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

HMS QUALITY (G 62) -  Q-class Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Quality (Navy Photos, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 

QUILLIAM-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered on 2nd April 1940 with the 3rd Emergency Flotilla from Swan Hunter at Wallsend, Newcastle and laid down on 10th October 1940. Build was delayed due to the extent of repair work after the Norwegian campaign and evacuations from Europe. The ship was launched on 6th October 1941 as the first RN warship to carry the name. Build was completed en 7th September 1942 and she was one of three of this Class which commissioned for RN service. The cost excluding weapons, ammunition, radar and communications outfits supplied by the Admiralty, was £439,820. Following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in March 1942 she was adopted by the civil community of Harrow, then in Middlesex.


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 Red, Upon a billet charged Gold, two Torteaux Red,

the one in chief charged with a leopard's face, crowned with a

Royal Prince's crown gold, and the one in base with a castle of three

towers also 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


September            Contractors trials and commissioning.

             7th            Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

                              On completion of trials and storing took passage to Scapa Flow.


October                Worked-up with ships of Home Fleet for operational service.

                              Nominated for support of allied landings in North Africa.

                              (Operation TORCH - For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C. Barnett

                              and Naval Staff History.)


November             Passage to Gibraltar as part of escort for military convoy.

             8th            Took part in support of landings in North Africa.

                              On release deployed at Gibraltar for local escort of coastal convoys.


December              Joined Force Q based at Bone for attacks on enemy supply convoys to Tunisia.

                               (Note: Deployed as screen for HM Cruisers ARGONAUT, SIRIUS and DIDO during

                                           interception of enemy convoys and convoy defence.

                               Nominated for service in Eastern Fleet with 4th Destroyer Flotilla.


1 9 4 3


January                  Passage with HM Destroyers QUIBERON, QUICKMATCH, RACEHORSE and REDOUBT

                               to join military convoy WS26 as escort during passage in Atlantic.

            31st            Joined escort for WS26.



              6th            At Freetown with WS26.

              9th            Part of escort for WS26 with HM Armed Merchant Cruiser CILICIA, HM Destroyers

                               QUIBERON, QUICKMATCH, RACEHORSE and Greek ADRIAS on departure from


            20th            Detached from W526 Escort before arrival at Cape of Good Hope and took passage to



March                     Deployed at Freetown for convoy defence.


April                       Freetown deployment in continuation

                               Nominated for return to UK to join 4th Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet

            29th            Passage to Scapa Flow with HM Destroyer QUAIL.


May                        Joined Flotilla and deployed at Scapa Flow for Fleet duties.

to                            Nominated for service in Indian Ocean with Flotilla for convoy defence.




             3rd            Sailed from Clyde to join Flotilla.

            25th           Sailed from Freetown to join Flotilla at Durban


September              On arrival at Durban joined Flotilla for Indian Ocean convoy defence and anti-submarine

to                            patrol.

November              Transferred to Trincomalee for Eastern Fleet duties with Flotilla.


December              Deployed for Flotilla duties at Trincomalee.

            23rd            Carried out anti-submarine search operation in Bay of Bengal with HMS QUIBERON after

                               sinking of ss PESHAWAR in Bay of Bengal, See WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO)


1 9 4 4


January                  Indian Ocean deployment in continuation

to                            Nominated for transfer to Ceylon for Fleet screening duties.

February                Passage to Trincomalee.

March                    Deployed far Fleet screening and patrol duties baaed at Trincomalee.

            16th            Part of escort for HM Battleships QUEEN ELIZABETH and VALIANT, HM Battlecruiser

                               RENOWN, HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS, HM Cruisers LONDON, GAMBIA (RNZN)

                              and CEYLON for offensive sweep in Indian Ocean.

                              (Note: Other destroyers in screen were HM Destroyers QUILLIAM,   QUEENBOROUGH,

                                          QUIBERON (RAN), NAPIER (RAN), NORMAN (RAN), NEPAL (RAN),

                                          PATHFINDER, Dutch destroyers VAN GALEN and TJERK HIDDES.)

            21st           Replenished from Fleet Tankers.

            27th           Present with Eastern Fleet ships when Joined by US Task Group 56.5 SW of Cocos.

                              (Note: TG58.5 comprised US aircraft carrier USS SARATOGA and destroyers DUNLOP and




             2nd           Returned to Trincomalee with Eastern Fleet and US Navy Group.

                              Deployed for patrol and screening as required.



            6th          Deployed with HM Destroyers ROTHERHAM, RACEHORSE,  NAPIER, NEPAL,

                           QUICKMATCH, QUIBERON and Dutch VAN GALEN in Force 65 as screen for HM

                           Battleships QUEEN ELIZABETH, VALIANT, French RICHELIEU, HM Cruisers

                           NEWCASTLE, NIGERIA and Dutch TROMP to provide cover for air attacks  on Soerabaya,

                           Java by Force 66.

