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1 9 3 9
September Flagship of 8th Cruiser Squadron
based at Bermuda with HM Cruisers YORK, ORION
and PERTH (RAN)
for interception of blockade runners and defence of Atlantic convoys.
Took passage to Halifax.
from Halifax with HM Cruiser YORK to join Convoys HX1 and HXF1 as Ocean Escort.
convoys to replace Local Escort by HM Canadian Destroyers SAGUENAY and ST
from Ocean Escort and resumed patrol.
passage from Halifax for patrol.
at Halifax for repair.
with HMS PERTH as escort for Convoy KJ3 during passage to Bermuda.
Relieved by HM Cruiser EFFINGHAM and
for service in Hunting Group F with HMS YORK.
Group was intended for interception of commerce raiders but did not form
requirement to cover Atlantic convoys against attack by German
at Bermuda and deployed
for patrol and search for commerce raiders.
in hand for docking and repair at Bermuda.
November Transferred to 1st Cruiser Squadron, Horns Fleet.
passage from Bermuda to Portsmouth.
in hand for repair on arrival at Portsmouth.
passage from Portsmouth to join Squadron at Scapa Flow.
in NW Approaches for trade defence
25th Returned to Clyde.
patrol duties in NW Approaches.
1 9 4 0
deployment In continuation.
to Scapa Flow to resume patrol duties.
from Scapa Flow for Northern Patrol duty.
March Resumed Northern Patrol duties.
and boarded German freighter WOLFSBURG which was on
Sank mercantile by gunfire.
and boarded German freighter URUGUAY which also had been set afire by
had to be sunk by gunfire.
April Recalled for support of planned landings in Norway (Operation R4).
operation to land troops in Norwegian ports if Germany carried out an invasion after
a minelay off Norway to prevent passage of iron ore shipping (Operation WILFRED).
1/4 Royal Lincolnshire Regiment at Rosyth for passage to Norway.
(Note: Troops were also embarked in
HM Cruisers DEVONSHIRE, GLASGOW and YORK.)
troops after German invasion of Norway confirmed.
Rosyth with other cruisers.
Joined off Kinnaird Head by French Cruiser Emil Bertin , destroyers TARTU and MAILLE BREZ
sweep to North East as ordered by Admiralty with same ships.
Operation R4 was cancelled and replaced by the Operation RUPERT.
see NARVIK by D Macintyre, THE DOOMED EXPEDITION by J Adams,
ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Bamett. and Naval Staff
join Home Fleet ships on passage to Norwegian waters to cover allied landings.
joining HM Battleships RODNEY, VALIANT and WARSPITE, HM Aircraft Carrier
FURIOUS screened by Home Fleet destroyers, came under heavy
and sustained German air
during which HM Destroyer GURKHA was sunk.
as escort for HMS FURIOUS during air attacks on Trondheim.
joined HM Cruisers DEVONSHIRE screened by HM Destroyers
ILEX, IMOGEN and ISIS to carry cut search of Trondheim Leads
cut search in Aandsfjord and Vaagsfjord with HMS INGLEFIELD.
Home Fleet ships off North Cape.
missed during air attacks without significant damage..
with HMS DEVONSHIRE and HMS INGLEFIELD and took passage to Scapa Flow.
above references for details of operations off Norway.)
as escort for HM Aircraft Carriers ARK ROYAL and FURIOUS with HM AA
CURLEW and HM Destroyers FEARLESS, FURY, HASTY, HEREWARD, HYPERION.
and JUNO during passage to the
Norwegian coast for air operations (Operation DX)
. (Note: This
was the first RN joint aircraft carrier operation.
GLORIOUS by J Winton.)
as escort for HMS ARK ROYAL during rest period off Faeroes.
air attacks off Norway with HMS ARK ROYAL, HMS GLORIOUS and HMS VALIANT.
cover for HMS GLORIOUS during continuations of DX air operations' in place of
return passage to UK as escort for HMS ARK ROYAL.
HMS GLASGOW, HM Destroyers FEARLESS and FORTUNE in Clyde.
advance party of Royal Marines for passage to Iceland (Operation FORK)
British occupation of Iceland was carried cut to prevent German landings following the
fall of Denmark.)
Royal Marines at Reykjavik and searched fjords for enemy activity.
Embarked German nationals for passage
to UK for detention.
repair at Cammell Laird shipyard, Birkenhead.
June Under repair.
work completion date.
damage in collision with mercantile and returned for docking.
September Undocked and took passage to rejoin
at Scapa Flow for Hone Fleet duties.
for interception patrol in Atlantic.
selected for service in Mediterranean and took passage to prepare for foreign
. in Clyde
passage from Clyde with H M Battleship BARHAM, HMS GLASGOW, HM Destroyers
GALLANT, GRIFFIN, GREYHOUND
and ENCOUNTER to join Fleet in the Mediterranean.
