HMS Zebra (R81)

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HMS Zebra.jpg
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Zebra
Namesake: zebra
Ordered: 12 February 1942
Builder: William Denny & Brothers, Dumbarton
Laid down: 14 May 1942
Launched: 18 March 1944
Commissioned: 13 October 1944
Identification: Pennant number R81
Fate: Arrived in Newport for breaking up 12 February 1959
General characteristics
Class and type: Z-class destroyer
Displacement: 1,710 tons
Length: 362 ft 9 in (110.57 m)
Beam: 35 ft 8 in (10.87 m)
Draught: 10 ft (3.0 m)
Propulsion: Twin steam turbines
Speed: 37 knots (69 km/h; 43 mph) maximum
Complement: 185

HMS Zebra was a Z-class destroyer. She was to have been named HMS Wakeful but was renamed in January 1943 before launching. The destroyer was launched on 18 March 1944 at William Denny & Brothers shipyard in Dumbarton, Scotland and commissioned on 13 October 1944. She was 'adopted' by the civil community of Urmston, then in the county of Lancashire.

Second World War[edit]

After a period of working up with ships of the Home Fleet at Scapa Flow Zebra joined the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet for screening duty and patrol on the North Western Approaches. She escorted a number of Arctic convoys, and other operations in the North Sea and off the coast of Scandinavia. As the war reached its end Zebra was deployed with the Home Fleet to support operations to re-occupy countries previously under German occupation, and this included guardship duties.


After the end of the war Zebra joined the 4th Destroyer Flotilla in which she served until 1947. The vessel was then paid-off and was reduced to reserve status in the Plymouth Reserve Fleet. During 1952 she was with the Harwich Reserve Fleet and returned to Plymouth a year later.[1]

Decommissioning and disposal[edit]

The ship was nominated for conversion to an anti-submarine frigate and her main armament was to be removed. However, in 1955 this work was cancelled and the ship was placed on the Sale List. There were plans to transfer her to West Germany, but after inspection by West German officials the proposal was rejected due to her poor condition and she was sold to BISCO in 1958 for breaking-up at Newport, Monmouth by Cashmore. On 12 February 1959 she arrived in tow at the breakers yard.


  1. ^ Critchley, Mike (1982). British Warships Since 1945: Part 3: Destroyers. Liskeard, UK: Maritime Books. p. 84. ISBN 0-9506323-9-2.


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