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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2004

HMAS  VAMPIRE (D 68) -  V & W-class Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMAS Vampire (Maritime Quest/Alex Shand, click  to enlarge)

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Admiralty Design V-class Flotilla Leader ordered from JS White at Cowes, IoW under the 1916-17 Build Programme and laid down on 10th October 1916. The original name selected was WALLACE but this was changed before the ship was launched on 21st May 1917 and she was the 1st RN ship to carry the name. Build was completed on 22nd September and after trials she entered service with the 4th Destroyer Flotilla during WW1. After November 1918 she served in Home waters and in the Mediterranean before going into Reserve. In 1933 this destroyer was transferred to the Royal Australian Navy into which she commissioned on 11th October that year. On outbreak of war with Germany ships of the RAN were placed under RN control and this ship was deployed in Home waters and in the Mediterranean


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s


CALABRIA 1940 - LIBYA 1940-41 - GREECE 1941 - CRETE 1941 - AEGEAN 1944 *

(* Awarded to VAMPIRE (ii),  HM Submarine.)


H e r a l d i c  D a t a

 Badge   On a Field Blue a vampire bat Black.


M o t t o

 Invisa et in opiata : 'Unseen and unexpected'



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)



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Deployed in Australian waters for anti-submarine patrol.


8th - Carried out patrol off Fremantle with HM Cruiser SYDNEY (RAN) and HM Destroyer VOYAGER (RAN).




Transferred at Admiralty request to join RN ships at Singapore.


14th - Took passage from Fremantle to Sydney to prepare for RN service based at Singapore. Sailed to Singapore for service on China Station. (Note : The Australian destroyers STUART, VENDETTA, VOYAGER and WATERHEN were also transferred.)


29th - At Singapore.




Deployment at Singapore cancelled and ship required to join the Fleet in the Mediterranean.


13th - Took passage from Singapore to Colombo


16th - Detached with HMAS VOYAGER to join HM Cruiser KENT and French cruiser SUFFREN in search for commerce raider GRAF SPEE in Indian Ocean.




On release from Hunting Group took passage to joined the Fleet in Malta.


24th - Arrived in Malta via Suez Canal and joined Mediterranean Fleet as part of 19th Division with HMAS STUART (Leader), VENDETTA, VOYAGER and WATERHEN.



1 9 4 0


January to April  


19th Division deployment for contraband control and exercises with Fleet units.




27th - Joined newly formed 10th Destroyer Flotilla with RAN ships and HM Destroyers DAINTY, DECOY and DEFENDER of 20th Division.




Took part in Fleet exercises prior to outbreak of war with Italy.


Provided cover with HM Destroyer VOYAGER (RAN) for convoys to and from the Dardanelles


11th - Deployed with screen for HM Battleship MALAYA and WARSPITE, HM Aircraft Carrier EAGLE and ships of 7th Cruiser Squadron during passage from Alexandria for offensive sweep in Aegean Sea.


12th - Detached from screen and joined ships of Flotilla at Alexandria for anti-submarine patrol during which two Italian minefields were located.


13th - Carried out further patrol off Alexandria with Flotilla and engaged in gun action with Italian submarine in process of minelaying. Submarine was damaged but further pursuit deterred by existence of mines.


26th - Deployed with HM Destroyer GARLAND as escort for HM Cruiser CALEDON for passage to join escort for convoy to Greece.


27th - Detached and joined incoming convoy to Port Said as escort.




Nominated for Fleet screening duties.


7th - Deployed with HM Destroyers DAINTY, DEFENDER, HASTY, HOSTILE, HYPERION, ILEX, IMPERIAL, JANUS, JUNO and VOYAGER (RAN) as screen for HM Battleships MALAYA, ROYAL SOVEREIGN, WARSPITE, HM Aircraft Carrier EAGLE, HM Cruisers GLOUCESTER, LIVERPOOL, NEPTUNE, ORION and SYDNEY (RAN) to provide cover for transit of Convoys MF1 and MF2 from Malta (Operation MA5. Note: These convoys were supply ships carrying naval stores and some passenger ships evacuating civilians from Malta. An earlier operation had been cancelled after the warships involved had expended huge quantities of ammunition in an engagement with Italian warships and had to return to Alexandria. See MALTA CONVOYS by R Woodman, THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by D Macintyre and THE NAVAL WAR IN THE MEDITERRANEAN by J Greene and A Massignani.)


