Greek destroyer Aetos
"Aetos" (Greek: Α/Τ Άετός "Eagle") served in the Royal Hellenic Navy from 1912–1945.
The ship, along with her three sister ships of
Wild Beast class destroyers "Ierax", "Panthir" and "Leon", was ordered from England. They were purchased in 1912, ready for delivery, each for the sum of £148,000, from the English shipyards Camell Lairdin Liverpool, when the Balkan Warsseemed likely. These ships had originally been ordered by Argentina; "Aetos" was originally named "San Luis". The four ships were sailing with a non-Greek crew to Algiers, to meet the requisitioned personnel transport ship "Ionia" which contained the Greek crews for the ships. When "Aetos" entered the Mediterranean she went adrift due to a serious engine breakdown. By pure coincidence one of the other destroyers passed nearby and towed "Aetos" to Algiers.
During the Balkan Wars, the Royal Hellenic Navy purchased only the minimum amount of ammunitions, 3,000 rounds of torpedoes. Torpedoes were not available for this class of ship, and for this reason these ships were initially named 'scouts' rather than 'destroyers'. She was under the command of Commander A. Douroutis, RHN.
World War I, Greece belatedly entered the war on the side of the Triple Ententeand, due to Greece's neutrality the four Beast Class ships were seized by the Allies in October, 1916, taken over by the French in November, and served in the French Navyfrom 1917-18. By 1918, they were back on escort duty under Greek colors, mainly in the Aegean Sea.
"Aetos" participated in the evacuation of Greeks from Russia during the
Russian Civil Warin 1918 and saw action in the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922)in the Sea of Marmaraand the Aegean Sea.
After the war, "Aetos" was refurbished from 1925–1927. She also participated in the
Second World War, after surviving the German invasion of April, 1941, "Aetos" served in conjunction with the Royal Navybased in the Indian Ocean, where despite her age she served with distinction. After the end of World War II, "Aetos" was stricken in 1945.
History of the Hellenic Navy
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