V (VALENTINE)-Class Fleet destroyer of 8th
Emergency Flotilla ordered on 1st September 1941 from Swan Hunter at Wallsend, Newcastle. The ship was laid down on 16th
February 1942 and launched on 4th February 1943 as the 4th RN warship to carry the
name, previously used by a destroyer built in 1895. She was completed on 5th
November 1943. After a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in
December 1941 this ship had been adopted by the civil community of Newcastle
B a t t
l e H o n o u r s
ARCTIC 1943-44 - NORTH CAPE 1943 - NORMANDY 1944 - MALAYA 1945
- BURMA 1945
H e r a l d i
c D a t a
Badge: On a Field Black, a demi-wild and dishevelled woman Proper.
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 3
November Contractors trials and commissioned for
service in 26th Destroyer Flotilla.
5th Build completion and commenced
On completion of
trials and storing took passage to Scapa Flow to work-up with ships of
December Worked up for service and joined 26th Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet.
15th Joined escort of Russian Convoy
JW55A with H M Destroyers ASHANTI, MILNE, METEOR,
OPPORTUNE and ATHABASKAN (RCN).
21st Detached to join escort for return
convoy RA55 with same ships.
23rd Joined escort for returning Convoy
25th Despatched by CinC
Home Fleet to reinforce escort for inward Russian Convoy JW55B with HM
MATCHLESS, MUSKETEER and OPPORTUNE.
Covering Force for JW55 included HM Battleship DUKE of YORK, and H M
Cruiser JAMAICA with further cover by HM Cruisers BELFAST, NORFOLK and
SHEFFIELD view of threat of attack by German battleship SCHARNHORST known
deployed for this purpose.)
26th Detached with other Fleet destroyers
and joined major Home Fleet units to carry out attacks on
After a series of
torpedo attacks by HM Destroyers SAVAGE, SCORPION, SAUMAREZ and
destroyer STORD carried out further further torpedo
attacks at close range with HM
MUSKETEER, OPPORTUNE and MATCHLESS.
destroyer torpedo attacks and the continuing accurate gunfire by HM Battleship
OF YORK resulted in the destruction of the German warship.
were only 36 survivors from a crew of 1,986.
details see THE KOLA RUN by D MacIntyre and I Campbell
and Naval Staff
1 9 4 4
3rd Passage to Scapa Flow with Home Fleet ships.
21st Joined escort for Russian Convoy JW56A at Akureyi with HM Destroyers HARDY, OFFA,
OBDURATE, SAVAGE, VENUS, VIGILANT and Norwegian destroyer
29th Reinforced escort
of following Convoy JW56B.
1st Detached on arrival
at Kola Inlet and returned independently to Scapa
12th Deployed with Home
Fleet in NW Approaches.
March Home Fleet Flotilla deployment in continuation.
3rd Part of destroyer
screen for HM Battleship ANSON, HM Aircraft Carriers VICTORIOUS,
Escort Carriers SEARCHER, EMPEROR, PURSUER, FENCER, HM Cruisers
BELFAST, SHEFFIELD, JAMAICA with destroyers of Home Fleet during
series of air
attacks on the German battleship TIRPITZ in Altenf jord.
operation also cover transit of Russian Convoys JW58 and returning RA58.)
21st Independent passage
to Kola Inlet to collect merchant ships and personnel waiting in North
earlier Russian convoys.
(For details see
CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by RA Ruegg and RUSSIAN CONVOYS by
28th Embarked 17 survivors and joined
escort for returning Convoy RA59 with HM Cruiser
DIADEM, HM Escort
Carrier FENCER and HM Destroyers BOADICEA, ULYSSES,
3rd On arrival detached for duty with
Force S in Channel during Normandy landings.
naval gunfire support during assault (Operation NEPTUNE).
Took passage to
Channel to take part in final rehearsal for landings. (Exercise FABIUS).
4th Took part in assault landing exercise west of
Littlehampton by Force S.
18th Took part in defence exercise with
Forces S, J and G off Brighton.
attacks were carried out by E-Boats, aircraft and submersibles as well
incursions by minelayers (Exercise CANTAB).
returned to Portsmouth to ensure full availability for NEPTUNE.
(LANDINGS IN NORMANDY, June 1944 (HMSO)).
5th Escorted Convoy S70W HQ Ship LARGS,
three Landing Ships (Infantry), one Landing Craft
(Support), an RAF
High Speed Launch and three US Navy Cutters, with HM Destroyers
KELVIN, HM Escort Destroyer EGLINTON and five Motor Torpedo Boats.
6th Arrived off SWORD beach head at 0400.
Bombarding Force D during assault phase.
Defences at Lion-sur-Mer with HM Destroyers VERULAM
in accordance with
Pre-Arranged Fire Plan.
reference and OPERATION NEPTUNE by K Edwards).
8th Deployed on patrol and escort duty
during Post Assault Phase as required by the Eastern Task
27th Remained in Channel on completion of
July Patrol and escort duty
in Eastern Bridgehead area continued.
On release from detached
service took passage to Scapa Flow to Home Fleet
duties with Flotilla.
