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1 9 3 9
for service in the Royal Australian Navy as HMAS PERTH
trials and shakedown in Home waters.
from Portsmouth for Sydney.
Retained in West Indies when Fleet
West Indies based at Bermuda for trade defence and interception of
4th - Escorted
Convoy KJ3 from Kingston with HMS Cruiser BERWICK for part of Atlantic passage to UK.
9th - On relief
by HM Cruiser EFFINGHAM returned to Bermuda.
11th - Sustained
slight structural damage in hurricane.
24th - Deployed
in search for German Battleship DEUTSCHLAND reported to be carrying out
commerce raiding activities in West Indies
Pacific Ocean for trade protection and interception duties with HM Canadian
Destroyers OTTAWA and RESTIGOUCHE.
25th - Refuelled
Caribbean area and met HM Cruiser EFFINGHAM. Took
passage to Bermuda with EFFINGHAM.
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and trade defence duties based at Bermuda in continuation.
Deployed in south Caribbean based at Kingston,
deployment in continuation. Released from RN deployment in West
Sydney to join RAN.
31st - Arrived
trade protection off eastern Australia.
5th - Part of
escort for military Convoy US2 with HM Cruiser LEANDER of the New Zealand
Division of the Royal Navy, HM Australian
Cruisers AUSTRALIA and CANBERRA. (Note: This convoy included rms
QUEEN MARY, MAURETANIA, AQUITANIA, EMPRESS OF BRITAIN
and EMPRESS OF JAPAN which were taking ANZAC troops to UK via the Red Sea although later diverted via Cape of Good Hope in
case Italy entered hostilities.)
Detached in Indian Ocean after call
Protection and interception duties in continuation.
29th - Escorted rms STRATHMORE to Bass Strait and resumed patrol.
20th - Carried
out search for German raider ORION with HM Australian Cruiser ADELAIDE off Gabo
Island following receipt of Raider signal.
30th - Part of
escort for convoy in Tasman Sea with HM Cruiser ACHILLES OF New Zealand
Division of the Royal Navy.
convoy defence in Australian coastal waters between Sydney and Fremantle.
Carried out interception patrols off Cocos Islands.
Nominated for detached service in the Mediterranean.
and patrol in continuation.
Transfer to Mediterranean Fleet for
service with 7th Cruiser Squadron approved.
Passage to New
Zealand for escort of military convoy. Joined
escort for convoy US7.
22nd - Detached
from US7 in Tasman Sea to carry out search for German Raider PINGUIN.
28th - Rejoined
US7 at Fremantle for Ocean Escort during passage in Indian Ocean.
with HM Australian Cruiser CANBERRA.
12th - Detached
from US7 for service at Aden.
18th - Joined
military convoy WS4 at Aden with HM Destroyer KINGSTON, HM Australian Sloop YARRA and HM Indian Sloop INDUS as escort during Red
Sea passage to Suez.
20th - HMAS
YARRA and HMIS INDUS detached.
23rd - Detached
from WS4 at Suez.
30th - Joined
Squadron at Alexandria as relief for HM Australian Cruiser SYDNEY.
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Passage to Suda
Bay for Squadron duties.
7th - Deployed
with HM Cruisers ORION and YORK IN Aegean Sea to provide cover for the passage of convoys to Piraeus and Alexandria. (Operation EXCESS – See THE BATTLE FOR THE
MEDITERRANEAN by D Macintyre, ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C
Barnett, THE NAVAL WAR IN THE MEDITERRANEAN by Greene and
9th - Deployed
with HMS ORION and HMS YORK as Force D and joined HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS, H M Battleships WARSPITE and VALIANT
screened by HM Destroyers DAINTY, GALLANT, GREYHOUND, GRIFFIN,
JERVIS, JUNO, NUBIAN and MOHAWK as screen (Force A). Passage south
of Malta to meet EXCESS convoy.
10th - Met
EXCESS convoy south of Pantelleria. (Note:
HMS GALLANT struck a mine and was disabled.) Under
air attacks by German Fliegerkorps 60 miles east of Malta during which HM
Aircraft ILLUSTRIOUS was hit and sustained
11th - Detached
from EXCESS convoy with HMS ORION, HM Destroyers JERVIS and JANUS to assist HM Cruisers GLOUCESTER and SOUTHAMPTON which
had been severely damaged in air attacks whilst on passage
from Malta to rejoin convoy. Took part in rescue of survivors
from HMS SOUTHAMPTON which had to be sunk by HMS ORION.
HM Destroyer DIAMOND also assisted. Landed survivors in Malta and took passage to rejoin EXCESS convoy.
12th - Rejoined
convoy and later detached with HMS PERTH (sic) and HMS JANUS to escort three mercantiles to Suda Bay.
15th - Passage
to Malta from Suda Bay.
16th - Slightly
damaged during air attacks on HMS ILLUSTRIOUS which was under repair in Malta. Took passage to Alexandria to rejoin Fleet.
