'Q' Class Ships

 

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A total of eight Q class destroyers were built, two were transferred to the RAN immediately upon completion, these were QUIBERON and QUICKMATCH.

 

Two RN units were lost, one was transferred to the RNN and a further three commissioned with the RN.

 

In October and November, 1945, the last three were transferred to the RAN and commissioned as HMA Ships QUADRANT, QUALITY and QUEENBOROUGH.

 

The 'Q" Ships were transferred from the Royal Navy to the R.A.N. during and right after World War Two.

 

The were first two were built as much needed additions to Australia's wartime fleet and eventually 5 were commissioned in total.

 

In July and September 1942 QUIBERON and QUICKMATCH were respectively commissioned into the R.A.N. and the remainder, QUALITY, QUADRANT and QUEENBOROUGH were operated by the R.N. initially before being handed over to the R.A.N. after the end of the war in late 1945.

 

Their armament consisted of 4 Single 4.7" Gun Mounts, one 2 pounder pom pom, 20mm Oerlikon Cannons and two quadruple 21" Torpedoe Tubes.

 

As with the N class the after set of torpedo tubes was interchangeable with a 4-inch mounting. Four 40mm Bofors replaced four 20mm weapons on the searchlight platform. The 2 pdr. pom-pom was mounted abaft the funnel. The two Q class had stowage for 250 rounds per 4.7-inch gun, 1,800 rounds for the 2 pdr. gun and 2,400 rounds per 20mm gun.

 

With the exception of QUALITY, all ships were converted to fast anti-submarine frigates in the 1950s.

 

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Quadrant

 

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Quiberon

 

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View from aft - Quiberon (2lb Pom Pom Gun)

 

Modified 'Q' Class

 

All except for QUALITY which was paid off and scrapped in 1958 the 'Q' Class Destroyers were chopped off and completely rebuilt above 1 Deck Level and converted to Type 15 Anti Submarine Frigates. Their new armament consisted of 1 Twin 4" Gun Mount, 1 Twin 40/60 Bofors Gun and 2 Triple Barrel AS Mk 10 Mortars. The last of these HMAS Queenborough paid off in April 1975.

 

HMAS QUADRANT HISTORY

 

Type: Q Class Destroyer / Anti-submarine Frigate
Displacement: 1,705 tons (as destroyer), 2,000 tons (as frigate)
Length: 358 feet 9 inches
Beam: 35 feet 9 inches
Draught: 9 feet 6 inches
Builder: R & W. Hawthorn, Leslie & Co Ltd, Hebburn-on-Tyne, England
Laid Down: 24 September 1940
Launched: 28 February 1942
Machinery: Parsons geared turbines, 2 shafts
Horsepower: 40,000
Speed: 34 knots (as destroyer), 31 ¼ knots (as frigate)
Armament:
(as destroyer) 4 x 4.7-inch guns
4 x 2-pounder pom-poms
6 x 20mm Oerlikons (2 later replaced by 40mm Bofors)
8 x 21-inch torpedo tubes(as frigate) 2 x 4-inch guns
2 x 40mm Bofors
2 x Squids (ahead throwing anti-submarine weapons)
Complement: 220

 

QUADRANT was one of eight Q Class destroyers built for the Royal Navy. She commissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS QUADRANT on 26 November 1942. Before the year ended she was engaged in escort duties with Arctic convoys. She continued on this arduous task in 1943. Her war service also included convoy escort duties in the South Atlantic and Indian Ocean.

 

QUADRANT took part in the North African landings, aircraft carrier strikes against Sourabaya and bombardment of the Nicobar Islands. In 1945 she became a unit of the British Pacific Fleet, taking part in operations against Formosa, the invasion of Okinawa and operations against the Japanese home islands. In the early post war months she acted as a troop carrier from New Guinea to Australia.

 

Later in 1945 QUADRANT was transferred on loan from the Royal Navy to the Royal Australian Navy. She commissioned as HMAS QUADRANT at Sydney on 18 October 1945 under the command of Acting Lieutenant Commander William F. Cook RAN.

 

After further service in Australian and northern waters, including a visit to Japan and Hong Kong, QUADRANT paid off into Reserve at Sydney on 20 June 1947. During her first RAN commission she steamed 39,093.2 miles.

 

On 15 February 1950 the heavy cruiser HMAS AUSTRALIA departed Sydney for Melbourne with QUADRANT in tow. The vessels arrived at Melbourne on 18 February. In April 1950 work began at Williamstown Naval Dockyard to convert QUADRANT to a modern fast anti-submarine vessel. In June 1950 the ship’s transfer to the Royal Australian Navy was made permanent.

