1 9 3 9
September Under refit at HM Dockyard, Portsmouth.
Pre-production air warning radar outfit Type 79Z fitted to provide warning of the approach of
. (For details see RADAR AT SEA by D. Howse)
. 23rd Refit completed.
29th Sailed to Scapa Flow from Portsmouth to work up for service.
1st On arrival at Scapa Flew nominated for duty in the Mediterranean with the 1st Cruiser Squadron
8th Passage to Gibraltar from Rosyth.
14th Joined Squadron at Alexandria.
Work-up and radar trials in Mediterranean with Squadron.
November Squadron recalled from Mediterranean to join Home Fleet.
3rd Passage to UK with HM Cruiser DEVONSHIRE.
11th Arrived at Portsmouth.
19th Deployed for duty on Northern Patrol for convoy defence and the interception of commerce raiders
and blockade runners. Sailed from Clyde for Denmark Strait.
(See THE BLOCKADERS by C Hampshire.)
21st Patrol off Iceland.
23rd Joined search for SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU with HM Cruisers NORFOLK, CERES and
CALYPSO after HM Armed Merchant Cruiser RAWALPINDI had been sunk in action with
German SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU. Deployed in Iceland - Faeroes Gap.
(For details see RAWALPINDI by Ludovic Kennedy).
29th Returned to Scapa Flow from Clyde after completion of duty.
December Rejoined 1st Cruiser Squadron now including HM Cruisers DEVONSHIRE, BERWICK and
3rd Sailed for further Northern Patrol interception duty.
29th Returned to Scapa Flow from patrol duties.
1 9 4 0
January Deployed on interception patrols in NW Approaches based on Clyde.
February Continued patrol duties in NW Approaches (For details of Northern Patrol duties,
See ARMED MERCHANT CRUISERS by K. Poolman).
2nd Sustained damage in collision with ss MISRAM.
5th Taken in hand for repair in Clyde shipyard.
March Under repair in Clyde shipyard.
April Post refit trials and passage to Scapa Flow.
10th On completion rejoined Squadron.
11th Embarked Royal Marines for initial occupation of Faeroes.
12th Passage to Faeroes escorted by HM Destroyers HAVANT and HESPERUS
13th Landed Royal Marines for initial occupation of Faeroes (Operation VALENTINE).
(Note: HM Destroyers HESPERUS and HAVANT carried out anti-submarine search operations
before entry into Thorshavn.)
On completion took passage to join HM Cruisers DEVONSHIRE and BERWICK for support of
military operations in Norway.
14th During passage to Lofotens area intercepted German tanker SKAGERRAK which scuttled on
Diverted by Admiralty order and took passage to Scapa Flow for special operation.
16th Took passage from Scapa Flow with HM Destroyers JANUS, JUNO, HEREWARD and KIPLING.
17th Met HM Submarine SEAL which had acted a navigational Beacon off Stavanger.
Bombarded Stavanger airfield (Operation DUCK).
Deployed to intercept force of German destroyers and came under heavy air attacks for several
(Note: 33 individual attacks were counted).
Only one direct hit of the 88 near misses reported.
Sustained major damage aft that disabled steering gear.
Extensive flooding and fire resulted and speed was reduced to 18 knots.
(Note: Air cover arranged did not arrive and left the ship without
any protection from the expected air attacks. See Naval Staff History (HMSO-2001)
and following references for details.)
For details of naval operations off Norway see NARVIK by D Macintyre., ENGAGE THE
ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Bamett and Naval Staff History (HMSO 2001).).
18th Returned to Scapa Flow steering by engines and with quarterdeck awash.
Temporary repair carried out at Scapa Flow.
20th Taken in hand for repair at Greenock.
May Under repair
to Work done included
December Installation of Surface Gunnery control radar (Type 284) and replacement air warning
radar Type 279 fitted in place of Type 79Z.
Fire control Radar Type 284 fitted for main armament and Type 285 Radar for the
control of secondary armament. (See above reference.)
Twin 4in mountings fitted in place of 4in single mountings.
1 9 4 1
January Under repair at Greenock.
March On completion of post refit trials, worked-up and rejoined the Squadron in Home Fleet at
20th Deployed for convoy defence and patrol duty in NW Approaches.
March Carried out convoy defence and interception duties based in Iceland.
8th Deployed in Denmark Strait
19th Relieved by HM Cruiser NORFOLK to refuel at Hvalfjord.
22nd Joined HMS NORFOLK in Denmark Strait.
23rd During interception patrol in Denmark Straits made first sighting of BISMARCK.
Engaged enemy ships before they became engulfed by fog.
24th Shadowed BISMARCK and PRINZ EUGEN with HMS NORFOLK until the enemy ships
were engaged by HM Battlecruiser HOOD and HM Battleship- PRINCE OF WALES.
