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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2002

HMAS NAPIER (G 97) -  N-class Flotilla Leader including Convoy Escort Movements 

HMAS Napier (Photo Ships, click to enlarge)

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N-Class destroyer ordered from Fairfield at Govan on 15th April 1939 with another of the same Class and laid down on 26th July that year. The ship was launched on 22nd May 1940 as the 2nd RN ship to carry the name, that of Admiral Sir Charles Napier who commanded the British Fleet at the capture of the island of Bomarsund in the Baltic during the Crimean War. This name had been introduced in 1915 for a destroyer sold in 1921. She was commissioned for service in the Royal Australian Navy on 28th November 1940 and build was completed on 11th December 1940. In May 1942 the ship was adopted by the civil community of Dumbartonshire, Scotland after a successful WARSHIP WEEK  National Savings campaign.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s


CRETE 1941 - LIBYA 1941 - BURMA 1944-45 - OKINAWA 1945


H e r a l d i c   D a t a


Badge: On a Field White a fess wavy Blue. a saltire engrailed

Red surmounted by a crescent White, within the horns

a rose Red.



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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Contractors trials.


28th - Commissioned as HMAS NAPIER for service in the 7th Destroyer Flotilla.




11th - Build completion and commenced acceptance trials based at Greenock..


20th - On completion took passage to Scapa Flow to commence work-up for operational service.


Carried out Full Power Trial on passage.



 1 9 4 1




Deployed at Scapa Flow for work-up


4th - Escorted two armed merchant cruisers to Iceland with HM Destroyers KELLY and Polish ORP PIORUN.


11th - Resumed work-up at Scapa Flow on return from Iceland.


15th - Embarked Prime Minister, US Diplomat Harry Hopkins, Lord and Lady Halifax at Thurso for passage to join HM Battleship KING GEORGE V at Scapa Flow. (Note: Lord Halifax, British Ambassador designate to USA was being taken to Indianapolis by HMS KING GEORGE V to take up his appointment. Winston Churchill and Harry Hopkins were accompanying him but were not taking passage.)




Deployed at Scapa Flow with 7th Destroyer Flotilla on completion of work-up at Scapa Flow with ships of Home Fleet.


2nd - Deployed as escort for HMS KING GEORGE V during return passage in NW Approaches.


6th - Arrived at Scapa Flow with HMS KING GEORGE V.


20th - Deployed as part of escort for HM Battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH and HM Cruiser DIDO during passage from Rosyth to Scapa Flow.




Nominated for service in Mediterranean.


4th - Taken in hand by builder at Govan for repair of defects arising since ship commissioned.


20th - On completion took passage to join military convoy at Greenock.


21st - Sailed from Greenock as part of escort for convoy during passage to Gibraltar.


29th - Detached from convoy on arrival at Gibraltar


31st - Sailed from Gibraltar as escort for ss HIGHLAND MONARCH during passage to Capetown.




17th - Arrived at Simonstown,


Took passage from Simonstown to join Fleet at Alexandria.




Passage in Red Sea.


4th - Arrived at Alexandria for Mediterranean Fleet service.


6th - Took part in Mediterranean Fleet operations in Eastern Mediterranean including defence of military convoy during passage from Malta (Operation TIGER) (Note: This ship was not part of screen for major warships providing cover for convoy MW7 from Alexandria to Malta and the passage of the TIGER convoy and it is assumed that she was part of TIGER convoy escort  from 9th May.)


10th - Under air attacks but unscathed.


12th - Arrived at Alexandria with TIGER convoy.


20th - Part of screen for HM Battleships BARHAM and QUEEN ELIZABETH, HM Aircraft Carrier FORMIDABLE for bombardment of Scarpanto and air attacks on airfield at Pogadia Bay with HM Destroyers JERVIS, NIZAM, JERVIS and other Fleet destroyers.


25th - Deployed for transport of stores and ammunition to Crete garrison.


28th - Sailed from Alexandria as part of Force C for evacuation of allied troops at Sphakia with HMAS NIZAM, HM Destroyers KELVIN and KANDAHAR.


29th - Returned to Alexandria with 244 troops from Sphakia.


