Destroyer ordered with 4th Emergency Flotilla from John Brown, Clydebank in April 1940. Construction work
was delayed until September because of priority for repair work in ships damaged
earlier that year in Norway and at Dunkirk. The ship was launched on 1st June
1942 as the
11th RN ship to carry the name which was introduced in 1757 and last used by a
destroyer sold in 1920. Build was
completed in November 1942. After a successful WARSHIP WEEK for National Savings in March 1942
she had been 'adopted' by the civil community of Hackney, Greater London.
B a t t l e H o n o u r s
QUEBEC 1759 - MADAGASCAR 1811
- NEW ZEALAND 1845-47 - CHINA 1856 - SATSUMA 1862 - KAGOSHIMA 1863-60
- DOVER PATROL 1914-18 - ATLANTIC 1943 - SABANG 1944 -
H e r a l d i c D a t a
Badge: On a Field White a chestnut horse standant
White bridle, Pink forehead
strap and Blue riband.
D e t a i l s o f W a r
S e r v i c e
(for more ship information,
to Naval History Homepage
and type name in Site Search)
9 4 2
Acceptance Trials and commissioned for service in 18th Destroyer
Worked up with Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.
Detached to escort HM Aircraft Carrier VICTORIOUS with HM Destroyers
and REDOUBT for Atlantic
passage to join US Fleet. in Pacific.
1 9 4 3
1st Detached from HMS VICTORIOUS after stormy
passage in Atlantic during which damage
was sustained to structure
On completion of repair at
Newport News US Navy Yard took passage to join a Tanker
convoy as part of escort
during passage to Gibraltar.
Nominated for service in
Indian Ocean with Flotilla as part of Eastern Fleet.
Deployed in Atlantic for
Joined military convoy WS26 on passage from Gibraltar area to Freetown
with HM Destroyers
QUICKMATCH and REDOUBT to supplement Ocean Escort for
passage to Freetown.
6th Detached from WS26 with Ocean Escort on
arrival at Freetown.
9th Rejoined WS26 as Ocean Escort for passage
to Indian Ocean with HM Armed Merchant
Cruisers CANTON and
CILICIA, HM Destroyers QUIBERON, QUICKMATCH and
Detached from WS26 in Indian Ocean after ships from Capetown
March Deployed for convoy defence in Indian
Ocean and South Atlantic.
Joined military convoy WS27 with HM Destroyers FOXHOUND and QUILLIAM to
HM Destroyers QUAIL,
QUALITY and RAIDER as Ocean Escort for passage to Capetown.
(Note: HM Cruiser SUSSEX
was also part of Ocean Escort.)
Detached from WS27 on arrival off Capetown.
April Passage from Capetown
to join military convoy WS28 in Atlantic.
5th Joined WS28 during passage from Freetown
to Capetown with HM Destroyer RELENTLESS
as relief for HM
Destroyers QUADRANT and REDOUBT in Ocean Escort.
(Note: HM Cruiser KENYA
was also deployed in Ocean Escort.)
11th Detached from WS28 on arrival at Capetown and relieved by HM Destroyers QUADRANT,
REDOUBT and RELENTLESS as
Ocean Escort during passage to Durban
May Convoy defence in continuation.
Passage to join military convoy WS29 in
11th Joined WS29 with HM Destroyers
RELENTLESS and ROTHERHAM for Ocean Escort
during passage to Durban
(Note: HM Cruiser
NEWCASTLE and HM Destroyer LEWES were part of the Ocean Escort.)
18th Detached from WS29 with HMS RELENTLESS
an arrival at Capetown.
22nd Rejoined WS29 with HMS RELENTLESS and HMS
ROTHERHAM as Ocean Escort for
passage to Durban.
26th Remained with WS29 off Durban and after
additional mercantiles joined deployed as Ocean
Escort with HM Cruiser
KENYA, HM Destroyers NORMAN, QUADRANT, REDOUBT.
29th Detached from WS29 and returned to
24th Deployed with M Destroyers NIZAM and
RELENTLESS as screen for HM Cruisers SUFFOLK
and NEWCASTLE during
search for German tanker
known to be in
use for replenishment of
U-Boats operating In the Indian Ocean.
(Operation PLAYER - See
WAR WITH JAPAN, HMSO).)
30th Search abandoned after no interception
or sighting by CATALINA aircraft or ships.
July Resumed deployment at Durban for
Indian Ocean convoy defence and patrol.
to Nominated for transfer to Trincomalee
December Passage to Trincomalee
to Join Eastern Fleet.
Deployed at Trincomalee for screening of major units and convoy defence.
(Note: This deployment
may have been early in 1944)
1 9 4 4
January Deployed with Flotilla in India for
convoy defence patrol and the interception of enemy
to supply ships and blockade
February (Note: See December 1943)
March Deployed for Fleet duties.
