Fleet Destroyer ordered on 2nd February 1931
from Vickers Armstrong at Barrow
under the 1930 Programme. The ship was laid
down on 22nd June 1931 as Yard
Number 674 and launched on 7th April 1932 as
the 6th RN ship to carry the name,
introduced in 1797 for a Gunvessel.
It was previously used by a 1911 destroyer
sold in 1921. Build was completed on 31st
October 1932 for a contract price of
£223,979 excluding the Admiralty supplied
equipment such as guns, ammunition
and wireless outfits. She joined the 1st
Destroyer Flotilla in the
Mediterranean early the next year. This ship
was then re-commissioned in April
1934 after refit at Devonport and in November
1934 sailed to join the 8th
Destroyer Flotilla on the China. Station.
During pre war deployment in the Far
East she had some machinery defects requiring
several weeks under repair at
Singapore and Hong Kong. Before outbreak of
WW2 the Flotilla was designated
21st Destroyer Flotilla.
B a t t
l e H o n o u r s
HELIGOLAND 1914 - DOGGER BANK 1915 - JUTLAND 1916 - CALABRIA
1940 - SPARTIVENTO 1940 - MATAPAN 1941 - MALTA
CONVOYS 1941 - GREECE 1941 - CRETE 1941 -
H e r a l d i
c D a t a
Badge: On a
Field Red a fencing buckler and rapier
Silver and Gold.
M o t t
‘By defence I conquer’
e t a i
l s o f
W a r S e r v i
Naval History Homepage
type name in Site Search)
1 9 3 9
Transferred to Mediterranean Fleet and took
passage to Alexandra with Flotilla.
Joined Mediterranean Fleet at Alexandria.
Deployed for Contraband Control duty in
Fleet and patrol duties in Mediterranean with
Nominated for transfer to Gibraltar for
1 9 4 0
Passage to Gibraltar for Atlantic convoy
Deployed for anti-submarine patrol off
Transferred to West Africa Command based at
Freetown for convoy protection.
Arrived at Freetown
Atlantic convoy defence in continuation.
Nominated for return to Gibraltar.
Escorted HM Cruiser NEPTUNE from Freetown.
Arrived at Gibraltar with HMS NEPTUNE.
Joined 10th Destroyer Flotilla, Mediterranean
Fleet for convoy defence and Fleet screening
Passage to eastern Mediterranean.
Escorted Convoy US2 carrying ANZAC troops to
Middle East through Red Sea.
Deployed with Flotilla with Mediterranean Fleet
units preparing for the entry of Italy
(For details of naval activities in
Mediterranean after June 1940 see THE BATTLE FOR
THE MEDITERRANEAN by D MacIntyre, ENGAGE THE
ENEMY MORE CLOSELY
by Corelli Bamett and Naval Staff History (HMSO
Deployed with HM Destroyers DAINTY, DEFENDER,
DIAMOND, ILEX, JERVIS, JUNO
and H M Australian Destroyer VOYAGER to screen
HM Aircraft Carrier EAGLE, HM
Battleships RAMILLIES, ROYAL SOVEREIGN, HM
LIVERPOOL, NEPTUNE, ORION and HM Australian
Cruiser SYDNEY to provide cover
for passage of Convoys MF1 and MS1 to Egypt from
Malta (Operation MA3).
(Note: These convoys were evacuating personnel
Took part in sinking Italian submarine CONSOLE
GENERALE LUIZZI in position SE of
Crete with HM Destroyers DAINTY and ILEX.
Cruisers in action with three Italian
(Note: Because of the high expenditure of 6in
ammunition during the engagement the operation
was abandoned and Fleet returned to Alexandria.
Took part in sinking Italian submarines
ARGONAUTA and UEBI SCEBELI in position SW
of Crete with same ships.
Returned to Alexandria with Fleet.
Prepared for screening duties during repeat of
cover for passage of same convoys.
Sailed with HM Destroyers DAINTY, HASTY,
HOSTILE, HYPERION, ILEX, IMPERIAL,
JANUS, JUNO, VAMPIRE (RAN) and VOYAGER as screen
for HMS EAGLE, HM
Battleships WARSPITE, MALAYA and ROYAL
SOVEREIGN, HM Cruisers GLOUCESTER,
LIVERPOOL, NEPTUNE, ORION and SYDNEY (RAN) to
provide cover for passage of
Took part in engagement by these ships of
Mediterranean Fleet with Italian heavy squadron
(Battle of Calabria - see above references).
(Note: Italian squadron included battleships
CAVOUR and CESARE, 16 cruisers and four
destroyers. Italian ships withdrew after HMS
WARSPITE returned Italian fire and air
attacks from HMS EAGLE).
Deployed in Eastern Mediterranean.