18th - Arrived
21st - Took
passage to join escort for HMS ILLUSTRIOUS during return passage to Alexandra.
23rd - Joined
HM Battleships BARHAM and VALIANT as part of screen for HMS ILLUSTRIOUS during passage in eastern Mediterranean
25th - Arrived
at Alexandria with escort for HMS ILLUSTRIOUS.
26th - Passage
to Suda Bay,.
28th - Deployed
for patrol and escort of convoys to Piraeus.
Alexandria for refit.
7th - Inspected
by Australian Prime Minister.
12th - Under
refit during which 2pdr Pom-pom mounting was fitted to improve air defence.
24th - Deployed
with HM Destroyers MOHAWK and NUBIAN to escort HM Monitor TERROR which was under tow to Alexandria after being badly
damaged in air attacks
27th - Deployed
with HM Cruiser BONAVENTURE, HM Destroyers DECOY, HASTY, HERO and JAGUAR to take troops to Casteloriza in support of
landing by Commando units landed on 25th (Operation ABSTENTION). After troops landed carried out patrol north of the
28th - Provided
cover for evacuation of troops when operation abandoned. (See above references.)
29th - Passage
to Alexandria with HMS DECOY and HMS HASTY after call at Suda Bay.
7th - Embarked
troops at Alexandria for passage to Piraeus (Operation LUSTRE)
8th - Disembarked
troops and took passage to Alexandria.
17th - Deployed
with HMS AJAX and HMS ORION for transfer of troops to Greece.
19th - After
disembarking troops at Piraeus escorted Convoy AG9 in Aegean with RAN destroyers.
20th - Joined
Mediterranean Fleet units with HM Cruisers AJAX and ORION (Operation MC6). (Note: Ships of Mediterranean Fleet deployed to cover
passage of Convoy MW6 to Malta were HM
Aircraft Carrier FORMIDABLE, HM Battleships BARHAM ,VALIANT and WARSPITE, HM Cruisers GLOUCESTER and YORK with
21st - On
release from covering duties for MW6 resumed convoy defence in Aegean.
26th - Sailed
from Piraeus with HMS ORION, HMS AJAX and HMS GLOUCESTER, HM Destroyers HEREWARD and VENDETTA (RAN) as Force B
to meet units of the Mediterranean Fleet on passage from
Alexandria to intercept major Italian Fleet known to be intent
on attacks on military convoys in the Aegean.
27th - Owing to
delay during passage of Mediterranean Fleet remained in south of Aegean.
28th - Came
under fire from Italian battleship VITTORIO VENETO and withdrew with ships of Force B out of range but remained in contact.
28th - After
arrival of Mediterranean Fleet took part in the Battle of Matapan. (For details see Naval Staff History, MATAPAN by SW
Pack and above references.)
29th - Resumed
defence of military convoys to Greece in Aegean. (Part
of Operation LUSTRE –Reinforcement of allied forces in Greece.)
12th - Deployed
with HM Cruisers AJAX and ORION to cover offensive sweep by destroyers of Mediterranean Fleet off Ras-el-Tin.
19th - Escorted
supply ship HMS BRECONSHIRE with HM Destroyer HOTSPUR to Malta from Alexandria.
20th - Joined
Mediterranean Fleet units providing cover for passage of Convoy ME7, empty supply ships from Malta. Deployed
with HM Aircraft Carrier FORMIDABLE, HM Cruisers AJAX and ORION as Force C and detached with four destroyers as screen
for passage to Tripoli area.
21st - Deployed
with Force C to provide cover for bombardment of Tripoli by Force B (Operation MD2 – Force B bombarded targets and
comprised HM, Battleships WARSPITE, BARHAM and VALIANT, HM
Cruiser GLOUCESTER with screen of nine destroyers.)
24th - Deployed
with HM Cruiser PHOEBE to cover passage of Convoy AG13 to Piraeus and carried out patrol in Kithera Channel.
26th - Carried
out offensive sweep off Nauphlia, Greece with HMS ORION, HMS PHOEBE and HM Destroyer DEFENDER. Embarked
troops at Nauplia.
27th - Covered
passage of evacuation Convoy GA14 with HMS PHOEBE, HM Destroyers HASTY and DECOY.
28th - Took
part in evacuation of allied troops at Kalamata with HMS PHOEBE, HM Destroyers DECOY, HASTY, KANDAHAR, KIMBERLEY and KINGSTON. Withdrew when fires ashore silhouetted ships and
forced to leave many soldiers behind.
29th - Covered
final evacuation Convoy GA16 during passage through Kasos Strait to Alexandria with HM Cruiser CARLISLE, HM Sloop AUCKLAND, HM
Destroyers KANDAHAR, KINGSTON, DECOY and DEFENDER.
6th - Sailed
from Alexandria with HMS FORMIDABLE, BARHAM, VALIANT, WARSPITE, AJAX, ORION, HM Minelaying Cruiser ABDIEL and HMS
BRECONSHIRE to give cover for passage of Convoy MW7 to
Malta (Operation MD4).
