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

HMS JAGUAR (G 34) -  J-class Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

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

J or JAVELIN-Class Destroyer ordered from William Denny at Dunbarton on  25th March 1937 under the 1936     Build Programme and laid down on 25th November 1937.  She was launched on 22nd November 1938 as the 1st RN ship to carry the name. Her build cost, excluding equipment supplied by the Admiralty such as communications outfits and weapons was £392,363. The average total cost for this Class, complete with all equipment and stores was £596,197. Build was completed on 12th September 1939 and she was commissioned for service in the 7th Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet. Following a WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in November 1941 this ship was adopted by the civil community of the city of Gloucester.


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 Blue a Jaguar statant, guardant proper.


M o  t t o

'They shall not pass'



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           Contractors trials and commissioning.

       12th               Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

       19th               Accepted into service and took passage to Portland for brief


       26th               Deployed with Flotilla at Grimsby on completion of weapons

                             trials and storing.

                             Deployed for patrol duties in North Sea and Dover Straits

                             (Note: Patrols lasted about three days and were intended to

                                         intercept enemy surface ships and submarines

                                         attempting passage and to inspect neutral ships for

                                         enforcement of contraband control.)


October                Sustained damage in Firth of Forth after grounding.

      11th                Under repair to shafts and propellers at Leith



         2nd              Resumed North Sea convoy defence and patrol deployment

                             Under air attacks.


December            Flotilla duties in continuation

                             (For details of naval activities in 1939 see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE

                             CLOSELY by C Barnett and the Naval Staff History)


1 9 4 0


January                North Sea deployment in continuation.

to February


March                  Nominated for refit and repairs at Caledon Shipyard, Dundee

      15th                Taken in hand for repair at Dundee.

                             (Note: Repair work included leaks due to high speed operation in rough weather conditions and

                                          was common to this Class. Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to



April                     Under repair



         1st               Resumed North Sea deployment on completion of Post Repair Trials. and covered special


                             Deployed with HM Corvette PUFFIN, HM Destroyers JACKAL and JAVELIN

       20th               Provided cover for HM Trawlers GRAMPIAN, JAMES LAY, MILFORD QUEEN,

                             MILFORD PRINCES and CAPE MELVILLE off coast of East Anglia to cut communication

                             cables between UK and island of  Borkum (Operation  QUIXOTE).

       25th               Carried out unsuccessful attack on U9 with HM Destroyers JACKAL, JAVELIN and

                             GALLANT off coast of Norfolk during patrol.

       26th               Took passage to Dover for detached service with 1st Destroyer Flotilla of evacuation of allied

                              troops from Dunkirk (Operation DYNAMO)

       27th                Deployed with HM Destroyers CODRINGTON, MALCOLM, GRENADE, GALLANT,

                              ESK, EXPRESS, JAVELIN and HARVESTER for defence patrol and support off beaches.

       28th                Rescued survivor from ss ABOUKIR which had been torpedoed.

       29th                Deployed with HM Destroyers GRENADE and GALLANT to assess the strength of shore

                              batteries at La Panne

                               Embarked 370 troops inside harbour at Dunkirk under air attacks and sustained damage when

                              HMS GRENADE, berthed alongside, was hit by bomb and sank.

                              On return passage to Dover came under further air attack and disabled by near miss

.                             Unable to proceed and some troops transferred to another ship which established tow.

                              Restored power and arrived at Dover under own steam.

        30th               Repair arranged at Immingham and took passage to Humber.



          1st               Taken in hand for repair in commercial shipyard at Immingham.

        23rd               On completion of post repair trials took passage to resumed deployment at Harwich

                              with HMS JAVELIN.


July                        Harwich patrol and convoy defence duties in continuation.

          4th                Deployed with HMS JACKAL as escort of HM Auxiliary Minelayer TEVIOT BANK

                               during minelay in East Coast Barrier (Operation BS21).

                               (Note: See Naval Staff History (Mining) for details.).


August                 North Sea deployment in continuation.

