1 9 3 9
Deployed with Home Fleet units for
anti-submarine operations and searches for
blockade runners in NW Approaches.
Took part in unsuccessful
search for German battleship GNEISENAU and
cruiser KOLN north
after report of their passage into
Atlantic for attacks on shipping.
Atlantic deployment for trade
defence in continuation.
(For details of naval activities in
Home waters during 1939 see Naval Staff
History and ENGAGE
THE ENEMY MORE
CLOSELY by C Barnett.)
from Halifax, NS with HM Battlecruiser
REPULSE to join HM
Battleship WARSPITE in search for
German battleship SCHARNHORST
sinking of HM Armed Merchant Cruiser
When search abandoned returned to
Halifax with HMS REPULSE and
Atlantic convoy defence duties,.
Escorted military convoy TC1
carrying Canadian troops from Halifax to
Battleship RESOLUTION, HMS REPULSE and HM
9 4 0
Atlantic deployment in
Under refit at Devonport.
Passage to Scapa Flow to
rejoin Home Fleet.
with HM Battleship WARSPITE in search for
German warships SCHARNHORST and
the obvious need for protection against
air attacks after the German invasion
Norway, no fighter aircraft were
an air strike against warships and
shipping at Trondheim
where German cruiser HIPPER
HIPPER had sailed and torpedo attacks on
other ships failed.)
bombing attacks and photo reconnaissance
flights over Narvik prior to entry of
WARSPITE into Fjord, planned for 13th
ship was the only aircraft carrier
available for Fleet defence, support of
ashore and provision of air cover for
passage of incoming convoys.)
Provided anti-submarine air cover off
Narvik during 2nd
Battle of Narvik.
Under air attacks at Tromso
sustained damage by Near Miss.
Damage to shafts and machinery reduced
speed to 20 knots.
Only half of embarked SWORDFISH
aircraft were serviceable.)
by HM Aircraft Carriers ARK ROYAL and
“Well Done “ signal received from Prime
Minister for services off Norway as the
Passage to Scapa Flow.
details of the disastrous operations off
Norway see NARVIK by D Macintyre,
CARRIER GLORIOUS by J Winton, THE
DOOMED EXPEDITION by D Adams and
in hand for repair in Clyde shipyard.
duties with Home Fleet and deployed for
aircraft delivery to Norway,
with HMS ARK ROYAL and HMS GLORIOUS for
defence of Fleet units off Norway
support of military operations.
Landed GLADIATOR aircraft to operate
Took passage to
return to Scapa Flow.
Taken in hand for refit.
On completion carried out post refit
took passage to rejoin the Home Fleet.
Deployed with Home Fleet units
during anti-shipping operations off coast
Home Fleet duties in continuation.
Embarked aircraft for transfer to
the Middle East from Takoradi
military convoy WS5A with HM Aircraft
Carrier ARGUS during passage in NW
from Clyde to Freetown.
Crated aircraft in transit were carried on
HMS ARGUS was also carrying un-crated
RAF aircraft for delivery.
Ocean Escort was provided by HM
Cruiser NAIAD relieved by HM Cruisers
BERWICK. DUNEDIN, BONAVENTURE and
Under threat of
attack by German cruiser HIPPER.
ships attacked by HIPPER
Engaged by HMS
BERWICK and HMS BONAVENTURE.
HIPPER withdrew due to fear of
torpedo attack after damaging ships in
Convoy scattered and counter attack
by unarmed carrier aircraft was delayed
and when launched
to find enemy ship.
operations by carriers cancelled by
(For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY
MORE CLOSELY and Naval Staff History.)
9 4 1
arrived at Freetown after re-assembly.
passage to Takoradi
to disembark aircraft.
Return passage to rejoin Home
Home Fleet deployment in continuation.
for passage to Gibraltar.
convoy for passage to Gibraltar.
included troopship mv
Deployed to carry aircraft to Gibraltar
transfer to HM Aircraft Carrier ARK ROYAL
operations WINCH and DUNLOP after launch
in western Mediterranean
from HMS ARK
Damaged by bomb in air-raid on Belfast,
one man killed (See Addendum for
HURRICANE aircraft for delivery to
Gibraltar and took passage with HM Cruiser
LONDON as escort.
HMS ARK ROYAL off Gibraltar and passed
Cover for delivery was provided by HM
Battlecruiser RENOWN, HM Cruisers
LONDON, screened by HM Destroyers
FAULKNOR, FORESTER, FOXHOUND, FURY,
HESPERUS and BRILLIANT (Operation
Destroyers HARVESTER, WRESTLER and
FEARLESS were also deployed as
aircraft for flight to Malta and took
passage to Gibraltar.
Passage to UK to
embark aircraft for further delivery.
HURRICANE aircraft and took passage to
Arrived at Gibraltar.
from Gibraltar as part of Group 1 with HMS
RENOWN, HM Destroyers FAULKNOR,
FORESIGHT, FORESTER and FOXHOUND
aircraft for flight to Malta and returned
ARK ROYAL also made a delivery as part of
ROCKET and formed Group 2 with
HMS SHEFFIELD, HMS
FEARLESS and HMS FEARLESS as screen.)