 

On recommissioning at Williamstown on 16 July 1953, the ship was classified as an anti-submarine frigate. She was under the command of Captain Stephen H. Beattie VC RN, who also assumed the duties of Captain (F), 1st Frigate Squadron. The Squadron, when completed by the conversion of three sister ships from destroyers to frigates, comprised HMA Ships QUADRANT, QUEENBOROUGH, QUIBERON and QUICKMATCH. Another sister ship QUALITY, also transferred from the Royal Navy, was not converted.

 

After recommissioning, QUADRANT’s service was mainly in Australian waters. In February 1954 she acted as escort to the Royal Yacht GOTHIC during the visit to Australia of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh. QUADRANT visited New Guinea, Manus and New Britain in October 1954, New Zealand in March 1955, and spent a period on exercises in Far East waters in June 1955. In March 1956 she took part in exercises in Malayan waters.

 

On 10 April 1956, the Captain (F), 1st Frigate Squadron (Captain V.A. Smith DSC RAN), relinquished command of QUADRANT and transferred to QUEENBOROUGH.

 

During June 1956 QUADRANT served for a period as a surveillance vessel with the Japanese pearling fleet in the Arafura Sea. In October 1956 she again proceeded to the Far East for further exercises, visiting Hong Kong, Singapore and Manila.

 

In February 1957 QUADRANT again visited New Zealand. The remainder of her seagoing service, which ended in May 1957, was spent in home waters. QUADRANT paid of into Operational Reserve at Sydney on 16 August 1957. During her second RAN commission she steamed 113,508.5 miles. The total mileage steamed during her RAN service was, therefore, 152,601.7 miles.

 

On 15 February 1963 QUADRANT was sold for scrap to a Japanese firm, Kinoshita & Co Ltd.

 

HMAS QUEENBOROUGH HISTORY

 

Type: Q Class Destroyer / Anti-submarine Frigate
Displacement: 2,020 tons
Length: 358 feet 9 inches
Beam: 35 feet 9 inches
Draught: 9 feet 6 inches
Builder: Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd, Wallsend-on-Tyne, England
Laid Down: 6 November 1940
Launched: 16 January 1942
Completed: 10 December 1942
Machinery: Parsons turbines, 2 shafts
Horsepower: 40,000
Speed: 36 knots
Armament: 2 x 4-inch guns
2 x 40mm Bofors
Anti-submarine mortars

 

QUEENBOROUGH was one of eight Q Class destroyers built for the Royal Navy. She commissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS QUEENBOROUGH and served with distinction in the Arctic, the Mediterranean and the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

 

Later in 1945 QUEENBOROUGH was transferred on loan from the Royal Navy to the Royal Australian Navy. She commissioned as HMAS QUEENBOROUGH at Sydney on 29 October 1945 under the command of Commander Arnold H. Green DSC RAN.

 

QUEENBOROUGH served in Australian waters until January 1949 when she began preparations for transfer to the Reserve at Sydney. She was placed in Reserve on 20 May 1946. QUEENBOROUGH was taken in hand by Cockatoo Island Dockyard in May 1950 for conversion to a modern fast anti-submarine vessel.

 

The conversion was completed at the end of 1954 and she recommissioned on 7 December 1954 as a unit of the 1st Frigate Squadron. When completed by the conversion of three sister ships from destroyers to frigates, the Squadron comprised HMA Ships QUADRANT, QUEENBOROUGH, QUIBERON and QUICKMATCH. Another sister ship QUALITY, also transferred from the Royal Navy, was not converted.

 

In February 1955 QUEENBOROUGH proceeded to the United Kingdom for exercises with the Royal Navy and returned to Australia in December 1955. From September 1956 to July 1957 she served in the Far East. She undertook a further five deployments to the Far East, with one each year between 1959 and 1963.

 

On 10 July 1963 QUEENBOROUGH was paid off to the control of the General Manager, Williamstown Dockyard. She again recommissioned on 28 July 1966, for service as a training ship, and undertook a series of regular exercises and training duties.

 

QUEENBOROUGH finally paid off on 7 April 1972, having steamed some 443,236 miles in the RAN. On 8 April 1975 the ship was sold to Willtopp (Asia) Ltd through the firm’s Agents, Banks Bros and Streets, of Sydney. On 2 May 1975 she was towed from Bradley’s Head in Sydney Harbour to Jubilee Engineering Works, Balmain, to be prepared for towing to Hong Kong.

