Naval History Homepage - and Site Search



by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2002

HMS LIGHTNING (G 55) -  L-class Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Loyal, sister ship (Navy Photos/George Knight, click to enlarge)

return to Contents List 


L-Class destroyer ordered from Hawthorn Leslie at Newcastle on 31st March 1938 under the 1937 Programme and laid down as Job No J4502 on 15th November 1938. She was launched on 22nd April 1940 as the 10th RN ship to bear this name, introduced for a Fireship in 1691. However the name is probably best known as that given to the first RN Torpedo Boat Destroyer built in 1877 It was last used for a destroyer launched in 1895 which was sunk by a mine in 1915. Build was completed on 28th May 1941 and had been delayed by late delivery of the three twin 4.7in mountings required meeting the original design. Four ships of this Class were fitted with four twin 4in HA mountings and known as AA Destroyers. This ship and the other three built to the original design were know as Fleet Destroyers. The Tender cost was £440.807 which excluded items such as weapons and communications equipment supplied by the Admiralty. After a successful  WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in November 1941 this destroyer was adopted by the civil community of the Municipal Borough of Doncaster, then in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The book STRUCK BY LIGHTNING by E Gilroy of 33a Nickleby Close, ROCHESTER ME21 2LE and privately published by a former member of the ship’s company and gives details of the service of this ship. Some dates in that book are at variance with other sources.


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 Black, three rays of lightning in Gold band.



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 1


May                        Contractors harbour and sea trials

                18th        Commenced Acceptance Trials and commissioned for service in 19th Destroyer Flotilla .

                                (Note: Many of the ship’s company had previously served in HM Destroyer ASHANTI which

                                had Paid-off after being badly damaged in a collision off the mouth of the Tyne in

                                October 1940.)

                28th        Passage from Tyne to Scapa Flow.

                29th        Commenced work-up at Scapa Flow with ships of Home Fleet.


June                        Deployed at Scapa Flow.

                11th        On completion of work-up deployed for Fleet duties.

                (Note: One source records ship was part of escort for Atlantic convoy to Gibraltar and returned

                to Scapa Flow. The dates provided cannot be identified for any routine convoy.

                Further research is required).



                1st           At Scapa Flow and deployed for Fleet duties.

                                Nominated for detached service in support of Malta Relief convoy (Operation SUBSTANCE).

                12th        Deployed with HM Battleship NELSON, HM Cruisers MANCHESTER and ARETHUSA, HM

                Destroyers COSSACK, NESTOR (RAN) and SIKH for escort of Convoy WS9C and

                took passage from Scapa Flow to Londonderry.

                13th        Joined convoy during passage in NW Approaches.

                (Operation SUBSTANCE – Malta relief convoy. For details see MALTA CONVOYS by R

                Woodman, The Naval Staff History, ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY, THE BATTLE


                by J Green and A Massignini and Naval Staff History for details.)

                17th        Detached from WS9C with HMS MANCHESTER and HM Destroyer NESTOR (RAN) for escorted

                                of ss PASTEUR into Gibraltar to embark troops for passage to Malta.

                20th        At Gibraltar

                21st         Deployed with ships of Force H to provide cover for passage of convoy, now redesignated GM1,

                during passage to western Mediterranean to Sicilian Narrows.

                (Other ships in covering force and screen were `HM Battlecruiser RENOWN, HM Battleship NELSON,

                HM Aircraft Carrier ARK ROYAL, HM Cruiser HERMIONE, HM Destroyers FAULKNOR,

                FORESTER, FURY and DUNCAN.

                22nd       Under threat of attack by Italian submarine DIASPRO which was driven off by HMAS NESTOR.

                23rd        Under air attacks during which HMS MANCHESTER and HM Destroyer FEARLESS were hit

                by torpedoes and sustained serious damage.

                (Note: HMS MANCHESTER had to be withdrawn and was escorted back to Gibraltar.

                HMS FEARLESS had to be sunk by sister destroyer HMS FORESTER.)

                23rd        (sic) Remained with Force H ships west of Sicilian Narrows when Convoy and its Close Escort

                by Force X continued passage to Malta.

                25th        Took passage to Gibraltar as part of screen after Force X rejoined waiting Force H

                (Note: Cover was also provided for passage of Convoy GM1 from Malta.)

                27th        Arrived at Gibraltar on completion of SUBSTANCE and retained for support of planned operation

                to take RAF personnel and stores to Malta.

                (Note: For details see above references.)

