1 9 3 9
September Deployed with the 8th Cruiser Squadron on the America and West Indies Station.
3rd Took passage to Halifax for Atlantic convoy defence.
6th At Halifax.
16th Deployed as Ocean Escort for Convoy HX1 with HM Cruiser BERWICK as relief for HM
Canadian Destroyers SAGUENAY and ST LAURENT.
20th Returned to Halifax.
23rd Joined Convoy HXF1 as escort.
26th Returned to Halifax.
2nd Deployed on convoy defence off Halifax.
5th Nominated to Join Hunting Group F with HMS BERWICK for the interception of
commerce raiders in West Indies.
This Group was never deployed due to other priority requirements.
8th Western Atlantic convoy defence duty in continuation
31st Took passage to Bermuda for repair.
5th Under repair to boilers by HM Dockyard, Bermuda.
13th Completion delayed by electrical defects.
22nd Passage to Halifax to resume convoy defence duties.
26th Escorted Convoy HX10 to UK.
(Note: The reason for this Honour is not clear but ship
Under repair at commercial shipyard in Liverpool.
1 9 4 0
January Under repair at Liverpool.
9th On completion joined 1st Cruiser Squadron, Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.
1st Deployed on Northern Patrol for interception of blockade runners.
3rd Intercepted German freighter ARUCAS off Iceland, on passage from Vigo.
Enemy ship set of fire by crew and abandoned.
Sunk by gunfire and afterwards 43 of the survivors were rescued from a boat but three
Returned to Scapa Flow on completion of patrol.
April Deployed with Squadron for Atlantic convoy defence.
In Forth with HM Cruisers DEVONSHIRE, BERWICK and GLASGOW preparing for
support of planned allied landings in Norway (Operation R4).
7th Embarked troops at Rosyth.
8th Disembarked troops when German invasion of Norway was confirmed and sailed
to Join Home Fleet with HM Cruisers DEVONSHIRE, BERWICK and GLASGOW.
9th Joined Fleet SW of Bergen.
Under heavy and sustained attacks during which several ships were damaged by near
misses and HM Destroyer GURKHA (i) hit and later had to be sunk.
(Note: This event gave a foretaste of the extent of opposition to be experienced from air
attacks involving a very heavy expenditure of AA ammunition with a not
outstanding success in destruction of aircraft. See Naval Staff History – 2000)
10th Took passage with HM Battleships RODNEY, VALIANT, WARSPITE. HM Aircraft Carrier
FURIOUS and HM Cruisers BERWICK and DEVONSHIRE to carry out attacks on shipping
at Bergen by aircraft from HMS FURIOUS.
(Note: This operation was cancelled on passage by orders from the Admiralty.
11th Deployed in search for shipping between Trondheim and Vestfjord.
Attack by U48 was unsuccessful due to torpedo failure.
(For details of German torpedo problems see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by
Corelli Barnett and BUSINESS IN GREAT WATERS by John Terraine).
16th Deployed with HM Cruisers EFFINGHAM, CALCUTTA and HM Destroyer ASHANTI to
intercept German destroyers reported on passage to Trondheim.
22nd Embarked troops at Rosyth for passage to reinforce military at Andalsnes.
Took passage with HM Cruisers BIRMINGHAM and MANCHESTER accompanied by HM
Destroyers ACHERON, ARROW and GRIFFIN.
24th Landed 3,000 men and 300 tons of stores at Andalsnes (Operation SICKLE).
29th Passage from Rosyth with HM Cruiser DEVONSHIRE screened by HM. Destroyers AFRIDI,
NUBIAN, HASTY, French cruiser MONTCALM and French destroyer BISON to escort
three troopships to evacuate MAURICE FORCE from Namsos.
1st Evacuation delayed by fog.
2nd Assisted in evacuation of allied troops from Namsos with same ships.
1,170 troops were embarked for passage to UK.
3rd Under heavy air attacks during evacuation operation during which HMS AFRIDI and French
destroyer BISON were sunk.
(For details of the disastrous allied campaign in Norway see above reference, NARVIK by
D. MacIntyre and ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY).
12th Deployed at Rosyth for anti-invasion patrol and interception duty in North Sea.
(Note: HM Cruisers MANCHESTER and SHEFFIELD of Squadron which were transferred
to Nore Command went to Humber for same duty.)
31st Transferred to 18th Cruiser Squadron and remained at Rosyth.
June Deployed on anti-invasion patrol in North Sea based at Rosyth.
3rd Carried out abortive search for GNEISENAU off Norway with HM Battlecruisers RENOWN,
REPULSE, HM Cruisers DEVONSHIRE, SHEFFIELD and AUSTRALIA (RAN), screened
by Fleet destroyers.
August Transferred to 7th Mediterranean Fleet.
28th Escorted military Convoy AP1 on passage to Middle East with troops for Desert Army
2nd Arrived at Freetown.
10th At Capetown.
23rd Detached from AP1 on arrival at Aden and relieved by HM Australian Cruiser HOBART.
HM Cruiser COVENTRY, HM Destroyers DIAMOND and KANDAHAR for escort during
Red Sea passage.
Joined following military Convoy AP2 at Aden as escort for Red Sea passage
(Note: HMS COVENTRY joined later with HM Destroyers DAINTY and KINGSTON
Convoys AP1, AP 2 (Single ship mv SYDNEY STAR) were all on passage
during this period and this ship would have provided cover in event of interception by
a commerce raider or enemy warship.)
26th Joined HM Cruisers LIVERPOOL, GLOUCESTER and SYDNEY (RAN) in 3rd Cruiser
Squadron at Alexandria.
