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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2003

HMAS NIZAM (G 38) -  N-class Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Kingston, K-class but closely related to N-class (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

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N or NAPIER-Class destroyer ordered from John Brown, Clydebank under the 1939 Programme on 15th April 1939 and laid down as Job No 564 on 27 July 1939. She was launched on 4th July 1940 and completed on 19th December 1940. The ship was manned by the Royal Australian Navy and was  commissioned on 8th January 1941  for service in the 7th Destroyer Flotilla. After a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in March 1942 she was adopted by the civil community of Darlington, Co. Durham. Sister ships  NAPIER, NEPAL, NESTOR and NORMAN were also manned by the Royal Australian Navy.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s


MALTA CONVOYS 1941 - CRETE  1941 - LIBYA 1941 - OKINAWA 1945.          :


H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Field: White

Badge: In front  of two  bars  wavy  blue a  quatrefoil

white charged  with a  demi  tiger erased proper.



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 4 0




Contractors trials.


19th - Build completion.


1 9 4 1




Acceptance trials.


8th - Commissioned for service in Royal Australian Navy.




Shakedown in NW Approaches.


10th - Prepared for foreign service at Clydebank.


13th - At Clydebank during heavy air attacks.


16th - On completion of storing took passage to Scapa Flow for work-up with ships of Home Fleet.




Took passage to join 7th Destroyer Flotilla at Alexandria via Cape of Good Hope.




On passage


30th - Arrived at Aden.




Escorted troopships rms QUEEN ELIZABETH and rms QUEEN MARY during passage in Red Sea.


5th - Joined Flotilla at Alexandria.


6th - Deployed with HM Destroyers GRIFFIN, HAVOCK, HERO, HEREWARD, HOTSPUR, JERVIS, JUNO, KANDAHAR, KIMBERLEY, KINGSTON and NUBIAN as screen for HM Aircraft Carrier FORMIDABLE, HM Battleships BARHAM, VALIANT and WARSPITE, HM Cruisers AJAX, ORION, PERTH and ABDIEL to provide Distant Cover for passage of Convoy MW7 taking troops to Malta and military convoy from Gibraltar carrying stores for Alexandria (Operation TIGER.) (Note: Supply ship HMS BRECONSHIRE was with Fleet units for transit to Malta.)


8th - Remained with Mediterranean Fleet units when MW7 was detached to go to Malta.


9th - Joined TIGER Convoy as part of screen during passage to Alexandria.


12th - Arrived at Alexandria with Mediterranean Fleet.


18th - Passage to Crete to join Fleet units for defence of island.


21st - Bombardment German airfield at Scarpanto with HMS JERVIS and HMS ILEX.


23rd - Deployed for patrol north of Crete with HM Destroyers JERVIS, ILEX, and HAVOCK


24th - Embarked Commando for planned landing and took passage to Crete with HMS ABDIEL and HMS HERO.


27th - Landed troops and stores at Suda Bay when operation was cancelled due to weather conditions.


28th - Returned to Alexandria to embark stores.


29th - Passage to Sphakia.


30th - Took part in evacuation of troops at Sphakia with HM Destroyers STUART (RAN), JAGUAR and DEFENDER. (Note: 700 Troops were embarked.) (Editors Note: Destroyers taking part to be reconciled with Naval Events for May 1941 and those on passage on 31st following, also with number of troops lifted - thanks to Michal Derela)


31st - Passage with HM Destroyers NAPIER, KELVIN and KANDAHAR for Sphakia. (Note: Damaged during air attacks in return passage. For details of defence of Crete and evacuation see THE BATTLE FOR CRETE by SW Pack, London Gazette (1948), ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett and Naval Staff History.)




Under repair at Alexandria.


Nominated for support of military operations in Syria against Vichy French. (Operation EXPORTER).


Took passage to join units of Mediterranean Fleet off Syria.


16th - Deployed off Palestine coast.


