Destroyer ordered from J S White at
Cowes on 25th March 1937 under the 1936
Build Programme and laid down on 26th
September 1937. The ship was
launched on 26th September 1938 as the 6th
RN ship to carry the name, first used in
1654 and lastly by a
cutter sold in 1873. Build was completed on
28th April 1939 and she commissioned for
service in the 7th Destroyer
Flotilla, Home Fleet.
a t t l e H
o n o u r s
CRUZ 1657 - LOWESTOFT 1665 - ORFORDNESS
1666 - CATAGENA 1741 - LAGOS
1759 - MEDITERRANEAN 1941
e r a l d i c
D a t a
Badge: On a Field White, upon water
in base barry
wavy Blue and White
in front a trident Cules erect a Lion
passant guardant Or.
e t a i l s o f P
r e - W a r S e r v i c e
1 9 3 9
Commenced Acceptance Trials.
Passage to Portland on completion of
Began Work-up for operational service.
Work-up in continuation.
Passage to Jersey on completion of work-up
Return passage to Portsmouth.
Passage to Scapa Flow to join Flotilla.
Joined Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.
Took part in Fleet exercises in Atlantic
with French warships in preparation for
On completion returned to Scapa Flow
Allocated war station with Humber Force.
D e t a i l s o f W a
S e r v i c e
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Deployed with HM Cruisers GLASGOW and
SOUTHAMPTON and destroyers JERVIS,
JAVELIN and JACKAL to intercept enemy
shipping sweeping off the Norwegian coast.
Intercepted German freighter JOHANNES
MOLKENBUR east of Orkneys and
embarked crew and passengers after enemy
ship scuttled when sighted.
Landed enemy personnel at Kirkwall
Joined Humber Force at Immingham
Routine docking at Chatham
Deployed as part of screen for HM Cruisers
SOUTHAMPTON and GLASGOW
during interception patrol in North Sea.
Involved in collision with sister ship HMS
JAVELIN and sustained structural damage.
Operation cancelled and ship escorted to
Leith for repair.
(Note: HMS JAVELIN was escorted to Tyne.)
Under repair in commercial shipyard.
New propeller fitted
Resumed Flotilla duties on completed of
(Note: Propeller change may have been
carried out by HM Dockyard Rosyth.)
Passage to Scapa Flow for Home Fleet duty.
Deployed with HM Destroyers JERVIS,
COSSACK and MAORI as screen for HM
Battlecruiser REPULSE during search in NW
Approaches for commerce raider.
Carried out search for American mercantile
CITY OF FLINT which had been captured
by German commerce raider. During this
deployment carried out in heavy weather
one of ship’s company was lost overboard.
Resumed service with Humber Force at
Immingham after release from Home Fleet
Sailed from Grimsby with HM Destroyers
JERVIS, JANUS, JUNO, JUPITER and
JACKAL to carry out offensive sweep to
intercept enemy shipping off Dutch coast
returned to Humber. (Operation AG)
Deployed with HM Destroyers KEITH, JERVIS,
KEITH, Polish destroyers ORP
BURZA, ORP BLYSKAWICA and ORP GROM to
reinforce the escort of
northbound convoy FN33 which was perceived
to be under threat of air attack after
enemy air surveillance
On release returned to Humber.
Joined southbound convoy FS36 with HM
Cruiser CALCUTTA and HMS JAGUAR to
provide additional support during passage
On release returned to Humber
Joined HMS WHITLEY, HMS WALLACE and HM
Sloop STORK to supplement
escort of northbound Convoy FN39 during
passage to Methil in North Sea.
Detached and returned to Humber.
Deployed for patrol BT2 in North Sea with
HM Destroyers JUNO, JAGUAR and JANUS.
Docked for repair in Immingham.
Deployed with HMS JAGUAR to investigate
report by aircraft of sighting of five
fishing craft 90 miles east of Flamborough
Carried out search for German destroyers
in North Sea with HMS JUNO.
In action with German HANS LODY and ERICH
GEISE had been laying
mines near Haisborough Light and hit by
torpedo which caused fire and
Ten of ship’s company lost their lives and
13 other were injured.
Disabled ship taken in tow by HMS JUNO and joined by HMS JACKAL as cover
Docked at Immingham in Humber Graving Dock
for temporary repair.
(Note: HM Destroyer JANUS, also in the
Humber, did not depart until the
Tug YORKSHIREMAN (251 tons) later took
over JERSEY tow to Immingham.)
9 4 0
Undocked and taken to Amos and Smith
shipyard, Hull for permanent repair work.
Under repair in Hull.
Post repair trials on completion of
Post repair harbour trials
Completed sea trials
During passage to rejoin Flotilla a
Plymouth detonated mine near East Knob
and sustained damage to hull and some
(Note: Flotilla had been re-deployed to
Plymouth Command because of threat posed
by arrival of German destroyers at Brest.)
Passage to London for repair.
Entered dry dock for repair.
Undocked and took passage to Plymouth.
Joined 5th Destroyer Flotilla for
interception of attacks on shipping.
