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HMS Echo (H23)
E Class Destroyer profile
Profile of an E-class destroyer
Career (UK)
Name: HMS Echo
Namesake: Echo
Ordered: 1 November 1932
Builder: William Denny and Brothers, Dumbarton
Cost: £247,009
Laid down: 20 March 1933
Launched: 16 February 1934
Completed: 22 October 1934
Identification: Pennant number: H23
Motto: Marte et Arte
("Strength and Skill")
Honours and
awards:
Atlantic 1939
Norway 1940
Bismarck Action 1941
Arctic 1941-43
Malta Convoys 1942
Sicily 1943
Salerno 1943
Aegean 1943
Fate: Transferred to Greece, 5 April 1944
Badge: On a Field Party per pale Green and Blue, two horns counterchanged Gold and Silver.
Career (Greece)
Name: Navarinon (Greek: Ναυαρίνον)
Acquired: 5 April 1944
Fate: Returned to the Royal Navy, 8 March 1956, and sold for scrapping.
General characteristics
Class & type: E class destroyer
Displacement: 1,350–1,405 long tons (1,372–1,428 t) standard
1,886–1,940 long tons (1,916–1,971 t) full load
Length: 318 ft 3 in (97.00 m) p/p
329 ft (100 m) o/a
Beam: 33 ft 3 in (10.13 m)
Draught: 12 ft 6 in (3.81 m)
Propulsion: 3 Admiralty 3-drum boilers
300 psi (2,100 kPa), 620 °F
2 shaft Parsons geared turbines
36,000 shp (27,000 kW)
Speed: 26 knots (30 mph; 48 km/h)
Range: 6,000 nmi (11,000 km) at 15 kn (17 mph; 28 km/h)
Endurance: 471 tons fuel oil
Complement: 145 (173 in 1942)
Armament: • 4 × 4.7 inch/45 (120 mm) Mk XVIII (4×1)
• 8 × .50 inch Vickers machine guns (2×4)
• 5 × .303 inch machine guns (5×1)
• 8 × 21 inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes (2×4)
• 2 × depth charge racks
• 60 depth charges
1940:
• 4 × 21 inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes replaced by
• 1 × 3 in (76.2 mm)/50 and 2 × 20 mm Oerlikon (2×1)

HMS Echo was an E-class destroyer of the British Royal Navy that saw service in the Atlantic, Arctic and Mediterranean theatres during World War II, before being transferred to the Royal Hellenic Navy in 1944, and renamed Navarinon, until scrapped in 1956.[1]

Service history

Echo had a small role in the film Q Planes, released in March 1939.[2] In January 1940 Echo was deployed with the 12th Flotilla at Scapa Flow for minelayer escort and patrol duties. In May she was deployed to support military operations in Norway. In August she escorted ships of the 1st Minelaying Squadron on several operations, and on the 28th was detached for duty with the Free French expedition to Dakar (Operation Menace). After the operation was abandoned on 25 September she escorted the damaged battleship Barham to Freetown, and Echo was retained there for local convoy defence, not rejoining the Flotilla until the end of October.[1]

On 21 May Echo, and five other destroyers, were deployed as the escort to the battlecruiser Hood and battleship Prince of Wales on their way to the Denmark Strait, during the search for the German warships Prinz Eugen and Bismarck. In 25 May, the day after the Battle of the Denmark Strait, Echo escorted the damaged Prince of Wales to Iceland. At the end of July she was deployed in the destroyer screen of "Force P—the carriers Furious and Victorious and the cruisers Devonshire and Suffolk—during the raid on Kirkenes and Petsamo. From mid-August she was refitted at the Harland and Wolff shipyard at North Woolwich, rejoining the Flotilla on 4 November.[1]

From 8 December she and Escapade provided the screen for the cruiser Edinburgh escorting the Russian Convoy PQ 6 to Kola Inlet. On arrival on the 19th Echo was detached to escort a Russian merchant ship to Murmansk. She was attacked by two German Ju 88 bombers, but spared by the timely arrival of Russian Hurricane fighters and Edinburgh. She then escorted the return Convoy QP 4, arriving back at Scapa Flow on 10 January 1942.[1]

Echo returned to Scapa Flow to provide anti-submarine defence for convoys between the UK and Iceland. On mid-June she began a refit in a Humber shipyard, returning to Scapa Flow on 22 August to join the 8th Destroyer Flotilla. On 2 September she was deployed to support Russian Convoy PQ 18. Further Arctic convoy duty followed, escorting returning Convoy QP 15 in November, then Convoy JW 51A in December 1942, and Convoy JW 52 in January 1943.[1]

In February Echo began a refit at a Humber shipyard, rejoining the 8th Destroyer Flotilla in June, and sailing for Gibraltar on the 17th. In early July the Flotilla sailed to Alexandria to prepare for Operation Husky — the Allied invasion of Sicily.[1] On July 13, 1943, with the help of Ilex, she sank Italian submarine Nereide south east of the Straits of Messina. On arrival on 16 September she was immediately re-deployed to support operations to reoccupy islands in the Aegean. The next day she and Intrepid attacked the German Unterseebootsjager UJ-2104 off Stampalia,[1] which was beached and abandoned by her crew.[3]

Notes

References

  • English, John (1993). Amazon to Ivanhoe: British Standard Destroyers of the 1930s. Kendal, England: World Ship Society. ISBN 0-905617-64-9. 
  • Rohwer, Jürgen (2005). Chronology of the War at Sea 1939-1945: The Naval History of World War Two (Third Revised ed.). Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-59114-119-2. 
  • Whitley, M. J. (1988). Destroyers of World War Two. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-326-1. 


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