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Great Britain's "J" class destroyers

Photos

  • F22 HMS Jackal destroyer
  • F34 HMS Jaguar destroyer
  • F53 HMS Janus destroyer
  • F61 HMS Javelin destroyer
  • F72 HMS Jersey destroyer
  • f85-hms-jupiter-destroyer-19400824-iwm-a-238

Design

Some in the Royal Navy thought that the Tribal class were too gun oriented and too large so a smaller design with dual purpose guns and a full load of torpedo launches would be better. However, there were no good performing dual purpose guns available. Initially with the "J" class were to have single mounts with the hopeful dual purpose twin guns coming later.

Construction

For the first time since World War I the ships were built with longitudinal framing was used instead of transverse.

Welding was only used on girding and deck plating.

Order

Eight "J" class ships were ordered on March 25, 1937. With flotillas being reduced to be eight ships including the leader the Jubilant was cancelled.

Modifications

In 1941 the rear torpedo tubes were replace by one 4" HA Mk V. Radar 286M was fitted to the masthead and eventually replaced by radar 286P that was then replaced by radar 291 in 1942.

Two Oerlikons were added abreast of the searchlight platforms and two replacing the .5" machine guns. These were often replaced by twin mounts.

It was decided to only use two boilers instead of the three that previous classes had.

Ships

HMS Jackal, F.22

  • Builder: John Brown, Clydebank
  • September 24, 1937: Laid down
  • October 25, 1938: Launched
  • April 13, 1939: Commissioned
  • 1939: Member of 5th Destroyer Flotilla
  • April 1940: Norway
  • December 1941: Hit by aerial torpedo
  • May 11, 1942: Heavily damaged by German bombers in action with HMS Jervis, HMS Kipling, and HMS Lively off North African coast during anti-convoy duty.
  • May 12, 1942: Sunk by HMS Jervis.

HMS Jaguar, F.34

  • Builder: Denny
  • November 1937: Laid down
  • November 22, 1938: Launched
  • September 12, 1938: Commissioned
  • 1939: Member of 5th Destroyer Flotilla
  • April 1940: Norway
  • May 1940: Damaged by bombs at Dunkirk.
  • ? 1940: Mediterranean
  • March 26, 1942, March 1942: Sunk by U652 north of Sollum.

HMS Janus, F.53

  • Builder: Swan Hunter, Swan Hunter at Wallsend
  • September 29, 1937: Laid down
  • November 10, 1938: Launched
  • August 5, 1939: Commissioned
  • 1939: Member of 5th Destroyer Flotilla
  • April 1940: Norway
  • June 1940 - 1944: Mediterranean
  • June 9, 1941: Damaged by French contre-torpilleurs off Sidon.
  • January 23, 1944: Sunk off Anzio by aerial torpedo.

HMS Javelin, F.61, formerly the Kashmir

  • Builder: John Brown, Clydebank
  • October 11, 1937: Laid down
  • December 21, 1938: Launched
  • June 10, 1939: Commissioned
  • 1939: Member of 5th Destroyer Flotilla
  • April 1940: Norway
  • November 1940: Badly damaged by two torpedoes from German destroyers.
  • ? 1940 - 1944: Mediterranean
  • June 1944: Normandy
  • June 8 - 9, 1944: Action against German 8th Destroyer Flotilla off Brittany. ZH1 and Z32 were sunk.
  • 1949: Broken up
  • June 17, 1949: Broken up
  • November 1949: Scrapped at Troon.

