Naval History Homepage - and Site Search



by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2002

HMS NUBIAN (F 36) -  Tribal-class Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements 

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Nubian (Photo Ships, click to enlarge)

return to Contents List 


TRIBAL-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered from John I Thornycroft at Woolston under the 1935 Build Programme on 10th March 1936. She was  laid down on 10th August that year. and launched on 21st December 1937 as the 2nd RN ship to carry the name which that of a native of the Sudan. It was introduced for a destroyer built in 1906. This first ship was seriously damaged in 1916 and the stern section was joined to the forward part of HM Destroyer ZULU which also had been damaged. These then formed a new ship which was renamed HMS ZUBIAN later sold in 1919. The build contract cost was £339,265, excluding items supplied by the Admiralty such as weapons, ammunition and  wireless equipment. After build completion and Trials in December 1938 the ship went to the Mediterranean and joined the 1st Tribal Destroyer Flotilla. In January 1942 she was adopted by the civil community of the county of Pembrokeshire, Wales following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign. This destroyer was one of the only four of the sixteen ship in the Class which survived WW2.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

DOVER PATROL 1914-17 - NORWAY 1940 - CALABRIA 1940 - LIBYA 1940 - MEDITERRANEAN 1941 - SFAX 1941 - MATAPAN 1941 - GREECE 1941 - CRETE 1941 - MALTA CONVOYS 1941 - SICILY 1943 - SALERNO 1943  - ARCTIC 1944 - BURMA 1944-45

H e r a l d i c   D e t a i l s

 Badge: On a Field barry wavy of six White and Blue the head

of a Nubian in profile.



D e t a i l s   o f   P r e - W a r   S e r v i c e


1 9 3 8


December               Contractors trials. Commissioned for service in 1st TRIBAL Destroyer Flotilla, Mediterranean


                                (Note: Flotilla comprised HM Destroyers AFRIDI, COSSACK, GURKHA, MAORI,

                                           MOHAWK, NUBIAN, SIKH and ZULU.

                                (Note: Completion of build had been delayed by late delivery of gunnery equipment.)

              7th            Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

                                On completion of trials and storing took passage to Portland to work-up for operational service.


1 9 3 9



             14th           Took passage to Gibraltar.

             29th           Arrived at Gibraltar to take part in Fleet exercises



              2nd           Deployed with Flotilla and took part in exercises based at Gibraltar.

                               (Note: These were an annual event with ships of the Home Fleet.


March                     Deployed in western Mediterranean with ships of Flotilla after exercises with Home Fleet ships.

                               (Note: This may have included Non-intervention patrols to prevent support of

                                            by sea of Spanish civil war military forces.)

             29th           Embarked Italian Prisoners of War being exchanged.

             30th           Disembarked passengers at Marseilles.


April                       Passage to Malta after an independent visit to St Maxime, French Riviera.

                               Rejoined Flotilla in Malta.


May                        Deployed with Flotilla and took part in Fleet and Flotilla exercises with visits.

to July


August                    Passage to Alexandria to take-up war station with ships of Flotilla.

                                 (Note: Some ships of Flotilla were visiting Istanbul, Turkey.)



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)



September               Carried out contraband control duties in eastern Mediterranean to enforce the blockade of

                                 cargoes in transit by sea to German y.

                                 Nominated for return to Home waters with ships of Flotilla.


October                    Passage to Portsmouth.

                                 On arrival withdrawn from Flotilla duties for repair of machinery defects.

            20th              Passage in tow to Southampton for replacement of turbine blades by builders.


November                (Note: Machinery defects of this type were common to TRIBAL Class destroyers

                                             and caused by excess stresses when steaming at high speed.)

            27th              Carried out post repair trials in Channel after completion of repairs.

            28th              Deployed in Solent to carry out trials with towed captive balloon.

                                 (Note: This was to establish value of the use of balloons a deterrent against low

                                              level air attacks and was later adopted for use by minesweepers. Successful

                                              use ian practice during convoy defence has not been widely reported.)

                                 On completion took passage to Rosyth top rejoin Flotilla for Home Fleet duties.

December                 Deployed in North Sea and NW Approaches for screening of major warships,

                                 convoy defence and patrol to intercept ships engaged in minelaying or for attacks

                                 on convoys

                                 (Note: For details of naval activities in Home waters see ]Naval Staff History,

                                             ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett and THE BATTLE

                                             OF THE EAST COAST by JP Foynes.)

            28th              Part of escort for damaged HM Battleship BARHAM during passage to Liverpool after

                                 being hit by torpedo from U30 during patrol in NW Approaches.


1 9 4 0


January                    Flotilla duties in continuation.

             7th               Sustained damage in collision with mercantile at Greenock.

           24th               Resumed Flotilla duties in Home Fleet on completion of repairs.


February                   Took part in Home Fleet search for German tanker ALTMARK with ships of Flotilla.

