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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2005

HMS ITHURIEL (H 05) -  ex-Turkish I-type Destroyer including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Icarus, similar I-class destroyer (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

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Modified I-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered from Victors Armstrong., Barrow in 1939 by the Turkish Government and laid down as Yard No 748 on with a sister ship on 24th May 1939 and to be named GAYRET. These two ships ware requisitioned by the Admiralty during build and formally acquired on on 14th Nov. 1941. When launched on 24th February 1941 this ship was renamed ITHURIEL. She was the 2nd RN ship to carry this name, previously used for a Flotilla Leader built in 1916 and sold in 1921. Build was completed on 3rd March 1942. There is no record of an adoption by a UK civil community following a WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in 1941 and 1942.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s




H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Blue,. a winged spear, Gold.


M o t t o

Hasta sequenta: ‘With foiling spear'



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 4 2


February                Contractors trials March



             3rd            Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

                               Commissioned for service for service in Eastern Fleet.

                               Passage to Clyde on completion of trials and storing.

           14th             Carried out brief work-up at Greenock

.                              (Note: This was because ships was urgently required for service.)

                               Took passage to join 13th Destroyer Flotilla based at Gibraltar.

                               (Note: Planned service with Eastern Fleet was changed.)


April                       Deployed at Gibraltar with Flotilla for convey defence and patrol.

           19th             Joined HM Destroyers INGLEFIELD, ECHO and PARTRIDGE as destroyer screen for

                               Battlecruiser RENOWN, HM Cruisers CAIRO and CHARYBDIS to provide cover for  US

                               aircraft carrier USS WASP during delivery of SPITFIRE aircraft to Malta

.                              (Operation CALENDAR - Force W).

                               (Note: HM Destroyers WESTCOTT, W1SHART', WRESTLER, VIDETTE and ANTELOPE

                                           of 13th Destroyer Flotilla ware also deployed as part of screen with the US destroyers

                                           USS LANG and USS MADISON which escorted USS WASP from UK. The US Navy

                                           ships were serving on loan to the Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.

           21st             Resumed Flotilla duties on return to Gibraltar with Force W.

                               For details of naval activities in tne Mediterranean in 1942 see Naval  Staff History (HMSO)

                               and THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by D MacIntyre.)



             8th             Deployed with HM Destroyers VIDETTE, PARTRIDGE, WESTCOTT, WISHART,

                               WRESTLER and  ANTELOPE .

                               Joined HM Destroyers ECHO, INTREPID, GEORGETOWN,  SALISBURY, US Navy

                               destroyers USS LANG and USS STERETT as screen for HM Aircraft Carrier EAGLE,

                               Cruiser CHARYBDIS and US Aircraft Carrier WASP during delivery of  SPITFIRE aircraft

                               to Malta as Force W (Operation BOWERY).

           10th             Resumed Flotilla convoy defence and patrol duties on return to Gibraltar with Force W.

           17th             Deployed with HM Destroyers PARTRIDGE, ANTELOPE, WISHART, WESTCOTT,

                               WRESTLER and VIDETTE as screen for HMS CHARYBDIS. HM Aircraft Carriers

                               EAGLE and ARGUS during delivery of SPITFIRE aircraft to Malta.

                               (Operation LB).

           20th             Resumed Flotilla duties on return to Gibraltar.



             2nd            Deployed with HM Destroyers WESTCOTT, WISHART, ANTELOPE and PARTRIDGE

                               as screen for HMS EAGLE and HMS CHARYBDIS during delivery of SPITFIRE aircraft

                               to Malta. (Operation STYLE).

             4tti             Resumed Flotilla duties on return to Gibraltar.

             8th             Deployed with HM Destroyers PARTRIDGE, ANTELOPE, WISHART, WRESTLER and

                               WESTCOTT as screen for HMS EAGLE, HMS CHARYBDIS and HM Cruiser CAIRO

                               during delivery of SPITFIRE aircraft to Malta (Operation SALIENT).

           10th             Returned to Gibraltar on completion of delivery operation.

           11th             Joined Force X for escort of military convoy WS19S for passage to Malta through Sicilian


                               Deployed with HM Cruiser CAIRO, HM Destroyers BEDOUIN, MARNE, MATCHLESS,

                               PARTRIDGE, BLANKNEY, MIDDLETON, BADSWORTH. Polish KUJAWIAK, HM Fleet

                               Minesweepers HEBE, SPEEDY, HYTHE and RYE (Operation HARPOON).

            14th            Under heavy and sustained air attacks.

