K or KELLY-Class
Fleet destroyer ordered from Fair-field of Govan in April 1937 under the 1937
Programs as a repeat of the JAVELIN 's ordered in March. This ship was laid
down en 5th October 1937 and launched on 19th January 1939.She was the 2nd RN
warship to carry this name first used in WW1. Build cost, excluding Admiralty
supplied equipment vas £391,046. On completion of build in September 1939 the
ship Joined the 5th Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet. Following a successful
WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in November 1941 she vas adopted by the
civil community of Dudley, then in Worcestershire.
B a t t l e H o n o u r s
ATLANTIC 1940 - SPARTIVENTO 1940
- CRETE 1941 - MEDITERRANEAN 1941-43 - SIRTE 1942
MALTA CONVOYS 1942 - NORMANDY
1944 - AEGEAN 1944
H e r a l d i c D a t a
Badge: On a Field Blue, issuant from White clouds
a thunderbolt Gold.
D e t a i l s o f
W a r S e r v i c e
(for more ship information,
Naval History Homepage
and type name in Site Search)
1 9 3 9
September Commissioned for service with 5th
Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet.
October Deployed in Approaches and
North Sea for Fleet escort and patrol.
to (For details of naval activities in Home
Water in 1939-40 see ENGAGE THE ENEMY
MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett
and Naval Staff History.).
1 9 4 0
January North Sea and NW Approaches duties with Home Fleet in continuation.
to Became Senior Officer's
ship in Flotilla after HM Destroyer KELLY mined
April Deployed with screen for
Home Fleet during unsuccessful search for German ships
reported in North Sea.
7th Deployed with ships of Home
Fleet with Flotilla for screening duties during search for German
reported on passage in North Sea.
8th Involved in collision with HM
Destroyer KASHMIR. Bow structure seriously damaged and ship
had to steam
astern to Lerwick. Escort during passage provided by
HM Destroyer ZULU.
(Note: HMS KASHMIR
was taken in tow by HM Destroyer COSSACK.)
11th Passage to Tyne for repair.
collision prevented ship taking part in the disastrous operations off Norway).
May Under repair
Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to G37.
completion of post repair trials rejoined Flotilla at Immingham for
interception patrol and
Passage to Scapa Flow for Home Fleet for
6th Deployed with HM Destroyers
ZULU, MAORI, FORESTER and FOXHOUND in an
as screen for HM Battlecruisers
RENOWN and REPULSE, HM Cruiser NEWCASTLE.
and took part
in unsuccessful search for ships
reported in NW Approaches
7th Returned to Scapa
July Based in Humber for
patrol and covering duty against attacks on convoys in North Sea by
larger surface ships.
August Transferred to Harwich in
31st Deployed with HM Destroyers
JUPITER and VORTIGERN as escort from Humber of HM
EXPRESS, ESK, ICARUS, INTREPID and IVANHOE during passage for
minelay in Heligoland Bight off Texel (Operation CBX5)
1st Diverted with HM Destroyer
JUPITER to assist in rescue operation after ships of 20th
Destroyer Flotilla had struck mines
during minelay off Texel (Operation
damaged destroyer HMS IVANHOE after attempt by HMS JUPITER to take her
in tow had failed.
(For details see
Naval Staff History (MINING)).
in one source of participation in bombardment of Cherbourg to be confirmed)
October Resumed anti-invasion patrol
November Nominated for escort duties in
support of planned transfer of Home Fleet ships to serve
Fleet and transit of a relief convoy to Malta
15th Sailed from Scapa Flow with HM Destroyer JAGUAR as screen for HM
and SOUTHAMPTON during passage to Gibraltar.
21st Arrived at Gibraltar.
25th Sailed from Gibraltar as part
of screen for HM Battlecruiser RENOWN and HM Aircraft
ROYAL with HM Cruisers SHEFFIELD and DESPATCH, HM Destroyers
FAULKNOR, FURY, FIREDRAKE, FORESTER, WISHART, ENCOUNTER and JAGUAR
cover passage of convoy to Sicilian Narrows.
27th Detached from Force B with HMS
JAGUAR as escort for HMS ARK ROYAL during air
operations when a superior
Italian force reported by SUNDERLAND aircraft.
