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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2002

HMS DANAE, also ORP CONRAD  -   World War 1 D-type Light Cruiser including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Dauntless, sister ship (Navy Photos/Mark Teadham, click to enlarge)

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D-Class cruiser ordered from Armstrong shipyard at Elswick, Newcastle in September 1916 and laid down on 11th December that year. Machinery was provided by the builders. The ship was launched on 26th January 1918 as the 5th RN warship to carry the name, that of the daughter of Acrisius, King of Argos and the mother of Perseus. Build was completed on 18th July 1918. After a WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in February 1942 the ship was adopted by the civil community of Chesterfield, Derbyshire.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s




M a n n i n g   D i v i s i o n:  P o r t s m o u t h


H e r a l d i c   D a t a

B a d g e:   On a Field Black, a castle Gold.


M o t t o

Timeant damacius: 'Let then fear those belonging to Danae'



S u m m a r y    o f   P r e – W a r   S e r v i c e


1 9 1 8


July                         Contractors trials and commissioning for service with 5th Light Cruiser Squadron

                18th        Acceptance trials on completion of build.

                                Passage to Harwich to join Squadron for service in North Sea.


August                  Deployed with Squadron for patrol duties in North Sea

                                After armistice deployed in Home waters for Fleet duties.


1 9 1 9


                                Transferred to 1st Light Cruiser Squadron. Atlantic Fleet.

                                Deployed with Squadron in Home waters


1 9 2 0    t o    1 9 2 2


                                Squadron duties in Channel Fleet in continuation.


1 9 2 3


January                  Atlantic Fleet deployment in continuation with Squadron

to August


September             Nominated for foreign service as part of World Cruise with visits to countries in the

                                British Empire.


October                  Prepared for special duty.


November              Joined HM Battlecruisers HOOD, REPULSE, HM Cruisers DELHI, DRAGON,

                                DAUNTLESS and DUNEDIN.

                27th        Sailed from Plymouth with ships of special squadron.



                21st         Arrived at Cape Town after call at Freetown, Sierra Leone.

                22nd       Passage to Zanzibar.


1 9 2 4



                1st           Arrived at Zanzibar after calls at Port Elizabeth, East London. Mossel Bay and Durban.

                17th        Took passage for Australia from Zanzibar.


February                Passage in Indian Ocean

                28th        Arrived in Fremantle, Australia.


March                    Visited Albany, Adelaide and Melbourne.



                6th          Sailed from Hobart for Sydney.

                9th          Arrived at Sydney,

                20th        Sailed from Sydney for Wellington, New Zealand

                23rd        Arrived at Wellington.



                7th          Sailed from Wellington for Pacific visits programme.

                                (Note: Calls were made at Suva, Samara, Fiji, Samoa and Honolulu.


June                        Passage from Honolulu to Vancouver, British Columbia with call at Victoria, BC.



                6th          Arrived at Vancouver

                7th          Detached with HM Cruisers DELHI, DRAGON, DAUNTLESS and DUNEDIN for visits

                                to ports in South America


August                  Deployed in Pacific Ocean, Caribbean and Atlantic seaboard off South America for

to September         visits programme.


October                  On completion of visits took return passage to Portsmouth.

to November


December              Nominated for service in 1st Cruiser Squadron, Mediterranean Fleet.


1 9 2 5


                                Commissioned for service in Mediterranean and joined Squadron at Malta

                                Deployed with Squadron for Fleet exercise and visits programmes.


1 9 2 6    t o    1 9 2 8


                                Mediterranean Fleet deployment with Squadron in continuation.


1 9 2 9


                                Nominated for return to UK for refit.

                                Taken in hand for refit after paying-off.


1 9 3 0


                                On completion of post refit trials commissioned for service in 8th Cruiser Squadron

                                on America and West Indies Station based in Bermuda.

                                Passage to join Squadron.


1 9 3 1   t o   1 9 3 4


                                Deployed with Squadron for exercises and visits to ports in North and South America

                                including Canada, West Indies colonies and ports in South America.



1 9 3 5


                                Nominated for reduction to Reserve status and took return passage to Portsmouth.

                                Paid-off and laid-up in Reserve at Devonport.


1 9 3 6


                                Recommissioned for service in 5th Cruiser Squadron on the China Station

                                Passage to Hong Kong to join Squadron.

                                Deployed at Hong Kong for Squadron duties


1 9 3 7


                                (Note: Japanese began hostilities against China which made necessary the

                                use of warships to protect British interests in Chinese ports. These

                                cities became targets for aerial attacks.)

