H-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered from Parsons
Marine: Turbine Company with the hull ruction sub-contracted to Vickers Armstrong at Newcastle under the 1934
Programme en on 28th February 1935 at the same time as sister ship HMS HERO. She was 1st Royal Navy warship to carry this name and was launched on 19th March 1936 on the same date as HMS HERO. Build
was completed on 9th December 1936 at a tender price of £249,591, excluding cost of Admiralty
supplied items such as guns and signalling outfits. This destroyer was fitted with a prototype twin 4.7in gun mounting in B position,
with no gun fitted in A position. During trials the new mounting was found
unsatisfactory and the twin mounting was replaced by the normal single 4.7in mounting with a second single mounting fit of two single in
B position. This destroyer served with the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla in
the Mediterranean until the outbreak of WW2, apart from a refit at Portsmouth in mid 1939.
B a t t l e H o n o
u r s
ATLANTIC 1940 - CALABRIA 1940 - SPARTIVENTO 1940 - LIBYA
1940 - MATAPAN 1941 GREECE 1941 - CRETE 1941 - MEDITERRANEAN
1940-41 - MALTA CONVOYS 1941
H e r a l d i c D a t a
Badge: On a Field Red , the
"Wake" knot Gold
et ora : 'Watch and pray'.
D e t a i
l s o f W a r
S e r v i
(for more ship information,
Naval History Homepage
and type name in Site Search)
1 9 3 9
in Mediterranean with 2nd Destroyer Flotilla for Contraband Control duty
screening of major Fleet units.
to Freetown for convoy escort duty.
Intercepted German mercantile UHENFELS 300 miles SW Freetown and took her to
Freetown as Prize.
Escorted HM Aircraft Carrier ARK ROYAL during search for raiders in South
November Deployed for
convoy defence based at Trinidad.
December South Atlantic
convoy defence in continuation.
17th At Plate
Estuary after GRAF SPEE action.
release from duty in South Atlantic resumed duty in Caribbean area.
Maintained blockade on Port Everglades, Florida to prevent German mercantile
leaving harbour to return to Germany.
1 9 4 0
January Deployed for
special escort duty.
from Bermuda for Halifax with HM Destroyer HUNTER as escorted for HM Battleship
VALIANT and HM Cruiser ENTERPRISE with HM Destroyer HUNTER.
(Note: HMS VALIANT had been working-up in the West Indies).
27th Taken in
hand for weather damage repair on arrival at Halifax
February Under repair.
HM Cruiser ORION, carrying ashes of Governor General of Canada to UK.
March On passage
11th Taken in
hand for repair and installation of Degaussing at Portsmouth.
completion of repair and worked-up for service with Home Fleet.
(Note: The repair work prevented the ship being with her Flotilla during the 1st
HM Cruiser SUFFOLK for bombardment of Sola airfield, Stavanger.
(Operation DUCK – To support landings at Andalsnes (Operation PRIMROSE)).
with Fleet units in convoy escort and support of military operations off Norway.
HI Aircraft Carriers ARK ROYAL and GLORIOUS with HM Destroyers HASTY.
FEARLESS and JUNO from Scapa Flow to carry cut flying operation and protection
Fleet units off Norway (Operation DX).
Deployed as escort for HMS ARK ROYAL with HM Destroyers HYPERION, FEARLESS
(Note: HMS GLORIOUS returned to Scapa Flow to refuel).
deployment in continuation
details of the disastrous Norwegian operations see NARVIK by D Macintyre, THE
DOOMED EXPEDITION by Adams and Naval Staff History (HMSO – 2001) ).
Nominated for transfer to Harwich with HM Destroyers JANUS, HYPERION, HAVOCK,
KELLY, KIMBERLEY, KANDAHAR and HOSTILE for support of military operations
passage from Rosyth to Harwich with HM Cruiser BIRMINGHAM, HM Destroyers
HYPERION and HAVOCK detached with destroyers to take part in search by other
Fleet destroyers for enemy minelayers reported in North Sea.
Deployed with Flotilla at Harwich to assist with operations off Dutch coast.
(Note: HMS BIRMINGHAM was later joined by destroyers of 5th Destroyer Flotilla
commanded by Captain Lord Louis Mountbatten.
destroyers later engaged enemy torpedo boats and HMS KELLY was hit
torpedo and sustained major damage,
release from search resumed passage to Harwich.
trawlers to Scheveningen to evacuate British nationals from Holland.
HM Queen Wilhelmina of Netherlands for passage to Harwich.
Transferred with Flotilla to Mediterranean for Fleet screening and patrol
passage to Alexandria.
arrival at Alexandria deployed with Mediterranean Fleet.
with Fleet units in eastern Mediterranean.
