Welcome again to Then and Now, where each week we compare images of Merseyside landmarks, buildings, streets and events from bygone days with how they look today.

Our main image this week shows the destroyer HMS Hesperus limping back to safe harbour in Liverpool after ramming and sinking a German submarine. The date is December 1942.

Hesperus was escorting a convoy near the North Atlantic islet of Rockall with fellow destroyer Vanessa when submarine U-357 attacked.

The two ships rammed the U-Boat, but the hull of Hesperus was ripped open for nearly a quarter of its length leading to three months of repairs in Liverpool.

The damage can clearly be seen in our photo with the ship’s crew proudly lined up on deck.

Second World War, Destruction of U-Boat by British Destroyers
September Sunshine 2021 Liverpool
It was not the first time the Hesperus had sunk a U-Boat. In January 1942, along with her sister ship Harvester, Hesperus rammed U-93 so violently that it flung the sub’s captain out of the conning tower into the motorboat on the destroyer’s deck.

Originally named Juruena, the H-Class destroyer Hesperus was built for the Brazilian navy in 1939. The ship was purchased by the Royal Navy the same year and commissioned in 1940.

At the end of the war, the 1,883-ton Hesperus helped carry the exiled Norwegian government back to Norway and served as a target ship in naval exercises. She was scrapped in 1947.

Our modern image from September 2021 shows two very different craft on Liverpool waterfront – the Mersey ferry and the 77,000-ton cruise ship Marella Explorer.

*Unmissable wartime images from Liverpool and the North West are included in Clive Hardy’s latest hardback book The Home Front – Britain 1939-45.

It’s available for £14.99 from inostalgia.co.uk or the order hotline 01928 503777 – or get three books for 25 per cent off in iNostalgia’s special promotion.