Allied Warships

HMS Jersey (F 72)

Destroyer of the J class


HMS Jersey as completed

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassJ 
PennantF 72 
Built byJ.S. White & Co. (Cowes, U.K.) 
Ordered25 Mar 1937 
Laid down28 Sep 1937 
Launched26 Sep 1938 
Commissioned28 Apr 1939 
Lost2 May 1941 
Loss position35° 54'N, 14° 30'E
History

HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. Anthony Frank Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) was mined and sunk off La Valletta, Malta in position 35º54'N, 14º30'E.

 

Commands listed for HMS Jersey (F 72)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Alec Murray McKillop, RN14 Apr 1939late 1939

2Lt.Cdr. Walter Evershed, RN30 Aug 19408 Jan 1941
3Lt.Cdr. Anthony Frank Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN8 Jan 19412 May 1941

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Notable events involving Jersey include:


5 Sep 1939
HMS Southampton (Capt. F.W.H. Jeans, RN) intercepts the German merchant Johannes Molkenbuhr (5294 GRT) off Stadlandet, Norway in position 61°40'N, 03°51'E. The Germans scuttled their ship before it could be captured. The crew was taken off by HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, RN). The ship was then finished off by HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.M. McKillop, RN).

6 Dec 1939
During the night of 6/7 December 1939 the German destroyer Z 12 escorted by her sister ship Z 10 was on an offensive mining operation off Cromer. At 0255hours, just 15 minutes after the lay had been completed, the German ships sighted the British destroyers HMS Juno (Cdr. W.E. Wilson, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.M. McKillop, RN) about 8000m away. The Germans turned to a parallel course and by 0310hours had closed range to 4,600m while remaining undetected themselves. Z 10 fired three torpedoes at Juno, the lead British ship while Z 12 sent four more torpedoes at Jersey. Z 10's salvo missed, but Z 12 scored with one torpedo. The blow started a large fire and caused damage that required ten months to repair. Juno turned back to assist Jersey, making smoke; apparently the British believed a submarine had attacked them. The Germans still had the advantage of surprise and fired at least five more torpedoes, but then they decided to break off the action and return for home. HMS Jersey was under repair until 23 September 1940.

10 Oct 1940
HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. W. Evershed, RN) set off a mine when leaving the Humber and sustained some damage, repairs were carried out in the docks in London. Jersey arrived at Plymouth on the 13th October.

6 Nov 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. W. Evershed, RN) departed Plymouth [presumably for a patrol but we have been unable to find confirmation for this in documents].

They returned to Plymouth the next day. (1)

7 Nov 1940
HMS H 43 (Lt. H.R.B. Newton, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Plymouth with HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. W. Evershed, RN) and HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN).

Upon completing these exercises HMS H 43 departed Plymouth for Holyhead. She was escorted by HMS Troubadour (Cdr.(Retd.) D.H. Milward, DSC, RNR). (2)

23 Nov 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN with Capt.(D.5) Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, RN on board), HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN), HMS Javelin (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN), HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. W. Evershed, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) departed Plymouth at 2052.

They were to intercept a German convoy but nothing was sighted. Speed had been limited by defects in HMS Jackal. The destroyers returned to Plymouth at 1025/24. (1)

24 Nov 1940
HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Javelin (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN), HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. W. Evershed, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) departed Plymouth at 2150 to patrol between the Lizard and the Scillies Islands as three German destroyers had been reported to have left Brest and were thought to be operating off the South coast between 06'W and 01.30'W. They were intially ordered to return to Plymouth at 0930/25 but his order was cancelled at 1925/24.

[Capt.(D.5) Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, RN was on board one of the destroyers but ADM 199/372 does not state which destroyer.] (3)

29 Nov 1940
The 5th British destroyer flotilla (Capt. Lord Louis Mountbatten), HMS Javelin (flag), HMS Jupiter, HMS Kashmir, HMS Jackal and HMS Jersey encounters the German destroyers Karl Galster, Hans Lody and Richard Beitzen while these were conducting an anti-shipping raid off Plymouth. In the gun/torpedo battle that followed HMS Javelin was hit by two torpedoes, losing both her bow and stern. Only 155 feet of Javelin's original 353 foot length remained afloat and was towed back to harbour. Javelin was out of action for almost a year. (4)

8 Dec 1940
HMS Manchester (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN) departed Gibraltar for Scapa Flow. She was escorted by the destroyer HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. W. Evershed, DSO, RN) until 11 December when she was detached to Plymouth. (5)

22 Jan 1941
During the night of 22/23 January 1941 HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) conducted a patrol between Land's End and Start End.

