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

HMAS  VOYAGER -  V & W-class Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Venetia, V-class sister ship (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

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V-Class Destroyer ordered from Stephens of Govan, Glasgow on 9th December 1916 under the 1916-17 Build Programme with the 10th order for this type of warship. The ship was laid down on 17th May 1917and launched on 8th May 1918 as the first RN warship to carry this name. Build was completed on 24th June 1918 and this ship served in the Baltic with other RN ships deployed to assist in defence of countries under attack by Communist troops. After 1920 she served in the Atlantic and Mediterranean Fleets before her transfer to the Royal Australian Navy in 1933. She was commissioned as HMAS VOYAGER on 10th October 1933 and stayed remained in that Dominion Navy for the rest of her service. The name has been retained  by the RAN and used for another ship after the end of WW2.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s


CALABRIA 1940 - LIBYA 1940-41 - GREECE 1941 - CRETE 1941 - MEDITERRANEAN 1940-41 - PACIFIC 1942


C r e s t

Field: Blue

Badge: A ship red upon three wavelets white.


M o t  t o

Quo Fata vocant: 'We go where destiny calls'



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)



1 9 3 9




Deployed in Australian waters.


War Station nominated at Singapore with ships of China Station..




Prepared for war service.


3rd - Deployed for patrol off Cape Howe.


8th - Deployed with HM Destroyer VAMPIRE (RAN) to join HM Cruiser SYDNEY for patrol off western Australia.




14th - Took passage from Sydney with HM Australian Destroyers VENDETTA, WATERHEN, VAMPIRE and STUART to join China Station under RN command.




Nominated for transfer to Mediterranean Fleet during passage to Singapore.


13th - Took passage with HM Destroyers STUART, VAMPIRE, VENDETTA and WATERHEN from Singapore to join Mediterranean Fleet.


16th - Detached to form Raider Hunting Group with HM Cruiser KENT, HMAS VAMPIRE and French Cruiser SUFFREN for interception off Sumatra.


17th - Took passage to Trincomalee to join Hunting Force for deployment in the Nicobar area following reports that German battleship GRAF SPEE had entered the Indian Ocean




On release from duty with Hunting Group resumed passage to Alexandria for service in the Mediterranean.


24th - Arrived at Malta after calls at Aden and Alexandria.



1 9 4 0


January to April  


Deployed with HMAS VENDETTA, WATERHEN, VAMPIRE and STUART with ships of Destroyer Command in Mediterranean for Fleet and Flotilla exercises and enforcement of blockade.




Took part in preparatory exercises with Mediterranean Fleet in the anticipation of Italian entry into war against Britain and the Dominions.


27th - Joined newly formed 10th Destroyer Flotilla.




Deployed in Mediterranean, based at Alexandria as 10th Destroyer Flotilla. Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to I31


11th - Part of screen for HM Aircraft Carrier EAGLE, HM Battleships MALAYA and WARSPITE with HMAS SYDNEY during offensive sweep in the Aegean Sea. Later detached to take passage to Alexandria.


13th - Sailed from Alexandria with HMAS STUART, VAMPIRE and WATERHEN to carry out anti-submarine patrol in eastern Mediterranean. Sighted Italian submarine FOCA which had been minelaying. Engaged with main armament but submarine escaped. After nightfall a second submarine was sighted and attacked by HMAS STUART and after submarine submerged, by depth charges from HM Destroyer DECOY. (Note: The submarines was CONSOLE GENERALE LUIZZI. See THE NAVAL WAR IN THE MEDITERRANEAN by J Greene and A Massignani and Note below.)


27th - Deployed with HM Destroyers DAINTY, DECOY, DEFENDER and ILEX to join an evacuation convoy from Malta in Aegean (Operation MA3. Note: Convoys MF1 and MS1 were planned to remove empty mercantiles from the island to bring non-essential personnel to Egypt. After three Italian destroyers were engaged in action by cruisers of Mediterranean Fleet providing cover for this operation, due to heavy expenditure of ammunition, Operation MA3 was cancelled. See THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by D Macintyre and The Naval Staff History.)


29th - Carried out surface gun attack with other ships after submarine sighted by HMS DAINTY followed by depth charges when submarine submerged. Over an hour later submarine surface and was again engaged by main armament and scuttled south of Crete. (Note: Submarine was the Italian UEBI SCEBELI and a boarding party was able to recover codebooks which provided valuable information about Italian submarine movements. See BRITISH INTELLIGENCE IN WW2 by Hinsley , Volume 1 (HMSO).)


30th - Returned to Alexandria with Fleet units.




