River-class frigate, HMS Jed (K 235) (1942)

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River-class frigate, HMS Jed (K 235) (1944)


Design history:

The river-class ships were designed by naval engineer William Reed, of Smith’s Dock Company of South Bank-on-Tees, with the intents of making a vessel with endurance and anti-submarine capabilities on par with the black swan-class sloops, but being significantly quicker and cheaper to build in civil dockyards using common machinery.This included reciporcating steam engines instead of the normal turbines, along with construction techniques pioneered by the flower-class corvettes. the intents being to improve the convoy escort class of ships in service with the royal navy, including surpassing the existing flower-class. Improvements made to the design, resulted in markedly better accommodation, along with an increased speed of around 3 knots (3 mph; 6 km/h), along with a nearly doubling of range to 7,200 nmi (8,286 mi; 13,334 km) at 12 knots (14 mph; 22 km/h). Another change was a better armament layout designed specifically to combat u-boats, including a Hedgehog anti-submarine mortar along with a copious amount of depth charge throwers, in addition to two QF 4 in (102 mm)/40 Mk.XIX guns, single mounts CP Mk.XXIII. the design would prove so successful, that the River-class design was used as the basis for the United States Navy’s Tacoma class (which served in the Royal Navy as the Colony class); the hull design was later elaborated into the Loch class and subsequently the Bay class.

Service History:

HMS Jed was ordered from Charles Hill & Sons Ltd , Bristol on the 11th of febuary 1941, and would be laid down on the 27th of Febuary that same year. She would be launched on the 30th of july 1942, and would be commissioned on the 30th of november that same year, as the second royal navy ship to be named in honour of the river Jed. Her initial service performing convoy escort would be uneventful, as she was assigned to the 1st escort group protecting shipping across the north atlatic. On may 6th of 1943, as part of a convoy assigment in the western approaches, Jed along with HMS Pelican detected a submarine by radar and began a pursuit. As a result of this chase german uboat u-438 was destroyed by pelican. This luck would continue, when on the 19th of may 1943, during a operation at the rear of a convoy southeast of Cape Farvel greenland Jed spotted another uboat. This initiated another pursuit including fellow river-slass vessels Spey and Vir, along with the sloop Sennen, after what was later established to be U-954. The u-boat being spotted at the surface, and though it fired its torpedos and attempted an emergency dive, it had no effect, with the torpedos missing and instead was set upon by the Jed and Sennan. After a brisk exchange of depth charges the uboat was lost with its entire crew, including Lieutenant-Zur-see Peter Dönitz , the son of Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz .

in line with these sucesses Jed and Pelican also sank a second uboat together on the 14th of june 1943, when they claimed Uboat U-334, with the loss of all hands. This would end up being a theme with Jed, as she also damaged U-340 after her transfer to the bay of Biscay on august 26th 1943, though it was nothing serious, and the boat managed to escape the frigate. Aside from this her service on the United Kingdom - Gibraltar route would be uneventful, and in november of 1944 she left the U.K for the far east fleet based at colombo. This transfer would take her through the med and the suez canal, where she was used again for convoy escort. During her time in the indian ocean, she would go in for refit twice, once on the 5th to the 17th of may 1945 at selborne dry dock, simonstown south africa, and again in october at cape town, where she recieved a 273 Radar was fixed to the deck and a VHF fighter direction radio. The idea behind this was that she would be able to direct aircraft onto the beach-heads during a later cancelled invasion of the japanese held malaysian coast. Due to the japanese surrender this role was never required, and she returned to the uk, being put in reserve in 1946, and ultimately being broken up at Ward at Milford Haven on the 25th of may 1957.

Vessel specification:


Displacement: 1,370 long tons (1,390 t), 1,830 long tons (1,860 t) (deep load)

Length: 283 ft (86.3 m) p/p, 301.25 ft (91.8 m) o/a

Beam: 36 ft 6 in (11.1 m)

Draught: 9 ft (2.7 m); 13 ft (4.0 m) (deep load)

propulsion: 2 × Admiralty water tube boilers 2 × steam turbines powering two screws at 6,500 shp (4,800 kW)

Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h)

range: 7,200 miles (13,300 km) at 12 knots (22 km/h)

Crew: 107 officers and sailors

Armament: 2 × QF 4 in (102 mm)/40 Mk.XIX guns, single mounts CP Mk.XXIII

12 × QF 20 mm (0.79 in) Oerlikon A/A on twin mounts Mk.V and single mounts Mk.III (8 x 1) (2 x 2)
1 × Hedgehog 24 spigot A/S projector
8 x depth charge throwers, 2 x rails, with a total of 150 depth charges

Radar systems: 1 × SW1C or 2C radar , 1 × type 123A or type 127DV sonar

Additional historical pictures:

Image showing the rear view of HMS Jed:

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