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HMS Boadicea (H65)
The Royal Navy during the Second World War A15522.jpg
Name: HMS Boadicea
Namesake: Boadicea
Ordered: 4 March 1929
Builder: Hawthorn Leslie
Laid down: 11 July 1929
Launched: 23 September 1930
Completed: 7 April 1931
Identification: Pennant number: H65
Motto: Vincta sed invicta
("Bound yet unconquered")
Honours and
ATLANTIC 1941-43
ARCTIC 1942-44
Fate: Sunk 13 June 1944, Lyme Bay (16 miles SW of Portland Bill)
Badge: On a Field Black, Boadicea in a chariot drawn by two horses Gold
General characteristics (as built)
Class & type: B-class destroyer
Displacement: 1,360 long tons (1,380 t) (standard)
1,790 long tons (1,820 t) (deep load)
Length: 323 ft (98.5 m) o/a
Beam: 32 ft 3 in (9.8 m)
Draught: 12 ft 3 in (3.7 m)
Installed power: 34,000 shp (25,000 kW)
Propulsion: 2 × shafts
2 × Parsons geared steam turbines
3 × Admiralty 3-drum boilers
Speed: 35 knots (65 km/h; 40 mph)
Range: 4,800 nmi (8,900 km; 5,500 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Complement: 138
Sensors and
processing systems:
Type 119 ASDIC
Armament: 4 × 1 - 4.7-inch Mk IX guns
2 × 1 - QF 2-pounder Mk II AA guns
2 × 4 - 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes
20 × depth charges, 1 rail and 2 throwers

HMS Boadicea was a B-class destroyer built for the Royal Navy that saw service during World War II until she was sunk on 13 June 1944 while supporting the invasion of Normandy.


Authorised in the 1928 ship building programme Boadicea was built at the Hawthorn Leslie & Company Limited yard at Hebburn-on-Tyne. She was laid down on 11 July 1929, launched on 23 September 1930 and completed on 7 April 1931.[1]

Service history

Boadicea was commissioned at Portsmouth on the 2 June 1931 and joined the 4th Destroyer Flotilla. Her pre-war service was in the Mediterranean between 1931 and 1936. Following a refit at Portsmouth in 1936 she rejoined the 4th Destroyer Flotilla until the B-class destroyers were replaced with the Tribal class.

At the outbreak of the Second World War Boadicea was attached to the 19th Destroyer Flotilla based at Dover during which time her role was the escort of troopships. Her earliest major engagement of the war was in support of the evacuation of the 51st Highland Division from Le Havre in June 1940. During this action she was extensively damaged and needed to return to Portsmouth for repair. In 1942 and 1943 she served on Arctic convoys to Russia: PQ-15,QP-12, JW-51-A, JW-53, JW-57, JW-58, RA-53, RA-57, RA-58 and RA-59.[2]

In November 1942 she served in support of Operation Torch: the Allied invasion of French North Africa. When the troop ship RMS Viceroy of India was torpedoed off Oran on 11 November 1942 Boadicea took her in tow, and when the troop ship sank the destroyer rescued 540 survivors.[3]

Boadicea was sunk on 13 June 1944 while escorting a convoy of merchant ships in convoy EBC-8 from Milford Haven in support of the Normandy invasion. Only 12 of her crew of 188 survived. She may have been hit by an Hs 293 air-to-surface missile launched by a German Do 217. However, official British reports attribute the sinking to a torpedo launched by a Ju 88 aircraft which disguised itself in a formation of RAF Beaufighters.

The ship is included on the Chatham Naval Memorial.

Her wreck is 16 miles (26 km) south west of the Isle of Portland at 50°28′12″N 02°29′30″W / 50.47°N 2.49167°W / 50.47; -2.49167Coordinates: 50°28′12″N 02°29′30″W / 50.47°N 2.49167°W / 50.47; -2.49167 in 53 metres (174 ft) of water. Her bow is blown off forward of the engine rooms. Her stern section is upright and reasonably intact. The wreck site is designated as a protected place under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986.[4]

See also


  1. Hawkins, Ian (2003). Destroyer: An Anthology of First Hand Accounts of the War at Sea 1939-1945. London: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 978-0-85177-947-8. 
  2. "Arnold Hague Convoy Database". Retrieved 17 January 2011. 
  3. Helgason, Guðmundur (1995–2013). "Viceroy of India". Ships hit by U-boats. Guðmundur Helgason. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  4. "The Protection of Military Remains Act 1986 (Designation of Vessels and Controlled Sites) Order 2008". Retrieved 17 January 2011. 


  • Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) [1969]. Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8. OCLC 67375475. 
  • English, John (1993). Amazon to Ivanhoe: British Standard Destroyers of the 1930s. Kendal: World Ship Society. ISBN 0-905617-64-9. 
  • Friedman, Norman (2009). British Destroyers From Earliest Days to the Second World War. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-59114-081-8. 
  • Lenton, H.T. (1998). British & Commonwealth Warships of the Second World War. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-048-7. 
  • March, Edgar J. (1966). British Destroyers: A History of Development, 1892-1953; Drawn by Admiralty Permission From Official Records & Returns, Ships' Covers & Building Plans. London: Seeley Service. OCLC 164893555. 
  • Rohwer, Jürgen (2005). Chronology of the War at Sea 1939-1945: The Naval History of World War Two (3rd Revised ed.). Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-59114-119-2. 
  • Whitley, M.J. (1988). Destroyers of World War 2. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-326-1. 
  • Winser, John de D (1999). B.E.F. Ships Before, At and After Dunkirk. Gravesend, Kent: World Ship Society. ISBN 0-905617-91-6. 

External links


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