|Dimensions||76.2 × 55.88 × 2.54 cm|
L Class Destroyer
Builder Yarrow Shipbuilders Ltd.
Gross 1,920 Tons
Length 362 feet, 6 inches (110.5 m)
Beam 36 feet, 8 inches (11.2 m)
Draught 10 feet (3.0 m)
Propulsion Two geared turbines, driving two propellers
11th August 1942
81 miles South of Cape Salinas
In the early afternoon of August 11, the destroyer HMS Laforey was sent to pick up survivors of the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle that had been torpedoed and sunk. Laforey, along with HMS Lookout and the tug Jaunty rescued 929 men out of a crew of 1160. Later in the afternoon, the crowded ships finally transferred the survivors to other escort ships.
The morning of the 12th, HMS Laforey attacked the Italian submarine Brin, but it dove deep and eventually escaped. Later that evening, a message was received warning of a dusk onslaught from the sky. Thirty Ju 88 dive bombers came in from 8,000 feet in shallow bombing runs while six He III torpedo bombers attacked skimming the surface.
Concentrated fire from Laforey and other warships ensured that the torpedo bombers did not press a determined attack. The size of the naval barrage also un-nerved some of the pilots of the dive-bombers whose attacks were ineffective and, when the smoke cleared, three enemy aircraft had been shot down.
Laforey spent the next two days fighting off planes and E-boats and, although ship after ship in the convoy succumbed to bombs and torpedoes in the nearly constant round-the-clock attacks, she herself remained undamaged. Along with a number of other Royal Navy ships, she turned back as planned when the convoy reached the Sicilian Narrows.
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