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

HMS LOYAL (G 15) -  L-class Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Loyal (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

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L-Class destroyer ordered from Scotts at Greenock on 31st March 1938 under the 1937 Programme and laid down on 23rd November 1938 at the same time as her sister destroyer HMS LOOKOUT. She was launched on 8th October 1941 after delays due to design changes and other priority requirements. She was the 2nd RN ship to bear this name, introduced for a destroyer built in 1913 and sold in 1921. Build of this ship was completed on 31st October 1942. Tender cost was £440,204 which excluded items such as weapons and communications equipment supplied by the Admiralty. After a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in January 1942 this destroyer was adopted by the civil community of Cambridge.


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 barry wavy of four White and Blue, a red rose barbed

and seeded proper charged with the Royal Crest.



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


October           Contractors Trials and commissioned for service in 19th Destroyer Flotilla.

            31st     Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.


November       On completion of trials and storing took passage to Scapa Flow.

            11th     Began work-up for operational service at Scapa Flow with ships of Home Fleet.



            15th     Completed work-up

            16th     Under repair at Greenock to rectify defects found during work-up.

            26th     Sailed from Greenock to join Flotilla in Mediterranean as part of escort for

                         routine convoy to Algiers.


1 9 4 3


January            Joined Flotilla at Bone after call at Gibraltar

                        Deployed for screening of cruisers of Force Q and interception patrol duties.

                        (Note: Ships of Force Q included HM Cruisers AJAX, AURORA, PENELOPE., DIDO

                                    SIRIUS, HM Destroyers LIGHTNING and LOOKOUT.

            18th     Deployed with HMS LIGHTNING 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.)



              1st     Deployed with HMS LIGHTNING as escort for HM Fast Minelayer ABDIEL during resumed

                        minelaying operation.

              2nd    On completion of lay escorted HMS ABDIEL to Oran with HMS LIGHTNING to load mines.

              5th     Escorted HMS ABDIEL with HMS LIGHTNING during passage to Bone.

              6th     Escorted HMS ABDIEL with HMS LIGHTNING during second minelay in Skerki Bank.

              7th     Escorted HMS ABDIEL back to Bone with HMS LIGHTNING after completion of lay.

                        Under unsuccessful attack by Italian submarine ACCACIO during passage

             16th    Rescued survivors from HM Canadian Corvette LOUISBERG off Oran.

                        (Note: HMCVS LOUIS BERG had been sunk after attack by torpedo aircraft.)



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

              3rd      Took passage to Algiers for minelaying escort.

              5th      Deployed with HMS LIGHTNING 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 LIGHTNING, PAKENHAM and PALADIN for escort and

                        cover during minelay on Skerki Bank.

             8th      Stationed to north east of lay position with HMS LIGHTNING during operation.

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

                        Passage to Algiers.

             9th      Deployed with HMS LIGHTNING 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 Army personnel and sailed from Algiers

            12th     Sailed from Bone with HMS LIGHTNING 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.

                        Remained with cruiser force when HMS LIGHTNING hit by torpedo and disabled.

                        (Note: HMS LIGHNING sank later.)

            13th     Rescued 183 survivors after some delay.

                        (Note: Result of search for this convoy is not known.)

            14th     Landed survivors in Bone.

                        Further details of the loss are given in STRUCK BY LIGHTNING and privately published by

                        E Gilroy of 33a Nickleby Close, ROCHESTER ME21 2LE


April                Bone deployment with Force Q in continuation.


May                 Deployed with HM Destroyers LOYAL, TARTAR, ZETLAND, LAMERTON, ALDENHAM,


                        and Polish destroyer BLYSKAWICA to intercept craft evacuating personnel from Cape Bon

                        area after defeat of the Afrika Korps .

                        (Operation RETRIBUTION – For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by

                        C Barnett and Naval Staff History.)

              8th     Deployed with HMS TARTAR and HMS LAFOREY. Intercepted two ships which were sunk.