Passage to UK to
collect aircraft for further delivery of
aircraft to Malta.
to Gibraltar escorted by HM Destroyers
LANCE and LEGION
at Gibraltar and transferred some
HURRICANE aircraft to HM Aircraft Carrier
ROYAL for delivery after launch in
(Operation RAILWAY Phase One)
crated aircraft for delivery as Phase two
to launch area with HM Cruiser HERMIONE,
screened by HM Destroyers FEARLESS,
FOXHOUND and LEGION
as Group A.
Force B comprising HM Battlecruiser
RENOWN, HM Aircraft Carrier ARK ROYAL
HM Destroyers FAULKNOR FURY, FORESTER and
concurrently for launch operation by HMS
ARK ROYAL which carried
launch operation the second aircraft
struck part of ships structure
overboard. Fuel tank caught fire causing
13 casualties, nine
Launch operation resumed when fire
HURRICANE and six BLENHEIM aircraft
arrived in Malta.)
Took return passage to Gibraltar.
at Gibraltar and later sailed for Scapa
Flow to resume duties with Home Fleet.
from Scapa Flow for Iceland with HM
Cruiser ADVENTURE and HM Aircraft Carrier
VICTORIOUS escorted by ships of 1st
Cruiser Squadron and Fleet destroyers.
Detached with HMS ADVENTURE for passage
ADVENTURE was carrying mines for use by
out series of air strikes at Petsamo.
Operation EF – This also included air
attacks on Kirkenes
by HMS VICTORIOUS.
Attacks on Petsamo
were unsatisfactory owing to early
aircraft were lost. See CONVOYS TO RUSSIA.
Return passage to Scapa Flow.
Nominated for further Malta aircraft
delivery duties and embarked aircraft.
military convoy WS11 in Clyde with HMS
REPULSE and HM
Cruiser SHEFFIELD for Atlantic
from WS11 for passage to Gibraltar.
at Gibraltar during Phase I of Operation
Operation STATUS I was an aircraft
delivery by HMS ARK ROYAL covered by HM
and destroyers of FORCE H.
as part of Force A with HMS HERMIONE, HM
Destroyers LEGION, FORESTER
FORESIGHT in Western Mediterranean.
Cover was provided by Force B
comprising HM Battleship NELSON, HMS ARK
HM Destroyers ZULU,
aircraft and returned to Gibraltar with
Passage to UK to
resume Home Fleet duties. Nominated
for refit in USA.
aircraft for delivery to Jamaica to
provide anti-submarine air facilities in
Passage to Jamaica.
aircraft and took passage to USA for
refit as US Navy Yard, Philadelphia.
(Note: Refit work included preparations
for fitting Fire-control radar
285 for fire control of main armament by
both Gunnery Directors.
9 4 2
On completion took passage to Bermuda.
Bermuda and joined eastbound convoy.
air cover during passage with HM Escort
which were in
transit to UK after build in
for this convoy was provided by US Navy
for part of passage.
arrival of convoy in Home waters.
Taken in hand for
completion of refit work including units
outfits not undertaken in USA.
aircraft and prepared for operational
service in Home Fleet.
Home Fleet duties at Scapa Flow.
for detached service in support of Malta
PEDESTAL - For details of this operation see
ENEMY MORE CLOSELY, THE BATTLE FOR THE
by D MacIntyre,
PEDESTAL by P Smith and
Naval Staff History.)
Joined convoy WS21S in Clyde with
detached ships from Home Fleet as
other aircraft carriers to take part in
Joined HM Aircraft Carriers
VICTORIOUS, INDOMITABLE, EAGLE
and ARGUS in
Aircraft Direction and
(Note: This was
preparation for defence of planned Malta
Relief (Operation PEDESTAL)
details see MALTA CONVOYS by R Woodman)
On completion of
BERSERK rejoined WS21S for further
detached to refuel at Gibraltar.
Rejoined convoy during passage in
attack by Italian submarine UARSCIEK which
damage in collision with HMS VICTORIOUS.
from WS21S escorted by HM Destroyers
LAFOREY and LOOKOUT to take passage to
Launched aircraft for
delivery to Malta (Operation BELLOWS).
to Gibraltar escorted by HM Destroyers
Under attack by
Italian submarine DAGABUR which was sunk
by HMS WOLVERINE.
HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR by C Blair Volume 2.)
Sailed from Gibraltar for aircraft
delivery escorted by HM Cruiser
screen of 12
Gibraltar with same ships after
Passage to UK from
Gibraltar to resume Home Fleet duties.
with Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.
Nominated for support
of planned allied landings in North
TORCH - See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY,
and Naval Staff
aircraft for delivery to Malta.
Took passage to
Joined HM Battleship DUKE OF YORK to
provide cover for passage of military
convoys to Gibraltar.
