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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2003

HMS JUPITER (G 85) -  J-class Destroyer
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Javelin, sister ship (Navy Photos, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 

J or JAVELIN-Class Destroyer ordered from Yarrow Shipbuilder at Scotstoun, Glasgow on 25th March 1937 under the 1936 Build Programme and laid down on 28th September 1937. The ship was launched on 27th October 1938 as the 6th RN ship to carry the name, first used in 177 for a 4th Rate and previously by  a battleship sold in 1920. Build was completed on 25th June 1939 at a cost of £389,511 excluding that for Admiralty supplied equipment such as weapons and communications equipment After a successful WARSHIP WEEK campaign for National Savings in November 1941 she was adopted by the civil community of Evesham, then in the county of Worcestershire. (Note: Date of laying down in JANE'S FIGHTING SHIPS 1938 Edition is 20th September 1937)


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s


        PORTO PRAYA 1781* - CAPE OF GOOD HOPE 1795 - CHINA 1839-42 - BELGIAN COAST 1915-16 - MEDITERRANEAN 1941 - MALAYA 1942

 (*  Only recorded in Manning)


H e r a l d i c  D a t a

B a d g e: On a Field Blue. the head of Hera (Juno) in profile

couped between two bars wavy White .



1 9 3 9


June                        Contractors Trials and commissioned for service in 7th Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet.        

                28th        Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials at Portland.


July                         Work-up for operational service at Portland delayed by defects in turbines.

                                Passage to Plymouth for repair by HM Dockyard, Devonport

                7th          Taken in hand for repair.

                (Note: Defects in turbines were common amongst ships of the Class, but in this case

                occurred prior to operational use. This ship was plagued with machinery defects

                throughout her service

August                  Under repair at Devonport

                28th        On completion took passage to Portland to complete work-up

                                War station on completion of trials with Flotilla in North Sea.



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)




                1st           Completed trials at Portland and on completion took passage to join Flotilla at Grimsby.

                3rd          Deployed with Flotilla as part of Humber force for interception of German vessels in

                                North Sea and convoy defence.

                22nd       Escorted sister destroyer HMS JAVELIN to Tyne following that ship’s collision with HMS

                                JERSEY during search for German destroyers in North Sea.

                30th        Sustained slight damage in collision with sister destroyer HMS JERVIS at Rosyth.


October                  North sea deployment with Flotilla in continuation.

                8th          Taken in tow by HMS JERVIS after machinery defect.

                                Propulsion restored and proceeded to Scapa Flow for repair.

                22nd       Assisted HM Destroyer JAVELIN with HM Destroyer AFRIDI after damage sustained in

                                collision with mercantile. Towed disabled destroyer to Middlesbrough for repair.


November              North Sea deployment in continuation


December              Transferred to Humber Force at Immingham for interception patrol and convoy defence

                                with Flotilla in North Sea.

                (Note: North Sea convoys were under threat of attacks by aircraft and surface warships

                which also carried out extensive minelaying.


1 9 4 0



                4th          Resumed Flotilla duties in Humber Force.



                14th        Taken in hand for refit by Humber Graving Dock.

                (Note: Work included installation of degaussing equipment to provide protection against

                detonation of magnet mines. See THE TORPEDOMEN by A Poland for details.)



                19th        On completion of post refit trials resumed service with Flotilla in Humber Force.

                                Transferred to Rosyth with Flotilla for escort of convoys to and from Norway.



                6th          Deployed at Scapa Flow

                7th          Part of destroyer screen for HM Battleships RODNEY and VALIANT HM Battlecruiser

                REPULSE, HM Cruisers SHEFFIELD, PENELOPE and French cruiser EMILE BERTIN

                with HM Destroyers CODRINGTON, GRIFFIN, ELECTRA, ESCAPADE, BRAZEN,

                BEDOUIN, PUNJABI, ESKIMO and KIMBERLEY during search for German warships

                reported on passage in North Sea

                (Note: For details see NAVAL OPERATIONS OF THE CAMPAIGN IN NORWAY April

                to June 1940 and ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett.)

                On release from screen returned to Scapa Flow

                (Note: As this ship took no part in operations off Norway it may be assumed that her

                availability was under question.)

