Allied Warships

HMS Stronghold (H 50)

Destroyer of the Admiralty S class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeDestroyer
ClassAdmiralty S 
PennantH 50 
Built byScotts Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. (Greenock, Scotland) 
OrderedJun 1917 
Laid downMar 1918 
Launched6 May 1919 
Commissioned2 Jul 1919 
Lost2 Mar 1942 
Loss position12° 20'S, 112° 00'E
History

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)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Robert Alexander, RN16 Jul 193918 Mar 1941
2Lt.Cdr. (retired) Giles Robert Pretor-Pinney, RN18 Mar 19412 Mar 1942 (+)

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Notable events involving Stronghold include:


14 Dec 1939
HMS Rover (Lt.Cdr. H.A.L. Marsham, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Tenedos (Lt.Cdr. J.O'B. Milner-Barry, RN) and HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (1)

20 Dec 1939
HMS Rover (Lt.Cdr. H.A.L. Marsham, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Tenedos (Lt.Cdr. J.O'B. Milner-Barry, RN) and HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (1)

21 Dec 1939
HMS Rover (Lt.Cdr. H.A.L. Marsham, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (1)

27 Dec 1939
HMS Perseus (Lt.Cdr. P.J.H. Bartlett, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Tenedos (Lt.Cdr. J.O'B. Milner-Barry, RN) and HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (2)

28 Dec 1939
HMS Perseus (Lt.Cdr. P.J.H. Bartlett, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (2)

4 Jan 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (3)

5 Jan 1940
HMS Grampus (Lt.Cdr. C.A. Rowe, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (4)

5 Jan 1940
HMS Proteus (Lt.Cdr. R.T. Gordon-Duff, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (3)

7 Jan 1940
HMS Grampus (Lt.Cdr. C.A. Rowe, RN) departed Singapore for several days of exercises off Malacca with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (4)

9 Jan 1940
HMS Perseus (Lt.Cdr. P.J.H. Bartlett, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (5)

10 Jan 1940
HMS Perseus (Lt.Cdr. P.J.H. Bartlett, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN).

Exercises continued during the night of 10 / 11 January. (5)

16 Jan 1940
HMS Perseus (Lt.Cdr. P.J.H. Bartlett, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN) and HMS Tenedos (Lt.Cdr. J.O'B. Milner-Barry, RN). (5)

17 Jan 1940
HMS Perseus (Lt.Cdr. P.J.H. Bartlett, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN) and HMS Tenedos (Lt.Cdr. J.O'B. Milner-Barry, RN). (5)

31 Jan 1940
HMS Perseus (Lt.Cdr. P.J.H. Bartlett, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (5)

1 Feb 1940
HMS Perseus (Lt.Cdr. P.J.H. Bartlett, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (6)

1 Feb 1940
HMS Rover (Lt.Cdr. H.A.L. Marsham, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (7)

7 Feb 1940
HMS Perseus (Lt.Cdr. P.J.H. Bartlett, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (6)

8 Feb 1940
HMS Perseus (Lt.Cdr. P.J.H. Bartlett, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN) and HMS Tenedos (Lt.Cdr. J.O'B. Milner-Barry, RN). (6)

16 Feb 1940
HMS Grampus (Lt.Cdr. G.H. Nowell, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (8)

20 Feb 1940
HMS Perseus (Lt.Cdr. P.J.H. Bartlett, RN) and HMS Grampus (Lt.Cdr. C.A. Rowe, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (6)

20 Feb 1940
HMS Regent (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Browne, RN) returned to Singapore upon completing her exercises with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (9)

21 Feb 1940
HMS Perseus (Lt.Cdr. P.J.H. Bartlett, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (6)

21 Feb 1940
HMS Regent (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Browne, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (9)

22 Feb 1940
HMS Regent (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Browne, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (9)

