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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2

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

HMAS STUART (D 00) - Scott-class Flotilla Leader
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMAS Stuart (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

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SCOTT-Class Flotilla Leader ordered from Hawthorn Leslie in April 1917 under the 1916-17 Build Programme and laid down on 18th October that year. The ship was launched on 22nd August 1918 as the first RN ship to carry this name, that of a Scottish Clan. Build was completed on 21st December 1918 and this ship served in several different Flotillas in the Mediterranean Fleet before her transfer to the Royal Australian Navy in 1933. She was commissioned as HMAS STUART on 11th October 1933 and remained in that Dominion Navy for the rest of her service.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

CALABRIA 1940 - LIBYA 1940-41 - MEDITERRANEAN 1940 - MATAPAN 1941 - GREECE 1941 - CRETE 1941 - NEW  GUINEA 1942-44

H e r a l d i c    D a t a

Badge: On a field Blue a White rose surmounted by

 the Stuart Crown, Green.

 

M o t t o

 'By honour we flourish'

 

 

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

 

August

 

War Station nominated at Singapore with ships of China Station

 

September

 

Prepared for war service and commissioned.

 

Deployed for anti-submarine patrol NW of Sydney

 

9th - Carried out attack on false contact with HM Australian Destroyers VAMPIRE and WATERHEN.

 

October

 

14th - Took passage from Sydney with HM Australian Destroyers VENDETTA, WATERHEN, VAMPIRE and VOYAGER to join China Station under RN command.

 

15th - Detached with destroyers due to adverse weather and took passage to Brisbane.

 

16th - Sailed from Brisbane.

 

18th - Refuelled at Townsville

 

22nd - Called at Darwin

 

29th - Arrived at Singapore.

 

November

 

Nominated for transfer to Mediterranean Fleet during passage to Singapore.

 

13th - Took passage from Singapore with HM Australian Destroyers VAMPIRE, VOYAGER, VENDETTA and WATERHEN to join Mediterranean Fleet.

 

18th - Arrived at Colombo with HMS WATERHEN.

 

25th - Sailed for Madagascar from Colombo to join HM Cruiser GLOUCESTER and French sloop RIGAULT DE GENOUILLY.

 

December

 

10th - Arrived at Aden

 

17th - Arrived in Malta for Flotilla duties.

 

 

1 9 4 0

 

January to April  

 

Deployed with HMAS VENDETTA, WATERHEN, VAMPIRE and VOYAGER with ships of Destroyer Command in Mediterranean for Fleet and Flotilla exercises and enforcement of blockade.

 

May

 

Took part in preparatory exercises with Mediterranean Fleet in the anticipation of Italian entry into war against Britain and the Dominions. Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to I00.

 

June

 

Deployed in Mediterranean, based at Alexandria, as 10th Destroyer Flotilla. (Note: During this period the Mediterranean Fleet was deployed to cover passage of convoys evacuating personnel from Malta (Operation MA3). This was abandoned after an action with Italian destroyers during which heavy expenditure of ammunition gave rise to concern. See THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by D Macintyre and Naval Staff History.)

 

July

 

7th - Sailed from Alexandria with HM Cruisers ORION, NEPTUNE, GLOUCESTER, LIVERPOOL and HM Australian Cruiser SYDNEY as Force A to provide cover for passage of convoys from Malta which had been delayed when Operation MA3 was abandoned. (Operation MAS).

 

8th - Under air attacks.

 

9th - Deployed ahead of major fleet units in Forces A and B after air search for the Italian Fleet units had been initiated. Took part in the Battle of Calabria. (For details see THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by D Macintyre and the Naval Staff History.)

 

12th - Detached from Fleet screen with HMS GLOUCESTER, HMS NEPTUNE and ORION and joined Convoy MSI to supplement escort during passage from Malta to Alexandria. (Note: This was one of the two convoys planned for evacuation of civilians from Malta in Operation MA3 - See above.)

