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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2 by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2004

HMS BRAMHAM (L 51), later Greek HHelMS THEMISTOCLES  -  Type II, Hunt-class Escort Destroyer including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Bramham/HHelMS Themistocles (Navy Photos, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 

Type II HUNT-Class Escort Destroyer ordered on 20th December 1939 from Alex. Stevens, Govan in the 1939 War  Emergency Programme. The ship was laid down on 7th April 1941 as Job No J1480. She was launched on 29th January 1942 as the first RN ship to carry this name, that of a fox-hunt in North Yorkshire. Her build was completed on 16th June 1942 and after a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in March 1942 this ship had been adopted by the civil community of Beverley, then in the East Riding of Yorkshire.


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 six White and Blue,

a fox sejant Red.



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




Contractor's Sea Trials and commissioned for service in Western Approaches.


16th - Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.


On completion of trials and storing took passage to begin work-up




Worked-up for operational service in NW Approaches. On completion of work-up joined Londonderry Special Escort Division. Nominated for detached service with Home Fleet ships as escort for Malta relief convoy


29th - Joined military convoy WS21 for Indian Ocean in Clyde with sister destroyer HMS WILTON as Local Escort during passage in NW Approaches.




2nd - Detached from WS21 to join Home Fleet ships for escort of ships destined for Malta.


9th - Deployed with HM Destroyers ASHANTI, LEDBURY, FURY, ICARUS, INTREPID, PATHFINDER, PENN, WESTCOTT, WRESTLER and VIDETTE as screen for HM cruisers NIGERIA, KENYA, MANCHESTER and CAIRO as Force X for WS21S Close Escort during through passage to Malta (Operation PEDESTAL). (For full details of this dramatic operation see PEDESTAL by P Smith, THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by D Macintyre, ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett, MALTA CONVOYS by R Woodman and Naval Staff History).


12th - Under heavy and sustained air attacks during which ss DEUCALIAN in was sunk hit and immobilised. Detached from Force X as escort for this mercantile which had been able to get under way.


13th - Rescued survivors from ss DEUCALIAN after it had been sunk by torpedo aircraft. During passage to rejoin WS21S diverted to stand by ss DORSET damaged by dive bombing and immobilised. (Note: This ship later sank.)


14th - Deployed with HM Destroyer PENN to assist damaged tanker OHIO to enter harbour. (See above references and FLEET SWEEPERS AT WAR by J Williams).


19th - Return passage to Gibraltar with HMS PENN and HMS LEDBURY.


21st - Arrived at Gibraltar.


24th - Passage from Gibraltar to Scapa Flow. (Note: One source states that this destroyer was part of escort for damaged aircraft carrier HMS INDOMITABLE during passage to UK prior to repair in US Navy dockyard.)




Detached service with Home Fleet in continuation. Deployed for escort of Fleet Auxiliaries required for replenishment of escorts used for defence of Russian convoy PQ18 and returning QP14.


On release from Home Fleet detachment rejoined Londonderry Escort Division.




Deployed for convoy defame in NW Approaches. Nominated for escort of military convoys during passage to Gibraltar prior to allied landings in North Africa (Operation TORCH).


20th - Sailed with HM Destroyer COWDRAY and Polish destroyer ORP BLYSKAWICA for escort of convoy to Gibraltar.




26th - Retained at Gibraltar for escort and support duties during landings.




Joined Eastern Task Force for support of landing at Oran.


8th - Part of escort for assault convoys.


12th - Deployed for escort of coastal convoys in support of military operations.


20th - Under air attack during escort of convoy between Phillippeville and Bone. Hit aft abreast 4in mounting and sustained damage when bomb exploded in sea after passing through structure. An after compartment was flooded and ship taken under tow to Algiers for temporary repair.


25th - Under repair at Algiers.




Repair at Algiers in continuation.


20th - Passage from Algiers to Gibraltar for further repair to allow return passage to UK.



1 9 4 3




Under repair by HM Dockyard, Gibraltar.


24th - Passage to UK as part of escort for Military convoy.




Detached from convoy on arrival in UK waters. Repair arranged at Tyneside commercial shipyard.