9th - Took part in brief engagement with Italian warships. (Battle of Calabria See references.)


10th - Detached and joined Slow Convoy MS1 with HMS DECOY and HMAS VOYAGER as escort for passage to Port Said.


11th - Replaced in escort by HMS JANUS after sustaining damage from near miss in an air attack. One man was killed by splinters. Took passage independently to Alexandria.


23rd - Deployed with HM Cruiser ORION and HMAS VENDETTA for a diversionary operation during passage of landing ships from Alexandria for simulated assault at Castelloriza..


26th - Joined HMS ORION, HM Auxiliaries FIONA and CHAKLA off Castelloriza.


27th - Carried out bombardment during simulated landing operation (Note: Enemy shore defences did not react.)


29th - Return passage to Alexandria with Mediterranean Fleet ships.




Flotilla deployment in continuation.


30th - Deployed with HM Destroyers GARLAND, DECOY, ILEX, IMPERIAL, MOHAWK, NUBIAN and VENDETTA as screen for HMS EAGLE, HMS MALAYA, HMS WARSPITE, HM Cruisers GLOUCESTER, KENT, LIVERPOOL and ORION to provide Distant Cover for passage of Convoy MS2 during passage to Malta and passage of reinforcement warships to join Fleet at Alexandria from western Mediterranean (Operation MB3. Note : This was part of Operation HATS involving ships of Force H from Gibraltar.




2nd - Part of screen for major units of reinforced Fleet during passage from Malta to Alexandria.


5th - Arrived at Alexandria with Fleet units after an air attack on Rhodes by HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS.


14th - At Port Taufik for routine docking


24th - Resumed Flotilla duties at Alexandria.




Flotilla duties including convoy escort in continuation.


9th - Deployed with HM Destroyers DAINTY, DECOY, IMPERIAL, JANUS, JERVIS, JUNO, MOHAWK, STUART and VAMPIRE in screen for HMS ILLUSTRIOUS, HMS EAGLE, HMS MALAYA, HMS RAMILLIES, HMS VALIANT, HMS WARSPITE, HM Cruisers AJAX, GLOUCESTER, LIVERPOOL, ORION, SYDNEY and YORK to provide Distant Cover during passage of Convoy MF3 from Egypt and MF4 from Malta.


12th - Under attack by Italian destroyers during which HMS AJAX hit and disabled the Italian ARTIGLIERE. Rescued survivors from ARTIGLIERE after it had been sunk by HMS YORK. (See above references for details of this engagement.)


14th - Under attack by torpedo aircraft during which HMS LIVERPOOL was damaged. Detached to screen HMS LIVERPOOL during passage under tow by HMS ORION.


16th - Boiler cleaning at Alexandria with disinfection.


25th - Resumed Flotilla duties and deployed with HMAS VOYAGER as screen for HMS MALAYA during offensive patrol in Kaso Strait as cover for passage of convoy.


28th - On return sailed with HM Netlayer PROTECTOR, HMAS VOYAGER and HMAS WATERHEN as escort for first military convoy to Crete.


30th - Arrived at Suda Bay.




4th - Deployed with HM Cruisers COVENTRY, CARLISLE, HM Destroyers DAINTY, DIAMOND, VOYAGER (RAN) and WATERHEN (RAN) to escort Convoy AN6 during passage to Crete (Note : The passage of this convoy was part of a major Fleet movement to pass convoys to Malta (MW3) and from Malta (ME3) as well as to cover the passage of warships from the western Mediterranean to reinforce the Mediterranean Fleet based at Alexandria (Operation COAT) - See above references.)


8th - Passage to Malta to join Convoy ME3 as escort during passage to from Malta to Port Said.


10th - Joined ME3 in Malta with HM Battleship RAMILLIES, HMS COVENTRY, HM Destroyers DECOY, DEFENDER and WATERHEN.


13th - Under air attack during which HMS DECOY was damaged.


14th - Detached from ME3 and resumed Fleet duties with Flotilla. Transferred with ships of Flotilla for support of military operations (Note: During following week under persistent air raids whilst at Alexandria.)




