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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 1998

HMS LADYBIRD - Insect-class River Gunboat

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Ladybird (Photo Ships, click to enlarge) return to Contents List   

INSECT-Class River Gunboat ordered from Lobnitz and launched on 12th April 1916 as the 1st RN ship to carry the name. After completion 1917 she was deployed in the Mediterranean where she supported army operations and carried out patrol duties. In 1919 she began service on the China Station and joined the Yangtse Flotilla to protect British shipping and British nationals during an emergency. The ship was damaged by Japanese artillery after the Japanese invasion of China in 1938.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s


MEDITERRANEAN 1940-41 - LIBYA  1940-41


H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge:  On a Field White, a  Ladybird proper.


M o t t o

Ne sperne Fortuna :     ' Do not throw away your luck '



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            Deployed with the Yangtse Flotilla.

to                          Nominated for service In the Mediterranean



1 9 4 0


January                 Took passage to Mediterranean.

to                           On arrival deployed for bombardment of enemy positions on North African coast.




                23rd      Carried out bombardment of Bardia harbour with HM Australian Destroyer



September            Deployed for gunfire support of 8th Army advance towards Tobruk.





                  9th      Deployed with HM Monitor TERROR and HM River Gunboats APHIS and GNAT

                             as Force A

.                            Bombarded Tobruk in support of ANZAC troops

.                            Took passage to Alexandria.


1 9 4 1



                21st       Deployed with HMS TERROR, HMS APHIS, HM Australian Destroyers STUART,

                              VOYAGER and VAMPIRE for support of ANZAC Brigade in final assault on



February               Nominated for support of commando raid on Castellorizo.

                               Joined HM Destroyers HEREWARD and DECOY.

                  5th       Landed troops and deployed for gunfire support.

                              (Note:  This requirement for this operation was ill-judged and its execution proved



March                   Resumed service in support of army operations.


 April                     Deployed in support of 8th Army withdrawal operations.

                 15th      Bombarded Gazala

                 18th      Bombarded enemy positions near Sollum.


May                       Support duties in continuation.

                 12th      Came under German dive bombing attacks during air raid on Tobruk harbour.

                               Sustained major damage and sank.

                               Wreck only partially submerged.

                               (Casualty List - note on casualties)

                               (Note:  Some of the guns on the hulk were used by army personnel for defence

                                            during air raids).


Post War Notes.


This name was reintroduced in 1950 when given to the China Navigation Company's mercantile ss WUSUEH which was requisitioned at Hong Kong. This ship was then used as the RN Headquarters Ship at Sasebo, Japan during the Korean War. She paid off in 1953 after the armistice and was returned to her former owners.


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revised 4/6/110
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