Allied Warships

HMS Basilisk (H 11)

Destroyer of the B class


HMS Basilisk before World War Two

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassB 
PennantH 11 
Built byJohn Brown Shipbuilding & Engineering Company Ltd. (Clydebank, Scotland) 
Ordered4 Mar 1929 
Laid down19 Aug 1929 
Launched6 Aug 1930 
Commissioned4 Mar 1931 
Lost1 Jun 1940 
Loss position51° 08'N, 2° 35'E
History

On 1 June 1940 HMS Basilisk (Cdr. Maxwell Richmond, OBE, RN) was sunk by German Stuka dive bombers off Dunkirk, France while she was participating in the evacuaton of the British Expeditionary Force from France.
The wreck lies in only 7 meters of water in position 51º08'13"N, 02º35'01"E.  

Commands listed for HMS Basilisk (H 11)

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CommanderFromTo
1Cdr. Maxwell Richmond, RN29 Jul 19391 Jun 1940

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Notable events involving Basilisk include:


13 Nov 1939
During the night of 12/13 November 1939 the German destroyers Karl Galster, Wilhelm Heidkamp, Hermann Kunne and Hans Ludemann lay a minefield in the South and Edinborough channels. Soon after the minefield had been laid the mine laying cruiser HMS Adventure (Capt. A. R. Halfhide, RN) ran into a mine. Temporally disabled the injured were transferred to the destroyer HMS Basilisk (Cdr. M. Richmond, RN) while the destroyer HMS Blanche (Lt.Cdr. R.N. Aubrey, RN) stood by. As the force made its way towards safety HMS Blanche was mined and settled by the stern. The tug Fabia went to the destroyers assistance but as she was towed the destroyer capsized and sank. HMS Blanche lost two crew killed and twelve injured.

See this website (offsite link) for a detailed account of the mining of HMS Adventure and HMS Blanche.

1 Feb 1940
HMS Basilisk (Cdr. M. Richmond, RN) sailed from Dover to for Boulogne with Lord Gort aboard, she returned with the Chief of Naval Staff, Chief of Imperial Staff plus other senior Staff Officers.

4 Feb 1940
HMS Basilisk and HMS Brilliant sail from Dover, the former with the Prime Minister, War cabinet and Chief of Staff for Boulogne.

18 Apr 1940
Involved in the rescue of a Whitley bomber crew that had been forced to ditch in the North Sea during operations to Trondheim. The aircraft in question was Whitley V N1352 KN-B of 77 Squadron, operating from a forward base at Kinloss, taking off at 1735 to bomb the airfield at Trondheim. At 2207 hours, a distress call from the aircraft was received and further calls were monitored over the next half hour or so. Shortly after 2234, the crew ditched. At around 0200 hours, the following morning, HMS Basilisk (Cdr. M. Richmond, RN) came on the scene and picked up four survivors; F/O Chance, Sgt Tindall, LAC O'Brien and AC1 Douglas. The body of the pilot, P/O R Hall (43151) was also recovered, and this officer now rests in Lerwick New Cemetery, though his home was in Yorkshire. (1)

Media links


British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Sources

  1. Personal communication

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