PALADIN-Class 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 time
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 the
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.
B a t t
l e H o n o u r
JUTLAND 1916 - MEDITERRANEAN 1942-43 -
SALERNO 1943 - AEGEAN 1943
H e r a l d i c D a t a
Badge: On a Field, a Petard Gold
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
June Contractor's sea trials and
commissioned for service in 12th Destroyer Flotilla.
15th Build completion and commenced Acceptance
On completion of trials
and storing took passage to Scapa Flow for work-up with Home Fleet
for service in Indian Ocean with Flotilla.
29th Joined military convoy WS21 with HM
Destroyers CATTERICK, LEDBURY and HM Auxiliary
RANPURA for Ocean Escort to Freetown from Clyde.
August Passage with escort for WS21.
15th Deployed as Ocean Escort
with HM Cruiser HAWKINS and HMS CATTERICK during passage to
Cape from Freetown.
27th Detached en arrival at
Capetown and made independent passage to Durban.
September Transferred to join Mediterranean Fleet at Alexandria
(Note: Transfer was made to reinforce Mediterranean Fleet
after losses during defence of Crete.
3rd Escorted ss SAMARIA and VOLENDAM from Durban to join WS21.
with HM Armed Merchant Cruiser RANPURA as Ocean Escort for WS21.
10th When WS21 divided into Aden and Bombay sections joined WS21A as
escort for five mercantiles
passage to Aden.
16th Detached from WS21A when
dispersed and made independent passage to Alexandria.
22nd Arrived at Alexandria and joined Flotilla for
Fleet duties including anti-submarine
and convoy defence.
October Deployed with
Flotilla in eastern Mediterranean.
30th 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 machine, associated
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 quickly
with the two courageous men still inside and unable to
overcome the inrush of water.
(Note: Tragically they went down with the
. Their outstanding
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 Canteen Assistant.
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 Park codebreakers
and resulted in allied convoy traffic being
diverted away from known U-Boat
concentrations during the 1943 Atlantic battles
thus saving the lives of many seamen.
For details see GCHQ by Nigel West, BREAKING THE ENIGMA by David Kahn,
Admiralty Fleet Orders, .Report No 5 by P Wescombe
and J Gallehawk (BLETCHLEY
TRUST) and SEEK AND STRIKE by W Hackmann.)
16th Joined HM Cruiser EURYALUS, HM
Destroyers JAVELIN, JERVIS, KELVIN , NUBIAN and
PALADIN as escort for
Convoy MW13 comprising 4 ships for passage to Malta.
17th Under air attacks during which HMS
ARETHUSA was hit and sustained major damage.
assistance in fighting fires on HMS ARETHUSA.
18th 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 raised the
2nd 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.
4th Convoy escort joined by Force K from Malta.
5th Arrived in Malta with Convoy MW14.
comprising four mercantiles was the last Malta relief convoy)
7th 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.
(Note: Convoy comprised 9 ships).
9th Remained with ME11 when HMS ORION, HM
Destroyers ALDENHAM, CROOME,
DULVERTON, EXMOOR and
HURSLEY detached to join Convoy MW15 on passage to
Benghazi from Port Said.
11th On arrival at Alexandria with ME11
deployed for anti-submarine patrol.
14th Deployed with Greek Destroyer VASILISSA
OLGA to escort HM Submarine P35 into
15th Carried cut depth charge attacks
Italian submarine UARSCIEK with Greek destroyer
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.
23rd Sustained slight damage at Benghazi
during air attack.
1 9 4 3
refit and repair in Alexandria.
completion detached for escort of military convoy to Indian Ocean.
4th Part of escort for rms
QUEEN MARY, rms AQUITANIA, French liner ILE DE
Dutch liner NIEUW AMSTERDAM and
QUEEN OF BERMUDA.
(Note: These ships were carrying ANZAC troops through Red Sea on
passage to Australia
their recall from Middle East for defence of Australia,)
Destroyers PAKENHAM, ISIS, DERWENT, HERO and Greek destroyer
also part of escort. (Operation
Detached off Socotra
8th Passage to rejoin Mediterranean Fleet.
Transferred to Malta and escorted two convoys to Tripoli.
defence and interception of enemy convoys in central Mediterranean.
