HMS Afridi (F07)

Casualty List

Navy: Royal Navy
Type: Destroyer
Class: Tribal 
Pennant: F 07 
Built by: Vickers Armstrong (Newcastle-on-Tyne, U.K.): /  (Barrow-in-Furness, U.K.) 
Laid down: 9 Jun, 1936 
Launched: 8 Jun, 1937 
Commissioned: 3 May, 1938 for a tender price of 341,462 which excluded supply of weapons and communications outfits by the Admiralty.
Complement: 190
Lost: 3 May, 1940 (Capt. Vian, RN ) bombed by German Ju87 and Ju88 dive-bombers . (see below) sank in position (c 66-15'N, 5-45'E)

History:

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

 

NORWAY 1940

Pennant numbers: L 07, F07,

HMS Afridi's acceptance trials took place on 29th April 1938 in a rising gale but all went well and she was accepted. After completing the usual formalities, she sailed from Portland, England on 27th May on her way to join the Mediterranean Fleet at Malta. In July, she left Malta to patrol the waters off the Mediterranean Spanish coast. Afridi like all other Royal Navy vessels in these waters, had broad, red, white and blue bands painted on \'B\' gun-mounting so that Spanish Republican and Nationalist aircraft could identify the neutral British. By 18 September 1938, Afridi arrived at Istanbul, Turkey for a formal visit. The Czechoslovak crises were upon the world so the remainder of the Black Sea cruise was cancelled. Afridi sailed for Alexandria, Egypt for a short stay then left to rejoin the 4th Destroyer Flotilla (4th D. F.) in Malta. On 23rd February 1939, Afridi steamed to Gibraltar where the Mediterranean and Home Fleets were gathering for combined exercises. With one hundred ships and thirteen Admirals taking part, many aspects of warfare could be tested.

When war broke out, Afridi was ordered back to Alexandria in anticipation of convoy duty. Meanwhile, Italy took steps to prove her neutrality so the convoy escorts and blockade controls which were anticipated could no longer be justified. The 4th D. F. was ordered back to England. From now on, the flotilla virtually lost its identity and each Tribal was assigned individual duties by the Flag Officer under whose command she came. From April 1940 onwards, Afridi participated in numerous sea campaigns off Norway in the company of her sister ships.

On 3 May 1940 at 0800hours, while escorting a convoy off the Norwegian coast, HMS Afridi (Capt. Vian, RN.) and the other ships around her were attacked by German Ju87 and Ju88 dive-bombers . The French destroyer Bison (Capt.Bouan) was hit and her forward magazine exploded. HMS Afridi joined HMS Grenade in rescuing survivors and in fighting off two more air attacks. Another Ju87 dive bombing attack developed at 1400hours. Since HMS Afridi was the common target for two aircraft coming in from each side, evasive manoeuvres were not possible. One bomb hit her No. 1 Boiler Room starting a severe fire at the after end of the mess-decks. Another bomb hit the port side just forward of the bridge. HMS Imperial came alongside and HMS Griffin stood by to carry out rescue work.

At 1445 hrs, HMS Afridi went down bow-first. She took with her, 49 officers and men, 13 soldiers and over 30 Bison survivors. It was the second anniversary of her commissioning. 

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