(For details of
the subsequent engagement at long range and retreat of the enemy battleships
and cruisers see
THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by D MacIntyre,
CONVOYS by R
Woodman and Naval Staff History
(HMSO—2001) Battle of Cape
29th Retuned to Gibraltar with Force
B after Italian withdrawal
to Plymouth to rejoin Flotilla at Plymouth for interception and patrol in
Channel and SW
19th Joined military convoy WS5A in
Clyde with HM Destroyers KIPLING, OTTAWA (RCN),
ST LAURENT (RCN) and Polish destroyer PIORUN as Local Escort during
passage in NW
22nd Detached from WS5A and resumed
1 9 4 1
Deployed in SW Approaches with Flotilla based at Plymouth.
28th Escorted ships of 20th Destroyer
Flotilla with HM destroyers KELLY, KASHMIR and
minelaying off Brest (Operation GX -See Naval Staff History).
29th Escorted HM Minelaying Cruiser
ABDIEL with same ships for minelay off Brest.
approached before rendezvous and one later, but all were driven off.
Transferred to Mediterranean Fleet with HM Destroyers KELLY, KIPLING,
JACKAL (Operation SALIENT – See above references).
24th Joined Force S as screen for HM
Cruisers DIDO and ABDIEL with the same ships for
passage to Malta
covered by HMS ARK ROYAL, HMS RENOWN and HMS SHEFFIELD
Operation DUNLOP - Aircraft delivery to Malta by HMS ARK ROYAL was
coincidental with the passage of the reinforcements
28th On arrival at Malta deployed
with 5th Flotilla in place of 14th Destroyer Flotilla as Force K
for attacks on enemy
1st Carried unsuccessful operation
with ships of Force K to intercept a convoy.
2nd During entry into Grand Harbour
Malta force K ships entered newly laid minefield and
HMS JERSEY was
sunk after detonating a mine.
KIPLING and HMS KASHMIR did not enter after this disaster.)
9th Sailed from Malta after
minefield cleared and joined Fleet units with HMS KELLY and
JACKAL to cover
passage of vital convoy carrying tanks to Egypt
TIGER – see above references.)
(Note: The operation
also included transfer of HM Battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH and HM
Cruisers GLOUCESTER, NAIAD and FIJI to Eastern Mediterranean.
10th Under air attacks which were repelled
and later daylight attempts were broken-up by
Mediterranean Fleet escort with Force K and took passage to carry out
bombardment at Benghazi.
11th Returned to Malta with Force K
21st Sailed from Malta with HM
Destroyers KELLY, KASHMIR, KIPLING and JACKAL to join
Fleet units off
Crete for interception of invasion craft.
22nd Deployed with Fleet units off
Crete and under heavy and sustained air attacks.
23rd During interception patrols and
engagement of invasion craft sister ships in Flotilla HMS
KELLY and HMS
KASHMIR were sunk
24th Transferred to 7th Destroyer
Flotilla when 5th Flotilla was disbanded after the recent losses
28th Deployed at Sphakia
with HM Destroyers NAPIER, NIZAM and KANDAHAR for evacuation
after landing stores under air attacks.
29th Under air attacks during return
passage to Alexandria.
30th Took passage with same ships
from Alexandria for Sphakia to continue evacuation.
damage in air attacks that reduced speed and made ship vulnerable to air attacks.
June Nominated for repair at
19th Arrived at Bombay and taken in
hand by HM Dockyard.
Under repair at Bombay
31st Dockyard work completed and
commenced sea trials
1 9 4 2
January On completion of trials took
passage to rejoin Fleet at Alexandria.
16th Deployed as part of Force B with
HM Destroyers FOXHOUND, HAVOCK, HOTSPUR and
screening HM Cruisers DIDO, EURYALUS and NAIAD providing cover
for passage of Convoy MW8 during passage in eastern
Mediterranean to Malta.
18th Joined convoy and detached for
return to Alexandria on relief by ships of Force K from Malta.
20th Returned to Alexandria with Force
GURKHA was sunk by U133 on 19th and convoy arrived in Malta on 19th,
details of all Malta convoy operations see above references.
13th Deployed as part of Forcer B with
HM Destroyers GRIFFIN, HASTY, HAVOCK, JAGUAR,
JANUS and JERVIS
as screen for HM Cruisers DIDO, EURYALUS and NAIAD to provide
passage of Convoy MW9A and B during passage in eastern Mediterranean.
14th Joined MW9 to increase AA
Force K from Malta arrived with ships in
eastbound Convoy ME10 from Malta and escorts
19th Returned to Alexandria with ships
of Force B
(Note: None of
the three ships in Convoy MW9 arrived in Malta due to the incessant air
attacks. See references.)