                        (Note  One source identifies these as KT5 and KT21.)

              9th     Carried out bombardment of gun battery at Sidi David near Cape Bon with HMS TARTAR.

                        Nominated for support of planned British landings on Pantelleria and Lampedusa.

                        (Operation CORKSCREW)

                        Took part in preparatory exercises for CORKSCREW.

                        Sank  two mercantiles during interception patrol with HM Destroyer TARTAR

             13th    Captured  small boat carrying 12 Germans attempting passage from Cape Bon to

                         to coast of Europe.

             23rd    Sank small supply ship off Cape Bon.


June                 Nominated for support of planned landings in Pantalleria (Operation CORKSCREW).

                         (Note: Other ships involved included HM Cruisers AURORA, NEWFOUNDLAND,

                                     ORION, PENELOPE and EURYALUS, HM Destroyers LOOKOUT, LOYAL,

                                     JERVIS, TARTAR, NUBIAN, TROUBRIDGE and WHADDON.)

               8th    Carried out bombardment of Pantellaria with Fleet units.

             11th    Deployed for further bombardment during landings.

                        Came under unsuccessful dive bombing attack


July                  Nominated for support of planned allied landings in Sicily (Operation HUSKY)

            10th      Joined support Force East and deployed for screening duties on passage to assault area.

                         Provided naval gunfire support during landings

                         (Note: See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and Naval Staff History for

                                     details of HUSKY.)

              19th    Deployed with HM Destroyers LOOKOUT, JERVIS, NUBIAN and ESKIMO as escort for HM

                          AURORA taking HM King George from Tripoli during passage to Malta for Royal visit to the


                          Returned to Tripoli with HMS AURORA during return passage to Tripoli from Malta

                          Passage to resume duties at Salerno

August            HUSKY support and patrol in continuation.

                         On release from HUSKY deployed in central Mediterranean based in Malta



              1st    Deployed with HM Destroyer OFFA and Polish destroyer ORP PIORUN for patrol off Sicily.

              2nd   Carried out bombardment of shore positions on Italian mainland between Reggio Calabria and

                       Pessaro prior to landings by British XXX Corps across the Straits of Messina.

                       (Operation BAYTOWN.)

                       (Note: HM Battleships VALIANT, WARSPITE, HM Cruisers ORION, MAURITIUS, HM

                                   Monitors ROBERTS, ABERCROMBIE, EREBUS, HM River Gunboats APHIS,

                                   and SCARAB also took part.

              8th    Deployed with ships of Flotilla as part of Northern Attack Force for support during planned landings

                       at Salerno (Operation AVALANCHE)

                       (Note: Flotilla then included HM Destroyers LAFOREY, LOOKOUT, NUBIAN and TARTAR)

                       During deployment with HM Cruiser ORION came under unsuccessful rocket attack from

                       He111 aircraft.

                       Sustained slight damage by near misses.

              9th    Deployed with Support and Escort Groups during landings by British X Corps, 7th Armoured

                       Division, 46th and 56 Infantry Divisions supported by Two Commando Groups and 3rd US Rangers.

                       Provided naval gunfire support and carried out night patrol to intercept any enemy attempt to

                       interfere with landings.

                       Hit by return fire from 88m battery. Shell damaged No 2 Boiler Room which sustained damage and was


                        Ship remained operationally available for support.

             10th    Returned to Malta for repair.

             12th    Resumed support of landings

                        During support of counter attack by three German divisions came under air attacks using radio

                        controlled FX1400 weapons and Hx293 Glider Bombs and sustained damage by near miss.

                        (Note: Other ships providing gunfire support were HM Cruisers MAURITIUS, UGANDA,

                                    ORION, AURORA, US Cruisers USS PHILADELPHIA and USS BOISE. HM Destroyers

                                    LOOKOUT, TARTAR, NUBIAN, BRECON, QUANTOCK and EGGESFORD were

                                    also deployed for fire support.