         17th              Escorted ships of 1st Minelaying Squadron with HM Cruiser CAIRO as AA Guardship

                              and HM Destroyers INGLEFIELD, JAVELIN and FIREDRAKE during minelay in

                              Moray Firth to extend East Coast Barrier

                              (Operation SN12 - See Naval Staff History (Mining).) 


September            North Sea anti-invasion patrol.

                              (Note: Repair at Dundee to be confirmed)


October                On completion of short refit  joined escort for south bound East Coast convoy.

                              Transferred with Flotilla to Plymouth for interception of destroyers based in Cherbourg

                              and Brest for attacks on Channel coastal convoys. See HOLD THE NARROW SEA by

                              P Smith.)

         10th              Escorted HM Battleship REVENGE for bombardment of Cherbourg with HM Destroyers

                              JAVELIN, JUPITER, JACKAL, KASHMIR and KIPLING.

                              (Note: Cover was provided by HM Cruisers NEWCASTLE and EMERALD screened by

                                           HM Destroyers BROKE, WANDERER, Polish destroyers ORP BURZA and

                                           ORP GARLAND.)

         11th              Took part in bombardment with other ships.

                              On completion took passage to Portsmouth with escort for HMS REVENGE.

                              Nominated for refit by HM Dockyard, Devonport and took passage to Plymouth

         14th              Taken in hand repair including fit of degaussing equipment.

                              Nominated for transfer to Gibraltar for duty with Force H.



           1st              Resumed Flotilla duties at Plymouth.

         13th              Passage to Clyde to join HM Cruisers MANCHESTER and SOUTHAMPTON as escort during

                              passage to Gibraltar with HM Destroyer KELVIN.

         15th              Passage to Gibraltar.

                              (Note: These cruisers were on passage to reinforce the Fleet at Alexandria (Operation  COLLAR)

         21st              Joined Force H.

         23rd              Deployed with escort for HM Battlecruiser RENOWN during Atlantic passage into Gibraltar.

         25th              Deployed with HM Destroyers FAULKNOR, FIREDRAKE, FORESTER, FURY WISHART,

                              ENCOUNTER and KELVIN as screen for HM Battlecruiser RENOWN, H M Aircraft Carrier

                              ARK ROYAL, HM Cruiser DESPATCH and  SHEFFIELD as Force B to provide cover for

                              the passage  of reinforcement ships to Sicilian Channel (Operation COLLAR).

                              (Note: Onward passage from central Mediterranean was covered by ships of the Mediterranean

                                           Fleet from Alexandria.)

                              For details of naval activities in the Mediterranean in 1940-42 see THE BATTLE FOR THE

                              MEDITERRANEAN by D MacIntyre, THE NAVAL WAR IN THE MEDITERRANEAN by

                              J Greene and A Massignani and the Naval Staff History.)

         27th              Detached with HMS KELVIN as screen for HMS ARK ROYAL when the Italian battleships

                              VITTORIO  VENETO and GUILIO CESARE with seven cruisers and 18 destroyers were

                              sighted. (Battle of  Spartivento – See above references.)


December              Gibraltar deployment in continuation.

         20th               Joined Group II of Force H with HM Destroyers DUNCAN, ENCOUNTER, ISIS and

                               WISHART to provide cover for passage of HM Battleship MALAYA and Convoy MG1

                               from Malta. (Operation HIDE).

         21st               Detached from Group with HM Destroyers DUNCAN, WISHART and ENCOUNTER to

                               join HMS MALAYA and MG1 ships as escort.

         22nd              Relieved HM Destroyers HYPERION, ILEX and JERVIS of Mediterranean Fleet as escort

                               and rejoined ships of Force H.

                               (Note: HMS HYPERION sank after hitting a mine during return passage in the Sicilian


         24th               Arrived at Gibraltar with ships of Force H and Convoy MG1.


1 9 4 1


January                  Nominated for transfer to Alexandria for service with Mediterranean Fleet

          1st                 Deployed with HM Destroyers DUNCAN, FOXHOUND and FIREDRAKE to intercept

                               Vichy French convoy off the North African coast.

