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9 3 9
service in the Royal Australian Navy as
trials and shakedown in Home waters.
from Portsmouth for Sydney.
in West Indies when Fleet
West Indies based at Bermuda for trade
defence and interception of
Convoy KJ3 from Kingston with HMS Cruiser
BERWICK for part of Atlantic passage to
- On relief
by HM Cruiser EFFINGHAM returned to
slight structural damage in hurricane.
in search for German Battleship
DEUTSCHLAND reported to be carrying out
commerce raiding activities in West Indies
Pacific Ocean for trade protection and
interception duties with HM Canadian
Destroyers OTTAWA and RESTIGOUCHE.
Caribbean area and met HM Cruiser
passage to Bermuda with EFFINGHAM.
9 4 0
trade defence duties based at Bermuda in
in south Caribbean based at Kingston,
in continuation. Released from RN
deployment in West
Sydney to join RAN.
trade protection off eastern Australia.
- Part of
escort for military Convoy US2 with HM
Cruiser LEANDER of the New Zealand
Division of the Royal Navy, HM Australian
Cruisers AUSTRALIA and CANBERRA. (Note:
This convoy included rms
QUEEN MARY, MAURETANIA, AQUITANIA, EMPRESS
and EMPRESS OF JAPAN which were taking
ANZAC troops to UK via the Red Sea
although later diverted via Cape of Good
case Italy entered hostilities.)
in Indian Ocean after call
and interception duties in continuation.
- Escorted rms STRATHMORE to Bass Strait
and resumed patrol.
out search for German raider ORION with HM
Australian Cruiser ADELAIDE off Gabo
Island following receipt of Raider signal.
- Part of
escort for convoy in Tasman Sea with HM
Cruiser ACHILLES OF New Zealand
Division of the Royal Navy.
convoy defence in Australian coastal
waters between Sydney and Fremantle.
out interception patrols off Cocos
for detached service in the Mediterranean.
and patrol in continuation.
to Mediterranean Fleet for
service with 7th Cruiser Squadron
Zealand for escort of military convoy.
escort for convoy US7.
from US7 in Tasman Sea to carry out search
for German Raider PINGUIN.
US7 at Fremantle for Ocean Escort during
passage in Indian Ocean.
with HM Australian Cruiser CANBERRA.
from US7 for service at Aden.
military convoy WS4 at Aden with HM
Destroyer KINGSTON, HM Australian Sloop
YARRA and HM Indian Sloop INDUS as escort
Sea passage to Suez.
YARRA and HMIS INDUS detached.
from WS4 at Suez.
Squadron at Alexandria as relief for HM
Australian Cruiser SYDNEY.
9 4 1
Bay for Squadron duties.
with HM Cruisers ORION and YORK IN Aegean
Sea to provide cover for the passage of
convoys to Piraeus and Alexandria.
(Operation EXCESS – See THE BATTLE FOR THE
MEDITERRANEAN by D Macintyre, ENGAGE THE
ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C
Barnett, THE NAVAL WAR IN THE
MEDITERRANEAN by Greene and
with HMS ORION and HMS YORK as Force D and
joined HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS, H
M Battleships WARSPITE and VALIANT
screened by HM Destroyers DAINTY, GALLANT,
JERVIS, JUNO, NUBIAN and MOHAWK as screen
(Force A). Passage south
of Malta to meet EXCESS convoy.
EXCESS convoy south of Pantelleria. (Note:
HMS GALLANT struck a mine and was
air attacks by German Fliegerkorps 60
miles east of Malta during which HM
Aircraft ILLUSTRIOUS was hit and sustained
from EXCESS convoy with HMS ORION, HM
Destroyers JERVIS and JANUS to assist HM
Cruisers GLOUCESTER and SOUTHAMPTON which
had been severely damaged in air attacks
whilst on passage
from Malta to rejoin convoy. Took part in
rescue of survivors
from HMS SOUTHAMPTON which had to be sunk
by HMS ORION.
HM Destroyer DIAMOND also assisted. Landed
survivors in Malta and took passage to
rejoin EXCESS convoy.
convoy and later detached with HMS PERTH
(sic) and HMS JANUS to escort three
mercantiles to Suda Bay.
to Malta from Suda Bay.
damaged during air attacks on HMS
ILLUSTRIOUS which was under repair in
Malta. Took passage to Alexandria to
passage to join escort for HMS ILLUSTRIOUS
during return passage to Alexandra.