                                  (Note: ALTMARK was known to be on passage to German after deployment

                                              in support of commerce raiding by German pocket battleship GRAF SPEE

                                              and was believed to be carrying British merchant seaman who had been

                                              captured when their ships were sunk by GRAF SPEE.

                                              HM Destroyers COSSACK, SIKH and ZULU were also deployed and

                                              a boarding party from HMS COSSACK released the prisoners in Josing Fjord.

                                              See above references.)


             2nd               Taken in hand for refit and repair by Hawthorn Leslie shipyard at Newcastle.

                                  (Note: Work carried out included repair to structural damage in recent service

                                              during heavy weather which also caused leaks to ships systems.)


            11th               Passage to Scapa Flow to resume Home Fleet service on completion of  pos refit trials.

                                  (Note: Ships of Homer Fleet were engaged in operations off Norway in support of

                                               planned allied landings. For details see NAVAL OPERATIONS OF THE

                                               CAMPAIGN IN NORWAY April-June 1940.)

            14th               Escorted Fleet Tanker RFA WAR PINDARI from Scapa Flow to Lillijona

            15th               Embarked troops from troopships for passage to Namsos.

                                  (Note: See reference. HM Destroyers AFRIDI and SIKH of Flotilla also ferried troops.)

            17th               Refuelled from cruiser in Namsen Fjord.

            20th              Provided anti-aircraft defence at Namsos

            21st               Relieved as AA Guardship by HM Sloop AUCKLAND.

            22nd              Deployed for patrol in Norwegian coastal waters to intercept shipping.

                                  (Note: HMS SIKH of Flotilla was also deployed for this duty.)

                                  Sailed for Scapa Flow on completion.

            24th               Returned to Scapa and landed survivors from HM Trawler RUTLANDSHIRE which had

                                   been lost during air attacks at Namsos.

            25th               Passage from Scapa Flow to resume Home Fleet duties off Norway.

            27th               Under air attacks.



              3rd                Deployed at  Namsos with HM Destroyers KELLY, MAORI, HASTY and  IMPERIAL

                                   to provide cover during evacuation of allied troops.

                                   Embarked troops and took passage to UK with HM Cruiser YORK.

                                   (Note: For details of the disastrous operations off Norway see THE DOOMED EXPEDITION

                                                by J Adams, NARVIK by D Macintyre, CARRIER GLORIOUS by J Winton and

                                                above reference.

                                   Under heavy and sustained air attacks on return passage.

                                   (Note: HMS AFRIDI of Flotilla and French destroyer BISON were lost.

              4th                Arrived at Scapa Flow with evacuation force.

              9th                Escorted HM Landing Ship (Infantry) ROYAL SCOTSMAN to Bodo to land

                                   commando unit.

                                   On return deployed at Scapa Flow for Home Fleet duties including screening of major


                                   Pennant Number for visual signalling changed to G36 .

                                   Nominated for duty in 14th Destroyer Flotilla in eastern Mediterranean.

                                   (Note: Flotilla comprised HM Destroyers JERVIS, JANUS, JUNO, MOHAWK and


            16th                Took passage from Devonport to Alexandria for screening and patrol duties in Mediterranean

            23rd                Arrived at Alexandria for Flotilla duties.

                                   (Note: For details of operations in the Mediterranean see Naval Staff History and THE

                                               BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by D MacIntyre.)


June                            Deployed at Alexandria with Flotilla.

            21st                Part of screen for combined British and French force during bombardment of shore

                                   installation at Bardia.

            23rd               Returned to Alexandria with bombardment force.


July                            Flotilla duties in continuation at Alexandria.

              7th                Deployed with HM Destroyers MOHAWK, HERO, HEREWARD and DECOY as screen

                                   for HM Battleship WARSPITE to provide cover for passage of  convoys from Malta to

                                   Egypt carrying personnel being evacuated from the island/

:            9th                Present at Battle of Punta Stilo (Battle of Calabria) with H M Destroyers JUNO, JANUS

                                   and MOHAWK as screen for HMS WARSPITE during brief engagement with Italian force.

                                   (Note: For details see Naval Staff History, THE NAVAL WAR IN THE MEDITERRANEAN

                                                by J Greene and A Massignani and above reference.)


August                       Nominated with HM Destroyers MOHAWK, HERO and  JANUS for detached service in

                                   Force H at Gibraltar to reinforce escort during the transit of HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS

                                   HM Battleship  VALIANT, HM Cruisers COVENTRY and CALCUTTA to join the Fleet at

                                   at Alexandria (Operation HATS).

            20th                Took passage from Malta to Gibraltar with HM Destroyers HOSTILE, MOHAWK and HERO.

                                   Detached on passage and returned to Malta for repair of machinery defect.

                                  (Note: HMS HOSTILE sank after hitting a mine on 23rd whilst in the Sicilian Narrows.

                                             The survivors were rescued by the other two ships which returned to Malta..)