30th - Took passage from Alexandria to resume evacuation duties at Sphakia with ships of Force C (Note: During passage HMS KANDAHAR returned to Alexandria with machinery defects and HMS KELVIN was damaged during air attack and also had to return to harbour.)


31st - Embarked troops at Sphakia with HMS NIZAM and sustained slight damage when near missed during air attacks.




1st - Returned to Alexandria with 709 men.


Ship withdrawn from service for repairs.


12th - Taken in hand by HM Depot Ship WOOLWICH


27th - Further repair required and ship remained non-operational.




9th - Passage in tow to Port Said for repair to propulsion machinery.




Under repair at Port Said. On completion transferred to support of Tobruk garrison


18th - Deployed with HM Australian Cruiser HOBART and HMAS NIZAM for Tobruk support. (Note: Troops were embarked in warships for passage.)


26th - Deployed for support of garrison at Tobruk. Embarked troops and stores for Tobruk garrison




11th - Deployed for support of Tobruk garrison


15th - Deployed for further Tobruk trip.


18th - Deployed for further Tobruk trip.


24th - Deployed for further Tobruk trip, (Note: HM Cruisers LATONA and ABDIEL as well as HM Australian Cruiser HOBART and HMAS NIZAM carried 6,500 ANZAC troops which were replaced by British and Polish units.)


25th - Part of screen for Fleet units during diversionary cruise in eastern Mediterranean. (Operation MD6).


27th - Returned to Alexandria with Fleet units. (See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett, Naval Staff History and THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY IN WW2.)


Ship was fitted with 20mm Oerlikon weapons to improve close range AA defence.




19th - Final Tobruk support trip.


On release from Tobruk garrison support deployed for transport of British 50th Division troops from Cyprus.




Transport duties in continuation.


2nd - Deployed for transport of 5th Indian Division troops from Haifa to reinforce garrison in Cyprus.


8th - On release from transport of troops deployed at Alexandria for Fleet screening and interception of enemy supply convoys.


24th - Part of screen for HM Battleships QUEEN ELIZABETH, BARHAM and VALIANT with HM Destroyers NIZAM (RAN), JACKAL, KIPLING, JERVIS and HOTSPUR to provide cover for cruisers carrying out search for enemy supply convoys. Took part in rescue of crew of ss GLENROY torpedoed near Alexandria. (Note: This ship was being used as a store carrier and was later converted for use as a Landing Ship.)


25th - Took part in rescue of survivors from HMS BARHAM after she had been sunk by U331 off Sollum. (See Naval Staff History.)




Under repair at Alexandria. (Note: Did not take part in Operation MF1 to escort HM Supply Ship BRECONSHIRE during passage to Malta.)


Nominated for transfer to the Eastern Fleet for service in the Indian Ocean. (Note: This followed the request of the Australian Government that their armed forces be made available for the defence of Australia following the fall of Malaya and Singapore.)


31st - Carried out bombardment of Bardia with HMAS NIZAM. (Note: 7th Destroyer Flotilla then also included HM Destroyers JACKAL, KIPLING, NESTOR and NIZAM.)



 1 9 4 2




3rd - Took passage from Alexandria with HMAS NESTOR and HMAS NIZAM to join Eastern Fleet. Deployed in Red Sea.


23rd - Escorted HM Aircraft Carrier INDOMITABLE with HMAS NESTOR and HMAS NIZAM during passage from Port Sudan to Indian Ocean (Operation OPPONENT). HMS INDOMITABLE was carrying HURRICANE aircraft for delivery to Singapore. (See WAR WITH JAPAN Volume II (HMSO).)


27th - Aircraft launched near Cocos islands after call at Addu Atoll and passage as part of escort.


28th - Further launch of aircraft. (See WAR WITH JAPAN for details.)




Escort for HMS INDOMITABLE in continuation in Indian Ocean.


2nd - Joined Eastern Fleet.


24th - Arrived at Port Sudan as escort for HMS INDOMITABLE for further aircraft delivery to Singapore.


Passage from Port Sudan as escort for HMS INDOMITABLE with same ships.




3rd - Delivery operation cancelled and HMS INDOMITABLE diverted to Colombo.


5th - Arrived at Colombo and deployed for Fleet duties based at Colombo.


