HMS Jersey (F72)

HMS Jersey was a J-class destroyer of the Royal Navy.

Jersey before pennant change
United Kingdom
Name: Jersey
Namesake: Jersey
Builder: J. Samuel White and Company
Laid down: 20 September 1937
Launched: 26 September 1938
Commissioned: 28 April 1939
Identification: Pennant number: F72
Fate: Sunk, 2 May 1941
General characteristics (as built)
Class and type: J-class destroyer
Length: 356 ft 6 in (108.66 m) o/a
Beam: 35 ft 9 in (10.90 m)
Draught: 12 ft 6 in (3.81 m) (deep)
Installed power:
Propulsion: 2 × shafts; 2 × geared steam turbines
Speed: 36 knots (67 km/h; 41 mph)
Range: 5,500 nmi (10,200 km; 6,300 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Complement: 183 (218 for flotilla leaders)
Sensors and
processing systems:

Construction and career

On 25 March 1937, the British Admiralty placed orders for the eight destroyers of the J class, including one ship, Jersey to be built by J. Samuel White and Company at Cowes on the Isle of Wight. Jersey was laid down on 20 September 1937 and launched on 26 September 1938.[1] Jersey was commissioned on 28 April 1939.[2]

Following commissioning, Jersey worked up at Portland through to July 1939. On 12 August 1939, Jersey joined the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla of the Home Fleet, based at Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands.[3]

7 December 1939

Jersey was torpedoed off Haisborough Sands by the German destroyer Z12 Erich Giese, which was returning unseen from laying a minefield.[4] Ten of the ship's company were killed and extensive damage caused. Jersey was towed to the Humber for repairs and did not return to her flotilla until 28 October 1940.

2 May 1941

Jersey struck an Italian aircraft-dropped mine off Malta's Grand Harbour on and sank next to the Grand Harbour breakwater.[5]

Thirty-five crew members were killed.[6]

When Jersey sank it blocked the entrance to Malta's Grand Harbour, meaning movements into and out of the harbor were impossible for several days. The destroyers Kelly, Kelvin and Jackal were left marooned in the harbor until the wreck was cleared. Some of the ships that rescued the surviving crew had to take passage to Gibraltar.

On 5 May the wreck broke into two sections. It was only after 1946 that the after section was cleared from the entrance, in a series of controlled demolitions carried out between 1946 and 1949.[6] Further salvage and clearance work was done in 1968 to make the harbour safe for large vessels.[7]

About the wreck

  • Ship sunk at: Valletta, Malta
  • Position: 35° 54'N, 14° 30'E
  • Depth (m.): 19 max. / 15.8 min.
  • Orientation: 175°[8]


  1. English 2001, p. 71.
  2. "List of Ships of the Royal Navy with the Officers and Present Stations: Jersey (Po.) Destroyer". The Naval List: 300. June 1939. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  3. English 2001, p. 78.
  4. "1939 Dezember" (in German). Württembergische Landesbibliothek. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  5. Vernon, Caroline (1992). Our Name Wasn't Written (2 ed.). Canberra: Imagecraft. p. 96. ISBN 0-646-07198-X.
  6. Mason, Geoffrey B. (2003). "HMS Jersey (F 72) – J-class Destroyer". Service Histories of Royal Navy Warships in World War 2. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  7. "Navy Makes Clean Sweep of Malta's Wartime Wrecks". The Glasgow Herald. Google. 3 January 1969. p. 15. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
  8. "HMS Jersey (F72) [+1941]". Retrieved 19 June 2015.


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  • English, John (2001). Afridi to Nizam: British Fleet Destroyers 1937–43. Gravesend, Kent: World Ship Society. ISBN 0-905617-64-9.
  • Friedman, Norman (2006). British Destroyers and Frigates, the Second World War and After. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-86176-137-6.
  • Hodges, Peter; Friedman, Norman (1979). Destroyer Weapons of World War 2. Greenwich: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 978-0-85177-137-3.
  • Langtree, Charles (2002). The Kelly's: British J, K, and N Class Destroyers of World War II. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-422-9.
  • Lenton, H. T. (1998). British & Empire Warships of the Second World War. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-048-7.
  • March, Edgar J. (1966). British Destroyers: A History of Development, 1892–1953; Drawn by Admiralty Permission From Official Records & Returns, Ships' Covers & Building Plans. London: Seeley Service. OCLC 164893555.
  • Rohwer, Jürgen (2005). Chronology of the War at Sea 1939–1945: The Naval History of World War Two (Third Revised ed.). Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-59114-119-2.
  • Whitley, M. J. (1988). Destroyers of World War Two: An International Encyclopedia. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-326-1.
  • Winser, John de D (1999). B.E.F. Ships Before, At and After Dunkirk. Gravesend: World Ship Society. ISBN 0-905617-91-6.

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