D or DEFENDER-Class Fleet
Destroyer ordered from Fairfield's of Govan on 2nd February 1931 under the 1930
Build Programme. The ship was laid down on 20th April 1941 and launched on the
7th July 1932 as the second RN ship to carry the name. It was introduced in
1589 for a ship captured in 1594 by Spain after a four day battle during which
all her crew were killed. Build was completed on 22nd December 1932 at cost of
£229,378 excluding the Admiralty supplied equipment such as weapons and
communications equipment. This ship served in the Mediterranean and after
re-commissioning in 1934 was deployed on the China Station where she remained
until 1939 apart from a detachment for duty in the Red Sea for nine months in
1935-36. She was transferred to the Mediterranean en 3rd Sept. 1939
B a t t
l e H o n o u r s
- MEDITERRANEAN 1940-41 - CALABRIA 1940
- LIBYA 1940-41 - MALTA CONVOYS 1941
H e r a l d i
c D a t a
Badge: On a Field Blue, a Fan
White and Gold.
M o t t o
Dulce quod utile: 'It is pleasant if it is useful’
D e t a
i l s o
f W a r S e r v i c e
(for more ship information,
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and type name in Site Search)
1 9 3 9
3rd Took passage with HM Destroyer DUNCAN to join
Fleet at Alexandria.
30th Joined Mediterranean Fleet.
October Deployed for Contraband Control in the Mediterranean.
December Refit in Malta
Transferred to Freetown for duty in 2nd
1 9 4 0
January Deployed for Commerce Raider search in South Atlantic
based at Freetown.
March Transferred to Mediterranean Fleet.
April Passage to Malta
21st Taken in hand for refit in Malta.
May Under refit
June On completion joined 10th Destroyer Flotilla,
12th Rescued survivors from HM Cruiser CALYPSO off
20th Deployed with HM Destroyers STUART (RAN), DECOY,
and HASTY as screen for French
battleship LORRAINE,. HM Cruisers ORION, NEPTUNE
and SYDNEY (RAN) during
bombardment of Bardia.
(Note: This was the last Anglo-French joint
operation in Mediterranean).
27th Part of destroyer screen for W Aircraft Carrier
EAGLE, HM Battleships RAMILLIES
and ROYAL SOVEREIGN, HM Cruisers LIVERPOOL,
NEPTUNE, ORION and H M
Australian Cruiser SYDNEY during cover of
passage of Convoys MF1 and MS1 from Malta.
(Note: Other escorts were m Destroyers DECOY,
DEFENDER, ILEX, DIAMOND,
JERVIS, JUNO and HM Australian Destroyer
In action against Italian submarine CONSOLE
GENERAL LIUZZI with HM Destroyer ILEX
Enemy submarine scuttled after surface gunfire
engagement east of Crete.
(Note: Operation MA3 was cancelled after 3
Italian destroyers were engaged in an action
action by cruisers of the Mediterranean Fleet
and expended most of their 6”
ammunition. See MALTA CONVOYS by R Woodhead.).
29th Sank Italian submarine UEBI SCEBELLI by depth
charge attack west of Crete.
(Note: This submarine is recorded as damaged in
THE NAVAL WAR IN THE
MEDITERRANEAN by J Greene and A Massiginani.)
Attacked Italian submarine SALPA without
7th Sailed as screen for HMS EAGLE, H M Battleships
MALAYA, ROYAL SOVEREIGN, HM
Cruisers GLOUCESTER, LIVERPOOL, NEPTUNE, ORION
and HMAS SYDNEY with
HM destroyers DEFENDER, HASTY, HOSTILE,
HYPERION, ILEX, IMPERIAL, JANUS,
JUNO, VAMPIRE (RAN) and VOYAGER (RAN).
(Operation MA5 - Repeat of Cover for passage of
convoys from Malta).
9th Took part in Battle of Punta Stilo or Calabria.
(For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY
by C Barnett, THE BATTLE
FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by D Macintyre and Naval
21st Part of escort for Convoy AN2 from Alexandria to
29th Deployed with HM Destroyers JERVIS, JUNO and
DIAMOND as escort for Convoy MF2
comprising the RFA Tanker PLUMLEAF and two
mercantiles during passage from Egypt to
Malta with relief supplies.
(Note: This was part of a joint deployment by
Mediterranean Fleet ships and Force "H" from
Gibraltar to pass reinforcements to Fleet at
Alexandria. (Operation HATS. See above
30th Took part in anti-submarine operation after sonar
31st Under air attacks during which ss CORNWALL was
badly damaged by three bomb hits and
set on fire. There were several casualties.
(For details see MALTA CONVOYS by R Woodman)
1st Detached with HMS DIAMOND for escort of
mercantile, ss VOLVO and RFA
2nd Rejoined Fleet units for return passage to
(Note: Air attacks were made on airfields in
5th Arrived at Alexandria with Fleet units.
October Deployed for Fleet screening duties.
8th Part of screen for HM Aircraft Carriers
ILLUSTRIOUS, EAGLE, HM Battleships
MALAYA, RAMILLIES, VALIANT, WARSPITE, HM
GLOUCESTER, LIVERPOOL, ORION, SYDNEY and YORK,
with HM Destroyers
DECOY, IMPERIAL, JANUS, JERVIS, .JUNO, MOHAWK
and NUBIAN to cover
passage of Malta Convoys MF3 from Alexandria and
MF4 From Malta (Operation MB6).
November Deployed on convoy defence in Eastern Mediterranean.
4th Escorted three supply ships and RFA PLUMLEAF with
HM Cruisers CALCUTTA and
COVENTRY, HM Australian Destroyers VAMPIRE,
VOYAGER and WATERHEN to
Piraeus and Malta as Convoy AN6/MW3.
5th Remained as for MW3 during passage to Malta when
11th Deployed with Fleet screen during cover of passage
of ME3 to Port Said.
(Note: Part of Operation COAT which included
transfer of HM Battleship BARHAM, HM
Cruiser BERWICK and HM Cruiser GLASGOW as
reinforcements for the
Mediterranean Fleet from UK).
December Deployed on interception of enemy supply convoys to North
31st Captured two schooners off Bardia.
1 9 4 1
7th Part of screen for HMS ILLUSTRIOUS, HMS WARSPITE
and HMS VALIANT with
HM Destroyers GALLANT, GREYHOUND, GRIFFIN,
JERVIS, JUNO, MOHAWK and
NUBIAN as Force A to provide cover for passage
of military convoy from the western
(Note: The Fleet was under heavy air attacks
during this Operation – See above
Transferred to Suda Bay for interception patrol
and convoy defence.
Towed damaged tanker DESMOULEA after torpedo
attack off Crete.
February Deployed for interception patrol and defence of convoys
24th Sunk in Tobruk harbour by air attack. (Position
Hit by 1000lb bomb.
Major fires caused after magazine to explode.
16 killed and 18 wounded.
CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of
by Don Kindell
These convoy lists have not been cross-checked with the text above
Date convoy sailed
Joined convoy as escort
Date convoy arrived