28th - Sailed as part of screen for Force A from Colombo Force A to intercept Japanese force reported on passage in Indian Ocean to carry out air attacks on Ceylon. Force A also included HM Battleship WARSPITE, HM Aircraft INDOMITABLE and FORMIDABLE, HM Cruisers ENTERPRISE, EMERALD, DORSETSHIRE and CORNWALL screened by HM Destroyers FOXHOUND, NESTOR (RAN), PALADIN and HOTSPUR.




Indian Ocean search deployment in continuation. covered by Force B ships. (Note: This comprised HM Aircraft Carrier HERMES and older battleships with destroyer screen.)


3rd - HMS CORNWALL and HMS DORSETSHIRE detached from Force A.


4th - Search unsuccessful and took passage with Force A to refuel at Add Atoll. At Addu Atoll with Force A (Port T). (See WAR WITH JAPAN Volume II) (Note: HMS CORNWALL and HMS DORSETSHIRE were sunk in air attacks on 5th April.)


5th - (Colombo was attacked from Japanese carriers on 5th April.)


8th - Returned to Addu Atoll after failing to intercept returning Japanese force.


9th - Deployed with screen Force A and took passage to Bombay


12th - Detached from screen with HMAS NIZAM during deployment in Arabian Sea to deter Japanese attacks on shipping between Aden and ports in India.


13th - Under routine docking at Bombay and for installation of additional 20mm Oerlikon guns to improve close range AA defence.




On completion took passage to rejoin Eastern Fleet for convoy defence in Indian Ocean (Note: CinC Eastern Fleet decided that Bombay was too vulnerable to future attacks and that Fleet should be based in East Africa instead.)


Nominated for transfer to Mediterranean for support of planned Malta relief operation


27th - Took passage to Mediterranean for detached service with HM Cruiser NEWCASTLE, HM Destroyers NESTOR, INCONSTANT, PALADIN, HOTSPUR and GRIFFIN.




Resumed Mediterranean Fleet service.


13th - Sailed from Alexandria with Mediterranean Fleet and deployed with HM Destroyers HASTY, HERO, INCONSTANT, JAVELIN, JERVIS, KELVIN, NESTOR, NIZAM, NORMAN, PAKENHAM, PALADIN, SIKH and ZULU as screen for HM Cruisers ARETHUSA, BIRMINGHAM CLEOPATRA, DIDO, EURYALUS, HERMIONE and NEWCASTLE to provide escort for Malta Convoy MW11 during passage in eastern Mediterranean. (Operation VIGOROUS). This operation was co-incident with a similar relief convoy from Gibraltar which came under heavy submarine and surface warship attacks although two mercantiles arrived in Malta (Operation HARPOON). HM Battleship CENTURION, disarmed before outbreak of WW2 was also deployed with MW11 and disguised to resemble a KGV Class battleship. Twelve other destroyers were also deployed as close escorts for MW11 for period, prior to arrival of Mediterranean Fleet units. (For details see THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by D Macintyre, ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett, HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR by C Blair and the Naval Staff History.)


14th - Joined MW11 with Fleet units. Under heavy and sustained air attacks. Submarine attack by U77 driven off by HMS PACKENHAM. Convoy under threat of attack by Italian fleet units.


15th - Convoy ordered by CinC ashore in Alexandria to reverse course. Under night attack by German E-Boats during which HMS HASTY was torpedoed and had to be sunk by HMS HOTSPUR. HMS NEWCASTLE was also hit by a torpedo and withdrawn from escort to return to Alexandria. Air attacks resumed after daylight but convoy ordered to resume westward passage although this was later rescinded. During the air attacks HMS ARETHUSA, HMS BIRMINGHAM and HMS CENTURION were all damaged. HMS AIREDALE and HMS NESTOR had to be sunk. Owing to the heavy expenditure of AA ammunition by escorts which would have left insufficient stocks to ensure safe passage to Malta the operation was abandoned.


16th - Returned to Alexandria with Fleet units.


On release from detached service at Alexandria took passage to resume Eastern Fleet duties in Indian Ocean.




Deployed for convoy defence in Indian Ocean.


