1 9 3 9
6th On completion of refit joined 8th Cruiser Squadron in Home Fleet.
15th Deployed on Northern Patrol to intercept blockade runners
25th Part of Home Fleet covering force for escort of HM Submarine SPEARFISH, which had been
damaged during patrol in North Sea. Deployed with ships of 2nd Cruiser Squadron and 7th
Destroyer Flotilla, HM Battleships NELSON, RODNEY, HM Battlecruisers HOOD, RENOWN,
HM Aircraft Carrier ARK ROYAL, HM cruisers NEWCASTLE and EDINBURGH.
October Transferred to 1st Cruiser Squadron in Mediterranean with HM Cruisers DEVONSHIRE,
SUFFOLK, and BERWICK.
Search operation in NW Approaches for German commerce raider cancelled.
8th Sailed from Rosyth with HMS SUFFOLK for passage to Alexandria
November Redeployed after arrival when Squadron ordered to return to Home Fleet.
5th Took passage to UK with Squadron.
11th Arrived Devonport with HM Cruisers DEVONSHIRE and SUFFOLK.
18th Sailed from Clyde to carry out Northern Patrol in Denmark Strait.
23rd Detached with HMS SUFFOLK and joined HM Cruisers CERES and CALYPSO to carry out search
for German battleships SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU after the sinking of HM Armed Merchant
Cruiser RAWALPINDI by these ships.
For details of the work of ships on Northern Patrol see ARMED MERCHANT CRUISERS by K
27th Attacked by U47 off Orkneys but the torpedoes exploded astern.
For details of German submarine torpedo problems see BUSINESS IN GREAT WATERS by John
Terraine, ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett, HITLER’S U-BOAT WAR by
C Blair and U-BOAT WAR IN THE ATLANTIC (HMSO)
6th Under repair in Belfast.
1 9 4 0
10th Rejoined 1st Cruiser Squadron and sailed from Rosyth for Northern Patrol to intercept
commerce raiders and blockade runners.
February Deployed on Northern Patrol.
16th Intercepted German ship URUGUAY north of Shetland which scuttled.
After return to Scapa Flow came under air attack and hit on port side of quarterdeck abreast Y
Sustained damaged by bomb which exploded in Shell Room.
19th Under repair in Clyde shipyard.
April Under repair
24th Rejoined 1st Cruiser Squadron, Home Fleet
July Deployed on Northern Patrol for interception duties off Iceland.
23rd Searched for blockade runners and fishing vessels off Bear Island with HM Australian Cruiser
September Deployed with HM Battlecruisers HOOD, REPULSE and HM Cruiser BERWICK for attack on
enemy convoy off Stavanger but recalled on passage.
30th Arrived back at Scapa Flow.
October Under repair in Tyne shipyard.
First radar equipment fitted
(Note: This was Type 286M and RAF Air/Surface Vessel (ASV) modified with a fixed aerial
. for ship use. See RADAR AT SEA by D. Howse for details of development and use of
radar by RN)
November Carried out post repair trials and rejoined Home Fleet.
18th Joined military convoy WS4B as Ocean Escort during Atlantic passage from Clyde.
23rd Detached from WS4B on relief in Atlantic by HM Cruiser DEVONSHIRE.
Passage to Scapa Flow to rejoin Home Fleet.
28th Rejoined 1st Cruiser Squadron at Scapa Flow
18th Deployed off Freetown with HM Aircraft Carrier FORMIDABLE and HM Cruiser BERWICK in
Hunting Group K following raider report by ss DUQUESA.
Made unsuccessful search for German cruiser HIPPER with HMS FORMIDABLE.
1 9 4 1
8th Joined military convoy WS5A on departure from Freetown as Ocean Escort with HM Cruiser
HAWKINS and HMS FORMIDABLE
9th Detached from WS5A with HMS FORMIDABLE on relief by HM Cruiser DEVONSHIRE.
Carried out search for German raider KORMORAN in South Atlantic.
February Escorted two Atlantic convoys in face of threat by German commerce raiders before returning to
rejoin Squadron in Home Fleet.
March Deployed for Northern Patrol in Denmark Strait.
April Continued deployment on interception in Icelandic waters.
19th Relieved HM Cruiser SUFFOLK for Denmark Strait patrol.
23rd Carried out joint patrol with HMS SUFFOLK after German battleship BISMARCK was known
to be on passage to Atlantic.
Made first sighting report on BISMARCK and came under fire.