20th Deployed in Force B as screen for
HM Cruisers DIDO and EURYALUS with HMS JERVIS,
HMS KIPLING and HMS
KINGSTON of 11th Destroyer Flotilla and HMS SIKH, LIVELY,
ZULU and HASTY of 22nd Destroyer Flotilla for cover of passage of
Convoy MW10 to
Malta (Operation MG1).
22nd Torpedo aircraft attacks by
Italian aircraft unsuccessful.
23rd Took part in torpedo attacks on
Italian force including the battleship LITIOR1O, heavy
cruisers GORIZIO and TRENTO, light
cruiser BANDE DEL MERE and four destroyers.
withdrew after threat of further torpedo attacks under cover of a smoke
(2nd Battle of Sirte - For full details of the brilliant tactical defence
by the British ships
Admiral Vian see THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN,
by GC Cornell).
convoy was able to continue its passage but was exposed to heavy air attacks
until fighter cover was available from Malta. HM Store Ship BRECONSHIRE
two merchant ships that survived were
all later sunk in Malta with only a fifth of
their invaluable supplies being discharged.)
April Deployment in Eastern
Mediterranean in continuation.
16th Landed Royal Marines Commando
unit at Kuphorisi, Crete.
May Deployed on patrol and
support duties in Eastern Mediterranean.
June Nominated for screening
and defence of Malta relief convoy (Operation VIGOROUS).
12th Joined HM Cruisers CLEOPATRA,
DIDO, HERMIONE, EURYALUS, ARETHUSA,
NEWCASTLE and BIRMINGHAM with 16 other Fleet Destroyers and ten
Escort Destroyers for defence of Convoy MW11 to Malta
Battleship CENTURION disguised as a KING GEORGE V Class Battleship also
took part in this operation.).
14th Under series of air attacks which
continued after nightfall.
15th Threat from superior force of
Italian warships was anticipated and convoy was ordered to
by CinC ashore at Alexandria..
(Note: As a
result of the temporary confusion ships became a sitting target for waiting
E-Boats that sank HMS HASTY and damaged HMS NEWCASTLE.
ordered to reverse course towards Malta.
16th After dawn, sustained air attacks
were renewed This seriously depleted
HM Escort Destroyer AIREDALE was sunk..
During return to
Alexandria HMS HERMIONE was sunk by U205 and the destroyer HMAS
previously damaged in the air attacks had to be scuttled.
(For details of this ill directed and ill
conceived operation see above references.)
Deployed temporarily in Red Sea for convoy defence.
Returned to Mediterranean to take part in diversionary operations during
transit of Malta
from Gibraltar (Operation PEDESTAL – See references.)
Carried out bombardment of
September Resumed detached service in Red
Sea for convoy defence.
November Returned to Alexandria for duty
with 7th Flotilla in support of Malta relief convoy
STONEAGE – This was planned after the westward advance of the 8th Army
reduced the threat of
16th Deployed as escort for Convoy MW13
during passage from Port Said with HM Cruiser
Destroyers JAVELIN, JERVIS, NUBIAN, PAKENHAM, PALADIN
17th Detached from MW13 on relief by
HUNT Class Escort Destroyers and took passage to
18th Rejoined MW13.
attacks during which HM Cruiser ARETHUSA was disabled by a torpedoed
and had to be
towed back to Alexandria.
19th Detached from MW13 with ships of
Flotilla and took passage to Alexandria.
21st Arrived at Alexandria.
Malta for interception operations with Flotilla as Force K
2nd Took part in attack on supply
convoy in Gulf of Gabes with HM Destroyers JERVIS,
NUBIAN during which Italian destroyer LUPO was sunk.
(Note: LUPO was rescuing
survivors from a freighter.)
4th Took passage from Malta for
cover of inward Convoy MW14 to provide cover for
Malta with HM Destroyers JAVELIN, JERVIS and NUBIAN as screen for
CLEOPATRA, DIDO and EURYALUS (Operation PORTCULLIS/MH1)
5th Arrived in Malta with MW14.
was the last direct Malta relief convoy from Alexandria.)
