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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2005

HMS HASTY (H 24) -  H-class Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

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

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H-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered from Denny's at Dumbarton under 1934 Programme on 13th December 1934. The ship was laid down on 15th April 1935 and launched on 5th May 1936 as the fourth Royal Navy warship to carry this name, dating from 1798. She was completed on 11 November 1936 and her build cost was 248,611 excluding Admiralty supplied items such as guns and signalling outfits. Her service prior to WW2 was with the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla in the Mediterranean. This ship was adopted by the civil community of Scarborough, then in the East Riding of Yorkshire following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in February 1942. She had a most outstanding career in WW2 as shown by the award of 11 Battle Honours in less than 3 years.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s


ATLANTIC 1939 - NORWAY 1940 - CALABRIA 1940 - SPADA 1940 - MEDITERRANEAN 1940-41 - MATAPAN 1941 - GREECE 1941 - CRETE 1941 - LIBYA 1941-42 - SIRTE 1942 - MALTA CONVOYS 1941-42


H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Red,  a  Spear gold winged silver

(Note: Latin 'Hasta' a spear)


M o t t o

Certe  Ac Celeriter:  "Sure and Swift'



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


September             Carrying cut work-up in Malta prior to rejoining 2nd Destroyer Flotilla in the Mediterranean Fleet

                                after re-commissioning.

                3rd          Deployed on escort and Contraband Control duty in Mediterranean.


October                  Transferred to Force K based at Freetown for search in Atlantic to intercept surface raiders and

                                blockade runners with HM Destroyers HARDY, HERO, HASTY and HOSTILE of 2nd Destroyer



November              Atlantic search duties in continuation.


December              Diverted to join warships on passage to Plate estuary after German battleship GRAF SPEE sought

                                refuge in Montevideo.

                                Arrived after GRAF SPEE had scuttled.

                                Resumed trade defence duties in Atlantic.

                                (For details of activities in the Atlantic see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by

                                Corelli Barnett and Naval Staff History).


1 9 4 0


January                  Withdrawn from Atlantic duty to return to UK and took passage.



                12th        During passage intercepted German blockade runner MOREA off coast of Spain.

                                Captured enemy ship.


March                    Under refit at Devonport.

                                Nominated for service with Home Fleet on completion.

                19th        With HM Destroyer VIVIEN, escorted to Newcastle damaged destroyer HMS JERVIS which

                                had been in collision with a Swedish merchant ship in the North Sea.


April                       Deployed at Scapa Flow for escort of major Home Fleet ships during Atlantic operations to

                                cover planned minelay off Norway and for interception of enemy ships on passage to

                                attack shipping. (Operation RUPERT/R4)

                                (Note: This plan was overtaken by events)

                                (For details see CARRIER GLORIOUS by J Winton, NARVIK by D Macintyre and Naval

                                Staff History (HMSO, 2001))

                8th          After German invasion of Norway deployed escort duty and defence of Home Fleet ships

                                supporting military operations in Norway.

                                Under heavy air attacks during passage to Narvik area.

                                For details of the disastrous operations off Norway see above references and THE DOOMED

                                EXPEDITION by T Adams.

                13th        Under repair at Dundee

                20th        On completion of repair resumed Home Fleet duties

                                (Note: Following allied landings in Norway, Home Fleet destroyers were deployed for escort

                                of military convoys, support of military operations and AA defence of ships in

                                landing places.)

                23rd        Escorted HM Aircraft Carriers GLORIOUS and ARK ROYAL during air operations off

                                Norway (Operation DX).

                27th        Escorted HMS GLORIOUS on passage to Scapa Flow to embark reinforcement aircraft and to




                2nd         Assisted in evacuation of allied forces at Namsos and came under sustained air attacks.

                16th        Transferred to Mediterranean with Flotilla for Fleet service.

                                Passage to Alexandria,


June                        Deployed with Fleet screen in Mediterranean during cover of convoys on passage to Malta and


                                (Note: Mediterranean Fleet was in a high state of readiness in anticipation of was with Italy.)

