From Our Contribution
Ordered as HMS Wallace, she was launched as HMS Vampire and spent the rest of WW1 in British and Mediterranean waters.
Loaned to the RAN in late 1933, she sailed to Australia and on 31 Jan 1934 she was decommissioned and used as a stores ship. Recommissioned on 11 May 1938, and she sailed in Australian waters until sent to the Mediterranean in October 1939 with fellow ships Vendetta, Voyager, Waterhen, and Stuart. They were to become known as the scrap iron Flotilla and participated in convoy escorts to Malta, Greece, and in the Western Desert campaign (Tobruk Ferry Service).
In late 1842 her engines were damaged enough for her to be withdrawn to Singapore for a major refit. In December 1941 she joined the British Eastern Fleet based on Colombo, Ceylon and active in the Indian Ocean. Following the Japanese invasion of Siam (Thailand) HMAS Vampire was a part of the screen for two British battleships HMS Repulse and HMS Price of Wales that steamed north to investigate. Recalled to Singapore, on 19 Jan 1942 they were attacked by Japanese aircraft with the two capital ships sunk. HMAS Vampire was able to rescue 225 men and return them to Singapore. On 26 Jan 1942, sent with another ship to investigate another reported Japanese landing, they found the Japanese troops ships guarded by a Cruiser and six Destroyers. HMAS Vampire made good her escape but the other British ship was sunk.
On 8 April HMAS Vampire escorted the British carrier HMS Hermes which was attempting to escape the Japanese raids on Colombo. While they managed to escape the forces attacking the island, they were later spotted, and attacked by 85 Japanese dive bombers escorted by fighters for a Japanese carrier. Hermes was lost within 20 minutes, and Vampire 10 minutes later. All of Vampire's crew bar its Captain and six men were recovered by the hospital ship Vita.
- Calabria 1940
- Libya 1940-41
- Greece 1941
- Crete 1941
- Indian Ocean 1941-42
- Thomas Charles Johnson 29 Sep 1938 - 20 Oct 1938