            26th                Passage from Malta with HM Destroyers MOHAWK, HERO and JANUS to join Force F as

                                   escort for reinforcement ships .

            30th                Sailed from Gibraltar as part of Force F with HM Destroyers GALLANT, GREYHOUND,

                                   GRIFFIN, HOTSPUR, MOHAWK, HERO and JANUS.



              2nd               Met ships of Mediterranean Fleet off Pantalleria with ships detached for HATS and resumed

                                   Flotilla duties.

                                   Detached with HMS MOHAWK for patrol in Gulf of Nauphlia during passage of main fleet

                                   from Malta to Alexandria.

                                   On release from patrol escorted convoy MD7 with HMS MOHAWK as screen for HM Cruisers

                                   GLOUCESTER and LIVERPOOL during passage from Athens to Alexandria

            15th                Part of screen for Mediterranean Fleet ships covering air attacks on Benghazi by HM Aircraft

                                   Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS.

            17th                Detached with HMS MOHAWK to escort HM Cruiser KENT during bombardment of Bardia.

                                   Came under air attacks during approach to Bardia.

                                   Took HMS KENT in tow after that ship was disabled by aircraft torpedo hit.

                                   Speed restricted to 8 knots.

                                  (Note: 33 casualties in HMS KENT. Tow was later transferred to HM Netlayer PROTECTOR

                                                until tug arrived from Alexandria.)



             8th                 Deployed with HM Destroyers DAINTY, DECOY, IMPERIAL, JANUS, JUNO, MOHAWK,

                                   STUART (RAN), VAMPIRE (RAN), VENDETTA (RAN) as screen for HM Aircraft Carriers

             8th                 ILLUSTRIOUS and EAGLE, HM Battleships MALAYA, VALIANT, RAMILLIES and

                                   WARSPITE, HM Cruisers AJAX, LIVERPOOL, GLOUCESTER, ORION, SYDNEY

                                   (RAN) and YORK as Distant Escort during passage of Convoys MF3 (MW2) to Malta and

                                   MF4 (ME2) to Egypt from Malta (Operation MB6

           12th                 Under attack by Italian torpedo boats during escort of convoy to Egypt.

                                   For details see MALTA CONVOYS by R Woodman).

           14th                 Returned to Alexandria with Fleet units.



             6th                 Deployed with HM Destroyers DECOY, DEFENDER, HASTY, HAVOCK, HERO,

                                   HEREWARD, HYPERION, ILEX, JANUS, JERVIS, JUNO and MOHAWK as screen for


                                   WARSPITE, HMS AJAX, HMS GLOUCESTER, HMS ORION. HMAS SYDNEY

                                   and HMS YORK to provide Distant Cover for passage of Convoys AN6 to Suda Bay

                                   and Malta Convoy MW3 (Operation MB6).

             9th                 Remained with Fleet units to meet HM Battleship BARHAM, HM Cruisers BERWICK

                                   and GLASGOW on passage to join Fleet at Alexandria as reinforcements

                                   (Operation COAT).

                                   (Note: These ships were designated Force F and their passage from Gibraltar had been

                                               covered by ships of Force H from Gibraltar to the Sicilian Narrows.

                                               See above references for details.

           10th                 With Fleet units when Force F joined Mediterranean Fleet.

           11th                 Detached with HMS MOHAWK as destroyer screen for HMS ORION, HMAS SYDNEY

                                   and HMS AJAX as Force X to carry out attacks on Italian troop convoys in the Straits of


                                   (Note: This was intended as diversion during the attacks on the Italian Fleet at Taranto

                                                           by aircraft from HMS ILLUSTRIOUS (Operation JUDGEMENT)

           12th                 Intercepted convoy of four mercantiles escorted by the torpedo boat NICOLA FABRIZI

                                   and an auxiliary cruiser RAMB II. During a brief engagement three of the mercantiles

                                   were sunk with the other and RAMB II damaged.

           14th                 Returned to Alexandria with Fleet units.

                                   Deployed for escort of convoys to and from Greece.


December                   Flotilla duties with Fleet in continuation.

                                   (Note: These included defence of military convoys to Greece (Operation LUSTRE) and

                                                screening of ships carrying out naval gunfire support of military operations.)


1 9 4 1



            3rd                  Escorted HM Cruiser CALCUTTA with H M Destroyers MOHAWK, DAINTY and

                                   VOYAGER (RAN) during bombardment of Bardia.

            7th                  Deployed with HM Destroyers DAINTY, GALLANT, GREYHOUND, GRIFFIN, JERVIS,

                                   JUNO and MOHAWK as screen for HMS ILLUSTRIOUS., HMS WARSPITE and HMS

                                   VALIANT of Force A to provide cover for passage of Malta Convoys MW5 ½ ,

                                   ME5½ and ME6 (Operation MC4)

           10th                 On arrival off Malta remained with Fleet and took passage to meet military convoy taking

                                    tanks and stores from Gibraltar to the 8th Army in Egypt (Operation EXCESS).

