RHS Panther (D 72)
Destroyer of the Aetos class
|Navy||The Royal Hellenic Navy|
|Built by||Cammell Laird Shipyard (Birkenhead, U.K.)|
|Launched||15 Jul 1911|
|Commissioned||19 Oct 1912|
|End service||2 Oct 1943|
Escaped to Alexandria in May 1941.
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Notable events involving Panther include:
4 Oct 1942
Convoy WS 23.
This convoy was formed off Oversay on 5 October 1942.
It consisted of the following transports / troopships; Capetown Castle (British, 27002 GRT, built 1938), Empress of Russia (British, 16810 GRT, built 1913), Highland Monarch (British, 14139 GRT, built 1928), Kina II (British, 9823 GRT, built 1939), Moreton Bay (British, 14193 GRT, built 1921), Port Jackson (British, 9687 GRT, built 1937), Silverandal (British, 6770 GRT, built 1930) and Straat Malakka (Dutch, 439 GRT, built 1939).
Initial escort consisted of the light cruisers HMS Despatch (Capt. W.R.C. Leggatt, RN), HMS Durban (Capt. G.F. Stevens-Guille, DSO and Bar, OBE, RN), armed merchant cruiser Queen of Bermuda (A/Capt.(Retd.) A.D. Cochrane, DSO, RN), destroyers HMS Beagle (Cdr. R.C. Medley, RN), HMS Wrestler (Lt. R.W.B. Lacon, DSC, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Bicester (Lt.Cdr. S.W.F. Bennetts, RN), HMS Puckeridge (Lt. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN), HMS Zetland (Lt. J.V. Wilkinson, RN) and RHS Kanaris.
At 2200Z/6, HMS Durban parted company with the convoy to proceed to Ponta Delgada to fuel.
At 1850Z/8, HMS Beagle parted company with the convoy to return to the UK. HMS Zetland had a leaking Asdic dome and was apparently also detached on the 8th to return to the UK for a docking and repairs.
At 1000Z/9, HMS Puckeridge arrived at Ponta Delgada to refuel. She departed to rejoin the convoy at 1345Z/9. RHS Kanaris arrived at 1100Z/9 and departed again at 1430Z/9. [It is currently not known to us when they had left the convoy to proceed to Ponta Delgada.]
At 1545Z/9, HMS Durban rejoined the convoy. HMS Despatch was then detached to fuel at Ponta Delgada.
At 1900Z/9, HMS Puckeridge and RHS Kanaris rejoined the convoy.
At 0100Z/10, HMS Wrestler and HMS Bicester parted company with the convoy to fuel at Ponta Delgada after which they were to return to the UK.
On 16 October 1942 the convoy arrived at Freetown escorted by HMS Despatch, HMS Durban, HMS Queen of Bermuda, HMS Antelope, HMS Velox, HMS Puckeridge and RHS Kanaris.
The convoy departed Freetown for Durban on 20 October 1942.
The same ships made up the convoy plus the merchant vessels Hai Lee (Norwegian, 3616 GRT, built 1934) and Tamesis (Norwegian, 7256 GRT, built 1939).
On departure from Freetown the convoy escort was made up of the light cruisers HMS Despatch, HMS Durban, armed merchant cruiser HMS Carthage (A/Capt.(Retd.) W.V.H. Harris, DSC, MVO, RN), escort destroyers HMS Avon Vale (Lt.Cdr. P.A.R. Withers, DSO, RN), RHS Kanaris, sloop HMS Milford (Cdr.(Retd.) the Hon. V.M. Wyndham-Quin, RN) and the corvette HMS Tamarisk (Lt. S. Ayles, RNR).
At 1020A/23, HMS Avon Vale parted company. HMS Southern Gem (T/Lt. D.C. Hayes, RNVR) had joined just before. She had sailed from Takoradi on the 22nd.
At 1842A/23, HMS Durban parted company with the convoy to proceed to Takoradi to repair a defect. She arrived at Takoradi around 0745/24 and departed again around 0230A/25. She rejoined the convoy around 0945A/27.
Also detached on 23 October were the two Norwegian merchant vessels and the corvette HMS Tamarisk. These were also to proceed to Takoradi.
The corvette HMS Amaranthus (T/Lt. W.S. Thomson, RNR) joined on the 25th coming from Ponte Noire. After she joined HMS Southern Gem was detached to Ponte Noire due to engine trouble.
On the 26th, HMS Amaranthus parted company.
On 30 October the destroyer HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.M. Burrell, RAN) and the corvettes HMS Rockrose (Lt. E.J. Binfield, DSC, RNR) and HMS Thyme (Lt. H. Roach, RNR) joined the convoy. These ships had sailed from Walvis Bay, the corvettes at 0600Z/29 and HMAS Norman at 2000Z/29. HMAS Norman joined the convoy around 1300B/30 and the corvettes around 1530B/30.
At 2100B/30, HMS Durban, HMS Despatch and HMS Milford were detached to fuel at Walvis Bay where they arrived around 0840/30. HMS Durban departed Walvis Bay aroud 1845B/31 and she rejoined the convoy around 1800B/1
On 2 November the transport / troopship Rimutaka (British, 16576 GRT, built 1923) joined the convoy coming from Capetown.
Around 1545C/2, RHS Kanaris parted company to refuel at Simonstown. She rejoined the convoy around 0100C/3.
At 2215C/2, HMS Rockrose and HMS Thyme were detached to search for survivors from ships that had been torpedoed by German submarines.