                Recommended for refit

                27th        Taken in hand for refit.

                (Note: Work undertaken included modifications to reserve boiler water feed tanks and

                structural stiffening. These defects probably caused stress when steaming at high

                speed in heavy weather were common to ships of this Class.)


May                        Under refit and repair


June                        Transferred to 5th Destroyer Flotilla.

                (Note: Others ships in Flotilla were JAVELIN (Leader), JACKAL, KELVIN, KASHMIR

                and KIPLING. Ships of 7th Flotilla had been transferred because of losses and

                lengthy repairs.)

                15th        On completion carried out post refit trials and took passage to resume service in Humber

                Force based at Immingham.


July                         Deployed for interception patrol and convoy defence in North Sea.

                                Transferred with Flotilla for anti-invasion patrols and conv0oy defence based at Harwich.


August                  Harwich deployment in continuation.

                31st         Deployed with HM Destroyers KELVIN and VORTIGERN as escort from Humber of HM

                Destroyers EXPRESS, ESK, ICARUS, INTREPID and IVANHOE during passage for

                minelay in Heligoland Bight off Texel (Operation CBX5)



                1st           Assisted in rescue operations with HMS KELVIN after HMS IVANHOE and HMS ESK

                sank after detonating enemy mines during CBX5.

                Took badly damaged destroyer HMS EXPRESS in tow from, HMS KELVIN until arrival

                of Tugs. For details of this disaster see Naval Staff History (Mining.).

                Resumed anti-invasion and patrol duties on release from CBX5.


October                  Transferred with Flotilla to Plymouth Command for duties in English Channel.

                (Note: This deployment was made in consequence of the movement of German

                destroyers KARL GASTNER, HANS LODY, FRIEDRICH IHN and ERICH

                STEINBRINK from Wilhelmshaven to Cherbourg which posed a threat to

                Channel convoys from mine and surface attacks.)

                10th        Joined H M Battleship REVENGE with H M Destroyers JAGUAR, JACKAL, JUPITER,

                KASHMIR and KIPLING to carry out bombardment of Cherbourg.

                Took part in bombardment covered by HM Cruisers NEWCASTLE and EMERALD.

                11th        On completion escorted HMS REVENGE with ships of Flotilla during the return passage

                to Portsmouth.

                Detached on arrival and sailed to resume duties at Plymouth

                17th        Deployed with HM Destroyers JACKAL, KASHMIR and KIPLING as screen for HM

                Cruisers EMERALD and NEWCASTLE to intercept German destroyers sighted by

                aircraft on westward passage and threatening Convoys in SW Approaches.

                Owing to propulsion machinery problems unable to maintain speed after fire was

                opened on German ships which retired to Brest under smoke.. Detached to investigate

                two sailing ships sighted in vicinity.

                18th        Returned to Plymouth.

                See Naval Staff History for details



                28th        Sailed from Plymouth with HM Destroyers JACKAL, JAVELIN, JERSEY and KASHMIR

                                to intercept German destroyers reported by an aircraft on passage in Channel from Brest.

                                Deployed on patrol line between Lands End and Start Point.

                29th        Sighted enemy destroyers which had attacked convoy off Start Point sinking two ships.

                Took part in night action against KARL GASTNER, HANS LODY and ERICH STEINBRINK

                during which enemy ships fired torpedoes.

                Continued pursuit when HMS JAVELIN was hit by torpedo forward and another aft

                causing extensive damage

                (Note: Repair to HMS JAVELIN were not completed until 1942.)

.               For full details see DESTROYER MAN by AF Pugsley who was in command of HMS


                Returned to assist HMS JAVELIN with the other ships of Flotilla.

                Escorted HMS JAVELIN during tow by tug to Plymouth and under air attacks which

                were repelled by RAF aircraft.

                30th        Returned to Plymouth.

                (Note: Captain Lord Mountbatten was on board HMS JAVELIN during this action and

                in command of the Flotilla. His execution of this engagement has been the subject

                of much criticism. See above reference, HOLD THE NARROW SEA by P Smith

                and ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett.)

                Sailed from Plymouth with HM Destroyers KASHMIR and JERSEY for escort of HM

                Cruiser MANCHESTER during return passage to UK from Gibraltar.

