HMS Firedrake (H79)

Casualty List

Navy: Royal Navy
Type: Destroyer
Pennant: H 79 
Built by: Vickers Armstrong (Newcastle-on-Tyne, U.K.): Parsons 
Ordered: 17 Mar, 1933 
Laid down: 5 Jul, 1933 
Launched: 28 Jun, 1934 
Commissioned: 30 May, 1935 
Complement: 145
Lost: 17 Dec, 1942 (Cdr. E. H. Tilden, RN., DSC) North Atlantic, in position (50-50'N, 25-15'W) was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-211. (Lt Cdr. Hause).
History: 14 Sep, 1939
The German submarine U-39 was sunk north-west of Ireland by depth charges from the British destroyers HMS Faulknor, HMS Foxhound and HMS Firedrake.

18 Oct, 1940
The Italian submarine Durbo was sunk east of Gibraltar by the British destroyers HMS Firedrake, HMS Wrestler and 2 London flying boats (RAF 202Sqn.)

6 Feb, 1941
British raid on Genua.

Force H (Vice Admiral Somerville) left Gibraltar on 6 February 1941. The battlecruiser HMS Renown, battleship HMS Malaya, aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, light cruiser HMS Sheffield and the destroyers HMS Fearless, HMS Foxhound, HMS Foresight, HMS Fury, HMS Encounter and HMS Jersey left Gibraltar to the west with convoy HG-53. This was done to fool German and Italian observers in Spain. In the meantime 4 destroyers HMS Duncan, HMS Isis, HMS Firedrake and HMS Jupiter left Gibraltar and steamed to the east to conduct a anti-submarine sweep. During the night Force H reversed course and passed Gibraltar on a westerly course back into the Mediterranean. There they were joined by the 4 destroyers that conducted the anti-submarine sweep.

On 8 February the Italian fleet left port and steamed south after they received reports of British carrier aircraft south of the Balearen. The Italians thought that there was another convoy to Malta.

Early in the morning of 9 February Renown, Malaya and Sheffield bombarded the Italian city of Genua. In the harbour 4 ships were sunk and 18 were damaged. Also the city itself was damaged.

The Italian fleet turned around and tried to intercept the British ships but due to the bad weather this failed.

In the meantime Ark Royal's aircraft raided Livorno and mined the harbour of La Spezia.

Force 'H' safely returned to Gibraltar on 11 February

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