           11th                  Part of screen for Fleet units during escort of  Convoy ME6 and EXCESS Convoy to


                                    (Note: Before arrival of EXCESS convoy off Malta, HMS ILLUSTRIOUS had been

                                                 seriously damaged in air attacks by Fliegerkorps X aircraft and disabled.

                                                 For details see references.)

                                    Under heavy and sustained air attacks on Fleet units during which HMS

                                    HM Cruiser SOUTHAMPTON was hit and had to be sunk when fires became out of

                                    control. HMS GLOUCESTER was damaged by two near misses.

            15th                 Arrived at Alexandria with Fleet units.

                                    (Note: Loss of HMS SOUTHAMPTON and the damage to HMS ILLUSTRIOUS which

                                               had been withdrawn from operational use pending repair, the Fleet operations in

                                               support of Malta convoys were suspended unit HM Aircraft Carrier FORMIDABLE

                                               arrived as replacement.)


            21st                 Deployed with HM Destroyer MOHAWK as screen for HMS GLOUCESTER and HMS

                                    ORION during passage to Malta with troops.

            22nd                Detached from cruisers and returned to Alexandria.

            24th                 Sailed from Alexandria with HM Australian Cruiser PERTH and HMS MOHAWK to assist defence

                                     of HM Monitor TERROR which had been seriously damaged in air attacks and was under tow.

                                    (Note: HMS TERROR sank in tow before arrival and ship returned to Alexandria.)


March                         Flotilla deployed for screening and convoy defence in continuation.

                                    (Note: During this period military convoys taking reinforcement troops and supplies

                                                to Greece were in continuation (Operation LUSTRE)

            20th                 Sailed from Alexandria with HM Destroyers DEFENDER, DECOY, GREYHOUND,

                                    GRIFFIN, HASTY, HERO, HEREWARD, HOTSPUR, HAVOCK, ILEX, JERVIS,

                                    JANUS, JAGUAR and MOHAWK as screen for HMS FORMIDABLE, HMS VALIANT,

                                    HMS WARSPITE, HMS BARHAM, HMS Cruisers YORK, BONAVENTURE,

                                    GLOUCESTER, ORION, AJAX and PERTH (RAN) to provide cover for passage of

                                    Convoy MW6 to Malta (Operation MC9)

            24th                 Returned to Alexandria with Fleet units.

            27th                 Sailed from Alexandria with destroyers of Mediterranean Fleet Flotillas not already

                                    engaged in escort of cruisers as Force C for screening of Fleet major units designated

                                    Force A.

                                    (Note: This deployment followed report of passage of Italian warships in Aegean for

                                                 attacks on LUSTRE convoys. Force A included HMS WARSPITE, HMS

                                                 VALIANT, HMS BARHAM, HMS FORMIDABLE.)

            28th                 Detached with HMS MOHAWK to provide visual signalling between cruiser force and

                                    main Fleet units.

                                    Took part in night engagement with Italian ships (Battle of Cape Matapan).

                                    (Note: Italian warships included battleship VITTORIO VENETO, nine cruisers

                                                screened by three destroyer flotillas totalling 17 ships.

                                                For details of this action see above  references and MATAPAN by SW Pack.)

                                    Sank disabled cruiser POLA by torpedoes with  HMS JERVIS.

            30th                 Returned to Alexandria with Fleet units.


April                           Nominated with Flotilla for detached service based at Suda Bay, Crete for attacks

                                    on supply convoys off North African coast

                                    Passage to Suda Bay with HMS JERVIS, JANUS, and MOHAWK.

            10th                 Transferred to Malta to form Malta Strike Force, later designated as Force K

            11th                 Passage to Malta from Suda Bay.

            15th                 Sailed from Malta with HM Destroyers JERVIS, JANUS and MOHAWK to intercept

                                    supply convoy of five mercantiles escorted by three destroyers and reported  off Cape

                                    Bon during air reconnaissance.

            16th                 Took part in night action against convoy during which all ships in convoy and two of

                                    the escorting destroyers were sunk. HMS MOHAWK was sunk by a torpedo ,

                                    Rescued survivors from HMS MOHAWK,

                                    (Note: For full details see MALTA CONVOYS and Naval Staff History.

                                                 The third Italian destroyer was badly damaged but later towed to Italy for repair.

                                                 An Italian hospital ship later rescued over 1,200 survivors from the Italian convoy

                                                 and escorts. Over 3,00 troops had been embarked on the mercantiles.)

             17th                Returned to Malta for further service as Malta Strike Force.

             19th                Deployed with HM Destroyers DIAMOND, JANUS and JERVIS as escort for Convoy ME7

                                    during initial stage of passage from Malta to Alexandria.

             20th                Met Fleet units and took passage to Alexandria to land MOHAWK survivors.

             26th                Passage from Alexandria taking troops to Suda Bay and deployed for patrol on arrival.