Deployed with H M Destroyers DECOY, HASTY,
HAVOCK, HEREWARD, HERO,
HYPERION, ILEX, JANUS, JERVIS, M3HAWK and NUBIAN
as screen for HM
Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS, HM Battleships
MALAYA, RAMILLIES and WARSPITE,
HM Cruisers AJAX, GLOUCESTER, ORION, SYDNEY
(RAN) and YORK providing distant
cover for passage of Convoy MW3 from Egypt to
Malta and Convoy ME3 from Malta
(Note: This was part of a major operation (COAT)
which included the passage of
reinforcement warships from Gibraltar to join
Fleet at Alexandria)
Detached with HM Destroyers DECOY and VAMPIRE
(RAN) as screen for HMS RAMILLIES
and. HM Cruiser COVENTRY to escort return Convoy
Sailed from Malta with ME3 comprising three
empty supply ships.
Under air attack.
Returned to Alexandria after ME3 arrived at Port
Deployed with HM Destroyers DIAMOND, GALLANT,
GREYHOUND and HEREWARD as
screen for HMS RAMILLIES, HM Cruisers BERWICK,
COVENTRY and NEWCASTLE in
Force D to cover the passage of Convoy MW4 from
Egypt to Malta.
(Note: This was part of another major operation
(COLLAR) which included passage of
warships to reinforce the Fleet in the Eastern
HMS RAMILLIES and HMS BERWICK were leaving Fleet
in Eastern Mediterranean.
See above references.
Joined escort for Convoy MW4, HM Cruisers
GLASGOW, GLOUCESTER and YORK
Force D detached from MW5 off Malta and briefly
joined HMS EAGLE, H M Battleships
BARHAM and MALAYA (Force C).
Detached as screen for Force D off Pantelleria
and continued on westward passage through
With Force D screen met reinforcement ships (HM
Destroyer HOTSPUR, HM Cruisers
MANCHESTER and SOUTHAMPTON west of Sicilian
Channel and took joint passage to
rejoin Mediterranean Fleet ships off Malta.
(Note: Other snips in screen for Force D were HM
Destroyers DIAMOND, GREYHOUND
GALLANT and HEREWARD).
Took part in brief engagement with Italian
battle group which disengaged after exchange of
(Battle of Spartivento - See above references
Part of screen for Mediterranean Fleet units
during passage to Malta as escort for Convoy ME4
Arrived at Alexandria
1 9 4 1
Deployed with HM Destroyer DIAMOND and Cruiser
CALCUTTA as Force C for
escort of Convoy MW5J during passage to Malta
(Note: This was part of complex operation
including passage of Convoys ME5 and
ME6 from Malta as well as a military convoy from
Western Mediterranean to
Piraeus (Operation EXCESS).
Cover was being provided by major Fleet units).
Entered Malta with Convoy MW5J.
Rejoined Fleet destroyers in screen for major
Fleet units including HM Aircraft Carrier
ILLUSTRIOUS for westward passage to meet EXCESS
convoy from Gibraltar.
Under heavy and sustained air attacks by German
(See above references)
Detached with HMS CALCUTTA to escort ss
LANARKSHIRE and ss RODIO to join
EXCESS Convoy (ME6) for passage to Egypt.
Under air attacks during which HMS SOUTHAMPTON
was damaged and had to be sunk.
Passage to Port Said with screen covered by HMS
EAGLE, HMS BARHAM and HMS AJAX.
Arrived at Alexandria with Fleet screen.
Passage to Malta for refit
Taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard.
On completion of post refit trials took passage
to Alexandria to rejoin Fleet.
Rejoined Flotilla for Fleet screening duties.
Deployed with screen for Mediterranean Fleet
units covering passage of military convoys to
In action with Fleet units against Italian
warships (Battle of Matapan).
(Note: Major ships involved included HMS
WARSPITE, HMS VALIANT, HMS
FORMIDABLE. See MATAPAN by S W C Pack and Naval
Fleet screening duties with Flotilla in
continuation for protection of convoys to Greek
and support of military withdrawal in western
Escorted Convoy GA14 with HMS HEREWARD from
Took part in evacuation of allied troops from
Greece (Operation DEMON)
(Note: Other destroyers involved were STUART,
VOYAGER, VENDETTA, WATERHEN,
VAMPIRE (all RAN), DIAMOND, DECOY DEFENDER,
HERO, HOTSPUR, HEREWARD, ISIS, NUBIAN, KANDAHAR,
and KIMBERLEY. See Naval Staff History).
Deployed with Flotilla for Fleet screening
Took part in operations in defence of Crete and
later assisted with evacuation.
(See Naval Staff History and BATTLE OF THE WINE
DARK SEA by Lind).
Transferred to Inshore Squadron for defence of
convoys to Tobruk and support of military
Damaged by air attacks off Tobruk in company
with HMS WATERHEN (RAN).
Took HMAS WATERHEN in tow.
HMAS WATERHEN capsized and sunk during tow in
position 32.15N 25.20E.
Inshore Squadron deployment in continuation on
completion of repair.
Escorted supply convoy to Tobruk with HMAS
In action with aircraft in defence of convoy off
Sustained major damage after bomb exploded under
hull. Back broken and Engine Room
Taken in tow by VENDETTA after majority of
ship's company taken off.
Sank in position 31.45N 25.31E after taking
Remaining crew taken off and all complement
CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of
convoy lists have not been cross-checked
with the text above
convoy as escort