(Note: Extensive exercises were carried out by Fleet units in anticipation of was
Naval Staff History (HMSO- 2001).)
from Alexandria as part of Force B to provide cover for convoys on passage in
eastern Mediterranean (Operation MA3)
Deployed with ships of Flotilla as screen for HM Battleships RAMILLIES, ROYAL
SOVEREIGN and HM Aircraft Carrier EAGLE.
(Note: During this operation ships of Force A comprising HM Cruisers ORION,
NEPTUNE, SYDNEY (RAN), LIVERPOOL and GLOUCESTER OF 7th Cruiser
Squadron engaged three enemy destroyers, one of which ESPERO was sunk.
engagement was not considered satisfactory in view of the very significant
expenditure of ammunition. See Naval Staff History (HMSO-2001).)
HM Battleship WARSPITE during covering operation for transit of convoys in
eastern Mediterranean (Operation MA5 for Convoys MF1/MS1))
part in action against Italian Fleet off Calabria.
Naval Staff History and THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN.)
from Fleet units with HM Destroyer IMPERIAL and took passage to Port Said to
escort mercantiles on passage to join Convoy AN2. See Naval Staff History
August Deployed in
30th Part of
screen for HMS EAGLE., HM Battleships MALAYA and WARSPITE, HM Cruisers
GLOUCESTER, LIVERPOOL, ORION and SYDNEY (RAN) covering passage of
Convoy ME2 from Alexandria to Malta (Operation MB3).
with screen during meeting near Pantellaria with reinforcement ships on passage
the Fleet from Gibraltar (Operation HATS).
(Note: HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS, HM Battleship VALIANT, HM Cruisers
CALCUTTA and Cruiser COVENTRY).
back in Alexandria with Fleet units.
out bombardment of military target at Sidi Baranni with HM Destroyers HYPERION,
Mediterranean deployment fir convoy defence in continuation.
(Note: Convoy MF3 was passed to Malta and Convoy ME4 to Egypt with destroyer
Alexandria (0peration MB6).
ship was not deployed with Fleet screen for cover of these convoys).
HM Destroyers DECOY, DEFENDER, HASTY, HAVOCK, HERO, HYPERION,
JANUS, JERVIS, JUNO, MOHAWK and NUBIAN (Operation MB8).
screen for Fleet units providing cover for passage of Convoy MW3 to Malta.
(Note: This was part of a joint major deployment with Force H to pass further
join the Fleet at Alexandria (Operation COAT).
being transferred were HM Battleship BARHAM, HM Cruisers BERWICK and
GLASGOW screened by HM Destroyers GALLANT, GRIFFIN and GREYHOUND.
as escort for HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS during air attack on Italian Fleet
Taranto (Operation JUDGEMENT)
Returned to rejoin Fleet with HMS ILLUSTRIOUS.
with HM Destroyers DEFENDER, DIAMOND, GALLANT and GREYHOUND as
screen for HMS RAMILLIES, HM Cruisers BERWICK, NEWCASTLE and COVENTRY to
provide cover for the passage of Convoy MW4 to Malta and return of Convoy ME4 to
(Operation MB9 - Part of Operation COLLAR - The transfer of HM Cruisers
MANCHESTER and SOUTHAMPTON with HM Destroyer HOTSPUR (Force F) from UK
27th Force D
met reinforcement ships and convoy from Gibraltar.
Present during brief engagement with Italian warships which attempted to attack
Gibraltar (Battle of Cape Spartivento)
ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and Naval Staff History for details)
passage to Alexandria as escort for Convoy ME4 with ships of Mediterranean
in support of military operations after Italian provided naval gunfire support
Italian submarine NAIADE with HM Destroyer HYPERION.
Submarine crew were rescued.
from Fleet screen to join HMS MALAYA and HM Destroyers HERO and HASTY as
escort for two mercantiles to Gibraltar (Convoy MG1 ).
Despatched from Gibraltar to support Atlantic convoy under attack by German
to Gibraltar with three ships dispersed from attacked convoy
1 9 4 1
as part of Force F with HM Destroyers HASTY. HERO and JAGUAR to escort HM
Cruiser BONAVENTURE during passage to reinforce Fleet in eastern Mediterranean.
was provided by Ships of Force H.
of Operation EXCESS - passage of military convoy to Malta and Piraeus).
10th In action
against Italian E-Boats CIRCE and VEGA in Sicilian Channel.
Torpedoed and sank VEGA which had been damaged by gunfire from HMS BONAVENTURE.
F met ships of Mediterranean Fleet later that morning.
(Note: Mediterranean Fleet had been under heavy and sustained dive-bombing attacks by
German Fliegerkorps X during which HMS ILLUSTRIOUS was badly damaged.
from Force F on arrival In Malta and rejoined Fleet.
further heavy and sustained air attacks during which HMS SOUTHAMPTON was hit and
this cruiser was sunk by HM Cruiser ORION).
