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  HMAS Vendetta (D69)
V-class destroyer

1,090 Tons (Standard)
1,490 Tons (Full Load)
312' x 29' 6" x 14' 8"
(As Built)
4 x QF 4" Mark V guns
1 x Quad 2 pdr pom-pom
5 x .303 machine guns
2 x 21" torpedo tubes

(1942 Conversion)
4 x 4" guns
2 x pom-pom AA guns
4 x 20mm AA guns
7 x .303 machine guns
Depth Charges
RAN c1944
RAN Sept 10, 1945
Ship History
Built by Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Company at Govan, Scotland. Laid down November 25, 1916 as a V-class destroyer. Launched September 3, 1917. Completed October 17, 1917 in the Royal Navy (RN) as HMS Vendetta with pennants FA3 and later F29 and finally D69.

World War I
Assigned to the 13th Destroyer Flotilla. In early November 1917 fired on German minesweeper in the Kattegat then participated in the Second Battle of Heligoland Bight. On December 5, 1917 rescued 430 survivors from HMS Cassandra after it hit a mine and sank. In early 1918, Vendetta operated against Bolshevik forces in the Baltic Sea and caused the destroyer Spartak to run aground and assisting in the capture of the destroyer Lennuk. At the end of World War I, used to tow captured German warships from Scapa Flow.

Interwar Years
Between May 1919 to August 1919 patrolled off Ireland. In 1923 operated in Baltic Sea with the Estonian Navy. In 1924 under the command of Lieutenant-Commander W.N.T. Beckett operated in the Mediterranean Sea protecting British interests during the Jeddah War until 1933 operated in the Mediterranean Sea. In 1925 escorted the royal yacht Victoria and Albert during a royal tour of the Mediterranean Sea.

On October 11, 1933, transferred to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and renamed HMAS Vendetta (D69) with pennant number D69 painted in large black lettering then transited to Australia arriving at the end of the year. On January 31, 1934 placed in reserve. On October 10, 1938 reactivated and performed routine patrols off Australia. On June 1, 1938 returned to reserve status. On September 29, 1938 reactivated. During April 1939 at Sydney Harbor embarked the body of Australian Prime Minister Joseph Lyons and transported his remains to in Devonport on Tasmania.

World War II History
In October 1939 after the start of World War II in Europe, HMAS Vendetta was one of five Australian destroyers deployed to the Mediterranean Sea and were nicknamed the "Scrap Iron Flotilla" by German propaganda. In May 1940 docked at Malta for repairs. On August 18, 1940 participated in the bombardment of Bardia in Libya. On October 11, 1940 returned to Malta for engine repairs until November 1940. On January 3, 1941 participated in the second bombardment of Bardia. Afterwards, patrolled the coast of Libya. In March 1941 participated in Operation Lustre to transport troops and supplies to Greece.

On March 27, 1941 participated in the Battle of Cape Matapan when Italian warships attempted to disrupt the Allied troop movements but suffered engine problems and withdrew from the destroyer force to the main fleet. Afterwards, withdrew to Alexandria, Egypt for more repairs. On April 21, 1941 returned to duty and participated in Operation Demon to evacuate forces from Greece to Crete. In May 1941 part of the fleet during the remainder of the evacuation.

During late May 1941 until early August Vendetta was assigned to the Tobruk Ferry Service to make supply runs to Tobruk, Libya. On July 10-11, 1941 came to the aid of HMS Defender that was damaged by aerial attacks and took aboard troops and equipment and took her under tow. On July 11, 1941 during the morning the vessel was deemed to be too damaged and after evacuating the rest of the crew scuttled her with a torpedo at 11:15am.

In total, Vendetta completed twenty return voyages to Tobruk: the greatest number by any ship assigned to the Tobruk Ferry Service. On October 20, 1941 departed the Mediterranean Sea bound for Singapore for refit.

On December 8, 1941 at the start of the Pacific War, her anti-aircraft guns were removed and placed ashore to enhance the defenses of the dockyard area. On February 2, 1942 departs Singapore under tow by tug boat St. Just and next was towed by HMS Stronghold (H50), HMAS Yarra and HMAS Ping Wo before reaching Fremantle on March 3, 1942. Next, towed around the south coast of Australia by HMAS Ping Wo until it suffered an engine failure off Cape Leeuwin. Next, taken under tow by a British freighter with HMAS Whyalla (J153) escorting. Due to bad weather, three tow lines broke and often their speed was only 1.5 knots before finally arriving at Melbourne on April 15, 1942.

At Williamstown Naval Dockyard, began an extensive year long refit and was modified into an escort destroyer. During the conversion, her torpedo tubes were removed and stern 4" gun replaced by a hedgehog anti-submarine mortar and 4" low angle guns in the B and Y positions replaced by 4" Mark V guns on high angle Mark III mountings. The 12 pounder anti-aircraft gun mounted abaft of the funnel was replaced by a 20mm cannon with single 20mm cannons attached to the bridge wing and bridge aft. Two single 2 pounder guns were mounted in place of the aft torpedo tubes plus aft depth charger throwers. Also a Type 272 surface search radar was mounted on the searchlight platform. Her pennant number was repainted in smaller white lettering.

On September 29, 1942 departed Melbourne bound for Sydney Harbor where the remainder of the refit was completed by December 1942 and returned to active duty. Until the end of the Pacific War, Vendetta served as an escort vessel for convoys, transportation duties off Australia and New Guinea.

Wartime History
On September 4, 1945 arrived off Rabaul and embarked a Japanese Navy launch for pre-surrender discussions aboard HMAS Vendetta between representatives of Lt. General V. A. H. Sturdee and Japanese Army General H. Imamura.

On September 7, 1945 embarked Allied Prisoners Of War (POWs) that survived captivity at Rabaul including eighteen British POWs from Watom Island and transported them to Jacquinot Bay where they were embarked aboard a Royal New Zealand Air-Sea Rescue Boat to 2/8th General Hospital at Jacquinot Bay. Afterwards, Vendetta returned to the Rabaul area. On September 10, 1945 led HMAS Manoora (F48) into Blanche Bay then to anchor in Simpson Harbor as the first Allied vessels to anchor off Rabaul.

For her World War II service, HMAS Vendetta earned seven battle honors: Libya 1940–41, Matapan 1941, Greece 1941, Crete 1941, Mediterranean 1941, Pacific 1941–43 and New Guinea 1943–44.

On October 3, 1945 arrived at Sydney Harbor. On November 27, 1945 paid off and offered for sale. On March 20, 1946 purchased by Penguins Propriety Limited then stripped of all usable parts for scrapping.

On July 2, 1948 the hull was scuttled off Sydney Heads beyond the entrance to Sydney Harbor.

Royal Australian Navy - HMAS Vendetta
AWM HMAS Vendetta Second World War, 1939-1945

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Last Updated
August 4, 2020


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