Technical Data


On completion, HMS MARTIN proceeded to Scapa Flow and was allocated to the 17th Destroyer Flotilla attached to the Home Fleet.  On completion of her trials and work up she sailed on the 28th April 1942 for Seidisfjord, Iceland to join the escort of the covering force for Russian Convoy No PQ 15.  HMS MARTIN left Seidisfjord on 30th April, but due to an unfortunate accident on 1st May, when the Battleship HMS KING GEORGE V rammed and sank the destroyer HMS PUNJABI, HMS MARTIN was detached from the force to escort HMS KING GEORGE V back to Scapa Flow where she arrived 5th May.

HMS MARTIN’s next escort duty was with convoy PQ 16.  She left Scapa on the 15th May and after calling for fuel at Seidisfjord, joined the close escort on the 25th May.

This convoy came under continuous attack; at 1500 on the 25th May HMS MARTIN spotted and chased U-591.  Just before this the U boat had seen the destroyer and began to take evading action.  HMS MARTIN opened fire but her salvos were falling short, she ceased fire and at 1504 as she was closing rapidly, U-591 crashed dived.  The MARTIN dropped an accurately placed pattern of depth charges, unfortunately the U boat had not gone as deep as was thought and so the the charges exploded too far beneath her, although the U boat was shaken violently by the explosives she suffered no damage, and was therefore able to menace the convoy again the following day.

At 0600 on the 26th May HMS MARTIN sighted two U boats on the surface, about 7 miles off her starboard beam, these were U-209 and U-586.  At 0603 on spotting the destroyer, they crashed dived simultaneously.  At 0650 with HMS ACHANTES, the MARTIN commenced a search but gained no contact, although at 0846 the third U boat, U-591, which was still shadowing the convoy, fired a salvo of 3 torpedoes at the ACHATES, all missed.  At 0930 HMS MARTIN located and engaged U-586, salvos from her guns became increasingly accurate and at 0939 U-586 crashed dived and the MARTIN began a depth charge attack.  Once again however the U boat escaped damage.

From then until the 30th May the convoy came under continuous attack by aircraft and as a result lost six ships.  The remainder arrived at Kola Inlet on the 31st May.  HMS MARTIN sailed independently from Kola Inlet on the 6th June for Scapa Flow arriving on the 9th June.  On the 10th June, she went to Rosyth to have some minor repairs done after the air raids in the last convoy. 

HMS MARTIN was an escort for the Home Fleet during the ill-fated convoy PQ 17, sailing from Scapa on the 30th June and cruising off Bear Island, arriving back at Scapa on the 11th July.  HMS MARTIN left Scapa on the 15th July for Seidisfjord and left there on the 20th July in company with HMS’s MARNE, MIDDLETON and BLANKNEY for Archangel loaded with replenishments for the escorts and merchant ships.  They arrived at Kola Inlet on the 24th July and Archangel some days later.  HMS MARTIN sailed from Archangel on the 14th August and joined the USS TUSCALOOSA.  After calling at Kola Inlet, whence she sailed on the 24th August in company with HMS’s MARNE and ONSLAUGHT, HMS MARTIN sank the German Minelayer ULM and took 54 prisoners-of-war.  She arrived at Scapa on the 30th August, having survived a minor collision with HMS VIDETTE on that day.

HMS MARTIN sailed from Scapa on the 4th September to join the escorts of PQ 18.  In the convoy she was part of Force “B”, and joined the convoy with the cruiser HMS SCYLLA, and the Escort Aircraft Carrier HMS AVENGER southwest of Jan Meyen Island on the 9th September.  PQ 18 was heavily attacked by aircraft and lost ten ships, which were sunk, by torpedo bomber attacks and two others by U-boat, out of an original convoy of 40 ships.  On the 16th September, HMS MARTIN with HMS SCYLLA and the rest of the destroyers transferred to the west going convoy, PQ 14.  This convoy escaped air attack, but lost three ships out of 15 to U-boats, which in addition sank two of the escort and a fleet oiler.  HMS MARTIN arrived back at Scapa on the 27th September with survivors from four merchant ships.

HMS MARTIN was the allocated to the escort group for Force “H” in Operation “Torch”, the landings in North Africa.  She sailed from Scapa on the 30th October as part of the escort for Force “H”, and after fuelling at Gibraltar on the 5th November re-joined Force “H”- the covering force to the landings at Algiers and Oran, on the 8th November.  The task of Force “H” was to guard against action by the Italian Fleet, during the landings.  Unfortunately, HMS MARTIN was torpedoed by U-431 on the morning of the 10th November as a result of which she blew up and sank in position 37o 53’N – 03o 57’E.  The only survivors were four Officers and 59 Ratings picked up by HMS QUENTIN.