Deployed as Force B with HMAS VENDETTA, VOYAGER and WATERHEN for duty in Inshore Squadron for bombardment of coastal positions in support of the military offensive. (Note : Inshore Squadron also included Force A - HM Monitor TERROR, HM River Gunboats APHIS, LADYBIRD and GNAT, Force C - HM Battleships BARHAM and MALAYA, and Force D - HM Aircraft Carrier EAGLE with destroyer screen.)


11th - At Sollum prior to planned bombardment of Bardia with HMAS VENDETTA and HMAS WATERHEN.


12th - Took passage to Alexandria when bombardment cancelled due to sandstorm in target area.


15th - Sailed from Alexandra with HM Monitor TERROR, HMAS VENDETTA, VOYAGER and WATERHEN as Inshore Squadron to carry out bombardments of retreating Italian army units on North African coast.


16th - Deployed to give cover for ships of Inshore Squadron during bombardment.


18th - Return passage to Alexandria.


19th - Taken in hand for machinery repairs.



1 9 4 1




9th - Resumed Flotilla duties.


11th - Deployed with HMAS STUART, VENDETTA and VOYAGER as screen for HMS EAGLE and HMS BARHAM for attacks on Dodecanese islands.


16th - Return passage to Alexandria after planned operation cancelled.


17th - Detached on arrival and resumed Flotilla duties.


21st - Provided naval gunfire support from inside harbour during attack on Tobruk by 6th Australian Division.


22nd - Carried out unsuccessful search for Italian cruiser SAN GIORGI off Tobruk.


Captured Italian schooner carrying lubricating oil.




7th - RAN ships visited by Australian Prime Minister.


12th - Took passage to Benghazi to carry out clearance of obstructions preventing discharge of cargoes.


13th - Deployed at Benghazi and on completion took passage to Bardia.


17th - Escorted HMS TERROR to Tobruk from Bardia.


Passage to Alexandria. On arrival took passage to escort of military convoy GA2 from Piraeus to Egypt.




Escort of military convoys to and from Greece in continuation (Operation LUSTRE).


12th - Escorted Convoy AG3 to Piraeus.




LUSTRE deployment in continuation.


12th to18th - Escorted Convoy AN27 to Piraeus and AS26 from Greece with HM Sloop AUCKLAND.


24th - Sailed from Alexandria with HMS AUCKLAND and HM Destroyer KIMBERLEY as escort for Convoy AG15 to Piraeus.


27th - Detached on arrival and took passage to assist in the evacuation of allied troops from Greece.


28th - Joined HM Cruisers CALCUTTA, COVENTRY, HM Destroyers STUART, VENDETTA and WATERHEN for escort of Convoy GA14 from Nauphlia to Alexandria.


29th - On arrival deployed with screen for HMS FORMIDABLE and other ships of Mediterranean Fleet to provide cover for passage of Convoy GA15 from coast of Greece.




3rd - Returned to Alexandria after diversions for support of evacuation.


6th - Deployed with HMAS STUART, HM Sloops AUCKLAND and FLAMINGO as escort for Convoy AN30 from Alexandria to Suda Bay for collection of troops evacuated from Greece.


9th - Returned to Alexandria.


10th - Deployed with HMAS VOYAGER as escort for Convoy AS30 on passage from Suda Bay to Egypt.


11th - Resumed Inshore Squadron duties and embarked stores and supplies for transit to Tobruk.


21st - Withdrawn from Tobruk support because of increase in defect rate, particularly propulsion  machinery


25th - Released from RN deployment in Mediterranean.


28th - Took passage from Alexandria for refit at Singapore, via Red Sea.




Passage in Indian Ocean.


16th - Taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard at Singapore.


July to October  


Under refit.




On completion of post refit trials remained at Singapore for convoy defence duties.




3rd - Transferred to Force G, Eastern Fleet


5th - Sailed from Singapore with HM Destroyer TENEDOS as escort for HM Battlecruiser REPULSE during passage to Darwin.


6th - Returned to Singapore with HMS REPULSE after Japanese convoys reported in Gulf of Siam.


8th - Deployed with HM Destroyers TENEDOS, ELECTRA and EXPRESS as screen for HMS REPULSE and HM Battleship PRINCE OF WALES as Force Z to intercept Japanese invasion Fleet covering landings on east coast of Malaya.


