Saving the Last Destroyer
HMS Cavalier, the Royal Navy’s last surviving destroyer of the Second World War, has been found a new home in the Historic Dockyard of Chatham, as a memorial to the men and ships lost during the war. Nevertheless, her future is still not secured until funds have been raised to meet the terms of a recent grant from the Heritage Lottery Memorial Fund.
The Caesar class HMS Cavalier was one of the ninety-six emergency destroyers ordered for the war effort in 1940-42, and built at Cowes, Isle of Wight. Launched on April 7th, 1944, she was one of the first ships to be provided with a partially welded hull, for ease of construction and speed of handling in the water. She quickly saw action and took part in operations off Norway in February 1945 in support of Arctic Convoy RA64, then escorted the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth as they carried thousands of American troops across the Atlantic at high speed.