January                  Squadron deployment on China Station in continuation.

to June


July                         Nominated for Guardship duty at Nanking

                12th        Embarked British Ambassador to China for passage to Nanking

                15th        Arrived at Nanking with Ambassador.

                                (Note: Ambassador had meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister

                                Ship provided secure wireless communication link for embassy traffic

                                to London.



                2nd         Sailed from Nanking for Shanghai on relief as Guardship by HM Cruiser CAPETOWN.

                14th        Deployed at Shanghai and provided shore landing parties to protect British interests

                                (Note: Shanghai was under air attacks by Japanese.)

                17th        Sailed from Shanghai to escort liner RAJPUTANA which was carrying evacuees from

                                Shanghai to Hong Kong.

                                Under fire from shore without damage.

                                Returned to Shanghai for Guardship duties.


September             Deployment at Shanghai in continuation.


October                  Returned to Hong Kong from Shanghai

                                Nominated for return to UK.


November              Passage to Portsmouth to Pay-off and reduce to Reserve status.

to December          Paid-off at Portsmouth


1 9 3 8


January                  Reduced to Reserve and laid-up in Reserve Fleet at Portsmouth


February                Laid-up at Portsmouth

to June                   Nominated for trade defence, patrol and interception duties on mobilisation

                                for war.


July                         Re-commissioned at Portsmouth with Reservists to attend Review of the

                                Reserve Fleet at Weymouth by HM King George VI.


August                  Attended Review and remained in commission to take up war station duty in

                                South Atlantic

                                Allocated to 9th Cruiser Squadron

                                Took passage with HM Cruiser DAUNTLESS after completing to war complement

                                and embarking ammunition and stores for operational duties.



D e t a i l s   o f   W a r   S e r v i c e


(for more ship information, go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search




                3rd          Called at Freetown prior to first patrol.

                14th        Sailed from Freetown for first patrol.

                11th        Arrived at Simonstown from patrol.

                18th        Sailed from Simonstown for patrol in South Atlantic.

                                (Note: It was known that German had deployed commerce raiders in the Atlantic

                                before the declaration of war.)

                21st         Returned to Simonstown.

                28th        Sailed for further South Atlantic patrol from Simonstown.



                2nd         Returned to Simonstown.

                7th          Deployed for convoy escort at Capetown.

                9th          Sailed from Capetown to join convoy as escort during passage to West Africa.

                18th        Took passage for St Helena from Lagos.

                22nd       At St Helena.

                28th        Arrived at Simonstown from patrol.

                31st         Transferred to East Indies Station



                2nd         Took passage from Simonstown.

                10th        Sailed from Mauritius for Colombo.

                18th        Arrived at Colombo.

                20th        Took passage to Singapore from Colombo.

                26th        Arrived at Singapore.

                29th        Took passage to Hong Kong for repairs arising from passage.



                2nd         Arrived at Hong Kong.

                3rd          Taken in hand for repair by HM Dockyard.


1 9 4 0



                                Under repair



                14th        Repair work completed

                                Commenced sea trials and return to operational duty.



                6th          Sailed from Hong Kong for patrol.

                                Returned to Singapore on release for replenishment.

                21st         Sailed from Singapore for trade defence.

                23rd        Transferred to British Malaya Force and deployed for surveillance of German

                                ships in Dutch East Indies ports

                24th        Deployed off Sourabaya for interception of enemy shipping attempting to take passage.

                                (Note: German mercantiles CASSEL, ESSEN and NAUMBERG were known to

                                be sheltering in Sourabaya.)



                21st         On release from patrol took passage to Penang.

                23rd        At Penang.

                                Passage to Singapore

                30th        Arrived at Singapore.


May                        Deployed for trade defence and interception patrol in China Sea and Indian Ocean

to December          (Note: Visits paid to Penang and Hong Kong between patrols.)


1 9 4 1


January                  Deployed in South China Sea and East Indies eastern coasts.


February                Routine docking in Singapore for hull inspection.

                8th          Resumed patrol duties


March                    Patrol duties in continuation in Malacca Straits

to April                  (Note: Visited Singapore and Penang between patrols.)


May                        Deployed as escort for troopship from Sunda Strait to Singapore.


June                        Trade defence and convoy escort in continuation.

to August


September             Under refit by HM Dockyard at Singapore.

to October



                6th          Prepared to resume operational duties and ammunitioned.

                8th          Sailed from Singapore for Manila.

                14th        Sailed from Manila with HM Armed Merchant Cruiser PRINCE

                                ROBERT (RCN) as escort for troopship AWATEA carrying Canadian troops

                                to reinforce garrison at Hong Kong.

