HMS Ardent (H41), A-class destroyer.
Launched June 1929, commissioned April 1930, sunk June 1940.
She had a main armament of 4 single 4.7" guns and 2 quad-mount 21' torpedo tubes. Ardent spent most of her career with the Mediterranean Fleet, returning to the UK in April 1937 for a refit.
Upon the outbreak of WW2 she mainly acted as an escort ship for carriers with the Western Approaches Command and the Home Fleet. During the spring of 1940 she took part in operations around Norway and the Faroe Islands.
On 8th June Ardent, with her sister ship Acasta, were escorting the carrier HMS Glorious back from Norway when they were intercepted by the German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. In a horribly one-sided battle Glorious, Ardent and Acasta were sunk. The destroyers put up a valiant fight, trying to cover the carrier with smokescreens. Acasta managed to score a hit with a torpedo on Scharnhorst which did serious damage that forced the battleship back to Norway for temporary repairs.
It is believed that up to 900 men abandoned Glorious but survivors were not picked up until at least two days later, by which time most had died. Two crew from Ardent were picked up by a German seaplane five days after she had sunk, one of which died soon after. A total of 40 men survived the sinkings, meaning that 1519 men from all three ships were lost. The circumstances around the sinkings were an embarrassment and a tragedy for the Royal Navy.
This photo is from the Wright & Logan collection and is copyright @natmuseumrn#history#destroyer#royalnavy#navalhistory#waratsea#navalwarfare#militaryhistory#worldwar2#ww2#scharnhorst#gneisenau#warship#worldofwarships
Partnered with @camilo_ww2_history & @furiouswarships_
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Among the Clemson class destroyers built in 1919, there was USS Herndon. She weighed in at 1,215 tons, had a length of 314 ft and could make 35 knots; armed with four 4 inch, one 3 inch guns and twelve 21 inch torpedo tubes. Herndon barely had a year with serving in the US fleet before being placed in reserve in 1920, then officially mothballed in 1922. It took 8 years until she saw service as a coast guard cutter. On January 15th, 1932 Herndon collided with the collier Lemuel Burrows in fog and partially sunk. After receiving repairs (Photos 2,3), Herndon continued service for the coast guard until 1934 when she was recommissioned into the navy and would make neutrality patrols until late 1940. In September Herndon was sent to Halifax where she was renamed HMS Churchill, leased to the Royal Navy (Photos 4-7). Before heading to Britain, she would be in a collision with her sistership HMS Chesterfield and need repairs. After finally getting underway to Britain, she was delayed further searching for survivors of HMS Jervis Bay on November 5th, recently sunk by Admiral Scheer. Churchill was given a full refit, and sent to escort convoys in the North Atlantic’s western approaches. This saw the British ship under Canadian command and help the ducklings of freighters cross the dangerous waters. In February of 1942, she was moved to US east coast escorting as the U-boats began hitting hard in those unprotected waters. In July she was moved back to western approach escorting. After running continuously for months, Churchill could take a rest and refit in September in Charleston, South Carolina. She went right back into the thick of it in 1943 and even escorted some military convoys to North Africa. Throughout the rest of the year, she was operated as escort and this wore on her quite badly. Finally in December, with new purpose built escort destroyers and Churchill in poor shape, the old girl was retired from active service. Russia on the other hand could use a few more escorting warships for the Arctic convoys, so the workhorse of a warship was chosen to go to the USSR. ((Continues below👇👇👇))
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