21st Deployed with HM Destroyers NAPIER RAN),
NORMAN (RAN), NEPAL (RAN)
QUALITY, QUIBERON (RAN), PATHFINDER, QUEENBOROUGH,
Dutch VAN GALEN and Dutch
TJERK HIDDES as screen for HM Battleships
QUEEN ELIZABETH and
VALIANT, HM Battlecruiser RENOWN, HM Aircraft
Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS, HM
Cruisers LONDON, CUMBERLAND, GAMBIA (RNZN)
and CEYLON for shipping
protection and exercises.
(Note: Air searches and
provision of radar pickets were exercised.
of see WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO).)
27th Carried out Fleet exercises after
Eastern Fleet units met
to US Task Group 58.5 for loan service.
29th Returned with RN and USN ships to Trincomalee.
(Note: Task Group
comprised aircraft carrier USS SARATOGA and destroyers USS
CUMMINGS and FANNING.)
April Deployed with Eastern Fleet as
part of Force 69 for a diversionary operation off
Sumatra and the Nicobar-Andaman area during allied operations in New
16th Joined HM Destroyers ROTHERHAM, PENN,
PETARD, QUIBERON (RAN),
NAPIER (RAN), NEPAL
(RAN), NIZAM (RAN) and the Dutch destroyer VAN
GALEN as screen for HM Battleships
QUEEN ELIZABETH, VALIANT and
French RICHELIEU, HM
Cruisers CEYLON, NIGERIA, GAMBIA (RNZN),
NEWCASTLE and Dutch
cruiser TROMP as Force 69.
(Note: These Eastern Fleet
ships were providing cover for air operations against
Sumatra by Force 70 comprising HM Aircraft Carrier
USS SARATOGA, HMS RENOWN, HM Cruiser LONDON,
HM Destroyers QUILLIAM, QUEENBOROUGH, QUADRANT, USS DUNLAP
and USS FANNING)
see the above references.
19th Deployed with screen for Force 70
during air attacks on Sabang and airfield at Lho Nga.
Three Japanese torpedo
aircraft were destroyed in an attempt to approach allied units after
the air operations.
May Fleet deployment in
6th Joined HM Destroyers
ROTHERHAM, PENN, NAPIER (RAN), NEPAL (RAN),
QUIBERON (RAN) and QUICKMATCH (RAN) with the Dutch destroyer VAN
GALEN in Force 65)
Sailed as the screen for battleships HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH, HMS VALIANT
HMS RENOWN and French RICHELIEU, HM Cruiser KENYA and the Dutch
(Note: These major
units were covering HMS ILLUSTRIOUS and USS
HMNZS GAMBIA, HMS CEYLON as Force 66, screened by HM
QUADRANT, QUEENBOROUGH and QUILLIAM, USS DUNLAP,
and FANNING during air attacks on Soerabaya.
15th Replenished in Exmouth Bay, NW
Australia from Force 67
(Note: This comprised
Six tankers and a Distilling ship escorted from Ceylon by HM
LONDON and SUFFOLK.)
17th Air attacks carried out on oil
refineries and harbour installations.
18th USS SARATOGA and US destroyers from TF66
27th Returned to Ceylon after refuelling in
10th Deployed with HM Destroyers QUILLIAM,
QUALITY, RAPID and
RELENTLESS, HM Cruisers
GAMBIA (RNZN), CEYLON, PHOEBE and HM
Submarine SURF to cover
HMS ILLUSTRIOUS and HM Escort Aircraft
Carrier ATHELING for
special operation to threaten an attack by
carrier aircraft on Sabang
13th Returned to Trincomalee.
(Note: No enemy reactions were detected. See
WAR WITH JAPAN.).
19th Deployed with HM Destroyers QUILLIAM,
QUALITY, QUICKMATCH, ROTHERHAM,
RELENTLESS, ROEBUCK and
RAIDER as screen for HMS ILLUSTRIOUS, HMS
RENOWN, French RICHELIEU, HM
Cruisers NIGERIA and CEYLON in Force 60 during
air attacks on Port
(Operation PEDAL - For
details see above reference.)
(Note: HM Submarines
TANTIVY and CLYDE for air sea-rescue duties.
July Eastern Fleet deployment in
8th Carried out hunt with HMS RAIDER for
(Note: This submarine
was on passage from Penang having delivered torpedoes
and carried out
on a tanker which failed. This hunt lasted several days but was unsuccessful.)
22nd Joined HM Destroyers RELENTLESS,
ROTHERHAM, ROCKET and RAPID as
screen for HM Battleships
QUEEN ELIZABETH and VALIANT, HM Battlecruiser
battleship RICHELIEU, HM Cruisers CUMBERLAND, NIGERIA,
KENYA, CEYLON, GAMBIA
(RNZN), PHOEBE and Dutch TROMP during bombardment
Sumatra as Force 62.
(Operation CRIMSON -
See above references).
(Note: HM Aircraft
Carriers ILLUSTRIOUS and VICTORIOUS were also deployed for air
airfields and to provide air cover during bombardment.)
