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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2

by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 1996

HMS NAIRANA (D 05) - Vindex-class Escort Aircraft Carrier
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Nairana (Navy Photos, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 
 

Incomplete mercantile hull laid down by John Brown at Clydebank on 7th November 1942. The incomplete hull was acquired by the Admiralty in March 1942 and adapted for use as an  Escort  Aircraft Carrier by the shipbuilder. The ship was launched on 20th May 1943 as HMS NAIRANA and the 2nd RN ship to carry the name, introduced for a Seaplane Carrier during WW1. The ship was adopted by Spenborough in the West Riding of Yorkshire as a replacement for HM Escort Destroyer AIREDALE, lost in June 1942 and which had been associated with the  civil community after a WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in March 1942.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

 

ATLANTIC  1944 - ARCTIC  1944-45 - NORWAY  1945

 

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Blue, an Eagle volant affrente gold.

 

 

D e t a i l s   o f   W a r   S e r v i c e

 

(for more ship information, go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search

 

 

1 9 4 3

 

November

                26th        Commissioned for service as HMS NAIRANA.

                                (Note: British radar was fitted during build.)

December              Contractors trials

                12th        Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

                17th        On completion of trials and storing sailed for to work-up for service.

                                Nominated for service in Western Approaches with 2nd British Escort Group based

                                at Liverpool for Atlantic convoy defence.

                                Embarked 12 SWORDFISH aircraft and personnel of 838 Squadron.

 

1 9 4 4

 

January

                25th        Embarked nine SWORDFISH and six SEA HURRICANES of 835 Squadron with

                                personnel

                29th        Joined HM Sloops STARLING, WILD GOOSE, KITE, MAGPIE and WOODPECKER

                                with HM Escort Carrier ACTIVITY for operational duty in Atlantic with Group.

                31st         During provision of anti-submarine support of joint outward convoy OS66/KMS70

                                during passage to Gibraltar in NW Approaches ships of Escort Group sank U592.

                                There were no survivors. See U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp.

                                (Note: Distant cover was also provided these patrols for outward Convoys ON222 and

                                ONS28 on passage to Canada in the area.)

 

February

                7th          Provided anti-submarine patrol support for passage of inward joint convoy SL147/MKS38

                                to Liverpool.

                11th        Provided anti-submarine patrol support for passage of inward convoy HX225 to Liverpool.

                13th        Provided anti-submarine patrol support for passage of inward tanker Convoy CU13

                                into Clyde.

                24th        Provided anti-submarine patrol support for passage of joint outward convoy OS69/KMS43

                                to Gibraltar

                                (Note: During this period U264 was sunk by HMS WOODPECKER. and was the first

                                SCHNORKEL fitted submarine to be sunk).

 

March

                6th          At Gibraltar with Group.

                9th          Deployed with HMS ACTIVITY to provide anti-submarine escort for inward Convoy

                                MKF29 during passage to Clyde.

                24th        Sailed from Clyde to provide support during passage of outward joint Convoy

                                OS72/KMS46 during passage in NW Approaches to Gibraltar.

 

April

                10th        Sailed from Gibraltar for support of inward joint Convoy SL154/MKS45 during passage

                                to Clyde

 

May

                13th        Deployed for anti-submarine sweep operation in NW Approaches

                                (Note: Extensive anti-submarine operations were being carried out in this area to intercept

                                U-Boats on passage to and from Norway via Faeroes Iceland gap.

                16th        Deployed to provide anti-submarine patrols in defence of outward joint Convoys

                                SL157/MKS48 and SL158/MKS49

 

June

                3rd          Returned to Clyde from Atlantic convoy defence.

                12th        Deployed with escort for provision of anti-submarine defence during passage of

                                outward Convoy KMF32 during passage to Gibraltar

                27th        Sailed from Gibraltar to provide anti-submarine air cover during passage of inward

                                Convoy KMF34 during Atlantic passage to Clyde.

 

July

                4th          On arrival in Clyde detached from KMF34and taken in hand for routine docking and repair.

 

August                  Resumed service in Western Approaches Command.

                24th        Deployed for provision f anti-submarine air cover with escort for outward Convoy

                                KMF34 during passage to Gibraltar.

 

September

                10th        Sailed from Gibraltar for provision of anti-submarine air cover during passage of

                                inward Convoy KMF34 during passage to Clyde,

                14th        Detached from KMF34 and taken in hand for repair in Clyde shipyard.