                28th        Nominated for escort of Fleet units escorting convoy to Malta (Operation ME1)

                                Operation postponed.



                7th          Deployed with HM Destroyers DAINTY, DEFENDER, HOSTILE, HYPERION, ILEX,

                                IMPERIAL, JANUS, JUNO, VAMPIRE (RAN) and VOYAGER as screen for HM Aircraft

                                Carrier EAGLE, HM Battleships MALAYA. ROYAL SOVEREIGN and WARSPITE.

                                HM Cruisers GLOUCESTER, ORION, LIVERPOOL, NEPTUNE and SYDNEY (RAN)

                                to cover passage of Malta convoy. (Operation MA5).

                9th          Took part in engagement with Italian Fleet off Calabria whilst covering passage of convoy

                                (Battle of Calabria).

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

                                FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by D Macintyre, MALTA CONVOYS by R Woodman and

                                Naval Staff History (HMSO- 2001.).

                10th        Remained with Fleet units to cover air attacks by HMS EAGLE on Augusta, Sicily.

                19th        Deployed in Eastern Mediterranean with HM Destroyers HERO, HYPERION and ILEX as

                                escort for HM Australian Cruiser SYDNEY.

                                Engaged and sank the Italian cruiser BARTOLOMEO COLLEONI

                                (Battle of Spada - References as above)


August                  Mediterranean Fleet deployment with Flotilla in continuation





                2nd         Participated in sinking of Italian submarine BERILLO off Egyptian coast with HM Destroyer


.                               Italian crew members including the captain were saved.



                6th          Deployed with HM Destroyers DECOY, DEFENDER, HAVOCK, HEREWARD, HERO,

                                HYPERION, ILEX. JANUS, JERVlS, ,JUNO, MOHAWK and NUBIAN as destroyer screen

                                for HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS, HM Battleships MALAYA, RAMILLIES, VALIANT

                                and WARSPITE, HM Cruiser SYDNEY and HM Cruiser YORK to provide Distant Cover for

                                passage of Malta Convoy MW3 (Operation MB6).

                                (Note: This was combined with Operation COAT to pass HM Battleship BARHAM,

                                HM Cruisers BERWICK and GLASGOW (Force F) to reinforce Fleet at Alexandria.

                11th        Escorted HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS during attack on Italian Fleet lying at Taranto,

                                (Operation JUDGEMENT).

                13th        Deployed with Fleet units which covered MW3 and ships of Force F to provide the Distant Cover

                                for passage of return convoy ME3 from Malta to Alexandria.

                14th        Returned to Alexandria with Fleet.

                18th        Escorted ships of Mediterranean Fleet during bombardment of Valona, Albania by HM

                                Battleships WARSPITE and VALIANT.


December              Mediterranean Fleet deployment in continuation.

                16th        Deployed with destroyer screen for major ships providing Distant Cover for the passage of Malta

                                Convoy MW5 (Operation MC2) .

                22nd       Detached with HM Destroyers HERO, HEREWARD, HYPERION and ILEX as escort for HM

                                Battleship MALAYA and two supply ships (Convoy MG1 ) to Malta. HMS HYPERION was

                                torpedoed and later sank.

                                HMS ILEX was detached to assist.

                                (Note: This was part of a combined operation to pass HMS MALAYA to Gibraltar with MG1

                                See above references.

                24th        Arrived at Gibraltar and retained for future operation.


1 9 4 1


January                  Nominated for escort of military convoy to Eastern Mediterranean.

                                (Operation EXCESS - See above references).

                7th          Joined HM Force F at Gibraltar with HM Destroyers HEREWARD, HERO and JAGUAR as

                                screen for HM Cruiser BONAVENTURE for transit to Eastern Mediterranean.

                10th        Under unsuccessful attacks by Italian submarine and E-Boats. (HMS BONAVENTURE sank

                                Italian torpedo boat VEGA).