                31st         Deployed with HM Destroyer SIKH as screen for HM Cruisers ARETHUSA, HERMIONE and

                MANXMAN during passage in western Mediterranean covered by ships of Force H which were

                also to carry out concurrent air attack and bombardment on Alghero.

                (Operation STYLE – See references.)



                1st           Detached from cruisers and joined Group I of Force H as screen for HMS ARK ROYAL, HMS

                HERMIONE with HM Destroyers SIKH, ENCOUNTER and FORESTER during passage to


                4th          Returned to Gibraltar with ships of Force H

                8th          Took passage to Scapa Flow from Gibraltar on release from Force H duty.

                12th        Arrived at Scapa Flow.

                19th        Resumed Fleet duties after maintenance at Scapa Flow.

                20th        Deployed with HM Destroyers INGLEFIELD, PUNJABI and TARTAR as screen for HM Battleship

                                KING GEORGE V.

                22nd       Sailed from Scapa Flow with HM Destroyer LIVELY to assist damaged Free French submarine

                                RUBIS damaged off Norway.

                                Joined HM Cruiser CURACOA and located submarine which was under way to Dundee having

                                repaired a machinery defect.

                26th        Deployed with HM Destroyers LAMERTON, INTREPID and HM Trawler REGAL for anti-

                                submarine search in NW Approaches.

                29th        Deployed with HM Cruiser SHEFFIELD, HM Destroyers VIVACIOUS, BADSWORTH and HM

                                Auxiliary Despatch Yacht JEAN as screen for HM Battlecruiser REPULSE during post refit trials.



                3rd          Deployed with HM Cruiser KENYA to provide cover for minelay off Norwegian coast by HM

                                Fast Minelayer MANXMAN (Operation EH – See Naval Staff History (Mining) for details.)

                5th          Returned to Scapa Flow.

                6th          Took passage from Scapa Flow to Greenock for repair and boiler clean in Clyde commercial shipyard

                17th        Nominated for support of planned Malta relief (Operation HALBERD) and joined military

                convoy WS11X with HM Battleships PRINCE OF WALES, RODNEY, HM Cruisers


                Dutch destroyer ISAAC SWEERS, Polish destroyers ORP GARLAND and PIORUN.

                24th        Escort joined by destroyers from Gibraltar and Force H ships provided cover for passage



                1st           Arrived at Gibraltar.

                (Note: Passage of three mercantiles identified at Convoy MG2 and without escort was covered

                presence of Force A and X.)

                2nd         Sailed from Gibraltar as part of screen for HMS PRINCE OF WALES during passage to Scapa Flow.

                6th          Arrived at Scapa Flow and took passage to Rosyth for maintenance period.

                14th        Sailed from Rosyth to resume Flotilla duties and took passage to Greenock.

                17th        Deployed for anti-submarine operations in NW Approaches on arrival at Greenock.

                25th        Transferred to Force H with HMS LAFOREY of Flotilla and took passage to Gibraltar.

                29th        Joined Force H for screening and convoy defence duties based at Gibraltar.

                (Note: Passage may have been independent as no routine convoy sailed in this period.)



                10th        Deployed with HM Destroyers LAFOREY, LEGION, SIKH, ZULU, GURKHA and

                Dutch destroyer ISAAC SWEERS as screen for HM Battleship MALAYA, HM Aircraft

                Carriers ARK ROYAL. ARGUS and HM Cruiser HMS HERMIONE during provision of

                cover for Malta aircraft delivery from the two aircraft carriers (Operation PERPETUAL)

                13th        Carried out unsuccessful anti-submarine operations after suspected contact.

                Under attack by U81 during which HMS ARK ROYAL was hit by torpedo and disabled.

                Took part in unsuccessful search for submarine with HMS GURKHA

                Embarked personnel not required for damage control from HMS ARK ROYAL

                14th        Returned to Gibraltar after sinking of HMS ARK ROYAL.

                17th        Deployed for anti-submarine patrol and convoy defence.

                26th        Returned to Gibraltar

                (Note: One source records escort of UK bound convoy.

                During this period there was extensive U-Boat activity in the area.

                See HITLER’S U-BOAT WAR by c Blair.)


December              Under maintenance at Gibraltar.

                Nominated for special detached duty as escort for HM Battleship DUKE OF YORK during

                passage from UK to USA with Prime Minister to attend ARCADIA conference with President

                of USA.

                (Note: Commander RG Stuart, in command discharged sick and relieved by First Lieutenant.)

