Image copyright: Copyright expired - public domain,
Public Domain Mark This image is in the Public Domain

ID number P05103.006
Collection Photograph
Object type Black & white - Print silver gelatin
Photographer Unknown
Place made Indian Ocean
Date made 2 December 1943


A massive wave washes over the deck of the Free French Force destroyer, Le Triomphant, during a cyclone. Le Triomphant left Fremantle, Australia, with five Royal Australian Navy crew, a Liaison Officer, Lieutenant Derek Percival Scales; Signalman Myall; 25903 Signalman William Cutt Rendall; PA1104 Telegraphist Ashmead Bartlett Croft and Coder Underwood, on 26 November 1943. She was on convoy duty with the American oil tanker Cedar Mills and the Dutch cargo ship Java when the cyclone hit and received considerable damage. Without fuel, water and provisions and listing 45 degrees, she was towed by the Cedar Mills to Diego Suarez, Madagascar, for repairs. Le Triomphant, one of six Le Fantasque class destroyers built by At. & Ch de France of Dunkirk, France, was launched on 16 April 1934 and commissioned into the French Navy on 25 May 1936. She had a complement of 220 officers and men and was reputed to reach speeds of well over 40 knots. On 3 July 1940 she arrived at the British port of Plymouth, escaping the Vichy French government and was transferred to the French Free force under the command of Commondant Pierre Gilly. She served in the Pacific after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, undertaking numerous escort and convoy assignments.