                           (Note: US aircraft carrier USS SARATOGA was part of Force 66. See references.

                                       (Operation TRANSOM)

           15th         Refuelled in Exmouth Gulf. Western Australia with Force 65 ships.

           17th         Deployed with Force 65 screen during Force 66 air operations.

           27th         Returned to Trincomalee with RN ships of Forces 65 and 66

                           (Note: As no refuelling was carried out at Exmouth Gulf all ships were low in fuel on arrival.)


June                    Deployed for Eastern Fleet screening duties.

           10th         Sailed from Trincomalee with HM Destroyers QUILLIAM, RACEHORSE, RELENTLESS and

                           RAPID as screen for HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS, HM Escort Aircraft Carrier

                           ATHELING, HM Cruisers GAMBIA, CEYLON and PHOEBE for diversionary operation

                           to simulate passage for an carrier air attack on Sabang during US operation in South Pacific.

                           (Operation COUNCILLOR)

           12th         Operation terminated. See WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO)

           13th         Arrived at Trincomalee

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

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

                           QUILLIAM, QUICKMATCH, 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 Islands

                           (Operation PEDAL).

                           For details see WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO) Volume IV.



           22nd        Joined Force 62 with HM Destroyers  RELENTLESS, ROTHERHAM, RACEHORSE, RAIDER,

                           ROEBUCK, ROCKET, RAPID, QUILLIAM, and QUICKMATCH as screen for HMS QUEEN

                           ELIZABETH, HMS VALIANT, HM Battlecruiser RENOWN, French RICHELIEU, HM Cruisers

                           NIGERIA, KENYA, GAMBIA. CEYLON, CUMBERLAND, PHOEBE and Dutch TROMP

                           as Force 62 to provide cover for air attacks on Sabang, Sumatra and bombardments of shore


                           (Operation CRIMSON)

                           (Note: Air attacks were made by HM Aircraft Carriers INDOMITABLE and VICTORIOUS.)

            25th        Detached from Force 62 with Dutch cruiser TROMP and HM Destroyers QUILLIAM and

                           QUICKMATCH to form Inshore Force to attack harbour installations at Sabang and shipping in


                            Engaged by shore batteries and sustained some damage with casualties.

                            (Note: Torpedoes were fired into harbour.)

            27th         Return passage to Trincomalee with Force 62


August                Nominated for refit at Simonstown and took passage.


September           Taken in hand for refit on arrival


October                Under refit.


November             On completion of post refit trials took passage to rejoin Flotilla for Eastern Fleet duties

            22nd           Transferred to British Pacific Fleet with ships of 4th Flotilla on formation


December.             Took passage to Australia with ships of Flotilla to prepare for deployment with US Navy in

                                SW Pacific.

                                (Note: On arrival at Sydney Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to D18 to

                                             conform with US Navy identity for destroyers.)

                                Passage from Sydney to Melbourne with HM Destroyers QUILLIAM and QUADRANT for

                                R&R visit.

            24th             Despatched from Melbourne with HM Destroyer QUILLIAM and QUADRANT to join

                                 anti-submarine search operations off Sydney with HMS QUICKMATCH, RAN corvettes and

                                US Anti-submarine Chaser PC597 after sinking of US Freighter ROBERT WALKER off

                                 Sydney by U862.

                                 (Note: Operations were unsuccessful but some survivors from mercantile were rescued.)


1 9 4 5


January                  Carried out series of exercises with ships of BPF to prepare for service with US Navy ships

                                in SW Pacific.

                                (Note: These included signalling exercises using US Navy manoeuvring procedures and

                                            Fleet practices for anticipated support of aerial operations with US Fleet.


February                 Deployed with HM Destroyers QUADRANT and QUEENBOROUGH as screen for HMNZ

                                Cruisers ACHILLES, GAMBIA and HM Battleship HOWE during visit to Auckland, New

                                Zealand by Admiral Fraser, CinC BPF.

                                Returned to Sydney with same ships for final preparations for operational service.

            28th             Took passage from Sydney with ships of British Pacific Fleet to Forward Base at Manus,

                                Admiralty Islands.

                                Designated Task Force 113


March                      Took part in exercises with TF113 ships after arrival at Manus.

            15th             After delay approval given by US Chiefs of Staff to allow ships of BPF to take part in

                                operations with US Navy.

            18th             Took passage with Task Force 57 to US Forward Base at Ulithi, Palau Islands.

            23rd             After arrival at Ulithi allocated to Task Unit 57.8 in Task Force 57.

                                (See THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by J Winton and WAR WITH JAPAN 9HMSO)

.                               (Note: BPF ships were re-designated Task Force 57 and part of the US Fifth Fleet under US

                                            Navy overall command.

            23rd             Allocated to Task Unit 57.1.8 which comprised:

                                HM Cruiser EURYALUS.