                                Met Mediterranean Fleet and took passage to Alexandria. (HM Destroyer GALLANT of Force A

                                was mined and had to be towed to Malta). Deployed with Fleet to cover passage of convoy ME6

                                to Alexandria from Malta.

                                Under sustained and heavy on Fleet units deployed to ensure safe passage of Convoy to


                                (Note: These were being made by dive bombers of German Fliegerkorps X recently moved

                                to Mediterranean, See references.)

                                After HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS was seriously damaged escorted carrier to Malta

                                with HMS JAGUAR.

                12th        Embarked military personnel at Suda Bay for passage to Malta.

                16th        Rejoined Flotilla at Alexandria.


February                Deployed with Fleet in Eastern Mediterranean covering the passage of personnel convoy to

                                Malta (Operation MC8).

                                (Note: Operations in Eastern Mediterranean were restricted until HMS FORMIDABLE had

                                joined Fleet to replace HMS ILLUSTRIOUS. See references.).



                20th        Deployed with destroyer screen for HMS FORMIDABLE, HMS BARHAM, HMS VALIANT,

                                HM Cruisers GLOUCESTER and YORK with HM Destroyers HEREWARD, ILEX, JERVIS,

                                STUART (RAN) and VENDETTA (RAN) covering passage of Convoy MW6 to Malta.

                                (Operation MC9).

                22nd       Deployed as screen for HM Cruisers AJAX, GLOUCESTER, ORION and PERTH (RAN)

                                with HM Destroyers ILEX, HEREWARD and VENDETTA in Aegean to tempt a sortie by

                                Italian Fleet in order to force an engagement.

                27th        After Italian Fleet movement reported by aircraft ordered to meet HMS WARSPITE,

                                HMS BARHAM, HMS VALIANT and HMS FORMIDABLE SW of Crete.

                28th        Took part in Fleet action against Italian Fleet at Battle of Matapan.

                                (For details see MATAPAN by S Pack, ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY,

                                THE BATTLE FOR THE M5DITERRENEAN and Naval Staff History.)


April                       Fleet screening duty in continuation.

                18th        Deployed as screen for HMS FORMIDABLE, HMS WARSPITE, HMS VALIANT,

                                HM Cruisers AJAX, GLOUCESTER, ORION, PHOEBE and CALCUTTA with HM

                                Destroyers ENCOUNTER, HAVOCK, HERO, HEREWARD, JAGUAR, JUNO,.

                                DEFENDER, DECOY, GREYHOUND and ILEX for passage to Suda Bay, Crete for

                                cover of Convoy ME7 from Malta TO Alexandria.

                20th        Joined Force B as screen for HMS WARSPITE, BARHAM, VALIANT and HM

                                Cruiser GLOUCESTER with HM Destroyers HAVOCK, HEREWARD, HERO, HOTSPUR,

                                JAGUAR, JANUS, JERVIS and JUNO to carry out bombardment of Tripoli

                                (Operation MD3).

                21st         Deployed in minesweeping role with HMS HOTSPUR, HERO and HAVOCK prior to s

                                10 minute bombardment by Force B units.

                23rd        Returned to Alexandria Force B ships except HMS JAGUAR, JUNO, JANUS and JERVIS

                                which had been detached to form Force K in Malta.

                24th        Took part in evacuation of British troops from Greece with Mediterranean Fleet.

                                (Operation DEMON. For details see above references).

                30th        Resumed Fleet duties when released from DEMON.



                6th          Part of escort for Fleet units covering passage of military convoys through the Mediterranean.

                                In action with aircraft.

                                (Operation TIGER See references).

                12th        Returned to Alexandria with eastbound convoy.

                18th        Deployed with Fleet units in support of military operations in Crete.

                21st         In action with Force D against German invasion craft north of Cannae with HM Cruisers

                                DIDO and ORION, HM Destroyers JANUS, KIMBERLEY and HEREWARD.

                                Sank 3 ships and 12 caiques.

