HMS Fury


The Ship

Damaged by mine and subsequently scrapped. 21 June 1944

HMS Fury was an F class destroyer of the Royal Navy. She was ordered from the yards of J. Samuel White, of Cowes, Isle of Wight on 17 March 1933 and was laid down on the 19 May of that year. She was launched on 10 September 1934 and commissioned on 18 May 1935. She would serve in most of the theatres of World War II in an active wartime career.

After commissioning, Fury served in the 6th Destroyer Flotilla of the Home Fleet and was deployed for Non-Intervention patrols in the Bay of Biscay and the Mediterranean during the Spanish Civil War. On 11 December 1936, the day after his abdication broadcast to the nation HMS Fury embarked HRH The Duke of Windsor for passage to Boulogne-sur-Mer.[1]

On the outbreak of the Second World War Fury was based at Scapa Flow with her flotilla, where she carried out fleet screening duties and anti-submarine patrols. After the loss of HMS Royal Oak on 14 October 1939, she was reassigned to the Clyde with the rest of the Home Fleet, until the defenses at Scapa Flow could be strengthened. During the end of 1939 she also escorted convoys from Canada to the UK. Fury returned to Scapa Flow at the start of 1940.

On 17 April she escorted the damaged cruiser HMS Suffolk back to Scapa Flow after she had been damaged in an air attack off Norway. On 23 April she escorted aircraft carriers HMS Ark Royal and HMS Glorious on operations to provide fighter cover for operations around Trondheim.

On 9 May Fury and her sisters HMS Fortune and Foresight were transferred from Scapa Flow to the Nore Command, to counter the threat of E-boats and minelayers in the North Sea. She carried out a number of sweeps with the cruiser HMS Birmingham and escorted the damaged HMS Kelly to the Tyne, after the Kelly had been damaged by E-boats.

In July Fury was transferred with the 8th Flotilla to Force H in the Mediterranean, operating out of Gibraltar. Throughout August she escorted convoys in the Mediterranean and in September took part in Operation Menace, the attacks on Dakar. With HMAS Australia and HMS Greyhound she engaged the French destroyer L'Audacieux, setting her on fire and forcing her to beach. In October Fury was deployed off the West African coast and on 9 October provided cover for the French landings in the Cameroons. She returned to Force H in November.

In November she escorted a number of convoys to Malta, including providing the far distance cover with Force H for Operation Collar. She was present at the Battle of Cape Spartivento, where she provided the escort for HMS Renown. In January 1942 she was part of Operation Excess and on 9 February she escorted Fleet units taking part in the bombardment of Genoa. The following month Fury underwent a refit at Malta. In April she escorted HMS Ark Royal when the carrier made several deliveries of Hawker Hurricanes to Malta.

In May, Fury was again escorting convoys with Force H, this time a military convoy carrying tanks for the Eighth Army in Egypt. By the 24 May, Force H had been ordered into the Atlantic Ocean to hunt for the German battleship Bismarck. After the sinking of the Bismarck, Fury was deployed with the 8th Flotilla to search for German supply ships that had been deployed to support the Bismarck. On 23 June, they intercepted the German merchant Alstertor which scuttled herself. Fury helped to rescue British seamen who had been captured by commerce raiders. She then retuned to Gibraltar, in time to escort the ships of Operation Substance on 21 July. On 24 September she escorted the convoy in Operation Halberd.

Having had an eventful Mediterranean career, Fury was transferred to the Home Fleet in October to escort the Atlantic convoys, and in November she joined the Greenock Special Escort Division. By December she had rejoined the 8th Destroyer Flotilla for Fleet escort duties and in January 1942 underwent a refit in a Humber shipyard to increase her anti-aircraft armament. On 15 February she rejoined the 8th Flotilla at Scapa Flow in preparation for service on the Russian convoys.

