Naval History Homepage and Site Search




by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2004

HMS NAIAD -  Dido-class AA Cruiser

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Dido, sister ship (Navy Photos, click to enlarge) return to Contents List   

DIDO-Class cruiser ordered from R&W Hawthorn, Leslie & Co. Ltd., Newcastle on 21st March 1937 under the 1936 Programme. The ship was laid down on 26th August 1937 and launched on 3rd February 1939 as the 3rd RN ship to carry this name. Introduced in 1797 for a 5th Rate it had last been in use in 1890 for cruiser, sold in 1922. Her completion was delayed by repair of damage caused by air raids until 24 July 1940. This ship was sunk before the national Savings WARSHIP WEEK campaign began in late 1941 and was not therefore adopted by a civil community in UK.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s


H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Green.,upon waves barry wavy White

and blue a Sea-Nymph gold.



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



                10th        During air raid, sustained damage to turbine mountings due to near miss.



                22nd       Further damage by splinters whilst docking resulted in flooding of compartments.

                                Completion delayed by requirement for repair.


June                        Commenced Contractors trials on completion of repair


July                         Contractors trials in continuation.

                24th        Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

                                Commissioned for service

                26th        Joined Home Fleet at Scapa Flow for work-up


August                  Work-up at Scapa Flow with ships of 15th Cruiser Squadron.


September             Deployed with Home Fleet on convoy defence and patrol in North Sea and NW Approaches


October                  Intercepted German trawler taking meteorological party to Greenland.

                16th        Escorted HM Battleship KING GEORGE V from Tyne estuary to Rosyth with HM Cruiser

                                BONAVENTURE and Home Fleet destroyers including HMS ASHANTI and HMS FAME.

                                (Note: During a series of high speed operations off the mouth of the River Tyne these two

                                destroyers collided and both sustained major damage. Some sources suggest that these

                                manoeuvres were intended to detonate any German magnetic mines which may have

                                been laid in the area.)


November              Detached for patrol in Bay of Biscay with HM Battlecruisers HOOD, RENOWN and

                                REPULSE, HM Cruiser DIDO and HM Cruiser PHOEBE after German battleship SCHEER

                                had attacked an Atlantic convoy and sunk HM Armed Merchant Cruiser JERVIS BAY.

                                (Note: One source reports that the German Meteorological trawler was captured and

                                its crew taken prisoner during this period).

                                Sustained slight structural weather damage.


December              Redeployed at Scapa Flow with Home Fleet for convoy defence and interception

                                Nominated for Ocean Escort of military convoy during passage in NW Approaches.

                19th        Joined Convoy WS5A on departure from Clyde as Ocean Escort with HM Cruiser


                24th        Relieved by HM Cruisers BERWICK and DUNEDIN and detached from WS5A

                                (Note: One source records ship detached after the attack on convoy by German cruiser

                                HIPPER when convoy dispersed on 25th. This is to be confirmed.

                                See HMS SHEFFIELD by R. Barrett).


1 9 4 1


January                  Nominated for duty as Ocean Escort for military convoy WS5B during Atlantic passage

                8th          Deployed in Moelfre Bay with Bristol and Liverpool Sections to provide AA protection

                                with HM Australian Cruiser AUSTRALIA until arrival of Glasgow Section of WS5B

                12th        Escorted military convoy WS5B with HM Battleship RAMILLIES, HM Cruisers

                                AUSTRALIA (RAN), PHOEBE and EMERALD for initial stage of passage in western


                                (Note: Anti-submarine protection was provided by HM Destroyers HARVESTER,


                                VANSITTART, WATCHMAN, WITHERINGTON and FS LEOPARD.

                15th        Detached from WS5B and returned to Scapa Flow with HMS PHOEBE.

                23rd        Deployed with HM Cruiser AURORA to provide cover for passage of British merchant ships

                                escaping from Sweden (Operation RUBBLE).

                24th        Carried out unsuccessful search for three RUBBLE ships with HM Cruisers EDINBURGH

                                and BIRMINGHAM screened by 3 destroyers.

                25th        Arrived at Rosyth with all 5 ships and sailed for Northern Patrol.

                28th        Sighted German battleships GNEISENAU and SCHARNHORST south of Iceland but lost

                                contact in bad weather.


February                Under repair to weather damage at Tyne shipyard.




April                       Nominated for transfer with Squadron to reinforce Mediterranean Fleet at Alexandria and to

                                join escort for military convoy from Clyde during passage to Gibraltar (Operation TIGER)

                26th        Joined Convoy WS8A as Ocean Escort with HM Battlecruiser REPULSE

                                (Note: WS8B comprised 14 mercantiles, five of which were destined for Malta with military

                                supplied for eighth Army (Operation TIGER)

                                Remaining mercantiles were taking troops to Suez via Cape of Good Hope.

