HMAS Stuart (D 00)
Destroyer of the Admiralty Leader class
|Navy||The Royal Australian Navy|
|Built by||Cammell Laird Shipyard (Birkenhead, U.K.)|
|Laid down||18 Oct 1917|
|Launched||22 Aug 1918|
|Commissioned||11 Oct 1933|
|End service||27 Apr 1946|
Commissioned as HMS Stuart on 21 December 1918. Transferred to Australia and commissioned in the Royal Australian Navy on 11 October 1933. Decommissioned to reserve before the Second World War but recommissioned for war service on 1 September 1939.
Went to the Mediterranean in December 1939 together with the four Australian V-class destroyer to form the 19th Destroyer Division for service with the Mediterranean fleet. In July 1940 HMAS Stuart was present at the Battle of Calabria and on 17 August 1940 she took part in the operation of bombarding Italian troop concentrations near Bardia, Lybia. During the night of 19/20 September 1940 HMAS Stuart attacked the Italian submarine Gondar with depth charges. The submarine was forced to surface the next morning and scuttled by her crew. In January 1941 HMAS Stuart supported the capture of Tobruk. In March 1941 she was present at the famous Battle of Matapan. In April she escorted troop-convoys to Greece and the following month she participated in the evacuation from Greece and Crete. In June she took part in convoy operations to the beleaguered city of Tobruk. HMAS Stuart left the Mediterranean for Fremantle on 22 August 1941. The ship was badly in need for a refit, she had sailed home on one engine, and was under refit at Melbourne until April 1942.
From April 1942 untill October 1942 she escorted coastal convoys and from October 1942 untill March 1943 she escorted convoys from Australia to New Guinea. For the remainder of 1943 and 1944 she again escorted coastal convoys in her Home waters.
During March and April 1945 she was converted to a store and troop carrying vessel and served in this role of New Guinea.
Stuart was decomissioned at Sydney on 27 April 1946 and on 3 February 1947 she was sold to T. Carr and Co.,Ltd. of Sydney to be broken up for scrap.
|Former name||HMS Stuart|
Commands listed for HMAS Stuart (D 00)
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|1||Cdr. Hector Macdonald Laws Waller, RAN||1 Sep 1939||26 Sep 1940|
|2||Lt. Rupert Cowper Robison, RAN||26 Sep 1940||27 Sep 1940|
|3||Lt. Norman Joseph MacDonald Teacher, RN||28 Sep 1940||6 Oct 1940|
|4||Lt. Rupert Cowper Robison, RAN||7 Oct 1940||10 Jan 1941|
|5||Capt. Hector Macdonald Laws Waller, DSO, RAN||11 Jan 1941||21 Aug 1941|
|6||Lt.Cdr. Rupert Cowper Robison, RAN||22 Aug 1941||4 Jan 1942|
|7||Cdr. Stanley Herbert King Spurgeon, DSO, RAN||5 Jan 1942||21 Jan 1943|
|8||Lt.Cdr. Neil Alexander Mackinnon, RAN||22 Jan 1943||3 Mar 1944|
|9||Lt.Cdr. Neven Robinson Read, RAN||4 Mar 1944||4 May 1944|
|10||Lt. Alexander Duncan Black, RAN||5 May 1944||8 Aug 1944|
|11||Lt. Thomas Richard Fenner, RAN||8 Aug 1944||31 Oct 1944|
|12||T/Lt.Cdr. Harold Arthur Litchfield, RANR(S)||1 Nov 1944||May 1945|
|13||Lt.Cdr. Alan Clive Mather, RAN||3 Jun 1945||22 Dec 1945|
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Notable events involving Stuart include:
7 Nov 1939
HMS Rover (Lt.Cdr. H.A.L. Marsham, RN) departed Singapore for several days of exercises with HMAS Stuart (Capt. H.M.L. Waller, RAN), HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Cant, RAN) and HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RN). (1)
17 Aug 1940
In the early morning the British battleships HMS Warspite (Capt. D.B. Fisher, CBE, RN), HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN), HMS Ramillies (Capt. H.T. Baillie-Grohman, OBE, DSO, RN) the British heavy cruiser HMS Kent (Capt. D. Young-Jamieson, RN) escorted by the British destroyers HMS Nubian (Cdr. R.W. Ravenhill, RN), HMS Mohawk (Cdr. J.W.M. Eaton, RN), Hyperion (Cdr. H.St.L. Nicolson, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Hostile (Lt.Cdr. A.F. Burnell-Nugent, DSC, RN), HMS Hero (Cdr. H.W. Biggs, DSO, RN), HMS Hereward (Lt.Cdr. C.W. Greening, RN), HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, DSC, RN), HMS Diamond (Lt.Cdr. P.A. Cartwright, RN), HMS Juno (Cdr. W.E. Wilson, RN) and the Australian destroyers HMAS Stuart (Capt. H.M.L. Waller, RAN), HMAS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RAN) and HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, RAN) carried out a bombardment of Italian positions around the fortress of Bardia.
