Harman Patil (Editor)

HMS Radiant (1916)

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HMS Radiant was a Royal Navy and Royal Thai Navy R-class destroyer constructed and then operational in the First World War.


Royal Navy Service

She was built by John I. Thornycroft & Company at Woolston and launched 25 November 1916. HMS Radiant served with the Harwich Force. During a night escort of a convoy off the coast of Holland, she came to the rescue of the Harwich Force destroyers HMS Torrent, HMS Surprise and HMS Tornado after the destroyers ran into a German minefield. Torrent struck a mine, and when attempting a rescue, Surprise and Tornado also hit mines, resulting in the three destroyers being lost. Radiant picked up all survivors that could be found. This accounted for twelve officers and sailors, with the losses of 252 officers and men from the three destroyers.

Thai Navy Service

She was later sold back to Thornycroft on 21 June 1920, who then sold her on to the Royal Thai Navy in September 1920. She was renamed Phra Ruang. It is believed that in order to finance her acquisition King Rama VI and other senior figures donated personally to the finance fund, making this the first publication donation of money to procure a warship in Thailand. The Royal Prince Admiral Abhakara Kiartivongse went to England to negotiate the purchase personally and command the ship during its subsequent voyage from England to Thailand.

Because of her continued service in the Thai Navy, the destroyer was the last of the R class destroyers to survive, being stricken from the Thai Navy list in 1957. It is reported that she remained in use as a training hulk and as of 2000 was still afloat, but has since been moved ashore and encased in concrete at a shrine to Admiral Prince Abhakara Kiartivongse.


HMS Radiant (1916) Wikipedia

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