Nominated for duty with Eastern Fleet units for deception operation. Detached from convoy escort and took passage to join ships of Eastern Fleet during their passage to Colombo from Kilindini.


23rd - Joined HM Destroyers NORMAN, INCONSTANT and Dutch destroyer VAN GALEN for screening of HM Battleship WARSPITE, HM Aircraft Carriers ILLUSTRIOUS and FORMIDABLE, HM Cruisers MAURITIUS and BIRMINGHAM during passage in Indian Ocean as Force A to simulate a possible attack on Andaman Islands. (Operation STAB)..


28th - At Colombo with Force A units including Dutch cruiser HEEMSKERCK and prepared for STAB.


30th - Sailed from Colombo with Force A.




1st - Deception convoys sailed for STAB. Force A sighted by Japanese aircraft and information broadcast by enemy.


2nd - Enemy flying boat shot down by MARTLET aircraft from HMS FORMIDABLE.


Operation terminated as Eastern Fleet ships required for planned operation in Madagascar. Returned to Trincomalee with Eastern Fleet units (For details of Operation STAB See WAR WITH JAPAN, Volume III (HMSO).)




Prepared for operations to complete occupation of Madagascar. Took passage to Kilindini with HMS ILLUSTRIOUS, HMS BIRMINGHAM and Dutch cruiser HEEMSKERCK to join Force M for Madagascar operations.


8th - Met troopship EMPIRE PRIDE and embarked troop of No 5 Commando.


10th - Deployed with Dutch cruiser HEEMSKERCK, Dutch destroyers VAN GALEN, TJERK HIDDES (both sister ships) to land Commando unit at Morondava on west coast of Madagascar (Operation TAMPER). (Note: This attack on a radio station and airfield was a diversion for the main landings at Majunga (Operation STREAM).)


14th - Took part of landings at Tamatave on east coast of Madagascar with ships of Force M (Operation JANE).


29th - Deployed with HMS INCONSTANT and Dutch VAN GALEN to cover landings of South African troops and Royal Marines from HMS BIRMINGHAM at Tulear on SE coast of Madagascar (Operation ROSE).




Resumed convoy defence duties on release from ROSE based at Killindini.




Convoy defence in Indian Ocean in continuation.


28th - Sustained damage after grounding at Kilindini.




8th - Taken in hand for repair and refit at Durban. (Note: 7th Destroyer Flotilla the also included HM Destroyers NEPAL, NIZAM, NORMAN, Dutch destroyers VAN GALEN and TJERK HIDDES.)



 1 9 4 3


January to February

 Under refit




On completion of post refit trials resumed convoy defence duties.


29th - Joined military Convoy WS27 with HM Cruiser FROBISHER, HM Destroyers CATTERICK, FOXHOUND and ROTHERHAM at Durban as escort during passage in Indian Ocean to Aden.




1st - Detached from WS27 with destroyers for escort during passage.


18th - Joined military Convoy WS28 at Durban with HM Destroyer RAIDER as part of escort during initial part of passage to Aden. (Note: HM Cruiser KENYA, HM Destroyers REDOUBT and RELENTLESS already the escort from Cape remained with convoy on departure from Durban.)


20th - Detached from WS28 with destroyers during passage in Indian Ocean.




Passage to Simonstown for support of anti-submarine operations (Note A significant increase in U-Boat activity had required reinforcement of escorts for convoy defence and A/S patrols in area around Cape of Good Hope. See HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR by C Blair and U-BOAT WAR IN THE ATLANTIC (HMSO).)


June to September


Resumed convoy defence duties based at Durban (Note: Use of Fleet destroyers for trade defence including convoy escort and patrol for interception of commerce raiders and blockade runners made their deployment for screening of Eastern Fleet major units an unacceptable option. Both German and Italian submarines were carrying out attacks on shipping and several blockade runners were attempting passage to and from the Far East. Ship was retained at Kilindini for these duties.)


October to December


Deployed for convoy escort between Aden and Bombay. (Note: Significant military reinforcements and additional supplied were being sent to SEAC in this period and required effective defence.)



 1 9 4 4




Convoy escort in continuation Nominated for Fleet screening duties.




Convoy duties when not deployed to take part in preparatory exercises in anticipation of planned Fleet operations.