1 9 4 3
January Deployed in Malta with
ships of Flotilla as Force K
9th Sank two
schooners during interception patrol off Kuriat with
16th Sank Italian mercantile D’ANNUNIZO
south of lampedusa during attack on convoy
20th During attack on
convoy sank auxiliary minesweepers RD31, RD 36,
and six other
22nd Deployed with HM
Destroyers JERVIS, JAVELIN and NUBIAN as screen for HM
Cruisers CLEOPATRA, HMS EURYALUS for bombardment of
withdrawal routes for
troops in Tripoli area at Zuara.
Deployed for Escort of convoys to and from Alexandria in central
operations against enemy supply convoys.
5th Provided cover
for HM Minelaying cruiser ABDIEL with HM Destroyer PALADIN
during minelay in Skerki Channel. (See
Naval Staff History (Mining).
7th Repeated cover provision for HMS
ABDIEL with HMS PALADIN during further
minelay in Skerki Chamel.
May Nominated for return
to UK for refit
(Note: Accumulation of defects and damage
from near misses contributed to this need,)
Participation in interception of evacuation craft from Cape Bon area
of enemy resistance in Tunisia (Operation RETRIBUTION) and
bombardment of Pantellaria with HM
Cruiser ORION .prior to planned British
landings with ships of Flotilla is to be confirmed.)
June Passage to UK for
July Under refit by HM
1 9 4 4
January Under refit.
to Nominated for
service in 23rd Destroyer Flotilla, based at Scapa
March Re-commissioned for
support of allied landings in Normandy with Force S (Operation
March (For details of naval
activities prior to and during NEPTUNE see OPERATION NEPTUNE
by K Edwards,
LANDINGS IN NORMANDY, June 1944 (HMSO) and BRITISH
INVASION FLEETS by J
de S Winser.)
2nd Passage to Scapa Flow to work-up with ships of Home Fleet.
of Force S carried out
preliminary exercises in Moray Firth).
of work-up deployed in English Channel with Force S.
2nd Took part in
Final Rehearsal for berthing, loading and sailing by Forces O, S, J and G.
to (Exercise FABIUS).
landing exercise west of Littlehampton.
exercise off Brighton.
21st On completion Joined HM
Destroyers SAUMAREZ, SCOURGE, VIRAGO, SCORPION
SWIFT, MIDDLETON, SERAPIS, EGLINTON, Norwegian SVENNER,
Norwegian STORD and Polish ORP
SLAZAK in Solent to prepare for assault phase)
June Nominated target in
Pre-Arranged Fire Plan - Petit Enfer area.
4th Joined Convoy
S7 comprising HM Landing Ship LARGS (HQ Ship Force S), seven Landing
(Infantry), one RAF High Speed Launch
and three U S Navy Coastguard Cutters with
Destroyers VIRAGO, VERULAM and EGLINTON and five MTB's.
5th Sailed from Solent as escort for Convoy 37
after 24 hour delay.
6th Arrived at
beach head 2 hours before assault due to commence on
naval gunfire support for SWORD area.
10th During patrol
pursued E-Boats in Channel after a successful attack on coastal convoy south of
escaped to Boulogne without engagement.
Winston Churchill and General Smuts (South African Premier) for passage to
Eastern Task Force area for gunfire support and defensive patrol.
27th Retained in
Channel area when NEPTUNE terminated at end of build-up Phase.
July Deployment in
English Channel based at Plymouth in continuation.
August Took part in blockade
established to intercept evacuation craft from Biscay ports.
September Passage to Sheerness for
6th Taken in hand
for repair by HM Dockyard, Sheerness
30th Carried out post repair
October Nominated for service
with 14th Destroyer Flotilla in Mediterranean.
November Joined Flotilla and
deployed for support of re-occpation of islands in
to and patrol.
Intercepted and sank two landing
craft with HM Destroyer TUSCAN.
1 9 4 5
January Deployed with
Flotilla in Mediterranean for support of military operations and patrol..
deployment in continuation.
to Took part in
support of re-occupation operations and exercises with Fleet units based in
KELVIN remained in the Mediterranean after VJ Day and continued support duties
and Fleet training exercises. She was nominated for reduction to reserve status
and returned to UK to Pay-off and prepare for acceptance into the Reserve
Fleet. She was laid-up at Dartmouth in January 1946 and the next year
transferred to Harwich Placed on the Disposal List in February 1948 the ship
was sold to West of Scotland Shipbreakers and arrived
at the breaker's yard in Troon on 6th April 1949 for
CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS
by Don Kindell
These convoy lists have not been cross-checked
with the text above
Date convoy sailed
Joined convoy as escort
Date convoy arrived
(Note on Convoys)