They had departed Plymouth at 1630/22 and were ordered to return around 1030/23 but they actually returned shortly before 1300/23.

6 Feb 1941

British raid on Genoa.

Force H (Vice Admiral Somerville) left Gibraltar on 6 February 1941. The battlecruiser HMS Renown (Capt R.R. McGrigor, RN), battleship HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal (Capt. C.S. Holland, RN), light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. C.A.A. Larcom, RN) and the destroyers HMS Fearless (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN) HMS Foxhound (Lt.Cdr. G.H. Peters, DSC, RN), HMS Foresight (Cdr. J.S.C. Salter, RN), HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN), HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St.J. Morgan, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) 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 (Capt. A.D.B. James, RN), HMS Isis (Cdr. C.S.B. Swinley, DSC, RN), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.P. Thew, RN) left Gibraltar and steamed to the east to conduct a anti-submarine sweep. During the night Force H reversed course and passed Gibraltar on an easterly 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 Balearics. 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 Genoa. 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.

3 Mar 1941
Around 1000 hours, HMS Resolution (Capt. A.R. Halfhide, CBE, RN), and her escorting destroyers, HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN), HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN), HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN), HMS Cleveland (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Clouston, RN) and HMS Tynedale (Lt.Cdr. H.E.F. Tweedie, RN) arrived at Spithead / Portsmouth.

HMS Kelly, HMS Kashmir, HMS Kelvin, HMS Kipling, HMS Jackal and HMS Jupiter departed Portsmouth for exercises off Dartmouth. They were later ordered to patrol between Ushant and Land's End. HMS Jersey was also to have sailed with them but was unable to do so due to a damaged rudder. (6)

7 Apr 1941
HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) arrived at Plymouth at 0855/7.

HMS Kelly, HMS Kelvin, HMS Kipling, HMS Jackal and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) were ordered to depart Plymouth at 1700/7 to again patrol to the west of Brest during the night.

8 Apr 1941
HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN),vHMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) returned to Plymouth at 1128 hours. They had sighted nothing during their patrol west of Brest except for a large number of fishing vessels off Ushant.

9 Apr 1941
At 1641 hours, HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN),vHMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) are ordered to depart Plymouth and try to intercept a large German transport ship and three escorts off Les Casquests (west of Alderney Island). If they were not in contact with the enemy by 0300/10 they were to return to Plymouth.

10 Apr 1941
HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN),HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) returned to Plymouth having sighted nothing.

21 Apr 1941
HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) departed Plymouth for Gibraltar.

24 Apr 1941
HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) arrived at Gibraltar.

24 Apr 1941

Operations Dunlop and Salient.


Transfer of fighter aircraft to Malta and reinforcements for the Mediterranean Fleet.

Timespan: 24 to 28 April 1941.

24 April 1941.

At 2200/25, ‘Force S’, made up of the light cruiser HMS Dido (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, RN, Senior Officer), fast minelayer HMS Abdiel (Capt. Hon. E. Pleydell-Bouverie, MVO, RN), destroyers HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, DSO, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN), HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) departed Gibraltar westwards but they soon turned eastwards again to pass Gibraltar eastwards after dark. The ships also had on board stores for Malta. Most of these on HMS Dido and HMS Abdiel.

They were followed one hour later, at 2300/25, by ‘Force H’. They departed Gibraltar and immediately turned eastwards. ‘Force H’ for this occasion was made up of the battlecruiser HMS Renown (Capt. R.R. McGrigor, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral J.F. Somerville, KCB, DSO, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal (Capt. L.E.H. Maund, RN), light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. C.A.A. Larcom, RN) and the destroyers HMS Faulknor (Capt. A.F. de Salis, RN), HMS Fearless (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN), HMS Forester (Lt.Cdr. E.B. Tancock, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Fortune (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Sinclair, RN) and HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN).

25 April 1941.

On 26 April 1941 both forces proceeded to the east independently. At 2050 hours ‘Force H’ altered course and increased speed to reach the flying off position for the Hurricanes for Malta. They were to reach approximate position 37°40’N, 06°10’E at dawn the next day.

At 2120 hours a signal was received from Malta reporting that the weather was unsuitable and that the flying off had to be postponed for 24 hours. Speed was then reduced and at 2300 hours ‘Force H’ altered course to the westwards for an area to the south-west of Ibiza.

26 April 1941.

In the morning weather reports came in from Malta which were favourable. ‘Force H’ then altered course to 220° and at 1100 hours course was altered to the north-east. The object was to remain unsighted throughout the day. This was successful due to the poor visibility. Two more favourable weather reports came from Malta throughout the day.

