HMS Malcolm (D19)

HMS Malcolm (D19)

HMS "Malcolm" was one of eight Admiralty type destroyer leaders (known as "Scott"-class destroyers) built for the Royal Navy during World War I. She was the first of only two Royal Navy ships to carry the name "Malcolm", although HMS "Valkyrie" was originally planned to bear the name. She was one of two Admiralty type leaders to miss the First World War (the other being HMS "Mackay") but saw service in, and survived, the Second War. Her pennant number was changed from D19 to I19 in May 1940. She was broken up in 1945.


In April 1916, an Admiralty type destroyer prototype (HMS "Scott") was ordered in what would unofficially become known as the "Scott"-class. Two more were ordered in December of that year, and in April 1917, HMS "Malcolm" and four others were ordered. Cammell Laird built most of the class, including HMS "Malcolm".

Although two more were ordered in 1918, they were both cancelled and "Malcolm" became the last of the class to be completed. By the time she was launched, on 29 May 1919, the war she was built for was over and one of her class, HMS "Scott", has been sunk.

In the early 1920s, she served as part of the 5th Destroyer Flotilla, and was later put into reserve as the flotilla leader of the reserve fleet. [ [ Royal Navy (RN) Officers 1939-1945 - O ] ]

World War Two

In September 1939, HMS "Malcolm" was deployed as leader of the 16th Destroyer Flotilla, based at Portsmouth and on antisubmarine patrol of the English Channel and Southwest Approaches. She stayed in this rôle until May 1940, when she was transferred to Dover Command to assist with the evacuation of the Netherlands. On 11 May, she picked up six survivors of the merchant ship "Tringa" which was sunk by the German German submarine "U-9". On 15 May, she was deployed as part of "Operation Ordnance" off the Hook in south Holland. From 26 May to 4 June she assisted in the evacuation of Dunkirk, making eight runs between Dunkirk and England. The ships then commander, Sir Thomas Halsey, was appointed a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order on 7 June 1940 "for good services in the withdrawal of the Allied Armies from the beaches at Dunkirk". [ LondonGazette|issue=34867|supp=yes|startpage=3500|date=7 June 1940] In July, "Malcolm" was re-assigned to anti-invasion patrol with HMS "Cardiff". On 14 August 1940, HMS "Malcolm" and HMS "Verity" were attacked by six Kriegsmarine trawlers and three E-boats. One E-boat and one trawler were sunk in the engagement. On 10 September 1940, she attacked invasion barges in Ostend with HMS "Wild Swan" and HMS "Veteran". A few days later, that same trio bombarded Boulogne in a sweep along the French coast. Later in September, she was deployed to Liverpool for Atlantic convoy defence.

At first, her main contribution to the convoy was picking up survivors of sinking ships. She picked up 5 survivors from the British merchant "Cadillac" (sunk by "U-552") in March, and 11 survivors of the British merchant "Empire Caribou" (sunk by "U-556") in May. But on 29 June 1941, whilst escorting convoy HX133, she struck back by helping to sink the German U-boat "U-651", 45 of her crew were later rescued and interrogated by the Admiralty. On 3 February 1942, she collided with the Town class destroyer HMS "Burnham". Neither ship was badly damaged and both continued in their convoy defence rôles. On 11 August 1942, she was transferred to Gibraltar and assigned to escort HM Aircraft Carrier "Furious" from Malta after delivering Spitfires to the besieged island. Whilst escorting the carrier, on 12 August, she came under attack by the Italian Submarine "Dagabur". The submarine was later rammed and destroyed by HMS "Wolverine". Her next escort duty was the Russian convoy PQ18 to Iceland, after which she was returned to escort duty in the Atlantic. But she was soon recalled to the Mediterranean in preparation for the invasion of North Africa.

HMS "Malcolm" and HMS "Broke" were part of "Operation Terminal": an amphibious assault on the port of Algiers by 622 men of the 135th regimental combat team of the United States Army, who were on the ships. It was hoped, and expected by some of the operation's planners, that the Vichy French would choose not to fire on the approaching British ships, but they were proved wrong when the shore batteries opened up on both ships. "Malcolm" tried to break through the boom but was hit and severely damaged by a shell fired from the shore. Ten of her crew were dead, many more were injured and three of her four boilers were extinguished, cutting her speed to 4 knots. She was forced to retreat and played no further part in the operation. Initially, HMS "Broke" had better luck. On her third attempt, she sliced through the boom and deposited her American passengers on the "Quai de Fécamp", four hours after the operation started. Many of the Americans troops would be inside a French military prison by the end of the day. HMS "Broke"'s luck ran out as she withdrew, she was hit by shore batteries which compounded on earlier damage and after being taken in tow, she sunk on 10 November. Although the operation did not go very well, the main objective, to take Algiers Harbour before it could be destroyed, was achieved.

HMS "Malcolm" was repaired by early 1943 and was soon back in her traditional convoy escorting rôle, this time escorting Atlantic convoys from Freetown. In 1944, she returned to the UK for coastal defence duties and although was in home waters in June 1944, she was not involved in the Normandy Landings. She remained in a coastal defence rôle until "Victory in Europe Day". She was decommissioned and broken up in the months following the end of the war.

Commanding Officers

The commanding officers of HMS "Malcolm" during World War Two are as follows:

Convoys Escorted

HMS "Malcolm" escorted the following convoys during the war.

KJ002, FS0238, OB236, HX082, OB239, OB245, HX085/1, OG050, HG050, OB283, HX106, OB289, HX109, OG058, OB311, HX121, SC029, HX124, HX126, HX128, OB338, HX133, OB344, ON001, HX140, ON006, HX143, ON011, SC041, ON016, HX149, ON023, HX153, ON030, SC051, PQ018, KX004A, KMF001, TS040F, SR005/1, CG037, KMF024, MKF024, RS010, SR006/1, RS011, SR007/1, RS012, SR008, SR009, RS014, SR010, RS015, SR012, RS016, SR013, RS017, STL023, STL026, LTS027, MKF041


* [ HMS Malcolm, destroyer]
* []
* "With Utmost Spirit: Allied Naval Operations in the Mediterranean, 1942–1945", Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2004, ISBN 0-8131-2338-0
* [ U-boat Operations]

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