P Class, British Destroyers

Photograph of HMS Panther, a Pakenham-class destroyer

Imperial War Museum #A 7315. Via Wikimedia Commons


Tonnage 1610 tons standard displacement
2175 tons fully loaded
Dimensions 362'9" 35' by 11'4"
110.56m by 10.67m by 3.45m
Maximum speed       36 knots
Complement 175
Armament 4x1 4"/45 DP guns
1x4 2pdr guns
4x1 20mm Oerlikon AA guns
2x4 21" (53cm) torpedo tubes
70 depth charges
4 depth depth charge throwers
2 depth charge racks
2-shaft Parsons geared turbine (40,000 shp)
2 Admiralty 3-drum boilers
Bunkerage 484 tons fuel oil
Range 3850 nautical miles (7130 km) at 20 knots
Type 128 sonar
Type 285 radar
Type 286 radar
Radar periodically updated, including Type 290 and Type 291.
2x2, 2x1 20mm Oerlikons was standard by early 1944.

The Pakenham or "P" class of destroyers were completed in 1941-1942. They were very similar to the preceding "O" class, which saw no service in the Pacific.

Both classes were described either as Quick Production Destroyers or Intermediate Destroyers, which were originally two different design programs that were merged when it was found that they had converged on similar designs. The Intermediate Destroyer was to be intermediate in characteristics between the Icarus class, which was a traditional small destroyer emphasizing torpedo armament, and the "J" class, with their larger size and relatively heavy gun armament. It was also to have enhanced antiaircraft capability. The Quick Production Destroyer was an emergency construction class prompted by the Munich crisis and clear imminence of war. To speed construction, the class was built on what was essentially a Javelin hull.

Before most of the units were laid down, it became clear that antiaircraft capability was going to be important, and the original armament of 4.7" guns was replaced with 4" guns having greater antiaircraft capability. By the time the ships were deployed to the Pacific, they had had one 4" gun replaced with a second torpedo bank, except possibly on Paladin and Penn.

Units in the Pacific:


Arrived 1942-1     
Arrived 1944
Withdrawn summer 1942
Arrived 1942-1
Withdrawn summer 1942
Arrived 1942-4
Arrived early 1943     
Withdrawn summer 1942     
Withdrawn 1943
Arrived early 1943
Arrived 1944
Withdrawn 1943
Arrived 1944

Arrived 1944


Friedman (2006)

Whitley (1988)

Worth (2001)

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