W (WAGER)-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered in December
1941 from John Brown at Clydebank with the
9th Emergency Flotilla and laid down on
24th June 1942. The ship was launched on 1 November 1943 as
the 3rd RN ship to carry this name which dates from 1753. It had previously been carried by a 6th
Rate sold In 1763. Build was completed on 14th April 1944.
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
: On a Field White, a cross Blue charged with five
bessants within a horseshoe inverted Red.
M o t t o
provoco: ' I challenge
with a wager '
D e t a i l s o f W
a r Se r v i
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Contractors sea trials and commissioned for service in Home Fleet
14th Build completion and commenced
On completion of trials and storing took passage to Scapa
Flow to work-up for service with
Worked-up with Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.
On completion deployed with Home Fleet for screening of major units.
June Nominated for deployment
with HM Destroyers MILNE, MARNE, MATCHLESS, METEOR,
WHELP. WAKEFUL and WESSEX for screening of major unite of
(Note : Home Fleet
was required to be available to intercept any enemy
surface ship interference
allied landings in Normandy (Operation NEPTUNE)
details of naval activities prior to and during this operation see LANDINGS IN
NORMANDY June 1944 (HMSO), OPERATION NEPTUNE by K Edwards and D
ships by J de Winser.)
Nominated for service in 27th Destroyer Flotilla in Eastern Fleet after
Taken in hand for refit
(Note : Other ships in 27th Destroyer Flotilla were :
Destroyers KEMPENFELT, WAKEFUL, WHIRLWIND, WESSEX, WHELP,
WHELP, WIZARD and WRANGLER)
Under refit to prepare for foreign service.
Passage to Ceylon
31st Sailed from Aden to Trincomalee.
Joined Eastern Flotilla and deployed for Flotilla duties in Indian
(Note : Eastern Fleet ships carried out exercises in preparation for
15th Deployed with HM Destroyers
WAKEFUL, WESSEX and WHELP as screen for HM Aircraft
Carriers INDOMITABLE, VICTORIOUS and HM Cruiser PHOEBE as Task Group
(Operation MILLET – This was an Eastern Fleet operation carried out as a
US landings on Leyte.)
(Note : Ships in Group carried out air operations and bombardments on Nicobar Islands.)
17th Under attack by 12 torpedo bombers
which were repelled by carrier aircraft.
(Note : Seven
attacking aircraft were destroyed for loss of three fighters.
details of operations in Indian Ocean see THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by E Gray
WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO).
17th Deployed with HMS WHELP as escort for
RFA Tanker WAVE KING during duty as a
replenishment group during Fleet operations against targets in NW
(Operation ROBSON – First of OUTFLANK Series. See references.)
18th Deployed with tanker during
replenishment of destroyers involved in Fleet screening.)
Transferred to British Pacific Fleet with Flotilla on formation.
December Deployed with Flotilla for
screening of Eastern Fleet major units in continuation.
1 9 4 5
January Deployed with HM Destroyers
KEMPENFELT, WHELP, GRENVILLE, URANIA,
and UNDINE as screen for HM Aircraft Carriers INDEFATIGABLE,
ILLUSTRIOUS, VICTORIOUS, HM Cruisers SUFFOLK, CEYLON,
ARGONAUT and BLACK PRINCE as Force 63.
4th Part of screen during air attacks
on oil refineries at Pangkalan Brandan.
16th Sailed from Trincomalee
with British Pacific Fleet as Force 63 for transfer to overall US
based at Sydney for support of operations in Pacific.
20th Refuelled from Force 69 in Indian
24th Deployed with HM Destroyers GRENVILLE, UNDINE, URSA. UNDAUNTED,
WAKEFUL, WHIRLWIND and WHELP as screen for HM Battleship KING
GEORGE V, HM
Aircraft Carriers ILLUSTRIOUS, INDEFATIGABLE, INDOMITABLE,
Cruisers ARGONAUT, BLACK PRINCE and EURYALUS during air
against oil refinery at Plajoe, north of Palembang, Sumatra.
26th Replenished from Force 69.
