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

HMS QUEENBOROUGH (G 70) -  Q-class Destroyer including Convoy Escort Movements

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

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

Q or QUILLIAM-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered in December 1940 with the 3rd Emergency Flotilla and laid down by Hawthorn Leslie, Newcastle on 6th November 1940 in anticipation of confirmation. She was launched on 16th January 1942 and completed on 10th December that year. Build cost was £439,820 excluding the Admiralty supplied equipment such as guns, wireless and radar equipment. This was the sixth warship to carry the name, last used for a 6th Rate in 1747. Following a successful WARSHIP WEEK for National Savings during March 1942 she was adopted by the civil community of Lytham St. Annes, Lancashire.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

SADRAS 1758 - NEGAPATAM 1758 - CUDDALORE 1758 - PORTO NOVO 1759 - ARCTIC 1942-43 - SICILY 1943 - SALERNO 1943 - MEDITERRANEAN 1943 - OKINAWA 1945

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Blue, a woman's head affronted Proper,

 issuing from the battlements of a tower White and

ducally crowned 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


December            Contractors trials and commissioning.

           10th          Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

                             On completion of trials and storing took passage to join 4th Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet

                             at Scapa Flow.

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

                             Joined escort for HM Battleships KING GEORGE V and HOWE, HM Cruiser BERMUDA

                             providing cover for passage of returning Convoy RA51 from Kola Inlet with HM Destroyers

                             MONTROSE, MUSKETEER, RAIDER, WORCESTER and Polish destroyer ORP PIORUN.

                             (For details of all Russian convoy operations see CONVOY 1 by P Kemp, THE RUSSIAN

                             CONVOYS by B Schoefield and CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by RA Ruegg).


1 9 4 3


January               On completion of work-up deployed with Home Fleet in NW Approaches.

           23rd          Part of screen for HM Battleship ANSON and HM Cruiser SHEFFIELD providing cover for

                            passage of Russian Convoy JW52 with HM Destroyers ECHO, ECLIPSE, INGLEFIELD,

                            FAULKNOR, MONTROSE, RAIDER and Polish destroyer ORP ORKAN

           24th          Detached with covering warships.


February             Deployed with Flotilla at Scapa Flow for screening duties.

                            For details of Home Fleet activities see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett

                            and Naval Staff History.

                            Passage to Clyde to join escort of military convoy.

           29th          Sailed from Clyde as escort for joint convoy KMF10a to Mediterranean and WS27 to Middle East.

                            (Note: Other escorts for passage in Atlantic were HM Battleship MALAYA, HM Destroyers

                                        QUAIL, RAIDER, WOLVERINE and QUADRANT, HM Sloops EGRET and ERNE,

                                        HM Cutter FISHGUARD and HM Frigate TEST.



             2nd         Remained with WS27 as escort for passage to Freetown when KMF10A ships detached to proceed

                            to Gibraltar.

             8th          Detached from WS27 on arrival at Freetown.

            11th         Joined WS27 as escort during passage to Cape of Good Hope with HM Corvettes CROCUS and

                            PETUNIA, HMS RAIDER and HMS QUEENBOROUGH. HM Cruiser SUSSEX provided cover.

            24th         Detached from WS27 with HMS QUEENBOROUGH and HMS RAIDER during passage when

                            HM Destroyers  FOXHOUND, QUILLIAM and RACEHORSE joined escort.

                            Took passage to Capetown.

            26th         Rejoined WS27 as part of escort for passage from Capetown to Durban.

            29th         Detached from WS27 with HMS QUEENBOROUGH and HMS RAIDER on arrival at Durban.


April                    Passage to UK with HMS QUAIL to resume Flotilla duties in  Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.

             29th         Sailed from Freetown to UK.


May                     Deployed with Flotilla at Scapa Flow.

to                         Nominated for service in Mediterranean for support of planned  allied landings in Sicily

June                     (Operation HUSKY).


 July                     Passage to Gibraltar with Home Fleet units for the support of  Sicily landings.

                             Deployed with ships of Force H based at Gibraltar to prepare  for support operations.

                             (See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and Naval Staff History).

              10th        Deployed with assault force during landings.



              21st        Carried out bombardment of Italian mainland from Strait of Messina.

