Allied Warships

HMS Jersey (F 72)

Destroyer of the J class

HMS Jersey as completed

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantF 72 
Built byJ.S. White & Co. (Cowes, U.K.) 
Ordered25 Mar 1937 
Laid down28 Sep 1937 
Launched26 Sep 1938 
Commissioned28 Apr 1939 
Lost2 May 1941 
Loss position35° 54'N, 14° 30'E

HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. Anthony Frank Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) was mined and sunk off La Valletta, Malta in position 35º54'N, 14º30'E.


Commands listed for HMS Jersey (F 72)

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1Lt.Cdr. Alec Murray McKillop, RN14 Apr 1939late 1939

2Lt.Cdr. Walter Evershed, RN30 Aug 19408 Jan 1941
3Lt.Cdr. Anthony Frank Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN8 Jan 19412 May 1941

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Notable events involving Jersey include:

5 Sep 1939
HMS Southampton (Capt. F.W.H. Jeans, RN) intercepts the German merchant Johannes Molkenbuhr (5294 GRT) off Stadlandet, Norway in position 61°40'N, 03°51'E. The Germans scuttled their ship before it could be captured. The crew was taken off by HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, RN). The ship was then finished off by HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.M. McKillop, RN).

6 Dec 1939
During the night of 6/7 December 1939 the German destroyer Z 12 escorted by her sister ship Z 10 was on an offensive mining operation off Cromer. At 0255hours, just 15 minutes after the lay had been completed, the German ships sighted the British destroyers HMS Juno (Cdr. W.E. Wilson, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.M. McKillop, RN) about 8000m away. The Germans turned to a parallel course and by 0310hours had closed range to 4,600m while remaining undetected themselves. Z 10 fired three torpedoes at Juno, the lead British ship while Z 12 sent four more torpedoes at Jersey. Z 10's salvo missed, but Z 12 scored with one torpedo. The blow started a large fire and caused damage that required ten months to repair. Juno turned back to assist Jersey, making smoke; apparently the British believed a submarine had attacked them. The Germans still had the advantage of surprise and fired at least five more torpedoes, but then they decided to break off the action and return for home. HMS Jersey was under repair until 23 September 1940.

10 Oct 1940
HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. W. Evershed, RN) set off a mine when leaving the Humber and sustained some damage, repairs were carried out in the docks in London. Jersey arrived at Plymouth on the 13th October.

7 Nov 1940
HMS H 43 (Lt. H.R.B. Newton, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Plymouth with HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. W. Evershed, RN) and HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN).

Upon completing these exercises H 43 departed Plymouth for Holyhead. She was escorted by HMS Troubadour (Cdr.(Retd.) D.H. Milward, DSC, RNR). (1)

29 Nov 1940
The 5th British destroyer flotilla (Capt. Lord Louis Mountbatten), HMS Javelin (flag), HMS Jupiter, HMS Kashmir, HMS Jackal and HMS Jersey encounters the German destroyers Karl Galster, Hans Lody and Richard Beitzen while these were conducting an anti-shipping raid off Plymouth. In the gun/torpedo battle that followed HMS Javelin was hit by two torpedoes, losing both her bow and stern. Only 155 feet of Javelin's original 353 foot length remained afloat and was towed back to harbour. Javelin was out of action for almost a year. (2)

8 Dec 1940
HMS Manchester (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN) departed Gibraltar for Scapa Flow. She was escorted by the destroyer HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. W. Evershed, DSO, RN) until 11 December when she was detached to Plymouth. (3)

6 Feb 1941

British raid on Genoa.

Force H (Vice Admiral Somerville) left Gibraltar on 6 February 1941. The battlecruiser HMS Renown (Capt R.R. McGrigor, RN), battleship HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN), aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal (Capt. C.S. Holland, RN), light cruiser HMS Sheffield (Capt. C.A.A. Larcom, RN) and the destroyers HMS Fearless (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN) HMS Foxhound (Lt.Cdr. G.H. Peters, DSC, RN), HMS Foresight (Cdr. J.S.C. Salter, RN), HMS Fury (Lt.Cdr. T.C. Robinson, RN), HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St.J. Morgan, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) left Gibraltar to the west with convoy HG-53. This was done to fool German and Italian observers in Spain. In the meantime 4 destroyers HMS Duncan (Capt. A.D.B. James, RN), HMS Isis (Cdr. C.S.B. Swinley, DSC, RN), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.P. Thew, RN) left Gibraltar and steamed to the east to conduct a anti-submarine sweep. During the night Force H reversed course and passed Gibraltar on an easterly course back into the Mediterranean. There they were joined by the 4 destroyers that conducted the anti-submarine sweep.

On 8 February the Italian fleet left port and steamed south after they received reports of British carrier aircraft south of the Balearics. The Italians thought that there was another convoy to Malta.

Early in the morning of 9 February Renown, Malaya and Sheffield bombarded the Italian city of Genoa. In the harbour 4 ships were sunk and 18 were damaged. Also the city itself was damaged.

The Italian fleet turned around and tried to intercept the British ships but due to the bad weather this failed.

In the meantime Ark Royal's aircraft raided Livorno and mined the harbour of La Spezia.

Force H safely returned to Gibraltar on 11 February.

1 May 1941
HMS Gloucester (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) and the 5th Destroyer Flotilla; HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, DSO, GCVO, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN), HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) departed Malta to intercept an important Axis convoy off the Kerkenah Bank. They however could not do so and the convoy arrived safely at Tripoli.

This Axis convoy was made up of the German transports Marburg (7564 GRT, built 1928), Kybfels (7764 GRT, built 1937), Reichenfels (7744 GRT, built 1936) and the Italian transports Birmania (5305 GRT, built 1930) and Rialto (6099 GRT, built 1927). Close escort for this convoy was provided by escorted by the Italian destroyers Fulmine and Euro and the torpedo boats Canopo, Castore, Orsa and Procione.

Distant cover for this convoy was provided by two heavy cruiser from the Italian 3rd Cruiser Division; Trieste and Bolzano, the light cruiser Eugenio di Savoia (from the 7th Cruiser Division) and the destroyers Ascari, Carabiniere and Vincenzo Gioberti.

Another convoy was reported to the northward but a heavy head sea made it's interception impossible.

This convoy was probably the one made up of the German transport Tilly M. Russ (1600 GRT, built 1926), Brook (1225 GRT, built 1927), and the Italian Bainsizza (7933 GRT, built 1930), San Andrea (?) and tug Max Behrendt escorted by the torpedo-boats Generale Carlo Montanari, Clio, Centauro and Polluce and the armed merchant cruiser Ramb III, they were on passage Trapani to Tripoli. (4)

2 May 1941
HMS Gloucester (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN) and the 5th Destroyer Flotilla; HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, DSO, GCVO, RN), HMS Kashmir (Cdr. H.A. King, RN), HMS Kelvin (Cdr. J.H. Allison, DSO, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN), HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) and HMS Jersey (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN) returned to Malta having failed to intercept two Axis convoys to Tripoli.

HMS Kelly, HMS Kelvin and HMS Jackal had entered the harbour. HMS Jersey was the next destroyer to enter but hit a mine and sank. HMS Gloucester, HMS Kashmir and HMS Kipling therefore were unable to enter the harbour and had to proceed to Gibraltar instead. (5)

Media links

British destroyers & frigates

Norman Friedman

The Kellys

Langtree, Christopher

Destroyers of World War Two

Whitley, M. J.


  1. ADM 173/16313
  2. Personal communication
  3. ADM 53/112671
  4. ADM 199/413
  5. ADM 199/413 + ADM 199/414

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

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