23rd - Engaged Vichy French destroyer GUÉPARD attempting to enter Beirut. Carried out surface gun and torpedo attacks with HM Cruisers LEANDER, NAIAD and HM Destroyer KINGSTON which were unsuccessful and enemy ship was able to escape. (See RELUCTANT ENEMIES by W Tute.)




Joined Inshore Squadron to support garrisons in Tobruk and Mersa Matruh.


21st - Detached for screening duty with Mediterranean Fleet.


22nd - Joined HM Battleships QUEEN ELIZABETH and VALIANT, HM Cruisers AJAX, CARLISLE, NAIAD, HOBART (RAN), LEANDER, PHOEBE, LATONA and ABDIEL for Diversionary operation during passage of relief convoy to Malta from Gibraltar (Operation MD5). (Note: HM Destroyers HASTY, HAVOCK, JACKAL, JAGUAR, JERVIS, KANDAHAR, KIMBERLEY, KINGSTON and NUBIAN were also deployed for screening of Fleet units.)


25th - Returned to Alexandria with Fleet units and resumed Tobruk support.




Tobruk support in continuation.


12th - Took part in relief of ANZAC troops from Tobruk with HM Minelaying Cruisers LATONA and ABDIEL, HM Australian Cruiser HOBART and HMAS NAPIER. (Note: In all 6,000 troops were taken to Egypt to await return to Australia).




Resumed Fleet duties. (Note: During this period major units of the Mediterranean Fleet carried out another diversionary operation during passage of a relief convoy to Malta from Gibraltar (Operation MD6).)




Fleet and support duties in Eastern Mediterranean in continuation.




Deployed for screening duties in Eastern Mediterranean.


2nd - Deployed with HM Cruiser ABDIEL and HM Destroyer NAPIER for transfer of troops from Palestine to Cyprus to reinforce garrison.


9th - Resumed Flotilla duties for Fleet screening at Alexandria.


24th - Joined HM Battleships BARHAM, QUEEN ELIZABETH and VALIANT with seven other Fleet destroyers as screen during operation to intercept convoy on passage to Benghazi. Other destroyer were HMS JERVIS, HMS JACKAL and HMS HOTSPUR.


27th - Assisted in rescue operations after HM Battleship BARHAM was torpedoed by U331 and sunk north of Sollum.




Fleet duties in continuation based at Alexandria.


31st - Deployed on anti-submarine sweep while other Fleet units, including HMAS NAPIER and NESTOR,  carried out bombardment of enemy positions at Bardia.



1 9 4 2




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


9th - Joined HM Aircraft Carrier INDOMITABLE with HMAS NAPIER and NESTOR.


23rd - Escorted INDOMITABLE with NESTOR and 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 of HMS INDOMITABLE in continuation.


3rd - Delivery operation cancelled and took passage with HMS INDOMITABLE to Colombo.


20th - At Colombo and deployed with Flotilla in Eastern Fleet. Nominated for escort of military convoy SU1 and took passage to join in Indian Ocean during transit from Aden to Fremantle. (Note: This convoy was taking ANZAC troops back to Australia after withdrawal from Western Desert because of Japanese threat to Australia.)




Escorted military convoy SU1 with HM Battleship ROYAL SOVEREIGN, HM Cruiser CORNWALL, HM Destroyers EXPRESS, and VAMPIRE (RAN). (Note: This convoy of 12 troopships was taking ANZAC personnel back to Australia after the Japanese declaration of war.)




On release from SU1 returned to Colombo. Taken in hand for repair at Bombay.




Nominated for return to Mediterranean on completion. On completion took passage to Alexandria for planned Malta relief convoy (Operation VIGOROUS).




Passage to Alexandria with 7th Destroyer Flotilla.


13th - Part of screen for HM Cruisers ARETHUSA, BIRMINGHAM, CLEOPATRA, DIDO, NEWCASTLE, EURYALUS and HERMIONE with HM Destroyers HASTY, HERO, INCONSTANT, JAVELIN, JERVIS, KELVIN, NAPIER, NESTOR, NORMAN, PAKENHAM, PALADIN, SIKH and ZULU. (Note: These ships were providing additional cover for passage of Convoy MW11 to Malta from Alexandria.)


