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

HMS DAINTY (H 53) -  D-class Destroyer including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Dainty (Photo Ships, click to enlarge)

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D or DEFENDER-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered from Fairfield's of Govan on 2nd February 1931 under the 1930 Build Programme. The ship was laid down on 20th April 1941 and launched on the 7th July 1932 as the second RN ship to carry the name. It was introduced in 1589 for a ship captured in 1594 by Spain after a four day battle during which all her crew were killed. Build was completed on 22nd December 1932 at cost of £229,378 excluding the Admiralty supplied equipment such as weapons and communications equipment. This ship served in the Mediterranean and after re-commissioning in 1934 was deployed on the China Station where she remained until 1939 apart from a detachment for duty in the Red Sea for nine months in 1935-36. She was transferred to the Mediterranean en 3rd Sept. 1939


B a t t l e  H o n o u r s


ATLANTIC   1940 - MEDITERRANEAN   1940-41 - CALABRIA  1940 - LIBYA  1940-41 - MALTA CONVOYS   1941


H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge:  On a Field Blue, a Fan White and Gold.


M o t t o

Dulce quod utile:  'It is pleasant if it is useful’



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



                3rd           Took passage with HM Destroyer DUNCAN to join Fleet at Alexandria.

                30th         Joined Mediterranean Fleet.


October                   Deployed for Contraband Control in the Mediterranean.




December               Refit in Malta

                                Transferred to Freetown for duty in 2nd Destroyer Division


1 9 4 0


January                   Deployed for Commerce Raider search in South Atlantic based at Freetown.




March                     Transferred to Mediterranean Fleet.


April                       Passage to Malta

                21st         Taken in hand for refit in Malta.


May                        Under refit


June                        On completion joined 10th Destroyer Flotilla, Mediterranean Fleet.

                12th         Rescued survivors from HM Cruiser CALYPSO off Crete.

                20th         Deployed with HM Destroyers STUART (RAN), DECOY, and HASTY as screen for French

                                battleship LORRAINE,. HM Cruisers ORION, NEPTUNE and SYDNEY (RAN) during

                                bombardment of Bardia.

                                (Note: This was the last Anglo-French joint operation in Mediterranean).

                27th         Part of destroyer screen for W Aircraft Carrier EAGLE, HM Battleships RAMILLIES

                                and ROYAL SOVEREIGN, HM Cruisers LIVERPOOL, NEPTUNE, ORION and H M

                                Australian Cruiser SYDNEY during cover of passage of Convoys MF1 and MS1 from Malta.

                                (Operation MAS).

                                (Note: Other escorts were m Destroyers DECOY, DEFENDER, ILEX, DIAMOND,

                                JERVIS, JUNO and HM Australian Destroyer VOYAGER.

                                In action against Italian submarine CONSOLE GENERAL LIUZZI with HM Destroyer ILEX

                                Enemy submarine scuttled after surface gunfire engagement east of Crete.

                                (Note: Operation MA3 was cancelled after 3 Italian destroyers were engaged in an action

                                action by cruisers of the Mediterranean Fleet and expended most of their 6”

                                ammunition. See MALTA CONVOYS by R Woodhead.).

                29th         Sank Italian submarine UEBI SCEBELLI by depth charge attack west of Crete.

                                (Note: This submarine is recorded as damaged in THE NAVAL WAR IN THE

                                MEDITERRANEAN by J Greene and A Massiginani.)

                                Attacked Italian submarine SALPA without success.



                7th           Sailed as screen for HMS EAGLE, H M Battleships MALAYA, ROYAL SOVEREIGN, HM

                                Cruisers GLOUCESTER, LIVERPOOL, NEPTUNE, ORION and HMAS SYDNEY with

                                HM destroyers DEFENDER, HASTY, HOSTILE, HYPERION, ILEX, IMPERIAL, JANUS,

                                JUNO, VAMPIRE (RAN) and VOYAGER (RAN).

                                (Operation MA5 - Repeat of Cover for passage of convoys from Malta).

                9th           Took part in Battle of Punta Stilo or Calabria.

                                (For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett, THE BATTLE

                                FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by D Macintyre and Naval Staff History).

                21st         Part of escort for Convoy AN2 from Alexandria to Piraeus.



                29th         Deployed with HM Destroyers JERVIS, JUNO and DIAMOND as escort for Convoy MF2

                                comprising the RFA Tanker PLUMLEAF and two mercantiles during passage from Egypt to

                                Malta with relief supplies.

                                (Note: This was part of a joint deployment by Mediterranean Fleet ships and Force "H" from

                                Gibraltar to pass reinforcements to Fleet at Alexandria. (Operation HATS. See above


                30th         Took part in anti-submarine operation after sonar contact.

                31st         Under air attacks during which ss CORNWALL was badly damaged by three bomb hits and

                                set on fire. There were several casualties.

                                (For details see MALTA CONVOYS by R Woodman) September



                1st           Detached with HMS DIAMOND for escort of  mercantile, ss VOLVO and RFA


                2nd          Rejoined Fleet units for return passage to Alexandria;

                                (Note: Air attacks were made on airfields in Rhodes.)

                5th           Arrived at Alexandria with Fleet units.


October                  Deployed for Fleet screening duties.

                8th           Part of screen for HM Aircraft Carriers ILLUSTRIOUS, EAGLE, HM Battleships

                                MALAYA, RAMILLIES, VALIANT, WARSPITE, HM Cruisers AJAX,

                                GLOUCESTER, LIVERPOOL, ORION, SYDNEY and YORK, with HM Destroyers

                                DECOY, IMPERIAL, JANUS, JERVIS, .JUNO, MOHAWK and NUBIAN to cover

                                passage of Malta Convoys MF3 from Alexandria and MF4 From Malta (Operation MB6).


November              Deployed on convoy defence in Eastern Mediterranean.

                4th           Escorted three supply ships and RFA PLUMLEAF with HM Cruisers CALCUTTA and

                                COVENTRY, HM Australian Destroyers VAMPIRE, VOYAGER and WATERHEN to

                                Piraeus and Malta as Convoy AN6/MW3.

                5th           Remained as for MW3 during passage to Malta when AN3 detached.

                11th         Deployed with Fleet screen during cover of passage of ME3 to Port Said.

                                (Note: Part of Operation COAT which included transfer of HM Battleship BARHAM, HM

                                Cruiser BERWICK and HM Cruiser GLASGOW as reinforcements for the

                                Mediterranean Fleet from UK).


December               Deployed on interception of enemy supply convoys to North Africa.

                31st         Captured two schooners off Bardia.


1 9 4 1



                7th          Part of screen for HMS ILLUSTRIOUS, HMS WARSPITE and HMS VALIANT with

                                HM Destroyers GALLANT, GREYHOUND, GRIFFIN, JERVIS, JUNO, MOHAWK and

                                NUBIAN as Force A to provide cover for passage of military convoy from the western


                                (Operation EXCESS).

                                (Note: The Fleet was under heavy air attacks during this Operation – See above


                                Transferred to Suda Bay for interception patrol and convoy defence.

                                Towed damaged tanker DESMOULEA after torpedo attack off Crete.


February                 Deployed for interception patrol and defence of convoys to Tobruk.

                24th         Sunk in Tobruk harbour by air attack. (Position 32.04N 24.04E).

                                Hit by 1000lb bomb.

                                Major fires caused after magazine to explode.

                                16 killed and 18 wounded.






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








BLUE 004





SL 017





AP 002/1





ASF 014








(Note on Convoys)


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revised 29/7/11
further editing and formatting is required