Class Destroyer ordered from John Brown at Clydebank on 25th March 1937
under the 1936 Build Programme and laid down on 11th October 1937. The
ship was to have been named KASHMIR but this was changed to JAVELIN before
launch on 21st December 1938 as the 2nd RN ship to carry the name, first
used in 1913. Build was completed on 10th June 1939 and she commissioned
for service in the 7th Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet. After a a WARSHIP
WEEK National Savings campaign in November 1941 this ship was "adopted"
by the civil community of Stoke-on-Trent. Her Tender cost, excluding that
of Admiralty supplied equipment such as weapons and radio was £391.570.
- DUNKIRK 1940 - ATLANTIC 1940 - DIEGO SUAREZ 1942 - ARCTIC 1942 - MEDITERRANEAN
1941 - NORMANDY 1944 - ENGLISH CHANNEL 1944
Badge: On a Field Blue a Cubit Arm the hand grasping a broken Javelin.
et armis: 'By force of Arms'
10th Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.
July Worked-up at Portland on completion of trials.
Joined 7th Flotilla as relief for HM Destroyer ESK and carried out Flotilla
and Fleet exercises.
Passage to join Humber Force at allocated War Station
Deployed for North Sea patrol to intercept enemy warships on passage
for attacks on Fleet units or to enter Atlantic as commerce raiders.
(For details of naval
deployments at outbreak of war see Naval Staff History and ENGAGE THE
ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C. Barnett.)
2nd Carried out first patrol off Norway
in collision with HM Destroyer JERSEY during patrol with HM Cruisers
SOUTHAMPTON and GLASGOW in Skagerrak (Operation SK).
Sustained damage. Operation cancelled.
Taken in tow for repair in Tyne shipyard
23rd Repair by Hawthorn Leslie commenced
22nd During post repair trials prior to rejoining Flotilla involved
in a further collision with mercantile SS MORDANT. Two ratings were
killed in after messdeck and a third was washed overboard but was able
to climb back on board.
Taken in tow by HM Destroyer JUPITER and escorted to Middlesbrough for
23rd Taken in hand for repair by
3rd On completion of post repair trials rejoined Flotilla and deployed
for convoy defence and patrol in North Sea. (Note: One source records
that on departure from Middlesbrough ship detonated mine damaging one
shaft and returned for repair. To be investigated.)
On completion deployed for North Sea convoy defence with Flotilla
19th After sister ship HMS JERVIS sustained major structural damage
after collision with Swedish SS TOR escorted damaged destroyer to Tyne
Detached for escort of Trinity House Ship PATRICIA during lay of navigation
buoys in Smiths Knoll.
5th Deployed with HM Destroyers JANUS, JUNO and ECLIPSE as escort for
Convoy ON25 on passage to Norway.
8th Returned to Kirkwall with convoy after German invasion of Norway.
9th Deployed with Flotilla for screening of Home Fleet major units and
support of military operations passage to Norwegian waters and under
13th Escorted HM Battlecruiser REPULSE during passage from Norwegian
coast to Scapa Flow.
20th Deployed with HM Destroyers JACKAL as escort for ST MAGNUS, ST
SUNNIVA and CEDARBANK during passage from Aberdeen taking troops to
reinforce landings at Andalsnes, Norway (Operation SICKLE).
21st CEDARBANK sunk by torpedo during passage. Detached on arrival at
Rombaksfjord. Under air attacks.
22nd Escorted merchant ship to Alesund (Note: This ship has insufficient
coal to return to UK). Under further air attacks.
23rd Took passage to UK escorting troopship.
27th Deployed as escort for HM Cruiser GLASGOW with HMS JAVELIN to Molde
from Scapa Flow.
29th Sailed from Molde for Malangen Fjord near Tromso with HMS JACKAL
as escort for HMS GLASGOW during passage. (Note: HMS GLASGOW had embarked
HM King Haakon of Norway and members of the Norwegian Government with
a quantity of bullion.
30th Detached with HMS JACKAL after passengers disembarked from HMS
GLASGOW at Malangen and resumed support duties.
Resumed Flotilla duties in support of Norwegian operations.
10th Deployed with HMS JAVELIN as escort for military convoy to Norway.
11th On arrival diverted with convoy to Mo for support of landing of
12th Provided naval gunfire support with HM Cruiser ENTERPRISE during
the landings and came under sustained air attacks.