 

October                  Nominated for detached service with Home Fleet for Russian Convoy defence.

                                Embarked 14 SWORDFISH and six WILDCAT aircraft and personnel of 835 Squadron

                                (For details of all Russian Convoy operations see CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by RA Ruegg,

                                THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS by B Schoefield, ARCTIC CONVOYS by R Woodman and

                                CONVOY ! by P Kemp.

                15th        Passage to Scapa Flow for Home Fleet service.

                22nd       Joined Main Escort for Russian Convoy JW61 with HM Escort Carriers TRACKER and

                                VINDEX, HM Frigates BYRON, CONN, DEANE, FITZROY, INGLIS, LAWSON,

                                LORING, LOUIS, MOUNSEY, NARBROUGH, REDMILL and RUPERT to provide

                                anti-submarine patrols and fighter protection against air attacks during passage to Kola

                                Inlet (Operation TRIAL)

                28th        Detached from JW 61 on arrival at Kola Inlet without loss of any mercantile.

                                (Note: This was largely due to availability of extensive air support and a very

                                strong escort, which prevented any major interference.

 

November

                2nd         Sailed from Kola Inlet with return convoy RA61 and same escorts.

                                (Note: Before sailing the frigate escorts were deployed off Kola Inlet to carry

                                out sustained anti-submarine hunting operations against a known assembly of

                                submarines waiting for departure of ships. During these the frigate HMS MOUNSEY

                                was torpedoed but able to return to Kola for repair.

                7th          Detached from RA61 with HM Cruiser DIDO, HMS VINDEX and HMS TRACKER before

                                the arrival of RA61 at Loch Ewe without loss.

                9th          Taken in hand for repair in Clyde shipyard

 

December              On completion resumed detached duties with Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.

                2nd         Deployed as escort for Russian Convoy JW62 with HM Cruiser BELLONA and HM Escort

                                Carrier CAMPANIA screened by HM Destroyers BEAGLE, BULLDOG, CAESAR,

                                CASSANDRA, CAMBRIAN, CAPRICE, KEPPEL, OBEDIENT, OFFA, ONSLAUGHT,

                                ONSLOW, ORIBI, ORWELL and WESTCOTT to provide anti-submarine patrols and air cover

                                during passage. (Operation ACUMEN)

                7th          Detached from JW62 on arrival at Kola Inlet after unscathed passage

                10th        Sailed with same ships as escort for return Convoy RA62 after an anti-submarine

                                operation off Kola Inlet by frigates and corvettes before departure.

                                (Note: During this operation U387 was sunk by HM Corvette BAMBOROUGH CASTLE.

                11th        HM Destroyer CASSANDRA was torpedoed by U365 but able to return to Murmansk for

                                repair.

                12th        HM Norwegian Corvette sank after hitting a nine.

                                Under attack by torpedo bombers two of which were destroyed.

                13th        During anti-submarine operations by carriers U365 was sunk by an aircraft from

                                HMS CAMPANIA.

                19th        Returned to Scapa Flow with Home Fleet ships.

                20th        Under repair in Clyde shipyard.

                                On completion resumed detached service in Home Fleet

                                Nominated for attack on enemy shipping near Vaagso, Norway (Operation SAMPLER)

                               

1 9 4 5

 

January

                1st           Operation SAMPLER aborted because of weather conditions.

                24th        Deployed with HM Escort Aircraft Carrier PREMIER to cover night air attacks by

                                HM Escort Aircraft Carrier CAMPANIA on shipping off Vaagso, Norway

                                (Operation WINDED)

                30th        Deployed to provide cover during air strikes on Norway

 

February

                6th          Deployed with HM Cruiser BELLONA, HMS CAMPANIA, HM Sloop LAPWING,

                                HM Corvette DENBIGH CASTLE and HM Trawler OSKOY, screened by HM Destroyers

                                ONSLAUGHT, ONSLOW, OPPORTUNE, ORWELL, SERAPIS, ZAMBESI, ZEALOUS,

                                ZEST and Canadian SIOUX to provide anti-submarine cover during passage of Russian

                                Convoy JW64 (Operation HOTBED)

                                Under surveillance by German aircraft. Ju88 destroyed.

