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Photo. IWM

Completed: 1930
Displacement: 1,790 tons (Max)
Length: 323 ft
Beam: 32,3 ft
Draught: 12,2 ft
Propulsion: 2 shafts; geared steam turbines, 3 oil fired boilers, 34,000 hp (25.4 MW), 380 tons oil fuel.
Speed: 32, 5 kts
Complement: 138
Armament: 4 × 4.7 inch (120 mm) guns, 2 × QF 2-pounder anti-aircraft, 8 × 21 inch (530 mm) torpedo tubes.
Fate: Sold for demolition at the breaker’s yard at Troon in April 1948.

HMS Brilliant saw active service in south Atlantic. In April 1941 she was detached for patrol duties and convoy Escort at Freetown and remained in the south Atlantic until September 1943. On 4 Jun HMS Brilliant intercepted German tanker Esso Hamburg. Crew scuttled her to avoid capture on position 07º 35’N 31º25’W. 87 men were made prisoners. HMS London also took part in the operation.

In the following day both ships intercepted another German merchant, the Egerland. To avoid capture her crew scuttled the ship in pos. 07º 00’N 31º 00’W. 94 men were made prisoner. On 10 Jun Brilliant joined 18th Destroyer Flotilla at Freetown for Atlantic convoy defence and interception patrol. On 16 Jun joined military convoy WS9A with HM Destroyers BOREAS and HIGHLANDER off African coast for Local Escort into Freetown.

On 5 Sep 42 while escorting British Merchant Myrmidon the same was torpedoed by U-506 in pos. 00º 45” N 06º 27” W. The master, 105 crew members, ten gunners and 129 passengers were picked up by the destroyer and landed at Pointe Noire, French Congo.

On 25 Oct 42 HMS Brilliant rescued part of the 413 survivors of British Oronsay sunk by Italian submarine Archimedi in pos. 04º 29’N 20º 52’ W and landed them at Freetown.



Under refit  Nominated for Atlantic convoy escort duty based at Freetown.
May On completion of post refit trials rejoined Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.

12th  Part of escort for HM Aircraft Carrier FURIOUS and HM Cruiser LONDON for passage to Gibraltar.

19th Deployed with HM Destroyers FAULKNOR, FORESTER, FOXHOUND, FURY and HESPERUS as screen for HM Battlecruiser RENOWN, HM Aircraft Carriers ARK ROYAL and FURIOUS during cover for Malta aircraft delivery. (Operation SPLICE).(For details of Malta aircraft deliveries see THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by D MacIntyre, ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett and MALTA CONVOYS by R Woodman.)

23rd On completion of Operation SPLICE deployed with HM Cruiser LONDON in search for German supply ships in Atlantic.  (Note: This operation was based on ULTRA information. See BRITISH INTELLIGENCE IN WW2 (HMSO) and BREAKING THE ENIGMA by D Kahn).

June 4th Intercepted ESSO HAMBURG in South Atlantic which was scuttled.
5th Intercepted EGERLAND in same area which was also scuttled by ner crew.
10th Joined 18th Destroyer Flotilla at Freetown for Atlantic convoy defence and interception patrol.
16th Joined military convoy WS9A with HM Destroyers BOREAS and HIGHLANDER off
African coast for Local Escort into Freetown.
18th Detached from WS9A on arrival.
July Freetown deployment in continuation.
10th Joined military convoy WS9B with HM Destroyers WILD SWAN and WIVERN, HM Corvette ASPHODEL off African coast for Local Escort into Freetown.
13th Detached on arrival at Freetown.
August Deployment as Senior Officer's ship of 18th Flotilla in continuation.
27th Joined military convoy WS10X with HM Destroyers VELOX and WRESTLER, HM Corvettes CLEMATIS and CROCUS off African coast for Local Escort into Freetown.
28th Detached from WS10X on arrival at Freetown.
September. Freetown deployment in continuation to November
December 18th Joined military convoy WS14 with HM Destroyer HURWORTH off African coast as
Local Escort into Freetown.
21st Detached from WS14 on arrival at Freetown.
25th Sailed with WS14 for Local Escort from Freetown.
26th Detached from WE14 with mv ABOSSO for escort to Takoradi.
1 9 4 2

January Deployment at Freetown with Flotilla in continuation
February 26th Joined military convoy WS16 with HM Destroyers BOREAS AND WILD SWAN off African coast for Local Escort into Freetown.

March 1st Detached from WS16 on arrival at Freetown.
6th Sailed with WS16 from Freetown with HM Destroyer WILD SWAN, HM Corvettes JASMINE, NIGELLA and HM Sloop Bridgewater as Local Escort.
8th Detached from WS16 with HMS WILD SWAN and returned to Freetown.
April Under refit. to (Note: Work included:
May After 4.7in gun in Y position landed an two additional 20mm guns fitted.
June On completion of post refit trials took passage to Freetown to resume Atlantic convoy escort duties.
26th Joined military convoy WS20 with HM Destroyer BLACKMORE off W. African coast for Local Escort to Freetown. Part of Ocean Escort of Military WS Convoy to Durban.
July 2nd Detached from W520 on arrival at Freetown.
6th Sailed with WS20 with HM Destroyers BLACKMORE and WIVERN as escort for passage to Durban. Ocean. (Note: Escort for passage was provided also by HM Battleship MALAYA.)
17th Remained with VJS20 when HMS MALAYA and HMS BLACKMORE detached for escort of part of convoy into Capetown. HM Cruiser SHROPSHIRE joined escort.
20th Detached from W320 on arrival at Durban.
August Passage to Freetown to resume Atlantic convoy escort deployment
September Convoy defence duties in continuation.
Nominated for support of allied landings in North Africa.



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