HMS Thruster (1917)

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HMS Thisbe at sea (15841029496).jpg
Sister ship HMS Thisbe at sea in 1917
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Thruster
Builder: Hawthorn Leslie and Company, Hebburn
Laid down: 2 June 1916
Launched: 10 January 1917
Commissioned: 30 March 1917
Fate: Scrapped 16 March 1937
General characteristics
Class and type: R-class destroyer
Displacement: 975 long tons (991 t) standard 1,075 long tons (1,092 t) full
Length: 276 ft (84.1 m)
Beam: 26 ft 6 in (8.1 m)
Draught: 9 ft (2.7 m)
  • 3 Yarrow boilers
  • 2 geared Parsons steam turbines, 27,000 shp (20,000 kW)
Speed: 36 knots (41.4 mph; 66.7 km/h)
Range: 3,440 nmi (6,370 km) at 15 kn (28 km/h)
Complement: 82

HMS Thruster was an R-class destroyer which served with the Royal Navy. She was launched on 10 January 1917 and scrapped on 16 March 1937.[1]


Thruster was one of ten R-class destroyers ordered by the British Admiralty in March 1916 as part of the Eighth War Construction Programme. The ship was laid down by Hawthorn Leslie and Company in Hebburn during June 1916, launched in January 1917 and completed in Match 1917.[2]

Thruster was 276 feet (84.12 m) long overall, with a beam of 26 feet 6 inches (8.08 m) and a draught of 9 feet (2.74 m).[3] Displacement was 975 long tons (991 t) normal and 1,075 long tons (1,092 t) deep load. Power was provided by three Yarrow boilers feeding two Parsons geared steam turbines rated at 27,000 shaft horsepower (20,000 kW) and driving two shafts, to give a design speed of 36 knots (67 km/h; 41 mph).[4] Three funnels were fitted. 296 long tons (301 t) of oil were carried, giving a design range of 3,450 nautical miles (6,390 km; 3,970 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph).[2]

Armament consisted of three QF 4in Mk IV guns on the ship's centreline, with one on the forecastle, one aft on a raised platform and one between the second and third funnels. A single 2-pounder (40 mm) pom-pom anti-aircraft gun was carried, while torpedo armament consisted of two twin mounts for 21 in (533 mm) torpedoes.[3] Fire control included a single Dumaresq and a Vickers range clock.[5] The ship had a complement of 82 officers and ratings.[4]


On commissioning, Thruster joined the 10th Destroyer Flotilla of the Harwich Force.[6] On 29 January 1918, the ship collided with Skilful and was credited with the destruction of UB-54 by depth charges on 12 March 1918 with Retriever and Sturgeon.[7][8] Thruster remained part of the 10th Destroyer Flotilla at the end of the war but was re-commissioned with a reduced complement on 19 October 1919 and acted as tender to Actaeon as part of the torpedo school HMS Vernon.[9][10]

After being reduced to Reserve crew on 6 February 1923, Thruster was recommissioned in Portsmouth as part of the Portland Anti-Submarine Flotilla on 26 May 1926.[11] While there, the ship took part in a number of trials of anti-submarine tactics as part of the development of ASDIC.[12] The ship was considered as part of the planned Royal Navy deployment in defence of traffic between Port Said and Alexandria on 19 October 1935 after the start of the Second Italo-Ethiopian War but was scrapped on 16 March 1937 before the outbreak of hostilities between Italy and the British Empire.[13]

Pennant numbers[edit]

Pennant Number Date
F74 1917[14]
F76 1918[14]
H73 1935[1]


  1. ^ a b "HMS Thruster". World Naval Ships. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b Friedman, Norman (2009). British Destroyers: From Earliest Days to the First World War. Barnsley: Seaforth Publishing. p. 310. ISBN 978-1-84832-049-9.
  3. ^ a b Gardiner, Robert; Gray, Randal, eds. (1985). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. London: Conway Maritime Press. p. 81. ISBN 0-85177-245-5.
  4. ^ a b Parkes, Oscar; Prendegast, Maurice (1919). Jane’s Fighting Ships. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co. Ltd. p. 107.
  5. ^ "Fire Control in H.M. Ships". The Technical History and Index: Alteration in Armaments of H.M. Ships during the War. 3 (23): 31. 1919.
  6. ^ "Supplement to the Navy List Showing Organisation of the Fleet, Flag Officers' Commands &c.: II — Harwich Force". The Navy List: 13. July 1917. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  7. ^ "ADM 137/3718 Collision between HMS THRUSTER and HMS SKILFUL". The National Archives. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  8. ^ Messimer, Dwight R. (2002). Verschollen: World War I U-boat Losses. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. p. 173. ISBN 9781557504753.
  9. ^ "Supplement to the Navy List Showing Organisation of the Fleet, Flag Officers' Commands &c.: II.–Harwich Force". The Navy List: 13. December 1918. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  10. ^ "Thruster". The Navy List: 873. August 1920. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Thruster". The Navy List: 274. July 1931.
  12. ^ Hackmann, Willem Dirk (1984). Seek & Strike: Sonar, Anti-Submarine Warfare and the Royal Navy 1914-54. London: HMSO. p. 189. ISBN 9780112904236.
  13. ^ "ADM 116/3038 British position in the event of war". The National Archives. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  14. ^ a b Dittmar, F.J.; Colledge, J.J. (1972). British Warships 1914–1919. Shepperton: Ian Allan. p. 70. ISBN 0-7110-0380-7.