14th - Under heavy and sustained air attacks and threat of surface attack by an Italian Squadron including two battleships.


15th - Convoy ordered by CinC at Alexandria to reverse course to eastward. Under attacks by Italian E-Boats during which HMS HASTY had to be sunk after major damage and HMS NEWCASTLE was disabled. Heavy and sustained air attacks resumed after daylight. HM Destroyer AIREDALE sunk. Convoy ordered to resume passage towards Malta. When surface threat renewed, convoy again ordered to turn eastwards. Despite further instructions to resume passage to Malta operation abandoned due to high expenditure of anti-aircraft ammunition.


16th - HMS HERMIONE torpedoed by U205 during return passage and HM Destroyer NESTOR which had been damaged during air attacks on 15th had to be sunk. Returned to Alexandria with Fleet units. (For full details of this disastrous and ill-directed operation see the THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN, ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and Naval Staff History.)


25th - On release from service in the Mediterranean took passage to Kilindini for Indian Ocean convoy defence.




On arrival at Kilindini deployed for convoy defence in Indian Ocean. Nominated for service with Eastern Fleet ships for planned operation.


21st - Sailed from Kilindini for Colombo with HM Destroyers NORMAN (RAN), INCONSTANT and Dutch VAN GALEN to join Fleet units for operation.


22nd - HMS NAPIER (Cdre D) joined for passage to Colombo


28th - At Colombo and joined by Netherlands cruiser HEEMSKERCK.


30th - Deployed with HM Destroyer NAPIER (Cdre D) and same destroyers as screen for HM Battleship WARSPITE, HM Aircraft Carriers ILLUSTRIOUS and FORMIDABLE, HM Cruisers EFFINGHAM, MAURITIUS and Dutch cruiser HEEMSKERCK to provide cover for passage of three Dummy Convoys on passage from Vizagapatam, Madras and Trincomalee towards Andaman Islands. (Operation STAB - A diversionary operation to suggest landing operations. See WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO).)




2nd - Returned to Trincomalee before taking passage to Kilindini to prepare for planned landings on Madagascar. (Note: See above reference for explanation of early return by Force A ships.)


Took part in preparatory exercise




 9th - Sailed from Kilindini to make rendezvous 60 miles south of Mayotta Island with HM Cruiser BIRMINGHAM, HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS, Dutch cruiser HEEMSKERCK and ships of assault convoy on passage to Majunga for landings of troops to complete occupation of Madagascar (Operation STREAM). (Note: Ships of Force M providing cover and control of landings also included HM Battleship WARSPITE, HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS, HM Cruisers GAMBIA DAUNTLESS and MANXMAN, HM Monitor EREBUS, HM Seaplane Carrier ALBATROSS, HM Destroyers NAPIER, NORMAN, FOXHOUND, HOTSPUR, ARROW, ACTIVE, BLACKMORE, INCONSTANT, FORTUNE, NEPAL, Dutch VAN GALEN and Dutch TJERK HIDDES). Provided A/S defence during passage to beachhead.


10th - Present at landings to provide anti-submarine defence. (Note: No bombardment was required. For details see WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO) and Naval Staff History.)


12th - On release resumed Flotilla duties for patrol and convoy defence.


20th - Deployed for patrol to intercept Vichy French mercantiles on passage to Laurenco Marques. (See WAR WITH JAPAN.)


23rd - Intercepted and boarded mercantile ss MARECHEL GELLJENI after report by a South African Air Force aircraft. Prize was escorted to Capetown by HM South African Whaler CEDARBERG.


26th - Patrol in continuation with HM Destroyer NORMAN.


29th - After report from patrol aircraft located abandoned Vichy French mercantile ss ADMIRAL PIERRE. Attempt to prevent sinking due to scuttling failed and French ship sunk by gunfire.




Passage to Simonstown to prepare for refit.


