Naval History Homepage - and Site Search




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

HMS QUILLIAM (G 09) -  Q-class Flotilla Leader including Convoy Escort Movements

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

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

Q or QUILLIAM-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered in March 1940 from Hawthorn Leslie of Newcastle with the 3rd Emergency Flotilla and laid down on 19th August that year. Because of the high priority given to repair of warships damaged in Norway and at Dunkirk, work was suspended and the launch delayed until 29th November 1941. She was the first ship to carry this name, that of the First Lieutenant of HMS VICTORY at the battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Build was completed on 22nd October 1943 at a total cost of £438,596 including Admiralty supplied equipment such as guns, communications and radar equipment. Following a successful WARSHIP WEEK for National Savings during March 1942 the ship was adopted by the civil community of Hampstead in Greater London, now in the Borough of Camden. She was fitted for use as a Flotilla Leader with additional accommodation for Staff Officers


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s


SICILY 1943 -  SALERNO 1943 - MEDITERRANEAN 1943 - SABANG   1944 - OKINAWA  1945


H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Blue, two quills in Saltire and a trident

erect interlaced all gold.



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 4 2


October                Contractors trials and commissioning for service as Leader of 4th Destroyer Flotilla

            22nd         Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials as Leader of the 4th Destroyer Flotilla

                             on formation..

                             (Note: Acceptance trials were carried out in the North Sea in foggy weather and the radar

                                         installation proved invaluable.)

                             On completion of trials and storing took passage to work-up with ships of Home Fleet at Scapa


                             (Note: 4th Destroyer Flotilla was to serve with Eastern Fleet based in Ceylon.)

                                         For details of development and use of radar in RN see RADAR AT SEA by D Howse.)

November            On completion of work-up deployed with 12th Destroyer Flotilla in NW Approaches.

                             Nominated for detached service for escort of military convoy WS25



            18th          Joined HM Armed Merchant Cruisers CARNARVON CASTLE and CHESHIRE with HM

                             Escort Destroyer ROCKWOOD for Ocean Escort during Atlantic passage to Freetown.

                             (Note: HM Destroyers BADSWORTH, HAYDON and WOLVERINE also joined as Local

                                         Escort in NW Approaches.).

            31st          Arrived at Freetown with WS25.


1 9 4 3



             3rd          Sailed from Freetown with HMS ROCKWOOD and HMS CHESHIRE as Ocean Escort

                            during passage to Durban.

                            (Note: HMS ROCKWOOD was taking passage to Join the Fleet at Alexandria.)

            18th         Detached from WS25 with Ocean Escort on arrival at Durban.


February              Deployed for convoy defence in Indian Ocean.



            24th         Joined military convoy WS27 with HM Destroyers FOXHOUND and RACEHORSE for escort

                            during passage from Capetown to Durban.

            26th         Detached with HM Cruiser SUSSEX and other escorts on arrival at Durban.


April                    Passage to Atlantic to meet military convoy WS28.

            11th         Joined WS28 escort with HM Destroyers FOXHOUND and ROTHERHAM.

            14th         Detached from WS28 with HMS FOXHOUND and HMS ROTHERHAM on arrival at Durban.

                            Recalled to UK for return to Home Fleet duties

                            Passage from Indian Ocean.

            29th         Called at Freetown.


May                    On arrival at Scapa Flow deployed with Home Fleet for screening and Fleet duties.


June                    Home Fleet deployment in continuation

                           Nominated for support of planned allied landings in Sicily.

                           (Operation HUSKY) – For details see Naval Staff History and THE BATTLE FOR THE

                           MEDITERRANEAN by D MacIntyre.)

                           Passage to Gibraltar with Home Fleet ships detached for HUSKY.



             2nd        Deployed at Gibraltar

                           (Note: Sister ships HM Destroyers QUAIL, QUALITY and QUEENBOROUGH of Flotilla

                                       were also deployed.)

