- "Have engaged superior Japanese forces."
- —HMS Thunderchild captain
During the First Battle of Hong Kong on February 27th, 1941, the Thunderchild protected civilian evacuee transports from a Japanese flotilla comprised of a Kongo-class fast battleship and two destroyer squadrons. As the Japanese ships moved to attack the fleeing freighters, Thunderchild provoked them into engaging her instead. Thunderchild sank one destroyer with torpedoes before a magazine hit destroyed her. Nevertheless, she accomplished her mission, and the transports were able to escape Hong Kong.
The name HMS Thunderchild has since been reused by the Royal Navy several times, including a Thunderchild-class light cruiser and most recently with the Lion-class battleship HMS Thunderchild (DN 25).