Part of the Acorn Archive

Hearts of Oak








29th January 1942

Penzance Adopts HMS FORESIGHT

In Warship Week, events were held across the country. Penzance had raised sufficient to pay for the hull of Destroyer HMS WITCH. However, it transpired that Northwich had adopted the WITCH, as its commander had associations with Northwich. So Penzance adopted destroyer HMS FORESIGHT instead. A plaque was struck to present to the ship. Lord Kindersley thanked the citizens of Penzance for their efforts during Warship Week and for the result achieved, saying that their success would provide yet another link in the chain between Penzance district and the Royal Navy.


The Cornishman Newspaper

20th August 1942


Destroyer that Penzance Adopted

Mediterranean Battle Losses

London Wednesday

The HMS FORESIGHT, the destroyer that had been adopted by the people of Penzance was sunk in a convoy battle in the Mediterranean last week.

This news is released in a lengthy communique issued today by the Admiralty on the battle. As already announced, the aircraft carrier EAGLE and the cruiser MANCHESTER were sunk by a submarine, and the communique goes on : Sixty six enemy aircraft were certainly destroyed. We lost eight, four pilots being safe.

One Uboat was destroyed by the destroyer WOLVERINE.

The Admiralty regrets to announce that the anti-aircraft cruiser CAIRO and the destroyer FORESIGHT were sunk during the operations.

The communique continues that the convoy casualties in the cruiser CAIRO were light. There were few casualties in the EAGLE and FORESIGHT.

The total losses among the ships during the extensive operations were the EAGLE, MANCHESTER, CAIRO and FORESIGHT.

It is not the intention of the Admiralty to divulge the number of ships in the convoy or the number of ships which have arrived. Obviously the information would be of considerable importance to the enemy.


However, the reports do not entirely coincide

with events as they happened.



Built Cammell Laird    Yard Nr 996

21st July 1933 Laid down

29th June 1934 Launched

15th May 1935 Commissioned

1,350 tons; 329 ft x 33.2 ft x 8.5 ft; 36,000 shp; 36 knots; turbine engines;

3-drum boilers; four 4.7 in. guns; 4 Torpedo Tubes


31st July 1940 Operation "Hurry", the first ship-launched aerial reinforcement of Malta begins. HMS FORESIGHT was amongst those ships comprising Force H in the Mediterranean, headed by HMS ARK ROYAL, HOOD and VALIANT.


18th June 1941 U-138 sunk west of Cadiz, in position 36.04N : 07.29W, by depth charges from destroyers HMS FAULKNOR, FEARLESS, FORESTER, FORESIGHT & FOXHOUND. 27 survivors (No casualties)


2nd September 1941 Ordinary Seaman Howarth of HMS FORESIGHT survived being blown overboard by an explosion, and saved the life of another man in the water, helping get him to safety. It was only when he in turn was rescued that colleagues realized that he had lost a foot in the blast.

He received the Albert Medal


1942 Operation Pedestal : The destroyer FORESIGHT took part in escorting an important convoy to Malta, 10th-14th August 1942. As the convoy was passing through the Sicilian Narrows, it faced the most determined opposition from German submarines and dive bombers, and a few Italian torpedo boats. Action was joined on August 11th when submarines, attacking in packs, hit the carrier EAGLE with several torpedoes. The ship did not remain long afloat, but those of her aircraft which were flying at the time managed to land safely on other vessels.  The attack continued throughout the night, the cruiser CAIRO being hit by a torpedo from a Uboat which damaged her so badly that she had to be sunk by the British forces. The MANCHESTER was hit and had to be abandoned during the night; she foundered off the Tunisian coast. Twenty-eight officers and 375 ratings landed and were interned by the French authorities. A further three officers and 142 ratings were picked up by British ships. The MANCHESTER carried a complement of 700. As part of this attack, on the 12th August 1942 Destroyer HMS FORESIGHT was attacked by Ju.87 and Ju.88 bombers and Italian S.79 torpedo bombers. FORESIGHT was disabled by a torpedo hit and then taken in tow by TARTAR, towards Gibraltar. Later it was decided to scuttle FORESIGHT by torpedo from TARTAR, rather than risk both destroyers being sunk. There were 140 survivors; one officer and four ratings were killed.

FORESIGHT was sunk 13 miles SW of Galita Island at 37.40N : 10.00E.







Raymond Forward