HMS Croome (L62)

For other ships with the same name, see HMS Croome.
Croome underway during World War II
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Croome
Builder: Alexander Stephen and Sons
Laid down: 7 June 1940
Launched: 30 January 1941
Commissioned: 29 June 1941
Identification: pennant number: L62
Fate: Scrapped at Briton Ferry, Wales on 13 August 1957.
Badge: L62
General characteristics
Class and type: Type II Hunt-class destroyer
  • 1,050 long tons (1,070 t) standard
  • 1,430 long tons (1,450 t) full load
Length: 85.3 m (279 ft 10 in) o/a
Beam: 9.6 m (31 ft 6 in)
Draught: 2.51 m (8 ft 3 in)
  • 27 knots (31 mph; 50 km/h)
  • 25.5 kn (29.3 mph; 47.2 km/h) full
Range: 3,600 nmi (6,700 km) at 14 kn (26 km/h)
Complement: 164
  • 6 × QF 4 in Mark XVI on twin mounts Mk. XIX
  • 4 × QF 2 pdr Mk. VIII on quad mount MK.VII
  • 2 × 20 mm Oerlikons on single mounts P Mk. III
  • 110 depth charges, 2 throwers, 3 racks

HMS Croome was a Type II Hunt-class destroyer of the Royal Navy. She served during the Second World War, spending much of the time in the Mediterranean, operating from the ports at Gibraltar and Alexandria.

Service history

Sinking of Baracca

On 8 September 1941 Croome was escorting Convoy OG 75, en route from Liverpool to Gibraltar. While conducting a forward sweep Croome spotted the Italian submarine Baracca on the surface at 8,500 yards. Baracca dived as Croome turned towards her at full speed. After two depth-charge attacks, Baracca surfaced astern of Croome, which opened fire with all guns as she went about. The Italian submarine returned fire with her main gun but the shots went wide, the gun deck was then cleared by Croome's Lewis guns. As Croome approached, the Italians began to abandon ship. Croome rammed Baracca just abaft the conning tower. The submarine sank immediately by the stern and exploded underwater. After picking up survivors, Croome headed for Gibraltar while the crew shored-up the flooded forward compartments, damaged by the ramming. A DSO, a DSC and two DSMs were awarded for the action. 28 Italians were killed.[1]

Sinking of U-127 and U-581

On 15 December 1941 Croome and the destroyers Gurkha, Foxhound and HMAS Nestor were detached from Force H to run a sweep ahead of convoy HG 76. Nestor found and sank the German submarine U-127 with all hands.

On 2 February 1942 Croome, the destroyers Westcott and Exmoor and a corvette were sent to escort the damaged troopship Llangibby Castle, which had taken refuge from attack by two U-boats in the neutral port of Horta, in the Azores. They made contact with U-581 by asdic in the channel outside Horta and attacked her with depth charges. The U-boat was eventually forced to surface, where she was fired on by Croome and Westcott. Westcott rammed U-581 and the whole crew were able to escape before she sank. However, Westcott ran back through the survivors in the water and dropped another depth charge, resulting in four deaths and a number of casualties.

Malta convoys

Between 5 and 9 March 1942 Croome, with the rest of Force H, escorted the old aircraft carriers Eagle and Argus which were ferrying 15 Spitfire fighters from Gibraltar to Malta.

Between 12 and 16 June 1942 Croome was one of 27 destroyers and eight cruisers escorting 11 merchant ships to re-supply Malta from Alexandria. Codenamed Operation Vigorous, the convoy was forced to turn back because of a sortie by the Italian battle-fleet from Taranto and heavy air attacks.

On 4 August 1942 Croome, Sikh, Tetcott and Zulu attacked U-372, which had been spotted by an RAF Wellington bomber near Haifa, Palestine. The U-boat was forced to the surface with depth charges and sank shortly afterwards. The whole crew was captured.[2]

Between 13 and 14 September 1942, Croome, Hursley, Zulu and Sikh took part in a night bombardment of Tobruk. Zulu was hit by shore batteries and then bombed by enemy aircraft. Croome went alongside to take off survivors and Zulu was taken in tow by Hursley, but capsized and sank 100 miles (160 km) from Alexandria after further air attack.[3]

Postwar and fate

Croome survived the war and in October 1945 returned to Devonport from the Mediterranean. She was then paid off into reserve.[4] She was almost sold to the Royal Danish Navy in 1954, but other sister-ships were bought instead. Croome was finally sold for scrap to Thos W Ward and arrived at Briton Ferry, Wales for breaking up on 13 August 1957.


  1. Sinking of the Baracca
  2. HMS Croome at
  3. 'The Peoples' War at
  4. Critchley, Mike, "British Warships Since 1945: Part 3: Destroyers", Maritime Books: Liskeard, UK, 1982. ISBN 0-9506323-9-2, page 34


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