                11th        Sailed from Gibraltar with HM Destroyers HARVESTER and HIGHLANDER to meet HMS

                                DUKE OF YORK

                15th        Arrived at Ponta Delgardo, Azores to refuel and replenish.

                                (Note: Weather during passage had delayed journey.)

                17th        Sailed from Azores.

                22nd       Arrived in Bermuda after failing to meet HMS DUKE OF YORK due to extreme weather conditions.

                29th        Sailed from Bermuda for Norfolk, Va. with HMS HARVESTER and HMS HIGHLANDER

                31st         Arrived at Norfolk.


1 9 4 2



                12th        Took passage from Norfolk to St Johns, Newfoundland with same ships,.

                16th        Arrived at Johns to refuel and embark stores.

                18th        Sailed from St Johns for Greenock with same ships.

                                (Note: This passage may have been independent.)

                25th        Arrived at Greenock.

                                New commanding officer, Commander HG Walters joined ship.)

                26th        Under maintenance.


February                WARSHIP WEEK held in Doncaster.

                1st           Took passage from Greenock to rejoin Force H at Gibraltar.

                                (Note: One source records two US Navy destroyers were in company.)

                4th          Resumed service at Gibraltar with Force H

                6th          Deployed for escort of inward convoy to Gibraltar from Liverpool.

                                (Note: Convoy OG79 arrived on 7th.)

                9th          Took passage to UK with HMS LAFOREY for escort of military convoy

                                during Atlantic passage from Clyde.

                13th        Arrived in Clyde

                17th        Joined Convoy WS16 with HM Destroyers ACTIVE, ANTHONY, BLANKNEY,

                                CROOME, DUNCAN, FIREDRAKE and LAFOREY as Ocean Escort during Atlantic passage.

                21st         Detached from WS16 with same ships and returned to Gibraltar.

                                (Note: HM Aircraft Carrier ARGUS was part of WS16 and on passage to Gibraltar

                                to carry out Malta aircraft delivery. It may be assumed that the destroyers

                                detached as escort for HMS ARGUS.)

                23rd        Arrived at Gibraltar.

                27th        Deployed with HM Destroyers LAFOREY, ACTIVE, ANTHONY, WHITEHALL,

                WISHART, BLANKNEY, EXMOOR and CROOME as screen for HMS ARGUS, HMS

                EAGLE, HMS HERMIONE and HMS MALAYA providing escort for Malta aircraft

                delivery from carriers (Operation SPOTTER I)

                28th        Operation cancelled due to aircraft fuel tank defects and returned to Gibraltar



                6th          Deployed for Operation SPOTTER II with same ships as SPOTTER I

                8th          Arrived at Gibraltar after successful launch of aircraft.

                14th        Sustained damage to rudder during anti-submarine search operations in Straits of Gibraltar

                                and returned to Gibraltar for repair.

                16th        Docked for repair by HM Dockyard Gibraltar.

                                (Note: During the period in dock a rating fell into the dock and was badly injured.

                30th        Nominated for support of planned landings in Madagascar with other ships of Force H on

                                completion of planned aircraft delivery (Operation IRONCLAD).

                31st         Prepared for passage to Indian Ocean.


April                       (…) destroyers for escort of assault convoy during passage to Madagascar.

                1st           Sailed for Gibraltar for Freetown with HM Battleship MALAYA, HMS HERMIONE,

                                HM Destroyers LAFOREY, LOOKOUT and DUNCAN.

                5th          Joined military convoy WS17 during passage.

                                (Note: HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS was deployed periodically with this convoy.)

                6th          Called at Freetown to refuel..

                9th          Sailed from Freetown with HMS MALAYA, HMS HERMIONE, HM Destroyers ACTIVE,


                Escort for WS17A Section of convoy.

                14th        Detached from WS17A to refuel at St Helena.

                16th        Rejoined Ocean Escort.

                19th        Called at Cape Town to refuel.

                22nd       Arrived at Durban

                28th        Sailed from Durban to join screen for HMS ILLUSTRIOUS, HMS HERMIONE with



                2nd         Carried out bombardment exercises.

                3rd          Joined HM Aircraft Carrier INDOMITABLE and HM Cruiser DEVONSHIRE to provide

                                cover during landings.

                4th          Entered Courier Bay with HMS LAFOREY and HMS ANTHONY after passage through

                                channel previously swept by minesweepers.

                5th          Acted as marker using searchlight to guide HM Landing Ship (Infantry) ROYAL ULSTERMAN

                carrying Commando force to assault area. Went to assist HM Corvette AURICULA which

                detonated a mine but no support required.