In the evening a signal was received from HMS Dido stating that ‘Force S’ had also postponed their passage to Malta by 24 hours.

At 2100 hours ‘Force H’ was in position 38°35’N, 02°14’E. They then altered course to 106° and increased speed to 24 knots to again reach the flying off position for the Hurricanes at dawn.

27 April 1941.

Two more favourable weather reports were received during the early hours of the night. Weather in ‘Force H’ position was however not so good and at 0445 hours, in position 37°40’N, 05°55’E the destroyers had to be detached as they had difficulty keeping up with the other ships in the rising sea.

Flying off started at 0515 hours and was completed at 0613 hours. A total of 23 Hurricanes were flown off in two batches of eight and one of seven. These were all led by a Fulmar. On completion of flying off the Hurricanes an A/S patrol was launched as well as some Fulmars for fighter protection while the ships retired to the northwest on course 300° at 27 knots.

Though visibility was poor, a lone Heinkel appeared from the clouds over HMS Renown at 0850 hours and fire was opened on it. The enemy aircraft then made off the north-east with some of the Fulmars chasing it. The enemy was able to get back in the clouds before the Fulmars could overtake it. This aircraft reported the position, course and speed of the formation.

At 1000 hours a new section of Fulmars was flown off to relieve the others and at 1036 hours a signal was received from Malta that all the Hurricanes and their escorting Fulmars had landed safely.

At noon the destroyers rejoined and formed an A/S screen. Speed was reduced to 18 knots. ‘Force H’ remained in a position to support ‘Force S’ if needed. Aircraft for A/S and fighter protection were flown off during the day.

By 2000 hours all aircraft had returned to HMS Ark Royal and course was set to return to Gibraltar.

28 April 1941.

At dawn nine Swordfish were flown off for a practice attack on ‘Force H’. However one of the Swordfish hit the bridge of HMS Ark Royal and crashed into the sea. HMS Sheffield was able to pick up two of the three crew members. There was now sign of the air gunner and he was missing, presumed killed in the crash.

More air exercises were carried out during the day.

At 1130 hours, HMS Sheffield was detached to proceed to Gibraltar for a docking.

All ships of ‘Force H’ arrived at Gibraltar later on the day.

The ships of ‘Force S’ arrived safely at Malta on the 28th. (7)

1 May 1941
HMS Gloucester (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) and the 5th Destroyer Flotilla; HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, DSO, GCVO, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN), HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) departed Malta to intercept an important Axis convoy off the Kerkenah Bank. They however could not do so and the convoy arrived safely at Tripoli.

This Axis convoy was made up of the German transports Marburg (7564 GRT, built 1928), Kybfels (7764 GRT, built 1937), Reichenfels (7744 GRT, built 1936) and the Italian transports Birmania (5305 GRT, built 1930) and Rialto (6099 GRT, built 1927). Close escort for this convoy was provided by escorted by the Italian destroyers Fulmine and Euro and the torpedo boats Canopo, Castore, Orsa and Procione.

Distant cover for this convoy was provided by two heavy cruiser from the Italian 3rd Cruiser Division; Trieste and Bolzano, the light cruiser Eugenio di Savoia (from the 7th Cruiser Division) and the destroyers Ascari, Carabiniere and Vincenzo Gioberti.

Another convoy was reported to the northward but a heavy head sea made it's interception impossible.

This convoy was probably the one made up of the German transport Tilly M. Russ (1600 GRT, built 1926), Brook (1225 GRT, built 1927), and the Italian Bainsizza (7933 GRT, built 1930), San Andrea (?) and tug Max Behrendt escorted by the torpedo-boats Generale Carlo Montanari, Clio, Centauro and Polluce and the armed merchant cruiser Ramb III, they were on passage Trapani to Tripoli. (8)

2 May 1941
HMS Gloucester (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) and the 5th Destroyer Flotilla; HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, DSO, GCVO, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN), HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) returned to Malta having failed to intercept two Axis convoys to Tripoli.

HMS Kelly, HMS Kelvin and HMS Jackal had entered the harbour. HMS Jersey was the next destroyer to enter but hit a mine and sank. HMS Gloucester, HMS Kashmir and HMS Kipling therefore were unable to enter the harbour and had to proceed to Gibraltar instead. (9)

Media links


British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman


The Kellys

Langtree, Christopher


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Sources

  1. ADM 187/10
  2. ADM 173/16313
  3. ADM 199/372
  4. Personal communication
  5. ADM 53/112671
  6. ADM 53/114986
  7. ADM 199/656
  8. ADM 199/413
  9. ADM 199/413 + ADM 199/414

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


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