HMS Stronghold (H 50)
Destroyer of the Admiralty S class
|Navy||The Royal Navy|
|Built by||Scotts Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. (Greenock, Scotland)|
|Laid down||Mar 1918|
|Launched||6 May 1919|
|Commissioned||2 Jul 1919|
|Lost||2 Mar 1942|
|Loss position||12° 20'S, 112° 00'E|
On 2 March 1942 a Japanese task group consisting of the heavy cruiser Maya and the destroyers Arashi and Nowaki (all offsite links), belonging to a Japanese carrier force operating south of Java, discovered and sank HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. Giles Robert Pretor-Pinney, (retired), RN), fleeing from Tjilatjap to Australia. Stronghold sank at 1858 hours at postition 12º20'S, 112º00E. About fifty survivors were picked up by the small Dutch merchant Bintoehan that later transferred them to Maya.
Commands listed for HMS Stronghold (H 50)
Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.
|1||Lt.Cdr. Robert Alexander, RN||16 Jul 1939||18 Mar 1941|
|2||Lt.Cdr. (retired) Giles Robert Pretor-Pinney, RN||18 Mar 1941||2 Mar 1942 (+)|
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Notable events involving Stronghold include:
Exercises continued during the night of 10 / 11 January. (6)
23 Feb 1940
HMS Grampus (Lt.Cdr. P.J.H. Bartlett, RN) (Lt.Cdr. G.H. Nowell, RN), HMS Perseus (Lt.Cdr. P.J.H. Bartlett, RN) and HMS Regent (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Browne, RN) carried out together off Singapore with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (9)
7 Mar 1940
HMS Grampus (Lt.Cdr. G.H. Nowell, RN) returned to Singapore. Exercises had been carried out together with HMS Tenedos (Lt.Cdr. J.O'B. Milner-Barry, RN), HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN), HMS Perseus (Lt.Cdr. P.J.H. Bartlett, RN) and HMS Regent (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Browne, RN). (13)
10 Jul 1940
HMS Danae (Capt. A.C. Collinson, RN) and HMS Dauntless (Capt. G.D. Moore, RAN), HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN), HMS Grasshopper (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) R.H. Aldworth, RN) and HMS Regent (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Browne, RN) all conducted exercises off Singapore. (15)
15 Jun 1941
With her refit completed HMS Dauntless (Capt. G.D. Moore, RAN) departed Singapore for Penang.
Around 2230 hours HMS Dauntless and HMS Emerald (Capt. F.C. Flynn, RN) collided with near the Malakka lighthouse.
Both ships were damaged. HMS Emerald had 16 crew killed, HMS Dauntless one.
Both cruisers were able to proceed under their own power to Singapore where they arrived on the 17th. (17)
22 Dec 1941
Convoy BM 9B.
This convoy departed Bombay on 22 December 1941.
It was made up of the following (troop) transports; El Madina (British, 3962 GRT, built 1937), Jalarajan (British, 5076 GRT, built 1925), Rajput (British, 5521 GRT, built 1925), Risaldar (British, 5407 GRT, built 1940) and Talma (British, 10000 GRT, built 1923).
On departure from Bombay it was escorted by the Greek armoured cruiser RHS Georgios Averoff.
Around 1530EF/26, the light cruiser HMS Glasgow (Cdr. J.W. Cuthbert, RN) departed Colombo with the transport Madura (British, 8975 GRT, built 1921). They joined the convoy around 0730EF/27 in position 04°38'N, 80°40'E. The Georgios Averoff then parted company to proceed to Colombo. The transport Talma had apparently parted company on the 26th to proceed to Colombo.
Around 1230GH/3, the destroyers HMS Electra (Cdr. C.W. May, RN), HMS Express (Lt.Cdr. F.J. Cartwright, RN) and HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) G.R. Pretor-Pinney, RN) joined in approximate position 06°27'S, 103°00'E.
Around 0700GH/4, HrMs Java and the transport Madura parted company to proceed to Batavia.