30 Sep 1940
The Italian submarine Gondar was sunk west off Alexandria by the Australian destroyer HMAS Stuart (Lt. N.J.M. Teacher, RN) and a British Sunderland aircraft (Sqdn. 230).
8 Oct 1940
A British convoy with the merchants Memnon (7506 GRT), Lanarkshire (11275 GRT), Clan Macauley (10492 GRT) and Clan Ferguson (7347 GRT) left Alexandria for Malta on 8 October 1940. This convoy was escorted by the British Anti-Aircraft cruisers HMS Calcutta (Capt. D.M. Lees, DSO, RN), HMS Coventry (Capt. D. Gilmour, RN) and the Australian destroyers HMS Stuart (Capt. H.M.L. Waller, DSO, RAN), HMS Voyager (Cdr. J.C. Morrow, DSO, RAN), HMS Waterhen (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Swain, RAN) and the British destroyer HMS Wryneck (Cdr. R.H.D. Lane, RN).
Cover was provided by the Mediterranean Fleet (Admiral Cunningham) with the British battleships HMS Warspite (Capt. D.B. Fisher, CBE, RN), HMS Valiant (Capt. H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN), HMS Malaya (Capt. A.F.E. Palliser, DSC, RN), HMS Ramillies (Capt. H.T. Baillie-Grohman, OBE, DSO, RN), the British aircraft carriers HMS Illustrious (Capt. D.W. Boyd, DSC, RN), HMS Eagle (Capt. A.R.M. Bridge, RN), the British heavy cruiser HMS York (Capt. R.H. Portal, DSC, RN), the British light cruisers HMS Gloucester (Capt. H.A. Rowley, RN), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN), HMS Ajax (Capt. E.D. McCarthy, RN), HMS Orion (Capt. G.R.B. Back, RN), the Australian light cruiser HMAS Sydney (Capt. J.A. Collins, CB, RAN)escorted by the British destroyers HMS Hyperion (Cdr. H.St.L. Nicolson, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Havock (Cdr. R.E. Courage, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Hero (Cdr. H.W. Biggs, DSO, RN), HMS Hereward (Lt.Cdr. C.W. Greening, RN), HMS Hasty, (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, RN), HMS Ilex (Lt.Cdr. P.L. Saumarez, DSC, RN), HMS Imperial (Lt.Cdr. C.A.deW. Kitcat, RN), HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO, RN), HMS Janus (Cdr. J.A.W. Tothill, RN), HMS Juno (Cdr. W.E. Wilson, RN), HMS Nubian (Cdr. R.W. Ravenhill, RN), HMS Dainty (Cdr. M.S. Thomas, DSO, RN), HMS Decoy (Cdr. E.G. McGregor, DSO, RN), HMS Defender (Lt.Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, RN) and the Australian destroyers HMAS Vampire (Cdr. J.A. Walsh, RAN) and HMAS Vendetta (Cdr. R. Rhoades RAN).
The convoy was not spotted and arrived safe at Malta on 11 October. The only damage sustained was to the destroyer HMS Imperial that was mined off Malta and was out of action for over 6 months.
