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

HMS ZODIAC (R 52) -  Z-class Destroyer
Including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Zealous, sister-ship (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

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ZAMBESI or Z-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered from John I Thornycroft at Woolston, Southampton on 12th February 1942 with the 10th Emergency Flotilla. She was laid down on 7th November 1943 and launched on 11th March 1944 as the first RN warship to carry this name. After the loss of HM Destroyer MARNE in November 1942 this ship became the adopted ship for the civil community of Bury, Lancashire. Build was completed on 23rd October 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

Badge: On a Field  Blue, a bezant rayed Gold on each point

a bezant charged with the zodiac signs Black.


M o t t o

 'Faythe hath no fear'



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 4


October                Contractor's trials and commissioned for service.

              23rd        Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

                              On completion of trials and storing took passage to Scapa Flow.


November            Worked up for service at Scapa Flow with Home Fleet ships prior to Joining the 2nd

                              Destroyer Flotilla in the Home Fleet.


December             Deployed with Flotilla for screening of Home Fleet units and for patrol in NW Approaches.


1 9 4 5



              11th         Part of Force 3 with Home Fleet destroyers as escort for HM Cruiser DIDO, HM Aircraft

                              Carriers PREMIER and TRUMPETER during a series of aircraft minelaying operations off

                              Utsira Island (Operation SPELLBINDER).


February               Deployed with Home Fleet in NW Approaches and Norwegian coastal waters.

to                           (See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett and CONVOY ! by P

March                    Kemp for details of Home Fleet operations in 1944-45).



              18th           Joined escort for Russian Convoy JW56 as escort for HM Cruiser BELLONA, HM Escort

                                Carriers PREMIER and VINDEX with Home Fleet destroyers.

              25th           Detached on arrival at Kola Inlet after uninterrupted passage.

              29th           Escorted returning Convoy RA66 with same ships.


May                         Detached from RA66 to Join HM Cruiser BIRMINGHAM for re-occupation of Denmark.

                9th           At Copenhagen with HM Cruisers BIRMINGHAM and DIDO, HM Destroyers ZEALOUS,

                                ZEPHYR and ZEST for acceptance of German surrender. Cruisers PRINZ EUGEN and

                                NURNBERG were handed over to allied control.

               13th          Transferred to Kiel with HMS ZEALOUS.

                                Resumed Home Fleet duties when relieved at Kiel.


June                         Deployed with 2nd Destroyer Flotilla in Home Fleet and remained in Home waters





             16th            Deployed as escort for US Navy Cruiser USS AUGUSTA during passage to Plymouth with

                                 President Harry Truman  and on arrival deployed as Guardship.


P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


HMS ZODIAC remained in commission after the end of hostilities and served with the 4th Destroyer Flotilla in the Home Fleet until reduced to Paid-off and reduced to Reserve by February 1947. After two years laid-up in the Portsmouth Reserve Fleet she was brought forward for service with the 2nd Training Flotilla and deployed at Portland for training duties. In 1952 she again reduced to Reserve at Portsmouth. Whilst in Reserve the ship was refitted at Penarth in 1954 before being laid up again at Cardiff. She was put on the Sales List and sold to Israel in July 1955. Before further Israeli service she refitted in Liverpool. Renamed YAFFO. This ship served with the Israeli Navy from 1956 to 1972 when she was taken cut of service.






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








JW 066





RA 066








(Note on Convoys)


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revised 11/8/11
further editing and formatting is required