                Provided naval gunfire support after landing.

                6th          Provided further support bombardment before leaving to join HMS LAFOREY and HMS

                LIGHTNING for escort of HMS RAMILLIES during departure to carry out search for

                presumed Japanese surface ships.

                (Note: No enemy ships were found.

                HMS AURICULA sank in Courier Bay due to mine damage.)

                7th          Provided naval gunfire support during military operations at Oranjia prior to assault

                                on Diego Suarez.

                8th          Deployed for anti-submarine operations with aircraft from HMS INDOMITABLE and

                                other destroyers.

                11th        After surrender of Diego Suarez provided working parties to assist ashore.

                Remained at Diego Suarez for anti- submarine patrols and to support occupation.

                For full details of IRONCLAD see Naval Staff History.

                27th        Transferred to Eastern Fleet with HMS LAFOREY and HMS LIGHTNING

                29th        Took passage to Colombo from Diego Suarez.

                31st         Called at Seychelles to refuel. and sailed on completion.



                1st           Joined HM Battleship WARSPITE, HM Aircraft Carriers ILLUSTRIOUS, FORMIDABLE

                                and HM Cruiser GAMBIA during passage to Colombo

                3rd          Took part in Fleet exercises including AA shoot.

                5th          Arrived at Colombo

                6th          Commenced maintenance period.

                12th        Resumed Fleet duties and joined HMS LAFOREY and HMS LOOKOUT in screen for


                deployed as Force A for offensive sweep of Indian Ocean to Chagos islands.

                16th        Called at Addu Atoll with Force A to refuel after delay due to monsoon weather.

                                Took passage from Addu Atoll for Colombo on completion.

                18th        Arrived at Colombo.

                22nd       Deployed with HMS LAFOREY for anti-submarine patrol.

                23rd        Took passage to Mombasa with ships of Force A.

                28th        Called at Seychelles to refuel.



                1st           Arrived at Mombasa and carried out maintenance.

                9th          Nominated for return to Mediterranean for support of Malta relief operation.

                Sailed from Mombasa with HMS LAFOREY and HMS LOOKOUT as screen

                for HMS INDOMITABLE during passage to Gibraltar.

                11th        Rescued Norwegian seaman in Indian Ocean, the sole survivors from a ship sunk on 9th.

                13th        Called at Durban.

                19th        Called at Cape Town

                23rd        Called at Pointe Noire, Belgian Congo for fuel.

                                (Note: Ship passage delayed by deployment for trade defence in Atlantic.)

                27th        Joined by HM Cruiser PHOEBE

                28th        Arrived at Freetown.

                23rd        Took passage to Mombasa with ships of Force A.

                28th        Called at Seychelles to refuel.



                1st           Arrived at Mombasa and carried out maintenance.

                9th          Nominated for return to Mediterranean for support of Malta relief operation.

                Sailed from Mombasa with HMS LAFOREY and HMS LOOKOUT as screen

                for HMS INDOMITABLE during passage to Gibraltar.

                11th        Rescued Norwegian seaman in Indian Ocean, the sole survivors from a ship sunk on 9th.

                13th        Called at Durban.

                19th        Called at Cape Town

                23rd        Called at Pointe Noire, Belgian Congo for fuel.

                                (Note: Ship passage delayed by deployment for trade defence in Atlantic.)

                27th        Joined by HM Cruiser PHOEBE

                28th        Arrived at Freetown.



                1st           Sailed from Freetown for Gibraltar as screen for same ships.

                                Rescued survivors from Norwegian mercantile sunk on 25th July.

                4th          Refuelled from HMS INDOMITABLE.

                5th          Deployed with HM Destroyers FORESIGHT, FURY, ICARUS, INTREPID, LAFOREY,

                LOOKOUT, VANSITTART, WESTCOTT and WRESTLER as screen for HM Aircraft

                Carriers ARGUS, EAGLE, INDOMITABLE, VICTORIOUS, HM Cruisers PHOEBE,

                CHARYBDIS and SIRIUS during Exercise BERSERK west of Gibraltar to carry out

                tactics for use during planned defence of PEDESTAL convoy, identified as Convoy GM4.

                10th        Refuelled and nominated with HMS LOOKOUT for escort of HM Aircraft Carrier

                FURIOUS during aircraft delivery to Malta (Operation BELLOWS –Coincident with


                11th        During screening of HMS FURIOUS detached when HMS EAGLE was hit by torpedo

                fired by U73 and sank within eight minutes. Carried out rescue work with HMS LOOKOUT

                and HM Tug JAUNTY

                (Note: These ships rescued a total of 927 survivors from a ships company of 1160.)

