1 9 1 8
Deployed with Harwich Force
1 9 1 9
Transferred to Atlantic Fleet and joined 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron,
1 9 2 0 t o 1 9 2 3
Transferred within Atlantic Fleet and deployed as Flagship of Flag Officer (Destroyers).
Atlantic Fleet Flagship deployment in continuation.
(Note: During refit in this period flying-off Platform removed.)
1 9 2 4
Transferred to Mediterranean for duty as Flagship, Flag Officer Destroyers.
1 9 2 5 t o 1 9 2 7
Mediterranean deployment in continuation.
1 9 2 8
Returned to Home waters for refit.
1 9 2 9
1 9 3 0
Recommissioned for service as Flagship for Flag Officer (D), Mediterranean Fleet
1 9 3 1 t o 1 9 3 4
Mediterranean Fleet Flagship service in continuation.
1 9 3 5
Nominated for reduction to Reserve status and returned to UK to Pay-off
Selected for conversion to Anti-Aircraft Cruiser.
Taken in hand for conversion by HM Dockyard, Portsmouth (September)
1 9 3 6
January Under conversion
15th Commissioned for Trials
December Carried out First of Class Trials.
1 9 3 7
January Additional refit work undertaken including fir of multiple barrelled 2pdr Pom Pom
to February mountings.
March Recommissioned for service as Trials ship.
April Deployed for trials of new design equipment including Degaussing gear and 20mm
to December Close Range Oerlikon guns.
1 9 3 8
Trials deployment in continuation.
(Note: One source records ships was held in Reserve.)
1 9 3 9
January Trials deployment in continuation
to July War Station in Mediterranean allocated
August Embarked war stores and additional complement.
Joined HM Cruisers DANAE and DAUNTLESS for passage to take up
Detached and made independent passage to Gibraltar to join Mediterranean Fleet.
D e t a i l s o f W a r S e r v i c e
(for more ship information,
Naval History Homepage
and type name in Site Search
3rd Arrived at Alexandria and joined Fleet.
18th Recalled to Home Waters and took passage to UK.
October On arrival at Portsmouth transferred to Humber Force for AA defence of East
20th Arrived at Immingham
21st In action against aircraft attacking convoy. Detached from escort after defect in
23rd Under repair at Immingham.
November On completion resumed convoy defence.
10th During passage steering failed in Pentland Firth in heavy weather.
11th Entered Sullom Voe using emergency manual steering.
12th Deployed as AA Guardship for Flying Boat base at Sullom Voe.
In action against high flying enemy aircraft.
13th During low level attack by six HEINKEL aircraft shot down one.
(Note: Two SUNDERLANDs were sunk at anchor in Lerwick during this raid).
December AA Guardship duty at Sullom Voe in continuation.
25th Joined by HM Destroyers ICARUS and INGLEFIELD.
In action against high flying aircraft.
1 9 4 0
1st In action against Dornier aircraft and near missed.
15th Released from Guardship duty at Sullom Voe when Army AA batteries operational.
17th Arrived Chatham for repair to steering and machinery.
February Under refit
to (Note: Masts altered and aircraft warning radar Type 279 fitted with Plotting Office.
April Two after 4in guns (Nos. 6 and 7) removed. Degaussing coil fitted.
Became Flagship of Humber Force 1st AA Squadron (CS20).
(For details of development and use of radar see RADAR AT SEA by D Howse.)
2nd Passage to Rosyth for radar and gunnery trials.
7th Rejoined Fleet on completion of trials and took passage to Sullom Voe.
8th Passage to Norway for AA defence of Fleet units in Norwegian waters.
(For details of the disastrous Norwegian campaign see NARVIK by Donald MacIntyre,
ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett and the Naval Staff History).
10th Joined HM Cruiser CALCUTTA, HM Destroyers ZULU, CAMPBELL, WITCH and ISIS
escorting two merchant ships and damaged cruiser HMS PENELOPE under tow from
11th When detached deployed for patrol and AA Guardship for RESOLUTION and damaged
HM Destroyer ESKIMO in Ofot Fjord.