          2nd                Placed boarding party on liner CHANTILLY which was obstructed in the task of taking ship

                                into Gibraltar and in consequent action two passengers lost their lives in exchange of fire.

                                Came under fire from coastal batteries but not damaged.

                                (Note: Convoy consisted of CHANTILLY, SALLY MAERSK. OCTANE and another tanker

                                            with a trawler as escort.)

          6th                 Embarked passengers for transit to Malta.

          7th                 Joined HM Cruiser BONAVENTURE with H M Destroyers HASTY, HERO and

                                HEREWARD as Force F for escort of supply convoy to Malta.

                                (Operation EXCESS – Convoy was taking tanks and military stores to Piraeus and Egypt with

                                personnel. See above references.)

          9th                 Under attack by Italian aircraft which was ineffective.

        10th                 Convoy under attack by Italian Torpedo Boats CIRCE and VEGA.

                                (Note: VEGA was sunk by HMS BONAVENTURE.)

                                Mediterranean Fleet ships including HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS joined escort and EXCESS

                                convoy came under attack by aircraft of  German Fliegerkorps X recently arrived in Mediterranean

                                (Note: These attacks were concentrated on HMS ILLUSTRIOUS that was badly damaged.)

                                             Detached from EXCESS Convoy with HM Destroyer HASTY as the escort for HMS

                                             ILLUSTRIOUS to Malta for repair.

         14th                Sailed from Malta with HMS HASTY to escort HMS BONAVENTURE and HM Cruiser ORION

                                during  passage to Alexandria.

         16th                Arrived at Alexandria and joined 14th Destroyer Flotilla.


February                 Deployed at Alexandria for Fleet duties.

                                (Note: Lack of an aircraft carrier prevented passage of Malta convoy from Egypt.

                                Transferred to Suda Bay, Crete with HM Destroyer DAINTY

                                (Note: Joined later by HM Destroyers JANUS, JERVIS and MOHAWK.)

         27th                Deployed with HM Destroyers DECOY, HERO and HASTY as the screen for HM

                                Cruisers BONAVENTURE  and PERTH (RAN) to cover evacuation of Commando

                                landed on island. (Operation ABSTENTION).

                                (Note: This had been made on 26th by commando unit and was to be reinforced by

                                            Sherwood Foresters which never landed. See Naval Staff History)

         28th                Under air attacks and engaged Italian destroyer CRISSPI which was covering landing

                                of reinforcement Italian troops. British forces withdrew from island and ship returned

                                to Alexandria.

                                (Note: This operation was a disaster and revealed many weaknesses in planning and

                                             execution as well as the need for up-to-date intelligence prior to any amphibious

                                             operation. See above reference by J Greene and THE WATERY MAZE by

                                             B. Fergusson.)


March                     Fleet duties with Flotilla in continuation.

                                (Note: During this period a series of convoys were escorted to and from Greece and

                                            covered by units of the Mediterranean Fleet (Operation LUSTRE).)

         26th.               Part of escort for Convoy AG9 on passage to Piraeus with HM Cruiser CALCUTTA,

                                HM Destroyers JUNO and DEFENDER.

         27th                Nominated as Force D with HMS JUNO and DEFENDER and deployed for patrol

                                NW of Crete in anticipation of attempt by an Italian Battle Squadron to intercept

                                LUSTRE Convoys.

         28th                Took part in the Battle of Matapan.

                                (Note: For details see above references and MATAPAN by SW Pack.)


April                        Returned to Alexandria with Fleet units.

           3rd                Nominated for support of military operations in Somaliland (Operation APPEARANCE.)

                                (Note: This was never implemented because of the sinking of Italian destroyers in the

                                             Red Sea by aircraft from HM Aircraft Carrier EAGLE.)

         18th                Deployed as screen for HM Battleships WARSPITE, BARHAM and VALIANT with HM

                                Destroyers ENCOUNTER, HASTY, HAVOCK, HEREWARD, HERO and JUNO during

                                passage to Suda Bay,

         19th               Refuelled at Suda Bay.

