HMS Active (H14)
Active in 1944
|Builder:||Hawthorn Leslie & Company, Hebburn|
|Laid down:||10 July 1928|
|Launched:||9 July 1929|
|Commissioned:||9 February 1930|
|Identification:||Pennant number: H14|
|Fate:||Sold for scrap, 1947|
|General characteristics (as built)|
|Class and type:||A-class destroyer|
|Length:||323 ft (98 m) (o/a)|
|Beam:||32 ft 3 in (9.83 m)|
|Draught:||12 ft 3 in (3.73 m)|
|Propulsion:||2 × shafts; 2 × geared steam turbines|
|Speed:||35 knots (65 km/h; 40 mph)|
|Range:||4,080 nmi (7,560 km; 4,700 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)|
Construction and design
Active was ordered on 6 March 1928 as a part of the first class of destroyers for the Royal Navy to be built after the First World War. The ship was laid down on 10 July 1928 at Hawthorn Leslie in Hebburn, Newcastle upon Tyne, was launched on 9 July 1929 and commissioned on 9 February 1930 with the pennant number H14, being the first of the A class to be completed.
Like the rest of the A class, Active had a main gun armament of four 4.7 in (120 mm) guns on low angle (30 degree) mounts that were only suitable for anti-ship use, and an anti-aircraft armament of two 2-pounder (40 mm) "pom-poms". Eight 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes were carried on two quadruple mounts, with Mark V torpedoes carried. No sonar set was initially fitted, although provision was made to fit one later, while anti-submarine armament consisted of three depth charge chutes with six depth charges carried. High speed minesweeping equipment was also fitted.
The ship was powered by two Parsons geared steam turbines fed by three Admiralty 3-drum boilers. The machinery generated 34,000 shaft horsepower (25,000 kW), driving the ship to a design speed of 35.25 knots (65.28 km/h; 40.56 mph), although 36.73 knots (68.02 km/h; 42.27 mph) were reached during trials in December 1929.
Following commissioning, Active joined the Third Destroyer Flotilla as part of the Mediterranean Fleet, remaining in the Mediterranean other than for refits until 1939. On 4 April 1932, Active was involved in a collision with fellow A-class destroyer Achates off Saint-Tropez, although damage was limited. Active patrolled off the coast of Palestine in response to the Arab revolt in June 1936, and following the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, patrolled off Spain from September 1936 to January 1937.
On 16 February 1937, Active collided with the destroyer Worcester following failure of Active's steering gear at high speed. This time damage was more severe, and Active was under repair at Malta until June that year, when the ship joined the Second Destroyer Flotilla. Active served with the Second Flotilla until October 1938, when she went into reserve at Malta.
Second World War
In May 1941 the ship participated in the hunt for the German battleship Bismarck.
In 1942 she participated in the Madagascar landings (Operation Ironclad) during which on 8 May she sank the Vichy French submarine Monge. Later while being based in Cape Town on 8 October she sank the German submarine U-179 en route to Penang.
During the rest of the war the ship served as escort mainly between Great Britain and Sierra Leone after receiving increased anti-aircraft and anti-submarine armament. On 23 May 1943 she sank the Italian submarine Leonardo da Vinci west of Cape Finisterre together with the frigate Ness and on 2 November 1943 sank U-340 close to Tangier.
In May 1947 Active was decommissioned and sold for scrap.
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