Around 1200GH/4, the light cruisers HrMs De Ruyter (Cdr. E.E.B. Lacomblé, RNN and flagship of Rear-Admiral K.W.F.M. Doorman, RNN), HrMs Tromp (Cdr. J.B. de Meester, RNN) and the destroyers HrMs Piet Hein (Lt.Cdr. J.M.L.I. Chompff, RNN) and HrMs Banckert (Lt.Cdr. L.J. Goslings, RNN) joined in approximate position 05°15'S, 106°20'E. They had departed Banten Bay earlier in the day.
Around 1200GH/5, the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) joined the convoy in Banka Strait in approximate position 02°40'S, 105°49'E.
After the passage of the Banka Strait had been completed the Dutch ships that had joined around 1200GH/4 parted company around 2000GH/5.
Around 1645GH/6, HMAS Hobart parted company with the convoy to proceed to Batavia.
The convoy arrived at Singapore around 1930GH/6.
The convoy arrived at Singapore (18)
8 Jan 1942
Convoy BM 10.
Convoy from Bombay to Singapore. Departure date: 8 January 1942. Arrival date: 25 January 1942.
This convoy was initially made up of the following ships; British passenger / cargo ships Talthybius (10224 GRT, built 1912), Rohna (8602 GRT, built 1926), Cap St. Jaques (8009 GRT, built 1922), Takliwa (7936 GRT, built 1924), Islami (5879 GRT, built 1934), Ekma (5128 GRT, built 1911), British cargo ships Subadar (5424 GRT, built 1929), Jalavihar (5330 GRT, built 1911), Ekma (5128 GRT, built 1911), Jalakrishna (4991 GRT, built 1937), Loch Ranza (4958 GRT, built 1934) and Brittany (4772 GRT, built 1928)
Escort was initially provided from 8 January to 13 January 1942 by the British light cruiser HMS Caledon (A/Capt. H.J. Haynes, DSO, DSC, RN).
On 13 January 1942, the British light cruisers HMS Enterprise (Capt. J.C. Annesley, DSO, RN) and HMS Glasgow (Capt. H. Hickling, DSO, RN) took over from HMS Caledon in position 05°41'N, 80°00'E. They had come from Colombo escorting the British transports Jalaratna (3865 GRT, built 1930) and Silverlarch (5122 GRT, built 1924) which joined the convoy.
On 14 January 1942, the Indian sloop HMIS Sutlej (Capt. P.A. Mare, RIN) joined the convoy in position 03°52'N, 83°20'E coming from Trincomalee.
On 18 January 1942, the British heavy cruiser HMS Exeter (Capt. O.L. Gordon, MVO, RN) and the British light cruiser HMS Danae (Capt. F.J. Butler, MBE, RN) joined the convoy in position 00°41'S, 95°14'E. HMS Glasgow was detached and returned to Colombo.
On 20 January 1942, the British destroyers HMS Electra (Cdr. C.W. May, RN), HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) G.R. Pretor-Pinney, RN) and the Australian sloop HMAS Yarra (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, RAN) joined the convoy in position 05°00'S, 100°57'E.
On 22 January 1942, the convoy passed through the Sunda Strait. Early in the morning of that day the Dutch light cruiser HrMs Tromp (Cdr. J.B. de Meester, RNN) and the Dutch destroyers HrMs Piet Hein (Lt.Cdr. J.M.L.I. Chompff, RNN) and HrMs Banckert (Lt.Cdr. L.J. Goslings, RNN) departed Batavia (Jakarta), Java, Netherlands East Indies, escorting the US cargo ship Collingsworth (5101 GRT, built 1920) and the Dutch passenger / cargo ship Rochussen (2680 GRT, built 1904). These ships joined the convoy around 1100 hours. When the Dutch escorts joined the destroyers HMS Electra and HMS Stronghold left the convoy and proceeded to Batavia. Two more merchant ships joined the convoy on this day, these were the British Yuen Sang (3229 GRT, built 1923) and the Norwegian Hermelin (1683 GRT, built 1940).