28th Provided cover for HM Cruisers GLOUCESTER and LIVERPOOL taking troops to Malta
with Fleet units including HM Battleships VALIANT, WARSPITE, HM. Aircraft Carrier
ILLUSTRIOUS, HM Cruisers ORION and SYDNEY (RAN) screened by Fleet destroyers.
(Fleet Operation MB5 – Intended to tempt action by Italian Fleet. See references)
29th Under air attacks.
30th Remained at sea when HMS LIVERPOOL and HMS GLOUCESTER were detached to land
1st Took passage from Malta area when HM Cruisers rejoined Fleet.
3rd Arrived at Alexandria.
8th Joined HM Cruisers AJAX, GLOUCESTER, LIVERPOOL and SYDNEY (RAN) to cover
passage of Convoy MW2 to Malta and returning ME2 (Fleet Operation MB6).
11th Remained with Fleet when convoy arrived in Malta.
13th Detached to sink Italian destroyer ARTIGLIERE which had been damaged in action with HM
Cruiser AJAX at 0153 on 12th. A
flying boat sighted her at 0710 and HM Cruiser ORION reported
a ship burning at 0712
On arrival ARTIGLIERE was found to be in tow by another Italian destroyer which then
departed at high speed. ARTIGLIERE
surrendered and personnel abandoned ship using
carley floats dropped by HMS YORK which sank the enemy ship by gunfire and torpedo
with spectacular explosion. For details see Naval Staff History (HMSO 2001).
14th Took passage to rejoin Fleet for return to Alexandria.
16th Arrived at Alexandria
4th Covered passage of Malta Convoy MW3 with Fleet units.
9th Under air attacks during which two aircraft were destroyed.
10th Met HM Battleship BARHAM, HM Cruisers BERWICK and GLASGOW escorted by HM
Destroyers GREYHOUND, GALLANT and GRIFFIN in transit to reinforce the Fleet in
(Operation COAT - For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by Corelli
Bamett, THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by Donald MacIntyre and Naval Staff
11th Detached to escort HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS with HM Cruisers BERWICK
GLASGOW and GLOUCESTER screened by HM Destroyers HAVOCK, HEREWARD and
HERO during air strikes on Italian Fleet at Taranto (Operation JUDGEMENT).
14th Embarked troops at Alexandria for passage to Piraeus with HM Cruisers, BERWICK,
GLASGOW GLOUCESTER, AJAX, ORION and SYDNEY (RAN).
16th Returned to Alexandria from Piraeus..
26th Deployed with HM Cruisers GLASGOW and GLOUCESTER as Force E to cover passage of
Malta convoy and to support Fleet units covering transfer of reinforcements to the
Mediterranean Fleet based at Alexandria (Force F - Operation COLLAR)
(For details see above references).
30th Returned to Alexandria.
16th Sailed from Alexandria with HM Battleships WARSPITE, VALIANT, HM Aircraft Carrier
ILLUSTRIOUS screened by 11 destroyers as Force A and HM Cruiser as Force B.
(Operation HIDE – carry out offensive operations in eastern Mediterranean, carry out
bombardment and air attacks on Valona, air operations on shipping and provide cover for passage
of convoys. See Naval Staff History for details.)
17th At Suda Bay.
18th Joined by HM Cruisers ORION, SYDNEY (RAN) and AJAX,
Detached from Force A with HMS ILLUSTRIOUS and four destroyers screen destroyer.
Took passage to flying-off position.
19th Provided cover during air operations.
Rejoined Force A which had carried out bombardment and took passage to Malta.
20th Covered entry of HMS WARSPITE into Malta after bombardments.
23rd Detached from Force A with all cruisers and returned to Alexandria.
1 9 4 1
6th Escorted RFA Fleet Tanker BRAMBLELEAF to Suda Bay, Crete with HM Cruiser ORION,
HM Corvettes PEONY, GLOXINIA, HYACINTH and SALVIA.
7th Joined Force D at Suda Bay with ORION, AJAX and PERTH as part of a Fleet deployment to
cover transit of military convoy from Gibraltar to Malta and Piraeus, and convoys to and from
Malta. (Operation EXCESS.)
(Note: This complex operation was subjected to sustained air attacks by German aircraft for the
first time in the Mediterranean. See above references).
9th Met HM Battleships WARSPITE , VALIANT, HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS and a
screen of Fleet destroyers deployed as Force A in position SE of Malta.
Continued the escort of military convoy and joined by HM Cruiser BONAVENTURE which
was in transit to reinforce Mediterranean Fleet at Alexandria.
11th Passage to Alexandria as escort for two mercantiles from EXCESS convoy as Convoy ME5 ½
with HM Cruiser CALCUTTA and two destroyers.
(Note: Main Fleet units providing Distant Cover were under sustained German air attacks on
10th during which HMS ILLUSTRIOUS was made a special target and seriously
16th Arrived in Alexandria.
February Deployed with Mediterranean Fleet cruiser force in Eastern Mediterranean.
March Covered passage of military convoys to Greece (Operation LUSTRE).
Transferred to Suda Bay with Mediterranean Fleet cruisers.
(For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and Naval Staff History)
Deployed at Suda Bay.
. 26th Damaged by at Suda Bay by explosive motor boat launched from an Italian destroyer.
Ship was at anchor and then beached to prevent sinking.
April Used for harbour AA defence.
(Note: Some of ship’s company provided beach parties during the evacuation of allied troops
from Greece (Operation DEMON).
21st Two divers examining hull killed by a near miss which also further damaged structure.
May Salvage investigations in continuation.
18th Hit during bombing attacks and damaged beyond repair.
22nd Ship abandoned after main armament destroyed by demolition charges.