Remained in radar contact with enemy ships after loss of HOOD.
25th Lost contact with German warships and deployed with Fleet during search for BISMARCK
Detached to refuel in Iceland
(For full details see SINK THE BISMARCK by L. Kennedy,
BISMARCK by Baron Burkhard
von Mullenheim Rechberg and Naval Staff History).
27th Sailed to resume interception duties.
June Deployed on interception duties in north Atlantic, based in Iceland.
30th Returned to Scapa Flow with ships of Squadron.
July Deployed for Fleet duties based at Scapa Flow
23rd Passage to Iceland with HM Cruiser DEVONSHIRE, HM Destroyers ACHATES, ECHO,
ESCAPADE, ECLIPSE and INTREPID to cover air attacks on Tromso and Kirkness by HM
Aircraft Carriers FURIOUS and VICTORIOUS (Operation EF).
26th Passage to Norway for air operations.
30th Provided cover during carrier air attacks.
1st Unsuccessful air attack by Do18 aircraft.
7th Returned to Scapa Flow.
9th Present at Royal Visit to Home Fleet by HM King George VI.
24th Provided Distant Cover for the first Russian Convoy with H M Aircraft Carrier
VICTORIOUS, HM Cruiser DEVONSHIRE, HM Destroyers ECLIPSE, ESCAPADE
and INGLEFIELD (Operation DERVISH).
26th Met convoy west of Bear Island.
30th Refuelled at Spitzbergen.
2nd Escorted HMS VICTORIOUS for series of air strikes on Hammerfest with HM Cruiser
DEVONSHIRE screened by HM Destroyers INGLEFIELD, ECLIPSE and ESCAPADE.)
6th Provided Distant Cover for HM Aircraft Carrier ARGUS with HM Cruiser SHROPSHIRE
and screen of same Fleet destroyers as DERVISH for passage to Archangel taking
HURRICANE aircraft and RAF personnel for service in North Russia.
(For details of all Russian convoys see CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by RA Ruegg,
CONVOY ! by P Kemp, ARCTIC CONVOYS by R Woodman and THE RUSSIAN
CONVOYS By B Schoefield.)
7th Returned to Spitzbergen to refuel with HMS VICTORIOUS and HMS DEVONSHIRE after
12th Stationed off Lofoten Islands to supported HMS VICTORIOUS during air strikes on
19th Returned to Scapa Flow.
29th Escorted Russian Convoy PQ1 with HM Destroyer IMPULSIVE, HM Fleet Minesweepers
BRITOMART, GOSSAMER, LEDA and HUSSAR from Hvalfjord.
11th Arrived at Archangel without enemy interference.
Returned to Scapa Flow to rejoin Squadron.
3rd Deployed with Home Fleet to Intercept German battleships TIRPITZ and ADMIRAL
SCHEER reported attempting beak out to attack Atlantic convoy routes.
5th Arrived Hvalf jord with HM Battleship KING GEORGE V, HMS VICTORIOUS, HM
Cruisers BERWICK and KENT, screened by HM Destroyers ASHANTI, MATABELE,
PUNJABI, OFFA and ORIBI
Returned with Home Fleet to Scapa Flow.
1 9 4 2
17th Sailed with Home Fleet ships to Iceland to intercept German warships reported to be
making another sortie into the Atlantic.
19th Deployed off Iceland.
February Interception patrols in continuation based in Iceland.
19th Sailed from Hvalfjord with Home Fleet after TIRPITZ was reported under way at
(Note: HMS VICTORIOUS was to carry out air attacks on Tromso if no enemy break
out was established.
20th Attack on Tromso cancelled when German warships ADMIRAL SCHEER snd PRINZ
EUGEN were reported off Holland and steaming north.
21st Deployed to cover HMS VICTORIOUS during attacks on these German ships.
Operation cancelled when ship reported at Aasfjord.
Return passage to Scapa Flow
8th Arrived for refit in Tyne shipyard.
April Under refit.
to Radar Type 279 replaced new design Type 281.
June Centimetric Radar Type 273 of new design fitted to provide surface warning.
(See above reference.)
Additional 20mm Oerlikon guns fitted for close range defence.
July Post refit trials.
8th On completion carried out trials and work-up.
17th Rejoined Fleet at Scapa Flow.
August Deployed with Home Fleet and based in Iceland for Russian Convoy operation.
17th Provided cruiser cover for passage of Russian Convoy PQ18 and returning convoy
QP14 with HM Cruisers LONDON and NORFOLK.
22nd Returned to Hvalfjord.
October Remained with Home Fleet for patrol and interception duty in Iceland.
23rd Passage to Scapa Flow.