9th - Report of sighting Japanese aircraft ignored. Under attack by Japanese high level bombers but unable to carry out effective fire due to poor AA armament. HMS REPULSE and HMS PRINCE OF WALES were subsequently overwhelmed by bomb and torpedo attacks and sunk. (See THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by J Winton, THE SINKING OF FORCE Z by R Hough and WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO).) Rescued 225 survivors from the two major warships and returned to Singapore.


15th - Deployed for cover of minelaying operation off Kuantan..


19th - Deployed with HM Cruisers DRAGON and DURBAN as escort for troopships during passage from Singapore to Colombo.



1 9 4 2




10th - Deployed with HM Destroyers ENCOUNTER and JUPITER and joined HM Cruisers DURBAN, EXETER and HM Sloop JUMNA (RIN) in escort of military convoy DM1 during passage from Addu Atoll to Singapore with reinforcement troops from UK


13th - Detached from DM1 on arrival at Singapore.


Resumed local convoy escort


20th - Transferred to ABDA Command for convoy escort. (See WAR WITH JAPAN).


24th - Escorted Convoy MS2A from Ratan Bay with HMS THANET.


26th - Deployed with HM Destroyer THANET with air cover for the interception of Japanese convoy off Endai, east coast of Malaya. (Note : Japanese force included cruiser SENDAI with six destroyers and five minesweepers.)


27th - Engaged Japanese destroyer SHIRAYUKI and fired two torpedoes unsuccessfully. Under heavy return fire but able to escape unscathed. (Note: HMS THANET was sunk in this action.)


28th - Deployed with HM Sloop YARRA (RAN) as escort for convoy during passage from Singapore to Sunda Straits.


29th - Detached at Sunda Strait and took passage to Padang.




1st - Deployed with HMS EXETER and HMS JUPITER as escort for two transports on passage from Batavia to Sunda.


2nd - Joined military convoy DM2 and Convoy BM12 from Indian Ocean with HMS JUPITER and joined HM Cruiser DANAE, Dutch cruiser JAVA, HM Sloop SUTLEJ (RIN), and HMAS YARRA for escort to Batavia.


3rd - Detached on arrival at Batavia.


5th - Deployed as escort for mercantile convoy on passage from Tandjong Priok to Colombo.


11th - Arrived at Colombo. Joined Eastern Fleet.




1st - Deployed with HM Destroyers EXPRESS, NIZAM, HM Corvette HOLLYHOCK as screen for HM Battleship ROYAL SOVEREIGN, HM Cruiser CORNWALL and HM Armed Merchant Cruiser MANOORA (RAN) for escort of military convoy SU1 during Indian Ocean passage. (Note : This convoy was taking troops returning to Australia from the Middle East.)


Later detached from SU1 to prepare for planned landings in Madagascar and took passage to Ceylon.




Eastern Fleet deployment in continuation.


8th - Sailed from Trincomalee with HM Aircraft Carrier HERMES, HM Corvette HOLLYHOCK, HM Auxiliary Minelayer TEVIOT BANK and RFA Tanker PEAR LEAF to avoid impending air attack on Ceylon from Japanese aircraft carriers.


9th - After sighting by Japanese aircraft, provision of air cover from shore delayed by failure of communications in Ceylon. Both ships came under attack. HMS HERMES was the initial target and sank after several bomb hits. Subsequently ship under heavy attacks and broke in half after several hits and near misses. One aircraft reported destroyed. (See WAR WITH JAPAN for details.). Captain and seven others of ship's company were killed. Hospital ship VITA near by, whose immunity was respected and which was not attacked, rescued the survivors from both ships.



Special Note


This name was reintroduced for an RN V-Class submarine launched in 1943.







by Don Kindell


These convoy lists have not been cross-checked with the text above






Date convoy sailed

Joined convoy as escort

Convoy No.

Left convoy

Date convoy arrived








K 6





K 6A















AS 001/1





MW 003





MW 004





ME 004





AG 007





ASF 022





AS 030/1





BM 009A





DM 001





MS 002A





NB 001





JS 002X








(Note on Convoys)



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revised 12/6/11
further editing is required