February Detached for
HM Armed Boarding Vessel CHAKLA into Benghazi.
Participated in Commando raid on Castellorizio in Aegean with HM Destroyer
March Deployed for
escort of military convoys to Greece (Operation LUSTRE)
BATTLE OF THE WINE DARK SEA by L Lind and Military History)
Convoy AN17 to Piraeus with HM Cruiser Coventry, HM Destroyer STUART (RAN)
HM Corvette HYACINTH.
with H M Destroyers HASTY, ILEX, JERVIS, STUART (RAN), and VENDETTA
as screen for HM Aircraft Carrier FORMIDABLE, HM Battleships BARHAM,
VALIANT, WARSPITE. HM Cruisers GLOUCESTER and YORK to cover passage of Convoy
to Malta. (Operation MD9).
HM Cruisers AJAX, GLOUCESTER, ORION and PERTH for offensive sweep in the
eastern Mediterranean to lure Italian Fleet into surface action.
with Fleet screen during Battle of Matapan.
details see MATAPAN by SW Pack and Naval Staff History).
from Fleet screen and deployed with HM Destroyer GRIFFIN and HMAS STUART
escort Convey GA8 from Piraeus.
screen for HMS FORMIDABLE, HM Battleships BARHAM, VALIANT and
WARSPITE, HM Cruisers AJAX, CALCUTTA, GLOUCESTER, ORION and PHOEBE with
Destroyers ENCOUNTER, HASTY, HAVOCK. HERO, JAGUAR and JUNO to cover
passage of HM Supply Ship BRECONSHIRE to Malta and return passage of Convoy ME7.
at Suda Bay, Crete and sailed to resume cover operation.
from Fleet units and deployed as screen for HM Battleships WARSPITE,, BARHAM,
VALIANT and HM Cruiser GLOUCESTER with HM Destroyers HASTY, HAVOCK, HERO,
HOTSPUR, JAGUAR, JANUS, JERVIS and JUNO in Force B.
(Note: Other ships were deployed as Force C for planned bombardment.
as screen for Force B during inshore bombardment close inshore (Operation MD2).
Passage to Tripoli. to carry out Bombardment (Operation MD3)
completion took passage with to Alexandria with Forces B and C.
at Kalamata, Greece with HM Cruisers PHOEBE, HM Destroyers DEFENDER, HERO,
Sloop FLAMINGO and two mercantiles for evacuation of British troops from Crete.
(Note: For details se Naval Staff History. 7,000 troops were left.)
Under air attack during return passage to Alexandria,
(Note: One mercantile was sunk without casualties.)
at Kalamata, Greece for evacuation with HM Destroyers HERO, KANDAHAR,
KIMBERLEY, KINGSTON, NUBIAN, DEFENDER, DECOY and HASTY
(Note: Troops were embarked from wharves and taken to HM Cruisers PHOEBE and PERTH
as screen for HMS FORMIDABLE, HMS BARHAM, HMS VALIANT, HMS
WARSPITE, HM Cruisers ORION, PERTH (RAN), ABDIEL and HMS BRECONSHIRE with
Destroyers HOTSPUR, HAVOCK, GRIFFIN, HERO, JERVIS, JUNO, KANDAHAR,
KIMBERLEY, KINGSTON, NIZAM and NUBIAN (Operation MD4)
of Operation TIGER - Clover for passage of Convoy MW7 to Malta and that of a
convoy in eastern Mediterranean bringing tanks to 8th Army in Egypt.
with Fleet units and took passage to meet TIGER Convoy
at Alexandria with TIGER convoy.
Participated in defence of Crete against German occupation.
as Force D in position SW of Kithera with HM Cruisers DIDO, ORION and AJAX with
Destroyers JANUS, KIMBERLEY and HASTY.
westward into Aegean to intercept any invasion craft.
action against invasion craft NW of Suda Bay and sank caiques.
22nd Ordered to
return to Alexandria because of shortage of AA ammunition.
Supported military operations and provided defence for Fleet units off Crete.
HM Cruisers ORION, AJAX and DIDO with HM Destroyers DECOY, JACKAL,
HOTSPUR, IMPERIAL and KIMBERLEY to evacuate allied troops from Heraklion.
(Note: Under air attacks on passage and HMS AJAX detached after sustaining damage by
sustained aerial attacks after completing evacuation and hit by bomb during
Alexandria which reduced speed.
(Note: Air cover had been expected but arrival was delayed.
Naval Staff History for details.)
Became isolated from other ships and subjected to further air attacks 5 miles
south of Crete.
sank in position 35.20N 26.20E after another bomb hit.
members of ship's company were killed and 89 were taken prisoner.
CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of
by Don Kindell
This convoy list has not been cross-checked with the text above
Date convoy sailed
Joined convoy as escort
Date convoy arrived
(Note on Convoys)