21st - Joined HM Destroyers QUIBERON, QUILLIAM, QUALITY, QUEENBOROUGH, PATHFINDER, NEPAL, NORMAN, Dutch destroyers VAN GALEN and TJERK HIDDES as screen for HM Battleships QUEEN ELIZABETH and VALIANT, HM Battlecruiser RENOWN, HM Aircraft Carrier FORMIDABLE, HM Cruisers LONDON, GAMBIA (RNZN), CEYLON and CUMBERLAND on departure of Fleet from Trincomalee to meet US aircraft carrier SARATOGA on passage for loan service with British Eastern Fleet. Commodore (Destroyers) Eastern Fleet was embarked.


24th - Refuelled with Fleet units.


27th - Met SARATOGA and screening US destroyers CUMMINGS, DUNLAP and FANNING

. in position 13.10S 85.05E and took joint passage to Ceylon.




2nd - Returned to Ceylon with Fleet and USN ships.


16th - Joined HM Destroyers ROTHERHAM, RACEHORSE, PENN, PETARD, QUIBERON, NEPAL and NAPIER as screen for HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH, HMS VALIANT, French battleship RICHELIEU, HM Cruisers NEWCASTLE, NIGERIA and CEYLON on departure from Trincomalee as Force 69 to provide cover for air operations against targets at Sabang, Sumatra by HMS ILLUSTRIOUS and USS SARATOGA designated Force 70 (Operation COCKPIT). (Note: Force 70 also included HMS RENOWN and HM Cruiser LONDON with HMS QUILLIAM, HMS QUADRANT, HMS QUEENBOROUGH, USS CUMMINGS, USS DUNLAP and USS FANNING as screen.).


18th - HMS GAMBIA and HMS CEYLON joined Force 70.


19th - Deployed with screen during air operations.


On completion took passage with Fleet screen for return to Ceylon.


23rd - Deployed at Ceylon with Eastern Fleet.




6th - Joined HM Destroyers ROTHERHAM, RACEHORSE, PENN, NEPAL, QUIBERON, QUICKMATCH and Dutch destroyer VAN GALEN as screen for HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH, HMS VALIANT, the French battleship RICHELIEU, HMS NIGERIA, HMS NEWCASTLE and Dutch cruiser TROMP on departure from Trincomalee as Force 65 to provide cover during air attacks on Soerabaya by HMS ILLUSTRIOUS and USS SARATOGA, designated Force 66. (Operation TRANSOM) (Note: Force 66 also included HMS RENOWN, HMS CEYLON, HMS GAMBIA and HM Destroyers QUILLIAM, QUADRANT, QUEENBOROUGH, USS CUMMINGS, USS DUNLAP and USS FANNING as screen. Commodore (Destroyers), Eastern Fleet was embarked for this Operation.)


15th - Replenished with Fleet units in Exmouth Bay, Northern Australia.


17th - Deployed with screen for Forces 65 and 66 during air operations. On completion took passage to Ceylon with combined Forces.


18th - US Navy ships on loan service detached for return passage to Pacific.


27th - Arrived in Ceylon with Eastern Fleet units.


June to July


Deployed for convoy defence in Indian Ocean. (Note: Operation CRIMSON an attack on Sabang by Eastern Fleet took place in July, but ship is not recorded with screens for major ships of the Eastern Fleet. See THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by J Winton and WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO) for details. The build-up of the 14th Army and other requirements for the invasion of Burma and Malaya involved an increase in convoys in the Indian Ocean where the shortage of escorts was critical.)




Passage from Addu Atoll to Williamstown Dockyard, Melbourne for refit




Under refit




15th - On completion of post refit trials took passage to resume Eastern Fleet duties.




Eastern Fleet deployment as convoy escort in continuation.


8th - Rescued survivors from ss MARION MOLLER adrift in two lifeboats off east coast of India. (Note: This merchant ship of 3,827grt had been torpedoed and sunk on 5th November.)


22nd - British Pacific Fleet formed in Colombo from units of Eastern Fleet and new arrivals from (Note: The RAN destroyers were allocated to the British Pacific Fleet was formed but were retained in the Eastern Fleet for support of planned operations.)




Nominated for service in Force 64 for support of military operations in Burma.