         20th               Joined HM Destroyers HOTSPUR, HAVOCK, HERO, HASTY, HEREWARD, JERVIS,

                                JANUS and JUNO as screen for  H M Battleships WARSPITE, BARHAM, VALIANT

                                and HM Cruiser GLOUCESTER (Force B) during bombardment of  Tripoli

                                (Operation MD2).

         21st                Took part in bombardment.

                                On completion took passage to Malta with HMS JANUS, HMS JERVIS and

                                HMS JUNO .

                                (Note: These ships formed Force K for the interception and  of enemy supply

                                             convoys to and from North African ports.

         24th               Took part in interception of convoy off Tripoli during which the Italian auxiliary

                                EGEO was sunk by ships of Force K.

                                (Note: Ships in convoy escaped destruction.)

         28th               On relief by HM Destroyers JACKAL, JERSEY, KASHMIR, KELLY, KELVIN and

                                KIPLING as Force K took passage to Alexandria with HM Cruisers DIDO, and

                                ABDIEL, HM Destroyers IMPERIAL, JERVIS and JUNO as escort for HM Supply

                                Ship BRECONSHIRE during passage from Malta.

         30th               Rejoined Flotilla with HMS JERVIS and HMS JUNO on arrival in Alexandria.


May                        Flotilla deployment at Alexandria in continuation.

                                (Note: No record of deployment with TIGER Convoy has bee traced and ship

                                             may have been under refit.)

         22nd               Took passage from Alexandria with HM Destroyer DEFENDER with supply

                                of ammunition for delivery to Suda Bay for defence of Crete.

                                Joined ships of Force A on passage.

         23rd                Detached from Force A for delivery of ammunition.

         24th                Took passage to Alexandria with evacuated naval personnel.

         25th                On arrival joined HM Cruiser COVENTRY and HM Destroyer STUART (RAN)

                                for escort of HM Supply Ship GLENROY  taking troops to reinforce defence of

                                Crete at Tymbaki

         26th                Under air attacks on passage during which HMS GLENROY was damaged

                                Took part in rescue of personnel from HMS GLENROY that was then abandoned.

                                (Note: HMS GLENROY was later salved and converted for use as a Landing Ship


         27th                Passage to Alexandria with other escorts.

         29th                Sailed from Alexandria with HMS COVENTRY and HMS DEFENDER to

                                reinforce air defence of ships carrying out evacuation of allied troops at Sphakia.

         30th                Under air attacks. during return passage but without serious damage.

                                (For details of operations see Naval Staff History, THE  LOST BATTLE CRETE

                                by C. Macdonald.)


June                         Nominated for support of military operation in Syria with 10th Destroyer Flotilla

                                as part of Force B (Operation EXPORTER)

          7th                 Sailed from Alexandria with HM Cruisers AJAX, PHOEBE, HM Destroyers

                                KIMBERLEY, KANDAHAR, JACKAL, JANUS, STUART, GRIFFIN and

                                DEFENDER to cover passage of HM Supply Ship GLENGYLE with Commando

                                unit embarked for raid north of Tyre prior to the commencement of military

                                operations against Vichy French in Syria.

          8th                 Operation abandoned because of weather conditions.

          9th                 During support of landings by patrol off Sidon, deployed with HMS JANUS and

                                HMS KIMBERLEY to intercept Vichy French warships carrying out bombardment.

                                Remained with Force B when HM Destroyers ISIS, HOTSPUR, JANUS and JACKAL

                                were detached to continue surveillance.

                                Took passage to Haifa with Force B but returned to assist the destroyers left on patrol

                                when they came under fire from Vichy French destroyers VALMY and GUEPARD.

                                (Note: HMS JANUS sustained casualties and damage after five hits.)

                                Remained with Force B for patrol and support when HMS AJAX, and HMS

                                KANDAHAR were detached to assist HMS JANUS

                                (For details of EXPORTER See RELUCTANT ENEMIES by W Tute and NAVAL

                                WAR IN THE MEDITERRANEAN

        23rd                Took part in engagement of VALMY and GUEPARD with HM Cruisers LEANDER

                               and NAIAD.