                                (Note: HMCS PRINCE ROBERT had escorted AWATEA during Pacific passage.

                                from Canada.

                17th        Arrived at Hong Kong.

                19th        Took return passage to Singapore.

                22nd       Arrived at Singapore.


December              Deployed at Singapore. Transferred to 5th Cruiser Squadron.

                4th          Other ships at Singapore were:

                                HM Battleship PRINCE OF WALES and HM Battlecruiser REPULSE.

                                HM Cruisers MAURITIUS and DURBAN.

                                HM Destroyers ELECTRA, ENCOUNTER, EXPRESS, JUPITER, TENEDOS

                                STRONGHOLD, SCORPION.

                                HM River Gunboat GRASSHOPPER, HM Auxiliaries KEDAH and MEDUSA.

                                HM Australian Fleet Minesweepers GOULDBURN, BENDIGO and BURNIE.

                6th          Sailed from Singapore for escort of convoy to Negapatam.

                7th          Called at Penang.

                8th          Hostilities began with Japan and sailed to with convoy.

                11th        Arrived at Trincomalee after detaching from convoy.

                16th        Sailed from Trincomalee having painted to required camouflage design.

                19th        Arrived at Singapore

                26th        Allocated to Western Striking Force based at Batavia and took passage.

                29th        At Tanjong Priok

                                Sailed to meet Dutch cruiser JAVA.

                31st         Met JAVA and took passage to join Convoy BM9B of six ships in position

                                00.28S 95. 27E as relief for HM Cruiser GLASGOW providing Ocean Escort.


1 9 4 2



                4th          Air cover provided.

                5th          Dutch warships joined escort for passage into Singapore.

                6th          Detached from convoy with escort on arrival at Singapore.

                11th        Sailed with HM Cruiser DRAGON to Batavia.

                                (Note: Vice Admiral Leyton and staff were embarked in HMS DRAGON for passage.

                                Singapore was under air attacks during period from 6th.)

                13th        At Tanjong Priok.

                17th        Sailed from Tanjong Priok to join Convoy BM10.

                18th        Joined BM10 as escort to Singapore with HM Cruisers ENTERPRISE, EXETER

                                and HM Sloop SUTLEJ (RIN).

                26th        Arrived at Singapore and sailed after embarking stores

                                Under air attacks whilst leaving Singapore.

                27th        Passage to join military convoy DM2 as escort into Singapore.

                                (Note: Convoy was made up of ships from Bombay in Convoy BM12 and

                                DM2 from Addu Atoll (Ex WS14 from UK).

                                Convoy comprised troopships *CITY OF CANTERBURY, DUNERA,

                                CITY OF PRETORIA, EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA, MALANCHA,

                                TROILUS, WARWICK CASTLE, *PLANCIUS, *EMPRESS OF ASIA,

                                DEVONSHIRE* and *FELIX ROUSSELL.)

                31st         Joined HMS EMERALD with Dutch cruiser JAVA for escort into Singapore.



                1st           HM Sloops SUTLEJ (RIN) and YARRA (RAN) joined escort.

                2nd         HM Cruiser EXETER, HM Destroyers JUPITER and VAMPIRE joined escort.

                3rd          On arrival at Batavia detached with ships marked * above and provided

                                escort for passage into Singapore with HMS EXETER, Dutch cruiser JAVA

                                and HMAS YARRA.

                4th          Dutch cruiser JAVA detached.

                                Under air attacks during which were repelled by escort, particularly that by

                                HMS EXETER

                5th          Under further heavy air attacks during which EMPRESS OF ASIA was set on

                                fire and FELIX ROUSSELL hit. Came under machine gun fire from aircraft causing

                                injury to two of ships company.

                                (Note ; EMPRESS OF ASIA later sank with 27 killed and 93 wounded.)

                                HMIS SUTLEJ joined escort from Singapore to reinforce AA fire.

                                Detached from BM2 on arrival in Singapore.

                                (Note Wireless equipment from Singapore naval stations were embarked.

                6th          Sailed from Singapore with HMAS YARRA and HMIS SUTLEJ as escort for

                                Convoy EM11during passage to Batavia.

                                (Note: The three mercantiles in EM11 were FELIX ROUSSELL, DEVONSHIRE

                                and CITY OF CANTERBURY.)

                7th          Deployed with HM Cruiser HOBART (RAN) as escort for EM11,

                8th          Took passage to Batavia (Tanjong Priok) with CITY OF CANTERBURY

                                (Note: Troops on board CITY OF CANTERBURY had not disembarked

                                on arrival at Singapore.)