6th - Passage to Chittagong for support of military operations on Arakan coast with HMAS NEPAL.


13th - Deployed with HM Australian Destroyer NEPAL and HM Harbour Defence Motor Launches 1275 and 1303 as a Bombardment Group based at Chittagong.


 24th - Bombardment duties in support of military operations in Mayu peninsula completed . (Operation ROMULUS) (Note: A total of 13 Bombardments was carried out by the Group. See Naval Staff History.) 7th Destroyer Flotilla also included HM Destroyers NEPAL, NIZAM and NORMAN (all RAN).



1 9 4 5




Force 64 deployment in continuation. for support of landings at Akyab (Operation LIGHTNING)


3rd - Embarked 3rd Commando Brigade units at Teknaf with HMAS NEPAL and HM Sloop SHOREHAM.


Took passage with landing craft as Convoy C to landing position without gunfire support needed.


8th - Nominated for support of assault landing at Myebon by 3rd Commando Brigade (Operation PUNGENT)


12th - Deployed with HM Indian Sloops NARBADA and JUMNA with landing craft for support duties. (Note: Senior officer for Support was embarked. HM Cruiser PHOEBE provided aircraft control for air strikes.)


During air attacks one OSCAR aircraft was shot down by ship.


21st - Took part in bombardment of Ramree Island prior to landings (Operation MATADOR - Note: Joint Force Commander had been embarked and ship was nominated as standby HQ ship for use if needed. See THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by J Winton and WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO) ). Other ships in Force were HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH, HM Cruiser PHOEBE, HM Destroyer RAPID, HM Sloops FLAMINGO and KISTNA (RIN).)


22nd - Escorted HM Battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH from Ramree to Trincomalee.


24th - Detached from escort on arrival and took passage to Colombo for routine docking.




22nd - Released from Eastern Fleet duties and nominated for service with BPF.


23rd - Took passage as escort for HM Aircraft Carrier FORMIDABLE with HM Destroyer URCHIN to Sydney with call at Fremantle.




3rd - At Fremantle.


7th - Sustained weather damage during passage to Sydney in Bass Strait and lost two men overboard.


14th - Under repair to weather damage at Williamstown Dockyard, Melbourne.


29th - Resumed operational service on completion of repair.




Nominated for duty in Fleet Train Task Force 112.


1st - Took passage from Sydney to join Fleet Train at Manus. On arrival deployed for escort of Fleet Train during passage to Leyte for support of Task Force 57. (Note: British warships allocated for service with US 5th Fleet were designated Task Force 57 and had begun operations in Sakishima Gunto Group on 17th March. (Operation ICEBERG I)


18th - Deployed as part of escort for Refuelling Group in Area MOSQUITO ONE during replenishment of TF57 ships.


19th - Detached from TG113 with HM Destroyers NORMAN and NEPAL for escort of ships of TF57. See THE FORGOTTEN FLEET.


21st - Passage to Leyte as escort with TF57.


23rd - Resumed TF113 service on arrival at Leyte.




1st - Sailed with Fleet Train for support of British ships in Task Force 57 during renewed joint attacks with US Navy Task Group on Sakishama Gunto islands. (Operation ICEBERG II). (For details of make-up of Fleet Train see THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by J Winton.)


3rd - Deployed with HMAS NEPAL, HMAS NORMAN, HMAS NIZAM, HM Sloops CRANE, WHIMBREL, PHEASANT, WOODCOCK, HM Frigates AVON, PARRET, FINDHORN, HM Australian Corvettes WHYALLA, BALLARAT and BENDIGO as screen for HM Escort Carriers RULER, STRIKER, CHASER and SPEAKER during Replenishment of Task Force 57.


9th - Detached from Fleet Train escort duty with HMAS NEPAL and joined HM Destroyers TROUBRIDGE, TENACIOUS and TERMAGANT to relieve destroyers deployed as screen for aircraft carriers of Task Force 57 during air operations against Sakishima Gunto. (For details see THE FORGOTTEN FLEET, WAR WITH JAPAN, TASK FORCE 57, by P Smith and the Naval Staff History.)


