HMS Panther (G41)
|Builder:||Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company|
|Laid down:||5 March 1940|
|Launched:||28 May 1941|
|Commissioned:||12 December 1941|
|Identification:||Pennant number G41|
|Fate:||Sunk by Aerial attack, 9 October 1943|
|Class and type:||P-class destroyer|
|Length:||345 ft (105 m) o/a|
|Beam:||35 ft (11 m)|
|Draught:||12 ft 3 in (3.73 m)|
|Propulsion:||2 shafts; 2 × steam turbines|
|Speed:||36 knots (67 km/h; 41 mph)|
|Range:||3,850 nautical miles (7,130 km; 4,430 mi) at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)|
The P-class destroyers were repeats of the preceding O class, except that they were armed with 4-inch (102 mm) anti-aircraft guns. They displaced 1,640 long tons (1,670 t) at standard load and 2,250 long tons (2,290 t) at deep load. The ships had an overall length of 345 feet (105.2 m), a beam of 35 feet (10.7 m) and a deep draught of 12 feet 3 inches (3.7 m). They were powered by two Parsons geared steam turbines, each driving one propeller shaft, using steam provided by two Admiralty three-drum boilers. The turbines developed a total of 40,000 shaft horsepower (30,000 kW) and gave a maximum speed of 36 knots (67 km/h; 41 mph). The ships carried a maximum of 500 long tons (510 t) of fuel oil that gave them a range of 3,850 nautical miles (7,130 km; 4,430 mi) at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph). The ships' complement was 176 officers and ratings.
Panther was armed with five QF 4-inch Mark V guns in single mounts, two pairs superfiring fore and aft and the fifth gun replacing the aft torpedo tubes. Her light anti-aircraft suite was composed of one quadruple mount for 2-pounder "pom-pom" guns and four single Oerlikon 20 mm cannon. The ship was fitted with one above-water quadruple mount for 21-inch (533 mm) torpedoes. The aft mount was later reinstated and one 4-inch gun removed. The ship was fitted with four depth charge throwers and two racks for 70 depth charges.
Construction and career
Panther was laid down on 5 March 1940 by the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company (Govan, Scotland) and launched on 28 May of the following year. She was commissioned to the fleet on 12 December 1941. Following the sinking of the heavy cruisers Cornwall and Dorsetshire, off Ceylon on 5 April 1942, Panther took part in the rescue operations, and assisted in the recovery of approximately 1,120 men from both crews. On 8 May 1942, in conjunction with the destroyer Active she sank the Vichy French submarine Monge as part of operations against Madagascar. Panther formed part of a convoy that included the troopship SS Strathallan in December 1942. On 21 December the troopship was torpedoed by the German submarine U-562. Panther under the command of Lt.Cdr. Viscount Jocelyn, RN along with other escort vessels took on board the crew and troops, including the staff of U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, and delivered them to Oran.
Later in 1942 the flotilla including Panther moved to the Mediterranean on convoy duties to Malta. After this, she was transferred with her sister ship Pathfinder to the North Atlantic. Returning to the Mediterranean in July 1943 with the survivors of her class, she served as part of the Sicily invasion fleet and then at Salerno. Panther was attacked in the Scarpento Channel in the Aegean Sea by Junkers Ju 87 Stuka aircraft of I. Group Stuka Wing 3 from Megara airbase at noon on 9 October 1943, during the Dodecanese Campaign. She sank within one minute at 12:05 hrs C-time. Her crew was saved by the Greek destroyer Miaoulis.
- Lenton, p. 172
- Whitley, pp. 124–25
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- HMS Panther at uboat.net
- Sinking of Strathallan
- Description of submarine attack on Panther
- Description of submarine attack on Panther