Allied Warships

HMS Ardent (H 41)

Destroyer of the A class


HMS Ardent before World War Two

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassA 
PennantH 41 
Built byScotts Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. (Greenock, Scotland) 
Ordered6 Mar 1928 
Laid down30 Jul 1928 
Launched26 Jun 1929 
Commissioned14 Apr 1930 
Lost8 Jun 1940 
History

HMS Ardent (Lt.Cdr. John Frederick Barker, RN) was sunk on 8 June 1940 while defending the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious from the German battlecruiser Gneisernau and Scharnhorst.

Two men were rescued by a German seaplane 5 days after the ship was sunk. One subsequently died in hospital leaving just one survivor, Able Seaman Roger Hooke (stationed at X-gun) who was repatriated in 1943 due to ill health.  

Commands listed for HMS Ardent (H 41)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. John Frederick Barker, RN14 Oct 19388 Jun 1940 (+)

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Notable events involving Ardent include:


4 Sep 1939
HMS Courageous (Capt. W.T. Makeig-Jones, RN) departed Plymouth for an anti-submarine patrol. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Acasta (Cdr. P.J. Oliver, RN), HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN), HMS Amazon (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Roper, RN), HMS Ardent (Lt.Cdr. J.F. Barker, RN).

At sea they were joined by HMS Eclipse (Lt.Cdr. E.L. Woodhall, RN) which attacked a submarine contact around 1915 hours near Plymouth. The contact appears to have been bogus.

The force returned to Plymouth later the same day.

9 Sep 1939
HMS Courageous (Capt. W.T. Makeig-Jones, RN) departed Plymouth for an anti-submarine patrol in the Western Approaches. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Kempenfelt (Capt. C. Caslon, RN), HMS Ardent (Lt.Cdr. J.F. Barker, RN), HMS Echo (Cdr. S.H.K. Spurgeon, RAN).

10 Sep 1939
HMS Courageous (Capt. W.T. Makeig-Jones, RN) and her escort; the destroyers HMS Kempenfelt (Capt. C. Caslon, RN), HMS Ardent (Lt.Cdr. J.F. Barker, RN), HMS Echo (Cdr. S.H.K. Spurgeon, RAN) arrive at Milford Haven.

Around 1030 hours a Swordfish aircraft from HMS Courageous had attacked a submarine about 280 nautical miles west of Ushant. The German submarine U-34 reported being attacked by a British aricraft at 1117 hours (Berlin time, 1017 hours British time) which dropped one bomb which caused no damage.

A second attack on a submarine was carried out 270 nautical miles west of Ushant at 1250 hours. This attack is not reported by the Germans unless it was on a submarine which did not return from patrol.

11 Sep 1939
HMS Courageous (Capt. W.T. Makeig-Jones, RN) departed Milford Haven for an anti-submarine patrol in the Western Approaches. Again she was escorted by the destroyers HMS Kempenfelt (Capt. C. Caslon, RN), HMS Ardent (Lt.Cdr. J.F. Barker, RN), HMS Echo (Cdr. S.H.K. Spurgeon, RAN).

14 Sep 1939
HMS Courageous (Capt. W.T. Makeig-Jones, RN) and her escort; the destroyers HMS Kempenfelt (Capt. C. Caslon, RN), HMS Ardent (Lt.Cdr. J.F. Barker, RN), HMS Echo (Cdr. S.H.K. Spurgeon, RAN) arrived at Plymouth from an anti-submarine patrol in the Western Approaches.

They had provided cover for the damaged destroyers HMS Vanquisher (Lt.Cdr. K.H. Fraser, RN) and HMS Walker (Cdr. W.J.C. Robertson, RN) which had collided late on the 11th and were both heavily damaged.

21 Sep 1939
HMS Ardent (Lt.Cdr. J.F. Barker, RN) escorted Convoy OA-7. Ardent took wounded from the British tanker Teakwood aboard after it was torpedoed by German U-boat U-35. Ardent accompanied damaged Teakwood back to Falmouth. (1)

6 Feb 1940
HMS Exeter (Capt. F.S. Bell, CB, RN), and her escorts, HMS Renown (Capt. C.E.B. Simeon, RN), HMS Ark Royal (Capt. A.J. Power, RN), HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN) departed Freetown for Plymouth.

HMS Ark Royal and the destroyers parted company around 1800/9. Ark Royal was to proceed direct to the U.K. while the destroyers were to arrive at Dakar at 0900 (GMT) on the 11th.