Deployed at Plymouth with Flotilla for
Sailed from Plymouth with HM Cruisers
NIGERIA and NEWCASTLE screened by
HM Destroyers JERVIS, JANUS, JAGUAR,
JACKAL and KASHMIR to intercept
German destroyers reported on passage
from Brest in Channel.
Returned to Plymouth after unsuccessful
(Note: German destroyers had returned to
Sailed from Plymouth with HMS JACKAL, HMS
JUPITER, HMS JAVELIN and
HMS KASHMIR to intercept German destroyers
reported by an aircraft as on
passage in Channel from Brest.
Carried out patrol between Lands End and
Sighted enemy destroyers KARL GALSTER, HANS LODY and ERICH
STEINBRINK which had attacked convoy off
Carried out night engagement with enemy
ships which had fired torpedoes.
(Note: HMS JAVELIN was hit by two
torpedoes and sustained major damage with
Avoided attack and continued pursuit of
enemy ships which escaped.
Returned to assist HMS JAVELIN with HMS
JACKAL, HMS JUPITER and HMS
During return passage to Plymouth after
arrival of tug and came under air attacks
were repelled by shore based aircraft.
(Note: Captain Lord Louis Mountbatten
embarked in HMS JAVELIN was in command
of the Flotilla during this action and his
execution of the night attack was subject
of much criticism. See DESTROYER MAN by A F Pugsley who was in command
of HMS JAVELIN, HOLD THE NARROW SEA by P Smith and ENGAGE THE
ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett for
Plymouth deployment with Flotilla in
Deployed with HMS JUPITER and HMS KASHMIR
to provide cover during minelay by
HM Cruiser ADVENTURE in SW Approaches.
(Operation GQ2 – Carried out to reduce the
threat presented by German destroyers at
See Naval Staff History (Mining).)
9 4 1
Transferred to Greenock with HMS KASHMIR and HMS KIPLING for convoy defence
in NW Approaches.
(Note: HMS KELLY joined them later from
Deployed at Greenock
Resumed duties at Plymouth and nominated
for temporary service in Mediterranean
with Force H for planned special
Passage to Gibraltar.
Deployed with HM Destroyers FEARLESS,
FURY, FOXHOUND, FORESIGHT and
FIREDRAKE in Group 2 as escort for HM
Battlecruiser RENOWN, HM Battleship
MALAYA, HM Aircraft Carrier ARK ROYAL to
provide cover during air attack on
Tiro Dam in Sardinia by HMS ARK ROYAL (Operation PICKET).
Returned to Gibraltar with ships of Group
2 on completion of PICKET.
Joined HM Destroyers FEARLESS, FOXHOUND,
FURY and ENCOUNTER as Group 2 for escort
of HMS RENOWN. HMS MALAYA,
HMS ARK ROYAL and HM Cruiser SHEFFIELD during passage from
Gibraltar to carry out bombardment of Genoa
and for air attacks on Leghorn and Spezia.
(Operation GROG – This replaced the
earlier Operation RESULT which had been
After arrival off Genoa remained with
bombardment ships as screen when HMS ARK
ROYAL detached for air strikes.
Returned to Gibraltar with Group 2 on
(Note: For details of naval activities in
Mediterranean during 1941-42 see THE
BATTLE FOR THE
MEDITERRANEAN by D Macintyre and
ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C
On release from detached service took
passage from Gibraltar for return to UK.
Experienced steering problems requiring
Passage to Portsmouth for repair.
Under repair to steering equipment at
Repair completed and resumed Flotilla
duties at Plymouth after trials.
Deployed for patrol in Bay of Biscay with
HM Destroyers KASHMIR, KELVIN,
KELLY and JACKAL for interception of any
attempt by German warships
to leave Brest for attacks in Atlantic
Nominated for transfer to Mediterranean
with Flotilla and took passage
to Gibraltar with HM Destroyers KELLY, KIPLING,
Joined HM Cruisers DIDO and ABDIEL with
ships of Flotilla as Force S for
transit to Malta covered by ships of Force
H during passage to Sicilian Narrows
(Operation SALIENT – Passage of
reinforcement warships to the already
diminished strength in the eastern
Arrived at Malta for deployment as newly
formed Force K for interception of
enemy supply traffic to and from North
(Note: This also enabled ships of the 14th
Destroyer Flotilla to escort HM
Supply Ship BRECONSHIRE to Alexandria for
more supplies to the
beleaguered garrison. For details see
above references and MALTA
CONVOYS by R Woodman.)
Deployed with ships of Force K to
intercept supply convoy on passage to
from Augusta and a coincident return
convoy to Italy.
When entering Malta with ships of Force K
after a fruitless search, detonated
mine laid in the entrance to Grand Harbour Malta by aircraft
night. 35 of ship’s company lost their
lives in the explosion and the ship sank
blocking the entrance. No movements were
possible for some days.
Survivors were rescued by other ships some
of which had to take passage to
(Note: HMS KELLY, HMS KELVIN and HMS
JACKAL had entered harbour and
were marooned for some days until wreck
Wreck broke in two sections
section was not cleared from the entrance
until after1946 when a series of
demolitions was carried out until 1949.