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Type: Cruiser / Minelayer
Class: ABDIEL - six in class
Builder: Thornycroft
Completed: May, 1941
Displacement: 2,650 tons

Dimensions: (in feet and inches)

418' x 40' x 14' 9"
Machinery: 2-shaft Parsons geared turbines; 4 Admiralty 3-drum boilers; 72,000shp.  Oil:  695 tons
Speed: 39.75 knots
6 4.7" / 45 cal. QF 3x2
4 2-pdr. "pom-poms" 1x4
8 0.5" MG
100 - 156 mines
Compliment: 242






Pennant Number:  M 76



Notes:   A successful class of fast minelayers, also used for such duties as running special cargoes of ammunition to Malta.  Soon after completion, LATONA had 4 - 20mm AA added.  Later, her twin 4.7" mounts were replaced by twin 4" HA mounts, and 8 - 20mm (twin mounts) added. 


LATONA was completed in May, 1941, and immediately pressed into service carrying supplies to Alexandria. She made this trip around Africa (via the Cape of Good Hope) to Alexandria in 36 days, as it had been decided that the supplies would be at too great a risk across the shorter but much more dangerous Mediterranean. LATONA then made several sorties, carrying supplies and troops to Cyprus. On 25 October 1941, LATONA was engaged in a transport mission carrying troops and supplies for the besieged British garrison at Tobruk. At a point about 40 miles northwest of Bardia, she came under attack by Axis aircraft. A 250-lb. bomb penetrated the after engine-room, starting a fire which in turn caused the detonation of the cargo ammunition, then her own magazines. LATONA blew up and she sank in two hours with the loss of four officers, 26 men and seven Army personnel. 


A special "thank you!" to the following on-line sources for additional information on the LATONA:




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