships, was hit by
a shell fired during
defensive barrage by assembled ships.
Some sources record that this was a 6in shell
included two personnel killed.)
was caused to cabling.
Escorted aircraft carriers for
part of their return passage to Gibraltar with
PALADIN and PATHFINDER.
Returned to Malta.
Deployed at Taranto for support
and screening duties.
to Aegean area to assist in defence of
Took passage from Taranto with
HM Destroyer PENN to Aegean. 6th
Deployed as screen for HM
Cruisers AURORA and DIDO during interaction
Kaso Channel to
destroy invasion craft.
The two cruisers collided during this
Joined HMS PANTHER in Alexandria
to screen HM Cruiser CARLISLE during a sweep
After unsuccessful search
retired to position SE of Rhodes.
Patrolled off Cos and Leros
with CREDENTIAL Force without success.
air attacks during which HMS PANTHER was sunk
and HMS CARLISLE
for survivors from HMS PANTHER.
Air cover had been late in arrival)
CARLISLE was towed to Alexandria but beyond
details see WAR IN THE AEGEAN by P Smith
and E Walker).
laying up in Turkish waters carried
cut offensive sweep with HM Destroyers
south of Levitha
whilst HMS DULVERTON
carried cut bombardment.
Deployed for transport of troops
to Leros with HM
After HMS ECLIPSE was mined
assisted in rescue of troops and ship's
42 survivors were taken on board.)
Returned to Alexandria.
Embarked vehicles and personnel
at Alexandria for passage to Leros.
with HM Destroyers BEAUFORT and BELVOIR to
meet HM Cruise AURORA.
Under heavy air attacks on
passage and HMS AURORA hit.
passage after HMS AURORA returned to
Alexandria with HMS
attacks by Ju88 maintained and ships diverted
in defence of Leros
Sank three invasion craft.
with HM Destroyer ROCKWOOD and Polish
damaged destroyer HMS ROCKWOOD to Turkish
waters after Glider Bomb
For details see
above references and A SAILORS WAR by S
Mediterranean deployment in continuation.
and leave period at Haifa.
9 4 4
Transferred to Indian Ocean for
service in Eastern Fleet with HM Destroyers
PALADIN and PATHFINDER
Took passage to Kilindini as
escort for HM Battleships QUEEN ELIZABETH,
HM Aircraft Carrier
Joined 11th Destroyer Flotilla
in Eastern Fleet as 16th Division with the
transferred from the Mediterranean.
for escort of military convoy from Kilindini
to Mombasa with HMS
HMS PENN was unable to take part as she was
Arrived at Kilindini
Sailed from Kilindini as escort
for Convoy KR8 during passage to Colombo with
HAWKINS, HM Destroyer PALADIN, HM Cutters
LULWORTH, SENNEN and
Convoy comprised five troop transports
carrying army and naval
ATS and QARNNS)
HMS LULWORTH, HMS SENNEN and
HMS HONESTY detached and returned to
These ships had insufficient fuel capacity to
remain for whole
under attack by Japanese submarine I27.
KHEDIVE ISMAIL was hit by two torpedoes and
sank very quickly.
KHEDIVE ISMAIL was carrying 1,115 personnel of
whom only 214
ASDIC contact carried cut depth charge attack
on I27 with HMS
Some these fell amongst the survivors and
caused many deaths.
current Admiralty policy required attacks to
be made on submarines
danger to survivors in the water, the Captain
was thus not
blamed for the
of the survivors from KHEDIVE ISMAIL.)
surfaced and was then engaged by surface
gunfire from both
Decision by captain of HMS PALADIN to ram was
a collision and as a result HMS PALADIN
damage and was
sources state that failure to sink 127 was due
to lack of suitable
type of engagement.
normal procedure, an attack by single torpedo
firing was carried
Six of the eight
torpedoes carried failed to hit the submarine
which was at a range of
7th missile hit and sank 127.
survivors from KHEDIVE ISMAIL rescued by HMS
required for damage control and repair.
HMS PALADIN in tow and commenced passage to Addu
Tow parted on arrival but
re-established to allow entry.