13th Under sustained air attacks with heavy expenditure of ammunition.
Barrage' firing had to be discontinued.
14th Covered HM Cruiser AURORA, HM Destroyers FAME and WREN during Narvik bombardment.
16th Embarked troops at Narvik with HM Cruisers CAIRO and EFFINGHAM.
Passage to Bodo escorted by HM Destroyers ECHO and MATABELE.
17th After HMS EFFINGHAM grounded troops transferred by HMS EFFINGHAM and operation
abandoned. Returned to Harstad.
18th Replaced CURLEW as AA Guardship at Lavangs after she had been sunk in air attack.
One aircraft destroyed by pom-pom fire.
19th Guardship duty in continuation. Under sustained attacks. 75 attacks since 11th.
to Later transferred to Harstad to relieve HM Cruiser AURORA as AA Guardship.
27th Provided naval gunfire support to military operation at Narvik with HM Cruisers
SOUTHAMPTON, and five destroyers. Withdrew after HMS CAIRO was
in air attacks and returned to Narvik with two destroyers.
29th Deployed as AA Guardship for convoy assembly in Ofot Fjord until 4/6/40.
June Arrived at Glasgow and detached for passage to Tyne.
4th Escorted Group II evacuation convoy from Narvik area with HM Cruiser
SOUTHAMPTON, HM Destroyers BEAGLE, DELIGHT, FAME, FIREDRAKE
and HAVELOCK during passage to UK,
(Note: Convoy included troopships ORONSAY, ORMONDE, ARANDORA STAR,
ROYAL ULSTERMAN, ULSTER PRINCE, ULSTER MONARCH,
DUCHESS OF YORK, Troopship VANDYCK was sunk by air attack and
failed to join convoy.)
16th Began refit and docking in Tyne shipyard at Wallsend. Gun barrels replaced..
30th Rejoined Home Fleet at Scapa Flow and deployed as AA Guardship.
6th Covered HMS SOUTHAMPTON and six Fleet destroyers escorting HM Submarine SHARK
from Stavanger area as submarine unable to dive. Under air attacks.
7th Escorted damaged destroyer HMS FAME to Rosyth and returned to Scapa Flow.
Encountered Dutch mercantile adrift and unmanned in North Sea.
10th Escorted ships of 1st Minelaying Squadron for minelay in Northern Barrage.
(Operation SN1-For details of all minelaying operations see Naval Staff History).
Detached after U-Boat attacks.
12th Deployed at Plymouth for convoy defence
28th Docking and repair at Devonport prior to transfer to Mediterranean Fleet.
August Nominated for service in Mediterranean to supplement available AA defences.
21st Joined KM Cruiser BONAVENTURE at Greenock for escort of Atlantic convoy.
23rd Detached from convoy and took passage to Gibraltar.
28th Embarked troops for passage to Malta.
30th Joined W Battleship VALIANT, HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS and HM AA Cruiser
CALCUTTA for transit of Mediterranean to join Fleet at Alexandria, escorted by HM
Battlecruiser RENOWN, HM Aircraft Carrier ARK ROYAL and HM Cruiser SHEFFIELD
screened by destroyers of Force H to Sicilian Narrows (Operation HATS).
1st Landed embarked troops in Malta and joined Mediterranean Fleet. Under air attacks.
2nd Detached to escort convoy for Greece in Kithera Channel with HMS CALCUTTA.
Sustained air attacks continued.
3rd Joined HM Cruisers GLASGOW, LIVERPOOL and SYDNEY (RAN) for passage to
6th Transferred to Red Sea Escort Force for AA defence of convoys.
7th Sailed from Alexandria for Red Sea convoy escort
Joined slow convoy at Port Tewfik as escort for passage to Aden.
11th Detached from southbound slow convoy to escort Convoy BS4 on
passage to Aden in view of threat of Italian air attacks.
13th Detached from BS4 at Aden and took passage to join military convoy
WS2A off Perim.
14th Deployed with HM Cruiser HOBART (RAN), HM Destroyers
KANDAHAR and KINGSTON as escort for Fast Section of WS2A
during passage in Red Sea to Suez.
