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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2

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

HMS KANDAHAR (F 28) -  K-class Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Kingston, sister-ship (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

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K-Class Destroyer ordered from Denny at Dumbarton under the 1937 Programme in March 1935 and laid down on 18th January 1938. She was launched on 21st March 1939 as the first RN warship to carry this name which commemorates the relief of the garrison in 1860 Build was completed on 10th October 1939 and she was commissioned for service in the 5th Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet. After a successful WARSHIP WEEK campaign for National Savings in November 1941 this ship was adopted by the civil community of Newcastle-under- Lime, Staffordshire.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

 

GREECE 1941 - CRETE 1941 - LIBYA 1941 - MEDITERRANEAN 1941 - MALTA CONVOYS 1941

 

H e r a l d i c  D a t a

 

Badge: On a Field per fess wavy White and Blue, an estoile Gold

ensigned by an antique crown Red.

 

 

De 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

 

October                  Commissioned for service

                10th        Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials

                                On completion took passage from Clyde to Portland

                24th        Passage from Portland on completion of work-up.

 

November              Under repair by HM Dockyard, Devonport for defects since leaving Clyde.

                14th        Passage from Plymouth to join Flotilla at Scapa Flow.

                16th        Deployed with Flotilla based at Scapa Flown for interception patrol and convoy

                                defence in North Sea and NW Approaches.

 

December              Flotilla duties in continuation.

 

                1 9 4 0

 

January

                17th        Under repair at Rosyth for leaks in Feed Tanks and Petrol stowages.

                30th        Resumed Flotilla duties on completion of repairs.

 

February                Nominated special Home Fleet Operation WR for interception of blockade runner

                                reported on passage in North Atlantic.

                21st         Deployed with HM Cruiser MANCHESTER and HM Destroyer KIMBERLEY of

                                Flotilla and intercepted German Freighter WAHEHE that was boarded by party

                                from HMS KIMBERLEY and taken in Prize to Kirkwall.

 

March                    North Sea deployment in continuation.

                9th          Withdrawn from operational service for further repairs.

                                Passage to Hull for repair in commercial shipyard.

 

April                       Under repair at Hull

 

May                        (Note: Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes change to G28.)

                3rd          Rejoined Flotilla in North Sea for interception patrol.

                (Note: Flotilla had been transferred from Home Fleet duties to Nore Command with

                HM Cruisers ARETHUSA and GALATEA, HM Destroyers HAVOCK,

                HEREWARD, HOSTILE, HYPERION, KELLY, KIMBERLEY and JANUS,)

                9th          Joined HM Cruiser BIRMINGHAM, HM Destroyers JANUS, HYPERION, HAVOCK

                and HEREWARD with HM Destroyers KELLY, KIMBERLEY and HOSTILE in

                search for German minelayers.

                Detached with HMS KELLY to carry out an anti-submarine search during which

                HMS KELLY was torpedoed during attacks by E-Boats and sustained major damage.

                10th        Embarked injured from HMS KELLY and took passage to land them.

                12th        Nominated for service in Mediterranean with 14th Destroyer Flotilla and took passage

                                to Plymouth to prepare for foreign service.

                16th        Passage to Malta.

                21st         Arrived in Malta and nominated for service in Red Sea.

                                Took passage to Alexandria.

                                Transferred to East Indies Station.

 

June                        Deployed in Red Sea with HM Destroyers KHARTOUM, KIMBERLEY and

                                KINGSTON for convoy defence, support of military operations and interception

                                of Italian warships and submarines.

                18th        Deployed with HM Sloop SHOREHAM to search for submarine reported by an

                aircraft. After detection of radio transmissions carried out ant-submarine search and

                depth charge attacks. HM Trawler MOONSTONE remained in area to carry out patrol

                to intercept the submarine surfaced.

                19th        After surrender of Italian submarine GALILEO GALILEI to HMS MOONSTONE,

                placed prize crew on board submarine which was then taken in tow to Aden.

                Tow later parted but power was restored.

