Allied Warships

HMS Daring (H 16)

Destroyer of the D class

HMS Daring before the Second World War

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantH 16 
Built byThornycroft (Southampton, U.K.) 
Ordered2 Feb 1931 
Laid down18 Jun 1931 
Launched7 Apr 1932 
Commissioned25 Nov 1932 
Lost18 Feb 1940 
Loss position58° 40'N, 1° 35'W

On 18 February 1940 HMS Daring (Cdr. Sydney Alan Cooper, RN) was torpedoed and sunk about 40 nautical miles east of the Pentland Firth in position 58º40'N, 01º35'W by the German submarine U-23. HMS Daring was escorting convoy HN-12 from Bergen to Methil. There were only 5 survivors, 156 men were lost.  

Hit by U-boat
Sunk on 18 Feb 1940 by U-23 (Kretschmer).

U-boat AttackSee our U-boat attack entry for the HMS Daring

Commands listed for HMS Daring (H 16)

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1Cdr. Sydney Alan Cooper, RN7 Jul 193918 Feb 1940 (+)

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Notable events involving Daring include:

9 Oct 1939
The battleships HMS Warspite (Capt. V.A.C. Crutchley, VC, DSC, RN), HMS Barham (Capt. H.T.C. Walker, RN), HMS Malaya (Capt. I.B.B. Tower, DSC, RN), the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious (Capt. G. D’Oyly-Hughes, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN), the light cruiser HMS Penelope (Capt. G.D. Yates, RN) and the destroyers HMS Duncan (Capt. G.R.B. Back, RN), HMS Daring (Cdr. S.A. Cooper, RN), HMS Dainty (Cdr. F.M. Walton, RN), HMS Grafton (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN), HMS Gallant (Lt.Cdr. C.P.F. Brown, RN), HMS Gipsy (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Crossley, RN) and HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN) conducted exercises off Alexandria.

During the exercises HMS Malaya, HMS Glorious, HMS Daring and HMS Bulldog split off. They were to proceed to the Indian Ocean (Socotra area). (1)

28 Dec 1939
HMS Otway (Cdr. H.R. Conway, RN) conducted exercises off Malta together with HMS Beryl and later with HMS Daring (Cdr. S.A. Cooper, RN). (2)

16 Feb 1940
HMS Thistle (Cdr. R.W. Stirling-Hamilton, RN) departed from Bergen, Norway as part of the escort of convoy HN-12. The convoy was to arrive at Methil on 19 February. Other ships of the escort were light cruisers HMS Edinburgh (Capt. F.C. Bradley, RN) and HMS Arethusa (Capt. Q.D. Graham, RN), destroyers HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, RN), HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, DSC, RN), HMS Imogen (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN) and HMS Delight (Cdr. M. Fogg-Elliott, RN). Anti-Aircraft protection was provided by the anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Calcutta (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN).

The destroyer HMS Daring (Cdr. S.A. Cooper, RN) joined the convoy at sea on the 16th having departed Rosyth on the 15th.

HMS Edinburgh and HMS Aurora were detached on the 17th to Scapa Flow. They were escorted by HMS Inglefield and HMS Imogen.

On the 18th the convoy was joined by three merchant ships from the Orkneys and by destroyer HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. W. Kitcat, RN).

On the 18th HMS Daring was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-23. HMS Thistle sights the sinking destroyer and directs the other destroyers to the rescue. HMS Inglefield picked up one officer and three ratings from a Carley float and HMS Ilex another rating from wreckage, they are the only survivors. 156 of the crew are lost. HMS Ilex also hunted the U-boat without success. (3)

Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor
(£ 38.25)

British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.


  1. ADM 199/389
  2. ADM 173/15881
  3. ADM 199/373

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

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