W (WAGER)-Class Fleet Destroyer
ordered on 3rd December 1941 with the 9th Emergency Flotilla
from Vickers Armstrong at Barrow-in-Furness. After a successful WARSHIP WEEK
National Savings campaign in March 1942
this ship was adopted by the civil community of Lincoln. She was laid down on
23rd September 1942 as Yard No 834 and launched on 30th December 1943. She was
the 7th RN warship to carry the name which dates from 1797. It was used by a
trawler hired in 1939 and renamed in 1944 before the completion date for this destroyer on 14th July 1944.
B a t t l e H o n o u r s
BALTIC 1854 - BLACK SEA 1855
(Note: Award of Battle Honour JAPAN after post 1970 review of WW2
awards is to be confirmed.)
H e r a l d i c D a t a
Badge: On a Field Barry wavy of
10 White and Blue.
a naval gun Gold, the carriage Red.
M o t t o
‘The first and last word’
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 4
Contractors sea trials.
(Note: During departure for trials defect discovered in starboard
gearing and on entering
collided with the wall causing some structural damage.
work delayed Acceptance by about 3 weeks.
Commissioned for service in 27th Destroyer Flotilla.
14th Build completion and
commenced Acceptance Trials.
On completion of trials and storing took passage to Scapa Flow.
Worked-up at Scapa Flow with ships of Home Fleet.
Modifications carried out prior to joining Flotilla in Ceylon.
Passage to Mediterranean.
Deployed temporarily with Mediterranean Fleet.
10th Bombarded Milos with HM
Battleship KING GEORGE V in support of the
retake islands in the Aegean.
(See ENGAGE THE) ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett)
22nd British Pacific Fleet
formed in Ceylon and transferred with Flotilla for service in Pacific.
(See OPERATION PACIFIC by E. Gray, THE! FORGOTTEN FLEET by J Winton. TF
P. Smith and WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO)
Passage to Ceylon with HMS KING GEORGE V to Join ships of Flotilla.
13th Joined newly formed
17th Deployed as part of
Force 67 with HM Destroyers KEMPENFELT, WHIRLWIND, WES5EX
and WAKEFUL as destroyer screen for HM Cruisers NEWCASTLE, BLACK PRINCE,
ARGONAUT, Aircraft Carriers INDOMITABLE and ILLUSTRIOUS during series of
on oil refineries In Sumatra
(Operation ROBSON part of Operation OUTFLANK.
(See above references.)
18th Refuelled with other
destroyers from Force 69 before taking passage to the flylng-off position
W of Diamond Point.
20th Flying operations
commenced but diverted to secondary target at Belawan Deli due to
weather conditions which prevented strikes at primary target of
(For details see above references.)
22nd Returned to Trincomalee with ships of
1 9 4 5
January Taken in hand for repair by HM Dockyard Bombay.
February Under repair
On completion of post repair trials took passage to Sydney to join
Flotilla serving in SW Pacific
under US Navy overall command.
Deployed at Sydney.
Prepared for service in SW Pacific under overall US Navy command
Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to D36 to conform
with US Navy
identity used for
Transferred to US Third Fleet with ships of British Pacific Fleet which
had been redesignated as
Task Force 37.
(Note: This was due to re-organisation of US Pacific Fleet command
structure. See WAR WITH
and THE FORGOTTEN FLEET.)
28th Remained at Sydney when
Task Force 37 ships sailed for Manus prior to Joining U S Third
Fleet for operations against
Japanese mainland targets.
(Note: Ship was
nominated with HM Destroyers BARFLEUR and WAKEFUL for escort of
Aircraft Carrier INDEFATIGABLE which had been delayed from sailing due to
mechanical defects in compressors.
Passage from Sydney to Join Task Force 37 in operational area with call
at Menus, as escort for
HMS INDEFATIGABLE with HMS BARFLEUR and HMS WAKEFUL.
Escorted HM Aircraft Carrier INDEFATIGABLE with HM Destroyer WAKEFUL
to Join TF37 for combined RN/USN air attacks on Tokyo and Yokohama
20th Joined Task Force 37 in
operational area as escort for HM Aircraft Carrier INDEFATIGABLE,
with same ships.
23rd After Task Force ships
had replenished deployed screen during attacks by aircraft from RN
to aircraft carriers on
subsidiary shore targets and shipping.
25th (Note: BPF ships were deliberately
excluded from participation in attacks on the primary
which were Japanese warships lying at
Kure. See above references.)
26th Replenished with Task
(Note: See above references for
details of refuelling problems and shortages.)
27th Deployed as part of
aircraft carriers screen during further attacks on airfields and shipping
to during which Japanese frigates OKINAWA was sunk at
30th Replenishment with
Task Force ships delayed by weather conditions.
August Remained with Fleet screen whilst flying operations suspended because of
and US operation to carry out atomic bomb attacks.
9th Part of escort joint
air attacks by Task Forces 37 and US Task Force 38(US) on targets in
North Honshu and Hokkaido.
(Note: VC award made posthumously to pilot of aircraft from HMS
FORMIDABLE killed in
level attack which sank Japanese destroyer. See references.)
12th Transferred to Task Group 38.5 with
the RN ships selected for retention in 3rd US Fleet.
(Note: These were HM Aircraft Carrier INDEFATIGABLE, HM Battleships
GEORGE V, HM Cruiser GAMBIA, HM Destroyers TENACIOUS, TERPSICHORE,
BARFLEUR, HM Australian Destroyers NAPIER and NIZAM.
transfer was made after all other ships of British Pacific Fleet had bean withdraw
3rd US Fleet due to lack of fuel from British tankers)
13th Part of screen for major units of
TG38.5 ships during combined air attacks by USN and RN
on targets in Tokyo area.
15th Deployed with screen for ships of
TG38.5 during continuation of attacks on Tokyo area.
Under KAMIKAZE attacks.
(Note: HM Battleship DUKE OP YORK Joined Task Group 38.5 on 16th.)
P o s t W a r N o t e s
WRANGLER was present with other ships of
the Token Force at the formal surrender of Japan in Tokyo Bay on 2nd
September 1945. She was then deployed to assist in the repatriation of allied
personnel captured or interned by Japan before rejoining the Flotilla for BPF
duties at Hong Kong. The ship took passage to Devonport in December 1945 and
deployed for training duties until selected for conversion into a Type 15
Frigate by Harland and Wolff in Belfast. She was re-commissioned in 1953 for
service with the 5th Frigate Squadron in the Mediterranean. Three years later
she was transferred to the South African Navy and following refit in Cardiff
renamed SAS VRYSTAAT on 26th November 1956. After ten years on the Active List
this ship was taken out of service and sunk as a target in April 1976.