Allied Warships

RHS Themistocles (L 51)

Escort destroyer of the Hunt (Type II) class

NavyThe Royal Hellenic Navy
TypeEscort destroyer
ClassHunt (Type II) 
PennantL 51 
Built byA. Stephen & Sons Ltd. (Glasgow, Scotland) 
Ordered20 Dec 1939 
Laid down7 Apr 1941 
Launched29 Jan 1942 
CommissionedMar 1943 
End service 
History

Loaned to the Royal Hellenic Navy by the Royal Navy, returned to the Royal Navy on 12 November 1959, scrapped in 1960.

 
Former nameHMS Bramham

We don't have any commands listed for RHS Themistocles (L 51)


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Notable events involving Themistocles include:


6 Aug 1943
HMS Stubborn (Lt. A.A. Duff, RN) conducted A/S exercises at Scapa Flow with HMS Danae (Capt. J.R.S. Haines, RN), HMS Phoebe (Capt. C.P. Frend, RN), RHS Themistocles and HMCS Huron (Lt.Cdr. H.S. Rayner, DSC, RCN). (1)

19 Nov 1943
After having arrived at Limmasol around 0300/19, HMS Penelope (Capt. G.D. Belben, DSC, AM, RN), oiled the destroyer HMS Petard (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Egan, RN) and escort destroyer RHS Themistocles between 0835 and 1015 hours and the escort destroyer HMS Croome (Lt. H.D.M. Slater, RN) between 1015 and 1125 hours. At 1130/19,

HMS Penelope then departed Limmasol for Haifa arriving there around 1730/19. (2)

28 Nov 1943
At 1117A/28, HMS Birmingham (Capt. H.W. Williams, RN) was torpedoed and very seriously damaged by the German U-boat U-407 off the coast of Cyrenaica in position 33°05'N, 21°43'E. 29 lives were lost in this attack.

The destroyer HMS Faulknor (Capt. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN) and the escort destroyers ORP Krakowiak (Lt.Cdr. W. Maracewicz) and RHS Themistocles come to assist the damaged cruiser which in the end joined convoy UGS 23. The three destroyers / escort destroyers then proceeded on their previous duties.

17 Dec 1943

Combined Convoy MKF 27 / XIF 6.

This combined convoy sailed from Port Said on 17 December 1943.

On departure from Port Said the combined convoy was made up of the following (troop) transports; Bergensfjord (Norwegian, 11015 GRT, built 1913), Indrapoera (Dutch, 10825 GRT, built 1925), Orion (British, 23371 GRT, built 1935), Ruys (Dutch, 14155 GRT, built 1937), Strathmore (British, 23428 GRT, built 1935), Takliwa (British, 7936 GRT, built 1924) and Volendam (British, 15434 GRT, built 1922).

They were escorted by the escort vessel HMS Antwerp (Lt.Cdr. J.N. Hulse, DSC, RD, RNR) and the escort destroyers HMS Exmoor (Lt.Cdr. D.T. McBarnet, RN) and RHS Themistocles.

Two more (troop) transports sailed from Alexandria and joined the convoy, these were the; Aronda (British, 9031 GRT, built 1941) and Princess Kathleen (British, 5875 GRT, built 1925).

They were escorted by the escort destroyers HMS Tetcott (Lt. A.F. Harkness, DSC, OBE, RNR), HMS Croome (Lt. H.D.M. Slater, RN) and RHS Miaoulis. These also joined the convoy.

On 17 December 1943, the escort destroyers ORP Slazak (Cdr. R. Nalecz-Tyminski, ORP), ORP Krakowiak (Lt.Cdr. W. Maracewicz), HMS Atherstone (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Wood, DSC, RNVR) and HMS Cleveland (Lt.Cdr. J.K. Hamilton, RN) departed Tobruk to join the convoy which they did the following day. They later split off with convoy the ships for Taranto (Convoy XIF 6).

The ships that were in convoy XIF 6 were the following; Aronda, Bergensfjord, Highland Princess, Indrapoera, Princess Kathleen, Ruys, Takliwa and Volendam.

Convoy XIF 6 arrived at Taranto on 21 December 1943.

Meanwhile the Orion and Strathmore had continued on to Augusta where they arrived on 20 December 1943 escorted by HMS Antwerp, HMS Tetcott, Exmoor, HMS Croome, RHS Miaoules and RHS Themistocles.

The Orion and Strathnmore remained at Augusta until 24 December 1943 when they departed for the U.K. They had been joined by the ships from convoy XIF 6A which had arrived on 23 December 1943 after having departed Taranto on 22 December 1943. The ships in convoy XIF 6A were the same ships that had been in convoy XIF 6 except for the Aronda which remained at Taranto. Also the escort had been the same.

On the convoys departure from Augusta it was escorted by ORP Slazak, ORP Krakowiak, HMS Atherstone and HMS Cleveland.

Around 1415A/25, the light cruiser HMS Spartan (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) joined off Bizerta.

Also on 25 December 1943, the escort destroyers HMS Blencathra (Lt. E.G. Warren, RN) and HMS Hambledon (Lt.Cdr. G.W. McKendrick, RN) joined.

Off Algiers, on the 26/27th, the escort destroyers were relieved by the frigates HMS Bentinck (Cdr. E.H. Chavasse, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Bazely (Lt.Cdr. J.V. Brock, RCNVR), HMS Burges (Lt.Cdr. H. Hill, DSC, RD, RNR), HMS Byard (Lt.Cdr. L.H. Phillips, RN), HMS Calder (Lt.Cdr. A.D. White, RD, RNR) and HMS Drury (Lt. N.J. Parker, RN).

Also the (troop) transports Maloja (British, 20914 GRT, built 1923) and Otranto (British, 20026 GRT, built 1925) joined.

Off Oran on the 27th, more (troop) transports joined, these were the Antenor (British, 11174 GRT, built 1925), Boissevain (Dutch, 14134 GRT, built 1937), Cameronia (British, 16297 GRT, built 1920) and Ormonde (British, 14982 GRT, built 1917).

Off Gibraltar, HMS Spartan was detached which then entered harbour while the (troop) transport Dempo (Dutch, 17024 GRT, built 1931) joined the convoy.

The convoy arrived in the U.K. on 4 January 1944.

Sources

  1. ADM 173/18137
  2. ADM 53/118345

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.


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