1 9 4 0
date delayed to allow fitting of Type 79 radar.
20th During departure from Barrow rammed and
sank tug POOLGARTH
Passage to Liverpool.
for underwater inspection at Liverpool.
(Note: Phosphor Bronze propellers fitted.)
24th Final acceptance
(Note: Excessive vibration was noted particularly in the
problem was never completely resolved during subsequent service.)
26th Commissioned at
Portsmouth for service.
aircraft and prepared for work-up.
Nominated for service in Mediterranean.
to West Indies for work-up.
(Note: Intention to carry out trials based at Dakar was
changed after fall oi France.)
completion of work-up took passage to UK.
28th Arrived in UK.
refit at Clydebank before flying exercises with squadrons embarked
(Note: External DG Cable replaced by internal wiring.
cable had been damage during Atlantic passage.)
30th Sailed from Gibraltar for transit of
Mediterranean in Force F with HM Battleship
HM Anti-Aircraft Cruiser CALCUTTA and COVENTRY covered by
ships of Force H to reinforce Mediterranean Fleet at
details of Mediterranean naval activities in 1940-42 see ENGAGE THE ENEMY
CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett, THE BATTLE FOR THE
by D MacIntyre and Naval Staff History).
2nd Joined Mediterranean Fleet off Pantalleria with Force F.
4th Launched aircraft strike against
airfields at Maritza and Callato
17th Air minelay and shipping attacks in
destroyer BOREA was sunk.
MD1 - This field later sank Italian destroyer AQUILQNE and two supply ships.
28th Escorted HM Cruisers LIVERPOOL and
GLOUCESTER taking troops
to Malta escorted by HM Battleships WARSPITE and VALIANT.
Returned to Alexandria.
8th Deployed with
HM Aircraft Carrier
EAGLE, HM Battleship MALAYA, RAMILLIES,
and WARSPITE, HM Cruisers AJAX, GLOUCESTER, LIVERPOOL, ORION,
(RAN) and YORK screened
by HM Destroyers DAINTY, DECOY, IMPERIAL,
JERVIS, JUNO, MOHAWK, VAMPIRE (RAN) and STUART (RAN) to provide
Distant Cover of Convoys MF3 to Malta
and Convoy MF4 from Malta to Egypt.
12th Under attack by
Italian torpedo craft.
(Note: Three enemy craft were sunk - See BATTLE FOR THE
14th Launched air attacks on Leros with HMS
Returned to Alexandria with Fleet units.
23rd Carried out air minelay in Tobruk
harbour which was unsuccessful due to shoals.
6th Deployed with HM Battleships MALAYA,
RAMILLIES, VALIANT and WARSPITE,
ORION, SYDNEY and YORK screened by HM Destroyers
DEFENDER, HASTY, HERO, HAVOCK, HEREWARD, HYPERION, ILEX,
JERVIS, JUNO, MOHAWK and NUBIAN to give Distant Cover to passage
of Convoy MW3 to Malta (Operation MB8).
9th On arrival of convoy in Malta detached
with Fleet units to meet HM Battleship
HM Cruisers BERWICK and GLASGOW, HM Destroyers GALLANT,
and GRIFFIN which were on passage from Gibraltar covered by
ships of Force H to join the Fleet at Alexandria (Operation
10th Detached from Fleet to carry cut air
attack on Italian Fleet at Taranto
11th Outstandingly successful air attacks
during which the battleships LITTORIO, CAIO
and CONTE DI CAVOUR were crippled (Operation JUDGEMENT).
details see Naval Staff History.
25th Deployed with HM Battleships WARSPITE
and VALIANT, HM Cruisers AJAX,
and SYDNEY screened by nine Fleet destroyers as Force A for escort of
convoy to Suda Bay, Crete (Operation MB9).
27th Launched air attacks on Rhodes covered
by Force A ships.
29th Returned to Alexandria covered passage
to Alexandria of Convoy ME40 with
ships of Mediterranean Fleet (Operation COLLAR - See THE
BATTLE FOR THE
and ENGAGE THE
ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett).)
(Note: HM Cruisers MANCHESTER and SOUTHAMPTON joined the
Fleet as part of this Operation).
1st Arrived at
Alexandria with Fleet units.
16th Deployed with HM Battleships WARSPITE
and VALIANT, HM Cruisers AJAX.
GLOUCESTER, ORION, SYDNEY and YORK
screened by 11 Fleet destroyers
to provide Distant Cover
for passage of Convoy MW6 to Malta and transit of HM
Battleship MALAYA to return to Gibraltar (Operation MG2 and
17th Detached to carry
out air strike on airfields in Stampalia and Rhodes.