                9th          Deployed at Tanjong Priok for Boiler Clean and installation of two 20mm

                                Oerlikon mounting on Flag Deck to provide defence against Close Range

                                air attacks W/T equipment landed.

                19th        Took passage from Tanjong Priok to Padang to collect army personnel

                                who had escaped to Sumatra from Singapore.

                20th        Embarked passenger and sailed from Emmerhaven.

                21st         Diverted during passage to Tjilatjap on south coast of Java.

                                Transferred to Western Striking Force with HM Cruisers HOBART (RAN)

                                DRAGON, HM Destroyers TENEDOS and SCOUT for interception of Japanese

                                invasion convoys, based at Tanjong Priok

                22nd       Soldiers disembarked.

                23rd        Grounded on departure from Tjilatjap and pulled oof by tugs.

                                Water inlets to condensers blocked.

                24th        Sailed from Tjilatjap for Tangjong Priok.

                25th        Enemy aircraft sighted but ship not attacked.

                26th        Entered harbour after delay to allow departure of HM Cruiser EXETER

                                and HM Cruiser PERTH who had been despatch to join allied squadron

                                for attack on invasion convoys. See WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO).

                28th        Despatched from Tanjong Priok with ships of Striking Force to carry out

                                attack on Japanese convoy at Muntok in Banka Island.

                                Japanese landings were made in Batavia and Sourabaya.)

                                After unsuccessful search diverted to carry out evacuation of civilians

                                at Emmerhaven, Sumatra with HMS TENEDOS and HMS SCOUT,

                                destroyers detached and took passage to embark passengers.

                                (Note: Ship had been ordered to proceed to Ceylon in the event of

                                failure to defend Sumatra and Java.

                                For details of operations in Dutch East Indies and the attack

                                on Singapore see WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO), OPERATION

                                PACIFIC by E Gray, THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by J Winton

                                ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and the Naval Staff




                1st           Anchored off Emmerhaven.

                2nd         HMS SCOUT disembarked 309 personnel including 15 Nurses,

                                (Note: 250 others were taken to HMS DRAGON,

                3rd          Passage To join HMAS HOBART.

                                Refuelled from RFA APPLELEAF and diverted to assist HM Auxiliary

                                KEDAH which had been evacuating personnel from Chilachap and was

                                disabled with engine trouble.

                                Passage south with HMAS HOBART.

                                Took HMS KEDAH in tow with HMAS HOBART in company..

                4th          Passage to Colombo

                5th          HMAS HOBART detached and made independent passage.

                                Arrived at Colombo with HMS KEDAH.

                18th        Sailed from Colombo for Bombay.

                20th        At Bombay and nominated for service in Persian Gulf.

                22nd       Sailed from Bombay for duty in Persian Gulf.


April                       Deployed in Persian Gulf.

                                (Note: A guardship was stationed at entrance for control of convoys

                                to Aden and ports in India as well as within the Gulf.


May                        Withdrawn from East Indies Station and nominated for return to UK for refit.

                                Took passage Portsmouth via Cape of Good Hope.


June                        Joined Home Fleet and prepared for refit

and July                 Deployed in Home waters


August                  Passage to Tyne for refit in commercial shipyard.

                7th          Taken in hand for refit.


September             Under refit.

to December          (Note: Work carried out included replacement of No 3 6in gun mounting

                                and both forward 6in mountings, which were replaced by Quadruple

                                2pdr Pom Pom Mountings controlled by Radar Type 282. Eight

                                20mm Oerlikon weapons were fitted to improve Close Range AA

                                defence. Radar Type 291 to provide limited surface and aircraft

                                warning was fitted at the foremast head and Fire –control. Radar

                                Type 283 installed with aerial on gunnery directors. Warning

                                surface Radar Type 271 was also fitted aft. For details of the

                                development and use of radar in the RN see RADAR AT SEA by

                                D Howse.)


1 9 4 3


January                  Under refit

to June


July                         Carried out harbour trials

                2nd         Refit completion and commenced post refit sea trials.

                                On completion of trials and storing took passage to Scapa Flow to work

                                up with ships of Home Fleet.


August                  Deployed at Scapa Flow


September             Prepared for foreign service in Eastern Fleet


October                  Passage to join 4th Cruiser Squadron at Trincomalee.


November              Indian Ocean deployment for convoy defence.

to December


1 9 4 4


January                  Indian Ocean deployment in continuation

to March


April                       Withdrawn from Eastern Fleet and took passage to return to UK

                                Nominated for support of planned allied landings in Normandy

                                as part of Force S of Eastern Task Force (Operation NEPTUNE)

                                Taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard Rosyth.