HM Battleships BARHAM and VALIANT as part
of screen for HMS ILLUSTRIOUS during
passage in eastern Mediterranean
at Alexandria with escort for HMS
to Suda Bay,.
for patrol and escort of convoys to
Alexandria for refit.
by Australian Prime Minister.
refit during which 2pdr Pom-pom mounting
was fitted to improve air defence.
with HM Destroyers MOHAWK and NUBIAN to
escort HM Monitor TERROR which was under
tow to Alexandria after being badly
damaged in air attacks
with HM Cruiser BONAVENTURE, HM Destroyers
DECOY, HASTY, HERO and JAGUAR to take
troops to Casteloriza in support of
landing by Commando units landed on 25th
(Operation ABSTENTION). After troops
landed carried out patrol north of the
cover for evacuation of troops when
operation abandoned. (See above
to Alexandria with HMS DECOY and HMS HASTY
after call at Suda Bay.
troops at Alexandria for passage to
Piraeus (Operation LUSTRE)
troops and took passage to Alexandria.
with HMS AJAX and HMS ORION for transfer
of troops to Greece.
disembarking troops at Piraeus escorted
Convoy AG9 in Aegean with RAN destroyers.
Mediterranean Fleet units with HM Cruisers
AJAX and ORION (Operation MC6). (Note:
Ships of Mediterranean Fleet deployed to
passage of Convoy MW6 to Malta were HM
Aircraft Carrier FORMIDABLE, HM
Battleships BARHAM ,VALIANT and WARSPITE,
HM Cruisers GLOUCESTER and YORK with
release from covering duties for MW6
resumed convoy defence in Aegean.
from Piraeus with HMS ORION, HMS AJAX and
HMS GLOUCESTER, HM Destroyers HEREWARD and
VENDETTA (RAN) as Force B
to meet units of the Mediterranean Fleet
on passage from
Alexandria to intercept major Italian
Fleet known to be intent
on attacks on military convoys in the
- Owing to
delay during passage of Mediterranean
Fleet remained in south of Aegean.
under fire from Italian battleship
VITTORIO VENETO and withdrew with ships of
Force B out of range but remained in
arrival of Mediterranean Fleet took part
in the Battle of Matapan. (For details see
Naval Staff History, MATAPAN by SW
Pack and above references.)
defence of military convoys to Greece in
of Operation LUSTRE –Reinforcement of
allied forces in Greece.)
with HM Cruisers AJAX and ORION to cover
offensive sweep by destroyers of
Mediterranean Fleet off Ras-el-Tin.
supply ship HMS BRECONSHIRE with HM
Destroyer HOTSPUR to Malta from
Mediterranean Fleet units providing cover
for passage of Convoy ME7, empty supply
ships from Malta. Deployed
with HM Aircraft Carrier FORMIDABLE, HM
Cruisers AJAX and ORION as Force C and
detached with four destroyers as screen
for passage to Tripoli area.
with Force C to provide cover for
bombardment of Tripoli by Force B
(Operation MD2 – Force B bombarded targets
comprised HM, Battleships WARSPITE, BARHAM
and VALIANT, HM
Cruiser GLOUCESTER with screen of nine
with HM Cruiser PHOEBE to cover passage of
Convoy AG13 to Piraeus and carried out
patrol in Kithera Channel.
out offensive sweep off Nauphlia, Greece
with HMS ORION, HMS PHOEBE and HM
Destroyer DEFENDER. Embarked
troops at Nauplia.
passage of evacuation Convoy GA14 with HMS
PHOEBE, HM Destroyers HASTY and DECOY.
part in evacuation of allied troops at
Kalamata with HMS PHOEBE, HM Destroyers
DECOY, HASTY, KANDAHAR, KIMBERLEY and
KINGSTON. Withdrew when fires ashore
silhouetted ships and
forced to leave many soldiers behind.
final evacuation Convoy GA16 during
passage through Kasos Strait to Alexandria
with HM Cruiser CARLISLE, HM Sloop
Destroyers KANDAHAR, KINGSTON, DECOY and
from Alexandria with HMS FORMIDABLE,
BARHAM, VALIANT, WARSPITE, AJAX, ORION, HM
Minelaying Cruiser ABDIEL and HMS
BRECONSHIRE to give cover for passage of
Convoy MW7 to
Malta (Operation MD4).
off Malta with Fleet units and joined
TIGER Convoy. (Note:
TIGER Convoy was bringing tanks and
supplies to Eighth Army in Egypt from UK.
