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1 9 4 0
30th Build completion and commenced
completion of trials and storing took passage to Scapa Flow to work -up
of Home Fleet.
November Deployed with
HM Battlecruiser HOOD, HM Battleship REPULSE, HM Cruisers NAIAD
and PHOEBE in search for German battleship SHEER in SW
military convoy during passage to Gibraltar and HM Aircraft
taking aircraft to Freetown.
ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett.).
out sea trials on newly developed air warning radar Type 281
3rd Passage to UK from Freetown.
10th Under repair in Tyne shipyard.
17th Rejoined Home Fleet for convoy defence
and patrol in NW Approaches to intercept blockade
runners and commerce raiders.
1 9 4 1
Fleet deployment in continuation.
HM Battleships KING GEORGE V and NELSON, with HM Cruiser NIGERIA to cover
first major Commando raid on enemy held territory during WW2
CLAYMORE - For details see COMBINED OPERATIONS (HMSO), ENGAGE
MORE CLOSELY and THE WATERY MAZE by B Fergusson.)
to Mediterranean Fleet.
1st Passage to Gibraltar to join 15th
Squadron at Alexandria.
ARK ROYAL from UK for Malta aircraft
24th Joined Force S with HM
Cruiser ABDIEL, HM Destroyers KELLY, KIPLING, KASHMIR
JERSEY and JACKAL to
Mediterranean fleet, covered by H.
SALIENT - For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE
CLOSELY and Naval
28th Escorted HM
Supply. Ship BRECONSHIRE from Malta to Alexandria with HM
JANUS, JERVIS and NUBIAN.
6th Joined escort for Malta convoys from Alexandria with HM
CALCUTTA and COVENTRY.
8th Transferred to escort convoy from
central Mediterranean taking tanks for Middle East to
by Mediterranean Fleet including the newly joined battleship
Cruisers NAIAD, FIJI and GLOUCESTER.
TIGER - For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY).
14th Joined Force C for support
of defence of Crete.
Greek gold bullion for passage and
escorted Convoy AS1 with HM Australian
STUART (RAN) and VENDETTA evacuating
non-combatant troops from Crete
to Alexandria covered by HM
ELIZABETH and BARHAM (Force A).
(For details of
naval operations during defence and evacuation of Crete see THE BATTLE FOR
THE MEDITERRANEAN by D MacIntyre, ENGAGE THE
ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and
16th Returned to
intercept of invasion convoys off Crete with HMS
18th Assisted defence of Hospital Ship ABBA
against air attacks with HMS COVENTRY.
19th Sailed from Alexandria with HM Cruiser
ORION, HM Destroyers
HASTY and GREYHOUND
to join HM Cruiser AJAX and Fleet
destroyers in Kithera Channel (as Force D) to intercept
21st Withdrew to SW of Crete after patrol to
join HM Battleship WARSPITE and VALIANT
deployed as Force A.
sustained air attack.
north of island with Force D after nightfall.
22nd In night action with HM Cruisers ORION
and AJAX screened by four
Fleet destroyers against
invasion craft off Canae.
Many caiques were
sunk as well as some larger ships
and an Italian
24th Returned to patrol north of Crete with HMS AJAX, HM Destroyers KIMBERLEY
at daybreak and met HM
Battleships HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH and BAHRAM, HM
Carrier FORMIDABLE and destroyer screen.
27th Remained with
Force A during air attack on Scarpanto by
28th Deployed with HM Cruisers ORION, AJAX (Force B) for
troops from Heraklion.
29th Embarked troops from destroyers.
direct hit on B-turret during passage of Kaso Strait.
casualties including soldiers of The Black Watch.
damage made forward
- 40mm casings on deck, and right - 5.25in casings in a barge,
some of the shell expenditure during the Battle for Crete. Courtesy
Paul Simpson whose grandfather Harry Edward Simpson was killed
June Under emergency repair at Alexandria for passage to Durban.
10th Deployed as escorted for ships taking
allied troops for landing at Assab, Eritrea.
release took passage to Indian Ocean.
repair arranged in USA.
2nd Under temporary repair at Durban
completion took passage to New York via Cape of Good Hope.
in hand for repair in Brooklyn Navy Yard.
September Under repair and refit. Post refit trials.
completion of dockyard work carried out harbour and sea trials.
for passage to UK.
1st Took passage to UK for completion
alterations not possible in USA.
British Radar and armament equipment installation to be installed.).
arrival taken in hand for completion of installation.
installation and trials.
18th Passage to Gibraltar to rejoin 15th
Cruiser Squadron in Mediterranean Fleet.
22nd Passage to Malta with HM
GURKHA and NESTOR.
24th Arrived in Malta.
25th Deployed with escorted for Convoy ME8
consisting of empty mercantiles returning
28th Rejoined Squadron.
1 9 4 2
4th Deployed with Squadron to escort HM
Supply Ship GLENGYLE taking oil supplies to Malta.
with HM Supply Ship BRECONSHIRE and had air cover which provided defence
against air attacks during passage to Alexandria.
16th Covered passage of four supply ships to Malta with Squadron.
heavy air attack before air cover was available.
20th Air cover by 201 Naval Co-operation Unit
provided efficient protection for rest of
(See BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN).
12th Covered MW9A/B Malta convoys with HM
Cruisers NAIAD and EURYALUS and the return
passage of HMS BRECONSHIRE.
to Heavy air attacks no ships arrived in Malta. See above
10th Deployed with HM Cruisers NAIAD and
CLEOPATRA (Force B) to intercept convoy off
11th During search for an Italian cruiser
reported damaged HMS NAIAD was torpedoed and sunk
off Sollum by U565.
