HMS Zodiac was a Z-class destroyer of the Royal Navy built in 1944 by John I. Thornycroft, Woolston. She served during the Second World War, participating in operations in the North Sea and off the Norwegian coast, before taking part in some of the Arctic convoys. She spent a further ten years in Royal Navy service after the end of the war, before being sold to the Israeli Navy, which operated her as INS Yaffo. She saw action during the Suez Crisis in 1956, attacking Egyptian ships and was still active by the outbreak of the Six-Day War in 1967.
HMS Zodiac, 23 March 1945
|Ordered:||12 February 1942|
|Builder:||John I. Thornycroft, Woolston|
|Laid down:||7 November 1942|
|Launched:||11 March 1944|
|Commissioned:||23 October 1944|
|Out of service:||Sold to Israel, 15 July 1955|
|Identification:||Pennant number: R54 initially, but changed to D54 in 1945|
|Motto:||'Faythe hath no fear'|
|Badge:||On a Field Blue, a bezant rayed Gold on each point a bezant charged with the zodiac signs Black|
|Acquired:||15 July 1955|
|Out of service:||1972|
|Identification:||Pennant number: K-42|
|Class and type:||Z-class destroyer|
|Length:||362.7 ft (110.6 m)|
|Beam:||35.7 ft (10.9 m)|
|Speed:||37 knots (69 km/h; 43 mph)|
Second World War
On commissioning and work up Zodiac joined the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, as part of the Home Fleet. She operated in the North West approaches and escorted some Russian convoys. In 1945 she was part of the 29th Destroyer Flotilla along with Zephyr and Zest; she was briefly stationed in the port of Wilhelmshaven, the main base of the Kriegsmarine.
In 1946 Zodiac was part of the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla. Between 1947 and 1948 she was held in reserve at Portsmouth. In 1949 she was part of the 2nd Training Flotilla based at Portland. In 1952 she was placed in reserve at Portsmouth and in 1954 was given a refit at Penarth, prior to being sold to Israel on 15 July 1955 with sister ship Zealous.
On the morning of 31 October 1956, in the midst of the Suez Crisis, Egyptian destroyer Ibrahim el Awal, (an ex-British Hunt class destroyer), shelled Haifa harbor. A counter-attack by Yaffo and another Israeli destroyer Eilat, along with the French destroyer Kersaint forced the Egyptian destroyer to steam back towards Port Said. Ibrahim al-Awal was then also attacked by a pair of IDF/AF Ouragans and a Dakota. The crew of the badly damaged vessel finally capitulated, and the ship was towed by the Israelis to Haifa, later becoming Haifa in the Israeli Navy.
- Mason, Geoffrey B. (2004). Gordon Smith (ed.). "HMS Zodiac (R 52) - Z-class Destroyer". naval-history.net. Retrieved 2 May 2015.
- Critchley, Mike (1982). British Warships Since 1945: Part 3: Destroyers. Liskeard, UK: Maritime Books. p. 84. ISBN 0-9506323-9-2.
- Suez Crisis Archived 23 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine
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- Raven, Alan; Roberts, John (1978). War Built Destroyers O to Z Classes. London: Bivouac Books. ISBN 0-85680-010-4.
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