HMAS Nepal (G25)

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HMAS Nepal AWM-301077.jpg
Career (Australia)
Namesake: Nepal
Builder: John I. Thornycroft and Company
Laid down: 9 September 1939
Launched: 4 December 1941
Commissioned: 29 May 1942
Decommissioned: 22 October 1945
Honours and
awards:
Battle honours:
Indian Ocean 1942–45
Burma 1944–45
Pacific 1945
Okinawa 1945
Fate: Broken up for scrap, 1956
General characteristics
Class & type: N class destroyer
Displacement: 1,760 tons (standard), 2,550 tons (full load)
Length: 356 ft 6 in (108.66 m) overall
329 ft 6 in (100.43 m) between perpendiculars
Beam: 35 ft 8 in (10.87 m)
Draught: 16 ft 4 in (4.98 m) (maximum)
Propulsion: Admiralty 3-drum boilers, Parsons turbines, 40,000 SHP, two shafts
Speed: 36 knots (67 km/h; 41 mph)
Complement: 226
Armament: 6 × 4.7-inch QF Mk XII guns (3 twin mounts)
1 × 4-inch QF Mk V gun (later removed)
1 × 2-pounder 4-barrel Pom Pom
4 × 0.5-inch quad machine guns
4 × 20 mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft guns
2 × .303-inch Lewis machine guns
2 × 21-inch Pentad dual torpedo tube sets
2 × depth-charge throwers
1 depth-charge chute

HMAS Nepal (G25/D14) was an N class destroyer of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Launched in 1941 as Norseman, the ship suffered significant damage during an air raid on the John I. Thornycroft and Company shipyard, and during repairs was renamed to recognise Nepal's contribution to the British war effort. Although commissioned into the RAN in 1942, the ship remained the property of the Royal Navy.

Most of Nepal '​s wartime service was as part of the British Eastern Fleet, operating in the Indian Ocean. The destroyer was involved in Madagascar Campaign in 1942, and the Cockpit and Transom air raids in 1944. In early 1945, Nepal was reassigned to the British Pacific Fleet, and operated with them for the rest of the war.

On her return to Sydney in October 1945, Nepal was decommissioned and returned to the Royal Navy. The British did not return the ship to active service; she was sold off in 1955, and broken up at the start of 1956.

Design and construction[edit]

The N class destroyer had a displacement of 1,760 tons at standard load, and 2,353 tons at full load.[1] Nepal was 356 feet 6 inches (108.66 m) long overall and 229 feet 6 inches (69.95 m) long between perpendiculars, had a beam of 35 feet 8 inches (10.87 m), and a maximum draught of 16 feet 4 inches (4.98 m).[1] Propulsion was provided by Admiralty 3-drum boilers connected to Parsons geared steam turbines, which provided 40,000 shaft horsepower to the ship's two propellers.[2] Nepal was capable of reaching 36 knots (67 km/h; 41 mph).[1] The ship's company consisted of 226 officers and sailors.[2]

The ship's armament consisted of six 4.7-inch QF Mark XII guns in three twin mounts, a single 4-inch QF Mark V gun, a 2-pounder 4-barrel Pom Pom, four 0.5-inch machine guns, four 20 mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft guns, four .303 Lewis machine guns, two Pentad dual torpedo launcher tube sets (with 8 torpedoes carried), two depth-charge throwers and one depth-charge chute (with 45 charges carried).[1] The 4-inch gun was removed later in Nepal '​s career.[1]

HMAS Nepal underway

The ship was laid down as Norseman by John I. Thornycroft and Company at Woolston, Hampshire on 9 September 1939.[2] She was launched on 4 December 1941.[2] Later in December, an air raid on the shipyard saw Norseman take serious damage; a direct hit nearly cut the destroyer in two.[1] The ship was repaired, during which her name was changed to Nepal, honouring Nepal's contribution to the British war effort.[1] Nepal was commissioned into the RAN on 11 May 1942: although commissioned as an Australian warship, she remained the property of the Royal Navy.[3] The warship cost 402,939 pounds to build.[2]

Operational history[edit]

After commissioning, Nepal was assigned to the Home Fleet, based at Scapa Flow.[2] During this time, the ship was filmed to represent the fictional HMS Torrin for the British war film In Which We Serve.[4] In July 1942, the destroyer was reassigned to the British Eastern Fleet, and sailed from Scotland to Kenya.[2] During September, the destroyer was involved in the later parts of the Madagascar Campaign.[2] During the rest of 1942, the destroyer operated on convoy escort runs and anti-submarine patrols from Kilindini.[2] In March 1943, Nepal sailed to Australia for a two-month refit during April and May.[2]

Nepal returned to the Indian Ocean in June 1943, and resumed operations with the Eastern Fleet, this time from Trincomalee.[2] In April 1944, the destroyer was part of the carrier escort screen during Operation Cockpit, then again in May for Operation Transom.[2] In August, the destroyer returned to Australia for refit, then was assigned to escort the carrier HMS Victorious during late November and early December.[2] From 7 December 1944 to 12 February 1945, Nepal and sister ship HMAS Napier were involved in supporting the 74th Indian Infantry Brigade.[2] During this, on 5 February, Nepal damaged one of her propellers when it struck a submerged rock in the Kaleindaung River, but was able to keep operating on one propeller until the end of the deployment.[2]

At the start of March 1945, Nepal was assigned to the British Pacific Fleet; her pennant number was changed from G25 to D14.[3] The destroyer remained with the Pacific Fleet until after the end of World War II.[2] Nepal earned four battle honours for her wartime service: "Indian Ocean 1942–44", "Burma 1944–45", "Pacific 1945", and "Okinawa 1945".[5][6]

Decommissioning and fate[edit]

Nepal arrived in Sydney on 22 October, and was decommissioned and returned to the Royal Navy that day.[2] The ship did not return to active duty; instead, she was kept in reserve until 1955, when she was sold.[2] Nepal was broken up for scrap at Briton Ferry in Wales in January 1956.[2]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Cassells, The Destroyers, p. 56
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Cassells, The Destroyers, p. 57
  3. ^ a b Cassells, The Destroyers, pp. 56–7
  4. ^ Cassells, The Destroyers, p. 60
  5. ^ "Navy Marks 109th Birthday With Historic Changes To Battle Honours". Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  6. ^ "Royal Australian Navy Ship/Unit Battle Honours". Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 

References[edit]

  • Cassells, Vic (2000). The Destroyers: their battles and their badges. East Roseville, NSW: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7318-0893-2. OCLC 46829686. 

External links[edit]