                                Allocated for service in 1st Cruiser Squadron, Home Fleet.


May                        Under refit

                                (Note: After Pom-Pom mountings were replace by Twin 4in AA

                                mounting and torpedo tubes were removed.) Additional

                                20mm mountings fitted.)

                                Allocated for service with Bombarding Force D for support of

                                British landings on SWORD Beach.

                                Passage to Scapa Flow on completion.

                21st         Joined HM Battleships WARSPITE, RAMILLIES, HM Monitor ROBERTS,

                                HM Cruisers MAURITIUS, ARETHUSA, FROBISHER and Polish Cruiser

                                ORP DRAGON in Clyde as Bombarding Force D.

                                (Note: Selected target was battery at Ouistreham.)

                26th        Took part in bombardment exercises on Cape Wrath bombardment range

                                with Force “D” ships.

                                Passage to Clyde on completion.



                2nd         Sailed from Clyde as part of Convoy S6 with ships of Force D escorted

                                by HM Destroyers SAUMAREZ, SWIFT, Norwegian destroyers STORD,

                                SVENNER, HM Frigates ROWLEY and HOLMES.

                4th          Operation delayed 24 hours.

                5th          Took passage from Portsmouth with Convoy for transit of Swept Channel

                                No 9 to position off GOLD beach head

                                (Note: Ships of 40th Minesweeping Flotilla were also part of S6 and were

                                to carry out minesweeping in bombardment position.)

                6th          Provided naval gunfire support during assault landings on SWORD Beach.

                7th          On completion of support duties deployed as Depot Ship at GOOSEBERRY 5

                                in position north of Ouistreham.

                                (For details of naval activities before and during NEPTUNE see LANDINGS

                                IN NORMANDY (HMSO) and OPERATION NEPTUNE by K Edwards.)

                24th        Remained in Depot Ship role when NEPTUNE terminated.



                6th          Deployed with HM Cruisers BELFAST, EMERALD and HM Monitor ROBERTS

                                to provide naval gunfire support for military operations in JUNO area.


August                  On release from Assault area took passage to Plymouth.

to September         Deployed at Plymouth as Depot Ship.



                4th          Transferred to Polish Navy as replacement of ORP DRAGON which had been

                                lost during operations off Normandy on 8th July.

                16th        Polish ships company joined ship at Portsmouth.

                                Renamed ORP CONRAD


O. R. P.   C O N R A D


S e r v i c e   u n d e r    P o l i s h    C o m m a n d


November              Deployed at Portsmouth to prepare for refit.

                                Refit arranged in commercial shipyard at Southampton.



                8th          Taken in hand for refit at Southampton.


1 9 4 5


                5th          Carried out post refit trials.

                                On completion took passage to Scapa Flow to work-up for operational

                                service with Home Fleet in 10th Cruiser Squadron.


February                Deployed for defence of military convoys in southern North Sea and

                                English Channel

                                (Note: Extensive traffic was taking place to ports in Belgium after the

                                clearance of the Scheldt estuary and Atlantic convoys were being

                                routed through the Channel to London after air threat from French

                                bases had been withdrawn.

                                During the last few weeks of the European war there was significant

                                enemy minelaying by aircraft and both surface craft and submarines

                                as well as E-Boat and submarine attacks.

                6th          Narrowly avoided collision with HM Landing Ship (Infantry) PRINCESS

                                JOSEPHINE CHARLOTTE off Harwich.


March                    Nore Command deployment in continuation.

                                Transferred to Scapa Flow for Home Fleet duties.


April                       Deployed at Scapa Flow.


May                        Under repair by HM Dockyard, Chatham

to June


July                         Resumed Home Fleet duties and deployed in support of re occupation

to August


P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


ORP CONRAD visited Oslo in September 1945 and remained under Polish command. The ship remained in Home waters as part of the 10th Cruiser Squadron until placed in Reserve in 1946. She reverted to the RN in September 1946 as HMS DANAE and laid-up at Portsmouth. Placed on the Disposal List in 1947 this WW1 build cruiser was sold for demolition by TW Ward at Barrow on 22nd January 1948. During March that year she was taken in tow to the breaker’s yard where she arrived on 27th March 1948.







by Don Kindell






Date convoy sailed

Joined convoy as escort

Convoy No.

Left convoy

Date convoy arrived








BM 002





BM 003





BM 006





BM 009B





BM 010





BM 012










AB 021A





AB 029A





AKD 014A








(Note on Convoys)



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