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  HMS Stronghold (H50)
Royal Navy
S-class destroyer

1,000 Tons (normal)
1,200 Tons (full load)
265' x 26' 8" x 9' 10"
3 x 4" guns
1 x 40mm AA gun
1 x .303 MG
2 x 21" torpedo tubes
4 x depth charge chutes

Royal Navy 1919
Ship History
Built by Scotts Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. in Greenock, Scotland. Ordered June 1917. Laid down March 1918 as a S-class destroyer. Launched May 6, 1919 as HMS Stronghold (F.8A). Commissioned July 2, 1919 in the Royal Navy (RN). During 1922 redesignated H50.

Wartime History
On July 16, 1939 assigned to LtCdr Robert Alexander. On March 18, 1941 assigned to LtCdr (retired) Giles Robert Pretor-Pinney.

On February 20, 1942 departs Batavia (Jakarta) escorting convoy SJ 5 including British transports Angby, Filleigh, Jalakrishna, Lulworth Hill, Silverlarch and Yoma plus Norwegian transport Hai Lee bound for Colombo on Ceylon (Sri Lanka). The convoy was escorted by HMS Exeter (68) and Indian sloop Jumna in the Sunda Strait. At the end of the Java Campaign, Stronghold attempted to flee Tjilatjap on southern Java to reach Australia.

Sinking History
On March 2, 1942 Stronghold was south of Java in the Indian Ocean when spotted by a Japanese E13A1 Jake from the 22nd Air Flotilla reported as a force of two destroyers and a cruiser 300 miles southwest of Bali.

By 5:43pm intercepted by a Japanese Navy warships including heavy cruiser Maya and destroyers Arashi and Nowaki. By 6:21pm, the Japanese warships were within gun range and opened fire with Maya opening fire from 16,800 yards with her main guns and closed to only 3,000 yards off the starboard bow of Stronghold hitting the destroyer with gunfire. By 6:58pm, Stronghold was immobilized and burning then explodes and sinks at roughly Lat 12º 20' S, Long 112º E. In total, Maya expended 635 rounds from her main guns.

Fates of the Crew
Aboard, 74 crew including captain LtCdr (retired) Giles Robert Pretor-Pinney were lost in the engagement and sinking.

Roughly fifty survivors were rescued by Bintoehan, a Dutch merchant vessel captured by the Japanese and transferred to Maya and became Prisoners Of War (POW).

References - HMS Stronghold (H 50)
Combined Fleet - IJN MAYA: Tabular Record of Movement

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Last Updated
March 1, 2021


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