                Transferred survivors to HM Destroyer KEPPEL and refuelled from tanker in Force R

                Took passage to join ships covering passage of PEDESTAL convoy after refuelling.

                (Note: These were HMS RODNEY, HMS NELSON, HMS VICTORIOUS,

                HMS PHOEBE, HMS SIRIUS, HM Destroyers LAFOREY, LOOKOUT,


                WESTCOTT, WISHART and ZETLAND deployed as Force Z.)

                12th        Under air attacks.

                Carried out successful anti-submarine operations against Italian submarine BRIN with

                HM Destroyers FORESIGHT and FURY and drove submarine away from convoy.

                Despatched with HMS SOMALI, HMS LOOKOUT and HMS CHARYBDIS to assist

                damaged HMS INDOMITABLE after being hit and badly damaged in air attacks.

                Remained with Force Z ships when GM4 detached and entered Sicilian Narrows escorted

                by Force X.

                13th        Deployed with HMS VICTORIOUS, HMS PHOEBE, HMS LAFOREY, HMS LOOKOUT

                and HMS QUENTIN west of Narrows to provide cover for returning ships of Force X.

                (Note: HMS INDOMITABLE, HMS RODNEY screened by HM Destroyers AMAZON


                ZETLAND had been detached to return to Gibraltar.)

                14th        Passage to Gibraltar as part of screen for ships of Forces X and Z.

                                (Note: For details of PEDESTAL see PEDESTAL by P Smith and above references.)

                15th        Arrived at Gibraltar

                16th        Deployed as screen for HM Aircraft Carrier FURIOUS and HMS CHARYBDIS with



                Malta aircraft delivery from HMS FURIOUS (Operation BARITONE)

                21st         After return to Gibraltar from BARITONE carried anti-submarine operations in

                                Gibraltar Straits.

                24th        Took passage from Gibraltar as screen for HMS INDOMITABLE with HM Destroyers

                                ITHURIEL BRAMHAM and LEDBURY for return to UK.

                28th        Arrived and Liverpool and sailed for Scapa Flow.

                29th        Arrived at Scapa Flow.

                31st         Arrived at Sheerness and de-ammunitioned before refit.



                1st           Taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard Chatham


October  Under refit

                15th        Formal visit to Doncaster by some of ship’s company with commanding officer for

                                recognition of adoption by civil community of the Borough.



                7th          Commenced post refit harbour trials

                10th        Complete post refit sea trials.

                11th        Took passage to Scapa Flow to work-up with ships of Home Fleet after shakedown.

                19th        Arrived at Scapa Flow.


December              Work-up in continuation.

                7th          Sailed from Scapa Flow to Greenock with HMS LAFOREY to resume operational service.

                                in Mediterranean.

                8th          Arrived at Greenock and nominated for escort of military convoy KMF5 to Gibraltar.

                12th        Passage to Liverpool for escort of troopship DUCHESS OF ATHOLL to join KMF5.

                15th        Joined escort of convoy in NW Approaches.

                17th        Petty Officer Telegraphist died on board of heart failure and buried at sea during a short

                                break in particularly atrocious weather,

                20th        Arrived at Gibraltar after stormy passage.

                21st         Sailed from Gibraltar as part of escort for KMF5 during passage to Algiers.

                Took part in rescue operations when troopship STRAHALLAN was torpedoed by

                U654 off Algerian coast.

                (Note: For details see STRUCK BY LIGHTNING. Several hundred troops including

                American nurses were rescued by ships of escort.)

                22nd       Landed survivors at Oran.

                                (Note: STRATHALLAN foundered on 23rd after fires became uncontrollable.)

                24th        Took part in Fleet exercises with ships deployed in western Mediterranean..

                25th        Remained at sea when call at Algiers was cancelled after assassination of Admiral Darlan.)

                26th        Arrived at Algiers.

                30th        Took passage from Algiers to Bone to join Force Q.


1 9 4 3



                1st           Arrived at Bone and joined Force Q. See references

                (Note: Force Q included HM Cruisers AJAX, AURORA, PENELOPE, DIDO, SIRIUS,

                HM Destroyers LAFOREY, LOYAL and LOOKOUT of Flotilla.)

                2nd         Assisted in fire-fighting on ships hit during air raid at Bone.

