Allied Warships

HMS Boreas (H 77)

Destroyer of the B class

HMS Boreas before World War Two

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantH 77 
Built byPalmers Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd (Jarrow-on-Tyne, U.K.) 
Ordered22 Mar 1929 
Laid down22 Jul 1929 
Launched18 Jul 1930 
Commissioned20 Feb 1931 
End service 

HMS Boreas was adopted by Southall, Middlesex, UK.

HMS Boreas was loaned to the Greek Navy as HMS Salamis on 10 February 1944. Returned to the Royal Navy in September 1951. Sold to be broken up for scrap on 23 November 1951.

Career notesBecame the Greek destroyer Salamis

Commands listed for HMS Boreas (H 77)

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1Lt.Cdr. Michael Wilfred Tomkinson, RN28 Mar 1939mid 1940

2Lt.Cdr. David Hugh Maitland-Makgill-Crichton, DSC, RN19 Nov 19408 Dec 1941
3Lt.Cdr. Eric Lister Jones, DSC, RN8 Dec 1941late 1943

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Notable events involving Boreas include:

6 Mar 1938
HMS Boreas suffered 5 casualties among crewmembers (1 dead 4 wounded)while, together with HMS Kempenfelt were rescuing survivors of sinking of Spain?s Nationalist Navy Cruiser Baleares which was torpedoed by Spain?s Republican Navy destroyer Lepanto. Casualties on board HMS Boreas were caused by Republican air force attack (1)

25 Jul 1940
HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, RN) and HMS Brilliant (Lt.Cdr. F.C. Brodrick, RN) were damaged by a German air attack in the English Channel. 22 of the crew of Boreas were killed in the attack. Brilliant sustained no casualties. Boreas completed repairs ca. mid-January 1941 and Brilliant completed repairs ca. mid-September 1940. (1)

10 Feb 1941
Around 1800/10, HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN), arrived at Skaale Fiord, Faroes where they embarked fuel.

They departed again around 2200 hours to search for a submarine reported by HMS Nelson (Capt. G.J.A. Miles, RN) to the west of the Faroes in position 60°59'N, 12°44'W. HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN) is ordered to also proceed to that position to join them there. Later this was changed to position 59°25'N, 09°07'W where a merchant vessel had reported being chased by a submarine.

In the evening the light cruiser HMS Mauritius (Capt. W.D. Stephens, RN) reported attacking a submarine in position 60°59'N, 12°44'W. HMS Kelly and HMS Jackal, which had not joined the other destroyers yet, were ordered to proceeded to that position.

On the 11th the destroyers were joined by the destroyer HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Maitland-Makgill Crichton, DSC, RN) and in the evening HMS Jackal was ordered to proceed to Scapa Flow to refuel as she had not done so since leaving Plymouth.

12 Feb 1941
On February 12th, HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Maitland-Makgill Crichton, DSC, RN), were submarine hunting near position 59°23'N, 08°45'W. HMS Boreas developed engine troubles and was detached to Scapa Flow escorted by HMS Kipling. Eventually Kipling had to take Boreas in tow until relieved by a tug.

22 May 1941
HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Maitland-Makgill Crichton, DSC, RN) picks up survivors from the British merchant Rodney Star that was torpedoed and finally sunk with gunfire on 16 May 1941 about 420 nautical miles west-south-west of Freetown in position 05°03'N, 19°02'W by German U-boat U-105

22 May 1941

Convoy WS 8B

Convoy from the Clyde to Aden where it was dissolved.
Departure date: 22 May 1941.
Arrival date: 4 July 1941.

The following merchant ships (mostly troopships) were part of this convoy;
Abosso (11330 GRT, built 1935), Almanzora (15551 GRT, built 1914), Duchess of Richmond (20022 GRT, built 1928), Georgic (27759 GRT, built 1932), Martand (7967 GRT, built 1925), Orduna (15507 GRT, built 1914).

Christian Huygens (16287 GRT, built 1927).

The aircraft carrier HMS Argus (Capt. T.O. Bulteel, RN) was also part of the convoy. She was to proceed to Gibraltar to deliver replacement aircraft. She detached from the convoy on 27 May 1941. In the morning of 28 May 1941, she was joined by the destroyers HMS Fearless (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN), HMS Foresight (Cdr. J.S.C. Salter, RN) and HMS Foxhound (Cdr. G.H. Peters, DSC, RN) which escorted her to Gibraltar.

Escort was initially provided by the following warships;
Heavy cruiser HMS Exeter (Capt. O.L. Gordon, MVO, RN), light (AA) cruiser HMS Cairo (A/Capt. I.R.H. Black, RN), HMS Cossack (Capt. P.L. Vian, DSO, RN), HMS Maori (Cdr. G.H. Stokes, DSC, RN), HMS Zulu (Cdr. H.R. Graham, DSO, RN), ORP Piorun (Cdr. E.J.S. Plawski), HMCS Ottawa (Cdr. E.R. Mainguy, RCN), HMCS Restigouche (Lt.Cdr. H.N. Lay, RCN) and the escort destroyer HMS Eridge (Lt.Cdr. W.F.N. Gregory-Smith, RN).

On 26 May 1941, all escorts were detached except HMS Exeter.

On 2 June 1941, while approaching Freetown, the destroyers HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Maitland-Makgill Crichton, DSC, RN) and HMS Duncan (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Rowell, RN) joined the convoy. The next day the corvette HMS Marguerite (Lt.Cdr. A.N. Blundell, RNR) also joined.

The convoy arrived at Freetown on 4 June 1941.

The convoy, less Abosso and Christiaan Huygens, departed Freetown on 6 June. It was escorted by the Exeter and had a local escort of the destroyers HMS Duncan, HMS Boreas and HMS Highlander (Cdr. S. Boucher, RN). The destroyers were detached on 8 June.

The convoy arrived at Durban, South Africa on 20 June 1941.

The convoy departed Durban for Aden on 23 June. The Dutch Nieuw Zeeland (11069 GRT, built 1928) had joined the convoy at Durban. Escort was still provided by HMS Exeter.

The convoy was dissolved off Aden on 4 July 1941 and the ships proceeded to their destination independently.

23 May 1941
HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Maitland-Makgill Crichton, DSC, RN) picks up 61 survivors from the Dutch merchant Berhala that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-38 about 280 nautical miles west-north-west of Freetown in position 09°50’N, 17°50’W.

23 Aug 1941
HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. D.H. Maitland-Makgill Crichton, DSC, RN) picks up 25 survivors from the Norwegian merchant Spind that was damaged by gunfire from German U-boat U-552 The destroyer sank the damaged Spind with gunfire east of Lisbon, Portugal in position 40°43'N, 11°39'W

18 Aug 1942
HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN) picks up 18 survivors from the Norwegian tanker Mirlo that was torpedoed and sunk on 11 August 1942 about 870 nautical miles west-southwest of Freetown in position 06°04'N, 26°50'W by German U-boat U-130.

23 Nov 1942
During the night of 23/24 November 1942, HMS Trooper (Lt. J.S. Wraith, DSO, DSC, RN), crosses the Straits of Gibraltar escorted by HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN). (2)

1 Jan 1943
HMS Boreas (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Jones, DSC, RN) picks up 3 survivors from the American merchant Arthur Middleton that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-73 off Oran, Algeria in position 35°45'N, 00°45'W.

29 Jul 1943
Reported to have steamed over 250,000 miles since the war began. In 439 days, she travelled 183,244 miles.

Media links

British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.


  1. Personal communication
  2. ADM 199/1845

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

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