In March Fury provided distant cover for Convoy QP-6 and Convoy PQ-12. On 23 March she joined the escort for Convoy PQ-13, along with the cruiser HMS Trinidad and the destroyer HMS Eclipse. On 27 March she was detached to search for stragglers from the convoy, and made contact and brought SS Haraplion back into the defensive net. On the 28 March the convoy was attacked by German Narvik class destroyers, which Fury helped to fight off. She then escorted HMS Trinidad into Kola Inlet after the Trinidad had been hit by one of her own torpedoes that had malfunctioned. On 29 March she made an unsuccessful attack on U 378. Fury remained in Murmansk until 10 March, when she joined Convoy QP-10 as an escort. She was also escorting the damaged HMS Trinidad back to Britain. She helped to fight off a number of attacks on the damaged cruiser, but Trinidad was eventually sunk by a bomb on 15 March. She then went on to escort convoys PQ-16, QP-12 and QP-17. On 2 July she made an unsuccessful attack on U 456 with HMS Wilton and HMS Lotus.

Fury returned to the Mediterranean in early August, and on 10 August she was one of the escorts for Operation Pedestal. She spent the next few days carrying out minesweeping duties, before returning to the UK on 17 August. On 9 September she joined the escort for Convoy PQ-18, but was detached from it on 17 September to escort the returning Convoy QP-14. On 18 September, in company with HMS Impulsive, she travelled to Spitsbergen to escort RFA Oligarch back to the convoy. The three ships rejoined QP-14 on 19 September. On 20 September Fury was again detached to join the destroyers HMS Wheatland and HMS Wilton in escorting HMS Scylla and HMS Avenger, because of the increased risk of U-boat attack. She was with the Home Fleet for the next few months, and in December escorted the convoys JW-51A and RA-51. In March the following year she escorted Convoy RA-53.

In mid-March Fury was deployed with the 4th Escort Group for the defence of Atlantic convoys. In April she escorted the convoys HX-329 (where she drove off an attacking U-boat group), HX-234 and ONS-5. In May she escorted the 1st Minelaying Squadron for minelaying activities in the Northern Barrage and escorted Convoy SC-130. She then went in for further repair.

On 17 June Fury escorted Home Fleet units to reinforce the Mediterranean Fleet for the Sicily landings. Upon arrival she joined the escort for military convoys. On 10 July she formed part of the covering force for the landings. After the surrender of Italy, Fury was one of the ships that escorted units of the Italian Fleet into Malta for their surrender. On 12 September she was part of the covering force for the Landings at Salerno.

Throughout October Fury was deployed in the Aegean Sea to intercept invasion convoys. Together with HMS Penelope and HMS Faulknor, she intercepted one convoy on 7 October, but was forced to abandon the operation on 15 October due to repeated air attacks and a lack of air cover. On 15 November she bombarded Leros with HMS Exmoor and the Polish destroyer ORP Krakowiak, and again on 16 November with HMS Aldenham and HMS Penn. In December she was refitted at Gibraltar for use as a convoy escort. One 4 inch gun mounting and her 3 inch anti-aircraft gun was removed and replaced by Oerlikon 20 mm cannons. Also, her depth charge facilities were increased. This refit lasted until February 1944.

By March Fury was back at Scapa Flow, and operating with the 4th Support Group. She escorted Convoy HX-231 and helped to defend it from an attack by a wolf pack. On 13 May she was reassigned to Force J, which would be part of Operation Neptune, covering the Normandy landings. The rest of May was spent in exercises and rehearsals. In June Fury joined Bombardment Force E to provide naval Gunfire Support to military operations in the Eastern (British) Task Force area.

Fury left the Solent on 5 June as the escort for Convoy J-1. She arrived at the beachhead and took up her bombardment position on 6 June where along with HMS Venus she carried out a preliminary support bombardment of the area west of Courseulles. She was then deployed with the Eastern Task Force after the initial assault. From the 7 June to 20 June she was engaged in support duties and convoy escort in the Eastern Task Force Area, returning to Portsmouth to refuel and replenish as required.

On 21 June, Fury struck a mine off the beachhead and was driven ashore in a gale. She was subsequently salvaged and towed back to the UK. A survey in August declared her a 'Constructive Total Loss', and in September she was placed on the Disposal List. She was sold to BISCO for demolition by TW Ward at Briton Ferry and Fury was towed there to be scrapped, arriving on 18 September.

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Not postally used.
Postcard series: Mills, Portsmouth, Real Photograph Series
Series number: 351


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