                (Note: HMS MANCHESTER had been taking troops to Malta and Alexandria.

                Operation COLLAR)



                2nd         Arrived at Gibraltar

                8th          Sailed from Gibraltar with HM Destroyer KELVIN and same destroyers as screen for

                for HMS MANCHESTER.

                (Note: HMS KELVIN of Flotilla had been detached for Operation COLLAR in November.)

                11th        Detached from HMS MANCHESTER with escort on arrival at Plymouth and resumed

                                Flotilla duties based at Plymouth

                30th        Deployed with HMS JERSEY and HMS KASHMIR as escort for HM Cruiser ADVENTURE

                                during passage to carry out minelay in SW Approaches (Operation GQ2)

                                Provided cover against surface attack during operation.


1 9 4 1


January                  Deployed for detached service with Home Fleet

                                Passage to Gibraltar.

                31st         Joined HM Destroyers DUNCAN, ENCOUNTER and ISIS in Group 3 for escort of Force H

                ships during attack on Tirso Dam in Sardinia by aircraft from HMS ARK ROYAL

                (Operation PICKET).



                4th          Returned to Gibraltar on completion.

                6th          Joined HM Destroyers DUNCAN, ISIS and FIREDRAKE to form Group 3 of Force H

                for planned bombardment of Genoa and air minelay off La Spezia. (Operation GROG)

                (Note: This had been intended for execution as Operation RESULT in January but

                which was cancelled.)

                Sailed from Gibraltar with HM Battlecruiser RENOWN, HM Battleship MALAYA.

                HM Cruiser SHEFFIELD and HMS ARK ROYAL (Group 1), HM Destroyers FEARLESS

                FOXHOUND, FORESIGHT, FURY, ENCOUNTER and JERSEY (Group 2.)

                Detached from Groups one and 2 with ships of Group3 and took passage to carry out


                9th          Return to Gibraltar on completion.

                11th        Taken in hand for repair by HM Dockyard Gibraltar

                23rd        Sailed for Plymouth on completion of repairs



                2nd         Nominated for refit by HM Dockyard, Devonport.

                4th          Taken in hand for refit.


April                       Under refit



                24th        Carried out post refit trials and prepared for work-up with Home Fleet at Scapa Flow

                on completion

                (Note: On 18th May a Board of enquiry was held at Plymouth to investigate suspected

                sabotage as a result of discovery of foreign material in main steam system.)

                30th        Commenced work-up



                26th        Resumed operational service on completion of work-up and deployed with 6th

                                Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet for screening and patrol duties.


July                         Nominated for further repair and refit by Scotts shipyard at Greenock.

                                Passage to Greenock.

                                Taken in hand for repair and fit of 20mm Oerlikon guns to improve defence against

                close range air attacks.

                Passage to Liverpool for docking by Grayson Rollo shipyard.

                A-Bracket bushes re-metalled

                On completion took passage to Clyde for escort of military convoy to Capetown

                prior to service at Alexandria with 14th Destroyer Flotilla Mediterranean Fleet.



                1st           Arrived in Clyde to join HM Cruiser LONDON as Ocean Escort for military convoy


                3rd          Sailed from Clyde with WS10.

                (Note: Convoy comprised 19 troopships taking passage to Middle East and Singapore.

                Local Escort from Clyde included HM Cruiser CAIRO, HM Armed Merchant

                Cruiser WORCESTERSHIRE and screen of 10 destroyers.)

                6th          Local Escort and HMS CAIRO detached

                10th        HMS LONDON relieved as Ocean Escort by HM Cruiser EDINBURGH.

                17th        Arrived at Freetown.

                21st         Sailed from Freetown with WS10 as Ocean escort with HMS EDINBURGH.



                2nd         Detached from WS10 on arrival at Capetown

                3rd          Independent passage to Durban

                4th          Arrived at Durban requiring repair to hull structure defects caused by weaknesses

                                forward which caused leaks.

                5th          Taken in hand for repair.

                12th        Took passage from Durban for Alexandria on completion of repair.

                24th        Joined Flotilla at Alexandria.



                1st           Carried out anti-submarine exercises off Alexandria with HM Destroyer JERVIS

                and HM Submarine RORQUAL.