9th - Remained
off Malta with Fleet units and joined TIGER Convoy. (Note:
TIGER Convoy was bringing tanks and supplies to Eighth Army in Egypt from UK. See above references.)
10th - Took up
position to north of TIGER convoy to provide cover during passage to
14th - Deployed
with HM Cruisers NAIAD and PHOEBE, HM Destroyers GREYHOUND and HASTY as Force D to cover passage of reinforcement
convoy to Crete.
20th - During
patrol of Crete with HMS NAIAD, HM Destroyers NUBIAN, JUNO, KANDAHAR and KINGSTON to intercept invasion craft came under
air attack and by torpedo boats which were
21st - Under
air attacks in Kaso Strait and reinforced by HM Cruisers CALCUTTA and CARLISLE.
22nd - In
action against invasion convoy south of Milo and under heavy and sustained air
attacks. Hit on Bridge structure which
destroyed fire-control electrical circuits. Took
passage to Alexandria for repair.
23rd - Taken in
hand for repair.
28th - On
completion rejoined Fleet units off Crete for evacuation of allied troops Deployed with HMS CALCUTTA, HMS COVENTRY, HMS PHOEBE,
HMS HASTY. HMS JANUS, HMS JERVIS and HM
Auxiliary GLENGYLE as Force D.
30th - Embarked
6,000 troops with ships of Force D from Spakhia and under air attacks. Took passage without serious damage.
31st - Under
further air attacks during return passage to Alexandria. Sustained damage to forward
2nd - Taken in
hand for repair at Alexandria.
25th - On
completion took passage to join support operations with Fleet units off Syrian
coast (Operation EXPORTER).
26th - Relieved
HM Cruiser LEANDER and took part in offensive sweep to intercept Vichy warships
deployment to support military operations in continuation.
7th - Bombarded
Vichy shore battery at Abney, Damour. Took
passage to Alexandria and bombed by RAF aircraft without damage.
12th - Whilst
at Alexandria nominated for return to RAN service following Japanese threat of attacks.
18th - Sailed
from Alexandria for passage to Sydney.
12th - Rejoined
RAN and taken in hand for refit.
September to November
8th - Deployed
with HM Australian Cruiser CANBERRA for patrol in Tasman Sea.
12th - Escorted
US troop convoy with HMAS CANBERRA for final part of passage to Australia.
19th - Escorted
US troop convoy to New Caledonia with HMAS CANBERRA and HM
New Zealand Cruiser ACHILLES.
22nd - Return
passage to Sydney with HMAS CANBERRA and HMNZS ACHILLES.
29th - Escorted
military convoy ZK5 from Sydney to Port Moresby, New Guinea with HMAS AUSTRALIA, HMAS CANBERRA, HMNZS ACHILLES and two
1 9 4 2
service with ABDA Command. for convoy defence.
13th - Escorted
ss RANGATIRA with HMNZS ACHILLES.
29th - Transferred
to ANZAC force with HM Australian Cruisers AUSTRALIA, ADELAIDE, CANBERRA and HOBART under overall US Navy command.
31st - Took
passage to Fremantle for convoy defence duties.
15th - Escorted
military Convoy MS4 for passage to Singapore.
21st - After
fall of Singapore detached from MS4 and took passage to join the Western Striking Force of ABDA Command in East Indies.
24th - Joined
HM Cruiser EXETER, HM Australian Cruiser HOBART, HM Destroyers JUPITER, ELECTRA and ENCOUNTER at Tanjong Priok.
25th - Transferred
to Eastern Striking Force at Soerabaya with same ships except HMAS HOBART which had been damaged in air attacks. (See WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO).
27th - Joined
Combined Striking Force comprising Dutch cruisers DE RUYTER and JAVA, HMS ELECTRA, US Cruiser HOUSTON, HM Destroyers
ELECTRA, ENCOUNTER and JUPITER, Dutch Destroyers DE
WITTE and KORTENAER, US Destroyers JOHN D
EDWARDS ALDEN, and JOHN DF FORD. In action with Japanese warships
covering passage of invasion convoys to Java during which
the Flagship DE RUYTER and Dutch destroyer KORTENAER were sunk. Both USS HOUSTON and HMS EXETER were badly damaged and
unable to contribute to further action. Took over command of allied ships after loss of DE
RUYTER. (Battle of the Java Sea. See above
reference for details.)
Withdrew from action and took
passage to Java.
1st - In action
with Japanese cruisers MOGAMI and MIKUMA escorting invasion fleet with destroyers, two of which were sunk. Later ship was
disabled by surface gunfire and three torpedoes. A fourth torpedo
struck the ship whilst being abandoned and she then
sank. Over 300 of ships company lost their lives and 307 became prisoners of
war. Sadly 105 of these died in
captivity. For details see WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO) (Casualty List