15th - Detached as escort for HM Escort Aircraft Carrier STRIKER during passage to Leyte after aircraft delivery to TF57 aircraft carriers during replenishment period


20th - Deployed with TF113 as escort.


22nd - Deployed with Fleet Train escort in Area COOTIE during Replenishment of Task Force 57


25th - Took return passage with Fleet Train to Australia when ICEBERG II operations ceased.




Deployed in Australia during R&R period for Task Force 57 Ships.


28th - Fleet Train escort duties resumed for support of operations off Japanese mainland during joint attacks operations by British and American Task Groups. (Note: British ships had been transferred to US 3rd Fleet and redesignated TF37).




Passage to operational area with call at Manus, the forward base for BPF.


20th - Deployed with HMAS NIZAM, HM Sloops PHEASANT, WHIMBREL, REDPOLE, HM Frigate FINDHORN and HMAS GAWLER as escort for Fleet Train tankers AMBROSIO, WAVE MONARCH, SAN ADOLPHO, HM Supply Ship GLENARTNEY, HM Escort Carriers RULER, ARBITER and STRIKER during replenishment of BPF ships during attacks on Japan.


26th - Deployed with HMAS NIZAM, HMAS NEPAL, HM Ships PHEASANT, CRANE, REDPOLE, PARRET, PLY, HM Australia Corvettes WHYALLA, PIRIE and LAUNCESTON as escort for tankers and supply ships of Fleet Train during operations off Japan. Transferred to Task Force 37 for escort of major units. (Note: Ship is not recorded as part of Fleet Train escort during replenishment of BPF.)


15th - Deployed as escort for TF38.5 ships during final air strikes on air fields in Tokyo plain. (Note: Operations ceased on instructions from Admiral Nimitz after the strikes which were launched at 0400)


17th - Joined US 3rd Fleet ships with TF38.5 escort.


30th - Passage to Tokyo Bay with HM Destroyer QUALITY, HMAS NIZAM and Hospital Ship TJITJALENGKA as escort for HMS KING GEORGE V.


31st - HM Australian Cruisers HOBART and SHROPSHIRE, HM Australian Destroyers BATAAN and WARRAMUNGA, HM Australian Minesweepers IPSWICH, BALLARAT and CESSNOCK joined Token Force. (Note: 7th Destroyer Flotilla comprised HMAS NAPIER, HMAS NEPAL, HMAS NIZAM and HMAS NORMAN.)




Deployed with screen of BPF.


7th - Fuel shortage reported due to lack of correct fuel in tankers.


12th - Transferred to British Token Force in US Navy Task Force 38 and designated Task Group 38.5) (Note: The other BPF ships deployed off Japan retained in Task Group 38.5 were HM Battleship KING GEORGE V, HM Aircraft Carrier INDEFATIGABLE, HM New Zealand Cruiser GAMBIA, HM Cruiser NEWFOUNDLAND, HM Destroyers TROUBRIDGE, TERMAGANT, TENACIOUS, TEAZER, BARFLEUR, HM Australian Destroyer NIZAM. For details of the background to the decision to withdraw other ships from the area due to lack of  fuel from tankers of the British Fleet Train see above references.)




2nd - Present at formal surrender of Japan signed on board US battleship USS MISSOURI in Tokyo Bay. Deployed for support of repatriation of PoW and allied nationals.




P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


HMAS NAPIER returned to Australia on release from duties in Japan and was deployed as part of the Royal Australian Navy until being Paid-off on 24th October 1945. She was replaced in the RAN by HM Destroyer QUALITY and was recommissioned as HMS NAPIER the next day. The ship took passage to UK from Fremantle, manned by personnel from HMS QUALITY on 5th November and Paid–off at Devonport on 12th December 1945.  She was de-stored and reduced to Reserve status there on 7th March 1946. The ship laid-up at Portsmouth in August 1950 and in May 1952 returned to the Reserve Fleet at Devonport. Towed to Penarth in January 1953  she remained there until placed on the Disposal List in 1955. and sold to BISCO for demolition by T W Ward. She arrived at the Breakers Yard in Briton Ferry on 17th January 1956 to be broken-up.






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








MW 011





CM 040





CM 041





CM 045





CM 048








(Note on Convoys)


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revised 12/6/11
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