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
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.
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.
Located by MV Empress on August 19, 2003 and then positively identified by diving the wreck by divers including Kevin
Denlay as HMS Electra.
"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
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
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."
Thanks to Kevin
Denlay and Ian Fraser for additional information
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March 5, 2013