21st Launched air attacks on Italian convoy
off Kerkennah bound for Tripoli.
of the three ships were sunk.
22nd Joined Fleet units
covering passage of Convoy ME5 from Malta to Egypt.
24th Arrived at
Alexandria with Fleet units.
1 9 4 1
3rd Provided air cover for HM Battleships
WARSPITE, BARHAM and VALIANT during
Fleet bombardment of Bardia.
7th Part of Force A with HMS WARSPITE and
VALIANT screened by HM Destroyers
DAINTY, GALLANT, GREYHOUND,
GRIFFIN, JERVIS, JUNO, MOHAWK and
to provide Distant Cover for passage of Malta Convoy MW5 ½
10th On arrival south of Malta took passage
with Force A to meet military convoy on
passage from Gibraltar to Alexandria (Operation EXCESS)
sustained air attack 60 miles west of Malta by newly arrived German
Ju87 dive bombers (See above
Sustained major damage from direct hits causing many casualties.
Escorted by HM Destroyers HASTY and JAGUAR to Malta.
11th Taken in hand for
temporary repair at Malta.
16th Hit by two bombs
during air raid on Malta and sustained further damage.
19th Further damage caused by near miss
during air raid.
23rd Sailed for Alexandria at 20 knots
escorted by HM Destroyers GREYHOUND), JANUS,
JUNO and JERVIS.
25th Arrived at Alexandria,
repair arranged in USA.
19th Took passage to Durban for docking to
assess full extent of underwater and other
to Norfolk, Virginia.
12th Taken in hand for
refit and permanent repairs at US Navy Yard.
to (Note: Other work carried out included installation of another aircraft lift after
modification to provide additional 50 ft of flight deck space, fit
of ten 20mm Oerlikon guns to improve close range AA defence
modification of catapult to enable use by US built aircraft.
Captain (Lord Louis Mountbatten) took command but later relieved to become
Chief of Combined Operations.
28th Passage to Jamaica
to embark 12 SWORDFISH aircraft and carry out flying trials.
joint passage to UK with HM Aircraft Carrier FORMIDABLE.
16th In collision with
FORMIDABLE whilst on passage. (see Addendum)
1 9 4 2
repair in Liverpool.
(Note: Radar Type 79 was replaced by Type 281 during this
The Development and use of Radar Equipment for the RN (Ed FA Kingsley
and RADAR AT SEA by D Howse).
Nominated for service with Eastern Fleet in Indian Ocean.
completion embarked squadrons at Scapa Flow and carried out flying trials.
23rd Joined military convoy WS17 in Clyde
with HM Destroyers INCONSTANT, JAVELIN
and PAKENHAM as Ocean Escort during passage to Freetown.
31st Detached from WS17 on arrival at
Freetown and took passage with same destroyers to join
F for planned landings in Madagascar.
(Note: Damage caused by fire in hangar was repaired at Freetown.)
from Freetown to Durban.
Nominated for participation in planned landings at Diego Suarez.
28th Escorted Convoy Z to Madagascar with HM
Battleship RAMILLIES, HM Cruiser
and screen of 6 Fleet destroyers
east of Madagascar.
5th Provided air
cover during assault with HMS INDOMITABLE.
7th Aircraft sank Vichy French submarine
20th On release from
IRONCLAD sailed to Join Eastern Fleet at Mombasa.
(Note: 309 sorties were flown by the two carriers for a loss
of four aircraft
by enemy action).
29th Sailed from Kilindini with HM Battleship
WARSPITE, HMS FORMIDABLE and HM Cruiser
HERMIONE for Ceylon.
in Indian Ocean with ships of Eastern Fleet for interception patrol and convoy
out interception patrols in Indian Ocean with Eastern Fleet.
Navy suggestion that ship be loaned for service in Pacific not agreed.
Eastern Fleet deployment in continuation.
used to test air defences of Ceylon
with Eastern Fleet for offensive sweep in Indian Ocean at request of US
Navy as a diversion during landings on Guadalcanal (Operation
10th Deployed with HM Battleship WARSPITE, HM
Seaplane Carrier ALBATROSS screened
by HM Destroyers HOTSPUR, EXPRESS, FORTUNE, INCONSTANT and
provide air cover during military operation to complete
allied occupation of Madagascar.
release from STREAM took passage to Durban.
in hand for short refit
completion rejoined Eastern Fleet in Ceylon.