November Deployed with Hans Fleet based at Scapa Flow.
17th Provided cruiser cover for returning convoy QP15 with LONDON and screened by HM
Destroyers FORESTER, OBDURATE and ONSLAUGHT.
(Note: HM Submarines P312, P216 and French submarine JUNON carried out patrols off
Altenfjord to intercept any surface ship interference.)
28th Returned to Hvalfjord
December Passage to UK and began refit in Thames shipyard.
1 9 4 3
January Under refit
to Radar Type 282 fitted for fire-control of Close Range AA defence.
February Close range 20mm armament comprised 5 Twin and three single mountings.
Nominated for foreign service in Indian Ocean.
March Post refit trials.
31st Completed refit.
April Completed sea trials and shakedown for service with 4th Cruiser Squadron.
15th Began work-up at Scapa Flow.
May Work-up in continuation.
19th Joined joint military convoy WS30/KMF15 in Clyde.
21st Sailed with convoy as part of Ocean Escort.
(Note: Escort also included HM Maintenance Aircraft Carrier UNICORN, HM Armed
Merchant Cruiser ASTURIAS, HM Destroyers ACTIVE, BOADICEA, CLEVELAND,
Polish ORP SLAZAK, HM Sloops WELLINGTON, LOWESTOFT and WESTON,
HM Cutters GORLESTON and TOTLAND, HM Frigates EXE and NESS.)
25th Detached from joint convoy with WS30 off Gibraltar as Ocean Escort to Freetown when KMF15
took passage to Mediterranean with main escort.
(Note: HM Destroyers ANTELOPE, CATTERICK, FOXHOUND joined escort from Gibraltar
for the passage to Freetown.
29th Detached from WS30 on arrival at Freetown.
2nd Joined WS30 on departure from Freetown as Ocean Escort.
(Note: HM Armed Merchant Cruisers CORFU and CARNARVON CASTLE, HM Destroyers
CATTERICK, RAPID, WITCH and WOLVERINE also part of escort.)
9th Local Escort detached and relieved by HM Destroyers NORMAN, QUADRANT and REDOUBT
for passage to Cape.
16th Detached from WS30 on arrival at Capetown for independent passage to Durban.
20th At Durban.
24th Sailed from Durban to join Squadron.
July Joined 4th Cruiser Squadron at Kilindini
15th Trials and exercises with HM Cruisers NEWCASTLE, FROBISHER and SUSSEX.
27th Arrived at Diego Suarez.
August Deployed on convoy defence and interception of supply ships in Indian Ocean.
30th Sailed from Fremantle for convoy defence duty.
18th Returned to Kilindini.
October Indian Ocean convoy defence and interception in continuation.
to (Note: Significant military convoy traffic was on passage to India.)
1 9 4 4
January Convoy defence and interception in Indian Ocean.
Deployed with HM Cruisers NEWCASTLE, KENYA, HM Armed Merchant Cruiser CANTON.
HM Destroyer NEPAL and HM Frigate BANN in an unsuccessful search for German blockade
runner reported on passage to Europe from
Japan (Operation THWART).
February Indian Ocean deployment in continuation.
8th Deployed as Force 68 with HM Destroyer QUADRANT in search for U-Boat Supply Ship
BRAKE supported by RAF aircraft from Mauritius (Operation COVERED).
(Note: HMS NEWCASTLE, HM Aircraft Carrier BATTLER and HM Destroyer ROEBUCK
deployed as Force 67 intercepted and sank the enemy ship on 12th March.
See WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO).
April Resumed Indian Ocean convoy defence duty.
30th Deployed with HM Cruiser LONDON as escort for Replenishment Group (Force 67) of six
tankers and a water carrier to support Force 66 ships for air operations by Eastern Fleet against
harbour installations and oil refineries at Soerabaya.
Took passage to Exmouth Bay, NW Australia (Operation TRANSOM).
30th (Note: Operation was covered by ships of Eastern Fleet as Force 65.
See WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO) for details.)
May Passage to Exmouth Bay with Force 67.
15th After refuelling was complete transferred to Force 68 with HMS LONDON.
Joined aircraft carriers HMS ILLUSTRIOUS and USS SARATOGA, HM Cruisers CEYLON and
and GAMBIA (RNZN) screened by HM Destroyers QUILLIAM, QUEENBOROUGH,
QUADRANT, US destroyers USS, DUNLOP, CUMMINGS and FANNING for passage to
Provided cover during air strikes.
18th USS SARATOGA and US destroyers detached to return to US 5th Fleet
(Note: One aircraft from USS SARATOGA was lost during TRANSOM.)
21st Rejoined Force 67 as escort for passage back to Trincomalee.
30th At Trincomalee. Prepared for refit.
June Passage to Durban.
July Under refit.
