HMS Encounter (H10)

Casualty List

Lt. Cdr.Navy: Royal Navy
Type: Destroyer
Class:
Pennant: H 10 
Built by: Hawthorn Leslie & Co. (Hebburn-on-Tyne, U.K.) 
Laid down: 15 Mar, 1933 
Launched: 29 Mar, 1934 
Commissioned: 2 Nov, 1934 
Complement: 145
Lost: 1 March,1942 (Lt.Cdr.E.V.St.J.Morgan)(0438'S-11228''E) Approx Pos. Was scuttled by her own crew after being damaged by gunfire from the Japanese heavy cruisers Ashigara and Myoko in the Java Sea. 
 
History: 6 Feb, 1941
British raid on Genua. Force H (Vice Admiral Somerville) left Gibraltar on 6 February 1941. The battle-cruiser HMS Renown, battleship HMS Malaya, aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal, light cruiser HMS Sheffield and the destroyers HMS Fearless, HMS Foxhound, HMS Foresight, HMS Fury, HMS Encounter and HMS Jersey 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, HMS Isis, HMS Firedrake and HMS Jupiter left Gibraltar and steamed to the east to conduct a anti-submarine sweep. During the night Force H reversed course and passed Gibraltar on a westerly course back into the Mediterranean. There they were joined by the 4 destroyers that conducted the anti-submarine sweep.

On 8 February 1941the Italian fleet left port and steamed south after they received reports of British carrier aircraft south of the Balearen. The Italians thought that there was another convoy to Malta.

Early in the morning of 9 February 1941Renown, Malaya and Sheffield bombarded the Italian city of Genua. 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 1941.

On 2 March1942, Lieutenant Commander Shunsaku Kudo, ordered his crew on HIJMS Ikazuchi to rescue 442 survivors from the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Encounter and United States Navy destroyer USS Pope.

These ships had been sunk the previous days, along with
HMS Exeter. The survivors had been adrift for some 20 hours, in rafts and lifejackets or clinging to floats, many coated in oil and unable to see.

This was a never seen humanitarian act, as the rescue required almost all of the 220 Japanese soldiers to leave their posts, exposing his ship to enemy attack and consume much more fuel than needed.

Lt.Cdr. Kudo landed all his prisoners to safety. During the war, all crew involved in the rescue were sunk together with their ship
HIJMS Ikazuchi, except Lt.Cdr.Kudo, who had assumed command over another ship.

Lt.Cdr.Kudo kept silent after the war and it was only through one former British sailor, who had come to Japan to find and thank Captain Shunsaku, that the Japanese people were able to find out about the honorable actions of Lt. Cdr.Kudo Shunsaku and his crew.

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