|Dimensions||76.2 × 55.88 × 2.54 cm|
Hunt Class Destroyer
Builder J.I. Thornycroft Co. Ltd.
Gross 1,430 Tons
Length 280 feet (85.3 m)
Beam 31 feet, 6 inches (9.6 m)
Draught 8 feet, 3 inches (2.51 m)
Propulsion Two Parsons geared turbines, driving two propellers
12th August 1942
The Sicilian Narrows
HMS Ledbury was an escort destroyer, ordered just two days after the outbreak of World War II. This class of ship did away with the large armament of the fleet destroyers and in its shorter length achieved better maneuverability. They were heavily employed in convoy escort duties.
On the night of the 12th of August, following fierce fighting and the resulting chaos, Lt. Commander Roger P. Hill in HMS Ledbury herded six errant merchant ships back on course to Malta. At 8:00 am the next morning, ignoring danger to his ship, Hill nudged his ship’s bows into the fires left by the exploded SS Waimarama and saved 33 of its crew along with others from SS Melbourne Star who had abandoned ship when, on seeing the Wiamarama’s flames, thought that their own ship was on fire.
As ships started filtering into Malta’s Grand Harbour on the 13th, HMS Penn and HMS Ledbury were sent to find the floundering Ohio, now dead in the water. Bombed and harried, the crew exhausted, Ledbury managed to shoot two torpedo bombers that had targeted Ohio. At 1:10 pm Penn and Ledbury tied themselves to either side of the broken tanker and, after many failed attempts, towed her with help from the Malta Escort Force into Grand Harbour to the welcome of huge cheering crowds.
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