Designated as Force F.
HMS ARK ROYAL
also took passage to rejoin Force H at Gibraltar.)
with Force F to join ships of Force H for escort during passage to land stores and personnel
details of naval operations in Mediterranean during 1940 to 1942 see THE BATTLE
FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by D Macintyre and Naval Staff
under air attack and submarine threat which failed to make contact.
troops and stores In Malta.
Took passage to join Mediterranean
with HM Cruisers GLASGOW, GLOUCESTER and YORK. HM Destroyers HAVOCK,
HEREWARD, JERVIS and JUNO to provide cover during air attacks from HM Aircraft
ILLUSTRIOUS on Italian fleet at Taranto (Operation
arrival at Alexandria with Mediterranean Fleet joined 3rd. Cruiser Squadron.
troops for passage to Piraeus with HM Cruisers YORK, GLASGOW and SYDNEY
to Malta with HM Battleship RAMILLIES and HM Cruiser NEWCASTLE.
COLLAR - Joint operation with Force H and included the transfer of ships to Gibraltar
covered by HM
Battleships BARHAM, MALAYA, HM Aircraft Carrier EAGLE.
MANCHESTER and SOUTHAMPTON were also on passage to reinforce the
Fleet and a mercantile convoy was on passage to Egypt.)
HM Battlecruiser RENOWN, HM Cruiser SHEFFIELD and HMS ARK ROYAL.
Took part in
surface action against Italian Fleet units (Battle of Spartivento.
Hit by two
8in shells in return of fire and sustained damage to after turret.
only RN ship to be hit in this action. See above references and THE NAVAL WAR
IN THE MEDITERRANEAN by J Greene and A Massignani.)
Fleet withdrew, joined ships of Force H with HMS RAMILLIES and HMS
NEWCASTLE for passage
repair at Gibraltar.
December Nominated for service with Hunting Group K for
interception of German commerce raiders.
(Note: This was subsequently
completion prepared for operational service.
passage to join military convoy WS5A as relief for HM Cruiser NAIAD.
24th Joined HM
Cruisers DUNEDIN and BONAVENTURE in Ocean Escort for WS5A.
(Note: HMS FURIOUS and HMS ARGUS were
with the convoy and were taking aircraft to
Takoradi for flight to join RAF in Middle East.)
came under attack by German cruiser HIPPER at dawn and was scattered.
HIPPER and hit by 4 shells in return fire causing casualties.
structure and gun mountings damaged with some flooding.
Troopship ss EMPIRE TROOPER was also seriously damaged and was
Ponta Delgado, Azores.
convoy were later re-assembled by Force H from Gibraltar.
confusion was caused and attempts by carriers to carry out air attacks were
Admiralty orders. See Naval Staff History.)
wounded at Gibraltar and taken in hand for temporary repair.
1 9 4 1
January Under temporary repair.
completion took passage to Portsmouth for permanent repair.
List for December engagement published.
February Under repair by HM Dockyard, Portsmouth
to (Note: Type 286M modified RAF radar
fitted to provide limited warning facility.
April Type 284 main armament fire-control radar
aircraft warning radar is recorded but to be confirmed.
New masts to
allow later fitting of this equipment may have been provided.
of development and use of radar in RN see RADAR AT SEA by D Howse.)
guns fitted to improve Close Range defence.
service in 1st Cruiser Squadron, Home Fleet.
May Arrangements made for completion of refit
work at Rosyth
Took passage to Rosyth.
June Completion of refit in continuation by HM
out post refit trials.
at Scapa Flow for work-up.
July On completion of work-up deployed with
Squadron based at Rosyth.
to (Note: Home Fleet units carried cut
interception and convoy defence duties.
September Under repair at Rosyth.
October Repair in continuation.
Squadron at Scapa Flow for Home Fleet duties.
as escort for HM Battleship DUKE OF YORK with HM Destroyers ESCAPADE,
TARTAR and PUNJABI for passage from Clyde to Scapa Flow on completion of build.
with HM Battleship KING GEORGE V, HM Aircraft Carrier VICTORIOUS, HM
Cruisers KENT and SUFFOLK, screened by five Home Fleet destroyers.
ships took passage to Iceland after report of possible break-cut into Atlantic by
battleships SCHEER and TIRPITZ.)
with escort for Russian Convoy PQ4 with HM Destroyers OFFA and ONSLOW
of an Russian Convoy operations see CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by RA Ruegg,
CONVOY ! by P
Kemp, THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS by B Schoefield and ARCTIC
27th At Murmansk after
arrival of PQ4.
return passage to UK with RAF personnel.