           15th         Part of screen for HM Battleships NELSON, RODNEY, WARSPITE and VALIANT, HM

                           Aircraft Carriers INDOMITABLE and FORMIDABLE, HM Cruisers PENELOPE,

                           CLEOPATRA, AURORA and EURYALUS with HM Destroyers QUEENBOROUGH,



                           and  Greek VASILISSA OLGA in Ionian Sea.

                           (Note: These ships were deployed to prevent any interference by   major Italian Fleet units

                                       during allied landings in Sicily (Operation HUSKY). For details see Naval Staff History

                                       and ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett.)

                           After landings established deployed for support of landings and screening duties based in Malta.


August                Deployed with 4th Destroyer Flotilla in support of operations off Sicily.

           21st          Took part in bombardment of Italian mainland prior to  planned landings of British XXX Corps.

           31st          Deployed with HM Destroyers QUILLIAM and QUAIL for bombardment of Italian mainland

                            prior to allied landings.

                            (Note: Other ships also deployed included HM Battleships NELSON and RODNEY, HM

                                         Cruiser ORION, HM Destroyers TROUBRIDGE, TYRIAN, OFFA, PETARD

                                         TARTAR and Polish destroyer ORP PIORUN also took part

                                          (Operation BAYTOWN -  For details of HUSKY and  BAYTOWN see THE BATTLE

                                          FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by D.MacIntyre and above references.)

                           (Operation BAYTOWN - See above references).


September          Deployed with screen for major units of Force H.

             2nd          Carried out bombardment of coastal batteries near Reggio in support of military operations.

                             (Note: HM Battleships WARSPITE and VALIANT, HM Monitors EREBUS, ABERCROMBIE

                                         and ROBERTS, HM Cruisers ORION and MAURITIUS, HM River Gunboats APHIS and

                                         SCARAB were also deployed for bombardment operations.).

                                         QUEENBOROUGH, QUAIL and Fleet units.

            9th          Part of destroyer screen for HM Battleships NELSON, RODNEY, WARSPITE and VALIANT,

                           HM Aircraft Carriers ILLUSTRIOUS (replaced INDOMITABLE) and FORMIDABLE with

                           HM Destroyers QUEENBOROUGH, QUAIL, PETARD, TROUBRIDGE, TYRIAN, TUMULT,


                           ECHO, RAIDER, Greek VASILISSA OLGA, Free French destroyers LE FANTASQUE and LE

                           TERRIBLE. (Operation AVALANCHE - For details see above references)


October:            Transferred to Adriatic for interception patrol, convoy defence and support of shore operations

                           based at Bari.

           22nd        Intercepted mercantile with HMS QUAIL during Adriatic patrol



            3rd         Bombarded positions on Italian coast including Dalmatia and Durazzo.

            5th          Provided support at Bagnara for shore operation.

           15th          Avoided disaster when entering Bari with HMS QUAIL.

                             (Note: Mine laid by U453 was detonated by HMS QUAIL which was seriously damaged.)

           19th          Deployed with HM Destroyer RAIDER for interception patrols till 29th during which a ferry

           to              and two launches were sunk off Valona.

          25th          Bombarded Civitanova.


December           Adriatic support duties in continuation.

            1st           Bombarded  Durazzo, Albania.

                            Nominated for transfer with ships of Flotilla to Eastern Fleet.

                            Passage to Alexandria.

1 9 4 4


January               Passage to Trincomalee.




March                 Joined Eastern Fleet with HM Destroyers QUEENBOROUGH, QUADRANT, QUALITY,

                            (RAN) and QUICKMATCH (RAN) for escort of Fleet units, convoy defence and patrol in

                            Indian Ocean.

           21st          Part of screen for HM Battleships QUEEN ELIZABETH and VALIANT, HM Battlecruiser

                            RENOWN, HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS, HM Cruisers LONDON, CUMBERLAND,

                            GAMBIA (RNZN) and  CEYLON with HI Destroyers QUALITY, QUEENBOROUGH,

                            PATHFINDER, Dutch Destroyers VAN GALEN, TJERK HIDDES, HM Australian Destroyers

                            NAPIER, NORMAN, NEPAL and QUIBERON for offensive sweep in Indian Ocean.

