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

HMS PORCUPINE (G 93) -  P-class Destroyer

HMS Pathfinder, sister ship (Navy Photos, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 

P or PALADIN-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered with 2nd Emergency Flotilla in October 1939 from the Vickers Armstrong shipyard at Newcastle. She was laid down on 26th December 1939 with two sister ships HMS PENN and HMS PETARD. Despite damage during an air raid the ship was launched as had been programmed on 10th June 1941. She was the 10th RN ship to carry this name, introduced in 1740 for a Sloop. It was last used for a pre WW1 built destroyer sold in 1921. Build was completed on 31st August 1942 at a cost of 408,200, which excluded Admiralty supplied equipment such as weapons and communications outfits .After a successful WARSHIP WEEK for National Savings in March 1942 she was adopted by the civil community of Thurrock, Essex.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s


QUEBEC  1759 - HAVANA 1762 -  BALTIC  1854-55 - NORTH AFRICA 1942


H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Blue, a porcupine proper in front of two tridents gold.



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


August                  Contractors trials and commissioning.

                31st         Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.


September             On completion of trials and storing took passage to Scapa Flow for work-up with Home Fleet.

                                Nominated for deployment with Force H at Gibraltar.


October                  Passage to Gibraltar to join HM Destroyers PANTHER, PARTRIDGE, PATHFINDER and

                                PENN in 3rd Destroyer Flotilla based at Gibraltar.

                                Deployed for escort of military convoys during passage to Mediterranean for the

                                planned allied landings in North Africa.


November              Deployed with Flotilla and 12 other destroyers in the screen for HM Battleships DUKE OF YORK,

                                RODNEY, HM Battlecruiser RENOWN, HM Aircraft Carriers FURIOUS, VICTORIOUS ,

                                FORMIDABLE, HM Cruisers BERMUDA, ARGONAUT and SIRIUS which providing cover against

                                surface warship interference during landings.

                                (Operation TORCH. See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett, RELUCTANT

                                ENEMIES by W Tute, BRITISH INVASION FLEET by J de Winser and the Naval Staff


                                Carried out anti-submarine patrols for military convoy defence during follow up phase.



                8th          Deployed with HM Destroyers ANTELOPE. VANOC, BOREAS and Polish ORP BLYSKAWICA as

                                escort for troopship ss OTRANTO, HM Depot Ship MAIDSTONE and ss TEGELBUG during

                                passage from Gibraltar to Oran.

                                Under submarine attack and hit by torpedoed by U602, 70 miles NNE in position 35-55N 40.00E.

                                Sustained major structural damage with flooding.

                                Casualties included seven killed or missing and three wounded.

                10th        Transferred personnel not required for damage control to HMS VANOC.

                                Taken in tow by HM Frigate EXE and topweight jettisoned in an attempt to reduce increasing list.

                                Tow transferred to French tug for remainder of passage to Arzeu, Algeria.

                                Remained at Arzeu.


1 9 4 3


January                  Prepared for tow to Oran                   




March                    Passage under tow to Oran for survey.

                28th        Docked at Oran.


May                       After survey taken in hand for repair to allow passage to Gibraltar in two parts

to                            Two Sections taken in tow by tugs and took passage to UK as part of separate convoys

June                        SL129 and AX? to SW Approaches.

                                Individual escort was provided for final passage in English Channel to Portsmouth.


N o t e


The two sections of this ship ware used for accommodation of crews of Landing Craft in Stokes Bay at Portsmouth and were identified as PORK (Forward Section) and PINE (After Section). The Sections were placed on the Disposal List in 1946 and sold for breaking-up. The Forward Section being towed to Plymouth and the After Section to Southampton.






by Don Kindell


no convoy escort duties have been identified



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