HMAS Voyager (D31)


HMAS Voyager (D31)

HMAS "Voyager" (D31/I31) (formerly HMS "Voyager") was a W class destroyer laid down by Alexander Stephen and Sons at Linthouse in Scotland on 7 May 1917, and launched on 8 May 1918. and commissioned into the Royal Navy on 24 June 1918.Fact|date=August 2008

RAN history

On 11 October 1933, "Voyager" was transferred into the Royal Australian Navy at Portsmouth; one of four ships replacing the RAN's S class destroyers, which were due for retirement.cite web |url=http://www.navy.gov.au/w/index.php/HMAS_Voyager_%28I%29 |title=HMAS Voyager (I) |accessdaymonth=23 August |accessyear=2008 |publisher=Royal Australian Navy] "Voyager" and the other ships of the new Australian Destroyer Flotilla left Chatham, England on 17 October 1933 and arrived in Sydney on 21 December 1933. "Voyager" spent two years in uneventful service before decommissioning into Reserve on 14 April 1936.

The destroyer was recommissioned on 26 April 1938, and was involved in training cruises until the start of World War II.

World War II

On 14 October 1939, "Voyager" left Sydney. It was originally intended for the Flotilla to be based in Singapore, but en-route it was decided that the ships would be of more use in the Mediterranean. The arrival of the Australian Destroyer Flotilla was met with derision in Germany, with Nazi proapganda minister Joseph Goebbels referring to "Voyager" and her sister ships as "Australia's Scrap Iron Flotilla", a moniker the ships quickly adopted. [http://www.gunplot.net/matapan/scrapironflott1.htm THE SCRAP-IRON FLOTILLA Chapter 1. Scrap Iron or "Scrap" Iron?] ]

Most of "Voyager"’s early assignments in the Mediterranean theatre were routine patrols and convoy escorts: the British and French still held naval supremacy.

On 27 June 1940, the Italian submarine "Console Generale Liuzzi" was scuttled south of Crete after being depth-charged by "Voyager" and the British destroyers "Dainty", "Ilex", "Decoy", "Defender". On 29 June 1940, at around 06:15 hours, the Italian submarine "Argonauta" was believed to have been sunk near Cape Ras el Hilal, Libya by the same ships.

In April 1941, "Voyager" was involved in the evacuation of Commonwealth forces from Greece.

Loss

On 23 September 1942, while landing a Dutch and Australian guerilla force, she was attacked by Japanese aircraft. Badly damagaed, "Voyager" ran aground at Betano, Timor and was abandoned after fighting off Japanese attacks. The ship's company was safely evacuated by HMAS "Kalgoorlie" and HMAS "Warrnambool" on 25 September 1942, and the ship was destroyed by demolition charges.

In 2000, the wreck was explored by divers. Very little remains as it is exposed at high tide and has been looted.

References


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