Gregory-Smith, R.N., DSO*., DSC*., Captain Frank.


Barnsley, 1st.ed., 2008.Viii + 200 pp., 29 photo-plates. D.j., 24 x 16cm. FINE. The author was in command of the destroyer HMS ERIDGE from late 1940 to August 1942. His war began on-board another destroyer however, HMS JAGUAR, and he saw action off Norway, in the North Sea, and during the Dunkirk evacuation when JAGUAR was loaded with troops and was attacked by Germen aircraft with the loss of 25 men. Given command of the new escort destroyer ERIDGE ' her only captain ' he was sent to the Eastern Mediterranean to begin 18 gruelling months escorting convoys to Tobruk and Malta under frequent German aircraft attack. "Red Tobruk" was the warning they received from Tobruk radar station to say that attack was imminent. ERIDGE fought off countless assaults and took part in the Battle of Sirte when a powerful Italian fleet was driven off. She also sank U.568 in May 1942. In August that year she was torpedoed by an Italian MTB, towed to Alexandria under constant air attack, but was found to be beyond repair. During this period the author was awarded two DSOs and a DSC.

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