8th Took part in rehearsal for Operation
10th Escorted HM Aircraft Carriers
INDEFATIGABLE, TRUMPETER and NABOB with HM
Cruisers KENT, HM
Cruiser DEVONSHIRE and Home Fleet destroyers for air minelaying in
areas JOAN and
DERBY between Lepsoy and Hamaramsa
at Gossen and
coastal shipping were also attacked by FAA aircraft .
Operation OFFSPRING -For details see Naval Staff History (Mining).
17th Escorted HM Battleship RODNEY, HM
Cruiser DIADEM, HM Escort Carriers CAMPANIA
and STRIKER with HM Cruiser CUMBERLAND and Home
Fleet destroyers to provide cover
for the transit
of Russian Convoy JW60 and return Convoy RA60.
(See CONVOYS TO RUSSIA for
3rd Detached from RA60 and returned to Scapa Flow for Flotilla duties.
November Nominated for duty in Eastern
Fleet with 26th Flotilla and prepared for foreign service at
December Under refit by HM Dockyard,
Took passage to
1 9 4 5
January Passage via Mediterranean.
Worked up with Flotilla for
operations in Indian Ocean and Burma coast.
For details of
operations in Indian Ocean and off Burma in support of military see
PACIFIC by E Gray and
WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO).
24th Escorted HM Escort Carriers EMPRESS
and AMEER with HM Cruiser KENYA,
VIGILANT, VOLAGE and Eastern Fleet frigates for air photo-reconnaissance
of Malacca Straits areas (Operation STACEY).
targets in Andamans on outward and return passages.
March Deployed on patrol in
Indian Ocean off Sumatra and Straits of Malacca.
26th In successful action against
Japanese convoy sinking several ships.
8th Escorted HM Battleship QUEEN
ELIZABETH, French battleship RICHELIEU, HM Escort
EMPEROR, KHEDIVE, HM Cruisers CUMBERLAND and LONDON with HM
SAUMAREZ, VIGILANT, VERULAM and HMS VENUS of 26th Flotilla for
shore targets in Sumatra and aircraft operations in Indian Ocean and Malacca
11th Bombarded Sabang
with Fleet units.
28th Sailed to join Fleet units to
provide cover for planned landings in Burma.
1st Covered landings
at Rangoon with Eastern Fleet (Operation DRACULA).
PACIFIC and above reference.).
5th Escorted HM
Cruisers PHOEBE and ROYALIST, HM Escort Carriers HUNTER, STALKER,
KHEDIVE deployed as 21st Aircraft Carrier Squadron during air attacks on
bases along Burmese
coast with HMS SAUMAREZ, VENUS and VIGILANT.
10th Deployed with
HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH, French battleship RICHELIEU, Dutch cruiser
VAN TROMP, HMS
CUMBERLAND, 21st Aircraft Carrier Squadron (see above) destroyers
Flotilla to intercept Japanese evacuation convoys from Burma. (Operation
14th Detached with 21st Aircraft Carrier
Squadron and destroyers of 26th Flotilla as Force 61 to
offensive air and surface sweep in 6 Degree Channel north of Sumatra.
15th After aircraft from
HM Escort Carrier SHAH sighted the Japanese cruiser HAGURO and
KAMIKAZE, further aircraft sorties were unable to be carried out because of
defect in HMS
Flotilla to intercept enemy warships.
16th Carried out
night search and located enemy ships using radar.
Took part in
classic night torpedo attack resulting in sinking of HAGURO.
details see SINK THE HAGURO by John Winton).
June Deployed with Eastern
Fleet on interception patrols and offensive sweeps in the Indian Ocean.
July Prepared for planned Malayan coast landings (Operation ZIPPER)
operation was subject to delay until it had been approved by US government and
also by the implementation of the PYTHON Release Scheme to return long serving
personnel from SEAC.)
Deployed with Eastern Fleet to cover Malayan
coast landings (Operation ZIPPER).
27th Deployed with Eastern Fleet to
cover landing operations in Malaya.
Operation ZIPPER authorised as a re-occupation move after VJ Day.
9th Part of covering
force for landings at Sepang near Port Dickson and Morib, south of Port
Swettenham with HM Battleship NELSON, French battleship
RICHELIEU, HM Cruisers
CEYLON, CLEOPATRA and ships of 21st Aircraft Carrier Squadron
P o s t W a r
N o t e s .
HMS VIRAGO was retained in the Far East based at Hong Kong
with the British Pacific Fleet after VJ Day and returned to Chatham on 11th
December 1945. She re-commissioned for service with the 3rd Destroyer
Flotilla, Mediterranean Fleet in 1946. After Fleet service with the
Flotilla she returned to UK in 1949 and reduced to Reserve status at Chatham in 1949. This ship was selected
to be converted into a Type 15 Anti-submarine Frigate and on completion in 1953
spent two years in the 6th Frigate Squadron, Home Fleet before again returning
to Reserve at Chatham. In 1962 she again briefly resumed operational service in
the 17th Frigate Squadron. This ended in 1963 and she paid off into Reserve at Devonport. This ship was placed on the Disposal List the
next year and sold to BISCO for demolition by Shipbreaking
Industries. She arrived in tow at Faslane to be
broken up on 4th June 1965.
CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of
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)