HMS Achates (i) (H 12)
Destroyer of the A class
|Navy||The Royal Navy|
|Built by||John Brown Shipbuilding & Engineering Company Ltd. (Clydebank, Scotland)|
|Ordered||6 Mar 1928|
|Laid down||11 Sep 1928|
|Launched||4 Oct 1929|
|Commissioned||27 Mar 1930|
|Lost||31 Dec 1942|
|Loss position||73.18N, 30.06E|
On 31 December 1942 HMS Achates (Lt.Cdr. Arthur Henry Tyndall Johns, DSO, RN) was escorting convoy JW-51B in the Barents Sea with 2 light cruisers and 4 O-class destroyers, when the convoy came under attack of a German force comprising heavy cruisers Lützow, Admiral Hipper and 6 Z-class destroyers in position 74N, 28E.
In the prevailing twilight of those latitudes the fighting was rather confused, Achates was hit by unidentified opponents between 0930-1130 hrs, then, from 1130, Admiral Hipper landed several salvoes on her. The superstructure and bridge were wrecked, she lost steam and received several more hits, sinking in three minutes taking 113 men to the bottom, about 135 nautical miles east-south-east of Bear Island in position 73º18'N, 30º06'E. 80 survivors were picked up from the freezing water.
Commands listed for HMS Achates (i) (H 12)
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|1||Cdr. Robert James Gardner, RN||26 May 1939||10 Aug 1940|
|2||Lt.Cdr. Robert William Jocelyn, RN||10 Aug 1940||late 1941|
|3||Lt.Cdr. Arthur Andre Tait, RN||10 Mar 1942||21 Jul 1942|
|4||Lt.Cdr. Arthur Henry Tyndall Johns, RN||21 Jul 1942||31 Dec 1942 (+)|
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Noteable events involving Achates (i) include:
21 May 1941
The British battlecruiser Hood (Capt. R. Kerr, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral L.E. Holland, CB, RN) and the battleship Prince of Wales (Capt. J.C. Leach, MVO, RN) were ordered to proceed to Hvalfjord, Iceland as the German battleship Bismarck and heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen were spotted by air reconnaissance at Bergen, Norway. As there were indications that these two were going to 'set sail' for a raid on the ocean trade routes.
The two British capital ships were escorted by the destroyers HMS Electra (Cdr. C.W. May, RN), HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Hodges, RN), HMS Echo (Lt.Cdr. C.H.deB. Newby, RN), HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, DSO, RN), HMS Achates (Lt.Cdr. Viscount Jocelyn, RN) and HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. R.B.N. Hicks, DSO, RN).
8 Jun 1941
The British merchant Kingston Hill is torpedoed and sunk southwest of the Cape Verde Islands in position 09?35'N, 29?40'W by German U-boat U-38. HMS Achates (Lt.Cdr. Viscount Jocelyn, RN) later picks up 16 survivors.
25 Jul 1941
While taking position in the screen of the carriers preparing to launch an air strike against Kirkenes/Petsamo, HMS Achates (Lt.Cdr. Viscount Jocelyn, RN) was mined and severely damaged off the Seidisfjord, Iceland in position 64°11'N, 13°00'W. Achates was under repair until mid-March 1942. (see map)
8 Nov 1942
Deployed off Oran for operation "Torch". With HMS Westcott detected, attacked and sank the Vichy French submarine Argonaute, which had sortied to contest the Allied landings in the area.