 

13th - Under air attacks during which HMS LIVERPOOL was damaged.

 

15th - Detached from MSI on arrival at Alexandria and resumed Fleet duties with Flotilla.

 

August

 

Flotilla duties with Mediterranean Fleet in continuation. (Note: During this period Fleet units carried out bombardments in support of the advance of army units towards Tobruk.)

 

23rd - Deployed with HMAS SYDNEY, HM Destroyers DIAMOND, JUNO and ILEX for bombardment of seaplane base in the Gulf of Bomba.

 

24th - Returned to Alexandria with same ships. (Note: This attack is reported as not being very successful. See THE NAVAL WAR IN THE MEDITERRANEAN by J Greene and A Massignani.)

 

30th - Mediterranean Fleet units sailed for Operation MB3.  (Note: Part of joint operation with Force H to cover passage of convoys to Malta and the transit of reinforcement ships for service at Alexandria. Operation HATS - See above references.)

 

September

 

Deployed as part of screen for major units of Mediterranean Fleet during provision of cover for passage of military convoy taking troop reinforcements to Malta (Operation MB5).

 

29th - Detached from screen to return to Alexandria after machinery defect. During passage sighted Italian submarine GONDAR on surface which submerged. Carried out depth charge attacks and later joined by an aircraft and trawler. Submarine forced to surface after continued attacks. Crew abandoned GONDAR which had been damaged and later sank. (Note: This submarine was taking Italian human torpedoes to Alexandria for an attack on units of Mediterranean Fleet. A planned similar attack at Gibraltar was cancelled but later operations by underwater divers at both Gibraltar and Alexandria were carried out.)

 

October

 

8th - Deployed with HM Destroyers DAINTY, DECOY, IMPERIAL, JANUS, JERVIS JUNO, MOHAWK, VAMPIRE (RAN) and VENDETTA as part of screen for HM Aircraft Carriers ILLUSTRIOUS and EAGLE, HM Battleships MALAYA, RAMILLIES, VALIANT and WARSPITE covering of passage of Convoy MW2 from Egypt and Convoy ME2 from Malta (Operation MB6).

 

11th - Detached from Fleet screen on arrival of MW2 at Malta and taken in hand for refit.

 

November to December  

 

Under refit by HM Dockyard, Malta. (Note: Midships and after 4.7in gun mounts removed, and replaced by close range AA weapons. Mainmast removed.)

 

 

1 9 4 1

 

January

 

On completion of post refit trials rejoined Flotilla for Fleet duties.

 

Passage to Alexandria

 

11th - Deployed with screen for HMS BARHAM, HMS EAGLE and HM Cruiser AJAX during passage to join HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS for series of air attacks on Dodecanese (Operation MC6. Note: This operation was cancelled after HMS ILLUSTRIOUS had been very seriously damaged during air attacks on 10th January whilst with other Mediterranean Flee units covering passage of Convoy ME6 during its passage to Egypt. Operation MC4 - See above references.)

 

15th - Arrived at Alexandria with Fleet units.

 

22nd - Deployed with HM Monitors TERROR and EREBUS, HM River Gunboat LADYBIRD, HMAS VOYAGER and HMAS VAMPIRE for support of the 6th Australian Division during attack on Tobruk.

 

February

 

Eastern Mediterranean deployment with Flotilla in continuation.

 

20th - Deployed with HM Destroyers HASTY, HEREWARD, ILEX, JERVIS and VENDETTA (RAN) as screen for HMS FORMIDABLE, HMS BARHAM, VALIANT and WARSPITE during provision of Distant Cover for passage of Convoy MW6 A from Haifa and Convoy MW6B from Alexandria (Operation MC9).

 

March

 

Nominated for escort of military convoys to and from Greece. (Operation LUSTRE - Reinforcement of allied forces in Greece.).

 

4th - Part of escort for Convoy AN17 with HM Cruisers COVENTRY, HM Destroyer HEREWARD and HM Corvette HYACINTH. Under air attacks.