                (Note: Fleet service with Flotilla restricted for further defects due to poor riveting

                during construction.


November              Nominated for transfer to Eastern Fleet

                                Took passage from Alexandria to Colombo.

                28th        Joined HM Battlecruiser REPULSE and HM Destroyer ENCOUNTER at Colombo.

                29th        Sailed from Colombo as screen for HM Battleship PRINCE OF WALES and HMS

                REPULSE during passage to Singapore with HM Destroyers, ENCOUNTER,

                ELECTRA and EXPRESS.

                (Note: These ships were identified as Force Z.)



                2nd         Arrived at Singapore with Force Z and taken in hand for refit.

                10th        Docked at Singapore

                (Note: Did not sail with Force Z to carry out search for Japanese invasion ships

                during which HMS REPULSE and HMS PRINCE OF WALES were sunk

.               by air attacks. See THE HUNTING OF FORCE Z by RE Hough, ENGAGE THE

                ENEMY MORE CLOSELY, WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO) and Naval Staff

                History for details.)


1 9 4 2


January                  On completion of dockyard work deployed for convoy escort and patrol off


                10th        Joined military convoy DM1 with HMS ENCOUNTER and HM Destroyer

                                VAMPIRE (RAN) as escort for final stage of passage into Singapore from Durban.

                13th        Detached from DM1 on arrival.

                17th        Detached from escort of ss MOUNT VERNON to carry out anti-submarine

                operations and carried out depth charge attack on underwater contact

                Sank Japanese submarine I60 in position 6.19S 104.49E after gun, torpedo

                and depth charge attacks when submarine forced to surface in southern

                approach to Sunda Strait

                (Note: Japanese submarine were later identified by addition of 100 to number

                but this had not been introduced and submarine is correctly identified.)



                2nd         Joined military convoy DM2 with HM Cruiser EXETER and HMAS VAMPIRE

                                as escort during final stage of passage from Durban into Batavia

                11th        At Batavia with HM Cruiser DURBAN, HM Destroyer STRONGHOLD and an

                                auxiliary HMS KEDAH.

                12th        Passage to Singapore to evacuate personnel and under air attacks.

                25th        Transferred to Eastern Striking Force with HM Cruisers EXETER and PERTH (RAN),

                                HM Destroyers ELECTRA and ENCOUNTER and took passage from Tanjong Priok

                                to Sourabaya to join new combined Striking Force.

                26th        Sailed from Sourabaya with HMS EXETER, US cruiser USS HOUSTON, HMAS PERTH.

                Dutch cruisers DE RUYTER and JAVA, HMS ELECTRA, HMS ENCOUNTER, Dutch

                destroyers WITTE DE WITH, KOOTENAY, US Destroyers USS JOHN D EDWARDS,

                USS ALDEN, USS JOHN D FORD and PAUL JONES to intercept Japanese

                Eastern Invasion Force sighted on passage NW of Arenda Islands.

                For details see WAR WITH JAPAN Volume II.

                27th        As the enemy ships were not sighted took return passage to Sourabaya with

                Combined Striking Force to refuel.

                Whilst entering harbour further sighting reports were received and Force altered

                course to carry out attacks on invasion ships and their escort.

                Under air attacks and without air cover.

                Deployed ahead of cruisers with HMS ELECTRA and came under surface fire.

                (Battle of the Java Sea – See Naval Staff History, Battle Summary No 28., HMS

                ELECTRA by T J Cain, THE BATTLE OF THE JAVA SEA by DA Thomas and

                above reference.)

                During manoeuvres to avoid enemy fire ship detonated mine in position 6.45S

                112.6E and totally disabled. Remained afloat for four hours before sinking.

                84 of ships company were killed or missing with 97 taken prisoner and 83 were

                either able to reach the shore or were rescued by the US Submarine USS S38.

                (Note: A minefield had been laid that day by the Dutch minelayer GOUDEN LEEUW

                without knowledge of the Striking Force. )






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








HN 009B





MT 008





FS 0096





ON 017A/





TM 029





ON 021/1





ON 025/1





FS 0215





FN 0218





FN 0224





FN 0229





FN 0237





FS 0238





BM 009A





DM 001





SJ 002








(Note on Convoys)


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