                                Anti-submarine escort included HM Destroyers HARVESTER, HAVELOCK,

                                and HESPERUS which were also to join Force H)



                2nd         Detached from WS8A with TIGER mercantiles and the three Fleet destroyers to take passage

                                to Gibraltar.

                6th          Joined Force F with HM Battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH, HM Cruiser FIJI and HM

                                Cruiser GLOUCESTER screened by eight Fleet destroyers for escort of convoy taking

                                tanks to Alexandria for Middle East army and stores to Piraeus

                                (Note: Covered was provided by HM Battlecruiser RENOWN, HM Aircraft Carrier ARK

                                ROYAL and HM Cruiser SHEFFIELD.

                                TIGER convoy operation included transfer of re-inforcement warships and some of

                                escort had been detached from Alexandria to support passage.

                                (For details of Mediterranean operations see THE BATTLE FOR THE

                                MEDITERRANEAN by D MacIntyre, MALTA CONVOYS by R Woodman,

                                and Naval Staff History (HMSO- 2002).

                9th          Joined HMS ORION, HMS AJAX, HMS PERTH (RAN), HMS DIDO and HMS PHOEBE

                                on arrival of TIGER Convoy in Malta.

                10th        Air attacks repelled by aircraft from HM Aircraft Carrier FORMIDABLE and ships AA


                14th        Joined Force D with HMAS PERTH and HMS PHOEBE screened by H M Destroyers

                                HASTY and GREYHOUND to cover convoys taking reinforcements to Crete.

                18th        Returned to Alexandria.

                20th        Deployed with HMAS PERTH and 4 destroyers (Force B) off Crete for interception

                                of invasion craft.

                21st         Italian E-Boat attacks failed. Joined by HM Cruisers CALCUTTA, CARLISLE , HM

                                HM Destroyers KANDAHAR, KINGSTON and NUBIAN to continue interception

                                north of Crete. Under air attacks and received some splinter damage and flooding forward.

                22nd       In action against enemy convoy south of Milos sinking two ships.

                                Under heavy air attacks and retired to west because of proximity of enemy airfields.

                                Further air attacks during which 181 bombs were aimed at ship sustained serious damage,

                                (Note Two turrets were disabled and out of action, speed reduced to 16 knots with

                                further flooding.).

                                See Battle Summary No 4 in Naval Staff Histories for details.)

                25th        Under repair at Alexandria.


June                        On completion deployed in support of military operations in Syria (Operation EXPORTER)

                16th        Deployed with HM Destroyers KINGSTON and NIZAM to relieve HM Cruiser PHOEBE,

                                HM destroyers GRIFFIN and DEFENDER. for support duties.

                22nd       Carried out offensive sweep north of Beirut.

                                Engaged Vichy destroyers GUEPARD and VALMY during search inshore with HM Cruiser


                                Withdrew after coming under fire from shore batteries.



                2nd         Bombarded Vichy positions at Abey and Damour with PERTH and 4 destroyers.

                                Came under attack by RAF aircraft on return passage.

                4th          Bombarded shore positions and carried out patrol to intercept Vichy ships.

                14th        On release FROM EXPORTER returned to Alexandria.


August                  Deployed in defence of convoys taking supplied to Tobruk (Operation TREACLE)

                27th        With HM Cruiser GALATEA, Stood by HM Cruiser PHOEBE after damage in air attacks



                25th        Carried out diversionary sweep with HM Battleships QUEEN ELIZABETH, BARHAM

                                and VALIANT. Mediterranean Fleet cruisers and destroyer screen during passage of relief

                                convoy from Gibraltar to Malta

                                (Operation HALBERD/MD6 – See MALTA CONVOYS by R Woodman.).

                27th        Returned to Alexandria with ships of Mediterranean Fleet.


October.                 Eastern Mediterranean Squadron duties in continuation.


November              Nominated for support of military operations in Western Desert.

                19th        Bombarded Halfaya with HM Cruisers EURYALUS in support of Eighth Army

                                (Operation CRUSADER – See Naval Staff History).

                27th        Deployed with HM Cruiser EURYALUS. HM Destroyers GRIFFIN and HOTSPUR as

                                Force C to carry out offensive sweep along coast of Cyrenaica.

                                Under air attacks without damage,

                28th        Returned to Alexandria.


December              Deployed in support of military operations and carried out patrols to intercept enemy

                                supply ships on passage to Derna.

                8th          Covered shipping attacks by destroyers of 14th Flotilla with HMS EURYALUS, HMS

                                GALATEA and HM Destroyers GRIFFIN and HOTSPUR.