                (Note: GALILEO GALILEI had been attacked by HMS MOONSTONE on

                resurfacing and engaged by surface fire after which she surrendered.

                Invaluable information about Italian submarine movements and codes were

                recovered by the boarding party.

                23rd        Took part in sinking near Perim of the Italian submarine EVANGELISTA

                TORRICELLI with HMS KINGSTON, HMS KHARTOUM and HMS SHOREHAM by

                surface gun engagement.

                (Note: This sinking resulted after study of information obtained from GALILEO

                GALILEI.

                HM Destroyer KHARTOUM was damaged by an explosion during this engagement.

                The circumstances have never been clearly identified. It is however generally

                agreed that a Mark X torpedo warhead may have exploded but whether this was

                prematurely or after the ship had been hit by return fire from the submarine, has not

                been established. This type of torpedo air vessel had a previous history of explosions

                due to design flaw.

                HMS KHARTOUM had to be abandoned when fires became out of control causing

                after magazine to explode. The ships later settled on the sea bed.)

 

July                         Red Sea deployment in continuation.

 

August                  Nominated for support of evacuation of British personnel from Berbera, British

Somaliland.

                15th        Deployed with HM Cruisers CALEDON, HOBART (RAN), CERES and CARLISLE,

                HMS KIMBERLEY, HM Sloops AUCKLAND and PARAMATTA (RAN) for evacuation

                at Berbera

                (Note: Three Armed Merchant Cruisers and a Hospital Ship also took part and 7.000

                personnel were taken to Aden.)

 

September             East Indies Station deployment in continuation.

 

October                  Nominated for routine docking and maintenance and took passage to Bombay.

                13th        Docked at Bombay

 

November

                Maintenance and repair at Bombay in continuation

                Preparation for return to deployment at Aden.

 

December

                1st           Took passage to Aden from Bombay.

                25th        Escorted military convoy WS4B in Red Sea with HM Cruiser CARLISLE and HMS

                                KIMBERLEY.

                27th        Detached from WS4B on arrival at Suez

 

1 9 4 1

 

January                  Red Sea deployment based at Aden in continuation.

 

February                Nominated for support of military operations in Italian Somaliland with Force T

                10th        Joined HM Cruisers CAPETOWN, CERES, HAWKINS and SHROPSHIRE, for support of

                                military operations at Mogadiscio.

                                On release took passage to Mombasa for R&R Period.

                21st         Escorted troopships EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA, ORMONDE, EMPRESS OF JAPAN and

                WINDSOR CASTLE from military convoy WS5B in Indian Ocean for passage to Mombasa after

                detaching from main body of ships.

                (Note: This was a precaution after German raider ADMIRAL SCHEER had been reported in the

                area.)

 

March

                16th        Deployed with HM Cruisers GLASGOW, CALEDON, HM Destroyer KINGSTON, HM Armed

                Boarding Vessels CHAKDINA and CHANTALA as Force D to provide support during landings at

                Berbera, Italian Somaliland

                (Operation APPEARANCE).

                30th        Intercepted German freighter BERTHA RICKMERS attempting passage from Massawa.

 

April                       Transferred back to 14th Destroyer Flotilla at Alexandria and took passage.

                On arrival joined HM Destroyers JERVIS (Leader), KELVIN, KINGSTON, KIMBERLEY,

                JAGUAR, SIKH and ZULU for Mediterranean Fleet duties

                23rd        Deployed in support of evacuation of Commonwealth troops from Greece

                                (Operation DEMON).

                26th        Assisted in evacuation at Raphti with HM Sloop AUCKLAND and HMAS VAMPIRE and took

                                560 troops to Suda Bay.

                27th        Assisted in evacuation at Kalamata with HM Destroyers KIMBERLEY and

                                KINGSTON. Embarked 126 troops for passage to Suda Bay.

                29th        Part of escort for Convoy GA15 from Suda Bay during passage to Egypt with

                evacuated troops.

                (Note: For details see BATTLE OF THE WINE DARK SEA by Lew Lind. Naval

                and Military Staff Histories, THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN

                by D MacIntyre and ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett.