Rejoined Squadron at Scapa Flow for Hone Fleet duties.
1 9 4 2
January Passage to Iceland for patrol and interception duties with Home Fleet units.
from Iceland with Home Fleet units to Tromso area
after TIRPITZ break-cut reported
and for air
operations against coastal shipping.
unsuccessful and returned to Iceland.
February Deployed in Iceland for interception duties and took part in search for German
EUGEN and ADMIRAL SHEER reported en
passage in North Sea to join TIRPITZ.
from Fleet units to join HM Aircraft Carrier VICTORIOUS.
Destroyers ASHANTI, BEDOUIN, ESKIMO, PUNJABI and ICARUS as escort for
VICTORIOUS during air strikes.
cancelled after enemy ships reported anchored in Aasfjord.
Home Fleet units.
with Squadron at Scapa Flow.
4th Sailed with HMS KING GEORGE V, HMS VICTORIOUS, HM
ASHANTI, INTREPID, ICARUS, LOOKOUT and BEDOUIN to join HMS DUKE OF YORK,
HM Cruiser KENYA, HM Destroyers
FAULKNOR, ESKIMO, PUNJABI
ECHO and ECLIPSE to provide cover
for passage of Russian convoy PQ12 and return Convoy
to carry cut patrol south of PQ12.whilst TIRPITZ was at sea.
Home Fleet units during air operations against TIRPITZ near Lofotens.
(Note: See ENGAGE
THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY. These attacks failed and this was the
when naval attacks were made whilst enemy ship was at sea.)
to Scapa Flow with Fleet units.
April Home Fleet deployment with Squadron for
interception and patrol duties.
to Machinery problems required attention.
May Refit arranged at Devonport.
June Passage to Plymouth.
in hand for refit by HM Dockyard Devonport.
July Under refit.
Surface warning radar Type 273 fitted.
Radars Type 283 fitted to provide facilities for main armament with
20mm Oerlikon guns fitted.
August On completion of post refit trials rejoined
Squadron at Scapa Flow for Home Fleet duties.
September Deployed for interception duties,
Northern Patrol in Denmark Strait and Atlantic convoy defence.
December Deployed with HMS KING GEORGE V, HM Destroyers
MUSKETEER, QUADRANT and
RAIDER to provide Distant Cover for
passage of Russian Convoy JW51A
release from JW51A cover carried out interception patrol in Arctic.
1 9 4 3
January Arctic deployment in continuation.
cruiser cover for passage of return Convoy RA51 with HM Cruiser KENT in place
of HM Cruisers JAMAICA.
from covering duties and returned to Scapa Flow.
February Home Fleet duties with Squadron in continuation.
Relieved HM Cruiser KENT as Squadron flagship.
with HM Battleships KING GEORGE V and HOWE. HM Destroyers ICARUS,
METEOR, MUSKETEER, OFFA, ONSLAUGHT and Polish ORP PIORUN to provide
for passage of Russian Convoy JW53.
March Home Fleet Squadron duties for patrol and
to Gibraltar with HMS
KING GEORGE V and destroyer screen for defence of Atlantic
convoys against enemy surface
with HMS DUKE OF YORK. US battleships USS ALABAMA and USS SOUTH
DAKOTA with ten US Navy destroyers as
screen during Atlantic passage to Iceland.
to Scapa Flow as escort for same USN ships with HMS FURIOUS, HM Cruiser
destroyers from US 16th Destroyer Division.
Navy ships were en loan to Home Fleet.
THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY).
Squadron duties at Scapa Flow.
July Deployed in NW Approaches.
passage from Iceland with HM Cruiser NORFOLK to join Home
Fleet units for a
operation off Norwegian coast (Operation CAMERA).
was intended to create unusual activity during the allied landings in Sicily
HUSKY - See the Naval Staff History, CONVOY ! by P. Kemp and
ENEMY MORE CLOSELY.)
to Iceland with Home Fleet ship
Interception patrol duties.
Passage to Scapa Flow to prepare for refit.
August Under refit at Rosyth.
to Aircraft facilities removed.
October Work done included
radar outfit 279 replaced by Type 281B using single mast position.
radar Type 285 fitted for 4in HA mountings.
Type 282 fitted for fire-control of Close Range weapons.
AA weapons re-sited and additional Oerlikons fitted.
out post refit trials before work-up.
December Worked-up for service with Squadron at Scapa Flow.
1 9 4 4
January Deployed with Home Fleet on completion.
HM Cruisers BERMUDA and KENT to cover Russian Convoy JW56 but had
to detach later due to machinery
covered for Russian Convoy JW56B with HMS BERMUDA and HMS KENT.
cruiser cover for returning Convoy RA56 with same ships
passage of Russian Convoy JW57 with HM Cruiser JAMAICA.
and resumed Squadron duties.
