1 9 4 1
December Commissioned for service in 15th Cruiser Squadron, Mediterranean Fleet
5th Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.
On completion took passage to Scapa Flow to work-up with ships of Home Fleet.
1 9 4 2
January Worked-up for operational service based at Scapa Flow.
February Passage to Clyde
5th Sailed from Clyde
11th Arrived at Malta with HM Destroyer FORTUNE after call at Gibraltar
Under air attack during entry into Grand Harbour.
Hit by 500Kg bomb which exploded after passing through forward structure.
Sustained flooding forward with some splinter damage to torpedo tubes and structure by
other near misses.
12th Taken in hand for repair by HM Dockyard, Malta.
10th On completion deployed with HM Destroyer KINGSTON to join Force B in search for Italian
(Note: Force B included Flagship of Squadron, HM Cruiser NAIAD.
11th During search with Force B came under sustained air attacks
Following loss of HMS NAIAD by torpedo from U565 became Flagship of Squadron.
15th Bombarded Rhodes with ships of 15th Cruiser Squadron.
20th Provided cover for Malta supply convoy (MW10) during passage from Alexandria
(Operation MG1) with H M Cruisers DIDO and EURYALUS (Force B) in conjunction with HM
Cruiser PENELOPE and HM Destroyer LEGION (Force K) from Malta.
21st Joined convoy escort (HM Cruiser CARLISLE and HUNT Class Destroyers).
22nd In action against aircraft and superior Italian naval force including battleship LITTORIO and
After brief engagement and threat of torpedo attack by the Fleet destroyers, Italian ship turned
away and convoy was saved.
Hit on Bridge by 6in return fire from an Italian cruiser caused some casualties.
(2nd Battle of Sirte - for details see MEDITERRANEAN MAELSTROM by G. C. Connell.
THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by D Macintyre. MALTA CONVOYS by R
Woodman and Naval Staff History.)
(Note: Convoy MW10 came under heavy air attacks and losses. See references.)
28th Returned to Alexandria with Force B.
(Note: Congratulatory signal from Prime Minister was received by Admiral Vian for the
engagement with a superior Italian force.)
April Deployed in eastern Mediterranean with Squadron based at Alexandria
to (Note: Operation IRONCLAD in Indian Ocean to carry out landings at Diego Suarez,
May Madagascar had reduced strength of Fleet in Eastern Mediterranean and no relief
convoys were passed to Malta.)
13th Deployed as Flagship of escort for Malta supply convoy (MW11) with ships of Squadron
which had been reinforced by HM Cruisers NEWCASTLE and BIRMINGHAM on return
from detached service in Eastern Fleet fir IRONCLAD (Operation VIGOROUS)
(Note: HM Battleship CENTURION (Pre 1911 build), disguised as modern King George V Class
battleship and 25 destroyers also formed part of the escort.
This was also intended as a Diversion during passage of a relief convoy to Malta from
Gibraltar (Operation HARPOON)
14th Under heavy and sustained attacks by high level and dive bombers.
15th After night torpedo boat attacks, a surface threat from heavy Italian naval force and a series of
conflicting orders from a new CinC in Alexandria, operation abandoned.
(See above references for details of this ill fated and poorly organised operation.)
30th Transferred to Haifa with ships of Squadron to act as a Bombardment Force for support of
(Note: Operation EXPORTER to support military advance in Syria has begun and support
from Haifa was planned. Vichy French warships were also known to be active.
See RELUCTANT ENEMIES and Naval Staff History and Military (Middle
East) Staff History).
July Deployed with Squadron in eastern Mediterranean based at Haifa.
12th Carried out bombardment at Rhodes with HM Cruiser ARETHUSA, HM Destroyers
JAVELIN, KELVIN, SIKH and NUBIAN as a Diversion during passage of Malta Relief
Convoy from Gibraltar (Operation PEDESTAL)
Nominated for self refit at Massawa in Red Sea,
Passage to Massawa.
September Under self-refit at Massawa.
(Note: As there was no suitable floating dock available extempore arrangements were
Only the half the ship could be raised at a time.
Some damage was caused when ship slipped off blocks.
October On completion took passage to rejoin Fleet in the Mediterranean.
Joined HM Cruisers ORION and EURYALUS for deployment in eastern Mediterranean
16th Deployed with HM Cruisers ARETHUSA, DIDO, EURYALUS, ORION and destroyers of
14th Destroyer Flotilla to cover passage of MW13 to Malta from Port Said.
(Note: This was first relief convoy to Malta since siege was lifted - Operation STONEAGE.)
During air attacks on 18th HMS ARETHUSA was seriously damaged but able to
return to Alexandria with great difficulty.)
19th Nominated for return to Malta as Force K.
(Note: Other ships in Force K comprised HM Cruisers DIDO, EURYALUS, HM Destroyers
JERVIS, JAVELIN, KELVIN and NUBIAN.)