23 Feb 1940
HMS Grampus (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). (8)

28 Feb 1940
HMS Perseus (Lt.Cdr. P.J.H. Bartlett, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (6)

4 Mar 1940
HMS Perseus (Lt.Cdr. P.J.H. Bartlett, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (10)

4 Mar 1940
HMS Regent (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Browne, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN) and HMS Grampus (Lt.Cdr. C.A. Rowe, RN). (11)

5 Mar 1940
HMS Perseus (Lt.Cdr. P.J.H. Bartlett, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (10)

5 Mar 1940
HMS Regent (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Browne, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (11)

6 Mar 1940
HMS Perseus (Lt.Cdr. P.J.H. Bartlett, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (10)

6 Mar 1940
HMS Regent (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Browne, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore together with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN). (11)

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). (12)

20 May 1940
HMS Rainbow (Lt.Cdr. L.P. Moore, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN) and HMS Scorpion (Cdr.(Retd.) F.W. Crowther, DSC, RN). (13)

21 May 1940
HMS Rainbow (Lt.Cdr. L.P. Moore, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN) and HMS Scorpion (Cdr.(Retd.) F.W. Crowther, DSC, RN). (13)

22 May 1940
HMS Rainbow (Lt.Cdr. L.P. Moore, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN) and HMS Scorpion (Cdr.(Retd.) F.W. Crowther, DSC, RN). (13)

28 May 1940
HMS Rainbow (Lt.Cdr. L.P. Moore, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN) and HMS Scorpion (Cdr.(Retd.) F.W. Crowther, DSC, RN). (13)

29 May 1940
HMS Rainbow (Lt.Cdr. L.P. Moore, RN) conducted exercises off Singapore with HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN) and HMS Scorpion (Cdr.(Retd.) F.W. Crowther, DSC, 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. (14)

15 Jul 1940
HMS Danae (Capt. A.C. Collinson, RN) and HMS Dauntless (Capt. G.D. Moore, RAN) and HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr. R. Alexander, RN) all conducted exercises (with each other) 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.

On the 16th they were joined by by the destroyers HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) G.R. Pretor-Pinney, RN) and HMS Tenedos (Lt.Cdr. J.O'B. Milner-Barry, RN).

Both cruisers were able to proceed under their own power to Singapore where they arrived on the 17th. (16)

4 Jan 1942
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) departed Banten Bay to bolster the escort of convoy BM 9B that was en-route to Singapore. The Dutch ships joined the British convoy around 1300 hours.

The Dutch ships remained with the convoy until 2000/5.

Convoy BM 9B was made up of the following ships; passenger (or in this case troops / cargo ships Madura (8975 GRT, built 1921), Rajput (5521 GRT, built 1925), Risaldar (5407 GRT, built 1940), Jalarajan (5076 GRT, built 1925) and El Madina (3962 GRT, built 1937). They were escorted by the Australian light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN), the British light cruiser HMS Danae (Capt. F.J. Butler, MBE, RN), the British 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) and the Australian minesweepers HMAS Goulburn (Lt. B. Paul, RANR(S)) and HMAS Burnie (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G.E. Gough, RANR(S)). (17)

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. (17)

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.

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 by the destroyer HMS Stronghold (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) G.R. Pretor-Pinney, RN).

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.

They came under heavy air attack later in the day. HMS Durban was hit rendering her forward 6" gun out of action. Eight ratings were killed. 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). (18)

Media links


British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman


Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.

Sources

  1. ADM 173/16012
  2. ADM 173/15917
  3. ADM 173/16442
  4. ADM 173/16269
  5. ADM 173/16419
  6. ADM 173/16420
  7. ADM 173/16495
  8. ADM 173/16270
  9. ADM 173/16461
  10. ADM 173/16421
  11. ADM 173/16462
  12. ADM 173/16271
  13. ADM 173/16457
  14. ADM 53/111926 + ADM 53/11193 + ADM 173/16466
  15. ADM 53/111926 + ADM 53/111938
  16. ADM 53/114223 + ADM 199/411
  17. Files 2.12.03.6849 and 2.12.27.121 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  18. ADM 199/426

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.


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