Allied Warships

HMS Anthony (H 40)

Destroyer of the A class

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantH 40 
Built byScotts Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. (Greenock, Scotland) 
Ordered6 Mar 1928 
Laid down30 Jul 1928 
Launched24 Apr 1929 
Commissioned14 Feb 1930 
End service 

On 28 May 1940 The Belgian King Leopold capitulated with the his army, this caused the commencement of operation Dynamo (the return of the British ex-peditionary force from France). HMS Anthony was amongst the many destroyers that participated. On the 30th of that month she was damaged by air attacks.

Late May 1941, HMS Anthony and five other destroyers accompanied the battlecruiser HMS Hood and the battleship HMS Prince of Wales from Scapa Flow under Vice Admiral Holland, in search of the German battleship Bismarck and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen in the direction South of Iceland. The Admirals force came up to intercept the German units south of the Denmark Straits. On 24 May there was a brief engagement between the two forces in which the Hood was sunk and the Prince Of Wales was damaged and forced to turn away.

In July 1941 HMS Anthony was serving in the Arctic escorting the minelaying cruiser HMS Adventure which was being used as a transport vessel to Murmansk, together they formed a unit of a much larger force which was involved in a British carrier raid on Kirkenes and Petsanio.

In August 1941, she becomes a member of Force K under Rear Admiral Vian, she escorted the troop transport Empress Of Canada to Spitsbergen in company with the cruisers HMS Aurora and HMS Nigeria, in order to evacuate the Norwegian and Soviet colonies there and destroy all the installations.

February 1942 saw HMS Anthony in the Mediterranean, appointed to Force H under Vice Admiral Syfret based at Gibraltar.

On 19 March 1942, convoy WS-16 arrived in South Africa from the UK with reinforcements. The convoy consisted of 14 ships, HMS Anthony was one of the numerous escort vessels assigned to this convoy.

During April-May 1942, the destroyer was serving in the Indian Ocean area and participated in Operation Ironclad (the British landing near Diego Suarez, Madagascar). On May 5th, the capture of the Island was held up by the Vichy French defenders. The landing of British marine commandos from HMS Anthony and the capture of important central installations lead, however to the rapid collapse of French resistance. From 24 until 31 August 1942 HMS Anthony was docked in the Selborne dry dock at Simonstown, South Africa.

During January / February 1944 HMS Anthony was based at Gibraltar, and assisted in the destruction of U-761, after detection of its prey by the use of M.A.D equipment (Magnetic Anomaly Detector) fitted in aircraft.

In May 1944, HMS Anthony was re-armed as an anti-submarine escort, with 4.7"guns only at A and X positions.

On 24 December 1944, whilst performing escort duties in the North Atlantic/English Channel with four other escorts U-486 succeeded in penetrating their screen and sink the troop transport

Leopoldville, 819 men perished in this incident.

In 1946 Anthony was used as a flying target training ship, and then in damage control tests.

HMS Anthony was sold to be broken up for scrap on 18 August 1947.

In May 1948 the destroyer was broken up for scrap at Troon, Scotland.


Commands listed for HMS Anthony (H 40)

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1Lt.Cdr. Norman Vivian Joseph Thompson Thew, RN15 Mar 193914 Oct 1940
2Lt.Cdr. Victor Cecil Froggatt Clark, DSC, RN14 Oct 194025 Feb 1941
3Lt.Cdr. John Michael Hodges, RN25 Feb 194125 Jan 1943
4Lt.Cdr. John Henry Wallace, DSC, RN25 Jan 194311 Sep 1944
5Lt. Anthony Charles Denniss Leach, RN11 Sep 1944Feb 1945
6T/A/Lt.Cdr. Arthur St. George Walton, RNVRFeb 1945Jul 1945
7Lt. William Ridley Morton Murdoch, DSC, RNVRJul 1945late 1945

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Notable events involving Anthony include:

25 Aug 1940
The British merchant Jamaica Pioneer is torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-100 east of Rockall in position 57°05'N, 11°02'W. Later the British destroyers HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. N.J.V. Thew, RN) and HMS Wanderer (Cdr. J.H. Ruck-Keene, RN) pick up 55 survivors.

1 Sep 1940
HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. N.J.V. Thew, RN) picks up 27 survivors from the Greek merchant Efploia that was torpedoed and sunk earlier that day by German U-boat U-101 about 130 nautical miles north-west of Ireland in position 55°27'N, 13°17'W.

26 Sep 1940
HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. N.J.V. Thew, RN) picks up 42 survivors from the British passenger ship City of Benares that was torpedoed and sunk on 18 September 1940 by German U-boat U-48 253 nautical miles west-south-west of Rockall in position 56°43'N, 21°15'W.

29 Jan 1941
HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. V.C.F. Clark, DSC, RN) picks up 22 survivors from the British merchant King Robert and 30 survivors from the Greek merchant Aikaterini that were torpedoed and sunk by the German U-boats U-94 and U-93 in the convoy SC-19 south-southwest of Rockall in position 56°00'N, 15°23'W.

21 May 1941
The British battlecruiser Hood (Capt. R. Kerr, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral L.E. Holland, CB, RN) and the battleship Prince of Wales (Capt. J.C. Leach, MVO, RN) were ordered to proceed to Hvalfjord, Iceland as the German battleship Bismarck and heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen were spotted by air reconnaissance at Bergen, Norway. As there were indications that these two were going to 'set sail' for a raid on the ocean trade routes.

The two British capital ships were escorted by the destroyers HMS Electra (Cdr. C.W. May, RN), HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Hodges, RN), HMS Echo (Lt.Cdr. C.H.deB. Newby, RN), HMS Icarus (Lt.Cdr. C.D. Maud, DSO, RN), HMS Achates (Lt.Cdr. Viscount Jocelyn, RN) and HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. R.B.N. Hicks, DSO, RN).

24 Feb 1944
German U-boat U-761 was scuttled in the Strait of Gibraltar north of Tangier, in position 35°55'N, 05°45'W, after being badly damaged by depth charges from the British destroyers HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Wallace, DSC, RN) and HMS Wishart (Lt. J.A. Holdsworth, RN), a British Catalina (202 Sqn RAF/G) and two US Catalina aircraft (VP-63 USN/P-14 & P-15).

Media links

British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

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