                                Deployed off coast of Syria for naval gunfire support and convoy defence


July                         EXPORTER deployment in continuation.

          7th                 Passage to Alexandria to resume Flotilla duties.

         10th                Embarked RAF personnel in Port Said for passage to Cyprus.

                                (Operation GUILLOTINE – HM Cruisers LATONA and ABDIEL also took part.)

         22nd               Deployed with HM Destroyers HASTY, HAVOCK, JACKAL, JERVIS, KANDAHAR,

                                KIMBERLEY, KINGSTON, NIZAM and NUBIAN as screen for HM Cruisers AJAX,

                                HOBART (RAN), CARLISLE, LEANDER, NAIAD, NEPTUNE, PHOEBE,

                                ABDIEL and LATONA during cruise in eastern Mediterranean.

                                (Note: This was a Diversion during passage of a relief convoy to Malta from Gibraltar .

                                                     Fleet Operation MD5 – Part of overall Operation SUBSTANCE).

         25th                Returned to Alexandria with Fleet units.


August                   Took part in support of Tobruk and military operations in western Desert prior to

                                Operation CHIEFTAIN by 8th Army.

           5th               Arrived at Tobruk with relief convoy from Alexandria..

         14th               Arrived at Tobruk with relief convoy.



         17th               Arrived at Tobruk with relief convoy.

         22nd              Arrived at Tobruk with relief convoy

                               (Note: In this period ships at Alexandria carried out bombardments of Bardia, interception

                                            of Axis convoys, and a Diversion operation during HALBERD convoy from



October                  Military support and interception duties in continuation.

         18th               Arrived at Tobruk with relief convoy.

         21st               Deployed with HM Destroyer GRIFFIN to assist HM River Gunboat GNAT which had been

                               torpedoed by U79 north of Bardia. Covered tow of HMS GNAT by HMS GRIFFIN during

                               passage back to Alexandria.

                               (Note: HMS GNAT was beached on arrival and declared a Total Loss.)


November              Resumed Fleet duties with Flotilla.

                               (Note: After Fleet operation to intercept a supply convoy off North Africa

                                            HMS BARHAM was torpedoed and sunk by U331 0with heavy

                                            loss of life on 24th.

                                            Survivors were rescued by destroyer screen.

        30th                Deployed off Derna with HMS JERVIS and HMS JACKAL covered by HMS NAIAD and

                               HMS EURYALUS for interception of two Italian destroyers on passage from Navarin with

                               supplies to North Africa.

                               During return passage came under attack by torpedo aircraft off Derna.

                               HMS JACKAL was hit by a torpedo but resumed passage after repair to steering equipment.)



          1st                Commanding Officer. Lt. Cdr. J F W Hines, RN was killed.

                               (Note: Naval Staff History records this was during the air attacks by fire from HMS JERVIS,

                                            but another states the death was caused by the accidental discharge of a 4.7in gun on

                                            board HMS JERVIS.

          2nd               Returned to Alexandria from an unsuccessful interception.

          6th                Sailed from Alexandria with HMS HOBART and HMS KANDAHAR to meet HM Supply

                               Ship BRECONSHIRE on passage from Malta. (Operation MD8).

          7th                Detached with HMS KANDAHAR after meeting and took passage to Malta joining HM

                               Cruisers NEPTUNE and AJAX in transit.

          9th                Deployed at Malta for interception of Axis convoys.

        17th                Sailed from Malta with HMS NEPTUNE and HMS KANDAHAR. to join Force C and

                               Force K escorting HMS BRECONSHIRE to Malta with cargo of fuel (Operation MF1).

                               (Note: This deployment was ordered because of a threat from Italian warships known to be

                                            in the area escorting Convoy M42 to Benghazi.

                               Engaged enemy briefly but the Italian ships withdrew on approach of destroyers.

                               (Note: 1st Battle of Sirte - See above references for details.)

        18th                Returned to Malta with Force K.

                               As Emergency Destroyer despatched to assist HMS KANDAHAR which was disabled after

                               striking a mine off Tripoli.

