Introduction / The Island / Island Life / Second World War
HMS Afridi was a Tribal class destroyer launched on 8th June 1937. Following acceptance trials on 29th April 1938, she joined the Mediterranean fleet in Malta.
When war broke out, she was ordered to Alexandria, expecting to take part in convoy duty. In the event, Italy took steps to prove her neutrality and in consequence the convoys could not be justified and HMS Afridi was ordered back to the UK.
From April 1940, she took part in numerous campaigns off Norway.
While escorting a convoy off Norway on 3rd May 1940 she and other ships were attacked by German Ju87 and Ju88 dive-bombers. HMS Afridi joined HMS Grenade in rescuing survivors of the French destroyer Bison, which was hit and whose forward magazine exploded.
At 2.00pm another Ju87 dive bombing attack developed. HMS Afridi was a common target for aircraft coming in from both sides. One bomb hit No 1 boiler room, which started a fire at the after end of the mess decks. A further bomb hit the port side, left of the bridge. HMS Imperial came alongside and HMS Griffin stood by to carry out rescue work.
HMS Afridi went down, bow first at 2.45pm. Forty nine officers and men, thirteen soldiers and thirty survivors of the Bison were lost.