              31st        Bombarded coast between Reggio  Calabria and Pessar with HM Battleships NELSON,

                             RODNEY, HM Cruiser ORION, HM Destroyers OFFA, PETARD, QUAIL, QUILLIAM,

                             TARTAR, TYRIAN, TROUBRIDGE and Polish destroyer ORP PIORUN prior to landings on

                              Italian mainland by British XIII Corps (Operation BAYTOWN).

                              (For details of HUSKY and  BAYTOWN see THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by

                              D Macintyre and above  references.)



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

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

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

                                           SCARAB were also deployed for bombardment operations.)

                9th          Deployed with Force H with HMS QUILLIAM, QUAIL and PETARD to provide cover for

                                allied landings at Salerno (Operation AVALANCHE).

                                (For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and Naval Staff History )


October                   Deployed in Adriatic for support of military operations.



                3rd     Carried out bombardment of shore targets off east coast of Italy in support of military advance



                 1st      Bombarded Durazzo, Albania.


1 9 4 4


January              Transferred with 4th Destroyer Flotilla to Eastern Fleet.

to                       Took passage to Trincomalee.



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

                          QUIBERON (RAN) and QUICKMATCH (RAN) for escort of Fleet units and patrol in

                          Indian Ocean.

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

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

                          GAMBIA (RNZN) and CEYLON with destroyers of Eastern Fleet for offensive sweep in Indian


                          (Operation DIPLOMAT - See OPERATION PACIFIC by E Gray and WAR WITH JAPAN.).

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

                          US Navy destroyers (Task Group 58.5) for future joint RN/USN operations.



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

                          during joint attacks on Sabang with HM Destroyers QUILLIAM, QUADRANT, US destroyers

                          USS CUMMINGS, USS DUNLAP and USS FANNING.

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




            6th         Part of escort for Carrier Force 66 comprising HMS ILLUSTRIOUS and USS SARATOGA with HM

                          Destroyers QUILLIAM, QUADRANT, USS CUMMINGS, USS DUNLAP and USS FANNING for

                          joint air attacks on Soerabaya covered by Eastern Fleet deployed as Force 65.

                          (Operation TRANSOM - For details see above references).

           15th       Refuelled in Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia.

           17th       Deployed with screen during air operations

           18th       Detached from Force 66 with RN destroyers when USS SARATOGA took passage to rejoin US 5th


                         Joined ships of covering Force 65 for return passage to Trincomalee

            27th      Arrived at Trincomalee with Force 65 ships.

                         (Note: All ships had very low fuel remaining as passage made without stay at Exmouth Gulf.)


June                   Eastern Fleet deployment in continuation

to                        (Note: Ship did not take part in Fleet operations in this period.)




           15th        Part of escort with HMS QUILLIAM and QUIBERON for HMS RENOWN covering air attacks

                          on Nicobar Islands by HM Aircratt Carriers INDOMITABLE and VICTORIOUS.

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

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

                          RAIDER and QUILLIAM.



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


December          Passage with BPF ships to Australia for duty in Pacific


1 9 4 5


January              Prepared for service with British Pacific Fleet in SW Pacific under overall command of US


                           Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to D19 to suit US Navy designation

                           for destroyers.


February            Took passage to New Zealand with HM Destroyers QUALITY and QUADRANT as escort for

                           HM Battleship HOWE during visit by CinC BPF.

                           On return with HMS HOWE took part in exercises to prepare for operations with US Navy

                           including use of new signalling and manoeuvring procedures

                           Allocated to Task Force 113 with ships of BPF.

           28th         Took passage to British Forward Base at Manus in Admiralty Islands to await instructions for

                           future deployment under US Navy command.  



            7th          Arrived at Manus after further preparatory exercises with Task Force 113.

          18th           Took passage to US Base at Ulithi with Task Force 113 after delay by US Joint Chiefs of Staff

                            in giving approval for use of RN ships in operations with US Navy in SW Pacific.

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

                            FLEET by J Winton.)

          20th           Arrived at Ulithi with Task Force 113.

          23rd           Sailed from Ulithi  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.)

                                            British Pacific Fleet was designated  Task Force 57 on departure from Ulithi.)

          25th           Refuelled from BPF Fleet Train (Task Force 112).

                            Took passage after delayed refuelling to joint US Navy Task Force 58 ships in operational


                            (Note: BPF ships lacked practice in refuelling at sea and used outdated and slow procedures.)

