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  HMS Encounter (H10)
Royal Navy
E Class Destroyer

1,427 Tons
329' x 33.3' x 12.6'
4 x 4.7" guns

Click For Enlargement

Ship History
Built by Hawthorn Leslie & Co. at Hebburn on Tyne in England. Laid down on March 15, 1933. Launched March 29, 1934. Commissioned November 2, 1934.

Wartime History
May 22, 1940 proceeded to Scapa Flow. On February 6, 1941 departed Gibraltar with convoy HG-53 in a feign to fool observers in Spain, then reversed course back to the Mediterranean, and safely returned to Gibraltar, and repairs were completed and escorted several Malta convoys.

On November 29, 1941, the HMS Jupiter and HMS Encounter, detached from the Mediterranean Fleet, joined up with Force G at Colombo, and the five ships sailed later that day. They rendezvoused with HMS Repulse at sea, and set course for Singapore, arriving on December 2.

On February 25, 1942 sailed from Batavia to Surabaja. as part of the 'eastern striking force' carried out a sweep along the coast of Madoera to intercept Japanese transports reported near Bawean Island, but no contact was made.

On February 26, 1942 returned to Surabaja and joined the 'combined striking force'. After refueling at 4:15pm, ordered to attack Japanese transports and warships sited 200 miles to the north-northeast, departing at 6:30pm.

On February 27, 1942 in the afternoon participated in the Battle of the Java Sea. Afterwards, Encounter rescued 113 surviving crew from HNMS Kortenaer sank that day. On February 28, 1942 in the evening departed Surabaya escorting HMS Exeter on what was to have been a round-about route to escape the Java Sea using the Sunda Strait.

Sinking History
On March 1, 1942 the small group of Allied warships was intercepted well to the north of Bawean Island and subsequently damaged and sunk 5-10 minutes later by gunfire from the cruisers Nachi and Haguro and destroyers and two destroyers that had just sank HMS Exeter. Eight sailors died aboard Encounter before it sank.

Fates of the Crew
All of the surviving crew became Prisoners Of War (POW). At least four of the crew were transported to Japan and detained at Zentsuji Camp including Lt. Robin J. Connibear, Gunner J. V. Leiper, Lt. Cdr. E. V. St. J. Morgan and Lt. Edward Tyrrell.

On February 21, 2007 during the afternoon a group of divers off MV Empress including Vidar Skoglie, Phil Yeutter and Kevin Denlay discovered the shipwreck of HMS Encounter at a depth of 60-61 meters, several miles from the shipwreck of HMS Exeter confirmed earlier that same day.

HMS Encounter Crew members Zentsuji Camp - British Prisoners Of War 1942-1945
King's College London - TYRRELL, Engineer Cdr Edward, RN ([1912]-1994)
The Guardian "British second world war shipwrecks in Java Sea destroyed by illegal scavenging" by Oliver Homes and Luke Harding November 16, 2016
"A preliminary report from an expedition to document sunken ships, seen by the Guardian, shows that the wrecks of HMS Exeter, a 175m heavy cruiser, and destroyer HMS Encounter have been almost totally removed."
History of War: "Java Sea Shipwrecks of World War 2: One of the men who found them reflects on their loss" by James Hoare November 23, 2016
Thanks to Kevin Denlay for additional information

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Last Updated
August 4, 2020



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