H.M.S. Eskimo was one of a large batch of twenty-seven Tribal-class destroyers, named after the native peoples of the British Empire, capable of 36-knots and armed with 4 twin 4.7-in. guns. Eskimo's keel was laid down by the High Walker Yard of Vickers Armstrong at Newcastle-on-Tyne on 5th August 1936, and she was launched on 3rd September 1937, and commissioned on 30th December 1938. This picture was probably made of her while she was on sea trials: her pennant number was changed from L75 to F75 in January 1939.
Her first commanding officer was the distinguished Commander St. John Aldrich Micklethwait who in the inter-war years had commanded the destroyers Truant, Wren, Rowena, Beagle and Vimy. During the German invasion of Norway in 1940 the Royal Navy fought two battles in the fjords for the control of the iron ore trade from Sweden to Germany, when Micklethwait's Eskimo took part in the Second Battle of Narvik on 11th April. Four German heavy destroyers had taken refuge in Rombaksfjord which they then filled with a smokescreen. Frost and snow blurred the gun and director telescopes and blinded Micklethwait on the bridge, but he steered Eskimo through the narrow entrance of the fjord at 15 knots, knowing the enemy was waiting, with his 5-in. guns and torpedo tubes ready and trained. A fifteen minute, furious fight at less than 5,000 yards range ensued: as Eskimo turned to fire her torpedoes at the German destroyer Hans Lüdemann, four torpedoes streaked across the narrow waters towards her. Eskimo increased to full speed with the cliffs less than 400 yards away and then reversed sharply just a few feet short, shaking in every rivet. Micklethwait's superb ship-handling avoided this first fan of torpedoes but a second German destroyer, Georg Thiele, fired another fan which Eskimo now avoided by going full speed astern. However a third torpedo attack blew off Eskimo's bows including A gun, despite which she continued to hit the Germans repeatedly from her other mountings and reduced her enemies to hulks. Micklethwait then navigated backwards through the fjord entrance, dragging Eskimo's bows which hung vertically by a thin strip of steel and twice temporarily anchored her to the bottom. As she emerged she was cheered by the rest of the flotilla as though she had just won a race, but she was sinking and Micklethwait evacuated all non-essential crew for the long voyage under tow back to Scotland. Micklethwait recorded his pride in the "absolutely superb morale of the entire ship's company, including B gun's crew who were badly shaken and drenched by the torpedo hit but continued firing". Micklethwait, who had already won the Distinguished Service Order, was awarded a bar to the D.S.O. for his daring, resource and devotion to duty in the Second Battle of Narvik. He would go on to win a second bar to the D.S.O. and two mentions in despatches, before being sunk in command of another Tribal-class destroyer, H.M.S. Sikh off Tobruk in 1942 and spending the rest of the war as a prisoner-of-war.
H.M.S. Eskimo was repaired and returned to service in late 1942, with another pennant number G75. She took part in the raid on the Lofoten Islands in 1941 and in British operations to capture Enigma coding machines from the German trawler Krebs in March, and the German weather ship München in May 1941. After many hectic months of duty on the Arctic and Mediterranean convoy routes she supported the Allied landings in North Africa in November 1942, but after bombarding the beaches during Operation Husky, the Allied landings on Sicily in 1943, she was again badly damaged, by air attack, and needed repair on the Humber. In June 1944 Eskimo, the Canadian destroyer Haida and a Liberator aircraft of the Free Czech Air Force hunted and sank the German U-boat U-971 in the English Channel.
At the end of the war she operated in the Indian Ocean and her last action was the bombardment of Japanese positions on Nancowry in the Nicobar Islands on 7th July 1945. Eskimo returned to England in late 1945, was used as a target ship in 1948, and, when she went to the breakers at Troon the following year, she was the last of the British Tribals to survive the war.