25th Sailed from Alexandria for service based in Malta.
4th Deployed with Force K to cover passage of Convoy MW14 during final stage of passage
into Malta from Egypt (Operation PORTCULLIS)
10th Transferred to Bone with HM Cruisers ARGONAUT, DIDO and EURYALUS for
deployment as Force Q for attacks on enemy supply convoys to North African ports.
12th In action with HM Cruisers EURYALUS and four destroyers against convoy off Tunisia
sinking three ships. For details see above references
1 9 4 3
22nd Bombarded enemy withdrawal route near Zuara, with HMS EURYALUS and HM
Destroyers JERVIS, JAVELIN, KELVIN and NUBIAN.
February Deployed in eastern Mediterranean on convoy defence and for support of military
to operations, based at Bone.
May Transferred to 12th Cruiser Squadron and continued deployment at Bone
June Escorted military convoys for build up of allied forces before allied landings in Sicily.
1st Based at Bone for support of planned allied landings in Sicily,
6th Sailed from Algiers to commence HUSKY support
8th Covered assault convoys in Gulf of Sirte with Force H and Mediterranean Fleet units.
10th Deployed in Ionian Sea with HM Battleships NELSON, RODNEY, WARSPITE,
VALIANT, HM Aircraft Carriers INDOMITABLE and FORMIDABLE and ships of
(Operation HUSKY - See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and Naval Staff
11th Deployed for gunfire support on northern Flank of Beach head,
Involved in “Friendly Fire” incident with HM Cruiser EURYALUS and Motor Torpedo
(Note: This incident was not public knowledge until after 1993.
For information on this subject see FRIENDLY FIRE by P Kemp.)
12th Deployed for interception patrol with HMS EURYALUS and HM Destroyers ILEX and
During anti-submarine operations the two destroyers sank the Italian submarine NEREIDE
10 miles SE of Augusta.
14th Torpedo attack by aircraft during naval gunfire support failed.
16th Hit amidships by torpedo from Italian submarine
Sustained major damage to structure with flooding of machinery compartments.
Only 'Local' control of armament was possible.
30 of ship's company were killed or missing with 23 wounded,
(Note: Submarine probably DANDALO but another source claims ALAGI)
17th Returned to Malta at 10 knots screened by HM Destroyers QUIBERON and QUAIL
with AA cover by HMS EURYALUS.
August Deployed at Malta pending arrangements for repair.
to Under temporary repair to allow passage
October Repair arranged in USA
Passage to Gibraltar with call at Algiera
7th Sailed from Gibraltar for Philadelphia.
Taken in hand for repair and refit in US Navy Yard, Philadelphia
December Under repair and refit.
1 9 4 4
January Under repair and refit
September Carried out post refit trials.
October On completion of trials took passage from Philadelphia to Bermuda with call at New York.
November Deployed at Bermuda for shakedown before passage to Clyde.
28th Arrived in Clyde
December Completion of refit work and A's and A's in Clyde shipyard.
(Note: Work including installation of equipment not available in USA and
included new radars and IFF outfits.
Q 5.25in mounting forward replaced by Close Range AA armament.
For details of development and use of radar see RADAR AT SEA by D Howse.
1 9 4 5
January Under refit
to Carried cut post refit trials.
April Nominated for duty in Eastern Fleet and began work-up in Clyde.
3rd Took passage from Clyde to Mediterranean for further working-up in Malta
with ships of Mediterranean Fleet.
12th Arrived in Malta
June Deployed in Malta.
Sailed from Malta on completion to join 5th Cruiser Squadron in Eastern Fleet.
July Passage in Red Sea and Indian Ocean
12th Arrived at Colombo.
Joined 5th Cruiser Squadron, East Indies Fleet
August Deployed for exercises with ships of Eastern Fleet in preparation for planned landings
in Malaya (Operation ZIPPER).
(Note: Operation delayed by US insistence and problems relating to return of service
personnel from SEAC under the PYTHON Scheme. See Final Report of the
Supreme Commander SEAC (HMSO)
15th At Colombo
Nominated for duty as Flagship for Re-occupation of Singapore (Operation TIDERACE.)
27th Embarked CinC Eastern Fleet for passage to Penang via Sabang.
Passage from Colombo
1st At Penang for surrender ceremonies.
2nd Covered minesweeping operation during passage in Malacca Strait to Singapore.
3rd Arrived at Singapore with HM Minesweeper BENGAL (RIN) and remained for
landing of re-occupation forces,
9th Covered landings at Port Swettenham with HM Battleship NELSON, French battleship
RICHELIEU, ships of 21st Escort Aircraft Carrier Squadron , HM Cruisers NIGERIA,
CEYLON and 15 Fleet Destroyers.
(Operation ZIPPER - For details of this operation see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE
CLOSELY and Naval Staff History).
12th Attended Formal Surrender at Singapore
17th Released from ZIPPER and took return passage to Trincomalee.