March Deployed with Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.
April Home Fleet duties in NW Approaches in
in Home Fleet exercises in preparation for support of the Normandy landings.
HMS FURIOUS and HM Escort Carrier SEARCHER during air strikes on coast
shipping in Kristiansund North area (Operation CROQUET).
THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and CONVOY!)
Squadron duties in Home Fleet.
June Remained in NW Approaches with Home Fleet to
provide cover for Normandy landings
against any interference by German
surface ship (Operation NEPTUNE).
with Home Fleet units carrying cut shipping strike off Norway.
(Operation LOMBARD. This was part of the
deception plans for NEPTUNE).
NW approaches. (See Naval Staff History).
July Home Fleet deployment in continuation
August Deployed with Home Fleet units providing cover
during carrier air operations off Norway.
cover with HMS DEVONSHIRE during air attacks on TIRPITZ by HM Aircraft
INDEFATIGABLE, FORMIDABLE, FURIOUS, HM Escort Aircraft Carriers NABOB
GOODWOOD. For details see CONVOY ! and Naval Staff History))
completion of air operations Fleet units came under U-Boat attacks using acoustic
HM Frigate BICKERTON and HMS NABOB were hit.
BICKERTON had to be sunk by own forces and HMS NABOB declared to be
economic repair on return to UK.)
Air attacks failed
because target obscured by smoke screen.
series of air attacks unsuccessful and ships returned to Scapa Flow.
CONVOY ! , HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR by C Blair and WARSHIP LOSSES by
September (also see Addenda following)
with HM Cruisers KENT and DEVONSHIRE to escort rms QUEEN MARY during
passage taking Prime Minister and Defence Staff to Canada for a meeting with US
to Scapa Flow and resumed Home Fleet Squadron duties.
Fleet units carried cut coastal shipping attack and air minelay off off Norway on 12th
records ship took part. This requires confirmation.)
20th Detached with HMS KENT and HMS DEVONSHIRE for escort
of rms QUEEN MARY
during return passage to UK with
Prime Minister after OCTAGON conference.
October Deployed for Home Fleet duties with Squadron. (also see Addenda following)
November (also see Addenda following)
Ocean Escort for rms EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA and ss SCYTHIA with HM
Carrier CAMPANIA, screened by HM Destroyers CAMBRIAN, CAPRICE,
SCOURGE, SAUMAREZ and SERAPIS as Convoy JW61A.
ships were taking 11,000 Russian nationals captured in Normandy back to the USSR
for planned operations to enter Norway. (Operation FREEMAN).)
same merchant ships back to UK as Convoy RA61A.
Squadron duties. Squadron duties in continuation at Scapa Flow.
with Squadron at Scapa Flow for Home Fleet duties.
1 9 4 5
in NW Approaches.
30th Escorted HM Escort Carriers CAMPANIA and
NAIRANA for air strikes on shipping off
February Rejoined Squadron on completion.
to Deployed with Hone Fleet in NW
April Returned to Rosyth.
to Trondheim with HM Canadian Destroyers HAIDA and HURON accompanied
by ships of 5th Escort Group from Western Approaches..
at Trondheim and made arrangements for collection of U-Boats for passage to UK.
submarines were handed to allied navies and the others not required for RN use
destroyed in Operation DEADLIGHT.)
with HM Cruiser NORFOLK for transport of military personnel to Bergen and
June Passage to Greenock to embark stores and personnel
for passage to Iceland.
by HM Destroyer ZEBRA and took passage to Iceland.
personnel and stores at Advent Fjord and took passage to Reykjavik.
passage from Reykjavik for Portsmouth with personnel and stores.
at Portsmouth and transferred from Home Fleet for trooping duties.
for new role at HM Dockyard Portsmouth.
passage to Sydney via Colombo.
left Scapa Flow and proceeded to Punta del Garda
(Azores) calling briefly at Devonport. Meanwhile KENT (not sure about
DEVONSHIRE) escorted QUEEN MARY as far as the Azores and returned
to the UK. After 24 hours in Punta del Garda BERWICK took over the
Halifax, NS. The Prime Minister left the QUEEN MARY to
attend the Ottawa Conference and the QUEEN proceeded to New York to
disembark American casualties. BERWICK stayed in Halifax until
rendezvousing with the QUEEN MARY to escort her back to UK. BERWICK then
returned to Scapa Flow, then to Rosyth to embark Norwegian troops for
the journey to Murmansk (Convoy JW61A/RA61A). I was a member of the crew of Berwick from November 1943 until May 1945. Derek Whitwam, editor Russian Convoy Club of New
Zealand, website www.russianconvoyclub.org.nz.