Malaya file photo [3641]

HMS Malaya

CountryUnited Kingdom
Ship ClassQueen Elizabeth-class Battleship
BuilderSir W. G. Armstrong Whitworth and Company, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Britain
Laid Down20 Oct 1913
Launched18 Mar 1915
Commissioned1 Feb 1916
Decommissioned1 Dec 1944
Displacement30600 tons standard; 33020 tons full
Length645 feet
Beam104 feet
Draft30 feet
MachinerySteam turbines, 24 boilers, 4 shafts
Bunkerage3,400 tons of oil
Power Output75000 SHP
Speed25 knots
Armament4x2x15in/381mm, 12x6in/152mm (before 1942), 2x2x4in AA (4x after 1942), 2x2lb pom pom guns (4x after 1942), 2x0.5in quad machine guns, 31x20mm Oerlikon cannons (after 1942)
Armor4-13in waterline belt, 6in upper belt between turrets and battery
Aircraft4 (0 after 1942)


ww2dbasePaid for by the Federated Malay States, the battleship Malaya was a member of the 5th Battle Squadron of the Grand Fleet during WW1 and took part in the Battle of Jutland on 31 May 1916. In 1921, she made a trip to Malay with the Duke of Cannaught. Between 1924 and the start of WW2, she served mostly in the Mediterranean Sea. During the inter-war years she was also rebuilt twice. The latter rebuilding in the mid-1930s added a new hangar, two cranes, and a fixed catapult to give her aircraft reconnaissance and spotting capabilities, while the addition of two twin 4-inch anti-aircraft guns and two 8-barrelled 2-pounder "pom pom" guns bolstered her armament.

ww2dbaseMalaya began her WW2 service by continuing to serve in the Mediterranean Sea, escorting convoys and operating against the Italian Navy. On 9 Feb 1941, British ships Renown, Malaya and Sheffield bombarded the Italian port city of Genoa, sinking 4 ships and damaging 18 others. At 2323 on 20 Mar 1941, she was hit by a torpedo from German submarine U-106 and received serious damage on the port side; she received temporary repairs at Trinidad, then sailed for New York Navy Yard in the United States for permanent repairs. On 9 Jul 1941, she sailed under the command of Captain Cuthbert Coppinger on a return trip to Britain, escorting a VIP convoy from Nova Scotia to Britain en route. In 1942, the aircraft and catapult were removed to provide room for two additional 4-in anti-aircraft mounts and two additional 2-pounder guns, among other configuration changes. She performed convoy duties between Britain, Malta, and Cape Town until summer of 1943.

ww2dbaseMalaya retired from active service at the end of 1944, by which time the development of the war lessened the Allies' need for a powerful surface navy. She was sold on 20 Feb 1948 to Metal Industries and was broken up beginning on 12 Apr 1948.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

HMS Malaya Operational Timeline

1 Feb 1916 Malaya was commissioned into service.
21 Dec 1940 Allied convoy MG1 departed Malta at noon for Gibraltar. The convoy consisted of British merchant ships Clan Fraser, Clan Forbes, and Ulster Prince; it was escorted by battleship HMS Malaya and eight destroyers.
20 Mar 1941 German submarine U-106 damaged Dutch ship Meerkerk of Allied convoy SL-68 and escorting battleship HMS Malaya 550 miles west of Nouakchott, Mauritania, French West Africa at 2323 hours. HMS Malaya received temporary repairs at Trinidad and then was sent to New York Naval Yard in the US for permanent repairs which would last for four months.
1 Dec 1944 Malaya was decommissioned from service.


HMS Barham, HMS Malaya, and HMS Argus in exercise, circa late 1920s, photo 1 of 2HMS Barham, HMS Malaya, and HMS Argus in exercise, circa late 1920s, photo 2 of 2Watercolor by Edward Tufnell depicting Renown, Malaya, and Ark Royal, 1941

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Sterling Pullen says:
11 Mar 2010 09:52:51 AM

I have a metal shoe match holder about 6"x21/2" made by a crew member dated 1920. Seems to be made out of brass. Dont know how I came about it, but thought it might be of interest to someone. Wish it were signed then maybe could run down the crew member who made it.
2. Anonymous says:
5 Jun 2013 05:23:14 AM

Have read with interest on this great battle ship. When I lived in Gareloch Head I watched sadly as the ship was broken up at Faslane. My father was lucky enough to get the ships wheel, beautifully made at Brown Bros, Rosebank. It is proudly displayed on the wall in a house in Perth, Western Australia.Made from English Oak with Brass fittings. I feel quite honoured to have been left this Wheel by my Father.
3. Anonymous says:
21 Nov 2016 01:26:46 PM

My father, a Petty Officer Telegrapher, served briefly on HMS Malaya from 15 October to 25 November 1943. He had sailed to Malta on HMS Valiant when she was escorting the Italian fleet into "captivity". He then transferred to HMS Malaya and returned to the UK.

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More on HMS Malaya
» Backhouse, Roger

Event(s) Participated:
» Malta Campaign

Battleship HMS Malaya Photo Gallery
HMS Barham, HMS Malaya, and HMS Argus in exercise, circa late 1920s, photo 1 of 2
See all 3 photographs of Battleship HMS Malaya

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