HMS Peony (K40)
Sachtouris underway in September 1943, shortly after her transfer to the Royal Hellenic Navy.
|Builder:||Harland and Wolff, Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|Laid down:||24 February 1940|
|Launched:||4 June 1940|
|Completed:||2 August 1940|
|Commissioned:||2 August 1940|
|Out of service:||Transferred to the Royal Hellenic Navy in 1943|
|Renamed:||Sachtouris on transfer|
|Reinstated:||Returned to the Royal Navy in September 1951|
|Identification:||Pennant number: K40|
|Fate:||Scrapped 21 April 1952|
|Kingdom of Greece|
|Out of service:||September 1951|
|Class and type:||Flower-class corvette|
|Length:||205 ft (62 m)|
|Beam:||33 ft (10 m)|
|Draught:||11 ft 6 in (3.51 m)|
|Speed:||16 knots (30 km/h) at 2,750 hp (2,050 kW)|
|Range:||3,500 nautical miles at 12 knots (6,500 km at 22 km/h)|
HMS Peony was a Flower-class corvette of the Royal Navy. In 1943 she was transferred to the Royal Hellenic Navy as ΒΠ Σαχτούρης ("BP Sachtouris"), serving throughout World War II and the Greek Civil War. She was returned to the Royal Navy in 1951 and scrapped in April 1952.
From late 1940 to early 1941 she was part of the 10th Corvette Group, Mediterranean Fleet based at Alexandria, with which she escorted numerous convoys to Malta. In February 1941 she was equipped for minesweeping as not enough minesweepers were available. In July 1941 she helped to transport troops to Cyprus. She undertook anti-submarine operations off Cyprus in the following months. Along with the Australian destroyer HMAS Vendetta, three corvettes and two anti-submarine aircraft she attacked a U-boat on 8 October 1941 with, but the U-boat escaped.
In December 1941 while escorting Mediterranean convoy AT-6 from Alexandria to Tobruk, the German submarine U-559 torpedoed the Polish steamer Warszawa and attacked Peony. Peony took Warszawa in tow until another torpedo from the U-boat sank the steamship with the loss of 23 men. Peony and HMS Avon Vale rescued the survivors.
In the small hours of 24 December 1941 U-568 torpedoed and sank a Flower-class sister ship, HMS Salvia, about 100 nautical miles (190 km) west of Alexandria. Salvia was carrying not only her own complement but also about 100 survivors from SS Shuntien, which U-559 had sunk a few hours earlier. Peony went to Salvia's rescue but found no survivors: only a patch of oil.
In 1943 Peony was transferred to the Royal Hellenic Navy, which renamed her ΒΠ Σαχτούρης (VP Sachtouris) after Georgios Sachtouris, an admiral in the Greek War of Independence. She was the second of three ships to bear this name, the first being a gunboat built in 1834 in Greece, and the third being the Gearing-class destroyer USS Arnold J. Isbell.[Note 1]
In 1947 the United States in what became known as the Truman Doctrine declared its support the Greek government in its war against Communist guerrillas. In the early 1950s the Mutual Defense Assistance Act started the transfer of American ships to Greece. Four Cannon-class destroyer escorts entered Greek service and so the old British Flower-class corvettes were superseded.
Sachtouris was returned to the Royal Navy in September 1951 and scrapped on 21 April 1952.