HMS Eridge (L68)

Casualty List

Navy: Royal Navy
Type: Escort destroyer
Class: Hunt (Type II) 
Pennant: L 68 
Built by: Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd.(Wallsend-on-Tyne, U.K.)
Laid down: 21 Nov, 1939 
Launched: 20 Aug, 1940 
Commissioned: 28 Feb, 1941 
Complement: 168
End service: August 29th 1942 (c 31-00'N,28-30'E) Captain Frank Gregory -Smith, HMS Eridge (survived) was torpedoed by a one man Italian explosive craft. This was from the Giobbe Unit of the 10th Flotilla.

The craft which torpedoed HMS Eridge was manned by Sub Lieutenant Carminati and Crewman Cesare Sani who survived the attack and swam back to the shore. The second craft involved was destroyed.

Though she was towed by HMS Aldenham to Alexandria, she was a total constructive loss and spent the remainder of the war as a base ship.

In October 1946 HMS Eridge was sold at Alexandria for scrapping. 

History: While in the Mediterranean in July 1941 HMS Eridge provided escort for convoys bound for Malta from Gibraltar. In September 1941, the destroyer was docked in the Selborne dry dock at Simonstown, South Africa.

In February 1942 back in the Mediterranean, Hms Eridge was once again an escort to the Malta bound convoys setting out from Gibraltar. On March 19th, Hms Eridge a member of the 5th DD Flotilla set out from Alexandria bound for Tobruk on a submarine hunting expedition, in preparation to an advance supply convoy to Malta. The next afternoon a U-boat evaded the searchers and managed to launch an audacious attack, it takes a lot of courage to attack a flotilla of A/S destroyers. HMS Heythrop was torpedoed by U-652, and later taken in tow by Hms Eridge but later had to be scuttled by the destroyer north of Sollum. On the 20th, she and her sisters rendezvous with the Malta bound supply convoy and Eridge was employed as convoy escort to the commissioned auxiliary supply ship HMS Breconshire loaded with 5,000 tons of precious fuel, the Clan Campbell, the bomb damaged ship of the previous convoy, the Pampas and the Norwegian ship Talabot, fully loaded with ammunition. Getting this convoy through to Malta was afterwards referred to as the second battle of Sirte. Admiral Vian was in command of the operation. Clan Campbell met disaster a mere 20 miles from Malta, bombers which had first appeared soon after daylight were eventually rewarded for their persistence. A bomb struck home, her engine room became flooded and she soon went under. The hard working HMS Eridge was being tossed about by the waves like an empty barrel yet she managed to claw no less than 112 survivors from the angry sea. Of the total of 26,000 tons of stores carried by the four ships only 5,000 tons finally reached Malta. The price paid for delivering much needed stores was indeed heavy. On 29 May 1942 after a 15 hour pursuit by HMS Eridge, HMS Hero and HMS Hurworth the German submarine U-568 was sunk north-east of Tobruk. On July 11th, HMS Eridge in company with destroyers HMS Dulverton and HMS Hurworth they bombarded Mersa Matruh and sank one ship that was driven out to sea by Albacore aircraft. In August, in company with the destroyer HMS Aldenham she bombarded the Daba area on the Egyptian coast. 

29 May, 1942
The German submarine U-568 was sunk in the Mediterranean north-east of Tobruk, in position 32.42N, 24.53E, by depth charges from the British destroyer HMS Hero and the British escort destroyers HMS Eridge and HMS Hurworth.

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