                                     USS PHILADELPHIA and HMS TARTAR were also damaged.)

                        For details of AVALANCHE see above references.


October           Based at Naples and deployment for support and convoy defence in continuation.

             13th    Carried bombardment of targets north of Volturno during landings from Tank Landing Craft.

                        Under air attacks.


November       Transferred for interception patrol and gunfire support deployment off east coast of Italy with con

                        HM Destroyer QUILLIAM.

             19th     During attack on convoy hit by return fire but remained operational.

             25th     Carried out shore bombardment at Civita Nova.



               2nd     Carried out bombardment of at San Bendedetto and Ancona

                          Passage to Malta for service with Force K in support of planned allied landings at Anzio

                          with Northern Attack Force (Peter).

                          (Operation SHINGLE).


1 9 4 4


January              Deployed with HM Cruisers ORION and SPARTAN, HM Auxiliary AA Ships ULSTER QUEEN,

                           and PALOMARES. HM Destroyers JERVIS, JANUS, LAFOREY, INGLEFIELD, TENACIOUS,

                           URCHIN and KEMPENFELT for support and Escort duties during landings by 1st British Infantry

                           Division at Anzio.

             22nd       Present at landings and provided naval gunfire support. Under air attacks.

             23rd       Under air attacks during which HMS JANUS is sunk and HMS JERVIS damaged.

                            (Note: Attacks by U-boats were made during the period after 23rd.)

              29th       Took part in rescue of survivors when HM Cruiser SPARTAN was hit by a radio controlled

                             bomb and later sank.


February              Anzio support in continuation. U Boat attacks were countered by destroyer patrols.

                             (Note: Cruisers were deployed in pairs with destroyer screen attached and replenished at


               9th         Sustained damage in Boiler Room by return fire from shore.

                             Withdrawn from operational area and returned to Naples at reduced speed.

             11th         Repair arranged at Taranto. Passage to Taranto arranged by tow.

             16th         Taken in hand for repair.


March                   Under repair.

             30th          On completion took passage to Malta


April                      Deployed in Malta for work-up

                               Resumed service in support of military operations at Anzio



               9th           Under air attacks off Anzio and straddled by bombs causing structural damage,

                               Passage to Malta for repair

                               Repair arranged at Taranto.

             27th           Taken in hand for repair at Taranto.


July                         Under repair



             18th            Carried out post repair trials on completion.

                                Nominated for support and convoy defence in Adriatic based at Ancona.


September               Adriatic deployment in continuation with HM Destroyers UNDINE, URCHIN,

                                KIMBERLEY, HM River Gunboats APHIS and SCARAB for support of military operations

                                by 8th Army in Rimini area.

                4th           Carried out bombardment with HMS URCHIN.

                7th           Carried out bombardment with HMS SCARAB.



              11th           Carried out bombardment in Cesebatico area with HMS LOOKOUT

              12th           During return passage sustained major structural and shock damage to machinery

                                with consequential flooding after detonating a mine.

                                Taken in tow to Ancona by HMS LOOKOUT

               21st           Withdrawn from operational service and towed to Taranto for docking and survey.


November                Under survey at Taranto.

               17th           Survey result determined that future use required extensive repair to hull structure.

                                 To remain at Taranto pending arrangements for tow.


December                 Paid-off and placed in Care and Maintenance


1 9 4 5


January                     Retained at Taranto pending tow to Malta.




P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


HMS LOYAL remained at Taranto until 1946 when she was towed to Malta for repair sufficient for use as an Accommodation Ship. In 1947 having been declared a Constructive Total Loss, approval was given for the ship to be placed on the Disposal List.  Sold to BISCO for demolition by TW Ward, she was towed to UK by HM Tug EARNER on 15th July 1948 and arrived at the Beaker’s yard at Milford Haven on 31s July. 1948.






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 006





MKS 006





TE 014





KMS 009G





XIF 016








  (Note on Convoys)


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revised 5/8/11
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