HMS Victor (1913)

HMS Victor  (1913) was an Acasta class destroyer that served with the 4th Destroyer Flotilla but missed Jutland, then moved to the Humber and then the South Coast to take part in the battle against the U-boats. 

The Victor was laid down at Thornycroft on 1 April 1912, launched on 28 November 1913 and commissioned in June 1914. When the Acasta class became the K Class the new name Kingston was chosen for her, but it was never used.

HMS Victor from the left HMS Victor from the left

In July 1914 she was one of twenty destroyers in the Fourth Destroyer Flotilla of the First Fleet, which contained the most modern battleships. The flotilla contained all twenty Acasta or K Class destroyers.

In August 1914 she was one of twenty K destroyers in the Fourth Flotilla of what was becoming the Grand Fleet. At the outbreak of war all but the Porpoise were at sea. Over the next two years five members of the class were sunk, while the surviving members of the class remained with the Flotilla into July 1916.

In November 1914 all twenty K class destroyers were in the Fourth Flotilla, part of the Grand Fleet. She had been equipped with a submarine sweep. Since 25 October she had been on the Tyne having defects repaired.

In January 1915 she was part of the Fourth Destroyer Flotilla, under the direct control of the commander-in-chief of the Home Fleet.

In June 1915 all twenty K class destroyers formed the Fourth Flotilla, along with two flotilla leaders. She was undergoing repairs on the Clyde.

In January 1916 nineteen K class destroyers were in the Fourth Flotilla, based at Scapa. She had been equipped with a submarine sweep.

On the eve of Jutland the Victor was part of the Fourth Destroyer Flotilla at Scapa Flow, but she was in dockyard hands

On 5 June 1916 the cruiser HMS Hampshire hit a mine while steaming along the west coast of the Orkneys at the start of a voyage to Russia with Lord Kitchener on board. Unity and Victor had been detailed to escort her, but the weather was terribly, and they were unable to keep up with the cruiser without suffering damage. At 6.20 the Hampshire’s captain ordered them to return to base, and the Unity returned to port. The Victor was ordered to stay, but soon had to depart as well as she could no longer keep up with the cruiser.

The cruiser hit the mine just over an hour after sending her escorts away. There were only a handful of survivors. Lord Kitchener was amongst the dead. The Unity and Victor, were ordered back out to sea to hunt for survivors, followed a few minutes later by the Owl and the Midge. They spent the night searching for survivors along the northern coast of Birsay, but without success.

On 19 August 1916 the cruiser HMS Falmouth was torpedoed by U-66 while the Grand Fleet was at sea in response to a sortie by the High Seas Fleet. The Falmouth remained afloat and was able to proceed under her own power, but slowly. A series of destroyers were sent to escort her, with the Ambuscade, Porpoise, Victor and Unity arriving at 11pm. However unluckily her route took her past U-63, and despite the strong destroyer escort the Falmouth was hit again. The Falmouth still remained afloat for several hours, and tugs managed to get her within 25 miles of the Humber before she finally sank off Flamborough Head.

In August 1916 the Fourth Flotilla was relegated from the Grand Fleet, and now formed the Humber Force. It contained fifteen of the K class destroyers.

In December 1916 the 4th Flotilla moved to Portsmouth, but the Porpoise, Ambuscade and Paragon officially joined the 6th Flotilla at Dover (having been sent there in late November), where they were joined by the Unity and the Victor

In January 1917 she was one of twenty destroyers in the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla at Dover.

By March 1917 the 4th Flotilla had moved from Portsmouth to Devonport. The five boats that had joined the 6th Flotilla made the same move by April, bringing the surviving members of the class back together.

In January 1918 she was one of forty destroyers in the Fourth Destroyer Flotilla at Plymouth, which was now made up of a mix of various types. She was undergoing repairs. In June 1918 she was one of fifty destroyers in the Fourth Destroyer Flotilla at Devonport, made up of a mix of types. In November 1918 she was one of forty destroyers at Devonport.

In November 1919 she was in the hands of a care and maintenance party in the Nore Reserve. She was sold to be broken up in January 1923.

War Service
August 1914-July 1916: 4th Destroyer Flotilla, Grand Fleet
August-November 1916: 4th Destroyer Flotilla, Humber Force
December 1917-March 1918: 6th Destroyer Flotilla, Dover
April-December 1918: 4th Destroyer Flotilla, Devonport

Displacement (standard)

1,072t

Displacement (loaded)

1,300t

Top Speed

29 knots

Engine

2-shaft Parsons turbines
4 Yarrow boilers
24,500shp

Range

 

Length

267ft 6in

Width

27ft

Armaments

Three 4in/ 45cal BL Mk VIII
Two 21in torpedo tubes with four torpedoes

Crew complement

73

Laid down

1 April 1912

Launched

28 November 1913

Completed

June 1914

Sold

January 1923

British Destroyers From Earliest Days to the Second World War, Norman Friedman. A very detailed look at the design of British destroyers from their earliest roots as torpedo boat destroyers, though the First World War and up to the start of the Second World War, supported by vast numbers of plans and well chosen photographs [read full review]
cover cover cover

Books on the First World War | Subject Index: First World War

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (12 May 2022), HMS Victor (1913) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_HMS_Victor_1913.html

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