            15th            Detached from convoy with HMS CAIRO and destroyers of Force X to carry out  a torpedo

                               attack on Italian cruisers MONTECUCCOL1 and DI SAVOIA threatening WS19S.

                               {Note: HMS BEDOUIN and HMS PARTRIDGE were disabled in this action.

                                            HUNT Class Escort Destroyers had no torpedo armament.)

                                            HMS BEDOUIN was later torpedoed and sunk by Italian torpedo aircraft.

            18th            Returned to Gibraltar after arrival of two ships of WS19S in Malta.

                               Resumed convoy defence duties with Flotilla at Gibraltar.

                               (For details of HARPOON convoy se e ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE. CLOSELY, MALTA

                               CONVOYS by R Woodman and above references.)



            15th            Deployed with HM Destroyers WESTCOTT, WRESTLER, ANTELOPE and VANSITTART

                               as screen for HMS EAGLE, HMS CHARYBDIS and HMS CAIRO providing cover for

                               delivery of  SPITFIRE aircraft to Malta (Operation PINPOINT).

            16th            Returned to Gibraltar with same ships after launch of aircraft.

            20th            Deployed with same destroyers as PINPOINT for screening of same major warships during

                               further delivery of aircraft to Malta (Operation INSECT).

            22nd           Returned to Gibraltar with above snips after aircraft launched.



            11th             Joined Malta relief convoy WS21S with HM Aircraft Carriers EAGLE, INDOMITABLE,

                               VICTORIOUS, HM Cruisers CAIRO, CHARYBDIS. PHOEBE and SIRIUS.

                                (Operation PEDESTAL -  For full details of destroyer escort for this convoy see PEDESTAL

                                by  Peter C Smith and above references.)

                                Convoy under attacks by Italian and German submarines.

                                (Note: HMS EAGLE was sunk NE of Algiers by U23.)

            12th             Submarine attacks in continuation together with sustained air attacks.

                                Rammed and sank Italian submarine COBALTO with HM Destroyer PATHFINDER.

                                Rescued 41 survivors from submarine.

                                Sustained major damage to bow structure as a result of the ramming attack.

                                Took passage to Gibraltar.

            14th             Taken in hand for temporary repair on arrival at Gibraltar.

            24th             Took passage to UK for permanent repair.

            30th             Under repair in commercial shipyard at Liverpool.


September               Transferred to Portsmouth for refit by HM Dockyard after completion of repairs to bow



October                   Under refit by HM Dockyard, Portsmouth.

            24th             On completion of post refit trials took passage to resume duties with Flotilla at Gibraltar.

                                Escorted Military convoy for North African landings.


November               Joined Force H for support of allied landings in North Africa (Operation TORCH).

              8th             Deployed for escort of assault convoy and support during Initial landings.

            12th             After completion of Assault Phase resumed convoy escort deployment.

            20th             Escorted military convoys along North African coast.

            27th             Under air attack whilst in harbour at Bone and sustained two near misses.

                                Both bombs exploded under the ship causing major structural damage aft.

                                Assistance provided by HM Destroyer QUENTIN to remove flood water and later to tow ship

                                from harbour berth.

                                Back of ship found to be broken after ship lightened by removal of X and Y mountings.

            29th             Ship Beached and temporary repair started.


December                Repair work at Bone subject to delays due to lack of materials.

                                (Note: One source records removed 4.7in mountings were used for coastal defence at Cap de

                                            la Garde.)


1 9 4 3


January                   Bone repair in continuation to allow tow.


February                 Prepared for tow

            27th             Towed to Algiers for survey.


March                      Declared beyond local repair and laid up at Algiers.


April                        Laid-up at Algiers pending decision about future use.

to                             (Note: One source records that ship was taken to Malta for repair prior to tow to Haifa.)



August                    Prepared for tow to Gibraltar.

            18th              Passage under tow from Algiers to Gibraltar.

                                 (Note: See above Note for April to December.)

September               Placed in Care and maintenance for use at Gibraltar.


October                   Deployed at Gibraltar for accommodation and training duties.




1 9 4 4


January                   Gibraltar deployment in continuation.




July                         Prepared for tow to UK



             1st              Passage to Plymouth under tow by tug PROSPEROUS.

             8th              Paid off on arrival at Plymouth.

                                Placed on Disposal List. and sold to BISCO for demolition by  P & W McLellan

            11th             Passage under to Bo'ness, near Edinburgh.

            13th             Arrived at breaker's yard.

                                (Note: HM Destroyer OB1BI was transferred to the Turkish Navy as replacement for

                                             this ship in 1946 and was renamed GAYRET)







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













HG 085








(Note on Convoys)


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revised 1/8/11
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