13th Returned to Scapa Flow. (Note: For details of the disastrous operations
off Norway see NARVIK by D Macintyre, CARRIER GLORIOUS by J Winton,
THE DOOMED EXPEDITION by J Adams and The Naval Staff History.)
16th Transferred to 1st Flotilla and deployed in Nore Command at Harwich
for support of military operations and North Sea convoy defence.
19th Escorted HM Trawlers GRAMPIAN, PELTON, JAMES LAY, MILFORD QUEEN,
MILFORD PRINCES and CAPE MELVILLE with HMS JAGUAR and HM Corvette PUFFIN
to cut commercial cables for UK to Continent communications off coast
of Norfolk (Operation QUIXOTE)
27th Transferred to Dover Command with ships of Flotilla to assist in
evacuation of allied troops from beaches and harbour at Dunkirk (Operation
28th Rescued survivors from merchant ship sunk by torpedo. Remained
off beaches and embarked troops from boats. Took passage to Dover with
900 troops. (Note: Further men were not embarked as ship stability affected
by reduction in fuel carried.)
29th Returned to Dunkirk after disembarking troops at Dover. Entered
harbour to embark troops and under air attacks.
30th Took passage to Dover with 850 troops.
31st After return to Dunkirk ordered to take passage to Sheerness for
duty with anti-invasion force and withdrawn from DYNAMO. (For details
of DYNAMO see NINE DAYS AT DUNKIRK by AD Divine and Naval Staff History.)
Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to G61.
1st Arrived at Sheerness and remained on call for new duties.
5th Released from duty at Sheerness and took passage to Humber for delayed
routine docking and maintenance.
6th Taken in hand by Brigham and Cowan shipyard in Hull (Note: Modified
RAF Air-Surface radar set fitted during this period. This was designated
Naval Type 286. For details of development and use of radar by RN see
RADAR AT SEA by D Howse.)
16th On completion transferred to 5th Destroyer Flotilla based at Immingham
for patrol and interception duties in North Sea. (Note: Other ships
in Flotilla were HM Destroyers JACKAL, JUPITER, KELVIN, KASHMIR and
KIPLING, joined later by HMS JACKAL. Captain Lord Louis Mountbatten
was Senior Officer of the Flotilla and embarked in HMS JAVELIN during
North Sea deployment with Flotilla in continuation.
Detached for duty with Home Fleet at Scapa Flow
17th Deployed as escort for HM Auxiliary Minelayers SOUTHERN PRINCE,
PORT NAPIER, PORT QUEBEC and MENESTHEUS of 1st Minelaying Squadron with
HM Destroyers INGLEFIELD, JAGUAR. FIREDRAKE (HM Cruiser CAIRO as AA
Guardship during minelay in Moray Firth to extend North Sea Mine Barrier
(Operation SN12 – See Naval Staff History (Mining).) )
20th On completion
resumed detached service at Scapa Flow for patrol and screening duties.
Deployed with escort for initial stage of passage in NW Approaches for
ships taking part in planned landing of Free French troops at Dakar
1st Escorted damaged cruiser HMS FIJI to Clyde for repair (Note : HMS
FIJI was part of assault force on passage to West Africa.)
On release from detached
service with Home Fleet resumed service with Flotilla. Transferred with
Flotilla to Plymouth Command for duties in English Channel. (Note: This
deployment was made in consequence of the movement of the German destroyers
KARL GASTNER, HANS LODY, FRIEDRICH IHN, RICHARD BEITZEN and ERICH STEINBRINK
from Wilhemshaven to Cherbourg which posed a threat to convoys from
mines and surface attacks.)
Deployed at Plymouth for interception patrols and convoy defence
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 for
refit at Immingham
16th Taken in hand for refit by Humber Graving Dock.
15th Post refit trials
16th Sailed for Plymouth to rejoined Flotilla for interception patrols.
28th Sailed from Plymouth with HM Destroyers JACKAL, JUPITER, 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 RICHARD BEITZEN during which enemy ships fired torpedoes. Hit
by torpedo forward and another aft causing extensive damage. Complete
bow structure forward of gun mounting demolished and after structure
were both demolished with extensive fire caused when magazine exploded.
