HMS Somali (F33)
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HMS Somali at anchor
|Builder:||Swan Hunter, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom|
|Laid down:||26 August 1936|
|Launched:||24 August 1937|
|Commissioned:||12 December 1938|
November 1938 - L33
January 1939 - F33
Autumn 1940 - G33
|Fate:||Torpedoed by U-703 & sank under while under tow, 25 September 1942|
|Class & type:||Tribal-class destroyer|
|Length:||364 ft 8 in (111.15 m)|
|Beam:||36 ft 6 in (11.13 m)|
|Draught:||13 ft (4.0 m)|
|Propulsion:||3 Admiralty 3-drum boilers at 300 lb/sq.in, all with 2 shaft Parsons geared turbines|
|Armament:||8 × 4.7 in twin turrets
1 × quadruple 2 pdr anti-aircraft guns
2 × quadruple 0.5 cal machine guns
1 × quadruple torpedo tubes (21 Mk IX Torpeoes)
2 × depth charge throwers
1 × depth charge rail
HMS Somali was a Tribal-class destroyer of the British Royal Navy that saw service in World War II. She was launched in 1937, captured the first prize of World War II and served in Home and Mediterranean waters. She was torpedoed on 20 September 1942 in the Arctic.
On 15 May 1940, during the Norwegian Campaign, Somali was carrying Brigadier the Hon. William Fraser, commander of 24th Guards Brigade, back to Harstad from a reconnaissance of Mo when she was bombed by German aircraft and forced to return to the United Kingdom for repairs, taking the Brigadier with her. He did not reach Harstad until 23 May.
In May 1941, Somali boarded the German weather ship München. Prior to being boarded, the crew of the München threw overboard the ship's Enigma machine in a weighted bag. However, documents on the operation of the Enigma machine were left on board, as were vital codebooks providing a breakthrough for Allied codebreakers.
On 13 August 1942, Somali rescued all 105 crew of the American cargo ship Almeria Lykes, which had been torpedoed by E boats while taking part in Operation Pedestal. The rescued crew were landed at Gibraltar.
Lieutenant Commander Colin Maud took over as captain in September 1942 when her own captain, Jack Eaton, was ill. On 20 September 1942 Somali was torpedoed by U-703 while covering Convoy QP 14 during the Russian convoys. She was hit in her engine room, and although taken under tow by Ashanti, she sank on 25 September, after heavy weather broke her back. Of the 102 men on board, only 35 were rescued from the Arctic waters. Leading Seaman Goad of Ashanti was awarded the Albert Medal for "great bravery in saving life at sea" after diving into the freezing water to save Lieutenant Commander Maud.
Somali was the last Royal Navy Tribal-class destroyer to be sunk during the war.
- Brice, Martin H. (1971). The Tribals. London: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-0245-2.
- English, John (2001). Afridi to Nizam: British Fleet Destroyers 1937–43. Gravesend, Kent: World Ship Society. ISBN 0-905617-95-0.
- T.K. Derry, History of the Second World War: The Campaign in Norway, London: HM Stationery Office, 1952.
- Joslen, Lt-Col H.F. (2003) [1st. pub. HMSO:1960]. Orders of Battle: Second World War, 1939–1945. Uckfield: Naval and Military Press. ISBN 9781843424741. OCLC 65152579.