See above references.)
- Took up
position to north of TIGER convoy to
provide cover during passage to
with HM Cruisers NAIAD and PHOEBE, HM
Destroyers GREYHOUND and HASTY as Force D
to cover passage of reinforcement
convoy to Crete.
patrol of Crete with HMS NAIAD, HM
Destroyers NUBIAN, JUNO, KANDAHAR and
KINGSTON to intercept invasion craft came
air attack and by torpedo boats which were
air attacks in Kaso Strait and reinforced
by HM Cruisers CALCUTTA and CARLISLE.
action against invasion convoy south of
Milo and under heavy and sustained air
attacks. Hit on Bridge structure which
destroyed fire-control electrical
passage to Alexandria for repair.
- Taken in
hand for repair.
completion rejoined Fleet units off Crete
for evacuation of allied troops Deployed
with HMS CALCUTTA, HMS COVENTRY, HMS
HMS HASTY. HMS JANUS, HMS JERVIS and HM
Auxiliary GLENGYLE as Force D.
6,000 troops with ships of Force D from
Spakhia and under air attacks. Took
passage without serious damage.
further air attacks during return passage
to Alexandria. Sustained damage to forward
- Taken in
hand for repair at Alexandria.
completion took passage to join support
operations with Fleet units off Syrian
coast (Operation EXPORTER).
HM Cruiser LEANDER and took part in
offensive sweep to intercept Vichy
to support military operations in
Vichy shore battery at Abney, Damour. Took
passage to Alexandria and bombed by RAF
aircraft without damage.
at Alexandria nominated for return to RAN
service following Japanese threat of
from Alexandria for passage to Sydney.
RAN and taken in hand for refit.
with HM Australian Cruiser CANBERRA for
patrol in Tasman Sea.
US troop convoy with HMAS CANBERRA for
final part of passage to Australia.
US troop convoy to New Caledonia with HMAS
CANBERRA and HM
New Zealand Cruiser ACHILLES.
passage to Sydney with HMAS CANBERRA and
military convoy ZK5 from Sydney to Port
Moresby, New Guinea with HMAS AUSTRALIA,
HMAS CANBERRA, HMNZS ACHILLES and two
9 4 2
service with ABDA Command. for convoy
ss RANGATIRA with HMNZS ACHILLES.
to ANZAC force with HM Australian Cruisers
AUSTRALIA, ADELAIDE, CANBERRA and HOBART
under overall US Navy command.
passage to Fremantle for convoy defence
military Convoy MS4 for passage to
fall of Singapore detached from MS4 and
took passage to join the Western Striking
Force of ABDA Command in East Indies.
HM Cruiser EXETER, HM Australian Cruiser
HOBART, HM Destroyers JUPITER, ELECTRA and
ENCOUNTER at Tanjong Priok.
to Eastern Striking Force at Soerabaya
with same ships except HMAS HOBART which
had been damaged in air attacks. (See WAR
WITH JAPAN (HMSO).
Combined Striking Force comprising Dutch
cruisers DE RUYTER and JAVA, HMS ELECTRA,
US Cruiser HOUSTON, HM Destroyers
ELECTRA, ENCOUNTER and JUPITER, Dutch
WITTE and KORTENAER, US Destroyers JOHN D
EDWARDS ALDEN, and JOHN DF FORD. In action
with Japanese warships
covering passage of invasion convoys to
Java during which
the Flagship DE RUYTER and Dutch destroyer
KORTENAER were sunk. Both USS HOUSTON and
HMS EXETER were badly damaged and
unable to contribute to further action.
Took over command of allied ships after
loss of DE
RUYTER. (Battle of the Java Sea. See above
reference for details.)
from action and took
passage to Java.
- In action
with Japanese cruisers MOGAMI and MIKUMA
escorting invasion fleet with destroyers,
two of which were sunk. Later ship was
disabled by surface gunfire and three
torpedoes. A fourth torpedo
struck the ship whilst being abandoned and
sank. Over 300 of ships company lost their
lives and 307 became prisoners of
war. Sadly 105 of these died in
captivity. For details see WAR WITH JAPAN