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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2004

HMS HUNTER (i) (H 35) -  H-class Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Hunter (Navy Photos,  click to enlarge)

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H-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered from Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson, Newcastle under the 1934 Programme on 13th December 1934, The ship was laid down on 27th March 1935 and launched on 25th February 1936 as the 17th Royal Navy warship to carry this name, dating from I636. It had last been used for a destroyer built in 1895 and sold in 1912. She was completed on 30th September 1936 at a build cost of 253,167, excluding Admiralty supplied items such as guns and signalling outfits. Her service prior to WW2 was with the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla in the Mediterranean during which she was was badly damaged by a mine off the south coast of Spain during the Spanish civil war. After repair lasting 18 months she rejoined the Fleet in the Mediterranean.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

GABBARD 1653 - SCHEVENINGEN 1653 - BEACHY HEAD 1690 - BARFLEUR 1692  - VIGO 1702 - VELEZ MALAGA 1704 - LOUISBERG 1758 - QUEBEC 1759 - NARVIK 1940 - ATLANTIC 1939-44** - SALERNO  1943* - SOUTH FRANCE 1944* - AEGEAN   1944*  - BURMA 1945*

(** Shared with HMS HUNTER (ii), * Awarded to HMS HUNTER (ii))

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Green, a  Crossbow Gold between two arrows Silver.


M o t t o

 ' Follow on



D e t a i l s   o f   W a r    S e r v i c e


(for more ship information,  go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search)



1 9 3 9


August                  Under refit at Devonport

                                Nominated for war service based at Freetown for convoy defence.

                27th        On completion prepared for war service.


September             On passage to Freetown.

                4th          Deployed for trade defence and interception of blockade runners , based at Freetown.


October                  Freetown deployment in continuation.

                23rd        Transferred to West Indies and took passage to Bermuda.



                4th          Arrived at Bermuda for convoy escort duty and patrol in Eastern Atlantic


December              Trade defence duties in continuation. Based at Bermuda.

4th          At Halifax.

                                Escorted HM Battleship VALIANT with HM Destroyer HEREWARD during work-up in the

                                West Indies.


1 9 4 0


January                  West Indies deployment in continuation.

                23rd        Passage to Halifax with HM Cruiser ENTERPRISE and HMS HEREWARD from Bermuda as

                                escort for HMS VALIANT.

                30th        Arrived Halifax.


February                Transferred to Home waters for refit.

                2nd         Took passage to Plymouth.

                8th          Taken in hand for refit in commercial shipyard at Falmouth.


March                    Under refit.

                9th          On completion carried out post refit trials.

                                Prepared for operational service in 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet.

                17th        Escorted HM Battleship WARSPITE from Greenock to Scapa Flow.

                                Joined 2nd Destroyer Flotilla at Scapa Flow

                                Deployed for Fleet screening duties.

                31st         Nominated for escort of minelayers as Force WV (Operation WILFRED).


April                       Deployed at Scapa Flow with Flotilla for Home Fleet duties.

                6th          Sailed from Sullom Voe after refuelling with HM Destroyers HARDY, HOTSPUR and

                                HAVOCK as escort for HM Destroyers ESK, IMPULSIVE, ICARUS and IVANHOE to

                                lay mines in Vest Fjord, Norway.

                                (See Naval Staff History (MINING) for details).

                                Joined HM Battlecruiser RENOWN until detached.

                7th          Detached with Force WV

.               8th          On completion of minelay rejoined HMS RENOWN off Narvik.

                                Present during initial part of engagement with SCHARNHORST but had to leave due

                                weather conditions.

                                Deployed with ships of Flotilla for patrol in Vest Fjord..

                9th          Rejoined HMS RENOWN Renown off Narvik.

                10th        Took part in action against German destroyers in Ofotfjord.

                                (1st Battle of Narvik).

                                Received several direct hits which disabled steering and started fire.

                                Collided with HM Destroyer HOTSPUR and sustained further direct hits.

                                Ship beached in position 68.20N 17.06E.

                                107 of ship's company were killed in this action and five later died of wounds.

                                (Note: 46 men were taken prisoner but released by Germans on April 13th and repatriated

                                via Sweden.

                                Details of the disastrous operations off Norway in 1940 are given in NARVIK by

                                D. MacIntyre, THE DOOMED EXPEDITION by J Adams, CARRIER GLORIOUS

                                by J Winton and Naval Staff History (HMSO-2001) .


S p e c i a l   N o t e


This name was carried forward and given to an Escort Aircraft Carrier transferred under lease lend from, US Navy and originally USS BLOCK Island. to be named HMS TRAILER. In November 1942 the ship was renamed  and gave extensive and distinguished service during WW2 as shown in the later Battle Honours. In 1983 a Coastal Training Craft of the ATTACKER-Class used by University units was named HMS HUNTER and was the 19th RN ship to carry the name.






by Don Kindell


This convoy list has not been cross-checked with the text above






Date convoy sailed

Joined convoy as escort

Convoy No.

Left convoy

Date convoy arrived








SL 002





SL 006





TC 001





TC 002





TC 003








(Note on Convoys)


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revised 31/7/11
further editing and formatting is required