1 9 4 3
5th Withdrawn from
be relieved by HM Escort Carrier BATTLER in October.
to Birkenhead for refit including extension to Flight Deck
Taken in hand on arrival.
to (Notes: Major changes to radar fit were made.
warning radars Type 79B and 281B fitted to provide an improved
cover for all altitudes - See above references.
warning 10cm Radar Type 272 fitted.
radars Type 282 and 285 fitted for Anti-Aircraft use.
Oerlikon mountings fitted to replace single type to further improve close
additional arrester wires fitted to improve aircraft safety on landing.)
completion of post refit trials embarked aircraft and carried out training of
aircrews in Clyde area.
Home Fleet and took part in offensive sweep off Norway with HM Aircraft
carrier UNICORN. Three German reconnaissance aircraft were
Fleet deployment in continuation.
6th Deployed with HMS UNICORN for
anti-submarine patrols in NW Approaches for
convoy defence. Destroyers of 17th Flotilla provided screen.
14th Deployed with ships Home Fleet for
escort of rms QUEEN MARY carrying the
Prime Minister on return from QUADRANT conference with US President
with ships of Home Fleet for service in Mediterranean with Force H.
9th Deployed with HM Battleships NELSON,
RODNEY, WARSPITE and VALIANT,
Aircraft Carrier FORMIDABLE as Covering Force during allied landings at
AVALANCHE - These ships were intended to prevent any interference to
allied assault landings by Italian surface warships. A
screen of 21 destroyers
including French, Polish and Greek warships was provided.
See ENGAGE THE
ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and the Naval Staff History).
by torpedo bombers on Covering Force was unsuccessful.
to UK with Home Fleet ships on release from detached duty.
Nominated for service with Eastern Fleet.
24th Prepared for foreign
service at Birkenhead.
(Note: Work included fit of additional twin Oerlikon
mountings, modification of
flight deck and improvement to catapult for use with fully
26th Took passage to
Clyde area to carry out flying training.
in NW Approaches.
30th Sailed to join Eastern Fleet with HM
Battleships QUEEN ELIZABETH and VALIANT,
HM Battlecruiser RENOWN and HM Light Fleet Carrier UNICORN.
1 9 4 4
to Trincomalee via Mediterranean and Red Sea.
31st Joined Fleet at
(Note: Complement over 2,000)
with Eastern Fleet in Indian Ocean.
with HM Cruisers GAMBIA and SUSSEX, HM Destroyer ROTHERHAM
and the Dutch destroyer TJERK HIDDES in search for blockade
runners SW of
21st Deployed with HM Battleships QUEEN
ELIZABETH and VALIANT, HM Battlecruiser
RENOWN, HM Cruisers LONDON, GAMBIA
(RNZN), CEYLON and CUMBERLAND
screened by HM Destroyers QUILLIAM, QUALITY, QUEENBOROUGH,
NORMAN, NEPAL, QUIBERON, Dutch destroyers VAN GALEN and TJERK
to meet US aircraft carrier SARATOGA joining Eastern Fleet with three
destroyers Operation DIPLOMAT).
27th Met USS SARATOGA and destroyer escort SW
(Note: US ships were being loaned to Eastern Fleet for
2nd Returned to
Trincomalee with RN/USN ships.
deck landing trials with USS SARATOGA in preparation for operations.
19th Launched Air strikes on Sabang with USS SARATOGA, escorted by Eastern Fleet
major units HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH, HMS VALIANT, French
HMS RENOWN as TF 70 (Operation
6th Deployed with USS SARATOGA, HM Cruisers
CEYLON and GAMBIA and a screen
comprising HM Destroyers QUILLIAM, QUADRANT, QUEENBOROUGH,
destroyers USS FANNING, CUMMINGS and DUNLOP as Task Force 65.
(Note: BARRACUDA aircraft replaced by AVENGERS before this
15th Refuelled in Exmouth Bay, Western
17th Launched air strikes with aircraft from
USS SARATOGA on harbour and refineries
at Soerabaya, Java (Operation
(Note: Later assessment was that Attacks were not very
18th USS SARATOGA and US Navy destroyers
27th Arrived at
Trincomalee after refuelling in Exmouth Bay.
10th Launched air attacks on Sabang covered by ships of Eastern Fleet as a diversion
during US landings on Marianas (Operation FORAGER).
19th On return passage
launched air attacks on Port Blair harbour and airfield.
out Flying training with HM Aircraft Carriers
VICTORIOUS and INDOMITABLE
off Ceylon in preparation for future joint operations.
