HMS Active

Vessel name on Arrival: HMS Active

Pre-War image of HMS ACTIVE

Original Builder: Hawthorn Leslie & Company of Hebburn-on-Tyne

Original Yard No: 557

Official Number:

Vessel Type: destroyer

GRT: 1350

Year Built: 1929

Arrival Date: 05/08/1947

Breakup Started: 10/08/1948

Date First Beached: 22/09/1947

Date Breakup Completed: 16/01/1948

Draught For’d: 7' 2"

Draught Aft: 13' 0"

Name Changes:

Other Information:

Class 'A' Destroyer – HMS Active – Pennant No. H 14 from the Yard of Hawthorn Leslie & Coy – Hebburn


06-03-1928  :  Ordered                                                        

10-07-1928  :  Laid Down

09-07-1929  :  Launched

09-02-1930  :  Commissioned


Dimensions  :  98.4 metres  x  9.83 metres  x  3.73 metres

Tonnage      :  1,350 tons             (DWT 1,750 tons)

Complement:  138 men

Propulsion  :  Steam turbines delivering 35,500 SHP.       3 x Thornycroft oil-fired Boilers.        Speed 35.50 knots


Armaments:  4 x 4.7 " Deck Guns   +   2 x 2-pounder A.A. Guns   +   8 x 21" Torpedo Tubes


On completion and until the outset of WWII, HMS Active was part of the 3rd Destroyer Fleet and served as part of the Mediterranean fleet. 


With the start of the second world war, HMS Active joined the 13th Flotilla based in Gibraltar, and later Force H. She took part in Operation Catapult, against the French Fleet in Mers El Kebir. 


27-11-1940  :  She picked up 43 survivors of the T & J Harrison cargo-ship 'DIPLOMAT', Convoy HX 88, that had been sunk by the German submaribe U-104 in a position 128 nautical miles WNW of Bloody Foreland.


In May 1941, HMS Active participated in the hunt for the German battleship 'BISMARCK'.


In 1942, HMS Active participated in the Madagascar Landings – Opertaion Ironclad – during which, on 08-05-1942 she sank the Vichy French submarine 'MONGE'


On 08-10-1942, off the Cape of Good Hope, HMS Active picked up 98 survivors of Ellerman's cargo-liner 'CITY of ATHENS' that had been torpedoed and sunk by the German suibmarine U-179 whilst on a passage from UK to the Middle East.  Later, HMS Active detected the U-Boat by SONAR and searchlight, forcing her to dive.  A depth charge attack forced the enemy submarine to the surface.  HMS Active proceed to ram U-179 and sank her.


On 11-10-1942, HMS Active picked up 27 survivors from the American merchantman 'COLURADAN', which had been attacked and sunk by the German submarine U-159.


During the remainder of WWII, HMS Active was mainly engaged in convoy escort duties between Great Britain and Sierra Leone, after having received increased anti-aircraft and anti-submarine armaments.


On 23-05-1943, HMS Active, together with HMS Ness, sank the Italian submarine 'LEONARDO DE VINCI' in a position West of Cape Finisterre.


On 02-11-1943, HMS Active, in company with the Frigate HMS Ness, the Sloop HMS Fleetwood and Destroyer HMS Witherington, attacked and sank German submarine U-340 in a position close to Tangiers.


HMS Active decommissioned in May 1947 and sold on 20-05-1947 for scrapping.


Arrived at West of Scotland Shipbreakling Company's Troon facility on 6th August 1947.