DIDO CLASS ANTI AIRCRAFT
DISPLACEMENT 5700 TONS. SPEED 33KNOTS. ARMAMENT 8 X 4.5" GUNS IN FOUR MOUNTINGS. MANY LIGHT AA WEAPONS. BUILT BY CAMMELL LAIRD, BIRKENHEAD. LAID DOWN JULY 1940. COMMISSIONED NOVEMBER 1941.
In October 1943 the German blockade runner Münsterland had succesfully escaped the American and English Navies in both the Pacific and Atlantic. It approached Brest, France, intact with the full cargo, enough goods to supply 20 divisions for 2 years. The RAF immediately launched an air strike trying to sink the convoy, but failed. Then, on 23 October 1943, the cruiser HMS Charybdis and the destroyer HMS Limbourne arrived at the scene (Operation Tunnel), but the 4th German E-Boat flotilla was guarding, and in two minutes both British ships were sunk by torpedoes. 460 men on the Charybdis were killed, 107 were saved. Later, the RAF launched another attack to try to sink the ship in Cherbourg. This was again unsucessful with the loss of many Spitfires and Typhoons. Finally the Münsterland was sunk off the Netherlands by Beaufighters after other attacks. The Charybdis was located in 1993 on 83 m depth off the Sept Isles, Brittany.
: Many details about HMS Charybdis are available on the Web.
Buried in Manche, France :
- Stoker 2nd Class R C BODDY, Saint-Germain-sur-Ay
- Leading Seaman E G N MORTON, Anneville-sur-Mer
The Charybdis Association meets twice yearly, once in Birmingham and once on the island of Guernsey, where several bodies were washed ashore. An annual remembrance service is held on the island in October.