21st Completed refit.
September Passage to Ceylon to join 5th Cruiser Squadron, Eastern Fleet,
October Nominated for service in Force 63 for planned operation.
15th Joined TG63.2 with HM Cruisers CUMBERLAND, LONDON, HM Destroyers RELENTLESS,
RAIDER, NORMAN (RAN) and Dutch destroyer VAN GALEN for an Eastern Fleet
diversionary operation against Japanese targets on Nicobar Islands during the US landings on
Leyte (Operation MILLET.
(For details see OPERATION PACIFIC by E Gray and WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO).
Sailed from Trincomalee with Force 63 for MILLET.
(Note: TG63.1 comprised HMS RENOWN screened by H M Destroyers QUILLIAM,
QUIBERON and QUEENBOROUGH.
TG63.3 comprised HM Aircraft Carriers INDOMITABLE, VICTORIOUS, HM
Cruiser PHOEBE, HM Destroyers WHELP, WAGER, WESSEX and WAKEFUL.)
16th Refuelled from HMS RENOWN of TG63.1
17th Bombarded targets in Malacca area with TG63-2 between carrier air strikes.
19th Bombarded Car Nicobar with HM Battleship RENOWN, HMS RAIDER, HMS QUILLIAM
and HMS QUEENBOROUGH during air strikes at Nancowry by Force 63.3.
Under attacks by aircraft which were repelled by fighters from Fleet.
(Note: Seven enemy aircraft were destroyed for loss of three from carriers.
See above references.)
22nd Rejoined Squadron for Indian Ocean convoy defence.
November Continued Squadron duties based at Trincomalee.
1 9 4 5
1st Deployed with HM Cruisers CEYLON, ARGONAUT and BLACK PRINCE in Force 65,
screened by H M Destroyers KEMPENFELT, WAGER, WHELP, GRENVILLE, URANIA,
UNDAUNTED, UNDINE and URSA to cover air attacks by HM Aircraft Carriers
INDOMITABLE, VICTORIOUS and INDEFATIGABLE on oil refineries at Pangkalan
Brandan, Sumatra (Operation LENTIL).
(Note: This was intended as a second rehearsal for planned raid on Palembang.
4th Provided defence during carrier operations.
7th Returned to Trincomalee and rejoined Squadron for convoy defence duties.
12th Detached with HMS UNICORN, HM Destroyers ULSTER, QUIBERON and QUICKMATCH
for escort of liner taking HRH The Duke of Gloucester (Governor General designate of Australia)
during final leg of journey from Fremantle to Sydney. Passage to Australia.
February Royal Escort duty in continuation.
12th Return passage from Fremantle on completion of escort duty.
March Deployed in support of military operations in Burma and based at Akyab.
20th Assisted in temporary repair of HM Destroyer RAPID at Akyab.
(Note: This destroyer had been damaged during shipping strike in Andamans.
April Continued deployment in Malacca Strait and off Burmese coast.
27th Deployed with HM Battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH, French RICHELIEU, HM Cruisers
CEYLON, CUMBERLAND, Dutch TROMP and HM Escort Carriers EMPRESS and SHAH,
screened by H M Destroyers ROTHERHAM, NUBIAN and PENN as Force 63
(Note: This was intended to prevent interference by Japanese warships during the British landings
near Rangoon (Operation DRACULA).
30th Provided cover during air strikes on airfields at Car Nicobar and bombarded shore targets at
Car Nicobar and Port Blair with ships of Force 63.
1st Took part in further bombardment of Car Nicobar.
2nd Before taking passage with Force 63 to cover landings carried cut bombardments at Port Blair.
3rd Deployed with Force 63 to cover DRACULA landing operations.
to (Note: Carrier aircraft made strikes en shipping and aircraft during this period and HMS QUEEN
8th ELIZABETH bombarded Stewart Sound in Andamans.
9th Returned to Trincomalee with Force 63.
10th Resumed convoy defence and patrol duty in Indian Ocean with Squadron.
June Nominated for duty in Force 63 for planned operation.
18th Escorted H M Escort Carriers STALKER, KHEDIVE and AMEER of 21st Aircraft Carrier
Squadron with HM Cruiser ROYALIST screened by HM Destroyers ROTHERHAM,
RACEHORSE, REDOUBT, RELENTLESS and ROEBUCK during series of photo-
reconnaissance flights over south Malaya, air attacks en airfields in northern Sumatra and on
shipping in the Malacca Strait (Operation BALSAM). (For details of naval operations in Indian
Ocean see OPERATION PACIFIC by E Gray, THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by J Winton and
WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO).
July Withdrawn from operational Fleet duty
6th Sailed for UK for deployment on trooping duties.
August On arrival in UK prepared for use in trooping duties.