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

HMS IVANHOE (D 16) -  I-class Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Ivanhoe (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

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I-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered from Yarrow's at Scotstoun on 30th October 1935 under the 1935 Build Programme. The ship was laid down on 12th February 1936 and launched on 11th February 1937 as the 2nd RN warship to carry the name. It had previously been used for a Trawler hired in Aug. 1914 but wrecked in the Firth of Forth in November that year. Build was completed on 24th August 1937 after delay due to delay in delivery of gun mountings. The contract price was 259,371 but excluded Admiralty supplied items such as weapons and communications equipment. This Class of destroyer was designed for use as minelayers (See BRITISH DESTROYERS by E. March and The Naval Staff History (MINING) for more information).


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s


ATLANTIC 1939 - NORWAY   1940 - DUNKIRK   1940


H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge :  On a Field White a withered oak eradicated black.


M o t t o

Primus interpares :   'First among equals'



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


September             Deployed in Mediterranean with 3rd Destroyer Flotilla.

                3rd          On passage from Alexandria to Malta.

                                Transferred to Western Approaches Command for anti-submarine duties in SW Approaches.

                10th        Passage to Plymouth.

                14th        On arrival deployed for anti-submarine and patrol duties.

                18th        Unsuccessful search for U29 which had attempted a torpedo attack.


October                  Deployment in SW Approaches in continuation.

                4th          Participated in sinking of U45 with HM Destroyers INGLEFIELD and INTREPID SW of Ireland

                                in position 50.58N 12.67W.

                                There were no survivors from the submarine.

                                (See U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp and HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR by C Blair.)


 November             Transferred to 5th Destroyer Flotilla for duty in Home Fleet.

                14th        Taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard, Sheerness.

                                Nominated for service with 20th Destroyer Flotilla for minelaying duties.

                                Converted for minelaying role.


December              Under refit and conversion. See references.

                12th        After work-up for minelaying duties joined Flotilla on formation.

                18th        Carried out first minelaying operation in Heligoland Bight with HM Destroyer INTREPID

                                (Operation IB).

                30th        Deployed off Fame Islands for first lay of mines in East Coast Barrier with HM Destroyer

                                INTREPID (Operation LA).


1 9 4 0



                2nd         Carried out minelay in Heligoland Bight with HMS INTREPID (Operation EW)

                10th        Carried out further Heligoland minelay with HMS INTREPID (Operation ID1)

                13th        Completed Heligoland minelay with HMS INTREPID (Operation ID2).

                                (Note: This minefield was responsible for sinking the German submarine U54 on 13th February

                                and on 22nd February, two destroyers LEBERECHT MAAS and MAX SCHULTZ.

                                There were no survivors from any of the three.

                                See above reference and WARSHIP LOSSES OF WW2 by D Brown.).

                14th        Reverted to anti-submarine role when all minelaying operations were suspended.

                                (See Naval Staff History (Mining).)

                27th        Torpedo tubes and gun mountings replaced at Portland.



                3rd          On completion took passage to Scapa Flow for duty with Home Fleet.

                6th          Deployed on interception patrol in NW Approaches and North Sea.

                17th        Intercepted German tartar ALTMARK which had British merchant navy seamen on board.

                                Force enemy ship to enter Norwegian coastal waters in Josing Fjord.

                                For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Barnet.

                                (Note: ALTMARK was later boarded by a party from HM Destroyer COSSACK and the British

                                seamen released in a well publicised operation.)


March                    Home Fleet duties in continuation.

                18th        Escorted damaged HMS INTREPID to Invergordon with HM Destroyer GALLANT after a

                                collision with the fishing trawler OCEAN DRIFT.

                27th        Nominated for duty in Force WV for minelaying operation off Norway.

                                Detached to convert for minelaying duty in HM Dockyard, Chatham.


April                       Passage to Scapa Flow after conversion.

                3rd          Joined Force WV for lay of field off Norway in Vest Fjord (Operation WILFRED).

                6th          Sailed to execute WILFRED with HM Destroyers ESK, IMPULSIVE and ICARUS.

                8th          Laid minefield and joined HM Battlecruiser RENOWN off Narvik.

                                (For details of all minelaying operations see Naval Staff History (Mining).

                9th          Present during initial stage of engagement by HM Battlecruiser RENOWN with German

                                battleship SCHARNHORST.

                                Contact was lost to weather conditions.

                10th        Carried out anti-submarine patrols off Narvik.

                                Later rescued survivors from HM Destroyer HARDY after 1st Battle of Narvik.

                                For details of the disastrous operations off Norway see NARVIK by D. Macintyre,

                                CARRIER GLORIOUS by J Winton, THE DOOMED EXPEDITION by J Adams,

                                ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and Naval Staff History (HMSO-2001).).