 

HMAS QUICKMATCH

 

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Type: Q Class Destroyer / Anti-submarine Frigate
Displacement: 1,705 tons (as destroyer), 2,020 tons (as frigate)
Length: 358 feet 9 inches
Beam: 35 feet 9 inches
Draught: 9 feet 6 inches
Builder: J. Samuel White & Co Ltd, Cowes, Isle of Wight, England
Laid Down: 6 February 1941
Launched: 11 April 1942, by Mrs Shearman
Machinery: Parsons geared turbines, 2 shafts
Horsepower: 40,000
Speed: 31 knots
Armament:

 

(as destroyer) 4 x 4.7-inch guns
4 x 2-pounder guns
2 x 40mm guns
8 x 21-inch torpedo tubes

 

(as frigate) 2 x 4-inch guns
2 x 40mm Bofors
2 triple barrel depth charge mortars
Complement: 220

 

HMAS QUICKMATCH was one of eight Q Class destroyers built for the Royal Navy, although QUICKMATCH was commissioned in the Royal Australian Navy at Cowes, Isle of Wight, on 14 September 1942 under the command of Lieutenant Commander Rodney Rhoades, RAN, DSC

 

After trials the ship commenced convoy escort duty on 5 October 1942. In November 1942 she proceeded to the South Atlantic Station for further convoy escort duty. En route on 1 December she intercepted the Italian blockade runner CORTELAZZO. Following four months convoy duty on the South Atlantic Station QUICKMATCH transferred to the Indian Ocean for similar duty, although she was detached to the South Atlantic Station during June, July and August 1943.

 

In May 1944 QUICKMATCH was included in the main force of the British Eastern Fleet, based on Ceylon, which carried out a successful carrier borne air attack on the Japanese base at Sourabaya on 17 May. This action was followed on 21 June by a similar assault from the air on Port Blair in the Andaman Islands. During these operations QUICKMATCH was a unit of the 4th Destroyer Flotilla, Eastern Fleet. On 25 July 1944 QUICKMATCH, as part of an inshore force, entered Sabang Harbour, Sumatra, and carried out a close range bombardment of Japanese installations.

 

In October 1944 QUICKMATCH arrived in Australian waters for the first time. After visiting Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides she commenced her annual refit at Sydney (November to December 1944). Following the refit QUICKMATCH served mainly in Australian waters, with a visit to New Zealand, until March 1945. She then proceeded to the Far East as a unit of the British Pacific Fleet as one of the ships screening the Royal Navy carriers whose task it was to neutralise Japanese air fields in support of the United States invasion in Okinawa (Operation Iceberg). In July, again screening carriers of the British Pacific Fleet, she took part in further assaults on the Japanese home islands. When hostilities ceased on 15 August 1945, QUICKMATCH was en route to Manus after operating in support of attacks on the main Japanese island of Honshu. She had steamed some 224,000 miles on war service.

In the early post war years QUICKMATCH remained in seagoing service in Australian waters, interspersed with several tours of duty in Japanese and Korean waters. In July 1948 she returned to Sydney following three months as the Australian Squadron representative in Japan and was placed in immobilised commission. She paid off on 15 May 1950.

 

On 28 March 1951 QUICKMATCH was towed by the tug HMAS RESERVE to Williamstown Naval Dockyard where work commenced on her conversion to a modern fast anti-submarine frigate. The conversion was completed in 1955 and she recommissioned on 23 September 1955 under the command of Lieutenant Commander Duncan H. Stevens RAN, as a unit of the 1st Frigate Squadron. When completed by the conversion of three sister ships from destroyers to frigates, the Squadron comprised HMA Ships QUADRANT, QUEENBOROUGH, QUIBERON and QUICKMATCH.

 

QUEENBOROUGH completed five tours of duty in Far East waters, totalling almost two years of foreign service, as a unit of the Commonwealth Strategic Reserve, including several periods exercising with the forces of the South East Asia Treaty Organisation. The remainder of her commission was spent on the Australia Station, and in South West Pacific and New Zealand waters.

 

When QUICKMATCH paid off to Reserve at Williamstown on 26 April 1963, she had steamed 246,822 miles. After paying off she served as an accommodation ship at Williamstown.

 

On 15 February 1972 QUICKMATCH was sold for scrap to Fujita Salvage Company Limited of Osaka, Japan. On 6 July 1972 the Japanese tug SUMI MARU left Melbourne for Japan with QUICKMATCH and another former RAN vessel, GASCOYNE, in tow.