                                Total U-Boat threat estimated as 11 submarines.

                7th          Under sustained attack by torpedo bombers of which 6 were destroyed by fighters from

                                Escort Carriers.

                10th        Repeated torpedo bomber attacks driven off but poor convoy fire discipline posed threat

                                to aircraft from carriers.

                13th        HM Corvette DENBIGH CASTLE torpedoed.

                                (Note: Towed to Kola Inlet but sank after grounding).

                15th        Detached on arrival of JW64 at Kola Inlet.

                16th        Took part in anti-submarine operations with ships of escort against U-Boats off

                                Kola Inlet which had assembled to attack return Convoy RA64.

                                (Note: After sinking U425 with HM Corvette ALNWICK CASTLE, HM Sloop LARK was

                                torpedoed and became a total loss after tow to Kola Inlet).

                17th        Joined return convoy on departure from Kola Inlet.

                20th        Despite horrendous weather conditions launched fighter attacks against enemy air

                                attacks which prevented loss of ships in convoy.

                21st         Ships in convoy dispersed due to continuation of extreme weather conditions.

                27th        Returned to Scapa Flow with HMS BELLONA, HMS CAMPANIA and Home Fleet destroyers.

 

 

March                    Deployed with Home Fleet for operations against snipping off Norway.

                26th        Deployed with HM Escort Aircraft Carrier PUNCHER to carry out WILDCAT attacks on

                                shipping in Alesund , Norway (Operation PREFIX)

                                (Note: The weather conditions were poor During this operation.)

                29th        Returned to Scapa Flow and took passage to Belfast for refit

                31st         Taken in hand for major refit.

 

April                       Under refit

to

July

 

August                  Carried out harbour trials

                7th          Sustained serious damage when leaving dry dock

                                Taken in hand for repair.

 

P o s t  W a r   N o t e s

 

HMS NAIRANA resumed service with a reduced complement after post repair trails and was deployed as a deck landing training carrier for BARRACUDA and FIREFLY aircraft until December 1946, In 1947 the ship was paid off and reduced to Reserve status.  Loaned to the Royal Netherlands Navy in March 1946 she was renamed KAREL DOORMAN and served until May 1948 when replaced by HM Light Fleet Aircraft Carrier VENERABLE which had been sold to Holland.  After return to UK she reverted to mercantile use and was renamed PORT VICTOR. and deployed in Trade before being sold for demolition by a Taiwan shipbreaker in July 1971.

 

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS NAIRANA

by Don Kindell

 

These convoy lists have not been cross-checked with the text above

 

 

 

 

 

Date convoy sailed

Joined convoy as escort

Convoy No.

Left convoy

Date convoy arrived

 

 

 

 

 

24/01/44

29/01/44

OS 066KM

31/01/44

05/02/44

02/02/44

07/02/44

SL 147MK

11/02/44

13/02/44

23/02/44

24/02/44

OS 069KM

05/03/44

05/03/44

05/03/44

05/03/44

KMS 043G

06/03/44

06/03/44

02/03/44

09/03/44

MKF 029

15/03/44

16/03/44

23/03/44

24/03/44

OS 072KM

05/04/44

04/04/44

05/04/44

05/04/44

KMS 046G

06/04/44

06/04/44

10/04/44

10/04/44

MKS 045G

11/04/44

11/04/44

11/04/44

11/04/44

SL 154MK

22/04/44

23/04/44

11/05/44

16/05/44

SL 157MK

16/05/44

22/05/44

21/05/44

25/05/44

SL 158MK

unknown

04/06/44

05/05/44

11/06/44

KMF 031

19/06/44

19/05/44

21/06/44

27/06/44

MKF 032

04/07/44

04/07/44

24/08/44

24/08/44

KMF 034

01/09/44

07/09/44

03/09/44

10/09/44

MKF 034

14/09/44

14/09/44

20/10/44

22/10/44

JW 061

22/10/44

28/10/44

02/11/44

02/11/44

RA 061

07/11/44

09/11/44

29/11/44

01/12/44

JW 062

07/12/44

07/12/44

10/12/44

10/12/44

RA 062

18/12/44

19/12/44

03/02/45

06/02/45

JW 064

13/02/45

15/02/45

17/02/45

17/02/45

RA 064

27/02/45

28/02/45

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 

 

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revised 16/10/10
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