See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and FIGHTING DESTROYER by GC
15th Sailed with HMS PALADIN and Greek
VASILISSA OLGA from Malta to join Convoy
MW23 as escort during final stage of passage into Malta from Egypt
Joined HM Destroyers HURWORTH, CROOME and
Greek destroyer KANARIS escorting
MW23 and later came under air attacks after air cover had left.
17th Deployed for exercises off Malta.
19th Sailed from Malta with HM Destroyers
HURSLEY, HURWORTH, CROOME., Greek
destroyers KANARIS and VASILISSA OLGA as escort for Convoy ME20 during
part of passage to Egypt
20th After detaching from ME20 escorted
tanker OVULA to Malta and on arrival carried
put unsuccessful interception patrol in Gulf of Hammamet.
22nd Escorted ss
DESTRO into Malta.
29th Deployed for further interception
duties which were uneventful.
Interception and convoy defence based at Malta in continuation
Attacked convoy off Sicily with HI Destroyers NUBIAN and PALADIN.
24th Damaged in air attack when leaving
Grand Harbour for patrol.
Sustained several casualties in strafing attacks.
30th Sank Italian transport FAUNA off
Sicily with HI Destroyer NUBIAN.
1st Deployed with HM Destroyers JERVIS
and NUBIAN for unsuccessful patrol.
4th Sank Italian torpedo boat PERSEO and
transport CAMPOBASSO off Kelebia, Tunisia with
HM Destroyers PALADIN and NUBIAN.
5th Carried cut patrol with HM
Destroyers ISIS, and VASILISSA OLGA in Souse area.
7th Commenced series of patrols off Tunisian
coast to intercept evacuation craft.
(Operation RETRIBUTION. See above references).
12th Carried out bombardment of
Pantellaria with HMS ORION.
31st Provided naval gunfire support prior
to landings in Pantellaria with HM Cruiser
1st Bombardment of Pantellaria repeated
with HM Cruiser PENELOPE and HMS PALADIN.
10th Escorted HM Landing Ship, Infantry LARGS with HMS PALADIN and HM River Gunboat
APHIS for passage to Pantelleria carrying 1st British Division.
16th Under air attack during patrol off
Pantalleria and sustained slight damage from near miss.
18th Damaged during air raid at Bizerta
when again near missed by three bombs which caused some
23rd. Took passage to Malta for repair.
Resumed Flotilla duties based at Malta.
Nominated for support pf planned landings in Sicily (Operation HUSKY)
8th Sailed from Malta for HUSKY
11th Bombarded Favignani
12th Part of screen for HM Battleships
KING GEORGE V. HOWE, HM Cruisers DIDO and
and SIRIUS with HM Destroyers JERVIS, PANTHER, PATHFINDER and PENN to
in Sicily (Operation HUSKY. See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY
by Corelli Bamett and Naval Staff History for details).
17th Embarked General Eisenhower for
passage to assault area to review progress of landings in
BARK area at Avola and Pachino.
Bombarded Catania with HM Battleship WARSPITE.
21st Carried cut bombardment of
positions at Cape Colone, near Croone,
Sicily with HM Cruisers
AURORA, PENELOPE, HM Destroyers TROUBRIDGE, TUMULT, TYRIAN, QUILLIAM,
OFFA and Polish
August Deployed at Bizerta with HI
Destroyers JERVIS, PATHFINDER and PALADIN for support
of military operations.
9th Took part in bombardment of Castello di Stabea,
near Naples and Vibo Valentia
14th Escorted HM Cruisers SIRIUS and
DIDO with HM Destroyer PANTHER to bombard Scalea
south east of Naples.
15th Detached to carryout unsuccessful
search for unidentified ship and rejoined.
After replenishment deployed with same ships for bombardment
of Vibo Valentia.
During passage took part in attack on convoy and sank one escort.
16th Returned to Bizerta after
21st Escorted HM Cruiser UGANDA with HM
Destroyers RAIDER and LOOKOUT during sweep
in central Mediterranean from Spartivento to Rizinto
Took part in bombardment of Italian mainland.
