Allied Warships

HMS Harvester (H 19)

Destroyer of the Havant class

HMS Harvester as completed, she still had two banks of torpedo tubes

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantH 19 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Barrow-in-Furness, U.K.) 
Laid down3 Jun 1938 
Launched29 Sep 1939 
Commissioned23 May 1940 
Lost11 Mar 1943 
Loss position51° 23'N, 28° 40'W

Requisitioned by the Royal Navy on 4 September 1939 while being built for the Brazilian Navy. Named HMS Handy, renamed HMS Harvester before completion on 27 February 1940.

HMS Harvester (Cdr. Arthur Andre Tait, DSO, RN) was sunk on 11 March 1943 while escorting convoy HX-228. HMS Harvester rams the German submarine U-444 but is disabled and the U-boat has to be finished off by French corvette Aconit. HMS Harvester, now stationary, is torpedoed and sunk in position 51º23'N, 28º40'W by U-432 which is in turn brought to the surface by Aconit's depth charges and finally destroyed by gunfire and ramming.


Hit by U-boat
Sunk on 11 Mar 1943 by U-432 (Eckhardt).

U-boat AttackSee our U-boat attack entry for the HMS Harvester
Former nameHMS Handy (ex. Brazilian Jurus)

Commands listed for HMS Harvester (H 19)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

1Lt.Cdr. Mark Thornton, RN11 Mar 194015 Mar 1942
2Cdr. Harold Pitcairn Henderson, RN15 Mar 19429 Aug 1942
3Cdr. Arthur Andre Tait, DSO, RN9 Aug 194211 Mar 1943 (+)

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Notable events involving Harvester include:

25 May 1940
Assisted in evacuation of troops from Dunkirk. (1)

9 Jul 1940
HMS Harvester (Lt.Cdr. M. Thornton, RN) and HMS Havelock (Capt. E.B.K. Stevens, DSC, RN) together pick up 35 survivors from the British merchant Aylesbury that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-43 about 200 nautical miles south-east of Ireland in position 48°39'N, 13°33'W.

13 Sep 1940
During the night of 13/14 September 1940 the destroyers HMS Highlander (Cdr. W.A. Dallmeyer, RN), HMS Harvester (Lt.Cdr. M. Thornton, RN), HMS Bulldog (Lt.Cdr. F.J.G. Hewitt, RN) and HMS Beagle (Lt.Cdr. R.H. Wright, RN) bombard Cherbourg in a sweep through the Seine Bay.

30 Oct 1940
German U-boat U-32 was sunk north-west of Ireland, in position 55°37'N, 12°19'W, by depth charges from the British destroyers HMS Harvester (Lt.Cdr. C.M. Thornton, RN) and HMS Highlander (Cdr. W.A. Dallmeyer, RN).

27 Nov 1940
HMS Harvester (Lt.Cdr. M. Thornton, RN) and HMS Havelock (Lt.Cdr. E.H. Thomas, RN) both pick up a survivor from the British merchant Glenmoor that was torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-103 about 167 miles northwest of Sylne Head in position 54°35'N, 14°31'W.

7 Dec 1941
German U-boat U-208 was sunk in the North Atlantic west of Gibraltar, in position 35°51'N, 07°45'W, by depth charges from the British destroyers HMS Harvester (Lt.Cdr. M. Thornton, DSC, RN) and HMS Hesperus (Lt.Cdr. A.A. Tait, RN).

11 Mar 1943
German U-boat U-444 was sunk in the North Atlantic, in position 51°14'N, 29°18'W, by ramming and depth charges from the British destroyer HMS Harvester and the Free French corvette Aconit.

Media links

U-Boat Attack Logs

Daniel Morgan and Bruce Taylor

British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.


  1. Personal communication

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