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

HMS DUCHESS (H 64) -  D-class Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Defender, sister ship (Photo Ships, click to enlarge)

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D or DEFENDER-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered from Palmer's on 2nd February 1931 under the 1930 Build Programme. The ship was laid down on 20th June 1931 at the same time as sister ship HMS DIANA. She was  launched on 19th July 1932 as the 4th RN ship to bear this name, introduced in 1852 and last used for a Paddle Minesweeper. Build of this destroyer was completed on 27th January 1933 and cost of £229,367 excluding the Admiralty supplied equipment such as the weapons and communications equipment. This ship served in the Mediterranean and in 1934 refitted at Chatham for service on the China Station in the 8th Destroyer Flotilla until September 1939.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s


PORTLAND 1653 - GABBARD   1653 - SCHEVENINGEN 1653 - BEACHY HEAD   1690 -  BARFLEUR 1692 - BURMA   1824-26 - NORWAY 1940


H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a  Field Blue, a Duchess's coronet Proper over a terrestrial globe Silver.


M o  t t o

Duchi  non trahi:   'To be led but not dragged'



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 21st Destroyer Flotilla at Hong Kong.

                                (Note: The 8th Destroyer Flotilla in China had been renumbered 21st Flotilla in April 1939)

                28th        Took passage from Hong Kong to join the Fleet in Mediterranean at Alexandria.



                12th        Arrived at Malta.

                                Deployed for Fleet screening and contraband control.


November              Fleet duties in continuation.



                6th          Sailed from Gibraltar as escort for HM Battleship BARHAM for return to UK.

                10th        Collided with HMS BARHAM in NW Approaches west of Mull of Kintyre in thick fog.

                                Sank in position 55.21N 06.02W with the loss of 134 of ship's company.


S p e c i a l   N o t e


This name was carried forward for the 5th time when used for a DARING Class Fleet Destroyer in 1951. This ship served with the Fleet until 1971 when she was scrapped.







by Don Kindell


This convoy list has not been cross-checked with the text above






Date convoy sailed

Joined convoy as escort

Convoy No.

Left convoy

Date convoy arrived








BLUE 003








(Note on Convoys)


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revised 29/7/11
further editing and formatting is required


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