HMS Heythrop (L85)

Casualty List

Navy: Royal Navy
Type: Escort destroyer
Class: Hunt (Type II) 
Pennant: L 85 
Built by: Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. (Wallsend-on-Tyne, U.K.)
Laid down: 18 Dec, 1939 
Launched: 30 Oct, 1940 
Commissioned: 21 Jun, 1941 
Complement: 168
Lost: 20 Mar, 1942  (Lt. Cdr R. S. Stafford, RN.)    (c 32-15'N, 25-15'E) Eastern Mediterranean, off Sidi Barrani , Egypt by 1 torpedo from German U.652 (Fraatz).
 
History: HMS Heythrop was sent to Scapa Flow to work up and later temporarily attached to the Irish Sea Escort Force in the Western Approaches Command, before sailing for the Mediterranean station. On 30 August 1941, the destroyer arrived at Gibraltar where she was docked for a short time owing to defects in a stern tube. On 13 September, the ship went to sea with the Gibraltar local escort force covering the cruiser HMS Manchester and the destroyer HMS Firedrake, en route to the U.S.A. as far as 25 West. On 25 September, HMS Heythrop joined the heavy forces assembled in Gibraltar Strait to cover a convoy to Malta during the Operation Halberd. Two days later, the British merchant Imperial Star was torpedoed by aircraft north of Cape Bon, HMS Heythrop took off 300 soldiers and rejoined the convoy which arrived at Malta on 28 September. The same day, the destroyer left with the force escorting three empty ships back to Gibraltar. Early in October, HMS Heythrop sailed via South Africa for Alexandria, arriving on 15 November, where she joined the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla and shortly after arrival was despatched for two operations in support of the Libyan offensive: Operation Aggressive, reinforcements for Tobruk on 19 November and Operation Landmark, a diversionary convoy from Malta to the southward that returned after dark to give the impression of an intended landing in Tripoli. In the period November 1941 to January 1942, the destroyer made several passages from Alexandria to Tobruk, generally under almost incessant attacks by enemy torpedo bombers. She made her last run to Tobruk on 30 January 1942, escorting the steam merchant Antwerp (carrying 370 personnel) and returned to Alexandria seven days later.

Battle Honours:
Atlantic 1941
Libya 1941/42
Malta Convoys 1941/42

At 1054hours on 20 March 1942, HMS Heythrop was hit by one of four fired torpedoes from U-652 about 40 miles northeast of Bardia in position 32.22N, 25.28E and was then taken in tow by the British destroyer HMS Eridge towards Tobruk, but foundered five hours later. HMS Heythrop carried out an anti-submarine search together with five other Hunt-class destroyers between Alexandria and Bardia during that night, because another Malta convoy was planned to leave Alexandria for Malta (Operation MG-1) on 20 March. 

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