             27th                Joined HM Destroyers HASTY, Decoy and HM Stores Ship GLENGYLE and took passage to

                                    Rafina. Greece and evacuated 3,500 British and Commonwealth troops (Operation DEMON).

                                    (Note: This was the codename for the evacuation of allied troops from Greece during

             28th                Landed passengers at Suda Bay.

             29th                Part of escort of Convoy GA14 during passage to Alexandria (Operation DEMON)

                                    Sustained slight damage in air attacks.

             30th                Passage to Kalamata, Greece to evacuate allied troops which was unsuccessful.


May                             On arrival under repair and boiler cleaning at Alexandria.

               7th                Deployed with HM Destroyers GRIFFIN, HAVOCK, HEREWARD, HERO, HOTSPUR,

                                    JERVIS, JUNO, KANDAHAR, KIMBERLEY, KINGSTON and NIZAM as screen for

                                    HM Aircraft Carrier FORMIDABLE, HM Battleships BARHAM, VALIANT and WARSPITE

                                    HM Cruisers ORION, PERTH (RAN) and ABDIEL during provision of Distant Cover for

                                    passage of Convoys MW7A and MW 7B to Malta (Operation MD4)

                                    (Note: HM Stores Ship BRECONSHIRE and six mercantiles formed these convoys which

                                               merged on 6th. See above references.)

               9th                Screen deployment for Fleet units in continuation during provision of Distant Cover for

                                    passage of TIGER military convoy in eastern Mediterranean.

                                    (Operation TIGER – Military convoy taking urgently needed tanks to 8th Army in Egypt.

                                    See references.)

             12th                Returned to Alexandria with Fleet units.

             20th                Deployed for support of defence of Crete and part of screen for cruisers.

                                    Part of destroyer screen for HMS NAIAD and came under failed attack by torpedo boats

             21st                Deployed for patrols to intercept invasion craft.

                                    Under air attacks. Rescued some survivors from HMS JUNO which had been sunk by

                                    Italian aircraft during interception patrol.

                                    (Note: HMS JUNO sank very quickly with loss of over 100 of her complement.)

              22nd              Deployed as part of screen for HM Cruisers NAIAD and CARLISLE.

                                    Carried out night attacks on invasion craft on passage south of Milos to land troops

                                    in Crete.

                                    Under heavy and sustained air attacks during which the two cruisers were damaged.

              26th               Deployed with eight other Fleet destroyers as screen for HMS FORMIDABLE and

                                    HMS BARHAM and under air attacks.

                                    Hit aft by bomb and sustained serious structural damage including loss of part of

                                    stern above the waterline. Rudder was destroyed but propellers undamaged.

                                    Withdrawn from operations and escorted to Alexandria by HMS JACKAL.

                                    (Note: Damage prevented normal steering which had to be achieved using main engines

                                                 but speed of 22 knots was possible.)

                                    On arrival taken in hand for temporary repair at Port Tewfik


June                             Awaiting temporary repair,


July                              Permanent repair arranged with HM Dockyard, Bombay.

              23rd               Temporary repair work commenced.

                                    (Note: Temporary bulkheads and jury rudder fitted to enable safe passage.)


August                         Prepared for passage.

              10th               On completion sailed for Aden with HM Destroyer ISIS.

                                    (Note: HMS ISIS was on passage to Singapore for repair)

              14th               Delayed at Aden to wait for suitable weather during ocean passage.



              20th               Took passage to Bombay from Aden.

              27th               Arrived at Bombay for repair and refit.


October                       Paid-off into Dockyard control and commenced repair work.

to December               Work included replacement of twin 4.7in mounting in Y position by Twin 4in

                                    HA mounting to improve AA defence. Radar Type 286M was fitted to

                                    provide warning of approach of land, shipping and limited air warning.

                                    (Note: For details of development and use of radar by the RN see RADAR

                                                AT SEA by D Howse. Type 286 was a modified RAF air-surface outfit

                                                but use of fixed aerial units attached to foremast limited its value for use

                                                on board ships.)

                                                After funnel and mainmast were modified to improve arcs of fire against

                                                air attacks

                                                Depth charge throwers were re-positioned.

                                                Four 20mm single Oerlikon mountings were fitted to improve close range

                                                AA defence.


1 9 4 2


January                          Repair at Bombay in continuation

to September


October                          Recommissioned for service.

                                       Carried out post repair harbour and sea trials.

                                       Sailed from Bombay to rejoin 14th Destroyer Flotilla Mediterranean Fleet at Alexandria.



              11th                  Arrived at Port Said and resumed Flotilla duties with HMS JERVIS, HMS JAVELIN

                                       and HMS KELVIN.

                                       Nominated for service in Malta for interception of supply convoys.

              16th                  Deployed with HMS JAVELIN, HMS JERVIS, HMS KELVIN, HMS PALADIN,

                                       HMS PETARD and HMS PAKENHAM as screen for HM Cruisers EURYALUS

                                       CLEOPATRA, ARETHUSA, DIDO and ORION for escort of Malta Convoy MW13

                                       during passage from Alexandria.