(Note: This section comprised troopships ANDES, EMPRESS OF
BRITAIN and EMPRESS OF CANADA.)
16th Detached from Fast Section of WS2A after air threat no longer likely
and took passage to join southbound convoy for AA defence during
transit of threatened area.
19th Under air attack on arrival at Aden.
20th Escorted northbound convoy to Bab el Mandeb.
26th Escorted rms EMPRESS OF JAPAN, rms ORION and rms ORONSAY to Port Tewfik.
27th Passage to Alexandria through Suez Canal with HM River Gunboat GNAT and rejoined
2nd Joined HM Aircraft Carrier EAGLE, HM Battleships MALAYA and RAMILLIES with H M
Cruiser AJAX and destroyers in unsuccessful search for Italian convoy to Libya.
8th Provided AA defence during passage of Malta supply convoy ME6.
12th Under air attacks with HMS CALCUTTA off Crete.
27th Joined HMS EAGLE, HMS MALAYA and ships of Fleet for offensive sweep in the Eastern
30th AA Guardship for passage of HMS AJAX, HM Netlayer PROTECTOR, minesweepers and
tankers to Suda Bay, Crete.
1st Under low level air attacks at Suda Bay.
2nd Passage to Alexandria with HMS AJAX and under air attacks.
5th Covered passage of convoy MW3 to Malta and convoy AN6 to Greece with HMS AJAX,
HMS CALCUTTA and HMAS SYDNEY.
7th Joined Fleet units after HMS CALCUTTA detached with AN6 to Suda Bay.
10th Returned to Alexandria with Fleet units covering passage of HM Battleship
HM Cruiser BERWICK, HM Cruiser GLASGOW and three destroyers transferred from Home
waters (Operation COAT).
(For details of all Mediterranean operations in 1940-41 see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE
CLOSELY, THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by Donald MacIntyre and the Naval
15th Escorted Suda Bay convoy and returned on 20/11/40.
23rd Escorted Suda Bay convoy and on arrival took passage to Malta.
27th Joined Force D (HMS RAMILLIES, HM Cruiser NEWCASTLE and HM Cruiser BERWICK
being transferred to Force H. After rendezvous with Force H ships briefly engaged a superior
Italian force south of Cape Spartivento which promptly withdrew. Provided additional AA
support for passage of HM Cruisers MANCHESTER, SOUTHAMPTON and other
ships joining Mediterranean Fleet (Operation COLLAR)
28th Returned with Fleet units to Alexandria.
11th Provided AA protection for HMS BARHAM and Fleet units during bombardment of Mersa
in support of military advance by 8th Army.
12th Operation abandoned due to weather (snowstorm !)
13th Hit forward by torpedo fired by Italian submarine NAIAD off North African coast.
Submarine sunk during counter-attack by HM Destroyer HYPERION. Steamed stem first
14th Under temporary repair at Alexandria.
27th During trials new bow structure fell off.
28th Docked again and heavier steel structure filled with concrete.
1 9 4 1
20th Resumed service with bow down attitude and maximum speed restricted to 23 knots.
Escorted ULSTER PRINCE, LANARKSHIRE and CITY OF PRETORIA to Piraeus.
23rd Returned with convoy to Alexandria.
31st Escorted convoy to Piraeus.
Supported military operations at Tobruk (Operation AC1).
Escorted HM Monitor TERROR, minesweeping corvettes and petrol carrier.
17th Under air attacks on passage to Benghazi.
19th Passage to Tobruk with convoy until detached 120 miles east of Malta.
21st Escorted convoy to Alexandria.
27th Escorted Greek ships on passage to Piraeus.
1st Storm conditions off Greek coast forced convoy to scatter.
Returned to Alexandria because of possible damage to weaken bow structure.
5th Escorted Convoy AN17 with HM Destroyer STUART (RAN), HM Destroyer HEREWARD
and HM Corvette HYACINTH during passage to Piraeus (Operation LUSTRE).
12th Returned to Alexandria..
14th Joined Piraeus convoy off Crete but had to return to Suda Bay because of weather.
