|Dimensions||76.2 × 55.88 × 2.54 cm|
Tribal Class Destroyer
Builder William Denny & Brothers
Gross 2,020 Tons
Length 377 feet (115.0 m)
Beam 36 feet, 6 inches (11.13 m)
Draught 13 feet (4.0 m)
Propulsion 2 Pearsons geared turbines, driving 2 propellers
12th August 1942
25 miles northwest of Cape Bon
At 7:55 pm the German submarine Axum fired her bow tubes at the Pedestal Convoy. All four torpedoes hit, and the Ohio, HMS Cairo and the HMS Nigeria were extensively damaged. HMS Ashanti, a destroyer, came alongside the disabled ship and took on board Rear Admiral Burrough and his staff from the Ohio.
At 8:35pm, spotting 30 Junkers Ju 88s and seven Heinkels He IIIs, the Ashanti and Penn tried to shield the convoy in a smokescreen, but silhouetted against the fading light it was almost impossible to hide. The enemy tore into the convoy with devastating results. By the time the convoy reached the Sicilian Narrows, the SS Empire Hope, SS Deucalion and SS Clan Fergusson were burning or sunk. A lone bomber attacked the Ashanti, the torpedo almost scraping the starboard bow as it travelled the length of the destroyer. The night was no better; the enemy destroyed the merchantmen SS Glenorchy and SS Wairangi.
At 9 am on the 13th, the HMS Ashanti drew close to the limping Ohio. Ju 87s had targeted her for destruction. The Ashanti was right under their dives and her guns firing on local command hit several of them, causing them to crash in the sea, one died on the tanker itself.
The Ashanti’s stayed within sight, countering every attack until it turned back for Gibraltar.
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