Gurkha 1937 HMS - Destroyer

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Woody
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Gurkha 1937 HMS - Destroyer

Post by Woody » Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:52 pm

HMS Gurkha
Destroyer, Tribal Class - L20, F20
Laid down 6/7/1936 and launched by Fairfield Govan, Yard No: 659, on 7/7/1937. Sunk in an air attack off Stavanger 8/4/1940.
1854t standard; 2519t deep load
377ft oa x 36ft 6in x 13ft mean deep load
2 shaft Parsons geared turbines, 3 Admiralty 3-drum boilers, oil, 44,000shp giving 36.25 knots
8 x 4.7in/45 QF Mk XII (4 x 2), 4 x 2pdr pompom (1 x 4), 4 x 21in TT (1 x 4) DCs 30
Crew 190-250

Finally completed 21/10/1938 due to delays with her gunnery equipment and joined the 1st Tribal Flotilla in Malta (renumbered the 4th DF in April 1939).
2/3/1939 collided with HMS Sikh at Gibraltar receiving some structural damage which was repaired at Malta.
August 1939 moved to Alexandria and in September carries out Red Sea Patrols off Massawa
13/10/1939 arrived at Portland for Home Fleet deployment
9/12/1939 commenced correction of defects by Thornycroft, Southampton, including her turbines. Repairs extended due to a collision with the jetty on her trials
3/2/1940 left Southampton to rejoin her Flotilla at Scapa
24/2/1940 sank U-53 with depth charges, West of the Orkneys.
8/4/1940 while with the Home Fleet they came under a heavy air attack. Gurkha was detached from the screen to improve her arc of fire when was hit aft by a bomb. There was extensive flooding and fire and she eventually capsized and sank. HMS Aurora rescued 190 of the crew, 16 being killed, including her captain. The first British destroyer to be sunk by air attack.

Battle Honours: NORWAY 1940 - NORTH SEA 1940
Attachments
C1 Gurkha newly commissioned Devonport 26-10-38.jpg
newly commissioned at Devonport
C2 Ghurkha L20 underway 28-11-38.jpg
November 1938
C3 Gurkha L20 strbd stern Malta.jpg
Gurkha in Malta

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E28
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Re: Gurkha 1937 HMS - Destroyer

Post by E28 » Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:41 pm

Gurkha was sunk on 9th April, not the 8th.

Although lost in a concerted air attack, she was not actually hit directly by any bombs. 6 were to detonate within 500' of her including a couple extremely close and these were to cause firstly her engine room to flood, then further compartments moving aft. A fire also started in her aft fuel tanks which then took hold of much of the aft superstructure, despite the flooding. No ammunition was ignited.

However, a serious error was made whilst attempting to extinguish the advancing fires, in that pumping of her safe fwd fuel tanks commenced, which alas caused a total loss of stability and for Gurkha to turn turtle.

Pumping of fuel overboard after damage from smaller ships was actively discouraged after this, although in the case of Gurkha she may have succumbed to the fires as was to happen to her sister Afridi only 1 month later on 3rd May. But then Afridi did receive direct hits, unlike Gurkha.
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Thats all folks. Sean. E28

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E28
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Re: Gurkha 1937 HMS - Destroyer

Post by E28 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:34 pm

The loss of Gurkha resulted in comparatively few casualties.
Using the CWGC, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, database, 13 Gurkha men are commemorated on Naval memorials in the UK with no known grave as MPK, missing presumed killed.
That leaves 3 more who are interred in the Trondheim (Stavne) Cemetery, Norway. The CWGC do not have any cemeteries in Norway, so all British and Allied dead are buried in cemeteries and church yards. Stavne is almost exclusively British servicemen.
With these 3 from Gurkha having headstones here, is there evidence the 3 are actually buried within. You can have a head stone, but with no legal requirement to have a body in the grave. And how did they get here from there original resting places.
Additionally, amongst other RN April 1940 fatalities buried at Stavne are 7 from the destroyer Glowworm, sunk the day before Gurkha, and one from the sloop Bittern, sunk off Namsos 30 April.
Raid - Trade - Aid
Thats all folks. Sean. E28

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