In 1933 the Admiralty agreed to loan the Flotilla Leader Stuart (I) and four V and W Class destroyers (Vampire (I), Vendetta (I), Voyager (I) and Waterhen (I)) to the Royal Australian Navy.
Waterhen (I) and the other four ships commissioned in the Royal Australian Navy at Portsmouth on 11 October 1933 to form the Australian Destroyer Flotilla, later to become famous as the 'Scrap Iron Flotilla'.
On 28 June 1941 Waterhen (I) left Alexandria for Tobruk with Defender on what was to be her last run. At 7:45pm on 29 June, off Sollum, both ships were attacked by dive bombers and Waterhen (I), though not directly hit, was holed by near misses and immobilized.
At 1:50am on 30 June 1941 the 23-year old 'Chook', as she was affectionately known to her crew, rolled over and sank. She was the first ship of the RAN to be lost by enemy action in World War II.
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