O Class (1941) DD

The 1938 destroyer construction programme had the problem of how best to produce the large number of destroyers which obviously would soon be needed. They were basically an A to I design with J Class machinery with a multiple pom-pom. They formed the basis for all destroyers built under the War Emergency Programme. The O Class were known as the 1st Emergency Flotilla, with orders being placed on 03-Sep-1939

The O Class spent virtually the entire war in northern waters. Starting off with the Lofoten raid of Dec-1941, continuing with Russian Convoy work during 1942.

In late 1942 in the Barents Sea Onslow, Obdurate, Obedient and Orwell fought off an attack on their convoy by the Admiral Hipper and Lutzow. With the first three receiving damage

Spring 1943 saw deployment to the Atlantic, forming the 3rd and 5th Support Groups.

Arctic service continued in 1944, but all except Opportune supported the Normandy landings as the 17th Destroyer Flotilla. Then it was back to Russian convoy work for the rest of the war.

All survived the war with one sold to Turkey in 1946, three to Pakistan late 1949-1951, and the remainder continuing in service with the last broken up in 1965.


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This page last edited - 01 May, 2013.

Copyright Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.