Major flooding of other compartments and ship totally disabled. Only
155 feet of original 353 feet length of hull remained. 46 of ship’s
company lost their lives For full details see DESTROYER MAN by AF Pugsley
who was in command of the ship. Casualties were taken off by HMS JACKAL
and the other ships returned to scene after a fruitless chase of the
German destroyers. Air attacks were driven off by RAF aircraft and ship
taken in tow to Plymouth by a Falmouth tug escorted by HMS KASHMIR.
30th Arrived at Plymouth and taken in hand for repair by Devonport Dockyard.
(Note: Captain Lord Mountbatten was on board the ship during this action
and in command of the Flotilla. The execution of this attack 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.)
Paid off into Dockyard Control and under repair.
- January - December
Under repair. Bow and stern structures completely replaced.
Recommissioned and on completion of post refit trials took passage to
Worked-up for operational service with ships of Home Fleet. On completion
deployed with Home Fleet for screening of major ships.
1st Deployed with HM Destroyers ASHANTI, BEDOUIN, ECHO, ECLIPSE, ESKIMO,
FAULKNOR, FURY, GROVE, ICARUS, INCONSTANT, JAVELIN, INTREPID, LANCASTER,
LEDBURY, LOOKOUT, ONSLOW, PUNJABI, TARTAR, VERDUN, WELLS and WOOLSTON
as screen for HM Battleships KING GEORGE V and DUKE OF YORK, HM Aircraft
Carrier VICTORIOUS, HM Battlecruiser RENOWN, HM Cruisers BERWICK and
KENYA to provide cover for passage of Russian Convoy PQ12 to Murmansk
and the return convoy QP8 to Iceland. (For details of all Russian convoys
see CONVOYS TO RUSSIAN by RA Ruegg, CONVOY! by P Kemp, THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS
by B. Schoefieldand ARCTIC CONVOYS by R Woodman.)
10th On return to Scapa Flow nominated for support of planned British
landings in Madagascar (Operation IRONCLAD) Prepared for foreign service
and took passage to Clyde.
23rd Joined military convoy WS17 with HM Destroyers INCONSTANT and PAKENHAM
as part of escort during Atlantic passage. (Note: Ocean Escort included
HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS.)
24th HM Cruiser SHROPSHIRE and HM Armed Merchant Cruiser ALCANTARA with
screen of three destroyers joined Ocean Escort.
31st Detached from WS17 and took passage to Freetown.
6th Joined Convoy WS17A with HM Destroyers ACTIVE, ANTHONY, LAFOREY,
LOOKOUT, LIGHTNING, PAKENHAM and INCONSTANT as Ocean Escort during passage
to Durban. (Note: Convoy WS17 had split at Freetown into two Sections,
WS17A and WS17B which made separate passage to Cape of Good Hope.
22nd Detached from WS17A on arrival at Durban and joined 14th Destroyer
Flotilla for service in Indian Ocean.
Deployed at Durban and prepared for support of IRONCLAD.
5th Took part in support of landings at Diego Suarez and provided gunfire
support. Deployment included anti-submarine defence of assembled ships.
(For details of IRONCLAD see RELUCTANT ENEMIES by W Tute, WAR WITH JAPAN
(HMSO) and Naval Staff History.)
9th On release from IRONCLAD transferred with Flotilla for service at
Alexandria with Mediterranean Fleet. Took passage to Alexandria via
Aden and Suez Canal.
Passage in Red Sea
9th Joined 14th Flotilla, Mediterranean Fleet for Fleet duties in eastern
13th Sailed from
Alexandria with H M Destroyers HASTY, HERO, INCONSTANT, JERVIS, KELVIN,
NAPIER, NESTOR, NIZAM, NORMAN, PAKENHAM, PALADIN, SIKH and ZULU as screen
for HM Cruisers ARETHUSA, BIRMINGHAM, CLEOPATRA, DIDO, EURYALUS, HERMIONE
and NEWCASTLE to join Convoy MW11 which had sailed earlier from Egypt
14th Met convoy and
came under air attacks. Convoy under threat of attack by U77 which was
beaten off by HMS PAKENHAM.
15th Under attack
by German E-Boats during which HMS NEWCASTLE was hit by a torpedo and
had to return to Alexandria. HMS HASTY was also torpedoed and had to
be sunk by HMS HOTSPUR. (Note: HMS HOTSPUR had been part of escort for
Convoy MW11A from Haifa which had joined MW11B and merged to form MW11
for passage to Malta.) Convoy ordered to reverse course following report
of threat of attack by an Italian battle squadron reported by aircraft.
