Richard Frederick Jessel DSO, DSC, RN

Born  24 Nov 1902

Richard Frederick Jessel, RN. Taken from a crew photo from the HMS Legion


15 Sep 1922 A/S.Lt.
30 Mar 1923 S.Lt.
28 Feb 1925 Lt.
28 Feb 1933 Lt.Cdr.
30 Jun 1940 Cdr.

Retired: 24 Nov 1952


2 Jan 1942 DSC
20 Jan 1942 Mentioned in Despatches (MID)
26 May 1942 DSO
6 Oct 1942 Bar to DSC
1 Jan 1953 OBE

Warship Commands listed for Richard Frederick Jessel, RN

HMS Legion (G 74)Cdr.Destroyer25 Nov 194026 Mar 1942
HMS Mackay (D 70)Cdr.Destroyer15 Nov 1943Mid 1944
HMS Zealous (R 39)Cdr.Destroyer20 Jul 194426 Jul 1946

Career information

We currently have no career / biographical information on this officer.

Events related to this officer

Destroyer HMS Legion (G 74)

12 Feb 1941
The Polish destroyers Piorun, Garland and the British destroyer HMS Legion conduct an offensive patrol against enemy submarines. However, no U-boat was encountered. (1)

4 Mar 1941
Participated in Operation Claymore, a Commando raid on the Lofoten islands, with sister ships Somali, Eskimo, Tartar, Bedouin and Legion. 500 men of #3 and #4 Commandos were carried in the assault ships Queen Emma and Princess Beatrix. The attack primary objective was the destruction of the Norwegian fish oil processing plants, the destruction of which would have struck a severe blow to the German production of glycerine (used in aircraft engines).
The raid was eminently successful, accounting for the sinking of auxiliary patrol boat Krebs, from which Enigma information were recovered, and 7 freighters; in addition, 11 oil factories were blown up, 225 Germans and 60 "Quislings" taken prisoners and 314 Norwegian volunteers removed to the UK.

13 Apr 1941
The British armed merchant cruiser HMS Rajputana (Capt. F.H. Taylor, DSC, RN), is torpedoed and sunk by German U-boat U-108 west of Reykjavik, Iceland in position 64°50'N, 27°25'W. HMS Legion (Cdr. R.F. Jessel, RN) picks up 283 survivors.

14 Apr 1941
HMS Rodney, HMS Legion, Piorun and Garland composed the escort of two troop ships heading from Iceland to the Clyde. (1)

13 Nov 1941
On this day the British aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal was torpedoed by U-81 off Gibraltar and sank. HMS Legion (Cdr. R.F. Jessel, RN) stopped alongside the Ark Royal to pick up sailors, a very famous photo shows this moment.

13 Dec 1941
The Italian light cruisers Alberico da Barbiano and Alberto di Giussano were torpedoed and sunk off Cape Bon by the Royal Navy destroyers HMS Sikh (Cdr. G.H. Stokes, DSC, RN), HMS Maori (Cdr R.E. Courage, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN), HMS Legion (Cdr. R.F. Jessel, RN) and the Dutch destroyer HrMs Isaac Sweers (Cdr. J. Houtsmuller, RNethN) on a supply mission to Tripoli.

19 Mar 1942
Second Battle of the Syrte, occasioned by the passage of convoy MW.10 from Alexandria to Malta. Claimed to have engaged the Italian battleship Littorio at 4400 yards' range (more likely she was in action with a heavy cruiser) but on approaching Malta was severely damaged in an air attack and forced to run up the beach at Marsaxlokk. After emergency repairs to make the hull watertight she entered Grand Harbour.


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