RHS Kondouriotis (D 99)
Destroyer of the Kondouriotis class
|Navy||The Royal Hellenic Navy|
|Built by||Cantieri Odero (Sestri Ponente, Italy)|
|Launched||29 Aug 1931|
Escaped to Alexandria in May 1941.
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Notable events involving Kondouriotis include:
6 Feb 1943
Convoy's MW 20 / XT 2.
This convoy departed Alexandria on 6 February 1943 and was to split up into two on 9 February. Convoy MW 20 was to proceed to Malta where it arrived on 10 February. Convoy XT 2 was to proceed to Tripoli where it also arrived on 10 February.
The combined convoy was made of the following ships; American Packer (American, 6802 GRT, built 1941), Clan Macindoe (British, 4635 GRT, built 1920), Daniel H. Lownsdale (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Egra (British, 5108 GRT, built 1911), Erinna (Dutch (tanker), 6233 GRT, built 1936), Glaucus (British, 7596 GRT, built 1921), Manaar (British, 8007 GRT, built 1942), Ocean Voyager (British, 7174 GRT, built 1942), Phemius (British, 7406 GRT, built 1921), Robert Maersk (British, 2290 GRT, built 1937), Tureby (British, 4372 GRT, built 1936) and Yorba Linda (Panamanian (tanker), 6900 GRT, built 1921).
On departure from Alexandria the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. A.F. Pugsley, RN), HMS Javelin (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, DSC, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, DSC and Bar, RN), RHS Kondouriotis and the escort destroyers HMS Aldenham (Lt. H.A. Stuart-Menteth, RN), HMS Beaufort (Lt.Cdr. S.O’G Roche, DSO, RN), HMS Belvoir (Lt. J.F.D. Bush, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Exmoor (Lt. D.T. McBarnet, RN), HMS Hurworth (Lt.Cdr. J.T.B. Birch, DSO, RN), HMS Tetcott (Lt.Cdr. H.R. Rycroft, RN), RHS Kanaris and Pindos.
On 7 February the Greek destroyer Kondouriotis detached to Tobruk to fuel and rejoin the convoy on completion.
Around 1800/8, the light cuiser HMS Euryalus (Capt. E.W. Bush, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and the destoyers HMS Nubian (Cdr. D.E. Holland-Martin, DSC, RN) and HMS Paladin (Lt.Cdr. L.St.G. Rich, RN) departed Malta to join the convoy at dawn the following day.
Around 0745/9, HMS Euryalus, HMS Nubian and HMS Paladin joined the convoy.
At 2000/9, the convoy split up into two sections, the Malta section (MW 20) was made up of the; Egra, Erinna, Glaucus, Manaar, Phemius and Yorba Linda and escorted by HMS Euryalus, HMS Jervis, HMS Javelin, HMS Kelvin, HMS Nubian, HMS Paladin, RHS Kondouriotis, HMS Aldenhan, HMS Beaufort, HMS Belvoir, HMS Exmoor, HMS Hurworth and RHS Kanaris.
The other ships proceeded to Tripoli escorted by HMS Tetcott and RHS Pindos. At Tripoli the convoy was swept in the the minesweepers HMS Boston (Lt. D.H.G. Coughlan, RNR), HMS Cromarty (Lt.Cdr. C.G. Palmer, DSC, RNZNVR) and HMS Whitehaven (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) G.W.A.T. Irvine, RNR).
HMS Tetcott and RHS Pindos then proceeded to Malta. (1)
11 Feb 1943
The RFA tanker Cherryleaf (5896 GRT, built 1917) departed Malta for Tripoli. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Kelvin (Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Paladin (Lt.Cdr. L.St.G. Rich, RN) and RHS Kondouriotis. (1)
13 Feb 1943
The RFA tanker Cherryleaf (5896 GRT, built 1917), and her escorts, HMS Kelvin (Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Paladin (Lt.Cdr. L.St.G. Rich, RN) and RHS Kondouriotis arrived off Tripoli. They were unable to enter the harbour due to a strong north-westerly gale. (1)
14 Feb 1943
The RFA tanker Cherryleaf (5896 GRT, built 1917), and her escorts, HMS Kelvin (Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Paladin (Lt.Cdr. L.St.G. Rich, RN) and RHS Kondouriotis were now able to enter Tripoli harbour. (1)
15 Feb 1943
Convoy TX 1
This convoy departed Tripoli at 15 February 1943. It was to join up with convoy ME 17 coming from Malta.
Due to the bad weather conditions the convoy was one day late in sailing from Tripoli.
As the convoy was late it was unable to join up with convoy ME 17 and then proceeded independently to Alexandria.
The convoy was made up of the transports; James Duncan (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Malayan Prince (British, 8953 GRT, built 1926) and Ozarda (British, 6985 GRT, built 1940).
On the 15th the convoy was joined by the destroyer HMS Jervis (Capt. A.F. Pugsley, RN) which came from convoy ME 17.
At 1040/17, the German submarine U-205 tried to attack the convoy in position 33°08'N, 22°18'E but was detected. HMS Paladin attacked with depth charges after which the enemy immediately surfaced. An escorting Bisley (Blenheim) aircraft (W/15Sq./SAAF) dropped depth charges straddling the submarine. HMS Paladin opened fire on the enemy with any gun that could bear. HMS Jervis came to her aid also firing her guns. The German crew then started to abandon their submarine.
During the engagement Paladin's Pompom, when on the extreme forward bearing, fired into the shelter at the fore end of the Pompom platform, resulting in the death of four ratings. Four others were seriously wounded, all of whom were on the deck below.
On being abandoned, the enemy submarine was seen to be proceeding at about 9 knots on her moters circling with her helm jammed hard to port. It was therefore difficult to approach her. Paladin hoping that the submarines batteries would exhaust themselves in the meanwhile, recovered five officers (including the Commanding Officer) and thirty ratings.
At this time the corvette HMS Gloxinia (Lt. A.F. Harkness, DSC, OBE, RNR), who was escorting another convoy in the vicinity, was ordered to close an take the enemy submarine in tow. HMS Paladin then put a boarding party on board the submarine. They were unable to take the way of the submarine or free the rudder. HMS Gloxinia eventually managed to take her in tow at 1310/27. She then closed the coast, escorted by HMS Paladin. Towing was difficult and little headway was made. The submarine was slowly sinking by the stern and by 1530/27 her conning tower was awash. She finally sank at 1637/27 in position 32°54'08"N, 22°11'4"E, near Ras-el-Hilal.
The convoy, escorted by HMS Jervis, HMS Kelvin, HMS Paladin and RHS Kondouriotis arrived at Alexandria on 18 February 1943. (1)
- ADM 199/773
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.
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