28th Deployed with HM Destroyers PANTHER and
WISHART to escort HM Battleships HOWE,
KING GEORGE V during exercises off Algiers in preparation
for planned landings
31st Bombarded Italian coast between Reggio
Calabria and Pessaro with H M Battleships NELSON.
and RODNEY, HM Cruiser ORION, HM Destroyers OFFA, QUAIL, QUILLIAM, TARTAR
TROUBRIDGE, TYRIAN and Polish destroyer PIORUN prior to
landings on Italian
mainland (Operation BAYTOWN) .
3rd Deployed with VASILISSA OLGA to
join H M Escort Carriers BATTLER and STALKER
of Convoy UGF10.
5th Passage to Malta on release from
9th 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).
15th Part of screen for HM Battleships
WARSPITE and VALIANT during the bombardment of
targets at Salerno. During an air attack on bombarding ships, was hit by
a shell fired during
the defensive barrage by assembled ships.
(Note: Some sources record that this was a 6in shell from HMS
Casualties included two personnel killed.)
was caused to cabling.
19th Escorted aircraft carriers for
part of their return passage to Gibraltar with HM Destroyers
JERVIS, PALADIN and PATHFINDER.
22nd Returned to Malta.
28th Deployed at Taranto for support
and screening duties.
Transferred to Aegean area to assist in defence of Dodecanese islands.
4th Took passage from Taranto with
HM Destroyer PENN to Aegean. 6th
6th Deployed as screen for HM
Cruisers AURORA and DIDO during interaction operation in
Kaso Channel to destroy invasion craft.
(Note: The two cruisers collided during this operation).
7th Joined HMS PANTHER in Alexandria
to screen HM Cruiser CARLISLE during a sweep
of Scarpanto Straits
8th After unsuccessful search
retired to position SE of Rhodes.
9th Patrolled off Cos and Leros with CREDENTIAL Force without success.
Under air attacks during which HMS PANTHER was sunk and HMS CARLISLE
and disabled. Searched for survivors from HMS PANTHER.
(Note: Air cover had been late in arrival)
CARLISLE was towed to Alexandria but beyond economic repair.
details see WAR IN THE AEGEAN by P Smith and E Walker).
21st After laying up in Turkish waters carried
cut offensive sweep with HM Destroyers
FAULKNOR south of Levitha whilst HMS DULVERTON
carried cut bombardment.
23rd Deployed for transport of troops
to Leros with HM Destroyer ECLIPSE.
24th After HMS ECLIPSE was mined
assisted in rescue of troops and ship's company.
(Note: 42 survivors were taken on board.)
25th Returned to Alexandria.
29th Embarked vehicles and personnel
at Alexandria for passage to Leros.
Sailed with HM Destroyers BEAUFORT and BELVOIR to meet HM Cruise AURORA.
30th Under heavy air attacks on
passage and HMS AURORA hit.
Continued passage after HMS AURORA returned to Alexandria with HMS
Air attacks by Ju88 maintained and ships diverted to Casteloriso.
November Support in defence of Leros in continuation.
3rd Sank three invasion craft.
11th Bombarded Calino
with HM Destroyer ROCKWOOD and Polish destroyer ORP
Towed damaged destroyer HMS ROCKWOOD to Turkish waters after Glider Bomb
. For details see
above references and A SAILORS WAR by S Lombard
Eastern Mediterranean deployment in continuation.
Maintenance and leave period at Haifa.
1 9 4 4
10th Transferred to Indian Ocean for
service in Eastern Fleet with HM Destroyers PENN
PALADIN and PATHFINDER
15th Took passage to Kilindini as
escort for HM Battleships QUEEN ELIZABETH, VALIANT
and HM Aircraft Carrier
28th Joined 11th Destroyer Flotilla
in Eastern Fleet as 16th Division with the other
destroyers transferred from the Mediterranean.
February Nominated for escort of military convoy from Kilindini to Ceylon.
Passage to Mombasa with HMS
(Note: HMS PENN was unable to take part as she was under repair.).
Arrived at Kilindini
5th Sailed from Kilindini as escort
for Convoy KR8 during passage to Colombo with HM
Cruiser HAWKINS, HM Destroyer PALADIN, HM Cutters LULWORTH, SENNEN and
HM Corvette HONESTY.
(Note: Convoy comprised five troop transports carrying army and naval
WRNS, ATS and QARNNS)
9th HMS LULWORTH, HMS SENNEN and
HMS HONESTY detached and returned to
(Note: These ships had insufficient fuel capacity to remain for whole
under attack by Japanese submarine I27.