8th - Deployed with HM Destroyers ACTIVE, ARROW, FOXHOUND and HM Corvette ROCKROSE for A/S operations after sinking of six mercantiles by U-Boat off Cape of Good Hope. (Note: Took part in rescue of survivors. For details see HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR by C Blair.)


On release from operations taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard, Simonstown.




Under refit.




Transferred to South Atlantic Station on completion of post refit trials. Deployed for convoy defence and interception.



1 9 4 3


January to May


Convoy defence duty in South Atlantic and Indian Ocean continued.




15th - Joined HM Destroyers NORMAN (RAN), QUADRANT and REDOUBT in escort of military convoy WS30 in Indian Ocean during passage in Atlantic.


16th - Remained with WS30 for passage from Cape Town


19th - Detached from WS30 on arrival at Durban.


Returned to Indian Ocean with Flotilla to resume duties based at Kilindini. Nominated for special service at Colombo.


21st - Took passage from Kilindini with HM Destroyers NORMAN, INCONSTANT and Dutch VAN GALEN for Colombo with call at Seychelles to join Force A.


23rd - HMAS NAPIER joined during passage.


24th to 29th - Deployed with HM Cruisers SUFFOLK, NEWCASTLE, HM Destroyers RELENTLESS , RAIDER and RFA tanker to carry out search for U-Boats and supply ship CHARLOTTE SCHLIEMANN (Operation PLAYER - Note: U-Boats were known to be active in Indian Ocean and U-Boat refuelling had taken place. See above reference.)


30th - Search abandoned and resumed convoy defence duties.




Indian Ocean convoy defence in continuation.




Transferred to Eastern Fleet based at Trincomalee and took passage.


September to December


Deployed with Eastern Fleet on convoy defence and patrol in Indian Ocean. (For details of operations in Indian Ocean see OPERATION PACIFIC by E Gray.)



1 9 4 4


January to March


Convoy defence and patrol in India Ocean.




Deployed for Fleet screening duties.


16th - Part of Task Force 69 as screen for HM Battleships QUEEN ELIZABETH and VALIANT, French Battleship RICHELIEU, HM Cruisers NEWCASTLE, NIGERIA and CEYLON and Dutch cruiser TROMP with HM Destroyers ROTHERHAM, RACEHORSE, PENN, PETARD, QUIBERON, NAPIER (RAN) and Dutch destroyer VAN GALEN (Operation COCKPIT).


18th - Task Force 69 covered air operations by HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS and the US Aircraft Carrier SARATOGA (Task Force 70) against targets at Sabang. (See OPERATION PACIFIC).


May to July


Deployed on convoy defence and patrol in Indian Ocean and detached for Fleet duty as required. (See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY)




Nominated for refit in Australia




3rd - Arrived at Melbourne




Under refit at Williamstown




On completion of post refit trials took passage to Ceylon to resume Flotilla duties with Eastern Fleet. (Note: On formation of British Pacific Fleet transferred to Eastern Fleet with ships of 7th Flotilla and retained in Eastern Fleet for support of planned operations in Burma.)




Deployed in support of military operations in Burma including defence of military convoys in Bay of Bengal (See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY)



1 9 4 5




Flotilla deployment in support of military operations in Burma continued.




Released from Eastern Fleet service and took passage to Australia to join British Pacific Fleet. Called at Fremantle on passage.


11th - While proceeding Melbourne for Fremantle, and off Cape Leeuwin at night, changed course in heavy seas and 10 ratings swept overboard, all drowned.




Prepared for service in British Pacific Fleet including exercises off Sydney using US Navy communications and manoeuvring procedures. Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to D15 to suit US Navy identity for destroyers.




Nominated for escort of Logistics Group (Task Force 112) in support of operations by Task Force 57. Passage to Manus to join Task Force 112 for escort duty in SW Pacific.




Deployed for escort of Logistics Group during air operations against airfields in Sakashima Gunto Group (Operation ICEBERG).


9th - Detached for temporary screening duties with Task Force 57 ships.