          26th           Deployed with Task Unit 57.8 destroyers as screen for HM Battleships  KING GEORGE V,

                            HOWE, HM Aircraft Carriers INDOMITABLE, IMPLACABLE, VICTORIOUS,

                            ILLUSTRIOUS, HM Cruisers EURYALUS, SWIFTSURE, GAMBIA (RNZN), BLACK

                            PRINCE and ARGONAUT during air operations.

                            (Note: Screen comprised

                                        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.

          30th           Refuelled  from Fleet Train with TF57 ships in Area MIDGE.

.         31st           Deployed with screen during continuation of air operations by BPF carriers.



            1st           Under heavy and sustained air attacks including  KAMIKAZE.

                            See above references.

            3rd           Withdrew with TF57 ships for refuelling from TF112 in Area MIDGE.

            6th           Deployed with screen during air operations after delays due to weather conditions.

                            Under air attacks.

            7th           Withdrew with TF57 ships for refuelling.

          10th           Deployed for screening duties with TF57 which was detached to carry out air strikes on

                            Formosa (Operation ICEBERG OOLONG).

          13th           Under air attacks off Formosa.

          14th           Passage to refuel in Area COOTIE before return to Sakishima-Gunto for further air operations.

                            (Note: HMS FORMIDABLE relieved HMS ILLUSTRIOUS during this period.)                        

           16th           Deployed with TF57 screen for air operations.

                            Under air attacks.

          18th           Refuelled in Area MOSQUITO ONE prior to final series of air operations.

          20th           Deployed with screen during sixth strike period.

          21st            Passage to Leyte as part of screen for TF57.

          23rd           Arrived at Leyte with TF57 for maintenance and recuperation period.



            1st           Sailed from Leyte as part of Task Unit 57.8 for screening of TF57 ships.

                            (Note: HM Cruiser UGANDA replaced HMS ARGONAUT

                                        See above references.)

            3rd           Refuelled from Fleet Train (TF112) in Area MOSQUITO.

            4th           Deployed with screen for TF57 during renewed air operations.

.                           Under air attacks.

                            Remained with screen for aircraft carriers when cruisers and battleships of TF57 detached to

                            carry out bombardment of Miyako Shima.

                            Under heavy and sustained KAMIKAZE attacks after RN bombardment ships detached.

                            (Note: This decision was a major error as it significantly reduced the radar cover and anti-

                                         aircraft defence available to fight off enemy aircraft.

                                          Both HMS FORMIDABLE and HMS INDOMITABLE sustained damage.)

            6th           Refuelled from Fleet Train in Area COOTIE.

            8th           Deployed with screen for TF57 during air strikes.

            9th           Under air attacks during which a KAMIKAZE suicide bombers hit HMS VICTORIOUS and

                            HMS FORMIDABLE.

          10th           Refuelled from Fleet Train in Area COOTIE.

          15th            Detached from screening duties on arrival with ships of TF57 in Area  COOTIE for replenishment

                             because of  machinery vibration problems.

                             Took passage to Leyte with HM Escort Aircraft Carrier SPEAKER.

                             Returned to Sydney for repair.


June                      On completion of repair deployed in Australian waters

                              (Note: Not recorded as part of British Pacific Fleet during final operations as Task Force 37

                                          with 3rd US Fleet during final operations against Japanese  mainland.


July                        Local deployment in continuation.

                               (Note: Not transferred to Token Force.

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


August                   Local deployment in continuation.

                               (Note: Not included in operations to reoccupy Hong Kong.

                                            See above references.) 


P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


HMS QUEENBOROUGH remained in the Far East after VJ Day and was transferred on loan to the Royal Australian Navy in November 1945. She was deployed operationally until 1947 when placed in Reserve and laid up at Sydney. Selected for conversion into a Type 15 Anti-submarine Frigate in 1953 she re-commissioned in December 1954 and remained in commission until being involved in a collision with HM Submarine TABARD off New South Wales during June 1963. The ship was then Paid-off and placed in Reserve. During 1966 she was used for training and later placed on the Disposal List. On 8th April 1975 this destroyer was sold for demolition and  towed to the Breaker’s yard in Hong Kong.






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








RA 051





JW 052





CF 012





CF 012A





JA 001





PA 069





JM 002





KM 004E





MK 007G





CM 055A








(Note on Convoys)


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