7th - Joined HM Destroyers DAINTY, DEFENDER, HASTY, HOSTILE, HYPERION, ILEX, IMPERIAL, JANUS, JUNO and VAMPIRE as screen for HMS EAGLE, HM Battleships MALAYA, ROYAL SOVEREIGN and WARSPITE, HM Cruisers GLOUCESTER, LIVERPOOL, NEPTUNE, ORION and SYDNEY (RAN) to provide Distant Cover for passage of Convoys MF1 and MS1 from Malta. (Operation MA5 Repeat of the earlier MA3. See above.)


8th - Deployed with screen for HMS ROYAL SOVEREIGN, HMS RAMILLIES and HMS EAGLE when Fleet dispositions changed in anticipation of engagement with Italian battle squadron on passage to intercept convoys and covering ships. Under Italian air attacks.


9th - Took part in engagement with Italian ships during Battle of Calabria. (For details see above references, NAVAL WAR IN THE MEDITERRANEAN by J Greene and A Massignani and MATAPAN by SW Pack.)


10th - On release following the retirement of the Italian ships, took passage with HMS DECOY and HMAS VAMPIRE to join Convoy MS1 as escort during passage to Alexandria Under further attack by Italian aircraft based in Libya during which HMAS VAMPIRE was damaged and HMS LIVERPOOL was near missed with some casualties.


11th - HMS JUNO replaced HMS VAMPIRE


13th - HM Cruisers CALEDON and CAPETOWN joined escort.


15th - Arrived at Alexandria with MS1 and resumed Flotilla duties after repair.


24th - Deployed with HM Cruiser ORION and HMAS VAMPIRE for diversionary operation off Casteloriza. (Note: This was intended to divert enemy air attacks on convoys in the area.)


27th - Took part in simulated landing approach at Casteloriza with HMS ORION, HMAS VAMPIRE and HM Landing Ships FIONA and CHAKLA.




Flotilla duties with Mediterranean Fleet in continuation.


30th - Mediterranean Fleet units sailed for Operation MB3. (Note: Part of joint operation with Force H to cover passage of convoys to Malta and the transit of reinforcement ships for service at Alexandria. (Operation HATS) - See above references.)




Under refit by HM Dockyard Malta.




2nd - Resumed Flotilla duties at Alexandria. (Note: Not recorded as part of screen for Fleet units during cover of passage of reinforcement ships and passage of convoys to and from Malta. (Operation COAT).)


25th - Deployed with HMAS VAMPIRE as part of screen for HMS MALAYA during provision of cover for passage of convoy in Aegean.


28th - Returned to Alexandria.


29th - Joined HM Netlayer PROTECTOR with HM Australian Destroyers VAMPIRE and WATERHEN as escort for convoy to Suda Bay.




1st - Return passage to Alexandria.


4th - Sailed from Port Said as AN6 escort with HM Cruisers CALCUTTA and COVENTRY, HM Destroyers DAINTY, DIAMOND, VAMPIRE and WATERHEN. (Note: This convoy was covered by Fleet deployment in Operation COAT which included the passage of convoys to and from Malta, the passage of warships from the western Mediterranean and also preliminary phase of the attack on the Italian Fleet at Taranto by HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS.)


5th - Detached from AN6 on arrival at Suda Bay and escorted convoy back to Port Said.


14th - At Alexandria. (Note: During this period subject to repeated air raids on port.)




Nominated for service in Inshore Squadron with Flotilla..


4th - Joined HMAS VAMPIRE, HMAS VENDETTA and HMAS WATERHEN in Force B for support of military advance in Western Desert.


9th - Provided naval gunfire support. (Note: Other ships in Inshore Squadron included HM Monitor TERROR, HM River Gunboats LADYBIRD, APHIS and GNAT as Force A with HMS BARHAM and HMS MALAYA as Force C).


15th - Deployed with HMS TERROR and HM Australian Destroyers VAMPIRE VENDETTA and WATERHEN to provide naval gunfire support to military advance against retreating Italian army units.


16th - Carried out Bombardment at Bardia.


30th - During patrol off Bardia intercepted and captured Italian schooner.



1 9 4 1




2nd - Provided screen for HMS TERROR with HM DAINTY during Bardia bombardment.


3rd - Detached from HMS TERROR with HMS DAINTY and joined screen for HM Battleships WARSPITE, BARHAM and MALAYA for bombardment of Sidi Barrani. Returned to Alexandria on completion.


11th - Deployed with HM Destroyers VAMPIRE, VENDETTA and STUART as screen for HMS EAGLE and HMS BARHAM during offensive sweep in eastern Mediterranean.


15th - Operation cancelled and returned to Alexandria with major units.


17th - Arrived at Alexandria.


21st - Resumed Inshore Squadron deployment.


22nd - Deployed with HM Monitors TERROR and EREBUS, HM River Gunboat LADYBIRD, HMAS STUART and HMAS VAMPIRE for support of the 6th Australian Division during attack on Tobruk. (Note: Search for  Italian cruiser SAN GIORGIO was also carried out.)




At Alexandria.


