M-Class Destroyer ordered from Scotts Engineering & Shipbuilder, Greenock on
7th July 1939 under the 1939 Programme
and intended to be named HMS MARKSMAN. She was laid down on 21st January 1940
but the incomplete structure was blown off the slipway during an air raid on
the Clyde in May 1941 and the structure was dismantled to allow transfer to an alternative site. The second date for
commencement if build was 18th August 1941 and the ship was launched on 28th
July 1943 as HMS MAHRATTA following a decision in July 1942 to introduce this name as a recognition of the financial support given by India to the war
effort. This name had first been used in 1882 for TB4 when that ship was transferred to the Royal Indian
Marine. Later in April 1918 it was given to the Paddle Steamer EMPEROR OF INDIA
when hired for use as a Patrol Vessel. Build of this destroyer was completed on
8th April 1943. In February 1942 this ship was adopted by the civil community
of Walsall, Staffordshire after a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings
H e r a l d i c
D a t a
None is recorded in the Official List
B a t t l e H
o n o u r s
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 4 0
Hull structure damaged on
stocks at Greenock during air raid
Build suspended and
structure salvaged for use on new slipway.
1 9 4 1
18th Laid down on new slipway.
1 9 4 2
28th Launched as HMS MAHRATTA.
1 9 4 3
March Contractors trials
April Commissioned for service in 3rd
Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet.
8th Build completion and commenced Acceptance
Passage to Scapa
Flow for work-up with ships of Home Fleet on completion of
trials and storing.
May Worked-up with ships
of Home Fleet
June Completed work-up and joined
Squadron for Home Fleet screening and patrol duties.
4th Deployed for screening of major warships
deployed for replenishment and support
of allied garrison at
Spitzbergen (GEARBOX series Operation.)
July Deployed with Flotilla for screening
of major warships during diversionary offensive
sweeps by Home Fleet
off Norwegian coast during allied landings in Sicily.
See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett and the Naval
August Flotilla deployment with Flotilla in
continuation for Home Fleet duties.
27th Embarked RAF personnel in Faeroes for
passage to Murmansk
to support aircraft
being used for reconnaissance flights at Altenfjord
prior to attacks
on German battleship TIRPITZ.
31st Disembarked passengers at
Murmansk and took passage to resume duties based at Scapa Flow.
Atlantic convoy defence and Fleet screening duties in continuation
21st Deployed with HM
Destroyers OBEDIENT, SHIKARI and SARDONYX for anti-submarine
search operations in NW
October Deployed for defence and support of
Atlantic convoys in Bay of Biscay area.
8th Rescued four survivors
from crew of RAF HALIFAX aircraft of 58 Squadron
which had hit by AA fire from
U221 during depth charge attacks which sank the
submarine on September 27th. Six airmen were rescued after eleven days
in a liferaft. (See HITLER’S U-BOAT WAR Volume II by C Blair.
10th Escorted HM Battleship
VALIANT for final part of passage to Plymouth from
Gibraltar after support of Operation AVALANCHE (Landings at Salerno.)
20th Independent passage to
Murmansk with other Fleet destroyers, a corvette
and two ALGERINE Class Fleet minesweepers for provision of escort during
return to UK of mercantiles retained in north Russia when convoys
were suspended during summer months. Cover was provided by HM Cruiser
LONDON and US Navy cruiser USS AUGUSTA (Operation FR).
See CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by RA Ruegg, ARCTIC CONVOYS by R Woodman.
Woodman and CONVOY ! by P Kemp for details of all Russian convoys.)
(Note: Five minesweepers and six motor launches transferred to the
Lease-Lend took passage with these warships.)
November Flotilla duties in continuation with
1st Joined Ocean Escort for
return Russian convoy RA54A to UK from Murmansk
with HM Destroyers MATCHLESS, MILNE, MUSKETEER, SAUMAREZ, SAVAGE,
SCORPION and SCOURGE. Cover was provided by HMS LONDON and USS
13th Detached with other ships
of escort during passage in NW Approaches and
returned to Scapa Flow.
Nominated for refit and took passage to Humber.
22nd Taken in hand for refit at
Brigham and Cowan shipyard in Hull.
December Under refit
1 9 4 4
Resumed Flotilla duties at Scapa Flow on completion of post refit
26th Joined Ocean Escort for
Russian Convoy JW56B with HM Destroyers
MILNE, SCOURGE, MUSKETEER, OPPORTUNE and HURON (RCN).
Cover was provided by HM
Cruisers BERMUDA, BERWICK and KENT.
See above references.
29th HM Destroyers HARDY,
INCONSTANT, OFFA, SAVAGE, VENUS, VIGILANT
and Norwegian STORD joined escort from Kola Inlet during passage.
30th Under sustained U-Boat
attacks during which HMS HARDY was sunk.
See HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR by C Blair for details.)
1st Detached from JW56B on
arrival at Kola Inlet.
3rd Joined escort for return
Convoy RA56 with same ships for passage.
(Note: Departure delayed until escorts for JW56A and JW56B were
for use as Ocean Escort in view of known U-Boat threat.)
9th Detached from RA56 with
HM Destroyers INCONSTANT, METEOR, MILNE,
MUSKETEER, SCOURGE, HMCS HURON and
and took passage to
22nd Joined Ocean Escort of
Russian Convoy JW57 with HM Cruiser BLACK
PRINCE, HM Escort
Aircraft Carrier CHASER, HM Destroyers MATCHLESS,
OBEDIENT, OFFA, ONSLAUGHT, ORIBI, SAVAGE, SERAPIS,
SWIFT, VERULAM and
(Note: HM Destroyers
BEAGLE, BOADICEA, KEPPEL and WALKER deployed
with four corvettes had joined as Close Escort on 20th February.)
24th Under U-Boat attacks
which were repulsed by escort and air cover.
25th Hit by T5 (FAT acoustic
torpedo) fired by U990 and sank quickly in position
71.17N 13.30E in Barents Sea. Only 17 out of a total
of over 217 in the
ship’s company were
rescued by HMS IMPULSIVE.
See above reference for details
of JW57 and SEEK AND STRIKE by W Hackmann
for details of FAT
P o s t W a
r N o t e
This name was given to a modified FLOWER Class
corvette HMIS CHARLOCK in February 1946 that was lost in 1947 after grounding and became a total loss. No trace of later Indian Navy warship
with this name has been found.
CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS
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)