                                       (Operation STONEAGE – First westbound convoy after siege of Malta was lifted.

              17th                  Detached with escort from MW13 on relief by HUNT Class Escort Destroyers and

                                       returned to Alexandria to refuel.

              18th                  Rejoined MW13 with same Fleet units and screen.

                                       Under air attacks during which HMS ARETHUSA was hit by an aircraft torpedo and

                                       sustained major damage with 155 men killed.

                                       (Note: HMS ARETHUSA returned to Alexandria under tow by HMS PETARD and

                                                    escorted by HMS JERVIS and HMS JAVELIN.)

              19th                  Detached from MW13 when air cover available from Malta and took passage to

                                       Alexandria with Fleet units.

              21st                  Arrived at Alexandria

              28th                  Passage to Malta with HMS DIDO, HMS EURYALUS, HMS CLEOPATRA, HMS

                                       JERVIS, HMS JAVELIN and HMS KELVIN for service as reformed Force K.



               1st                   Deployed at Malta with Force K

               4th                   Joined Malta relief convoy MW13 from Alexandria with ships of Force K.

                                       as reinforced escort during passage from Crete area into Malta.

                                       (Operation PORTCULLIS/ MH1)

               5th                   Detached from MW13 with ships of Force K on arrival in Malta

             21st                    During interception operation sank mercantile on passage to Tripoli.


1 9 4 3


January                           Force K Deployment at Malta in continuation.

               6th                   Carried out interception patrol between Lampedusa and Kerkenah Bank.

               8th                   Took part in attack on three schooners off Kuriat with HMS KELVIN.

             16th                    In action with HMS KELVIN against ss D’ANNUNCIO escorted by Italian

                                        torpedo boast PERSEO during which the mercantile was sunk and escort damaged.

             19th                    Sank Italian transport STROMBOLI with HM Destroyer PAKENHAM

                                        and Greek destroyer VASILISSA OLGA. Ten survivors were rescued.

             22nd                   Carried out bombardment of withdrawal routes in use by enemy troops

                                        near Zuara, west of Tripoli with HMS CLEOPATRA, HMS EURYALUS,

                                        HMS JERVIS, HMS JAVELIN and HMS KELVIN.

             23rd                    Took part in further bombardment with ships of Force K.

             29th                    Embarked 600 RAF personnel at Benghazi for passage to Malta.


February                          Deployed with Force K for escort and patrol duties in central Mediterranean

to March                          with interception sweeps off Pantellaria and in Gulf of Hammamet.



              30th                   During interception operation with HMS PALADIN attacked and sank

                                        Italian transport FAUNA under escort by torpedo boats south of Sicily.



                3rd                   Deployed with HMS PALADIN and HMS PETARD for interception patrol.

                4th                   Attacked and sank Italian mercantile CAMPOBASS0 which was escorted by

                                        Italian torpedo boat PERSEO which was also sunk

                                        (Note: The mercantile was believed to be on passage to Tunis with explosives.).

                5th                   During gunnery exercises hit by 4in shell the upper deck, killing three ratings.

                7th                   Took part in blockade of Cape Bon area for interception of craft attempted

                                        passage during evacuation of enemy forces from North Africa.

                                        (Operation RETRIBUTION with HM Destroyers PALADIN, PETARD and JERVIS.)

                8th                   Carried out bombardment of Keliba with HMS PALADIN and HMS PETARD.

                9th                   Resumed bombardment of Keliba.

              25th                   Nominated for duties in support of planned attack on Pantellaria with ships of

                                        19th Destroyer Flotilla comprising HM Destroyers LAFOREY, LOOKOUT,

                                        LOYAL and TARTAR.)


June                                 Deployed with 19th Flotilla in support of  CORKSCREW.

              10th                   Escorted HM Cruisers AURORA, NEWFOUNDLAND, ORION and

                                        PENELOPE with HM Destroyers LAFOREY, LOOKOUT, LOYAL, JERVIS,

                                        to cover British landings on Pantellaria.

              11th                   Present at formal surrender of Pantellaria.

                                        Carried out bombardment of Lampedusa with other ships.

              12th                   Present at surrender of Lampedusa

              13th                   Arrived at Linosa with HMS NEWFOUNDLAND and HM Destroyer

                                        TROUBRIDGE and found island ready to surrender.

                                        Landed shore party and accepted surrender. Sailed after destruction of AA guns

                                        and taking 169 of garrison prisoner.

              14th                   Accepted surrender of Lampione.

              20th                   Joined HMS LOOKOUT, JERVIS and ESKIMO for escort of HM Cruiser AURORA

                                        during passage from Tripoli to Malta with HM King George VI embarked for visit to

                                        the island.


July                                 Nominated for support of planned allied landings in Sicily and preparations

                                        for this service (Operation HUSKY)

            10th                     Deployed with Support Force East during landings.