                            (Operation DIPLOMAT - See OPERATION PACIFIC by E Gray ,THE FORGOTTEN

                            FLEET by J Winton. and WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO).)

           27th          With Eastern Fleet for meeting with US aircraft carrier USS SARATOGA and escort of US

                            Navy destroyers  USS CUMMINGS, USS DUNLAP and USS fanning (Task Group 58.5) for

                            future joint RN/USN operations.



             2nd         Returned to Trincomalee with RN and USN ships.

            19th         Part of Task Force 70 as escort for HMS RENOWN, HMS ILLUSTRIOUS and USS

                            SARATOGA. Joint attacks on Sabang with HM Destroyers QUADRANT and

                            QUEENBOROUGH, USS DUNLOP and USS FANNING.

                            (Operation COCKPIT - See above references and ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY

                            and WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO).


May                     Deployed as Leader for 4th Destroyer Flotilla, BPF.

             6th          Deployed with HM Destroyers QUADRANT and QUEENBOROUGH, US destroyers USS

                            FANNING, USS CUMMINGS and USS DUNLAP as destroyer screen for HMS RENOWN,

                            HMS ILLUSTRIOUS and USS SARATOGA forming Force 66 for joint air attacks by carrier

                            aircraft on harbour and oil installations at Soerabaya

                            (Operation TRANSOM)

                            (Note: Cover for TRANSOM was being provided by HM Battleships QUEEN ELIZABETH,

                                        VALIANT and French RICHELIEU screened by Cruisers and destroyers of the Eastern

                                        Fleet as Force 65. For details see above references.

            15th         Refuelled from Force 67 in Exmouth Bay, NW Australia.

            17th         Provided screen during air attacks at Soerabaya.

            18th         US Navy ships detached.

            27th         Returned to Trincomalee with ships of Force 65 and 66.

                            (Note: On return ships were very low on fuel since no fuelling took place at Exmouth Gulf


June                     Deployed for screening duties and patrol in Indian Ocean.

            19th         Joined HM Battlecruiser RENOWN, French battleship RICHELIEU, HM Aircraft Carrier

                            ILLUSTRIOUS, HM Cruisers NIGERIA, KENYA and CEYLON with HM Destroyers

                            QUILLIAM, QUALITY, ROTHERHAM of 4th Destroyer Flotilla and RACEHORSE,

                            RELENTLESS, ROEBUCK, RAIDER of 11th Destroyer Flotilla as Force 60.

            21st         Deployed as screen for major ships of Force 60 during air attacks at Port Blair, Andaman


                            (Operation PEDAL - For details see WAR WITH JAPAN)


July                     Nominated for screening duties with Eastern Fleet.

            22nd        Joined Dutch cruiser TROMP with HM Destroyers QUALITY and QUICKMATCH as screen

                            during offensive operation against ships at Sabang, Sumatra

                            (Operation CRIMSON - See above references.)

            25th         Entered harbour with Dutch cruiser TROMP, HM Destroyer QUALITY and QUICKMATCH

                            for torpedo attacks on shipping and bombardment of shore targets.

                            Sustained alight damage from shore battery return fire.

                            (Note: Operation CRIMSON also included carrier air attacks by HMS ILLUSTRIOUS and

                                        HMS VICTORIOUS screened by HM Cruisers PHOEBE and destroyers of the

                                        Eastern Fleet with cover from major units.)


August                 Eastern Fleet deployment with Flotilla in continuation.




October               Nominated for Eastern Fleet operation as part of Task Force 63.

                            (Operation MILLET - Diversion during US landings on Leyte. See above references.)

            15th         Joined HM Battecruiser RENOWN with HM Destroyers QUEENBOROUGH and

                            QUIBERON as Group 63.1

            17th         Provided cover during air attacks on the Nicobar Islands by HM Aircraft Carriers

                            INDOMITABLE and VICTORIOUS (Task Group 63.3).

            18th         Bombarded targets on Nicobars with HMS RENOWN, HM Cruiser SUFFOLK, HM Destroyer

                            RAIDER and Destroyer QUIBERON.