Around dawn at 13 February 1940, HMS Renown and HMS Exeter were joined by HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, RN).

Around 0900/14 four more destroyers joined, HMS Hearty (Lt.Cdr. D.G.F.W. MacIntyre, RN), HMS Ardent (Lt.Cdr. J.F. Barker, RN), HMS Wren (Cdr. H.T. Armstrong, RN) and HMS Wolverine (Cdr. R.H. Craske, RN). (2)

11 Apr 1940

Convoy NP 1.

This troop convoy departed the Clyde on 11 April 1940 for Harstad, Norway. In the end the convoy was split up and one part arrived at Harstad on 15 April. The other part arrived off Namsos on 16 April.

It was made up of the troopships Empress of Australia (British, 21833 GRT, built 1914), Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931) and Reina del Pacifico (British, 17702 GRT, built 1931).

They were escorted by the destroyer HMS Amazon (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Roper, RN).

Early in the afternoon of 12 April the troopships Batory (Polish, 14387 GRT, built 1936) and Chrobry (Polish, 11442 GRT, built 1939) departed Scapa Flow to join convoy NP 1 at sea.

They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Highlander (Cdr. W.A. Dallmeyer, RN), HMS Vanoc (Lt.Cdr. J.G.W. Deneys, RN), HMS Volunteer (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN), HMS Whirlwind (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Rodgers, RN) and HMS Witherington (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Palmer, RN). The netlayer HMS Protector (Capt. W.Y la L. Beverley, RN) also departed Scapa Flow with these ships.

Around 1600/12, the light cruisers HMS Manchester (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN, flying the flag of Vice Admiral G. Layton, CB, DSO, RN) and HMS Birmingham (Capt. A.C.G. Madden, RN) departed Scapa Flow to join the convoy at sea which they did around 1945/12.

Shortly afterwards the convoy was also joined by the AA cruiser HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) and the destroyers HMS Brazen (Lt.Cdr. M. Culme-Seymour, RN), HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN) and HMS Griffin (Lt.Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, RN) which had sailed from Sullom Voe around 1130/12.

Late in the evening of 12 April repair ship HMS Vindictive (Capt. A.R. Halfhide, RN) escorted by the destroyers HMS Codrington (Capt. G.E. Creasy, MVO, RN), HMS Acasta (Cdr. C.E. Glasfurd, RN) and HMS Ardent (Lt.Cdr. J.F. Barker, RN) departed Scapa Flow to join the convoy which they did late in the afternoon of the 13th.

Coming south from a patrol off the Vestfjord area were the battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN), battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Janus (Cdr. J.A.W. Tothill, RN), HMS Javelin (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN) and HMS Juno (Cdr. W.E. Wilson, RN). These ships made rendez-vous with the convoy in the afternoon of the 13th after which HMS Repulse with the three J-class destroyers continued on towards Scapa Flow while HMS Valiant joined the convoy.

On April 14th it was decided that some of the troops were to be sent to Namsos and the convoy split up;

Troopships Chrobry and Empress of Australia escorted by the light cruisers HMS Manchester and HMS Birmingham, AA cruiser HMS Cairo and the destroyers HMS Highlander, HMS Vanoc and HMS Whirlwind split off late in the afternoon. This convoy arrived off Namsos early in the morning of the 16th.

The remainder of the ships; troopships Batory, Monarch of Bermuda, Reina del Pacifico, repair ship HMS Vindictive and netlayer HMS Protector with their escort made up of the battleship HMS Valiant and the destroyers HMS Codrington, HMS Amazon, HMS Acasta, HMS Ardent, HMS Brazen, HMS Fearless, HMS Griffin, HMS Volunteer and HMS Witherington arrived at Vaagsfjord late in the morning of the 15th. They had been escorted in by the light cruisers HMS Southampton (Capt. F.W.H. Jeans, CVO, RN) and HMS Aurora (Capt. L.H.K. Hamilton, DSO, RN).

31 May 1940
The aircraft carriers HMS Ark Royal (Capt. C.S. Holland, RN) and HMS Glorious (Capt. G. D’Oyly-Hughes, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) departed Scapa Flow for operations of northern Norway. They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Highlander (Cdr. W.A. Dallmeyer, RN), HMS Diana (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Le Geyt, RN), HMS Acasta (Cdr. C.E. Glasfurd, RN), HMS Acheron (Lt.Cdr. R.W.F. Northcott, RN) and HMS Ardent (Lt.Cdr. J.F. Barker, RN).

Media links


British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Sources

  1. Personal communication
  2. ADM 53/112194

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


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