                                (Note: HMS AJAX was badly damaged during this air raid.)

                3rd          Deployed for patrol off Bone and returned during air raid.

                Involved in collision with HM Destroyer LAMERTON during harbour movements

                when tanker EMPIRE MORN was hit and set on fire by a bomb.

                (Note HM Fleet Minesweeper ALARM was damaged in this attack and beached.

                6th          Provided fire-fighting party on board British freighter ST MERRIEL.

                7th          Deployed with HMS LOYAL as escort for HMS AJAX under tow to Algiers

                10th        Arrived at Algiers.

                12th        Took return passage to Bone.

                13th        Arrived at Bone after carrying out interception patrol.

                18th        Deployed with HMS LOYAL for interception patrol south of Cagliari and sank one

                mercantile which exploded after surface gunfire. Repelled aircraft during intermittent attacks.

                (Note: One source record that this was Italian naval oiler TANARO sunk in Gulf of Gabes

                23rd        Returned to Algiers.

                30th        Deployed as escort for HM Fast Minelayer ABDIEL during minelay on Skerki Bank.

                                See Naval Staff History (Mining) for details.)

                31st         Minelay abandoned after engagement with E-Boats and returned to Bone

                                (Note: One unconfirmed source records sinking of two Italian mercantiles.)


                8th          Resumed Force Q duties at Bone.

                13th        Returned to Algiers for maintenance period.

                25th        Passage to Bone to resume Force Q duties.



                1st           Sustained damage during air raid at Bone with 10 casualties, two of whom were fatal.

                3rd          Took passage to Algiers for minelaying escort.

                5th          Deployed with HMS LOYAL for escort of HMS ABDIEL during passage for further

                minelay on Skerki Bank.

                Carried out diversionary sweep to the north during minelay.

                6th          Escorted HMS ABDIEL to reload mines at Algiers and for return passage to Bone

                8th          Deployed with HM Destroyers LOYAL, PAKENHAM and PALADIN for escort and

                cover during minelay on Skerki Bank.

                Stationed to north east of lay position with HMS LOYAL during operation.

                (Note: The other two destroyers were stationed south east of lay position.)

                Passage to Algiers.

                9th          Deployed with HMS LOYAL as escort for HM Landing Ship Infantry ROYAL

                ULSTERMAN during passage from Algiers to Bone with troops.

                Under torpedo attack by aircraft on passage.

                10th        Sailed from Bone with Landing Ships after refuelling and took passage to Algiers.

                11th        Embarked 120 RAMC personnel and sailed from Algiers for AA Guardship duty off

                                the port to supplement shore AA defences.

                12th        On release took passage with HMS LOYAL as escort for HM Landing Ships (Infantry)

                                ROYAL ULSTERMAN and ROYAL SCOTSMAN taking troops to Bone.

                13th        Arrived at Bone with troopships and resumed Force Q duties

                Sailed from Bone with HMS LOYAL as screen for HMS AURORA, HMS SIRIUS

                during planned attack on convoy during its passage from Sicily to North Africa.

                Under air attack soon after departure and threat of attack by E-Boats.

                Came under E-Boat attack and hit on port side forward by torpedo from S55 which

                caused major damage and totally disabled ship, presenting a “sitting duck” target.

                Hit amidships soon afterwards by second torpedo from same German craft which

                inflicted tremendous damage breaking the ship’s back.

                Sank quickly in position 37.53N 09.50E north of Bizerta with the loss of 45 of the

                ship’s company. Eight others were injured. 183 survivors from a total complement of 227 were

                rescued by HMS LOYAL after some delay during which period one of the ship’s company was

                take prisoner by the enemy ship and later freed when the allied forces landed in Sicily.

                Survivors were landed in Bone on 14th March and the loss of this ship was announced

                on 7th April 1943. Further details of the loss are given in STRUCK BY LIGHTNING.


P o s t   W a r   N o t e


The Sea Cadet Corps unit in Doncaster was identified as Training Ship LIGHTNING after the adoption by the civil communities of the Borough of Doncaster and urban districts of Adwick, Bentley and Tickill as a recognition of their association with this destroyer. It is still an active Unit. 






by Don Kindell


These convoy lists have not been cross-checked with the text above






Date convoy sailed

Joined convoy as escort

Convoy No.

Left convoy

Date convoy arrived














KMF 005





TE 014








(Note on Convoys)


back to Contents List
or Naval-History.Net

revised 5/8/11
further editing and formatting is required