Under heavy and sustained air attacks but earlier order rescinded and
convoy ordered to resume westward passage. (Note: During these attacks
HM Cruisers ARETHUSA and BIRMINGHAM HM Destroyers AIREDALE, NESTOR (RAN)
and HM Battleship CENTURION were damaged. HMS CENTURION, had been disguised
as a battleship of the KING GEORGE V Class.) Took damaged HMAS NESTOR
in tow (by JAVELIN). Owing to heavy expenditure of AA ammunition and
despite further order from CinC at Alexandria operation was abandoned
and ship took passage to return to Alexandria with convoy and escorts.
16th Tow terminated during passage and HMAS NESTOR scuttled (depthcharged
by JAVELIN) after her crew were rescued. Returned to Alexandria. (For
details of this disastrous, confused and ill-directed operation see
THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by D Macintyre and ENGAGE THE ENEMY
Retained for service in Mediterranean with 14th Destroyer Flotilla.
Deployed at Alexandria for convoy defence, patrol and military support
17th Carried out bombardment at Mersa Matru.
23rd Carried out further bombardment at Mersa Matru. August
12th Carried out
bombardment at Rhodes. Under repair at Haifa.
Resumed Flotilla duties on completion
14th Carried out bombardment at Daba.
Flotilla duties in eastern Mediterranean including support of military
Deployed with HM Cruiser EURYALUS, HM Destroyers JERVIS, KELVIN, NUBIAN,
PAKENHAM, PALADIN and PETARD as escort for Convoy MW13 to Malta from
Egypt (Operation PORTCULLIS) (Note: This was the first westward convoy
passage to be attempted air cover from North Africa was available due
to advance of the 8th Army from Alamein.)
17th Detached from
MW13 after HM Destroyers ALDENHAM, BEAUFORT, BELVOIR, CROOME, DULVERTON,
EXMOOR, HURSLEY, HURWORTH, TETCOTT and Greek destroyer PINDOS arrived
as escort for passage to Malta.Took passage to Alexandria with Fleet
18th Sailed from
Alexandria with same Fleet destroyers as screen for HM Cruisers ARETHUSA,CLEOPATRA,
DIDO and ORION to provide cover for passage of Convoy MW13 to Malta.
Under air attacks off Derna after joining MW13 and HMS ARETHUSA hit
by torpedo and had to be towed back to Alexandria by HMS PETARD. Detached
from MW13 covering force and escorted HMS PETARD during tow of HMS ARETHUSA.
(See above references and THE CROSS AND THE ENSIGN by P Elliot.) Transferred
to Malta with HM Destroyers JERVIS, KELVIN and NUBIAN for interception
of enemy supply convoys to North Africa as screen for HM Cruisers CLEOPATRA
and DIDO as Force “K”.
Deployed at Malta
with Force “K” for convoy interception.
2nd Took part in
attack on convoy in Gulf of Gabes with HMS JERVIS, JANUS and KELVIN
during which Italian destroyer LUPO was sunk whilst rescuing survivors
from SS VELOCE sunk in an early convoy attack.
13th Deployed with
HMS CLEOPATRA, HMS DIDO, HMS JERVIS, HMS KELVIN and HMS NUBIAN and carried
out successful attack on convoy off Tunisia.
deployment in continuation.
8th Sank three small
schooners off Kuriat during interception patrol.
17th Deployed with
HMS PAKENHAM off Lampedusa and attacked supply convoy escorted by torpedo
boats and sank naval auxiliary.
30th Intercepted Italian convoy north of Tripoli with HMS KELVIN and
sank all eleven ships including four minesweepers.
Malta deployment in continuation. Escort for convoy to Alexandria.
- March - April
Deployed for interception patrols with ships of Force “K”l
ships based in Malta to establish blockade of Cape Bon area to intercept
craft attempting to evacuation enemy personnel from North African coast
after the defeat of the Afrika Corps (Operation RETRIBUTION –
See above references.)
Fleet units and ships of Flotilla for bombardment of Pantellaria prior
to occupation by British troops. (Operation CORKSCREW – See above
references.) Nominated for refit in UK. for passage to UK as part of
escort for military convoy MKF15.