7th - Visited by Australian Prime Minister during period in harbour.


12th - Deployed for military support with Inshore Squadron.


13th - Deployed at Benghazi with HMAS VAMPIRE and HMAS STUART for clearance of harbour obstructions.


15th - Escorted HMS terror from Bardia to Tobruk.


19th - Deployed with HMAS STUART as escort for convoy from Tobruk to Alexandria.




Nominated for escort of military convoys to and from Greece. (Operation LUSTRE - Reinforcement of allied forces in Greece.)




Convoy escort duties in continuation.


10th - Escort of convoy to Piraeus.


13th - Joined escort for Convoy AS23 from Piraeus.


18th - Arrived at Alexandria and resumed Inshore Squadron duties. (Note: Following air attacks during passage sank two mercantiles under escort which had been disabled and were unable to proceed.)


19th - Joined HMAS STUART and HMAS WATERHEN as escort for HM Cruiser COVENTRY and HM Supply Ship GLENGYLE during passage to Bardia with Commando unit for raid of the port.


20th - Returned to Alexandria with same ships


23rd - Sailed from Alexandria with HMAS STUART, HM Cruisers CALCUTTA and PHOEBE as escort for Convoy AG13 to Suda Bay for evacuation of allied troops from Greece (Operation DEMON).


24th - Passage to Greek coast from Suda Bay with same ships, HM Corvettes HYACINTH and SALVIA.


24th - Embarked troops and stores. Sailed for Alexandria with call at Suda Bay to discharge troops.


29th - Deployed with HM Aircraft Carrier FORMIDABLE, HMAS STUART HM Destroyer GREYHOUND to join other Fleet units covering passage of convoy GA15.




3rd - Returned to Alexandria with Fleet units.


5th - Escorted first relief convoy to Tobruk with HMAS WATERHEN after the garrison was isolated.


10th - Deployed with HMAS VAMPIRE as escort for Convoy AS30 from Suda Bay to Alexandria.


16th - Deployed with HMS COVENTRY, HM Sloop AUCKLAND and HMAS WATERHEN to take 700 troops of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders from Egypt to Timbakion, Crete to reinforce defence of the island.


19th - Returned to Alexandria.


23rd - Passage to Crete with HMAS STUART and HMAS VENDETTA (Note: HMS FIJI was sunk after sustained air attacks on 22nd May and rescue operations had been delayed by fear of further losses.)


24th - Returned to Alexandria with Fleet units.


25th - Deployed with screen for Fleet units during air attacks on Scarpanto by HMS FORMIDABLE. Under air attacks.


26th - Deployed as escort for HMS FORMIDABLE with HM Destroyers DECOY, HEREWARD and HMAS VENDETTA during return passage to Alexandria.




5th - Resumed Inshore Squadron deployment for Tobruk support. Deployed with HM Destroyers VENDETTA (RAN), WATERHEN (RAN), VAMPIRE (RAN), DEFENDER, DECOY, DAINTY, HM Sloops FLAMINGO, AUCKLAND and PARRAMATTA (RAN) for supply of stores and personnel to Tobruk garrison. (Note: Ships were under sustained air attacks during which HMAS WATERHEN and HMS AUCKLAND were sunk. This duty continued nightly for the remainder of ship's service at Alexandria.)




Tobruk support in continuation.


13th - Sailed from Tobruk for last time and arrived in Alexandria with only one engine operational.


Nominated for return to Australia.


24th - Took passage from Alexandria for Sydney




Passage to Darwin with calls at Aden and in Ceylon.




12th - Arrived at Darwin.


25th - Arrived at Sydney to Pay-Off for major refit.




Taken in hand for refit at Sydney.


November to December  


Under refit.



1 9 4 2


January to February  


Under refit On completion of post refit trials deployed for convoy escort and support




30th - Recommissioned.




Post refit trials and shakedown..




Deployed for local convoy defence based at Sydney.


12th - Transferred to Fremantle for convoy defence and patrol in Indian Ocean Australian coastal waters.


June to August  


Fremantle deployment in continuation.




Nominated for support of military operations.


20th - Arrived at Darwin for support of Australian garrison at Timor.


22nd - Took passage to Timor with troops embarked.


23rd - Grounded in Betano Bay (position 0.11S 125.42E) whilst landing troops. Unable to move clear because of disembarkation activities.


24th - Under air attacks and sustained major damage. One ZERO fighter aircraft shot down


25th - Demolished by crew when tow and salvage found impossible. Ship's company rescued by HM Australian Minesweepers KALGOORLIE and WARNAMBOOL. (Note: Crew returned to Darwin with only seven minor casualties.)







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 6B















MF 003





MW 003





MW 004





ME 004





AN 008





AG 007





ASF 021





AN 030





AS 030/1










ZK 012








(Note on Convoys)



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revised 11/7/11
further editing is required