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HMS Encounter (H10)
HMS Encounter 1938 IWM FL 11382.jpg
Encounter in July 1938
Name: HMS Encounter
Ordered: 1 November 1932
Builder: Hawthorn Leslie and Company, Hebburn
Cost: £252,250
Laid down: 15 March 1933
Launched: 29 March 1934
Completed: 2 November 1934
Identification: Pennant number: H10
Motto: Acta non verba
("Deeds not words")
Honours and
Atlantic 1939
Norway 1940
Spartivento 1940
Libya 1941
Malta Convoys 1941
Mediterranean 1941
Fate: Sunk in the Second Battle of the Java Sea, 1 March 1942
Badge: On a Field Green, two rapiers crossed Silver
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 (26,845 kW)
Speed: 26 knots (48 km/h; 30 mph)
Range: 6,000 nmi (11,000 km; 6,900 mi) at 15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Endurance: 471 tons fuel oil
Complement: 145 (173 in 1942)

• 4 × 4.7-inch (120-mm) QF Mk IX guns (4×1)
• 8 × Vickers .50 machine guns (2×4)
• 5 × .303 inch machine guns (5×1)
• 8 × 21-inch (530 mm) torpedo tubes (2×4)
• 2 × depth charge racks
• 60 depth charges
• 4 × 21 inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes replaced by

• 1 × 3 in (76.2 mm)/50 and 2 × 20 mm Oerlikon (2×1)

HMS Encounter was an E-class destroyer of the Royal Navy before and during World War II, serving in home waters and in the Norwegian Campaign, before joining the Mediterranean Fleet and serving on the Malta Convoys, and then in the Eastern Fleet until sunk by Japanese warships in the Second Battle of the Java Sea on 1 March 1942.[1]


On the 30 July she joined Force H, sailing on the 31st with six other destroyers as escort to Argus in Operation Hurry—the first "Club Run"—to deliver twelve Hurricane fighter aircraft to the besieged island of Malta.[1] While serving with the Eastern Fleet in 1942, she and the destroyer USS Pope were attacked by four Japanese cruisers and four destroyers in the Second Battle of the Java Sea. Encounter suffered major damage and was scuttled by her crew. Eight of the ship's company were killed and the remaining 149 became prisoners of war, 38 of whom died in captivity.[2] Pope was later attacked and sunk by 12 dive-bombers after sustaining many direct hits.

The following day, the Imperial Japanese Navy destroyer Ikazuchi rescued 442 survivors from HMS Encounter and USS Pope. The survivors had been adrift for some 20 hours, in rafts and lifejackets or clinging to floats, many coated in oil and unable to see. Among the rescued was Sir Sam Falle, later a British diplomat.[3] This humanitarian decision by Lieutenant Commander Shunsaku Kudō placed the Ikazuchi at risk of submarine attack, and interfered with her fighting ability due to the sheer numbers of rescued sailors. The action was later the subject of a book[4][5] and a 2007 TV programme.[6][7][8]

Discovery of wreck

The wrecks of Exeter and Encounter were first located by divers off Java in February 2007, and their identities confirmed at that time.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Mason, Geoffrey B. (1998). "HMS Encounter, destroyer". Service Histories of Royal Navy Warships in World War II. Retrieved 27 January 2011. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "World War II Royal Navy wrecks discovered in the Java Sea". 23 May 2008. Retrieved 28 January 2011. 
  3. "Reunion for sailor saved by enemy". BBC. 13 June 2003. Retrieved 29 June 2008. 
  4. Megumi, Ryuunosuke (5 July 2006) (in Japanese). 敵兵を救助せよ!—英国兵422名を救助した駆逐艦「雷」工藤艦長 [Save the Enemies!]. Tokyo, Japan: Soshisha Publishing Company. ISBN 978-4-7942-1499-7. 
  5. "Axis History Forum : Kudo Shunsaku and the Destroyer Ikazuchi". Retrieved 29 June 2008.  This forum discussion contains a brief summary of the 2006 Megumi book's account of the HMS Encounter and USS Pope rescues.
  6. "The Untold story of Captain Kudo Shunsaku and the Destroyer Ikazuchi". 19 May 2007. Retrieved 29 June 2008. 
  7. "日本の武士道1 Japanese BUSHIDO saved lives". YouTube. 2007. Retrieved 29 June 2008.  See also part 2 and part 3.[dead link] (Japanese)[dead link]
  8. 伊勢, 雅臣 (13 August 2006). "駆逐艦「雷」艦長・工藤俊作 (Destroyer "Ikazuchi", Kudo Shiyunsaku captain)" (in Japanese). Retrieved 29 June 2008 . A summary of the 2007 television program.


  • 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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