Future deployment with Royal Hellenic Navy under consideration.


9th - Taken in hand for repair prior to transfer




Under repair. Paid off from RN service and transferred to Royal Hellenic Navy.


April to June


Repair in continuation. Greek naval crew joined.



W a r   S e r v i c e   a s   H  H e l  M  S   T H E M I S T O C L E S




Post refit trials and commissioned as HHelMS THEMISTOCLES


10th - Dockyard work completed and ship prepared for work-up.




Worked up for operation service. Transferred to Mediterranean Fleet.




Passage to Algiers on completion of work-up.


30th - Joined HM Destroyers CROOME, EXMOOR and Greek destroyer KRITI (Ex HMS TETCOTT ) in 22nd Destroyer Flotilla, Mediterranean Fleet.


Nominated for support of military operations in Aegean,. Passage to operational area.




1st - Deployed with HM Destroyer ALDENHAM and sister HUNT Class Greek destroyer HHelMS MIAOULIS (Ex HMS MODBURY) for patrol to intercept invasion convoy.


2nd - Interception unsuccessful but patrol maintained in Kasos Strait after nightfall. (Note: See WAR IN THE AEGEAN by P Smith and E Walker.)


3rd - Passage to Alexandria to refuel and replenish.


4th - Sailed from Alexandria with HM Destroyers ALDENHAM, ROCKWOOD and Greek MIAOULIS for Limassol to provide support of military operations in Aegean.


7th - Passage with HMS ALDENHAM from Limassol to meet HM Cruiser CARLISLE; HM Destroyers PETARD end PANTHER in position south of Scarpanto Straits.


8th - Detached and returned to Alexandria after unsuccessful search through Straits.




Aegean support and cover for evacuation of troops from Leros.




Deployed in eastern Mediterranean for convoy defence end patrol. Nominated for support of planned landings at Anzio and took passage to Malta.



1 9 4 4




Deployed for defence of military convoys assembling for assault at Anzio. (Operation ANVIL: For details see Naval Staff History and ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY.)


Sailed from Naples with Task Unit 81.6.


21st - Part of escort for assault convoys and carried out defensive patrols and support during planned landings.


Deployed as part of Attack Force X


February to June


Mediterranean convoy defence and ANVIL support in continuation.




Nominated for escort of military convoys during Assault Phase of planned allied landings in South France (Operation DRAGOON - Formerly ANVIL).


Passage to Naples for service under US Navy operational command for DRAGON.




Deployed at Naples.


11th - Sailed from Naples with US Navy destroyers USS TATNALL, USS BARRY, USS ROPER, USS GREENE and USS OSMOND INGRAM as escort for Convoy SY1 for passage to Propriano. (Note: Convoy SY1 was designated as a Commando Convoy and comprised five British Landing Ships (Infantry) with Commando troops embarked.)


14th - Sailed from Propriano for SITKA area with SY1.


15th - Detached after arrival In SITKA area and deployed for escort of follow-up convoys to beach head heads.


Resumed RN control on release from DRAGOON.




Transferred to British Aegean Force based at Alexandria and took passage to join units in eastern Mediterranean. Joined British Aegean Force and deployed in support of re-occupation of islands in the Aegean and the interception of evacuation craft.




Deployed in Aegean with sister HUNT Class destroyers named by Greek personnel (Note: These were HHelMS KRITI, PINDOS, KANARIS and MIAOULIS).


15th - Supported landings at Piraeus (Operation MANNA).




Deployed in support of military operations on Greek mainland. Transferred to 12th (Greek) Destroyer Flotilla with Greek manned HUNT Class.




Support of military operations in Greek waters with Flotilla.



1 9 4 5


January to May


Support deployment and convoy defence in continuation.




Deployed as part of Royal Hellenic Navy.



P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


HMS BRAMHAM continued service as HHelMS THEMISTOCLES until 12th December 1959 when she was returned to the Royal Navy and placed on the Disposal List. This ship was sold to a Greek shipbreaker on 30th June 1960 and broken up in Greece.






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








PQ 018





QP 014





AT 024





KMF 001










ET 006





MKS 006








(Note on Convoys)


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revised 12/8/11
further editing is required