15th Taken in hand
for refit by HM Dockyard, Portsmouth.
- July - December
Under refit by HM Dockyard. Nominated for service with 10th Destroyer
Flotilla, Home Fleet
Under refit and carried out harbour trials.
- February - April
10th February Carried out post refit trials and took passage to Scapa
Flow. Deployed with HM Destroyers ASHANTI, ESKIMO, HAIDA (RCN), HURON
(RCN), TARTAR, Polish destroyer BLYSKAWICA and Polish destroyer ORP
PIORUN of 10th Flotilla.
Home Fleet deployment for screening duties during operations off Norway
to April Nominated for service in support of planned allied landings
in Normandy (Operation NEPTUNE – For details of naval activities
prior to and during landings see OPERATION NEPTUNE) by K Edwards and
LANDINGS IN NORMANDY.
Transferred to Plymouth with Flotilla and took part in exercises prior
Deployed with Flotilla to carry out patrols between Gulf of St Malo
and Ushant for interception of enemy surface craft attempting to attack
cross Channel military convoys or coastal traffic.
5th Deployed for
patrol north of Ushant.
6th Following aircraft
sighting of two NARVIK Class destroyers and an Ex Dutch destroyer (TJERK
HIDDES) carried out search with Flotilla but did not find the enemy
7th Returned to Plymouth
with Flotilla on relief by 23rd Destroyer Flotilla.
8th Deployed with
Flotilla NE of Ushant to intercept NARVIK Class ships reported on passage
in the area from Brest.
9th In action against
German destroyers with ships of Flotilla 20 miles NW of Ile de Bas during
which TJERK HIDDES was sunk, NARVIK Z32 driven ashore and subsequently
wrecked. NARVIK was damage and the ELBING Class T24 was able to return
to Brest. (See LANDINGS IN NORMANDY for details.)
25th Retained in
Channel area with Flotilla based at Plymouth after NEPTUNE closed.
Deployed at Plymouth for interception of enemy convoys in Bay of Biscay
and Channel coast with ships of Flotilla.
7th During return
passage to Plymouth after interception patrol off Ushant involved in
collision with HMS ESKIMO and sustained major damage aft. Three of ship’s
company were killed and one injured. Steering for remainder of passage
was by main engines.
10th Taken in hand
for temporary repair by HM Dockyard, Devonport.
20th Passage to Belfast
for permanent repair. (Note : One source records at Liverpool –
to be confirmed.)
27th Taken in hand
by Harland and Wolff shipyard.
- August - November
Under repair - Nominated for service in Mediterranean with 14th Destroyer
Flotilla and re-commissioned.
31st Completion of repair and prepared for post refit trials.
Scapa Flow on completion of post refit trials. Worked-up
with ships of Home Fleet for operational service
Took passage to join Flotilla in Mediterranean on completion of work-up.
19th Arrived at Alexandria
and joined Flotilla.
- March - April
9th Withdrawn from Flotilla duties for replacement of boiler tubes at
8th Resumed Flotilla duties on completion of post repair trials.
- June - August
June Remained with Flotilla in Mediterranean after VE Day and deployed
for Fleet duties to August and support of re-occupation requirements
at Trieste (Note: Ships on passage to Far East were worked-up for service
in the Mediterranean during exercises with Fleet units.)
JAVELIN continued Mediterranean Fleet service with Flotilla until April
1946 during which period she took part in the Mediterranean Fleet exercise
and visits programmes and patrol to intercept ships taking immigrants
into Palestine. Her early service after VJ Day was marred by serious indiscipline
involving a Leading seaman and 19 junior ratings which resulted in a court
martial later in 1945. For details of
the 'Mutiny on the Javelin' please click here. The ship sailed from
Malta on 9th May 1946 to pay-off and reduce to Reserve status. After arrival
at Portsmouth on 17th May that year she was de-stored prior to transfer
into the Reserve Fleet which was completed on 31st July. Later this destroyer
was transferred to lay-up at Harwich. Placed on the Disposal List on 31st
October 1948 she was used for Ship Target Trials before being sold to
BISCO for demolition and arrived in tow at Troon Ayrshire for demolition
by the West of Scotland Shipbreaking Co. Ltd on 11th June 1949 .
many thanks to SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2
by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2002 and www.naval-history.net