On April 22, 1941 – 82 years ago – one of the most glorious pages of the Navy was written starring one of the prides of the Greek fleet, the destroyer HYDRA, which throughout the war participated in anti-submarine and anti-aircraft engagements. bombings and patrols.

On the afternoon of April 22, 1941, while the destroyer was near the islet of Lagousa, a swarm of German aircraft appeared menacingly on the horizon. The sudden attack was unimaginably terrifying.

On the bridge, the Commander of the Destroyers, Captain Grigoris Mezevyris, the Governor of Hydra, Lieutenant Theodoros Pezopoulos, and all the officers were fighting in an unequal fight. Very quickly the destroyer became unruly due to a barrage of bombs that hit the aft bridge. Dozens were dead, while the only remaining officer, Lieutenant Konstantinos Neophytos, ordered the ship to be abandoned.

A few minutes later the glorious destroyer righted wide open and sank with the blue and white billowing at her stern taking 41 officers and sailors with her.

“The sky started to lose a little of its blueness,” recalls Kyriakos Lykissas, one of the survivors of the HYDRA Air Force Base and continues: “78 German Stukas approached our destroyer. Hydra’s sirens began to blare madly. All the crew took up fighting positions. The German aircraft turned upside down and began vertical attacks. Engines roared, sirens screeched and bombs whizzed over our heads. A real bully.”

The only remaining officer Lieutenant Konstantinos Neophytos ordered the ship to be abandoned.

“With the abandonment of the ship – K. Lykissas recounts – I went to see my brother on the radio, I went to enter it was full of corpses, legs, heads, … blood. I finally climbed into the cabin and found my brother without a head… he was two meters away. At that time I tried to take his ring, to give it to his wife, but a bomb fell and the gases began to press the sheets… I got scared, the ship tilted… I fell into the sea.”

And how is it today?

“The ship rests on the bottom with its right side,” researcher Kostas Thoktaridis tells APE-MPE. “Its bow is intact while its stern up to the commode is almost destroyed. Around the wreck at a depth of -70 meters, there are scattered bombs from the German aircraft. Even today, the gassed sheet metal can be seen from the fuselages of the German aircraft. The wreck has been covered by marine organisms and is now a refuge for many of the inhabitants of the seabed.”