29th Part of screen for ships of Force
63 during air operations against oil refineries at Soengo
Gerong, Sumatra (Operation MERIDIAN II)
(Note : This
operation was not judged as an unqualified success. See above references.
lessons were learnt.)
Under air attacks by aircraft during which HMS
ILLUSTRIOUS was damaged by AA fire
30th Replenished from Force 69.
4th Arrived at Fremantle
with ships of BPF..
10th Carried out preparations for
service in Pacific after arrival ay Sydney.
(Note : Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to D30 to
conform with US
identity system for destroyers.)
28th Sailed from Sydney to Manus
with BPF ships as Task Force 113.
7th Arrived at Manus
to await decision about service under overall US Navy command.
17th Approval received after
significant delay for transfer to US 5th Fleet as Task Force 57.
Sailed to take
part in joint air operations against airfield in Sakishima
26th Part of screen for HM Battleships
KING GEORGE V, HOWE , HM Aircraft Carriers and
HM Cruisers of
British Pacific Fleet.
(Note : Other
destroyers in screen were GRENVILLE,
ULSTER, UNDINE, URANIA,
UNDAUNTED, QUICKMATCH, QUIBERON, QUALITY, WHELP and
31st Deployed as screen during
renewed air operations
ICEBERG I – See TASK FORCE 57 by P Smith and above references.)
Fleet screen deployment in continuation).
1st Deployed as screen for HM
Cruiser ARGONAUT during use as a Radar Picket stationed away
from Force 57
ships to give advance warning of aircraft attacks. See references.
(Note : BPF
ships came under KAMIKAZE attacks during which HMS ILLUSTRIOUS and
ULSTER were damaged.
20th Returned to Leyte
with BPF ships for maintenance.
(Note : US
Forward base was at Leyte.)
4th Sailed from Leyte
Sydney with call at Manus.
Taken in hand
US 3rd Fleet with ships of BPF and identified as Force 37.
(Note This was due to a re-organisation of US Navy
command structure in SW Pacific.
On completion of post refit trials nominated for detached from Flotilla
for special duty.
Took passage to
rejoin BPF ships in operational area off Japan.
arrival and deployed with HMS WHELP as escort for HM Battleship DUKE OF
passage to Guam.
(Note : HMS DUKE
OF YORK was taking Admiral Fraser, CinC BPF. for meeting with
Admiral Nimitz, CinC of US Pacific Fleets.
During this visit CinCPACFLEET was
presented with the British Order of the Garter.)
August Returned to operational area as escort for HMS DUKE OF YORK with HMS
16th On arrival deployed in 3rd US
Fleet as Task Unit 38.5 with ships of BPF retained for service
as British Token
(Note : Task
Unit 38.5 included HMS KING GEORGE V, HMS IMPLACABLE,
GAMBIA, HMS NEWFOUNDLAND, HM Destroyers TROUBRIDGE,
British ships had been withdrawn from Task Force 37 in operational area
due to lack
of fuel from
tankers in British Fleet Train. See references.)
20th Transferred to Task Group 30.2 of
US Task Force 30 with HMS DUKE OF YORK and HMS
(Note : Identity for British
Flagship Group with same ship when remaining ships of Token
Force transferred as reformed Task Group 37 for entry into Japanese
27th Entered Sagami Wan to await
clearance of anchorage and berths for formal surrender and the
subsequent occupation operations
2nd Present at formal surrender of
Japanese Empire in Tokyo Bay. See THE FORGOTTEN
P o s t W a r N o t e s
HMS WAGER remained in the British Pacific Fleet based in
Hong Kong . The ship was deployed to assist in the repatriation of allied personnel and for Fleet duties with
the Flotilla. In late 1945 took passage to UK with the Flotilla . Paid-off and
reduced to Reserve status at Portsmouth in January 1946 she laid-up there until
1948 when transferred to Simonstown, South
Africa.. Placed on the Sales List and was sold to Yugoslavia in 1956 and after
refit was renamed PULA on commissioning in 1959. She was stricken from the
Active List during 1971 and sold for breaking-up in
Link - http://www.hms-wager.org.uk/ by Vince Savin