The story of HMS Lightning - a WW2 destroyer

I have dedicated this site to HMS Lightning and her crew.

This site is a first hand account of the life and death of a typical WWII British destroyer and her crew. It was created from a small account that I wrote on my father's behalf for the 50th anniversary of the sinking of his favourite ship. Sadly, Dad and most of his old shipmates that contributed to this work have now "passed over the bar". Gone but not forgotten.

Eric Gilroy - son of the late George "Geordie" Gilroy AB LR3 aboard HMS Lightning May1941 - March 1943

For convenience I have split the account into several chronological sections:


Technical details of Lightning

The eight L boats


Early days (May 1941)

Joining 17th DF (May - September 1941)

Operation Halbeard (September 1941)

Force H (October - December 1941)

To the USA (December 1941)

Back home from USA (January 1942)

Back to Gibraltar from USA (January - March 1942)

Operation Ironclad (April - May 1942)

Out east (May - July 1942)

Back to Gib from the east (July 1942)

Operation Pedestal (August 1942)

Refit in Chatham (August - November 1942)

Letter by AB Alan Gould to his wife (April - September 1942)

Life aboard

Adoption of the ship by Doncaster (October)

Convoy KMF5 (December 1942)

Early 1943 (January - February 1943)

Air raid (March 1 1943)

The sinking of HMS Lightning (March 1943)


Reports of the loss

Ship's crew




Research Notes