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  HMS Electra (H27)
Dutch Navy
E Class Destroyer

1,405 Tons (Standard)
1,940 Tons (Deep)
329' x 33' 3" x 12' 6"
4 x 4.7" guns
8 x .50 cal MG
8 x 21" torpedoes
1 x 20 depth charges rack

Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
circa 1941

Crew
Robert Fraser
Joe Davies

Wartime History
After the sinking of HMS Repulse, the HMS Electra and HMAS Vampire moved in to rescue survivors of Repulse. Even after they were rescued, some survivors of the Repulse manned Action Stations on HMS Electra, to free the Electra sailors to rescue more survivors. In total, 1,285 survivors of the HMS Repulse were rescued, of which Electra saved 571.. Electra and the other destroyers then returned to Singapore to drop off the survivors.

Sinking History
Sunk by gunfire from IJN destroyers Asagumo on February 27, 1942, protecting the damaged HMS Exeter during the mid stages of the Battle of the Java Sea, several hours before the Dutch cruisers HNMS De Ruyter and HNMS Java.

Shipwreck
Located by MV Empress on August 19, 2003 and then positively identified by diving the wreck by divers including Kevin Denlay as HMS Electra.

Kevin Denlay adds:
"No photos were taken of the wreck during this initial discovery. As it turned our we only did one dive to confirm that it was her as the visibility was very poor at the time and the wreck is almost completely covered in trawler net. No doubt it was Electra though as we luckily got a look at her quad torpedo tubes and a glimpse at the open 3" gun just aft (where her other set of tubes used to be) and her hull appears intact along the entire length. I say 'luckily got a look' as although I swam from bow to stern net completely encased literally every other distinguishable feature. The only other WWII loss in that localized area was the Dutch destroyer Kortenaer (lost the same day) and she was configured differently (her torpedoes were mounted in a brace of three instead of Electra's four) and from all reports Kortenaer broke in half almost immediately upon being torpedo.

As an aside, you may be interested to know that Electra herself is nowhere near where ANY of the allied reports state she sank or the after action battle maps drawn by the Allies show she sunk, but VERY close to where the Japanese after battle maps show she sunk. And although no offence is meant, we have now, with other discoveries we have made elsewhere, consistently found that the Japanese were far more navigationally accurate and seemed to have a much better 'idea' of where both their own ships sank, and also where those they sunk actually went down, as compared to where the Allies 'thought' they went down."

References
Thanks to Kevin Denlay and Ian Fraser for additional information

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Last Updated
October 25, 2012

 

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