24th Aircraft carriers detached with HMS PHOEBE,
HMS ROEBUCK and HMS RAIDER to
take passage to
25th Bombarded shore targets.
August Fleet duties with Flotilla in
16th Deployed with HM Destroyers ROTHERHAM,
REDOUBT, RAPID, ROCKET, RELENTLESS
and RAIDER as screen
for HM Aircraft Carriers VICTORIOUS, INDOMITABLE., HM
Battleship HOWE HM
Cruisers CUMBERLAND and KENYA during air strikes and
17th Planned strikes
against airfields cancelled due to weather conditions.
flights carried out on northern Sumatra (Operation LIGHT A).
Air strikes carried out on targets at Sigli,
Sumatra (Operation LIGHT B)
On completion returned
with Fleet units to Trincomalee.
October Fleet deployment with Flotilla in
1 9 4 5
January Eastern Fleet screen and patrol
duties with Flotilla in continuation.
to (Note: Ships of Flotilla
went to Simonstown for refit and R&R prior to
planned operations by
March newly identified East
Indies Fleet in support of landings in Burma and Malaya.
1st Deployed with HM Destroyers ROTHERHAM,
REDOUBT and ROCKET for
shipping sweep off Burma
coast between Mergui and Amherst and for
of possible use of Narcondan Island as a base for MTB's
. 4th Bombarded radar station on Great Coco Island.
5th Returned to Akyab
7th Sailed with same ships for anti-shipping
sweep between Moulmein River and Mergui
on Coast of Burma.
Several small sailing craft destroyed.
11th Return passage to Trincomalee.
25th Deployed with HM Destroyers REDOUBT and
ROEBUCK as Force 62 for offensive
patrols in Indian Ocean
during allied landings in Burma
29th Commenced operation to intercept craft
between Rangoon and Tenasserim coast.
30th Intercepted convoy evacuating troops
from Rangoon and destroyed all 11 ships.
Bombarded Car Nicobar and Port Blair
1st Bombarded Car Nicobar.
Rescued survivors from
Japanese convoy destroyed on 30th April.
(Note: Some Japanese
refused assistance and committed ‘Hari-Kari')
10th Deployed as screen for HM Cruiser
NIGERIA with HMS REDOUBT and HMS ROEBUCK
as Task Force 62 to
reinforce Eastern Fleet during operation to intercept warships which
evacuation of Andamans and Nicobars.
(Operation DUKEDOM - See
(Note: After a
brilliant tactical interception, HM Destroyers SAUMAREZ, VERULAM,
VIGILANT, VENUS and VIRAGO (Task Unit 61.3) engaged and sank the Japanese
Cruiser HAGURO (See Naval
Staff History and ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE
June Deployed with HM Destroyers
ROTHERHAM, RELENTLESS, REDOUBT and
ROEBUCK as screen for
Force 63 (HM Escort Carriers STALKER, KHEDIVE and
AMEER, HM Cruisers
SUFFOLK and ROYALIST).
18th Carrier aircraft carried out
photo-reconnaissance missions over Southern Malaya and
to attacked airfields in Northern
19th (Operation BALSAM)
July Fleet duties with Flotilla in
19th Joined HM Battleship NELSON, HM Cruiser
SUSSEX, HM Escort Carrier EMPRESS
with HM Destroyers
ROTHERHAM, PALADIN and RAIDER to cover mine clearance
by the 7th Minesweeping
Flotilla off Phuket Island as Force 63 (Operation
24th Mine clearance commenced.
(Note: HM Minesweeper
SQUIRREL badly damaged by mine. seven of ship's company
killed. Minesweeper had to be sunk after taking on heavy list.
26th Under attack by Japanese suicide
HM Minesweeper VESTAL
was hit and badly damaged by fire. Eleven of snip's company
Sank HMS VESTAL by
On completion of
clearance operation returned to Trincomalee.
(Note: This was the
last offensive operation by ships of the Eastern Fleet).
August Deployed with Fleet at Trincomalee and prepared for Malaya landings.
(Note: This operation
had been delayed initially by the introduction of the PYTHON
release personnel serving in the Far East and later was again
by US insistence.)
Report by SEAC and THE FORG0TTEN FLEET by John Winton.)
Deployed with Eastern
Fleet for screening duties during passage to Padang.
September Fleet screening duties in continuation.
Part of covering force
during landings in Malaya.
Deployed with Eastern
Fleet ships at Singapore for Japanese surrender.
. (Operation MAILFIST)
P o s t W a r
N o t e
HMS RACEHORSE returned to UK after the occupation of Singapore and was
reduced to Reserve status at Portsmouth. Laid up at Portsmouth she was
selected for use as a ship target in trials at Gareloch.
On completion in 1949 the ship was placed on the Disposal List and sold to The
West of Scotland Shipbreakers on 8th November 1949.
The ship arrived in tow at Troon for demolition In on
8th December that year.
Details of escorts
for WS Series military convoys were provided by Donald Kindell,
Ohio, USA from an unpublished
source. This is gratefully acknowledged.
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)