19th Deployed with HMS CALCUTTA for AA defence of troop convoys to Piraeus.
Under air attacks.
21st Covered passage of Malta convoy with Fleet units.
22nd Detached with HMS CALCUTTA to assist AA defence of Piraeus convoy.
25th During refuelling at Suda Bay HM Cruiser YORK attacked by Italian Explosive Motor Boat
and seriously damaged.
26th Attacked by 24 Ju88's when escorting convoy from Piraeus. 6 aircraft destroyed.
29th Escorted Crete and Piraeus convoys until 10/4/41.
11th Joined 3 destroyers for escort of fast merchant ship into Aegean Sea.
In action with Rumanian manned DORNIER aircraft.
16th Escorted storeship GLENGYLE with HM Australian Destroyers WATERHEN, STUART
and VOYAGER and for raid by 7 Cdo at Bardia which was cancelled due to sea state
19th Deployed for Bardia landing operation which was not a complete success.
23rd Detached from escort of two mercantiles with HM Destroyers DIAMOND, GRIFFIN
and WRYNECK to provide defence for Convoy ANF29 during allied evacuation from
Greece (Operation DEMON).
25th Embarked troops at Megara for passage to Suda Bay with HM Destroyers DECOY, HAVOCK
and HASTY. Under sustained air attacks.
26th Sailed for Suda Bay with same ships plus the destroyers HMS DECOY, VENDETTA (RAN)
HMS WATERHEN (RAN) and HMS WRYNECK. During AA action against heavy air
attacks 4" shell exploded prematurely killing one PO and injuring other ratings. Use of 4in gun
mountings had to be restricted to emergencies only because of barrel wear.
27th Escorted Convoy GA14 to Alexandria with HMS CALCUTTA and HMAS STUART.
29th Gun barrels replaced.
6th Deployed with Fleet units to escort convoy bringing tanks to Middle East.
9th Joined close escort for convoy (Operation TIGER).
16th Carried 700 troops of Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders to Tintokioun, Crete with
HM Sloop AUCKLAND, HMAS VOYAGER and HMAS WATERHEN
17th Deployed on patrol in Kaso - Leros area.
19th Joined HM Cruisers DIDO and PHOEBE, HM Destroyers JUNO, KANDAHAR and
KINGSTON for attacks on invasion craft.
Detached with HMS PHOEBE to assist the hospital ship mv ABBA being bombed
despite international Red Cross markings.
20th Petty Officer A. E. Sephton, Director Control Officer mortally wounded during the
defence of ABBA and posthumously awarded the
21st Landed wounded at Alexandria.
22nd Deployed with HM Sloops AUCKLAND and FLAMINGO to reinforce squadron off
Timbakion but recalled.
26th Escorted troopship GLENROY taking reinforcements to Timbakion with HMS JAGUAR
and HMAS STUART. Ordered to return because air attacks made landing impossible
(For details of Tobruk support operations see LEADER OF THE CROCKS by LE Clifford.
28th Deployed with HM Cruisers PHOEBE, PERTH and CALCUTTA, HM Destroyers HASTY,
JANUS and JERVIS to evacuate troops from Sphakia.
29th Provided AA defence with HMS CALCUTTA against sustained air attacks.
30th During return came under heavy air attacks but reached Alexandria unscathed.
1st Returned to assist AA defence of Spakhia evacuation convoy with HMS CALCUTTA.
Near missed during further air attacks during which HMS CALCUTTA was sunk.
Rescued 255 survivors.
5th Deployed in support of military operations in Syria and escorted ss GLENGYLE from
Port Said for Commando attack on bridge over Litani river to delay retreat of the
Vichy French forces (Operation EXPORTER).
7th Patrolled off Tyre when landing delayed because of weather. Covered landings later.
8th Joined HMS AJAX, HMS PHOEBE, HM Destroyers JACKAL, JANUS, KANDAHAR
and KIMBERLEY for patrol and support of shore operations.
9th In action against Ju 88 attacking pipe line at Tyre and fighter aircraft at Haifa.
14th During patrol escorted by HM Destroyers ILEX and ISIS engaged two Vichy destroyers
at long range and followed them to Beirut. Under fire from shore batteries and
later drove off air attacks.