On 24 January 1942, HMS Exeter parted company and proceeded to Batavia. Later the Dutch ships also parted company.
On 25 January 1942, the convoy and escort arrived at Singapore at dawn. (19)
10 Jan 1942
Convoy MS 1.
This convoy departed Melbourne on 10 January 1942.
The ' Melbourne section ' of the convoy was made up of the following transports; City of Manchester (British, 8917 GRT, built 1935), Derrymore (British, 4799 GRT, built 1938), Java (Dutch, 9250 GRT, built 1939), Peisander (British, 6225 GRT, built 1925), Phrontis (Dutch, 6616 GRT, built 1926), Tjikandi (Dutch, 7979 GRT, built 1921) and Tjikarang (Dutch, 9505 GRT, built 1922).
On departure from Melbourne, around 1300K/10, the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Kanimbla (A/Capt. W.L.G. Adams, RN).
Around 0730I/20, the ' Fremantle section ' of the convoy departed Fremantle. It was made up of the following transport / tanker; Enggano (Dutch, 6364 GRT, built 1920) and Pan Europe (Norwegian (tanker), 9468 GRT, built 1931). The RFA tanker War Sirdar (5542 GRT, built 1920).
It was escorted by the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN). The ' Fremantle section ' made rendezvous with the ' Melbourne section ' around 1300I/21 and course was set for Singapore.
Around 0945I/22, the transport Gorgon (British, 3533 GRT, built 1933) joined coming from Geraldton.
Around 1400H/28, HMS Kanimbla was detached to return to Australia.
Around 0645H/29, the ships destined for Oosthaven / Batavia parted company, these were the Enggano and Java.
Around 1500H/29, the transport Anglo Indian (British, 5609 GRT, built 1938) joined the convoy.
Around 0950H/30, the convoy entered the Banka Strait.
Also on 30 January the tanker Pan Europe was detached to Pladjoe (Palembang).
Around 0040H/31, HMS Tenedos rejoined the convoy as her assitance was no longer needs as HMS Electra (Cdr. C.W. May, RN) had been detailed to do so.
The convoy arrived at Singapore around 0500H/1. (20)
12 Jan 1942
HMS Durban (Capt. P.G.L. Cazalet, DSC, RN), HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) and HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) G.R. Pretor-Pinney, RN) departed Singapore for Batavia. They had on board a party of naval ratings and Army personnel no longer required at Singapore.
En-route HMS Jupiter was ordered to the Palembang area to escort tankers from there to Batavia.
1 Feb 1942
Around 0500H/1, HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN), HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) G.R. Pretor-Pinney, RN) and HMS Tenedos (Lt. R. Dyer, RN) arrived at Singapore with convoy MS 1. (21)
2 Feb 1942
At 0700GH/2, HMAS Vendetta (Lt. W.G. Whitting, RANR(S)) slipped her moorings and departed Singapore in tow of HMS St. Just (Master R.W.H. Millen). Off the harbour they were joined by HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) G.R. Pretor-Pinney, RN) which was to act as escort.
Around 1000GH/2, the tow was transferred to HMS Stronghold but it parted around 1130GH/2. Tow was resumed half an hour later. HMS St. Just had made fast on the stern to act as rudder.
Around 1120GH/3, an air attack took place, a single plane dropped four bombs, two on either side of HMAS Vendetta.
Around 1145GH/3, a formation of five bombers attacked but no hits were obtained.
Around 1230GH/3, another formation of five bombers attacked but again no hits were obtained.
Between 1500GH/3 and 1730GH/3, a formation of eleven bombers made repeated attacks.
Around 1600GH, a burning tanker was sighted ahead and HMS St. Just was ordered to slip her tow and assist the tanker but her help was not required and she then rejoined the tow.
During the day a total of between 100 and 120 bombs had been dropped by Japanese aircraft. Only some minor damage due to near misses had been sustained by HMAS Vendetta.
