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HMS Laforey at Mudros 1915 with the hopital ship Grantually Castle in the background

HMS Laforey (1)

HMS Laforey was a Laforey Class Torpedo Boat Destroyer. It was one of the last classes of Destroyers completed before the outbreak of world war One, and the first class to be named in the new Alphabetical system. Six of the class were built with two funnels with the remainder having three. They were also the first class to be given double torpedo Tubes, and another first was two destroyers of the class HMS Leonidas and HMS Laforey had geared turbines. The " L" Flotilla saw a lot of active service during the war, with HMS Lance having fired the first naval shot of the war when it sank (along with HMS landrail) the German minelayer Konigen Luise they took part in most of the naval actions but only a few were at Jutland. and during the war they formed the famous "Harwich force".

HMS Laforey was completed 28th March 1913. She served with the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla on completion. She was mined and sunk on 25th March 1917.


HMS Laforey (2)    

HMS Laforey was a L class destroyer of the Royal Navy. She was commissioned in and served during the Second World War, and was torpedoed and sunk by a U-boat in 1944. She had been adopted by the civil community of Northampton in November 1941. She was ordered from the yards of Yarrow Shipbuilders, Scotstoun, Glasgow on 31 March 1938 under the 1937 Naval Estimates. She was laid down on 1 March 1939 at the same time as her sister, HMS Lance. She was launched on 15 February 1941 and commissioned on 26 August 1941. She cost £445,684, excluding items such as weapons and communications equipment supplied by the Admiralty. On commissioning she was assigned to the 19th Destroyer Flotilla of the Home Fleet as the Flotilla leader.

On 23rd March 1944 she was at Anzio and on 24th March she was deployed for night interception and anti-submarine patrols with HMS Grenville. On 25yj March they engaged a number of E-boats after picking them up on their radars. Laforey then sailed to Naples. She deployed for another patrol off the west coast of Italy on 28th March and on 29th March she carried out a hunt for U-223 north of Palermo, in company with the destroyers HMS Tumult, HMS Tuscan, HMS Urchin, HMS Hambledon and HMS Blencathra. U-223 had been detected by HMS Ulster during a routine sweep. The search lasted until 30th March, when after sustaining several hours of depth charge attacks, U-223 surfaced, and was then attacked by the destroyers with gunfire at a range of 1,500 yards. U-223 was able to fire three torpedoes which struck Laforey. She sank quickly, resulting the loss of most of her company, including her captain. There were only 65 survivors out of the 247 on board. U-223 was sunk soon afterwards, and the survivors from the Laforey and U-223 were picked up by HMS Blencathra, HMS Hambledon and HMS Tumult.

For more details see Wikipedia: HMS Laforey (G99)

Last updated 13 December, 2008

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