                                HM Destroyers GRENVILLE, ULSTER, UNDINE, URANIA, UNDAUNTED of 25th

                                Flotilla), HM Destroyers QUICKMATCH, QUIBERON, QUEENBOROUGH, QUALITY

                                of 4th Flotilla, HM Destroyers WHELP and WAGER of 27th Flotilla.

                                Sailed from Ulithi with Task Force 57 ships to join US Task Force 58 for Joint attacks to

                                neutralise  Japanese airfields in Sakishima-Gunto Group. (Operation ICEBERG ONE).

                                (Note: These operations were in support of American landings at Okinawa.)

            25th             Refuelled with difficulty from Replenishment Group (Task Force 112.)

                                See above references.

            25th             Detached from Task Unit after developing defects and Joined HM Sloops PHEASANT and

                                CRANE in screen for HM Escort Carriers STRIKER and SPEAKER after defects had been


                                (Note: HM Destroyer WHELP was also detached and the two ships replaced in Task Unit

                                            by HM Destroyers KEMPENFELT and WHIRLWIND.

            30th             Rejoined screen for TG57.


April                        ICEBERG ONE deployment in continuation.

            14th             Escorted HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS to Leyte with HMS URANIA.

                                (See above references.)

            19th             Ships of BPF left operational area.

            23rd             BPF ships arrived at Leyte for replenishment and maintenance.



             1st               Sailed from Leyte for operational area with Task Force 57 ships to resume joint operations on

                                 Sakishima-Gunto (Operation ICEBERG TWO).

             3rd              Resumed screening duties with Task Unit after refuelling.

             4th              BPF ships under KAMIKAZE attacks.

             9th              BPF ships under further KAMIKAZE attacks.

           25th              Returned to Manus with Task Force ships.

                                (Note: For details see above references.).

                                Passage to Sydney with Task Force 57 for R&R period.


June                         British Pacific Fleet re-designated Task Force 37 as part of Third US Fleet after reorganisation

                                of US Navy Command structure.

                                (Note: Ships would act as a Unit of US Task Force 38 during Joint operations in Japanese

                                            waters. Overall command for deployments continued under US Navy with limited

                                            tactical discretion

            28th             Sailed from Sydney with Flotilla as part of Task Force 37.

                                (Note: Other ships of 4th Destroyer Flotilla were:

                                            HM Destroyers GRENVILLE, UNDINE, URANIA, URCHIN, ULYSSES,

                                            UNDAUNTED, QUIBERON (RAN), QUICKMATCH (RAN) and  QUADRANT.

July                         Exercised with BPF ships during passage to Manus..

             6th              Sailed from Manus with TF37 ships.

           17th              Detached as screen for HM Battleship KING GEORGE V with HMS QUIBERON to join US

                                Bombardment Group and designated Task Unit 37.1.6.

                                Joined US Task Unit 34.8.2 for bombardment of Hitachi and Mito, E Honshu.

                                Took part in first combined RN/US bombardment of Japanese land targets

           18th              On completion Joined screen for combined RN/USN carrier air attacks on Tokyo and

                                Yokohama areas.



             9th              Part of screen during Joint RN/USN air attacks on shore targets In North Honshu and


           12th              Ships of British Pacific Fleet, apart from Token Force, withdrawn from operations with Task

                                Force 38 off Japan.

                                (Note: This was made necessary by lack of fuel from British sources..

                                             Destroyers in Token Force, designated Task Group 38.5 were:

                                             HM Destroyers BARFLEUR, NIZAM, NAPIER, WAKEFUL, WRANGLER,

                                             TROUBRIDGE and TERMAGANT

                                             For further details of RN operations with US Navy in Pacific see above references

                                             and OPERATION PACIFIC by E Grey and TASK FORCE 57 by P Smith.

           14th              Passage to return to forward base at Manus before hostilities ceased.

           19th              Returned to Manus.


P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


HMS QUALITY remained in Far East under RN control after VJ Day. She escorted HMS KING GEORGE V and HMS DUKE OF YORK to Tokyo Bay with HMAS NAPIER and HMAS NIZAM where they represented BPF at the formal surrender of Japan. The ship continued deployment in Pacific and assisted repatriation of allied  prisoners of war and internees. Transferred on loan to the Royal Australian Navy on 30th October 1945 and in June 1950 permanently, the ship remained in service as a destroyer until 1955. Consideration for conversion to an anti-submarine frigate in 1953 was later cancelled. Placed on the Disposal List in November 1957 this destroyer was sold to Mitsubishi for breaking up in Japan and towed to the breakers in Tokyo the next year.






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








KMF 003





KMF 005A





CM 040





MC 006





CF 012





CF 012A





KR 007





AB 018





AB 018A





CM 047





AB 024C





AB 027B





US 024/1








(Note on Convoys)


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