HMS Icarus

Vessel name on Arrival: HMS Icarus

HMS Icarus - D 03

Original Builder: John Brown Shipbuilders and Engineers, Clydebank, Glasgow

Original Yard No: 547

Official Number:

Vessel Type: destroyer

GRT: 1370

Year Built: 1937

Arrival Date: 29/08/1946

Breakup Started: 31/08/1946

Date First Beached: 04/06/1946

Date Breakup Completed: 05/09/1947

Draught For’d: 7' 6"

Draught Aft: 13' 0"

Name Changes:

An I-Class Destroyer

Other Information:

Twin-SCrew I-Class Destroyer for the Royal Navy from the Yard of John Brown of Clydebank – Pennant D-03


Length  :  323 ft  (98.5 mts)

Beam   :     33 ft  (10.1 mts)

Draught:  12.4 ft  (3.8 mts)


Ordered      :   14-11-1935

Laid Down :    13-03-1936

Launched   :    26-11-1936

Completed :    03-05-1937


Propulsion :  Parson's geared steam turbines driving two shafts, 34,000 SHP, delivering 36 knots

Boilers  :  3 x Admiralty 3-Drum watertube Boilers


HMS Icarus was involved in many of the war theatres :

1939  :  North Sea

1939 – 1944  :  Atlantic Ocean

1940  :  Narvik

1940-1941  :  Norway

1941  :  Dunkirk

1941  :  Bismarck Action

1941-1942  :  Arctic Ocean

1942  :  Mediterranean – Malta Convoys including Operation Pedestal

1944  :  Normandy

1945  :  English Channel


HMS Icarus was involved in the destruction of the following German U-Boats :

October 1939  :  U-45 in the Western Approaches

November 1939  :  U-35 in the North Sea

March 1944  :  U-744 in the North Atlantic

January 1945  :  U-1199 in the English Channel


One of the most poignant incidents in her war at sea took place in May 1941 when, along with the Destroyers Achates, Antelope, Anthony, Echo and Electra, HMS Icarus was assigned to escort the Battlecruiser HMS Hood and the battleship HMS Prince of Wales which were on alert to cover the Northern Approaches to prevent the German Battleship 'Bismark' breaking out into the Atlantic. 

At 06:01 hours on the morning of 24th May 1941 HMS Hood blew up when a 38mm shell from Bismarck struck her after magazine causing a huge explosion and the sinking of this capital ship in under two minutes.


When the Destroyers Electra, Icarus and Anthony arrived at the scene, instead of finding hundeds of men in the water, only three survivors, out of a total complement of 94 officers and 1,321 ratings were found alive.


HMS Icarus was paid off on 29th August 1946 and, on 29th October 1946, was handed over to BISCO for breaking.