            19th         Under air attacks by 12 torpedo aircraft, seven of which were destroyed for the loss of three

                            Fleet Air Am fighters.

            21st         Returned to Trincomalee with Task Forcec,



            22nd        Transferred with Flotilla to British Pacific Fleet on formation at Trincomalee.



                               Passage to Australia for service with British Pacific Fleet under overall US Navy Command in

                              SW Pacific.

                              At Melbourne for visit prior to preparatory exercises.

             25th         Despatched from Melbourne with HMS QUADRANT and HMS QUALITY to join HMAS

                              QUICKMATCH and US Navy ships in search for U862 which had sunk US freighter off Sydney


1 9 4 5


January                 On release from anti-submarine operations took part in BPF exercises prior to deployment

                              with US Navy.

                              (Note: BPF ships identified as Task Force 113.

                              Exercises included new procedures for signalling and manoeuvring.

                               Pennant Number for visual signalling had been changed to D22 to conform with US Navy

                               signal address identity for destroyers



                              Preparatory exercises in continuation.

             28th         Did not take passage with TF 113 to British Forward Base at Manus in Admiralty 0Islands.

                               See WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO), TASK FORCE 57 by P Smith and THE FORGOTTEN FLEET

                              by John Winton.)


March                  Deployed in Pacific area

to                          (Note: No reference can be found to deployment with major units of TF57 during April

April                                 initial phase of Joint USN/RN air operations on Sakishima Gunta Group.

                                          (Operation ICEBERG ONE –See above references).

                             Passage to Leyte to join Flotilla in Task Group 57.



              1st          Sailed from Leyte with destroyer screen for HM Battleships KING GEORGE V, HOWE, HM

                            Aircraft Carriers FORMIDABLE, INDOMITABLE, VICTORIOUS, HM

                            Cruisers SWIFTSURE, UGANDA (RCN)), GAMBIA (RNZN), EURYALUS and BLACK

                            PRINCE with HM Destroyers GRENVILLE, URSA, URCHIN, UNDAUNTED, UNDINE,


                            WHIRLWIND and WESSEX in Task Force 57.

                            (Operation ICEBERG TWO)

              3rd         Replenished with destroyers from Logistic Support Group in Area MOSQUITO.

              4th         Part of TF57 screen during joint RN/USN air attacks on targets in Sakishima-Gunto.

                            Remained with screen for aircraft carriers when battleships and cruisers left to carry out

                            bombardment of airfields at Miyako.

                            Under attack by Kamikaze aircraft. (See above references).

              5th         Fleet screening in continuation during air attacks by carriers

              to           (Note: During replenishment periods these were continued by US Task Groups 58.1 and 58.3

            17th                     See above references).

            20th          After replenishment resumed screening duties.

                             Sustained serious damage to bow structure after colliding with HM Aircraft Carrie

                             INDOMITABLE in  fog.

                             Taken in tow by HM Destroyer NORMAN covered by HM Cruiser BLACK PRINCE which

                             later took over  tow with air cover by HM Escort Carrier RULER of Fleet Train

             21st         Tow transferred to HM Tug WEASEL.

             22nd        Arrived in refuelling area and later took passage to Leyte in tow escorted by HMS NORMAN.

                              Tow transferred to US Navy Tug TURKEY.

             28th         Arrived at Leyte.


June                      Under temporary repair at Leyte to allow passage to Australia.



              9th           Passage to Sydney in damaged state


August                 Took passage to UK via Panama


September            Passage from Bermuda to Chatham.


P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


HMS QUILLIAM was taken in hand for repair by HM Dockyard, Chatham during October 1945 and placed on the Disposal List. The ship was sold to the Netherlands in November that year and commissioned as HM Neth. Ship BANCKERT on 11th November. She was refitted and repaired in Holland and then served in the Royal Netherlands Navy until 1957 when removed from the Active List. In February she was sold to Jos de Smedt for demolition at Burght.






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













CF 012





CF 012A





XC 018





BM 100








(Note on Convoys)


back to Contents List
or Naval-History.Net

revised 7/8/11
further editing and formatting is required


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