 

20th - Deployed with HM Destroyers HASTY, HEREWARD, ILEX, JERVIS and VENDETTA (RAN) as part of screen for HM Aircraft Carrier FORMIDABLE, HMS BARHAM, HMS VALIANT, HMS WARSPITE, HMS GLOUCESTER and HNM Cruiser YORK to provide Distant Cover for passage of Convoy MW6 to Malta (Operation MC9).

 

22nd - Took passage from Matapan area to return to Alexandria.

 

24th - Arrived at Alexandria.

 

26th - Joined HM Destroyers GREYHOUND, GRIFFIN, HOTSPUR and HAVOCK as Force C and sailed from Alexandria for screening of Fleet units during operation to intercept Italian battle Squadron reported on passage to attack convoys in Aegean Sea.

 

28th - Took part in engagement with Italian units at Battle of Matapan. Sank Italian destroyers VITTORIO ALFIERI and GIOUSE CARDUCCI with HM Destroyers GREYHOUND, GRIFFIN and HAVOCK. (For details see above references and MATAPAN by SW Pack.)

 

29th - On release from screening duties took passage to Piraeus for escort of Convoy GA9 to Egypt, with HM Destroyers HEREWARD and GRIFFIN. (Note: This convoy had been held at Piraeus in view on threat from the Italian fleet.)

 

30th - HM Cruiser BONAVENTURE joined escort. Under attack by Italian submarine AMBRA which torpedoed and sank HMS BONAVENTURE. Carried out depth charge attacks after detecting AMBRA but these were unsuccessful and submarine escaped.

 

April

 

Flotilla duties for convoy defence and Fleet screening in continuation.

 

13th - Deployed with HM Destroyer GRIFFIN and River Gunboat GNAT for bombardment of Sollum in support of shore military operation.

 

19th - Escorted HM Supply Ship GLENGYLE with HMAS WATERHEN and HM Cruiser COVENTRY during Commando landing operation for raid at Bardia. (Note: HMS GLENGYLE was later converted for specialist use as a Landing Ship but normally deployed as a Supply Ship in 1940-41.)

 

20th - Present at landings at Bardia. (Note : One source records this was not a complete success.)

 

23rd - Deployed with HMAS VOYAGER, HM Cruisers CALCUTTA and PHOEBE as escort for Convoy AG13 during passage to Suda Bay, Crete for evacuation of allied forces from Greece.

 

24th - Sailed from Suda Bay with HMS CALCUTTA, HMAS VOYAGER, HM Corvettes HYACINTH and SALVIA with three mercantiles to begin the evacuation of troops from Rafti and Nauphlia. Embarked troops and sailed for Alexandria.

 

26th - Sailed from Alexandria with HM Cruiser CALCUTTA, HM Destroyers DIAMOND and GRIFFIN to join HM Cruisers PERTH (RAN), ORION, PHOEBE and HM Destroyer DEFENDER at Nauphlia for evacuation.

 

27th - Escorted Convoy GA14 to Alexandria with HMS CALCUTTA, HMS COVENTRY and other destroyers.

 

29th - Arrived at Alexandria and sailed with HMAS VENDETTA, HMS GREYHOUND and other destroyers as escort for HM Aircraft Carrier FORMIDABLE to cover passage of Convoy GA15 during passage from Greece with evacuated troops

 

May

 

3rd - Returned to Alexandria after arrival of GA15.

 

7th - Deployed with HM Sloops AUCKLAND and FLAMINGO HMAS VAMPIRE and HMAS WATERHEN as escort for Convoy AN30 to Suda Bay. Detached and returned to Alexandria for repair after machinery defect.

 

12th - Deployed as escort for Convoy ANF30 with HMAS VENDETTA during passage from Alexandria to Suda Bay.

 

14th - Joined HM Cruiser ORION with HMAS VENDETTA as escort for passage to Alexandria from Suda Bay. (Note: HMS ORION had 7M of Greek Gold Reserves on board.)