                27th        Took part in evacuation of allied troops from Crete

                                Under heavy and sustained air attacks.

                                (See references above)


June                        Deployed in support of Crete evacuation.

                                Nominated for support of military operations in Syria.

                8th          Deployed off Syria for defence of Fleet units

                                (Operation EXPORTER See RELUCTANT ENEMIES by W Tute and Naval Staff History.)



                4th          Provided naval gunfire support for shore operation in Syria.


August                  Deployed in support of Tobruk garrison and as escort to supply convoys.

to                            See Naval Staff History (HMSO 2001)



November              Resumed Mediterranean Fleet duties with Flotilla

                15th        Joined Fleet units covering passage of HM Supply Ship BRECONSHIRE on passage to Malta

                                and returning convoy of empty ships.



                17th        Took part in Fleet action with Italian warships which retreated from area.

                                (1st Battle of Sirte See references.).

                21st         Resumed Tobruk support duties.

                                Stood by damaged Landing Ship HMS GLENROY after torpedo damage.

                23rd        Participated in sinking of U79 off Tobruk with HM Destroyer HOTSPUR.

                                For details see U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp and above references,

                                (Note: This was first German submarine to be sunk in Eastern Mediterranean).


1 9 4 2


January                  Deployed with Fleet units covering passage of Malta convoys MW8A and MF4.


February                Part of Force B covering Malta supply convoy MF5

                12th        Joined covering force for 3 ship Malta supply convoy (MW9A and MW9B) .

                14th        In action with dive bomber aircraft.

                                After two merchantmen had been sunk and one other damaged the covering operation

                                was called off and force returned to Alexandria.

                                (See references including MALTA CONVOYS by R Woodman.)

                22nd       Transferred to 22nd Destroyer Flotilla as part of reorganisation of Destroyer Flotillas in



March                    Fleet screening duties in continuation.

                15th        Part of screen for Fleet units during bombardment of Rhodes..

                20th        Joined close escort for Malta supply convoy MW10.

                22nd       Drove off torpedo carrying aircraft.

                                In action with Italian surface ships including Battleship LITTORIO and two cruisers.

                                Sustained serious weather damage during this action

                                (2nd Battle of Sirte - see above references) .


April                       Resumed duties with Flotilla after repair.


May                        Fleet screening and support of military operations in continuation.



                12th        Joined covering force for passage of westbound Malta convoy (Operation VIGOROUS.

                14th        Under heavy and sustained air attacks against MW10 and under threat from Italian Fleet

                                which had sailed to intercept the passage of this supply convoy to Malta.

                15th        In action with E-Boats west of Crete.

                                After HM Cruiser NEWCASTLE was torpedoed gave chase until the enemy craft no

                                longer presented a threat and returned to give protection to HMS NEWCASTLE.

                                Two hours later hit by torpedo from Italian E-Boat S55 on port side forward.

                                Bow structure completely destroyed causing fire in forward Boiler Room and flooding.

                                Ship unable to steam ahead.

                                Ship had to be abandoned and was sunk by torpedo from HM destroyer HOTSPUR which

                                rescued most of the ship's company, 13 of whom were lost.

                                (For details of this disastrous operation and its ill-directed control by shore authorities see

                                ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C. Barnet, BATTLE FOR THE

                                MEDITERRANEAN by D Macintyre, MALTA CONVOYS by R Woodman.).

                                (Note: Casualty List was published on 23rd July 1942.)






by Don Kindell


This convoy list has not been cross-checked with the text above






Date convoy sailed

Joined convoy as escort

Convoy No.

Left convoy

Date convoy arrived








BLUE 001










SL 005





SL 017F





MW 004





ASF 014





ASF 022





TA 003/M





TA 005/M





TA 007/M





AT 011/M





AT 016/M





AT 022/M





AT 032/M





TA 025/M





AT 041/M





AT 043/M





TA 040/M





MW 011








(Note on Convoys)


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revised 31/7/11
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