|Builder:||John Brown and Company, Clydebank, Scotland|
|Laid down:||10 March 1936|
|Launched:||28 January 1937|
|Commissioned:||7 July 1937|
|Fate:||Sold 1946, scrapped 1948|
|General characteristics as per Whitley|
|Displacement:||1,370 tons (1,391 tonnes) standard
1,888 tons (1,918 tonnes) full load
|Length:||323 ft (98 m) o/a|
|Beam:||33 ft (10 m)|
|Draught:||12.5 ft (3.8 m) deep|
|Propulsion:||3 x Admiralty 3-drum water tube boilers, Parsons geared steam turbines, 34,000 shp on 2 shafts|
|Range:||5,530 nmi at 15 kt|
of Calabria (1940)
Battle of Cape Spada (1940)
Battle of Taranto (1940)
Battle of Cape Matapan (1941)
Allied invasion of Sicily (1943)
Salerno landings (1943)
|Victories:||Sank U-42 (1939)
Sank Console Generale Liuzzi (1940)
Sank Argonauta (1940)
Sank Uebi Scebeli (1940)
On the outbreak of war Ilex was deployed in the Mediterranean with the Third Destroyer Flotilla. She was immediately transferred to the Western Approaches for convoy escort duty with her Flotilla. On 13 October under the command of Lieutenant Commander Philip Lionel Saumarez she attacked and sank the German submarine U-42 south-west of Ireland in company with the destroyer HMS Imogen.
The first half of 1940 saw Ilex conducting Fleet screening duties in and around the North Sea. In May she transferred to the Second Destroyer Flotilla for service in the Mediterranean. On 27 June 1940, in company with HMS Dainty, HMS Defender, HMS Decoy and the Australian destroyer HMAS Voyager she depth-charged the Italian submarine Console Generale Liuzzi off Crete. The submarine was forced to the surface and scuttled by her crew. Two days later, on 29 June, the same ships attacked and probably sank the Italian submarine Argonauta at around 0615, although the possibility exists that this submarine was sunk by an RAF Sunderland later that same day. Also on 29 June Dainty and Ilex shared in the sinking of the Italian submarine Uebi Scebeli south-west of Crete. Ilex participated in the Battle of Calabria and on 19 June she escorted HMAS Sydney during the sinking of the Italian cruiser Bartolomeo Colleoni off Cape Spada, rescuing 230 survivors.
Continuous service with the Mediterranean Fleet continued through 1940, and on 11 November she was deployed as a screening destroyer for HMS Illustrious during the attack on the Italian Fleet at Taranto.
On 20 March she formed part of the destroyer screen for the Fleet at the Battle of Cape Matapan. On 14 June she suffered major structural damage from dive-bombing near misses during an operation to prevent interference by Vichy French warships. She was towed to Haifa and underwent a series of temporary repairs there, and at Suez, Aden, Mombassa and Durban, in order to reach the United States of America for a refit and full repair.
It was not until September 1942 that Ilex was re-commissioned. She spent the rest of the year at Freetown, Sierra Leone conducting convoy duties.
In February 1943 Ilex returned to the Mediterranean, and in July and August she participated in the Sicily and Salerno landings. In December she was withdrawn from operational service because of a high defect load and poor availability.
In March 1945 she was towed to Malta for repair, and in April reduced to Reserve Category C, the survey declaring her "not required for further operational service". She was placed on the Disposal List in August.
Salford Sea Cadets were affiliated with the ship and are named TS Ilex.
Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) . Ships of the Royal Navy: the complete record of all fighting ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham. ISBN 9781861762818. OCLC 67375475.