Laforey was a L class destroyer of the Royal Navy. She was commissioned
in and served during the Second World War, and was torpedoed
and sunk by a U-boat in 1944. She had been adopted by the civil
community of Northampton in November 1941. She was ordered from
the yards of Yarrow Shipbuilders, Scotstoun, Glasgow on 31 March
1938 under the 1937 Naval Estimates. She was laid down on 1
March 1939 at the same time as her sister, HMS Lance. She was
launched on 15 February 1941 and commissioned on 26 August 1941.
She cost £445,684, excluding items such as weapons and
communications equipment supplied by the Admiralty. On commissioning
she was assigned to the 19th Destroyer Flotilla of the Home
Fleet as the Flotilla leader.
23rd March 1944 she was at Anzio and on 24th March she was deployed
for night interception and anti-submarine patrols with HMS Grenville.
On 25yj March they engaged a number of E-boats after picking
them up on their radars. Laforey then sailed to Naples. She
deployed for another patrol off the west coast of Italy on 28th
March and on 29th March she carried out a hunt for U-223 north
of Palermo, in company with the destroyers HMS Tumult, HMS Tuscan,
HMS Urchin, HMS Hambledon and HMS Blencathra. U-223 had been
detected by HMS Ulster during a routine sweep. The search lasted
until 30th March, when after sustaining several hours of depth
charge attacks, U-223 surfaced, and was then attacked by the
destroyers with gunfire at a range of 1,500 yards. U-223 was
able to fire three torpedoes which struck Laforey. She sank
quickly, resulting the loss of most of her company, including
her captain. There were only 65 survivors out of the 247 on
board. U-223 was sunk soon afterwards, and the survivors from
the Laforey and U-223 were picked up by HMS Blencathra, HMS
Hambledon and HMS Tumult.