HMS Jersey, F.72

  • Builder: S. White, White
  • September 28, 1937: Laid down
  • September 26, 1938: Launched
  • April 28, 1939: Commissioned
  • 1939: Member of 5th Destroyer Flotilla
  • December 7, 1939: While patrolling with HMS Juno was attacked by German destroyers Lody and Geise and badly damaged by torpedo hit.
  • December 1939 - September 1940: Repairs
  • ? 1940: Mediterranean
  • May 2, 1941: Sunk
  • May 4, 1941: Sunk by a mine off the entrance to Grand Harbor, Malta

HMS Jervis, F.00, "J" class leader

  • Builder: Hawthorn Leslie, Hawthorn
  • August 26, 1937: Laid down
  • September 9, 1938: Launched
  • August 5, 1939: Commissioned
  • 1939: Member of 5th Destroyer Flotilla
  • December 7, 1939: While patrolling with HMS Jersey was attacked by German destroyers Lody and Geise and HMS Jersey was badly damaged by torpedo hit.
  • April 1940: Norway
  • June 1940 - 1944: Mediterranean
  • December 1941: Hit by Italian human torpedoes in Alexandria
  • May 11, 1941: With HMS Jackal, HMS Kipling, and HMS Lively conducted anti-convoy duty off North Africa coast and was attacked by German bombers.
  • January 1944: Off Anzio hit by glider bomb.
  • June 1944: Normandy
  • June 8 - 9, 1944: Action against German 8th Destroyer Flotilla off Brittany. ZH1 and Z32 were sunk.
  • 1949: Broken up.
  • January 3, 1949: Broken up. Scrapped at Troon.

HMS Juno, F.46, formerly the Jamaica

  • Builder: Fairfield
  • October 5, 1937: Laid down
  • December 8, 1938: Launched
  • August 24, 1938: Commissioned
  • 1939: Member of 5th Destroyer Flotilla
  • April 1940: Norway
  • June 1940: Mediterranean
  • May 20, 1941: Sunk during aerial attack off Crete
  • May 21, 1941: Sunk

HMS Jupiter, F.85

  • Builder: Yarrow
  • September 20, 1937: Laid down
  • October 27, 1938: Launched
  • June 16, 1939: Commissioned
  • 1939: Member of 5th Destroyer Flotilla
  • April 1940: Norway
  • November 1941: Ordered to Colombo to be member of HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse's screen.
  • January 17, 1942: Sank Japanese submarine I60 off Krakatoa
  • February 27, 1942: Sunk. Hit mine off Java.
  • February 28, 1942: Sunk off Java.

HMS Jubilant

  • Cancelled

Specifications

  "J" Class
Crew 183, 183 - 218, 220
Physical Characteristics  
Displacement 1,690 tons, 1,695 tons, 1,760 tons, 1,760 - 1,773 tons
1,717 tonnes
Displacement - Loaded 2,330 tons
2,367 tonnes
Length 356' 6"
108.6 m, 108.66 m
Length - Between Perpendiculars 339' 6"
103.4 m, 103.48 m
Length - Water Line 348'
106 m
Beam 35', 35' 8", 35' 9"
10.8 m, 10.87 m
Draft - Mean 9', 13' 8" - 13' 10"
2.7 m, 4.16 - 4.22 m
Performance  
Speed 36 knots
Range at 15 knots 5,500 nautical miles
Armament 6: 4.7" Mk XII (3 x 2), 4.7" (3 x 2), 4.7"/45 QF Mk XII (3 x 2), 4.7"
Anti-Aircraft 4: 2 pdr Mk VII (1 x 4), 2 pdr (1 x 4), 2 pdr pompoms (1 x 4), 40 mm
6: 20 mm
8: .5" machine guns (2 x 4)
Torpedo Tubes 10: 21" (2 x 5), 21"
Engines  
Boilers 2: Admiralty 3 drum
Shafts 2
Turbines Parsons geared, Geared
HP 40,000
Oil 464 tons, 484 tons
492 tonnes
  "J" Class - Leader
Crew 218, 233
Physical Characteristics  
Displacement 1,965 tons
1,996 tonnes
  "J" Class - later
Physical Characteristics  
Displacement - Loaded 2,540 - 2,555 tons
Draft - Mean 14' 3"
4.34 m

Sources:

  1. Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922-1946, Robert Gardiner, 1987
  2. Destroyers of World War Two, M. J. Whitley, 1988
  3. Warships of World War II, H. T. Lenton & J. J. Colledge, 1964
  4. Janes' Fighting Ships of World War II, 1989
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site