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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2

by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2003

HMS QUEEN (D 19) - Ruler-class Escort Aircraft Carrier
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Queen  (NavyPhotos/Mark Teadham, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 
 

RULER-Class Escort Aircraft Carrier built at Tacoma, Washington State, USA as a mercantile by the Seattle - Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation and laid down on 23rd February 1943  After the ship was requisitioned by the US Navy for use as an auxiliary aircraft carrier she was launched  as USS ST GEORGE (CVE49) on 31st July 1943.  She was transferred to the Royal Navy under the Lease-Lend Agreement to Great Britain and became the 12th RN warship too bear the name when commissioned as HMS QUEEN on completion of build on 7th December 1943. This name, introduced in the 13th century during the reign of King Henry III and was last used in 1902 for battleship sold in 1920. US Navy radar outfits were fitted during build.

 

 

B a t t l e  H o n o u r s

USHANT 1781 - GLORIOUS FIRST OF JUNE  1794 -  GROIX 1795 - BLACK SEA 1854-55 - DARDANELLES 1915 - ATLANTIC 1944 - NORWAY 1945 - ARCTIC 1945

He r a l d i c  D a t a

 Badge: On a Field Gold, a Lozenge purple charged with an orb 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

 

December

                7th          Build completion and transferred to Royal Navy as HMS QUEEN.

                                Carried out Acceptance Trials.

                17th        Took passage to Esquimalt for modifications to suit RN deployment for convoy defence.

                                Taken in hand by HM Canadian Dockyard, Esquimalt.

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Under modification

 

February                On completion of dockyard work carried out sea trials

                26th        Sustained damage after running aground during trials

                                Under repair.

 

March                    Carried out sea trials on completion of dockyard repair work.

                22nd       Took passage from Esquimalt for Panama with calls at ports on west coast of North America.

 

April

                15th        Transit of Panama Canal

                16th        Passage to Norfolk, Va.

                24th        Arrived at US Navy Yard in Norfolk.

                                Embarked 112 AVENGER aircraft for transport to UK destined for 855 Squadron.

 

May                        Deployed at Norfolk.

                6th          Too passage to New York.

                8th          Sailed from New York to Clyde.

                                (Note: Passage with routine convoy to be confirmed.)

                23rd        Arrived in Clyde and disembarked aircraft.

                                Nominated for continued service as a Ferry Carrier,

                28th        Took passage to New York to embark US aircraft for delivery to Casablanca for US use.

 

June

                9th          Arrived in New York and embarked aircraft.

                13th        Took passage to Casablanca.

                27th        Arrived at Casablanca and disembarked aircraft.

 

July

                2nd         Took passage to Freetown

                12th        Arrived at Freetown

                                (Note: This deployment to be investigated. Passage time seems excessive,)

                17th        Took passage to Gibraltar.

                24th        Arrived at Gibraltar

 

August

                4th          Joined inward Convoy MKGF33 and took passage to Liverpool.

                10th        Detached from MKF33 and took passage to Clyde.

                                Deployed in Clyde for repair of defects.

                                Passage to Dundee for refit

                31at         Taken in hand for refit in commercial shipyard in Dundee,

 

September             Under refit.

to

November

 

December              Commenced harbour trials

                23rd        Sailed for sea trials and passage to Rosyth

                27th        Arrived at Rosyth

                                (Note: Ship may have carried out sea trials and shakedown.)

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Deployed at Rosyth

                                (Note: Modification to petrol distribution system to be confirmed.)

                                Nominated for service in Home Fleet

                23rd        Passage to Clyde for work-up

 

February                Embarked 853 Squadron AVENGER and WILDCAT aircraft and persoinnel

                                Worked-up for operational service in Clyde area.

 

March                    Passage to Scapa Flow on completion of work-up

                2nd         Joined Home Fleet at Scapa Flow

                                Nominated for planned aircraft minelay off Norway (Operation CUPOLA).

                20th        Joined HM Escort Aircraft Carriers PREMIER and SEARCHER as Force 1 for minelay.

                                Aircraft laid mines at Askevold (Position 61.21N, 05.05E).

                                (Note: Operation had been delayed and was subject to heavy swell and poor weather

                                conditions and was part of a joint shipping strike and air minelay operation off

                                the coast of Norway. Other ships engaged were HM Cruiser BELLONA screened

                                by HM Destroyers ONSLOW, ZEST, SERAPIS, HAIDA (RCN) and

                                IROQUOIS (RCN)).

                21st         Returned to Scapa Flow.

                26th        Took part in operations against shipping oft Norway with HMS SEARCHER.

                                (Operation PREFIX No shipping was sunk but three enemy aircraft were shot down.,)

                29th        Returned to Scapa Flow.

 

April                       Home Fleet deployment in continuation.

