Allied Warships

ORP Grom (H 71)

Destroyer of the Grom class

NavyThe Polish Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassGrom 
PennantH 71 
Built byJ.S. White & Co. (Cowes, U.K.) 
Ordered 
Laid down17 Jul 1935 
Launched20 Jul 1936 
Commissioned11 May 1937 
Lost4 May 1940 
History

Grom means thunder

During the Norwegian campaign, ORP Grom (Komandor Podporucznik Aleksander Hulewicz) was sunk in the Rombaken Fjord near Narvik by a German He111 (Lt. Korthals) aircraft of the KG 100. There were 59 killed and 30 wounded amongst the 154 survivors. who were rescued by the Aurora,Bedouin, Enterprise and the Faulkner which includes the Commanding officer Komandor Podporucznik Aleksander Hulewicz. Before being lost she bombarded the German troops in the Narvik area and delivered stores to the British light cruiser HMS Enterprise.

 

Commands listed for ORP Grom (H 71)

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CommanderFromTo
1Kmdr ppor. Stanislaw Hryniewiecki, ORP11 May 19374 Mar 1938
2Kmdr ppor. Aleksander Hulewicz, ORP4 Mar 19384 May 1940

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Notable events involving Grom include:


1 Sep 1939
The Polish destroyers Burza (Kapitan Marynarki Stanislaw Michal Nahorski, ORP), Grom (Kapitan Marynarcki Aleksander Hulewicz, ORP) and Blyskawica (Komandor Podporucznik. Wlodzimierz Andrzey Kodrebski-Poraj, ORP) were met in the North Sea by British aircraft and the British destroyers HMS Wallace (Lt.Cdr. William Maurice Lloyd Astwood, RN) and HMS Wanderer (Cdr Reginald Francis Morice, RN). They were escorted to Leith.

6 Nov 1939
Blyskawica (Porucznik Marynarki Tadeusz Gorazdowski, ORP) and Grom (Komandor Podporucznik Aleksander Hulewicz, ORP) received orders to find and rescue downed British pilots in the Dogger Bank area. The Polish ships were attacked by two German He-115 hydroplanes. One of them dropped a torpedo aiming for Blyskawica. The destroyer turned rapidly and avoided the threat.

21 Nov 1939
Around 2100 hours the British destroyers HMS Griffin (Lt.Cdr. John Lee-Barber, RN with Capt. George Elvey Creasy, MVO, RN aboard), HMS Gipsy (Lt.Cdr. Nigel John Crossley, RN), HMS Keith (Cdr. Henry Thurston Wake Pawsey, OBE, RN), HMS Boadicea (Lt.Cdr. George Bodley Kingdon, RN) and the Polish destroyer Grom (Komandor Podporucznik Aleksander Hulewicz, ORP) were ordered to leave Harwich and establish a patrol in the North Sea. Shortly before that, a German He 59 seaplane dropped two magnetic mines nearby, but there was no time for searching. HMS Gipsy hit one of those mines and sinks. Most of the survivors were picked up by HMS Griffin and HMS Keith.

4 Apr 1940
The Polish destroyers Burza, Grom and Blyskawica reached their new home base Rosyth. In the afternoon they left the harbour with the British light cruisers HMS Arethusa, HMS Galatea and three British destroyers. These ships were ordered to conduct a patrol at North Sea and were later ordered to intercept German invasion groups heading for Norway. (1)

9 Apr 1940
The Polish destroyers Burza, Grom and Blyskawica were ordered to join the British destroyer HMS Tartar and provide escort for convoy HN-24 (31 merchants escaping from Norway to England, some of them were loaded with Norwegian gold). The convoy reached Britain without any loses. (1)

12 Apr 1940
The Polish destroyers Burza, Grom and Blyskawica entered Rosyth for refuelling. Then they were sent to Scapa Flow. (1)

19 Apr 1940
The Polish destroyers Burza, Grom and Blyskawica left Scapa Flow and head to Narvik. During a storm Burza was damaged by high waves and forced to return. (1)

21 Apr 1940
The Polish destroyers Blyskawica and Grom entered the Vest Fjord, off Narvik, Norway. (1)

Media links


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Sources

  1. Personal communication

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