HMAS Nepal was laid down in Great Britain in September of 1939, initially under the name of “Norseman”. As one of the last ships of the N-class destroyer type, she was launched in December 1941, but was soon severely damaged while still in the shipyard during a German air raid.
Despite the severe damage, the ship was repaired and renamed to Nepal, in recognition of Nepal’s contribution to the British war effort. After the repairs were completed, the ship was formally commissioned into service with the Royal Australian Navy in May 1942, although still remaining the property of the Royal Navy.
In July 1942, HMAS Nepal was assigned to the British Eastern Fleet and shortly afterwards set out for Kenya. In September, HMAS Nepal was involved in the Madagascar campaign. Before heading to Australia for refits in spring 1943, the ship served as a convoy escort and performed anti-submarine patrols.
After her two-month long refit, HMAS Nepal resumed operations in June 1943, taking part in some major operations in 1944 as a carrier escort. The ship underwent another refit in August 1944, before embarking on some of her final operations.
HMAS Nepal remained active in the Pacific theatre until the end of WW2, until being decommissioned from RNA service in October 1945. The ship was commissioned once more into the Royal Navy shortly after, being ordered to return to Britain.
In the postwar years, HMS Nepal underwent repairs and modifications, briefly serving as a minesweeper and training ship. In the early 1950s, HMS Nepal was part of the reserve and awaiting some proposed upgrades. However, those upgrades were eventually cancelled and the decision was made to scrap the ship. January 1956 marked the end of HMS Nepal’s 14-year service life as she was sold off for scraps to the British Iron & Steel Corporation.