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Completed: 1922

Displacement:  4,850 tons

Length: 471 ft

Beam: 46 ft

Draught: 14 ft

Propulsion: Six Yarrow-type water-tube boilersParsons geared steam turbines, Two shafts, 40,000 shp

Speed: 29 kts

Range: 23,000 miles

Complement: 350

Armament: 1918: six BL 6 in L/45 Mark XII on single mountings CP Mark XIV (152 mm), two 3 inch (76.2 mm) Mk II AA guns,two 40 mm QF 2 pdr "Pom-pom" AA guns, twelve 21 in (533 mm) torpedoes (4 triple launchers)

Despatch had a relatively quiet wartime career, compared to her sisters. She operated in the early part of the war in the west coast of South America , until late 1941 when she was transferred to the Pacific in the assigned trade defence. interception and patrol duties off the Pacific coast of South America where she captured the German merchant Düsseldorf. In the West Indies  she intercepted the German merchant Troja. However the crew of the Troja scuttled her before she could be captured.

Another ship intercepted and scuttled by her crew to avoid detection was the German Norderney spotted NE of Amazon estuary on 15 Aug 41 to avoid capture by Royal Navy Cruiser HMS Despatch and AMC Pretoria Castle. 35 crewmembers and 2 passengers were rescued.

Below the history of HMS Despatch in the south Atlantic By

1 9 4 1

January  Deployed for trade defence duties during return passage to Bermuda.

February  to March

Taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard, Bermuda.

April  to July                   

Resumed trade defence. interception and patrol duties off east coast of South America and in Caribbean area.

August 15th                

Atlantic deployment with Squadron in continuation. During operation with with HM Armed Merchant Cruiser PRETORIA CASTLE intercepted German freighter NORDERNEY NE of Amazon estuary but ship scuttled on approach.

September to November            

Atlantic deployment in continuation.


Transferred to Pacific for service in conjunction with US Navy Task Group to intercept any Japanese attempt to attack Falkland islands.

1 9 4 2


20th        Deployed in South Atlantic for interception duties and trade defence.

April        Nominated for return to Home waters and took passage to UK.

               Joined Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.

August    Under refit


Nominated for detached service at Freetown for trade defence and interception patrol

4th  Joined military convoy WS23 in Clyde with HM Cruiser DURBAN. Armed Merchant Cruiser QUEEN OF BERMUDA, HM Destroyer PUCKERIDGE, and Greek destroyer KANARIS as Ocean Escort during Atlantic passage to Freetown.

15th  Detached from WS23 on arrival of Local Escort from Freetown.

23rd  Rejoined WS23 with HM Sloop during convoy passage to Cape of Good Hope.

31st  Detached from WS23 before convoy arrived at Capetown and took passage to join military convoy WS24 then on passage in Atlantic from UK to Brazil

(Note: Atlantic passage for WS24, en route to Middle East exceptionally been routed via Bahia, Brazil to avoid extensive US traffic on passage to North Africa for the planned landings in North Africa (Operation TORCH


11th  Joined HM Armed Merchant Cruiser QUEEN OF BERMUDA and HM Destroyer ILEX with HMS ROTHERHAM to supplement Ocean Escort for WS24.

17th Detached from WS24 on arrival of convoy at Bahia.

20th Rejoined WS24 with HM Armed Merchant Cruisers QUEEN OF BERMUDA, ALCANTARA, HMS ROTHERHAM and HMS ILEX as Ocean Escort.

23rd Detached from WS24 during passage in South Atlantic and resumed Trade Defence

and patrol duties.

December  South Atlantic deployment in continuation.

1 9 4 3

January  to March                

South Atlantic deployment in continuation

April  Under self refit and routine maintenance at Rio de Janeiro.

May   Resumed South Atlantic trade defence and patrol duties.

June  South Atlantic deployment in continuation.  Nominated for escort duty in Indian Ocean and took passage to join  military convoy.

July  Passage to Indian Ocean an d joined by HM Destroyers QUADRANT and REDOUBT.

26th Joined military convoy WS31 as Ocean Escort during passage to Bombay.



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