 

May

                6th          Sailed from Alexandria with HM Destroyers GRIFFIN, HAVOCK, HEREWARD

                HERO, HOTSPUR, JERVIS, JUNO, KIMBERLEY, KINGSTON, NIZAM, and

                NUBIAN as screen for HMS FORMIDABLE, HMS BARHAM, HMS VALIANT,

                HMS WARSPITE, HMS ORION, HMAS PERTH, HMS ABDIEL and HM Supply

                Ship BRECONSHIRE during provision of Distant Cover for passage of Convoy MW7

                to Malta and a military convoy bring tanks to Egypt from UK (Operations MD4 and

                TIGER.)

                9th          Refuelled from HMS BRECONSHIRE and rejoined screen for Mediterranean Fleet ships

                covering passage to Egypt of TIGER Convoy.

                (Note: See THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN and Naval Staff History.)

                10th        Under air attacks without damage.

                12th        Returned to Alexandria with Fleet units.

                18th        Deployed with Fleet screen during search in area north and west of Crete for assault convoys

                                on passage to land in Crete.

                20th        Part of destroyer screen for HM Cruisers NAIAD, PERTH (RAN), CALCUTTA and

                                CARLISLE with HMS KINGSTON and NUBIAN.

                21st         Under heavy air attacks during which HMS NAIAD and HMS CARLISLE were damaged

                and HMS JUNO sunk..

                Under unsuccessful attack by Italian motor torpedo boats..

                Rescued survivors from HMS JUNO with HMS KINGSTON and HMS NUBIAN.

                22nd       Under further sustained air attacks during passage to Alexandria.

                Detached with HMS KINGSTON as screen for HMS GLOUCESTER and HMS FIJI to

                assist HM Destroyer GREYHOUND which had been hit and disabled. in air attacks.

                Rescued survivors from HMS GREYHOUND.

                After loss of both cruisers dropped life rafts and left area to avoid further losses.

                Returned after nightfall and with HMS KINGSTON rescued 523 survivors from HMS FIJI.

                28th        Joined Force C with HMS NAPIER, HMAS NIZAM and KELVIN and took passage to

                                Spakhia to land essential stores and evacuate non essential personnel.

                29th        Under air attack during which HMAS NIZAM was damaged whilst on return passage

                30th        Sailed from Alexandria with same destroyers and had to return due to mechanical defect/.

 

June

                7th          Deployed with HM Cruiser PHOEBE, HM Destroyers KIMBERLEY, JANUS and

                JACKAL for support of military operations against Vichy French in Syria.

                (Operation EXPORTER See RELUCTANT ENEMIES by W Tute for details.)

                Carried out patrol to intercept Vichy French warships on passage to carry out attacks

                on advancing allied troops and to provide naval gunfire support.

                9th          Joined HMS KIMBERLEY and assisted HMS JANUS after damage in an engagement

                with Vichy French destroyers. Provide cover for passage of HMS JANUS to Egypt under

                tow. by HMS JACKAL. Rescued pilots from two aircraft which had collided.

                10th        Carried out bombardment of area north of Khan bridge in support of military advance.

 

July                         Deployed at Haifa for support duties with HMAS PERTH, HMS NAIAD, HMS GRIFFIN

                                and HMS HAVOCK.

                2nd         Carried out support bombardment in Damour area.

                7th          On release from EXPORTER took passage to Alexandria to resume Flotilla duties.

                15th        Deployed for support of Tobruk garrison and carried essential stores and personnel

                                in addition to providing defence for convoys in eastern Mediterranean.

 

August                  Tobruk support and convoy defence duties in continuation.

to October             (Note: Nine separate support passage were made in this period.

                                HMS KINGSTON and HMS KIPLING were also deployed for support of

                                Tobruk garrison

 

November              Deployed for escort of convoys to and from Cyprus.

                                Carried out interception and anti-submarine patrols in eastern Mediterranean.