                                        For details see Naval Staff History and ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY

                                        by C Barnett.)

                                        (Note: British XXX Corps were landed SW of Syracuse.)

                                        Deployed off beach head and later for patrols to provide defence against any Italian

                                        attempts to interfere with landings by follow-up convoys.

                                        Carried out bombardment of Lentini  and Carlentini.

                                        On release from HUSKY support returned to Malta.

            17th                     During air raid on Malta sustained slight damage but there were seven casualties, four fatal.


August                            Deployed at Augusta, Sicily for support of military operations with HMS TARTAR

                                        and HM Cruiser  MAURITIUS.

            10th                     Sustained slight damage from near misses during air raid.

            14th                     During patrol off Cape Spartivento with HMS TARTAR

                                        Nominated for support of planned landings at Salerno with ships of Flotilla.

                                        (Operation AVALANCHE)

                                        Joined Support Group of Northern Attack Force (Task Force 85).



             9th                      Deployed off Salerno with support Force and provided naval gunfire support during landings.

            10th                     Bombarded shore positions in support of military advance.

            13th                     Provided naval gunfire support with HM Cruisers MAURITIUS during enemy

              to                       UGANDA, ORION, AURORA, US cruisers PHILADELPHIA, and BOISE,

            18th                     Destroyers LOYAL, LOOKOUT, TARTAR, BRECON, QUANTOCK and

                                        EGGESFORD during counter attack.

                                        Under air attacks including use of radio-controlled glider-bombs.

                                        See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and Naval Staff History.

            27th                     Returned to Malta with HMS LOYAL.


October                           Deployed at Naples to augment local AA defence and for support of military operations


November                       Military support, patrol and convoy defence off west coast of Italy in continuation.

            23rd                    Carried out bombardment at Minturno.

                                       Nominated for refit in UK and took passage.


December                       Passage to Tyne.

              8th                    Taken in hand for refit at Jarrow.


1 9 4 4


January                   Under refit.

to April                     (Note: Work included replacement of foremast by Lattice type to suit installation

                                                    of new design warning surface radar to replace Type 286M fitted in Bombay.

                                                    H/F Direction Finding outfit was installed and Fire-Control Radar Type 285

                                                    for main armament. Additional Close Range 20mm weapons were fitted

                                  For details of new weapons see SEEK AND STRIKE by W Hackmann.)


May                          Nominated for service with 3rd Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet on completion of

                                  work-up at Scapa Flow

                                  Carried out harbour trials

             10th              On completion of dockyard work carried out post refit sea trials and took passage

                                  join Home Fleet at Scapa Flow to work-up for operational service


June                          Based at Scapa Flow for duties with 10th Flotilla after work-up.

                                 Deployed for screening and patrol duties but remained at Scapa Flow during the

                                 allied landings in Normandy (Operation NEPTUNE)


July                          Home Fleet duties with Flotilla at Scapa Flow.

to August                 Deployed with screen for Home Fleet major warships during provision of cover

                                 for passage of Russian Convoy JW59 and for air operations against German

                                 battleship TIRPITZ in Altenfjord and against convoys off Norwegian coast.


September                Home Fleet screening in continuation

to October                (Note: During this period Home Fleet ships provided cover during passage of

                                             Russian convoy JW61)


November                Home Fleet screening duties in continuation.

             14th             Deployed with HM Destroyers CAESAR, VENUS and ZEPHYR as screen for

                                 HM Escort Aircraft Carrier PURSUER and HM Cruiser EURYALUS during

                                 air operations against targets at Trondheim.

                                 (Note: German Patrol Vessel V6413 was sunk in these attacks.

                                              See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY.)


December                 Transferred to 10th Destroyer Flotilla and took passage to Plymouth to join

                                 HM Destroyers ASHANTI. ESKIMO and TARTAR for service in SW

                                 Approaches and Channel.

                                 Deployed for interception of coastal traffic and blockade runners as well as

                                 for convoy defence and anti-submarine patrol.


1 9 4 5


January                    Plymouth deployment with Flotilla in continuation.

                                 Nominated for service with Flotilla in the East Indies and prepared for foreign service.

                                 (Note: HMS ASHANTI had left the Flotilla.)

                                 Took passage to Mediterranean with Flotilla.


February                  Deployed in Mediterranean to work-up for operations in Indian Ocean.


March                      Passage  to join East Indies Fleet

             23rd            Arrived at Trincomalee for Fleet duties and joined by HM Destroyers

                                 PENN and PALADIN.


April                        Deployed with Fleet units in Bay of Bengal for support of military operations.

               4th            Carried out bombardment of shore batteries in Arakan during Japanese retreat.

              27th            Joined Force 63 to provide cover for landings at Rangoon (Operation BISHOP).