While on the return trip the Mediterranean Fleet was sighted by an Italian aircraft. The Italian Navy tried to intercept them in the Ionian Sea. In the night of 11/12 October the first Italian torpedo boat flotilla with Airone, Alcione and Ariel attacked HMS Ajax. The attack failed and Ajax sank Airone and Ariel, Alcione escaped. A little while later the Italian 11th destroyer flotilla, with Artigliere, Aviere, Camicia Nera and Geniere arrived at the scene. They were surprised by the radar-directed gunfire from HMS Ajax. Artigliere was heavily damaged and Aviere was slightly damaged. Camicia Nere tried to tow Artigliere away but she was sighted by a British Sunderland aircraft that homed in 3 Swordfish aircraft from HMS Illustrious. However, the torpedoed they fired didn't hit the Italian ships. Later the British heavy cruiser HMS York arrived at the scene. Camicia Nera quickly slipped the towing line and sped off. After her crew had left the ship Artiglire was sunk by York.
While the Mediterranean Fleet was still on the return trip aircraft from HMS Illustrious and HMS Eagle attacked Leros and in the evening of the 14th the British light cruiser HMS Liverpool while south-east of Crete was hit in the bow by a torpedo from an Italian aircraft. The cruiser was heavily damaged and was repaired at the Mare Island Navy Yard in the USA. HMS Liverpool was not operational again until January 1942.
17 Feb 1941
HMS Terror (Cdr. H.J. Haynes, DSC, RN) arrived at Benghazi, Libya, escorted by the Australian destroyers HMAS Stuart (Capt. H.M.L. Waller, DSO, RAN) and HMAS Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, RAN) and remained there to bolster the stronghold defences.
28 Mar 1941
HMAS Stuart (Capt. H.M.L. Waller, DSO, RAN) was attached to Adm Cunningham battleships during the Battle of Matapan. On the night of 29/3 she attempted scuttling the disabled Italian heavy cruiser Zara but all 4 of her torpedoes missed.
24 Apr 1941
HMAS Stuart (Capt. H.M.L. Waller, DSO, RAN) evacuated Greek & British troops from Navplion harbour, Crete, to Alexandria.
26 Apr 1941
HMAS Stuart (Capt. H.M.L. Waller, DSO, RAN) rescued 600 stranded troops from Tolon Bay, Crete, ferried them to Navplion and transferred them to light cruiser HMS Orion (Capt. G.R.B. Back, RN) then returned to Tolon and embarked more, taking them to Suda Bay. In the evening of 27 April sailed from Suda escorting convoy GA.14, consisting of troopship Glenearn, evacuating troops, with light cruiser HMS Phoebe (Capt. G. Grantham, RN) destroyer HMAS Voyager (Cdr. J.C. Morrow, DSO, RAN) and corvette Hyacinth (A/Lt.Cdr. F.C. Hopkins, RNR).
21 May 1941
HMAS Stuart (Capt. H.M.L. Waller, DSO, RAN) sailed from Alexandria with the other Australian destroyers HMAS Voyager (Cdr. J.C. Morrow, DSO, RAN) and Vendetta (Lt.Cdr. R. Rhoades, RAN) to join the cruiser force of Adm Rawlings off Crete, but was diverted to search for survivors of cruisers Fiji (Capt. P.B.R.W. William-Powlett, RN) and Gloucester (Capt. H.A. Rowley, DSO, RN) sunk by the Luftwaffe. Stuart was unable to locate any of them and returned to Alexandria.
25 May 1941
HMAS Stuart (Capt. H.M.L. Waller, DSO, RAN) sailed from Alexandria escorting the troopship Glenroy, heading for Tymbaki, Greece, but air attacks compelled the abandonment of the attempt and both ships were back in Alexandria in the evening of the 26th.
29 May 1941
HMAS Stuart (Capt. H.M.L. Waller, DSO, RAN) sailed from Alexandria in company of destroyers Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine RN) and Defender (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, RN) to cover the return of evacuation transport Glengyle.
- ADM 173/16011
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.