 

December              Nominated for service with Force K based in Malta

                5th          Took passage from Alexandria with HM Destroyer JAGUAR to Malta to join Force K.

                8th          Met HMS NEPTUNE and HMS AJAX and joined screen for passage to Malta

                                On arrival taken in hand for repair of mechanical defects.

                17th        Resumed service with Force K and sailed from Malta with HM Cruiser NEPTUNE

                and HMS JAGUAR for support of Forces C and K which were escorting HMS

                BRECONSHIRE during passage back to Alexandria and which were under threat

                of attack by an Italian Battle Squadron.

                For details sea above references.

                (Note: The subsequent brief contact between RN Forces C, K and the Italian battle

                group became known as the First Battle of Sirte. For details see MALTA

                CONVOYS by R Woodhead and above references.)

                18th        Joined Force K with Force C after the Italian ships withdrew and took passage to

                Malta. Other ships in Force K were HM Cruisers NEPTUNE, AURORA and

                PENELOPE, HM Destroyers LANCE, LIVELY and HAVOCK.

                Soon after arrival sailed from Malta with Force K to intercept the Italian convoy

                which had been under escort by the Italian battle group and which was approaching

                Tripoli.

                19th        Sustained serious damage aft after hitting a mine whilst going to assist HMS NEPTUNE

                which had struck a mine and was disabled in an unknown enemy minefield 20 miles

                north of Tripoli..

                (Note: Sources are at variance as to whether the mines were laid by German or Italian

                forces.

                HMS AURORA was seriously damaged and HMS PENELOPE sustained slight

                damaged by mines but were able to return to Malta..

                HMS NEPTUNE capsized and sank with heavy loss of life. There was only one

                survivor who was captured.)

                Sunk by torpedo from HMS JAGUAR when it became impossible to carry out any salvage

                within an area known to be mined. 174 men were first rescued by HMS JAGUAR

                For further details see HMS PEPPERPOT by E Gordon and above references.

                (Note: This disastrous incident represents the nadir of RN strength in the Mediterranean

                and was the demise of the Malta Striking Force.)

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS KANDAHAR

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

 

 

 

 

 

15/11/39

17/11/39

HN 002

18/11/39

18/11/39

30/11/39

02/12/39

HN 003

04/12/39

04/12/39

05/12/39

08/12/39

ON 004/1

08/12/39

08/12/39

10/12/39

unknown

TC 001

17/12/39

17/12/39

06/01/40

07/01/40

ON 007/1

09/01/40

09/01/40

09/01/40

09/01/40

HN 007

12/01/40

12/01/40

08/02/40

11/02/40

HN 010

11/02/40

11/02/40

07/03/40

08/03/40

ON 018/1

10/03/40

10/03/40

23/06/40

06/07/40

BN 001

10/07/40

12/07/40

17/07/40

30/07/40

BN 002

03/08/40

05/08/40

01/09/40

03/09/40

BS 003A

06/09/40

06/09/40

30/08/40

12/09/40

WS 002A

14/09/40

14/09/40

12/09/40

14/09/40

BS 004B

16/09/40

16/09/40

22/08/40

20/09/40

AP 001/1

23/09/40

23/09/40

19/09/40

25/09/40

BN 005A

28/09/40

29/09/40

24/09/40

27/09/40

SW 001

29/09/40

08/10/40

08/10/40

10/10/40

SW 002

12/10/40

22/10/40

10/09/40

20/10/40

AP 003/1

22/10/40

22/10/40

04/12/40

08/12/40

BS 010

unknown

11/12/40

01/01/41

01/01/41

SW 004A

unknown

unknown

11/01/41

11/01/41

BN 012A

unknown

15/01/41

12/01/41

12/01/41

SW 004B

unknown

25/01/41

25/01/41

unknown

BS 013A

01/02/41

01/02/41

26/01/41

01/02/41

BNF 001

03/02/41

06/02/41

01/02/41

04/02/41

BSF 001

07/02/41

07/02/41

19/02/41

04/03/41

FORCE Z

06/03/41

07/03/41

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

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