                6th          Deployed with HM Escort Aircraft Carriers PUNCHER, SEARCHER and TRUMPETER

                                for air operations off Norway

                                Carried out air attack on U-Boat Depot Ships at Kilbotn after delay caused by bad

                                weather conditions. (Operation NEWMARKET)

                12th        Returned to Scapa Flow.

 

May                        Joined HMS SEARCHER and HMS TRUMPETER for a Norwegian coast

                                shipping strike with Home Fleet (Operation JUDGEMENT).

                                (Note: The Task Force included HM Cruisers NORFOLK, DIADEM and Destroyer

                                screen by HM Destroyers CARYSFORT, OPPORTUNE, SAVAGE, SCOURGE,

                                ZAMBESI. HMS OBEDIENT and ORWELL which joined later.)

                4th          Aircraft made attacks west of Narvik during which U711 and a Depot Ship

                                BLACK WATCH were sunk. U-boat Pens at Narvik were also attacked.

                                (Note: U711 was the last German submarine to be destroyed by aircraft of

                                the Fleet Air Arm during the war with Germany).

                6th          Deployed with HMS TRUMPETER and HMS SEARCHER and joined

                                HM Cruiser DIDO screened by HM Destroyers ZEALOUS ZEPHYR and ZEST

                                during passage to Copenhagen to liberate the city after the end of hostilities

                                with Germany (Operation CLEAVER).

                10th        Returned to Scapa Flow.

                12th        Deployed to provide cover for passage of the last Russian Convoy.

                                (Note: Escort for JW67 comprised HM Destroyers OBDURATE and ONSLOW,

                                HM Frigates BAZELEY, BENTINCK, BYARD, DRURY and PASLEY

                                of 4th Escort Group as to Kola Inlet (Operation TIMELESS).

                20th        Arrived at Kola Inlet without incident.

                23rd        Escorted return Convoy RA67 with same ships.

                                (Note: Navigation lights were burned throughout passage

                30th        Detached from convoy after arrival in Clyde and rejoined Home Fleet.

                                Disembarked aircraft and personnel of 853 Squadron.

 

June                        Deployed at Greenock

to                            Under refit in Clyde commercial shipyard

August                  Nominated for conversion to allow use as troopship.

 

September             Deployed at Belfast

                                (Note: Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes was allocated as R320 to

                                conform with US Navy identity for this type of warship.)

 

P o s t   W a r   N o t e s

 

HMS QUEEN was transferred to Barrow in Furness for completion of refit work which completed in November 1945. The ship was deployed as a troopship with reduced complement between November 1945 and February 1946. During that period she made one return trip to Australia. On return she was de-stored at Devonport and did not take passage for return to the US Navy until September that year. Whilst on passage the ship sustained storm damage and was not formally handed back at Norfolk, Va until 31st October 1946.  Placed on the Sales List this ship was sold for use as a mercantile in July 1947 and renamed ROEBIAH.  Sold again in 1967 for further mercantile use she traded as PRESIDENT MARCOS until 1972 and then re-named LUCKY ONE for passage to shipbreaker at Kaohsiung, Taiwan where she arrived on 28 July 1972.

 

 


 

Addendum

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS QUEEN

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

 

 

 

 

 

17/07/44

17/07/44

SR 015

24/07/44

24/07/44

12/05/45

12/05/45

JW 067

20/05/45

20/05/45

23/05/45

23/05/45

RA 067

30/05/45

30/05/45

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 


 

HMS QUEEN IN THE FAR EAST, 1945-46

by Alastair Wilson, Commander, RN, Rtd

I have been transcribing my father's memoirs of his time in the Army in WW 2 and after, in which there is a reference to the Escort Carrier, HMS QUEEN, which has a slight variant on the information on your site.

You speak of her making one trooping voyage to Australia & back between November 1945 and February 1946.  My father (an Army Colonel) took passage in her from Colombo to Singapore in late 1945/early 1946 (the aeroplane which was to fly him had crashed & there wasn't a replacement aircraft), all of which matches your entry.  But, although my father doesn't specifically say so, he implies that her destination was Hong Kong, because "The QUEEN was on her way to re-open the Naval Base at Hong Kong & carried all the officers below the rank of Captain who comprised the base.  There were about eight Commanders (all different branches, Seamen, Pussers, Engineers & Medics); in addition there were 20 or so 2 stripers & about the same number of Lieutenants and Warrant Officers."

Of course, she might have made a triangular voyage (I have little doubt there would have been sufficient personnel to take from Hong Kong to Sydney), or they might have been transferred to another ship at Singapore for onward passage to Hong Kong.  Incidentally, her captain for this voyage was Captain Cyril William Byas, Royal Navy ("a dab hand with the gin", to quote my father again).

 

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