HMAS Stuart

From Our Contribution

HMAS Stuart
HMAS Stuart.jpg
HMAS Stuart 2.jpg
HMAS Stuart in Malta harbour
Name HMAS Stuart
Owner Australian Navy
Builder RW Hawthorne, Leslie & Co Lt, Hepburn-on-Tyne, England
Launched 22 Aug 1918
Completed 10 Oct 1933
In service 11 Oct 1933
Out of service 27 Apr 1946
Fate Broken up
General characteristics
Type Scott Class Destroyer
Tonnage 1,530 tons
Length 332 feet, 6 inches (101.35m)
Beam 31 feet, 9 inches (9.68m)
Depth 11 feet, 4 inches (3.45m)
Propulsion Turbines, 40,000 Hp
Speed 36.5 knots


Built at the end of WW1, after entering service with the Royal Navy, Stuart spent most of her time in the Mediterranean until she was paid off in May 1933. Stuart was one of five destroyers (the others being Vampire, Vendetta, Voyager and Waterhen) lent to the Australian Navy in late 1933. They were to become known as the "Scrap Iron Flotilla".

Stuart served on the Australian Station until 1 Jun 1938 when she was paid off at Sydney. She was briefly brought back to life during the Munich Crisis, and then recommissioned with the commencement of WW2. After a period patrolling near Sydney she was sent with the other Flotilla members to Singapore, but soon after they were sent to Malta to join the Mediterranean Fleet. With the entry of Italy and the collapse of the French, the Mediterranean soon became hotly disputed and HMAS Stuart and her flotilla were almost entirely on duty both in support of the Army in north Africa and with the heavy fleet units. She was engaged in all the main campaigns, Western Desert, Greece, Crete and Syria . She was also involved in the Battle of Matapan which saw the end of the Italian threat in the Mediterranean.

Stuart carried troops to Greece, then Crete, and was later involved in rescuing as many as possible from Crete. She also served for a time as part of the 'Tobruk Ferry Service' making 24 runs in June and July 1941. Survivor of more than 50 bombing attacks from German and Italian aircraft, and worn almost to a standstill , she sailed for Australia and an extensive refit on 22 Aug 1941.

In April 1942 she was again fit for service and began with duty on the Australan coast until October 1942 when she began escorting convoys between Queensland and new Guinea ports. From March 1943 until the end of the war she returned to Australian coastal duty. Stuart paid off at Sydney on 27 Apr 1946 and was sold to be broken up. During her war service she lost none of her crew due to enemy action.

Battle Honours

  • Calabria 1940
  • Libya 1940-41
  • Mediterranean 1940-43
  • Crete 1941
  • Greece 1941
  • Matapan 1941
  • Pacific 1941-45
  • New Guinea 1942-44

Crew Members