Sailed from Gibraltar escorted by HM
Cruisers CHARYBDIS and
HM Destroyers WESTCOTT, WISHART, COWDRAY,
VANOC, VERITY and
Polish ORP BLYSKAWICA for aircraft
Gibraltar with escort.
for service in Central Task Force at
Gibraltar for TORCH support.
this period Type 286 radar was fitted to
air and surface
warning. See above reference. This
had a rotating
outfit modified for shipboard use.).
Deployed with HMS
ARGUS in Central Task Force covering
attacks by U565 and U431 which were
repelled by escort.
HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR.)
Launched air attacks
on airfields which destroyed 47 Vichy
in Mediterranean for support of shore
9 4 3
in western Mediterranean.
release from detached service returned to
UK with HMS RENOWN
and HM Aircraft
with Home Fleet to provide cover for Fleet
units and based in
for deployments to intercept any break out
by German battleship
with HM Battleship DUKE OF YORK and HM
Destroyer ORWELL for reinforcement
of Garrison at
FH - Part of GEARBOX Series.)
Type 286P had been replaced by Type 291,
equipment was not suitable for control of
Fleet duties in continuation.
Took part in offensive sweep off
Norwegian coast with HM Battleships
DUKE OF YORK,
screened by cruisers and destroyers of
Fleet as a diversion during allied
Sicily (Operation HUSKY).
Home Fleet Operation
Home Fleet at Scapa Flow on completion.
9 4 4
Fleet deployment in continuation.
part in Home Fleet operation off Norway
for attacks on shipping and coastal
Launched air attacks with cover from HMS
ANSON and French
Fleet deployment in continuation.
Type 79B had been fitted by this date and
for warning of
for provision of air cover during passage
of Russian Convoy JW58
to Kola Inlet
and return Convoy RA58 together with
Deployed with HMS DUKE OF YORK, HMS
ANSON, HM Aircraft
VICTORIOUS, HM Escort Aircraft Carriers
and PURSUER to provide air cover for
details of all Russian Convoys see CONVOYS
TO RUSSIA by RA
RUSSIAN CONVOYS by B Schoefield,
CONVOY ! by
Kemp and ARCTIC
CONVOYS by R Woodman.)
Detached from covering duties to carry
out attacks on German battleship TIRPITZ
VICTORIOUS and Escort Aircraft Carriers.
was provided by HMS ANSON and HM Cruisers
SHEFFIELD with 14
hits were recorded (Operation TUNGSTEN -
Deployed with HMS VICTORIOUS and Escort
Carriers for further series
of attacks on
Operation abandoned because of weather
Launched air attacks with the other
carriers on shipping.
Launched air attacks on shipping in Kristiansund
North with HM Escort Aircraft Carrier
covered by HM
Cruiser BERWICK and two Home Fleet
ships were sunk.
Present at Royal visit to Home Fleet at
Scapa Flow by HM King George VI
Selected personnel from Fleet were
inspected on board
by the King. and demonstrations were
carried out by
Fleet units off Scapa Flow
Deployed for further air attacks on
TIRPITZ with HMS VICTORIOUS
Fleet units (Operation BRAWN).
Operation abandoned due to weather
Further series of air attacks on TIRPITZ
cancelled because of weather.
TIGER CLAW - See CONVOY
Launched series of air strikes on
convoy off Statlandet
Deployed with HMS INDEFATIGABLE and HMS
air attacks on
covered by HMS DUKE OF YORK, HM Cruisers
KENT, DEVONSHIRE, JAMAICA and
with screen of Home Fleet destroyers
Launched air attacks which were detected
and s smoke screen to be placed to cover
CONVOY ! and
ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY.)
Took part in Home Fleet rehearsal for
planned further attacks on TIRPITZ
with HM Aircraft
INDEFATIGABLE and HM
Carrier NABOB (Operation GOODWOOD).
Deployed with HMS INDEFATIGABLE, HMS
FORMIDABLE, covered by HMS DUKE OF YORK,
Cruisers BERWICK and DEVONSHIRE screened
by 14 Home Fleet destroyers to provide
passage of Russian Convoy JW59A and return
Detached with aircraft carriers and
covering ships HMS DUKE OF YORK,
HMS BERWICK and
HMS DEVONSHIRE for
planned GOODWOOD operations, joined by
Operation delayed by weather.
Launched strikes by BARRACUDA and CORSAIR
aircraft which were frustrated by early
Under U-Boat attack
during which HMS NABOB was hit and
Launched two further attacks with HMS
Launched further attacks without
obtaining any hits
GOODWOOD 247 sorties were flown by
and 11 aircraft were lost.
lack of success in attacks from aircraft
carry resulted in use of RAF Bomber
Joined HM Escort Carriers TRUMPETER and
AVENGER and deployed
for air minelay
and shipping attack near Statlandet
covered by HMS DEVONSHIRE and Home Fleet
BEGONIA - See Naval Staff History
from operation service with Home Fleet.
for aircrew training duties and trials in
9 4 5
and trials deployment in continuation.