 

22nd - Passage to Crete from Alexandria to assist in evacuation of allied troops.

 

23rd - Joined Mediterranean Fleet ships south of Crete with HMAS VENDETTA and HMAS WATERHEN. Took part in search for survivors from HM Cruiser FIJI which had been sunk in air attacks off Crete on 22nd. (Note: Rescue of survivors following sinking of both HM Cruisers FIJI and GLOUCESTER in heavy and sustained air attacks had been impossible due to threat of further air attacks.)

 

25th - Deployed with HM Destroyer JAGUAR as escort for HM Supply Ship GLENROY during passage from Alexandria to Timbakion, Crete to land troops.

 

26th - Under air attacks during which HMS GLENROY was hit by bombs, set on fire and had to be abandoned. Landing operation cancelled and returned to Alexandria.

 

27th - On arrival detached from Fleet screening duties for support of military operation in Syria (Operation EXPORTER).

 

29th - Sailed from Alexandria with HMS DEFENDER and HMS JAGUAR to supplement existing naval forces deployed off Syria.

 

30th - Joined RN ships operating off Syria.

 

June

 

Deployed off Syria for interception patrols and support of the army units ashore (Operation EXPORTER. Note: Deployed with HM Cruiser LEANDER to reinforce Mediterranean Fleet cruisers and destroyers providing support and interception of any Vichy surface ships or submarines warship attempting to interfere with operation. Other ships involved included HM Cruiser COVENTRY, HMS GLENGYLE, HM Destroyers JANUS, JAVELIN, HOTSPUR, KIMBERLEY, GRIFFIN, KANDAHAR and NIZAM.)

 

10th - Carried out patrol and escort duties.

 

13th - Returned to Alexandria on release from EXPORTER. Nomination for service with Flotilla for support of British garrison at Tobruk. Deployed with HM Australian Destroyers VENDETTA, VOYAGER and WATERHEN, HM Australian Sloop PARRAMATTA and HM Sloop AUCKLAND for transport of personnel and stores to Tobruk and Mersa Matruh. (Note: HMAS WATERHEN and HMS AUCKLAND were sunk during sustained air attacks which were a feature of this dangerous duty.)

 

16th - Carried out first supply trip to Tobruk.

 

July

 

25th - Final supply trip to Tobruk.

 

26th - Returned to Alexandria. Nominated for return to Australia for repair and refit.

 

August

 

Deployed at Alexandria.

 

22nd - Took passage to Australia on release from Mediterranean Fleet service.

 

September

 

Passage in Indian Ocean after calls at Aden and Ceylon.

 

Refit arranged at Williamstown Naval Dockyard.

 

16th - Arrived at Fremantle with only one engine serviceable.

 

27th - Arrived at Williamstown, Victoria and taken in hand for refit and for conversion as an Escort Destroyer

 

October to December

 

Under refit and conversion.

 

 

1 9 4 3

 

January to March  

 

Under refit and conversion. During this conversion A gun mounting forward was removed and replaced by HEDGEHOG anti-submarine mortar weapon mounting. Surface warning radar Type 271 and Surface/Air warning Type 286P were fitted. (For details of these equipments see SEEK AND STRIKE by W. HACKMANN and RADAR AT SEA by D.Howse.)

 

April

 

Post refit trials.

 

May to July  

 

On completion of post refit trials deployed for training duties in Australian waters and local convoy defence.

 

Nominated for support of military operations in SW Pacific.

 

August

 

Escorted ammunition ship to Noumea, New Hebrides.

 

15th - Arrived at Milne Bay, New Hebrides with convoy from Australia.

 

September

 

 Convoy defence in continuation.

 

15th - Passage from Milne Bay with convoy and transferred to inward convoy.

 

18th - Returned to Milne Bay.

 

20th - Embarked troops for passage to Normanby Island for capture of Japanese survivors from destroyer YOYOI which had been attacked and sunk by RAAF on 16th (or 11th?).