                                 (Note: Force 63 also comprised HM Battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH, French

                                             battleship RICHELIEU, HM Cruisers CUMBERLAND, SUFFOLK,

                                             CEYLON, Dutch cruiser TROMP, HM Escort Aircraft Carriers SHAH

                                             and EMPRESS, screened by HM Destroyers ROTHERHAM, TARTAR,

                                             VERULAM and PENN.)


May                          On release from BISHOP deployed with screen for Force 63 major ships for

                                 offensive operations in Indian Ocean.

               5th             Deployed as screen for HM Escort Carriers HUNTER, STALKER, EMPEROR

                                 and KHEDIVE of 21st Aircraft Carrier Squadron with HM Destroyers VIRAGO

                                 and TARTAR during a series of air attacks on Japanese bases between Merhui

                                 and Port Victoria.

               9th             Returned to Trincomalee with ships of Force 63.

             10th             Joined Task Force 61 and 21st Aircraft Carrier Squadron during sweep in Indian

                                 Ocean for interception of Japanese naval units sent to evacuate Nicobars and Andamans,

                                 Deployed as escort for HM Cruiser ROYALIST with HM Destroyers PENN,

                                 TARTAR and VERULAM.

                                 For details of naval operations in the Indian Ocean see WAR WITH JAPAN

                                 (HMSO) and THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by J Winton.

              14th            Remained with Fleet units when 26th Destroyer Flotilla were detached to

                                 intercept Japanese warships on passage in Malacca Straits.

                                (Note: This Flotilla carried out a brilliantly executed night torpedo attack on

                                               the enemy ships during which the IJN cruiser HAGURO was sunk on

                                               May 16th. See SINK THE HAGURO by J Winton and above references.)



                5th              Deployed with HM Destroyers TARTAR, ESKIMO, PENN and PALADIN as

                                   Force 65 to intercept shipping between Nicobars and Sabang.

                                   (Operation IRREGULAR – see references.)

              12th              Following report by HM Submarine trident, intercepted landing ship KUROSHIO

                                   MARU No 2 and submarine chaser No 57 off Rondo Island  20miles north of

                                   Sabang Island, Sumatra.

                                   Engaged SC57 by surface gunfire which was sunk. Some of the survivors refused

                                   to be rescued.

                                   (Note: KUROSHIO MARU was hit by torpedoes from HMS ESKIMO and exploded.)

                                               After leaving the scene came under intermittent air attacks which caused neither

                                               damage nor casualties.

                                               This was the last surface action by the RN against shipping during WW2.)


July                             Indian Ocean deployment in Indian Ocean for Fleet duties in continuation.

                                    Prepared for planned British landings in Malaya (Operation ZIPPER.)

                                    (Note: This operation was delayed by American pressure and problems related

                                                to the return of British service personnel from SEAC under the PYTHON

                                                Scheme. Landings were not made until after VJ Day. See references and the

                                                Final Report by the Supreme Commander SEAC (HMSO).



               15th              Passage with Fleet units including HM Battleship NELSON to execute ZIPPER.

               20th              Laid-off Great Nicobar Islands to await final approval. See THE FORGOTTEN


               27th              Sailed for Penang.

               28th              Arrived off Penang



                2nd              At Penang for formal surrender with HMS NELSON, HM Cruiser CEYLON and

                                    and ships of East Indies Fleet

                8th               Sailed from Penang as part of screen for HMS NELSON and ships of East Indies

                                    Fleet to beach head area and present during landings.

                                    (Note: For details of ZIPPER landings see Naval Staff History,)

                9th               Arrived at Singapore.

              12th               Present at Formal surrender of Japanese all Japanese forces in SE Asia.


P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


HMS NUBIAN returned to Trincomalee later in September and was nominated for return to UK. The ship sailed from Ceylon the next month and arrived at Portsmouth on 18th November to Pay-off and reduce to Reserve status. Placed on the Disposal List in 1948 she was first used for Ship Target trials in Loch Striven before being sold to BISCO on 11th June 1949 for demolition by TW Ward. She arrived in tow at the breakers yard in Briton Ferry on 25th June to be broken-up. This ship made a distinguished contribution to the war at sea during WW2. and was awarded 13 Battle Honours, a number equalled by only two other ships, HM Destroyer JERVIS and HM Cruiser ORION. On 6th September 1960 the name was reintroduced for an RN warship when given to a Type 81 General Purpose Frigate of the new TRIBAL Class when launched at HM Dockyard Portsmouth. This later ship joined the Fleet in 1963 and remained on the Active List until 1981. Before her sale in 1983 she was used for harbour training of Royal Marines at Portsmouth.






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


















HN 004





ON 005/1





HN 005





ON 006/1





HN 010





ON 015/1





HN 015





ON 017/1





HN 017





ON 019/1





HN 019





AS 001/1





MW 013





MW 014





MW 018





ME 015





MW 020A





MKF 026





AT 167





TA 166





TA 169








(Note on Convoys)


back to Contents List
or Naval-History.Net

revised 2/8/11
further editing and formatting is required


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