                10th        Carried out daylight bombardment of Derna with HM Destroyers GRIFFIN and


                13th        Deployed with HMS AJAX, HMS NEPTUNE, HMS GALATEA and HMS EURYALUS

                                screened by nine destroyers as Force B to intercept enemy convoys to Benghazi covered

                                by ships of Mediterranean Fleet.

                                Deployed with HMS GALATEA and HMS EURYALUS to intercept convoys from

                                Taranto. HM Minelaying Cruiser ABDIEL provided radio transmissions simulating

                                movements by battleships of Mediterranean Fleet. Enemy convoys were recalled and

                                operation was abandoned

.                               (Note: In addition to collision damage some enemy ships were sunk in attacks by

                                submarines. Italian battleship VITTORIO VENETO, one of the Italian convoy

                                escorts was torpedoed and seriously damaged by HM Submarine URGE.

                                (For details of this operation and others in eastern Mediterranean see ENGAGE

                                THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett and Naval Staff History.

                15th        Joined HM Cruisers CARLISLE and EURYALUS with HM Destroyers DECOY, HASTY,

                                HAVOCK, JERVIS, KIMBERLEY, KIPLING and NIZAM to form Force C.

                                Escorted HM Supply Ship BRECONSHIRE to Malta with oil supplies.

                17th        Force C combined with Force K ships, HM Cruisers AURORA AND PENELOPE,

                                screened by HM Destroyers LANCE, LIVELY, LEGION, MAORI, SIKH, ZULU and

                                Dutch ISAAC SWEERS from Malta.

                                Took part in brief action against Italian group consisting of DUILO, ATTENDOLO,

                                D'AOSTA, MONTECUCCOLI and destroyer screen which withdrew when threat of attack

                                by destroyers equipped with radar through smoke screen was considered likely.

                                (1st Battle of Sirte - For details see Naval Staff History and BATTLE FOR THE

                                MEDITERRANEAN BY D. MacIntyre).

                                HMS BRECONSHIRE arrived safely in Malta escorted by ships of Force K.

                19th        Returned to Alexandria after unsuccessful search for Italian convoy M42.

                                (Note: Italian submersibles entered Alexandria harbour to carry out attacks on HMS

                                QUEEN ELIZABETH, HMS VALIANT and tanker SAVONA when defensive

                                boom at Alexandria was raised for returning Force C ships See references).


1 9 4 2



                3rd          Escorted HMS GLENGYLE to Malta and HMS BRECONSHIRE for return passage with

                                HMS DIDO and HMS EURYALUS screened by HM Destroyers FOXHOUND, GURKHA,

                                KINGSTON, SIKH and KIPLING as Force B (Operation MF2).

                9th          Returned to Alexandria with Force B escorting HMS BRECONSHIRE.

                16th        Deployed with HM Cruisers DIDO and EURYALUS, screened by HM Destroyers

                                HAVOCK, HOTSPUR, FOXHOUND, KELVIN and KIPLING as Force B to cover

                                passage of Convoys to Malta (MW8A and MH8B - Operation MF3).

                18th        Convoys MH8A and MW8B combined.

                19th        Near missed during air attacks.

                20th        Returned to Alexandria with Force B ships.



                12th        Deployed with HM Cruisers DIDO and EURYALUS screened by H M Destroyers

                                HAVOCK, ARROW, GRIFFIN, HASTY, JAGUAR, JERVIS, KELVIN and KIPLING

                                as Force B.

                13th        Covered passage of Convoys MM9A and MM9B to Malta and ME10 from Malta.

                                (Operation MF5).

                                Close escort was provided by IMS CARLISLE, HM Destroyers LANCE, AVONVALE,

                                ERIDGE and HEYTHROP (MW9A) and HM Destroyers BEAUFORT, DULVERTON,

                                HURWORTH and SOUTHWOLD (MWB).

                                Two ships were lost and one diverted to Tobruk because of damage in heavy and sustained

                                air attacks (See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and above references).

                14th        Returned to Alexandria as escort for Convoy ME10 with Force B ships.



                10th        Deployed with HMS DIDO and HMS EURYALUS as Force B to intercept an enemy

                                supply convoy off Tripoli without success.

                                Searched later for damaged Italian cruiser but no contact made.

                                See above references.

                11th        During return to Alexandria torpedoed on starboard side amidships by U565 off Sollum

                                Ship capsized and sank in 35 minutes.

                                582 of ships company survived with 86 lost.

                                Flag of 15th Cruiser Squadron was transferred to HMS DIDO.

                                Casualty List was published on 4th May 1942.

                                (Casualty List - note on casualties)



back to Contents List
or Naval-History.Net

revised 5/6/11
further editing and formatting is required


if any ads offend, please contact Naval-History.Net