Shadowed BISMARCK and PRINZ EUGEN with HMS SUFFOLK until enemy ships were lost in
26th Deployed to search for BISMARCK until detached to refuel.
Recalled to join Fleet after BISMARCK located.
27th Engaged BISMARCK with HM Battleships KING GEORGE V and RODNEY
(For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY BY Corelli Barnett and Naval
3rd HM Aircraft Carrier VICTORIOUS and HM Cruiser NEPTUNE joined WS8X as Ocean
Escort during Atlantic passage.
5th HMS VICTORIOUS and HMS NEPTUNE detached from Ocean Escort.
11th Detached from WS8X on arrival at Freetown and took passage to return to UK
July Under refit at South Shields.
15th Rejoined 1st Cruiser Squadron in Home Fleet and deployed on patrol and escort duty.
18th Escorted Russian Convoy PQ2 from Scapa Flow with HM Destroyers ICARUS, ECLIPSE.
HM Fleet Minesweepers BRAMBLE, SEAGULL and SPEEDY.
(Note: The Minesweepers were passage to Russia for minesweeping duties and convoy escort.
For details of all Russian Convoy operations and hazards met during Arctic operations see
ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY, CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by R. Ruegg ,
CONVOY! by Paul Kemp and ARCTIC CONVOYS by R Woodman.)).
30th Detached from Convoy PQ2 on arrival at Archangel
3rd Joined Convoy QP2 with HMS ICARUS and ECLIPSE as escort for passage to
12th Remained in Iceland with Home Fleet units to intercept TIRPITZ in event of breakout.
(For details of tactical deployment of Home Fleet see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE
CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett).
28th Passage to Scapa Flow with HMS KING GEORGE V and HMS VICTORIOUS screened
by Fleet destroyers.
December Deployed with Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.
1 9 4 2
January Deployment with Home Fleet in continuation.
February Under repair at Tyne shipyard.
16th Rejoined 1st Cruiser Squadron in Scapa Flow on completion.
26th Deployed for patrol SW of Bear Island to provide Cruiser Cover during passage of PQ14 to
Kola Inlet and QP9 to Iceland.
April Cover deployment in continuation.
8th Provided distant cover near Bear Island with HM Cruiser EDINBURGH for the passage of
Russian Convoy PQ14
13th Part of Home Fleet escort for HM Battleship DUKE OF YORK and HM Aircraft Carrier
VICTORIOUS with HM Cruisers KENT, LIVERPOOL, LONDON and NIGERIA, screened
by Fleet destroyers covering the return of the damaged cruiser HMS TRINIDAD from
Murmansk. For details of loss of HMS TRINIDAD see THE SHIP THAT TORPEDOED
HERSELF by F. Pearce. Came under air attacks on return passage.
23rd Provided cruiser cover with HMS KENT, HMS NIGERIA and HMS LIVERPOOL during
passage of Russian Convoy PQ16 to Kola Inlet from Iceland.
26th Provided cruiser cover with same ships for returning Convoy QP12.
29th Resumed Home Fleet duty.
June Deployed with Home Fleet.
1st Provided Close Cover with HM Cruiser LONDON, US Cruiser TUSCALOOSA
and US Cruiser WICHITA for the passage of Russian Convoy PQ17 until convoy
was scattered on 4th July.
For details of this disastrous operation see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY, THE
CONVOY IS TO SCATTER by J Broome, Naval Staff History and above references..
6th Covered passage to Scapa Flow of HM Battleship DUKE OF YORK, US Battleship
WASHINGTON and HMS VICTORIOUS with HM Cruisers NIGERIA and CUMBERLAND.
Transferred to 18th Cruiser Squadron in Home Fleet.
August Home Fleet deployment in continuation
7th Provided cruiser cover with HMS LONDON and HMS SUFFOLK for passage of Russian
Convoy PQ18 and returning Convoy QP14.
22nd Resumed Fleet duties.
October Detached to cover military convoys to Gibraltar for the allied landings in North Africa
(Operation TORCH - See BRITISH INVASION FLEETS by J de Winser and Naval Staff
5th Deployed near Azores with HM Cruiser CUMBERLAND.
Returned to interception duty in Icelandic waters on completion of TORCH requirements.
December Deployed on interception patrol in Icelandic waters and NW Approaches.
1 9 4 3
January At Scapa Flow for Northern Patrol and Fleet duties.
21st Deployed to give additional cruiser cover with HM Cruisers BELFAST and CUMBERLAND
for passage of Russian Convoy JW53.