22nd Deployed with HMS VICTORIOUS, HM Cruiser
PHOEBE, HM Destroyers ROEBUCK
and RAIDER to carry cut air attacks on airfields near Sabang (Operation CRIMSON).
25th Launched air strikes.
fighters Intercepted Japanese air retaliation and shot down 7 of the ten
planes for loss of two aircraft.
(Note: Eastern Fleet units carried bombardments
24th Deployed with HMS VICTORIOUS and HMS
INDOMITABLE to provide an Air-Sea
Rescue facility during US Army air raids on Sumatra (Operation
(Note: Cover provided by ships of Eastern Fleet).
completion carried cut air attacks on Padang, SW
Sumatra (Operation BANQUET).
passage to Simonstown for refit prior to service in
Taken in for refit by HM Dockyard.
(Note: Work done included re-tubing of boilers and fit of US
aircraft Homing Beacon (Type YE)
to provide radio signals for assistance of returning
for re-fuelling escorts in company during ocean passages were also provided.)
Close Range AA armament fitted.
completion of post refit trials took passage to Trincomalee.
1st Rejoined Eastern
Fleet at Trincomalee.
17th Deployed with HMS INDOMITABLE, HM
Cruisers NEWCASTLE, ARGONAUT and
PRINCE screened by HM Destroyers KEMPENFELT, WHIRLWIND,
WESSEX and WAKEFUL to carry cut air attacks on Pangkalan
20th Diverted from planned air attacks by
weather and target changed to refineries at
Belawan Deli. Subsequent raids made on airfields near Sabang.
22nd Transferred to
British Pacific Fleet on formation.
23rd Returned to Trincomalee.
with HMS INDOMITABLE, HMS BLACK PRINCE, HMS NEWCASTLE and
ARGONAUT with a destroyer screen.
17th Launched air attacks on Belawan Deli (Operation ROBS0N).
1 9 4 5
16th Took passage for Australia with HM
Aircraft Carriers VICTORIOUS, INDOMITABLE and
HM Battleship KING GEORGE V, HM Cruisers ARGONAUT, BLACK
and EURYALUS, screened by HM Destroyers GRENVILLE, UNDINE, URSA
WAGER, KEMPENFELT, WAKEFUL, WHIRLWIND and WHELP as Task
20th Refuelled from Task Force 69.
24th After delay due to weather launched air
attacks with the other carriers on oil refinery at
(Operation MERIDIAN I). Small Japanese air attacks repulsed. 7 RN
lost during attacks and 25 by crashes on landing.
29th With same ships
launched raids on Soengi Gerong
oil refineries near Palembang.
retaliatory KAMIKAZE attacks on Fleet whilst aircraft were landing hit by
two shells from HMS EURYALUS anti-aircraft fire (Operation
(Note: 11 killed and 22 other casualties - See OPERATION
9th Arrived at Sydney and prepared for air
operations in support of US landings in
Under repair. Centre shaft removed. Speed reduced to 24
(Note: Vibration problems were still being experienced - see
May 1940 entry
Machinery defect rate increase possible due to extensive service.)
28th Took passage to Manus with ships of
British Pacific Fleet as Task Force 113
7th Arrived at Manus.
ships departure for operations delayed by US Navy pending approval
in Washington for their deployment with US Navy.
18th Attachment of British Pacific Fleet to
US 5th Fleet as Task Force 57 approved.
to Ulithi with Task Force 57 for Joint air operations
26th Launched attacks on airfields in Sakishima-Gunto Group with HM Aircraft Carriers
INDEFATIGABLE and VICTORIOUS covered by major units of BPF and with
screen of Fleet destroyers.
operations with US Task Group in continuation with breaks for refuelling
from British Fleet Train.
April Sakishima-Gunto joint operations with US carriers in
6th Sustained slight
above water slight damage when KAMIKAZE aircraft crashed alongside.
underwater damage caused when weapon detonated near ship.
Retained in BPF despite effect of structural damage.)
9th Diverted from ICEBERG operations to
carry out air attacks on Formosa
12th Launched attacks on chemical plant and
airfields in poor weather conditions.
13th Passage to rejoin
operations off Sakishima Gunto.
(Note: Ship becoming an increasing liability.)
14th Relieved in Task Force 57 by m Aircraft
505 sorties flown; 3,549 tons fuel embarked; 88,363
Gallons of AVGAS embarked.
15th Passage to Philippines
for underwater examination. Damage found to be much more
extensive than realised.
May Withdrawn from
operations and took passage to Sydney.
24th Sailed to UK from Sydney at reduced
speed of 19 knots.
27th Arrived at Rosyth
for repair and four month refit.