                14th        Deployed with HM Destroyer HOSTILE as escort for HM Destroyer ESKIMO under tow to

                                Skelfjord by HM Destroyer ESKIMO.

                15th        Returned to Scapa Flow.

                29th        Deployed as Senior Officer for minelay off Trondheim with HM Destroyers ICARUS and

                                IMPULSIVE. (Operation ZMA).


May                        Norwegian support deployment in continuation.

                7th          Boiler cleaning.

                                Pennant Number for visual signalling use changed to I 16.

                15th        Resumed duties in 20th Destroyer Flotilla.

                16th        Deployed for off Dutch coast for minelay with HM Destroyers EXPRESS and ESK.

                                (Operation CBX3)

                18th        Escorted HM Auxiliary Minelayer PRINCESS VICTORIA with ships of Flotilla for minelay

                                of field in East Coast Barrier.

                                When HMS PRINCESS VICTORIA was mined on entry into Humber carried out patrol

                                to ensure shipping avoided the new danger area.

                20th        Deployed with HM Destroyers ESK, EXPRESS, INTREPID, ICARUS and IMPULSIVE for a

                                series of minelaying operations in the East Coast Mine Barrier.

                                (Operation BS Series. In all over 38,000 mines were laid In the Barrier to protect East Coast

                                shipping from attacks by surface warships ships and submarines.

                21st         Carried out lay in Barrier (Operation BS6).

                23rd        Operation BS7.

                25th        Operation BS8

                26th        HMS IMPULSIVE withdrawn for evacuation duties at Dunkirk (Operation DYNAMO).

                27th        Operation BS9.

                28th        Detached to assist in evacuation of BEF from Dunkirk (Operation DYNAMO).

                                (For details see SEVEN DAYS AT DUNKIRK by AD Divine, BEF SHIPS by J de S Winser

                                and Naval Staff History (HMSO-2003).).

                                Passage to Join Dover Command.

                29th        Carried 930 troops from beaches to Dover and assisted in defence of shipping,

                                Rescued troops and survivors from HM Destroyer GRAFTON.

                31st         Passage to beach head and embarked 1,290 troops for return passage.



                1st           Embarked troops for return to Dover and on return passage came under air attack.

                                Sustained casualties and major damage and fatal casualties including 21 of ships company.

                                (Note: Five soldiers were also killed.)

                                Extensive damage flooding of two boiler rooms disabled ship until damage control enable

                                return to Dover using third boiler room.

                                Troops embarked in HM Destroyer HAVANT

                                (Note: HMS HAVANT came under air attack later and had to be sunk because of serious

                                damage from two direct hits. Some of survivors for ship were embarked by HM

                                Fleet Minesweeper SALTASH but some were killed.)

                                Passage to Dover

                2nd         Repair arranged at Sheerness

                                Taken in hand for repair by HM Dockyard, Sheerness.



                                Under repair.

                28th        On completion took passage to rejoined Flotilla at Immingham.

                29th        Prepared for minelaying operation.


August                  Carried out post repair trials on completion of repair work.

                31st         Sailed with H M Destroyers EXPRESS, ESK, ICARUS and INTREPID escorted by H M

                                Destroyers KELVIN, JUPITER and VORTIGERN for lay of additional minefield field

                                west of Vieland on Dutch coast (Operation QBX5)

                                Following an enemy report the ships altered course to westward of the laying position.

                                Before a signal was received from CinC Nore instructing the minelayers to jettison

                                mines and attack reported, ship the minelayers entered a German minefield laid on 7th


                                After closing HMS EXPRESS which had detonated a mine and lost all her forward

                                structure, lowered seaboat to rescue survivors.

                                During manoeuvres to go alongside HMS EXPRESS, heavy explosion occurred forward

                                when ship detonated a mine and steam was lost..

                                Steam was restored two hours to allow astern speed of seven knots, but pressure could not

                                be maintained. Inspection revealed ships back was broken.

                                Decision to abandon after opening hull valves was made after HM Motor Torpedo

                                Boat 15, waiting to embark remaining survivors, became seriously short of fuel and

                                had to leave the area.

                                Drifting hulk was later located by HM Destroyer GARTH and then was sunk by a

                                torpedo from HM Destroyer KELVIN in position 53-26N 03.45E.

                                (Note: German aircraft were then carrying out air attacks on drifting ship.)

                                8 Ratings were killed and 3 wounded. One officer and 22 ratings were taken


                                For full details see Naval Staff History (Mining).

                                This was the most disastrous and costly minelaying operation.

                                Most minelaying carried out off the Dutch and German coasts after Sept. 1940,

                                apart from small lays by Coastal Forces craft was carried out by RAF aircraft.)






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













ON 021/1








(Note on Convoys)


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