 

22nd - Returned to Milne Bay with troops and prisoners.

 

October

 

Convoy defence and support duties in continuation. Passage to Milne Bay for support operation.

 

22nd - Deployed with HM Australian Destroyer ARUNTA for transport of troops to Goodenough Island, north of Milne Bay.

 

23rd - Landed troops and took return passage to Milne Bay. (Note: Island was deserted. See WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO).)

 

Released from support duties and returned to Australia.

 

November

 

Deployed for training duties.

 

December

 

Training, local convoy escort and patrol duties in continuation.

 

 

1 9 4 3

 

Local Australian deployment in continuation.

 

Nominated for conversion into use as a troop transport for support of military operations in SW Pacific.

 

 

1 9 4 4

 

Under conversion for new role. (Note: This included provision of refrigerated storage to enable a supply of perishables to be provided to troops in SW Pacific.)

 

On completion deployed in SW Pacific.

 

 

1 9 4 5

 

January to August  

 

Military support role in continuation.

 

 

P o s t   W a r   N o t e s

 

HMAS STUART was paid-off and reduced to Reserve status in early 1946. The ship was then placed on the Disposal List and sold for breaking-up on 3rd February 1947 to T Carr at Sydney.

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of  HMAS STUART

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

 

 

 

 

 

03/01/40

05/01/40

K 6A

09/01/40

09/01/40

11/01/40

11/01/40

K 6B

18/01/40

18/01/40

08/10/40

08/10/40

MF 003

11/10/40

11/10/40

08/03/41

08/03/41

AS 017/1

12/03/41

12/03/41

29/03/41

29/03/41

GA 008

31/03/41

31/03/41

06/05/41

06/05/41

AN 030

07/05/41

09/05/41

11/05/41

11/05/41

ANF 030

15/05/41

14/05/41

14/05/41

14/05/41

AS 031/1

16/05/41

16/05/41

13/06/42

13/06/42

OC 002

16/06/42

16/06/42

16/06/42

16/06/42

VK 002

18/06/42

18/06/42

22/06/42

22/06/42

CO 005

25/06/42

25/06/42

27/06/42

27/06/42

OC 006

30/06/42

30/06/42

30/06/42

30/06/42

VK 003

30/06/42

30/06/42

06/07/42

06/07/42

CO 009

09/07/42

09/07/42

11/07/42

11/07/42

OC 010

14/07/42

14/07/42

14/07/42

14/07/42

GP 006/1

19/07/42

19/07/42

07/08/42

07/08/42

A2

11/08/42

15/08/42

13/08/42

13/08/42

A4

16/08/42

21/08/42

05/09/42

05/09/42

GP 011/A

09/09/42

09/09/42

14/09/42

14/09/42

V

15/09/42

18/09/42

14/09/42

16/09/42

T

17/09/42

17/09/42

26/10/42

26/10/42

F

29/10/42

29/10/42

11/11/42

11/11/42

J

14/11/42

14/11/42

11/11/42

13/11/42

Q

14/11/42

14/11/42

04/02/43

04/02/43

TN 032

06/02/43

06/02/43

10/02/43

10/02/43

TN 035

13/02/43

13/02/43

02/04/43

02/04/43

CO 085

06/04/43

06/04/43

05/04/43

05/04/43

OC 085

08/04/43

08/04/43

10/04/43

10/04/43

CO 087

13/04/43

13/04/43

12/04/43

12/04/43

OC 087

15/04/43

15/04/43

20/07/42

20/07/43

ZK 015

unknown

unknown

20/07/43

20/07/43

QL 003A

unknown

23/07/43

26/09/43

26/09/43

PV 002

03/10/43

03/10/43

10/10/43

10/10/43

PV 004

17/10/43

17/10/43

20/10/43

20/10/43

TN 170

23/10/43

23/10/43

28/02/44

28/02/44

MV 070

01/03/44

01/03/44

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

 

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revised 1/7/11
further editing is required