Allied Warships

HMS Thanet (H 29)

Destroyer of the Admiralty S class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassAdmiralty S 
PennantH 29 
Built byHawthorn Leslie & Co. (Hebburn-on-Tyne, U.K.) 
OrderedJun 1917 
Laid down13 Dec 1917 
Launched5 Nov 1918 
Commissioned30 Aug 1919 
Lost27 Jan 1942 
Loss position2° 40'N, 103° 42'E
History

HMS Thanet (Cdr. Bernard Sydney Davies, RN (retired)) was sunk on 27 January 1942 by the Japanese destroyers Fubuki, Asagiri, Yugiri, Shirayuki (all offsite links) off Endau (east coast of Malaya) in position 02°40N, 103°42'E while attacking Japanese transport ships together with HMAS Vampire.

 

Commands listed for HMS Thanet (H 29)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. John Mowlam, RN10 Feb 1939Apr 1941
2Cdr. (retired) Bernard Sydney Davies, RNApr 194127 Jan 1942

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Notable events involving Thanet include:


28 Sep 1939
HMS Rainbow (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Luce, RN) carried out practice attacks off Hongkong on HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN). (1)

9 Nov 1939
HMS Rainbow (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Luce, RN) carried out practice attacks off Hongkong on HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN). (2)

22 Nov 1939
HMS Pandora (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Linton, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong together with HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN). (3)

24 Jan 1940
HMS Regulus (Cdr. J.M. Money, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong together with HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN). (4)

26 Jan 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong with HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN). (5)

31 Jan 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong with HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN) and HMS Scout (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Holmes, RN). (5)

6 Feb 1940
HMS Pandora (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Linton, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong with HMS Rainbow (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Luce, RN) and HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN). (6)

7 Feb 1940
HMS Pandora (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Linton, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong with HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN). (6)

8 Feb 1940
HMS Rainbow (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Luce, RN) carried out exercises off Hongkong with HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN). (7)

12 Feb 1940
HMS Pandora (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Linton, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong with HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN) and HMS Scout (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Holmes, RN). (6)

13 Feb 1940
HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong with HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN). (8)

19 Feb 1940
HMS Pandora (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Linton, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong with HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN). (6)

20 Feb 1940
HMS Regulus (Cdr. J.M. Money, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong together with HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN). (9)

21 Feb 1940
HMS Pandora (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Linton, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong with HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN). (6)

21 Feb 1940
HMS Rainbow (Lt.Cdr. J.D. Luce, RN) carried out exercises off Hongkong with HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN). (7)

22 Feb 1940
HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong with HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN). (8)

26 Feb 1940
HMS Pandora (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Linton, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong with HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN) and HMS Scout (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Holmes, RN). (6)

4 Mar 1940
HMS Pandora (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Linton, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong with HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN) and HMS Scout (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Holmes, RN). (10)

11 Mar 1940
HMS Pandora (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Linton, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong with HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN) and HMS Scout (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Holmes, RN). (10)

20 Mar 1940
HMS Pandora (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Linton, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong with HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN). (10)

26 Mar 1940
HMS Rover (Lt.Cdr. H.A.L. Marsham, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong together with HMS Thracian (Lt.Cdr. H.G.D. de Chair, RN) and HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN). (11)

9 Apr 1940
HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong with HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN). These included night exercises. (12)

7 Jun 1940
During the night of 7/8 June 1940, HMS Dauntless (Capt. G.D. Moore, RAN), HMS Scout (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Holmes, RN), HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN) and HMS Thracian (Lt.Cdr. H.G.D. de Chair, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong. (13)

10 Jun 1940
HMS Dauntless (Capt. G.D. Moore, RAN), HMS Scout (Lt.Cdr. C.H. Holmes, RN), HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN), HMS Thracian (Lt.Cdr. H.G.D. de Chair, RN) and MTB's all conducted exercises off Hong Kong. (13)

12 Jun 1940
HMS Dauntless (Capt. G.D. Moore, RAN) conducted gunnery exercises off Hong Kong.

In the evening she conducted a night encounter execises with HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN). (13)

3 Sep 1940
HMS Durban (Capt. J.A.S. Eccles, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong. These included a range an inclination exercises with HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN). (14)

4 Sep 1940
HMS Durban (Capt. J.A.S. Eccles, RN) and HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong. (14)

5 Sep 1940
HMS Durban (Capt. J.A.S. Eccles, RN) and HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong. (14)

1 Oct 1940
During 1/2 October 1940, HMS Durban (Capt. J.A.S. Eccles, RN) and HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN), conducted a patrol off Hong Kong. (15)

12 Nov 1940
HMS Dauntless (Capt. G.D. Moore, RAN) and HMS Thanet (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong. (16)

10 Jan 1942

Convoys MS 2 and MS 2A.

Convoy MS 2 departed Sydney on 10 January 1942.

This convoy was made up of only one ship, the troopship Aquitania (British, 44786 GRT, built 1914).

On departure from Sydney convoy MS 2 was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra (Capt. G.D. Moore, RAN).

Convoy MS 2 arrived at Fremantle on 15 January and departed again in the same composition on the 16th.