20th AA Guardship duty at Haifa for 7 days. Periodic air raids during day and night.
27th Rest and Recuperation period at Alexandria. Regular night air raids during stay.
10th Aircraft mine exploded near ship whilst in harbour without causing damage.
16th Resumed operations and escorted convoy to Beirut.
18th AA Guardship at Beirut with HMS CARLISLE.
13th Returned to Alexandria.
18th Escorted HMS BARHAM after Durban refit from Port Said to Alexandria.
19th Escorted troopships
ILE DE FRANCE, NIEUW AMSTERDAM and ORION to Port Tewfik.
21st Deployed to provide AA protection to troops ships during passage from Anchorage
area in Gulf of Suez to Port Tewfik. Air raids kept at high level by 4in barrage.
29th Relieved as AA Guardship by HMS CARLISLE. Deployed for convoy defence.
7th Rescued crew of US freighter sunk 50 miles south of Suez in Red Sea.
16th Returned to anchorage area for Guardship duty but had to return to Port Tewfik to
carry out repair to radar equipment.
29th On completion took passage to anchorage area
3rd Escorted two troopships to Suez and during passage through Canal to Alexandria shot
down minelaying aircraft.
8th Escorted southbound convoy through Red Sea to Aden.
13th After refuelling in Aden escorted Norwegian tanker into Aden.
15th Passage to Bombay with Greek destroyer
19th Began refit at Bombay.
November Under refit. Boilers re-tubed and new Bows fitted.
1 9 4 2
January Under refit.
May On completion embarked gold bullion and took passage to Alexandria.
Off loaded gold for oil sheik into dhow off Jiddah and called at Port Sudan.
June After arrival in Alexandria two 20mm Oerlikon guns fitted.
11th Escorted convoy to Tobruk with three destroyers as diversion for Malta relief convoy.
(Operation VIGOROUS - For details of this ill fated attempt which was very poorly
controlled from shore, see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and THE BATTLE
FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN and Naval Staff History).
12th Detached to join Fleet units escorting VIGOROUS convoy).
13th Covered convoy passage with ships of 4th and 15th Cruiser Squadrons, escorted by
14th Under heavy air attacks by high level and dive bombers during daylight.
HMS NEWCASTLE was damaged and HMS HASTY had to be sunk after E- Boat and
15th Under threat from superior Italian forces and continuing air attacks convoy.
Instructed to return to Alexandria and operation abandoned.
17th Resumed AA Guardship duties in Gulf of Suez and deployed at Abu Zenima.
July Escorted HM Battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH for part of Red Sea transit on
passage to refit in USA.
On completion resumed AA defence duties off Syria.
August AA Guardship at Haifa. Detached to join Mediterranean Fleet units in diversionary
sweep during passage of PEDESTAL convoy from Gibraltar.
On completion returned to Guardship duty in Gulf of Suez.
(See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY, PEDESTAL BY P. Smith THE
BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by D MacIntyre and The Naval Staff History.
3rd Returned to Alexandria to prepare for assault on Tobruk. Owing to poor security
enemy defences were forewarned of the planned attack (Operation AGREEMENT).
12th Passage with HM Destroyers BELVOIR, CROOME, DULVERTON and HURSLEY
to provide AA cover during Tobruk raid
13th Joined HM Destroyers ALDENHAM, BEAUFORT, EXMOOR, HURWORTH, SIKH
Under dive bomber attacks after attempt by HMS SIKH and HMS ZULU to enter port.
After sinking of HMS SIKH and damage to HMS ZULU the remaining ships became
prime targets. Two aircraft were destroyed and 5 by RAF Beaufighters.
Sustained four direct bomb hits that gave little opportunity to take effective damage
Ship had to be abandoned but HMS BEAUFORT was able to close ship forward to
embark survivors and HMS DULVERTON rescued men in the water.
(Casualty List -
note on casualties)
(For details of war service and loss see HMS COVENTRY ANTI-AIRCRAFT CRUISER
by George Slums - Privately published 1972).