                               (Note: HM Cruiser NEPTUNE had been sunk by a mine and both HM Cruisers AURORA

                                            and PENELOPE damaged by  mines at the same time in a recently laid Italian

                                             minefield. See references.).

        19th                Located HMS KANDAHAR which had a broken back.

                               Unable to go alongside because of weather conditions.

        20th                Rescued 174 survivors who had jumped into the sea.

                               Sank HMS KANDAHAR by torpedo.

                               (Note: This rescue was carried out in daylight and the threat of air attack restricted the length

                                            of time available. The aircraft which reported stricken destroyer was later shot down

                                            without any survivors.)


1 9 4 2



          6th                Deployed with HM Destroyers HAVOCK, LANCE and LIVELY as

                               Force C to escort HMS BRECONSHIRE from Malta during her

                               passage to meet ships of  Force B west of Derna for onward transit

                               to Alexandria (Operation MF2).

          8th                Returned to Malta as escort for HM Supply Ship GLENGYLE with

                               ships of Force C.

        17th                Sailed from Malta with HM Cruiser PENELOPE as screen with HM Destroyers

                               LANCE, LIVELY, SIKH and ZULU as Force K to escort convoy MW8A/B

                               into Malta after meeting ships of Force B which had escorted mercantiles

                               from Alexandria (Operation MF3)

        18th                Transferred to Force B and joined HM Destroyers FOXHOUND, HAVOCK,

                               HOTSPUR, KELVIN and KIPLING in screen for HM Cruisers DIDO, EURYALUS

                               and NAIAD.

        20th                Arrived at Alexandria with ships of Force B after air attacks on passage.

                               (Note: No ships were lost during passage of MW8A/B)



        12th                Joined HM Destroyers ARROW, GRIFFIN, HASTY, HAVOCK, JERVIS, KELVIN

                               and KIPLING as screen for HM Cruisers NAIAD, EURYALUS and DIDO as Force

                               B for escort of Convoy MW9A/B to Malta (Operation MF4).

                               (Note: Passage of all convoys to Malta were subject to heavy and sustained air attacks

                                            and a threat of surface attack by superior force of Italian warships as well as

                                            from submarines

.                                           Many ships in convoy and escorts were sunk. See above references.)

        13th                Convoy MW9A merged with convoy MW9B and under air attacks.

                               (Note: ss CLAN CAMPBELL was damaged and sent to Tobruk.

                                           ss CLAN CHATTAN was hit in further air attacks, set on fire and had to be abandoned.)

        14th                Met Force “K” which was escorting Convoy ME10 on passage from Malta to Egypt.

                               (Note: Remaining ship of MW9, ss ROWALLAN CASTLE was then transferred for escort by

                                            Force K to Malta but was hit during air attacks and sunk.)

        15th                Returned to Alexandria with ships of Force B.


March                     Deployed for escort of supply convoys and support of Tobruk.

        13th                Carried out anti-submarine operations off North African coast to prevent attacks on supply

                               convoys to Tobruk.

        26th                During escort of RFA SLAVOK with Greek destroyer QUEEN OLGA came under

                               attack by U652 .Whilst rescuing survivors from RFA which had been set on fire aft being

                               torpedoed by U652 was herself hit by two torpedoes from same submarine in position

                               north east of Sollum (31.53N  26.18N.)

                               Sank immediately with only 53 survivors who were rescued by HM Whaler KLO (SANF).

                               193 of ship’s company lost their lives.


P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


The 2nd RN ship to carry this name was an Anti-aircraft Frigate launched by the same shipyard on 30th July 1957. She was the last warship built by William Denny and her completion was delayed by defects found on trials. The ship entered service in 1969 and after 13 years service was placed in Reserve. Place on the Sales List she was sold to Bangladesh in 1978 and renamed ALI HAIDER.






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













FS 0090





FS 0093





MT 004





FS 0099





MT 014





MT 015





ON 017A/





FS 0119





MT 028





FS 0221





FN 0229





FN 0241





OA 204





TC 007








(Note on Convoys)


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