On 19 January 1942, while approaching the Sunda Strait the convoy was joined by a local escort made up of the light cruisers HMS Dragon (Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN), HrMs Java (Capt. P.B.M van Straelen, RNN) and the destroyers HMS Express (Lt.Cdr. F.J. Cartwright, RN) and HMS Thanet ( Cdr.(Retd.) B.S. Davies, RN) which came from Batavia.

On 20 January 1942, the destroyer HrMs Van Nes (Lt.Cdr. C.A. Lagaay, RNN) joined. The convoy arrived at Ratai Bay, Sumatra later the same day.

On arrival at Lampung Bay, HrMs Java and HMS Thanet parted company to proceed to Batavia to fuel on completion of which they returned to Ratai Bay. HMAS Canberra and HMS Express fuelled at Ratai Bay.

At Lampung Bay the troops from the Aquitania were put onto smaller ships which were to take them to Singapore as Convoy MS 2A.

These were the merchant vessels; Both (Dutch, 2601 GRT, built 1931), Reael (Dutch, 2561 GRT, built 1931), Reijnst (Dutch, 2462 GRT, built 1928), Sloet van Beele (Dutch, 2977 GRT, built 1914), Taishan (British, 3174 GRT, built 1925), Van der Lijn (Dutch, 2464 GRT, built 1928) and Van Swoll (Dutch, 2147 GRT, built 1930).

To provide cover for the operation of putting the troops on board the smaller ships the heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra, light cruisers HMS Dragon, destroyers HMS Express, HMAS Vampire (Cdr. W.T.A. Moran, RAN), USS Barker (Lt.Cdr. L.G. McGlone, USN), USS Stewart (Lt.Cdr. H.P. Smith, USN), HrMs Evertsen (Lt.Cdr. W.M. de Vries, RNN), HrMs Van Nes, sloops HMIS Jumna (Cdr. W.R. Shewring, RIN), HrMs Soemba (Cdr. P.J.G. Huijer, RNN) and the patrol vessel USS Isabel (Lt. J.W. Payne, Jr., USN) were patrolling / present in the Bay.

Around 1045GH, convoy MS 2A departed Ratai Bay for Singapore. It was escorted by HMAS Canberra, HMAS Vampire and HMIS Jumna.

Around 1830GH/21, HrMs Java and HMS Thanet joined from Batavia.

At 1000GH/23, after the convoy had passed the Banka Strait HMAS Canberra parted company leaving HrMs Java in command of the escort. HMAS Canberra then proceeded to Batavia where she arrived the following day.

The convoy arrived at Singapore late in the morning of the 24th. (17)

26 Jan 1942

Battle of Endau.

Around 1630GH/26, the destroyers HMAS Vampire (Cdr. W.T.A. Moran, RAN) and HMS Thanet ( Cdr.(Retd.) B.S. Davies, RN) departed Singapore to attack Japanese transports and warships which had been reported landing troops near Endau, Malaya.

At 0237GH/27, what was thought to be an enemy destroyer was sighted. As the main target of the raid were to be the transports the Allied destroyers evaded and continued on towards Endau. They however soon sighted a second ' destroyer ' right ahead and close. HMAS Vampire swung to port and fired two torpedoes but both missed. This ship, which was in fact the minesweeper W 1 patrolling outside the anchorage, sighted the Allied destroyer and sounded the alarm. The two Allied destroyers continued their course towards Endau until shortly after 0300GH/27 and when not sighting the expected concentration of transport they turned to the south-east and increased to their best speed.

At 0318GH/27 an enemy destroyer appeared on Vampire's port bow and she fired her last remaining torpedo. Again no hit was obtained. HMS Thanet altered course to starboard and fired all her torpedoes but they too missed. The Japanese destroyer, which was the Shirayuki, opened fire and the light cruiser Sendai also opened fire.

The Allied destroyers retired to the south-east by east at full speed, returning the Japanese fire in the unequal engagement.

Around 0400GH/27, HMS Thanet was hit in a boiler room and she soon came to a halt. Cdr. Moran tried to cover her withdrawal with a smoke screen but the stricken vessel was doomed and was last seen from HMS Vampire laying stopped and listing heavily to starboard. She sank shortly afterwards at about 0415GH/27. More Japanese ships had meanwhile attacked her, these were the destroyers Fubuki, Hatsuyuki, Amagiri, Asagiri and Yugiri and the minesweeper W-1.

HMS Vampire managed to escape undamaged and returned to Singapore around 1000GH/27.

[All links to Japanese warships are offsite links.]

Media links


British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Sources

  1. ADM 173/15961
  2. ADM 173/15963
  3. ADM 173/15892
  4. ADM 173/16472
  5. ADM 173/16442
  6. ADM 173/16396
  7. ADM 173/16454
  8. ADM 53/112606
  9. ADM 173/16473
  10. ADM 173/16397
  11. ADM 173/16496
  12. ADM 53/112608
  13. ADM 53/111937
  14. ADM 53/112109
  15. ADM 53/112110
  16. ADM 53/111942
  17. Report of proceedings of HMAS Canberra for January 1942 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Vampire for January 1942

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


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