At 1950C/4, HMS Express was detached to search for survivors from a ship that had been torpedoed by a German submarines.
At 0530C/5, the escort destroyer HMS Derwent (Cdr. R.H. Wright, DSC, RN) joined.
The convoy arrived at Durban in the early afternoon of 5 November escorted by HMS Durban, HMS Carthage, HMAS Norman, HMS Catterick, HMS Derwent and RHS Kanaris.
The convoy departed Durban around noon on 9 November 1942, now made up of Capetown Castle, Empress of Russia, Highland Monarch, Kina II, Port Jackson, Silversandal and Straat Malakka.
On departure from Durban the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Dauntless (Cdr.(Retd.) N.G. Leeper, RN), armed merchant cruiser HMS Carthage, destroyers HMAS Norman, HMS Inconstant (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Clouston, RN), escort destroyers HMS Blackmore (Lt. H.T. Harrel, RN), RHS Kanaris and the corvettes HMS Genista (Lt.Cdr. R.M. Pattinson, DSC, RNR) and HMS Jasmine (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) C.D.B. Coventry, RNR).
At 1700C/10, HMS Insconstant, HMS Genista and HMS Jasmine were detached.
At 1500D/11, HMS Dauntless, HMS Norman, HMS Blackmore and RHS Kanaris were detached.
At 1830D/11, the cruiser HMS Hawkins (Capt. G.A. French, RN) joined.
At 1600E/16, HMS Mauritius (Capt. W.D. Stephens, RN) joined and at 1230E/16, HMS Hawkins parted company with the convoy to proceed to Kilindini taking the Empress of Russia with her. They arrived at Kilindini around 1700D/18.
At 1800E/17, the convoy was split up into the ' Aden section ' and the ' Bombay section '.
The ' Aden section ' was made up of the Highland Monarch, Kina II, Port Jackson and the Straat Malakka. They were escorted by HMS Carthage and arrived at Aden around 1300C/21. They had earlier been joined by the destroyer RHS Panther around 0615/20.
The ' Bombay section ' was made up of the other transports escorted by HMS Mauritius. They arrived at Bombay around 1000FG/24 except for the Silversandal which had been detached on November 22nd to proceed to Karachi where she also arrived on the 24th. (1)
13 Nov 1942
Convoy CM 35.
This convoy departed Durban on 13 November 1942.
The convoy was made up of the following transports / troopships; City of Auckland (British, 8336 GRT, built 1914), Dunera (British, 11162 GRT, built 1937), Empire Trooper (British, 14106 GRT, built 1922), Empire Woodlark (British, 7793 GRT, built 1913) and Sontay (British, 8917 GRT, built 1921).
At 0800C/20, RHS Kanaris was detached.
At 1123C/21, the armed merchant cruiser HMS Ranpura (Capt.(Retd.) H.T.M. Pawsey, RN) joined the convoy and HMS Dauntless was detached taking Dunera and Sontay with her to Kilindini where they arrived on 23 November 1943.
The remainder of te convoy continued onwards to Aden where it arrived in the afternoon of 29 November 1942 escorted by HMS Ranpura and the RHS Panther. RHS Panther had joined the convoy in the afternoon of the 27th.
27 Nov 1942
The transport Sontay (British, 8917 GRT, built 1921) departed Kilindini for Aden. She was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Dauntless (Capt. N.J.W. William-Powlett, DSC, RN) and the escort destroyer RHS Kanaris.
At 0845C/3, RHS Panther joined. HMS Dauntless then parted company to proceed to Aden where she arrived in the afternoon of the 4th.
Sontay, RHS Kanaris and RHS Panther arrived at Aden on 5 December. (2)
28 Dec 1942
The naval force for this operation sailed from Aden around 0800C/28. This consisted of the Commodore Aden, Commodore 2nd Cl. C.A.A. Larcom, DSO, RN, in the destroyer HMS Hero (Lt.Cdr. W. Scott, DSC, RN) with the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. C.C.A. Allen, RN), destroyer RHS Panther and the minesweepers HMS Romney (Lt. W.E. Halbert, RNR) and HMS Poole (Lt. W.L.G. Dutton, RNR).
The force was to be in the vicinity of Djibouti but out of sight of land by P.M. on the 28th. At 1915 hours, General Dupont, the Governor of Djibouti, signed an agreement with the British and Fighting French authorities whereby French Somaliland joined the United Nations as part of Fighting France.
The naval force then entered Djibouti on the 29th. (3)
10 Jan 1943
Convoy MC 3.
This convoy departed Aden on 10 January 1943 and arrived at Durban on 23 January 1943.
The convoy was made up of the transports Aronda (British, 9031 GRT, built 1941), Ascanius (British, 10048 GRT, built 1910) and Felix Roussell (British, 17083 GRT, built 1930).
On departure from Aden the convoy was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. D. Young-Jamieson, RN), armed merchant cruiser HMS Carthage (A/Capt.(Retd.) W.V.H. Harris, DSC, MVO, RN), destroyer RHS Panther and the minesweeper HMS Romney (Lt. W.E. Halbert, RNR).
At 1800C/11, RHS Panther parted company to return to Aden.
At 0800C/12, HMS Romney was detached to return to Aden.
Around 1300C/16, HMS Birmingham (Capt. H.B. Crane, RN) joined the convoy. HMS Devonshire then parted company to proceed to Kilindini.
The convoy arrived at Durban on 23 January 1943.
- ADM 199/1211
- ADM 53/115735 + ADM 199/426
- Personal communication
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.
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