- Ramsay, O.G.
- History - general, Ship design and development
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Swordsman, HMAS Stuart I, HMAS Arunta I, HMAS Tattoo, HMAS Voyager I, HMAS Nizam, HMAS Anzac I, HMAS Swan I, HMAS Perth II, HMAS Hobart I, HMAS Norman I, HMAS Vendetta I, HMAS Quiberon, HMAS Bataan, HMAS Torrens I, HMAS Vendetta II, HMAS Tasmania, HMAS Brisbane I, HMAS Duchess, HMAS Quickmatch, HMAS Vampire II, HMAS Brisbane II, HMAS Quality, HMAS Queenborough, HMAS Tobruk I, HMAS Huon I, HMAS Voyager II, HMAS Vampire I, HMAS Quadrant, HMAS Warrego I, HMAS Parramatta I, HMAS Napier, HMAS Hobart II, HMAS Yarra I, HMAS Perth III, HMAS Nepal, HMAS Waterhen, HMAS Success I, HMAS Warramunga I, HMAS Nestor, HMAS Anzac II, HMAS Stalwart I
- March 1991 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
On 7 June, Destroyer Flotilla was called to Alexandria, mainly to enlarge the Mediterranean Fleet in its operations to get convoys through to the besieged island of Malta. During one such convoy, on the 15th June 1941 NESTOR was hit by bombs in an aerial attack and suffered engine room damage. She was taken in tow, but became a liability to the Fleet, was abandoned next day, the crew taken off, and she was sunk by depth charges.
After the Mediterranean experiences, the now three N boats returned to the Indian Ocean to take part in the 2nd Madagascar Operation culminating in the complete occupation of the Island.
The newest N Destroyer, NEPAL, commissioned 1st May 1942, joined the other N boats in November, and to work with them in the Eastern Fleet. Throughout 1943, the again four Ns were based on South African ports – Durban and Capetown – on A/S sweeps, patrolling the Mozambique Channel and Indian Ocean convoys.
1944 saw the ships move more to the Eastern Fleet again – Colombo, Malaya and Java areas, before joining the British Pacific Fleet in 1945, and escorting Fleet Tankers replenishing the Fleet during actions on the enemy in the Sakishima Island – Guntu region (off Formosa). During the final months, the Ns carried out strikes against the Japanese mainland.
With the end of hostilities, they spent short deployments in Japanese waters, before returning to Sydney, and in October 1945, NAPIER, NIZAM, NORMAN and NEPAL were returned to Royal Navy control. They served in the Royal Navy till disposed of in the mid 1950s.
NESTOR was the only ship lost.
Of the other Ns, NERISSA (Polish as PIOURUN), was scrapped in December 1955, NOBLE (as VAN GALEN) was scrapped February 1957, and NONPARIEL (as TJERK HIDDES), was transferred to the Indonesian Navy – since scrapped.
In another ‘on loan’ agreement from Great Britain to Australia, five Q Class Destroyers – QUADRANT, QUALITY, QUEENBOROUGH, QUIBERON, and QUICKMATCH were made available to be crewed by the Royal Australian Navy from 1942 to 1946.
Only QUIBERON and QUICKMATCH were manned by the RAN during the war, but in 1945 all five were transferred outright to the RAN. All but QUALITY were converted to Type 15 frigates before joining the Fleet.
Designated as Q Class Destroyers, they were of 2,000 tons displacement, 358ft in length, beam 35ft, draught 9½ft, armament 4×4.7″ guns, 1x2pdr, 6 Oerlikons, depth charges 4 throwers, and 8×21″ torpedoes. Speed 34 knots, complement 220. Cost £725,000. These ships were said to have a very good operating range of up to 5,000 miles at 20 knots.
HMAS QUIBERON commenced patrols in Scottish waters in July 1942, then to the Western Mediterranean where in November, off Tunisia, she located and sank an Italian submarine Desse, and into 1943 on North African escort duties. Then to Australia for refitting, and in June joining the Eastern Fleet, then the British Pacific Fleet and Operations against the Japanese, until the end of hostilities.
HMAS QUICKMATCH joined the South Atlantic Station November 1942 to 1943, and then joined the Eastern Fleet to work with QUIBERON, and the N Class NAPIER, NIZAM and NORMAN. All later joined the British Pacific Fleet into 1945, and operations against the Japanese until the end of hostilities. Both QUIBERON and QUICKMATCH served in Japanese waters as part of the Occupation Forces. After three deployments in Japan QUIBERON decommissioned into Reserve in August 1948. QUICKMATCH paid off in May 1949. Both ships were scrapped in 1972.
HMA Ships QUEENBOROUGH, QUADRANT and QUALITY first served on the South Atlantic Station, then in the Indian Ocean, next to the Mediterranean before joining the British Pacific Fleet in 1945, serving to the end of hostilities. QUALITY, after visit to Manus and New Guinea, paid off in January 1946, but remained in Reserve till April 1958, till she was sold for scrapping.
After the hostilities ended QUADRANT served a short period as a Troop Transport returning our Army men between New Guinea and Australia before she returned to Melbourne and was laid up, to be sold and scrapped in 1963. QUEENBOROUGH was to be the longest survivor of the Qs and after post war operations on the Australian East Coast, and in New Guinea waters, paid off to Reserve in May 1946, remained in Reserve till 1972 and sold in 1975.