26th Resumed Home Fleet duties.
2nd Provided cruiser cover for returning Convoy RA53 with same ships.
9th Resumed Home Fleet duties.
April Taken in hand for repair at Portsmouth.
May Under repair
June On completion rejoined Home Fleet and deployed with HM Cruisers LONDON and KENT
for Northern Patrol.
July Took part in diversionary offensive sweep off Norwegian coast with HM Battleship
ANSON, US battlecruiser ALABAMA as a diversion during the allied landings in Sicily.
(Operations CONVENT and CAMERA)
16th Detached for cover of minelay by ships of 1st Minelaying Squadron in the Northern Barrage
Provided cover for special operation related to Russian Convoy defence (Operation LORRY.)
September Home Fleet patrol and Fleet duties in continuation
14th Deployed with HM Battleship ANSON and US Aircraft Carrier RANGER screened by
HM Destroyers HAIDA (RCN), IROQUOIS (RCN), HARDY, JANUS and VIGILANT for
relief and support of Spitzbergen garrison (Operation EH).
October Home Fleet deployment in continuation
December Deployed with Home Fleet.
23rd Provided cover for passage of Russian Convoy JW55B and returning Convoy RA55A with
HM Cruisers BELFAST and SHEFFIELD as Force I by patrol east of Bear Island.
26th Engaged German battleship SCHARNHORST after radar contact by HM Cruiser SHEFFIELD
and joined by Home Fleet destroyers. Twice hit by enemy fire which damaged X turret and
radar equipment. Seven of ships’ company were killed and five wounded.
Took part in the subsequent surface gun action against SCHARNHORST with HM Battleship
DUKE OF YORK, HM Cruisers BELFAST and SHEFFIELD.
For details see THE KOLA RUN by D. Campbell and D.
Macintyre, ENGAGE THE ENEMY
MORE CLOSELY and Naval Staff History).
1 9 4 4
January Deployed with Home Fleet.
February Under major refit in Tyne shipyard.
to X turret removed. Gunnery fire control radars fitted (Type 274, 282, 283 and 285.)
November New Surface Warning radars Type 277 and 293 fitted.
(See RADAR AT SEA by D. Howse).
December Worked up for service at Scapa Flow on completion of post refit trials..
10th Joined 1st Cruiser Squadron, Home Fleet for Fleet duties.
January Deployed with Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.
11th Joined Force 1 with HM Cruiser BELLONA screened by three Fleet destroyers for offensive
sweep off coast of Norway (Operation SPELLBINDER)
(Note: This operation also covered minelay in Kara Sound by HM Minelayer APOLLO.
(Operation GRATIS - See Naval Staff History MINING).
In action against German convoy and sank two ships and an escort.
12th Air attack by torpedo bombers repelled by carrier aircraft.
12th Joined Force 1 with HM Cruiser DIDO escorted by two Fleet destroyers to cover an air
minelay by HM Escort Carriers PREMIER and PUNCHER (Force 2) in Skatestrommen
and air attacks on shipping off Bud (Operation SELENIUM)
No ships were found but air minelay was successful.
For details see CONVOY! by Paul Kemp.
March Deployed with Home Fleet for escort duty of Fleet units.
1st Provided cover with HM Cruiser DIADEM screened by Fleet destroyers for an air strike on
shipping targets west of Narvik by HM Escort Carriers QUEEN, SEARCHER and
TRUMPETER (Operation JUDGEMENT).
4th During these attacks German Depot Ship BLACK WATCH and submarine U711
Whilst returning to Scapa Flow came under dummy torpedo attack by U2511
(Note: This was one of the new design Type XXI U-Boat and had not been detected.)
See HITLER’S U-BOAT WAR by C Blair and SEEK and STRIKE by
6th Detached to cover transit through Skagerrak of HM Cruisers BIRMINGHAM and
DIDO with an escort of five Fleet destroyers for passage to Copenhagen for re-occupation.
15th Embarked Vice Admiral R. R. McGrigor for passage to Bergen.
30th At Bergen with ships of 30th Escort Group.
5th Carried King Haakon of Norway for passage to Oslo. (Operation INDESTRUCTIBLE).
8th Arrived at Oslo with HM Cruiser DEVONSHIRE, HM Norwegian Destroyer STORD
and HM Destroyer ONSLOW.
Passage to Devonport on completion of visit.
18th Taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard, Devonport
July Under refit