14th - After release from Fleet screen deployed in Area COOLIE with HM Escort Aircraft Carriers RULER and STRIKER, HM Sloops PHEASANT, CRANE and WOODCOCK for defence of tankers during replenishment of ships of Task Force. (For details see THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by J Winton and Naval Staff History.)


31st - On completion of ICEBERG II Fleet Train took passage to Australia for R&R.




Maintenance and Leave period in Australia. (Note: Some ships remained in Brisbane. See above references.)


28th - Took passage for Fleet Train escort duties during BPF operations against targets in Japan.




Pacific Fleet deployment in continuation. (Note: Main British Pacific Fleet units, now designated Task Force 37 and part of  US 3rd Fleet, arrived at Manus on 4th July.)


20th - Part of screen for Logistics Group during refuelling and replenishment of BPF. (Note: Escort for the tankers and Stores Issuing Ships included HM Escort Carriers RULER, STRIKER, HM Destroyers NAPIER, HM Sloops PHEASANT, WHIMBREL, REDPOLE, HM Frigate FINDHORN and HM Minesweeper GAWLER.)


26th - Part of escort for Logistics Group during Fleet replenishment. (Note: An additional tanker was available but not fully operational. Escort for Group had been increased. See above references. For details of British Pacific Fleet operations see above references, TASK FORCE 57 by P Smith. and ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C. Barnett.)




6th - Part of escort for Logistics Group during Fleet replenishment. (Note: Other warships in Group included HM Escort Carriers ARBITER, CHASER, RULER, HM Destroyer NORMAN, HM Sloops PHEASANT, CRANE and HM Minesweepers BURNIE and BALLARAT. Hospital Ship ss TJITJALENGKA was deployed in Group.)


11th - After RN warships were withdrawn from operations due to lack of fuel from British tankers, transferred to Task Group 38.5 with HM Destroyer NAPIER (RAN) and continued escort duty with Support Group. (For details of formation of the British Token Force which was retained in the 3rd US Fleet. .See above references.)


20th - Provided personnel for Commonwealth component of Third Fleet Allied Landing Force which occupied the Japanese naval base on the island of Azuma.


23rd - Joined HM Battleship KING GEORGE V, HM Cruisers GAMBIA and NEWFOUNDLAND with HMS NAPIER and US destroyers UHLMANN and BENHAM in re-introduced Task Force 37 for the formal entry into Japanese waters.


27th - Anchored in Sagami Wan with TF37 after delay. (Note: Ship flew Australian Flag at the Main.)


29th - Proceeded into Tokyo Bay with allied Flagship Groups. (Note: HM Destroyer QUALITY and Hospital Ship TJITJALENGKA had joined Group in September.)




2nd - Present at formal surrender ceremony in Tokyo Bay with representative ships of the British Pacific Fleet with HM Aircraft Carrier INDEFATIGABLE, HM Battleship KING GEORGE V, HM Cruisers NEWFOUNDLAND, HOBART (RAN), SHROPSHIRE (RAN) and GAMBIA (RNZN), HM Destroyers BARFLEUR, WRANGLER, WAKEFUL, TROUBRIDGE, TERMAGANT, TENACIOUS, TEAZER, NAPIER (RAN), BATAAN (RAN) and WARRAMUNGA (RAN).



P o s t    W a r   N o t e s


HMS NIZAM remained in Japanese waters after the surrender ceremony and embarked PoW from Wakatama with HMNZS GAMBIA. On release from duties associated with collection of PoW and allied nationals the ship returned to Sydney and was handed back to the Royal Navy in October 1945. She then sailed to UK and after arrival at Sheerness on 13th December 1945 was reduced to Reserve status. Placed in Reserve Fleet at Harwich she remained there until 1953 when moved to Chatham. The ship was put on the Disposal List in 1955 and sold to T&W Ward for breaking-up at Grays, Essex where she arrived on 16th November that year.






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 042





CM 043





OW 007/1





CM 048





AJ 002/2





BM 100





MB 078B





BM 101








(Note on Convoys)


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revised 12/6/11
further editing is required