HMS Maori (F24)

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HMS Maori (F24).jpg
HMS Maori underway
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Maori
Namesake: Māori people
Ordered: 10 March 1936
Builder: Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Govan
Cost: £340,622
Laid down: 6 July 1936
Launched: 2 September 1937
Completed: 30 November 1938
Commissioned: 2 January 1939
Identification: pennant number L24/F24/G24
Fate: Sunk, 12 February 1942
General characteristics (as built)
Class and type: Tribal-class destroyer
Length: 377 ft (115 m) (o/a)
Beam: 36 ft 6 in (11.13 m)
Draught: 11 ft 3 in (3.43 m)
Installed power:
Propulsion: 2 × shafts; 2 × geared steam turbines
Speed: 36 knots (67 km/h; 41 mph)
Range: 5,700 nmi (10,600 km; 6,600 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Complement: 190
Sensors and
processing systems:

HMS Maori was a Tribal-class destroyer named after the indigenous Māori people of New Zealand. She served with the United Kingdom Mediterranean Fleet during World War 2 until she was bombed and sunk by German aircraft while at Malta in 1942. Her wreck was later raised and scuttled outside the Grand Harbour. The wreck is now a dive site.

Service history[edit]

Maori was laid down by the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company at Govan in Scotland on 6 June 1936 and launched on 2 September 1937 by Mrs. W. J. Jordan, the wife of the New Zealand High Commissioner Bill Jordan.[1] The ship was commissioned on 2 January 1939.

Maori joined HMS Cossack's division in January 1939 and joined the Mediterranean Fleet. She and the other Tribal-class destroyers did convoy escort duties, and Maori then returned to Britain in October. Until April 1940 she patrolled the North Sea and also took part in the Norwegian Campaign. In June she sailed to Iceland looking for German warships and also served briefly in the Faroe Islands.[2]

In May 1941, she participated in the pursuit and destruction of the German battleship Bismarck. While escorting Convoy WS-8B to the Middle East, Maori, along with the destroyers Cossack, Sikh and Zulu broke off on 26 May and headed towards the area where Bismarck had been reported. They found her that evening and made several torpedo attacks in the evening and into the next morning. No hits were scored but they kept her gunners from getting any sleep, making it easier for the battleships to attack her the next morning. Maori then rescued some of the survivors from Bismarck after the battleship sank.[3]

She served with the 14th Destroyer Flotilla during the Battle of Cape Bon in December 1941.[4] Maori, commanded by Commander R. E. Courage, RN, was attacked by German aircraft and sunk at her moorings in the Malta Grand Harbour on 12 February 1942, with the loss of one of her crew; she was raised and scuttled off Fort Saint Elmo on 15 July 1945.


Wreck of HMS Maori

Located a few hundred metres from the shore from Valletta, HMS Maori is now a popular dive site. The bow section lies in white sand at a depth of 14 m (46 ft), the aft section of the ship having been abandoned in deep water during the tow from Grand Harbour to Marsamxett Harbour. Much of the forward superstructure is extant, including the two front gun bases. Much marine life can be found on the wreck.


  1. ^ The Times (London), Friday, 3 September 1937, p.6
  2. ^ "HMS Maori". Subway Dive Centre. Archived from the original on 11 October 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  3. ^ The Times (London), Wednesday, 28 May 1941, p.4
  4. ^ The Times (London), Monday, 15 December 1941, p.3


  • Brice, Martin H. (1971). The Tribals. London: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-0245-2.
  • English, John (2001). Afridi to Nizam: British Fleet Destroyers 1937–43. Gravesend, Kent: World Ship Society. ISBN 0-905617-64-9.
  • Friedman, Norman (2006). British Destroyers and Frigates, the Second World War and After. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-86176-137-6.
  • Haarr, Geirr H. (2010). The Battle for Norway: April–June 1940. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-59114-051-1.
  • Haarr, Geirr H. (2009). The German Invasion of Norway, April 1940. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-59114-310-9.
  • Hodges, Peter (1971). Tribal Class Destroyers. London: Almark. ISBN 0-85524-047-4.
  • Lenton, H. T. (1998). British & Empire Warships of the Second World War. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-048-7.
  • Rohwer, Jürgen (2005). Chronology of the War at Sea 1939–1945: The Naval History of World War Two (Third Revised ed.). Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-59114-119-2.
  • Whitley, M. J. (1988). Destroyers of World War Two. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-326-1.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°54′17″N 14°31′08″E / 35.90472°N 14.51889°E / 35.90472; 14.51889