On the 4th the tow arrived off the mouth of the Palembang river and HMAS Vendetta and HMS St. Just went up river to Palembang to await a faster tow for onward passage to Batavia.
On the 8th, HMAS Vendetta, which had come down again from Palembang with HMS St. Just, was taken in tow by HMAS Yarra (Cdr. W.H. Harrington, RAN). HMS St. Just remained at Palembang where she was later scuttled to prevent her from falling into Japanese hands.
Around 1000GH/10, the tow arrived at Batavia (Tandjong Priok) without being attacked at all. (22)
10 Feb 1942
Light cruiser HMS Durban (Capt. P.G.L. Cazalet, DSC, RN), destroyer HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) and the auxiliary patrol ship HMS Kedah (Cdr.(Retd.) J.L. Sinclair, DSO, RD, RNR) departed Batavia for Singapore.
They were joined at sea in the early hours of the next day (the 11th) by the destroyer HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) G.R. Pretor-Pinney, RN).
Around 1145 hours on the 11th, HMS Durban was hit by a bomb during an air attack. Eight ratings were killed and several were wounded. Also the forward 6" gun was out of action due to the damage sustained. She was able to continue to Singapore though but it was no longer possible to undertake repairs there.
12 Feb 1942
HMS Durban (Capt. P.G.L. Cazalet, DSC, RN), HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN), HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) G.R. Pretor-Pinney, RN) and HMS Kedah (Cdr.(Retd.) J.L. Sinclair, DSO, RD, RNR) arrived at Singapore around 0300 hours. They departed again before daylight having embarked shore based naval personnel. They took the merchant vessels Empire Star (13479 GRT, built 1935) and Gorgon (British, 3533 GRT, built 1933) with them.
During air attacks the merchant vessel Empire Star was hit three three times but was able to continue.
All ships non the less arrived at Batavia on the 13th. En-route HMS Jupiter had been detached to escort tankers from Palembang to Batavia.
20 Feb 1942
Convoy SJ 5.
Convoy from Batavia to Colombo. Departure date: 20 February 1942. Dispersal date: 22 February 1942 / 1230 hours.
This convoy was made up of the following ships; British transports; Angby (767 GRT, built 1913), Filleigh (4856 GRT, built 1928), Jalakrishna (4991 GRT, built 1937), Lulworth Hill (7628 GRT, built 1940), Silverlarch (5064 GRT, built 1924) and Yoma (8131 GRT, built 1928).
Norwegian transport Hai Lee (3616 GRT, built 1934)
The convoy sailed from Batavia on 20 February 1942 and was escorted by the British heavy cruiser HMS Exeter (Capt. O.L. Gordon, MVO, RN). It appears that the convoy was also escorted for part of the way (most likely during the passage of the Sunda Strait) by the British destroyer HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) G.R. Pretor-Pinney, RN) and the Indian sloop HMIS Jumna (Cdr. W.R. Shewring, RIN). (23)
- Report of proceedings of HMAS Voyager from September 1939 to March 1940
- ADM 173/16012
- ADM 173/15917
- ADM 173/16442
- ADM 173/16269
- ADM 173/16419
- ADM 173/16420
- ADM 173/16495
- ADM 173/16270
- ADM 173/16461
- ADM 173/16421
- ADM 173/16462
- ADM 173/16271
- ADM 173/16457
- ADM 53/111926 + ADM 53/11193 + ADM 173/16466
- ADM 53/111926 + ADM 53/111938
- ADM 53/114223 + ADM 199/411
- ADM 53/114033 + ADM 53/114230 + ADM 53/115714 + ADM 199/408 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart from 9 December 1941 to 11 January 1942 + Files 2.12.03.6849 and 126.96.36.199 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
- Files 2.12.03.6849 and 188.8.131.52 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
- Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for January 1942 + Report of proceedings of HMS Kanimbla for January 1942
- Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for January 1942
- Report of proceedings of HMAS Vendetta from 6 December 1941 to 15 April 1942
- ADM 199/426
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.
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