PALADIN was secured alongside tanker BRITISH
For full details of this disaster and the
destruction of 127 see
by Brian Crabb
which includes names of
all casualties and the
WITH JAPAN (HMSO) also gives more
Escorted Convoy KR9 to Addu
Convoy BA66A from Colombo to Aden and returned
as cover for the
RICHELIEU on passage to join Eastern Fleet.
Part of Eastern Fleet Task
Force 69 with ships of Flotilla as destroyer
screen for HM
QUEEN ELIZABETH, VALIANT, French battleship
by HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS and US
aircraft carrier USS
airfields at Sabang,
COCKPIT - For details of operations in Indian
by E Gray, WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO) and THE
FORGOTTEN FLEET by
Fleet deployment in continuation.
Withdrawn from operations for refit in
Took passage to UK via Indian
Ocean for long refit.
off on arrival at Portsmouth and taken in hand
Work carried out included
replacement of single 4in mountings in B and
by twin mountings. A-mounting was removed.
design foremast fitted to
suit new radar aerial fit
9 4 5
refit trials and re-commissioned for service
in Eastern Fleet on
Arrived at Scapa Flow to work-up
from work-up for repair to propeller.
Taken in hand for repair at
On completion of
repair prepared for
return to complete work-up.
Resumed work-up at Scapa
Under repair in Clyde and
prepared for passage to Ceylon.
passage for Mediterranean with
call at Gibraltar.
Alexandria and carried out exercises in
Took passage from
Alexandria for Ceylon.
Arrived at Colombo for
service in 33rd Division of 10th Destroyer
Flotilla also included m Destroyers TARTAR,
NUBIAN, PALADIN, and PENN.
service in support of planned landings in
Operation ZIPPER had been postponed due to
administrative problems in UK
to release of personnel
In the Far East, under the PYTHON Scheme and
on delay. See THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by J
(HMSO and the Final Report
by Supreme Commander SEAC (HMSO).)
Passage to Malacca
Strait for support of ZIPPER.
Sailed from Trincomalee
Provided cover for
Present at formal surrender
Passage to beaches.
Present at landings on
MORIB Beach for support duties.
Deployed at Singapore for
patrol and support of military operations in
Dutch East Indies.
o s t W a r N o t e s
HMS PETARD returned to Ceylon with the Flotilla. On release from
service at Singapore,
she remained in the East Indies
Fleet and was transferred to the 6th Destroyer
Flotilla. Visits were paid to
ports in India before her return to UK
in May 1946. On arrival at Chatham she joined
Local Flotilla for a few weeks before being
paid off and reduced to Reserve
status at Harwich in September 1946. The ship
was laid up until 1953 when
transferred to Chatham. In May 1953 after
selection for conversion to' a Type
16 A/S Frigate she was refitted at Belfast.
Completed in December May 1955 she
was again put in Reserve and laid up at
Devonport after her equipment had been
preserved in Southampton. She was
re-commissioned in September 1960 for service
at Plymouth to replace HM Frigate ULYSSES in
the Local Flotilla until April
1961 when refitted at Chatham. On completion
in June 1962 she rejoined the Reserve Fleet.
Placed on the Disposal List
in 1966 the ship was sold to BISCO on 18 May
1967 for demolition by McLellan,
at Bo’ness on the
The ship arrived in tow to be broken upon 2
June that year
S p e c i a l N o t e
HMS PETARD had an almost unrivalled war service, matched only by
the few destroyers which were in commission in
1939 and survived WW2. She was
involved in sinking submarines of the German,
Italian and Japanese navies as
well as playing a significant role in defence
of Malta convoys, and the valiant
efforts to hold the Aegean
ESCORT MOVEMENTS of
convoy lists have not been cross-checked
with the text above
convoy as escort
TO THOMAS BROWN of HMS PETARD
Canteen Assistant Brown was awarded the
George Medal for his part in capturing
Enigma material on 30 October 1942.
her for more information and his
memorial in North Shields.
thanks to Janet Brown of the North East War
Memorials Project, 29 July 2012