Troopship KHEDIVE ISMAIL was hit by two torpedoes and sank very quickly.
(Note: KHEDIVE ISMAIL was carrying 1,115 personnel of whom only 214
After ASDIC contact carried cut depth charge attack on I27 with HMS
(Note: Some these fell amongst the survivors and caused many deaths.
The current Admiralty policy required attacks to be made on submarines regardless
danger to survivors in the water, the Captain was thus not blamed for the
any of the survivors from KHEDIVE ISMAIL.)
Submarine surfaced and was then engaged by surface gunfire from both
(Note: Decision by captain of HMS PALADIN to ram was not countermanded
in time to
prevent a collision and as a result HMS PALADIN sustained serious damage and was
Some sources state that failure to sink 127 was due to lack of suitable ammunition for
this type of engagement.
Despite normal procedure, an attack by single torpedo firing was carried
(Note: Six of the eight
torpedoes carried failed to hit the submarine which was at a range of
the 7th missile hit and sank 127.
Embarked survivors from KHEDIVE ISMAIL rescued by HMS PALADIN and
not required for damage control and repair.
Took HMS PALADIN in tow and commenced passage to Addu
13th Tow parted on arrival but
re-established to allow entry.
HMS PALADIN was secured alongside tanker BRITISH LOYALTY.)
(Note: For full details of this disaster and the destruction of 127 see
DESTINY by Brian Crabb which includes names of
all casualties and the survivors.
WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO) also gives more information.)
26th Escorted Convoy KR9 to Addu Atoll.
Escorted Convoy BA66A from Colombo to Aden and returned as cover for the
battleship RICHELIEU on passage to join Eastern Fleet.
18th Part of Eastern Fleet Task
Force 69 with ships of Flotilla as destroyer screen for HM
Battleships QUEEN ELIZABETH, VALIANT, French battleship RICHELIEU to
attacks by HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS and US aircraft carrier USS
on airfields at Sabang, Sumatra
(Operation COCKPIT - For details of operations in Indian Ocean see
PACIFIC by E Gray, WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO) and THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by
Eastern Fleet deployment in continuation.
to Withdrawn from operations for refit in UK.
2nd Took passage to UK via Indian
Ocean for long refit.
Paid off on arrival at Portsmouth and taken in hand for refit.
to (Note: Work carried out included
replacement of single 4in mountings in B and
December X positions
by twin mountings. A-mounting was removed.
Lattice design foremast fitted to
suit new radar aerial fit
1 9 4 5
Post refit trials and re-commissioned for service in Eastern Fleet on
20th Arrived at Scapa Flow to work-up with Home
from work-up for repair to propeller.
6th Taken in hand for repair at
27th On completion of repair prepared for
return to complete work-up.
2nd Resumed work-up at Scapa
11th Under repair in Clyde and
prepared for passage to Ceylon.
25th Took passage for Mediterranean with
call at Gibraltar.
Alexandria and carried out exercises in eastern Mediterranean.
31st Took passage from
Alexandria for Ceylon.
8th Arrived at Colombo for
service in 33rd Division of 10th Destroyer Flotilla.
Flotilla also included m Destroyers TARTAR, NUBIAN, PALADIN, and PENN.
Prepared for operational
service in support of planned landings in Malaya.
Operation ZIPPER had been postponed due to administrative problems in UK
relating to release of personnel
In the Far East, under the PYTHON Scheme and US
insistence on delay. See THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by J
JAPAN (HMSO and the Final Report
by Supreme Commander SEAC (HMSO).)
Passage to Malacca Strait for support of ZIPPER.
9th Arrived at Trincomalee
17th Sailed from Trincomalee
1st Provided cover for
2nd Present at formal surrender
6th Passage to beaches.
9th Present at landings on
MORIB Beach for support duties.
15th 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 the
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 Forth.
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 Islands.
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)
MEMORIAL TO THOMAS BROWN
of HMS PETARD
NAAFI Canteen Assistant
Brown was awarded the George Medal for his part in capturing Enigma material
on 30 October 1942.
Click her for
more information and his memorial in North Shields.
With thanks to Janet Brown of
the North East War Memorials Project, 29 July 2012