15th Carried out
bombardment of Rhodes.
20th Deployed with HM Cruiser EURYALUS to
cover Malta convoy MW10
22nd After air attacks convoy approached by
Italian battle ship LITTORIO and three cruisers
Took part in
surface gun action during which enemy withdrew.
Battle of Sirte - See
above references and The Naval
ships in convoy ships eventually reached Malta although HMS
damaged and later
lost after being beached at Marsaxloxx (See above references).
Mediterranean with Squadron
13th Sailed from Alexandria with H M Cruisers ARETHUSA, BIRMINGHAM, CLEOPATRA,
HERMIONE and NEWCASTLE screened by HM Destroyers
HERO, INCONSTANT, JAVELIN, JERVIS,
KELVIN, NAPIER. NESTOR, NIZAM,
NORMAN, PAKENHAM, PALADIN, SIKH and
ZULU to provide escort for Malta
Convoy MW11 during passage in eastern Mediterranean (Operation VIGOROUS).
(Note: This operation was co-incident
with a similar relief convoy from Gibraltar which
air, submarine and surface warship attacks although two mercantiles
arrived in Malta (Operation HARPOON)
CENTURION, disarmed before outbreak of WW2 was also deployed
with MW11 and disguised to resemble a KGV Class battleship.
destroyers were also deployed as Close escorts for MW11 for period,
prior to arrival of Mediterranean Fleet units.)
For details see
THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by D Macintyre
ENGAGE THE ENEMY
MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett, HITLER'S U-BOAT
WAR by C
Blair and the Naval Staff History.)
14th Joined MW11 with Fleet units. Under heavy and
attack by U77 driven off by HMS PAKENHAM.
threat of attack by Italian fleet units.
15th Convoy ordered by CinC ashore in Alexandria to reverse course.
attack by German E-Boats during which HMS HASTY was torpedoed and had
to be sunk
by HMS HOTSPUR.
(Note: HMS NEWCASTLE was also hit by
a torpedo and withdrawn from escort to return
resumed after daylight but convoy ordered to resume westward passage
although later rescinded..
and HMS CENTURION were also damage
HMS AIREDALE and
HMS NESTOR had to be sunk.
Owing to the heavy expenditure of AA
ammunition by escorts which would have left
insufficient stocks to ensure safe passage to Malta the operation was abandoned.
16th Returned to Alexandria with Fleet units.
with HMS EURYALUS for bombardment of enemy positions at Mersa Matruh.
at Massawa for
investigation into propeller defect
HMS DIDO was first ship of Class to be inspected and the others of the
similarly checked when operational requirements allowed).
Squadron at Alexandria.
13th Bombarded El Daba area by night as diversion for the assault landings at Tobruk
AGREEMENT - For details see MASSACRE AT TOBRUK by P
in eastern Mediterranean on patrol and
cover of interceptions of
in support of Malta relief convoys
now able to transit with
air cover because
advances made by Eighth Army along coast..
17th Escorted first convoy with HMS EURYALUS
and HMS ARETHUSA
18th Under air attacks
during which HMS ARETHUSA was badly damaged.
for duty with Force K in Malta for attacks on
12th Joined Force K in Malta
13th Sank three supply ships in attack on
convoy off North African coast..
16th Deployed briefly with HM Cruiser SIRIUS
in Force Q based at Bone.
26th Transferred to Force H at Gibraltar
28th Escorted convoy to Benghazi with HM
Destroyers JAVELIN and
1 9 4 3
duty with Force Q at Bone.
6th Detached to escort HM Minelaying
Cruiser ABDIEL with HMS SIRIUS from Gibraltar to Bone
for minelaying operation on Skerki Bank. (For details see Naval Staff History (MINING).
10th Deployed with Force Q.
17th Attacked convoy off Lampedusa with HM Cruiser EURYALUS screened by HM Destroyers
JAVELIN, KELVIN and NUBIAN.
D'ANNUNZIO, sunk by destroyers.
details of Force Q operations see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY).
with Force Q for interception duty and cover of convoys in western Mediterranean.
from Force Q for refit in UK.
to Liverpool for refit.
New design centimetric warning and fire-control
details of development & use of radar by RN see RADAR AT SEA by D Howse).
for service in 12th Cruiser Squadron in Mediterranean).
18th Joined Home Fleet at Scapa for exercises
before joining Squadron at Algiers.
for support of allied landings in Sicily (Operation
details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and Naval Staff History).
9th Deployed with HM Battleships KING
GEORGE V and HOWE with HM Cruiser SIRIUS in
to counter enemy surface interference during assault
10th Stationed south of Sardinia with Group
screened by HM Destroyers
PANTHER, PALADIN and PETARD.
11th Provided naval gunfire support with HM$ KING GEORGE V, HMS HOWE
and HMS SIRIUS
26th Deployed with HMS KING GEORGE V, HMS
HOWE, HM Aircraft Carrier INDOMITABLE
Cruiser EURYALUS for support and convoy defence duties
1st Bombarded bridge and harbour at Vibo Valentia, Italy.
9th Bombarded targets near Castellamare.
14th Bombarded Scalea,
SE of Naples.
15th Bombarded Vibo Valentia and
attacked convoy south of Cape Bonifaci sinking one ship
two escort craft
September Central Mediterranean deployment with Squadron
to take troops of 1st Airborne Division at Bizerta with HM Cruisers AURORA,
SIRIUS of Squadron and HM Minelaying Cruiser ABDIEL.
8th Embarked troops at Bizerta and took passage to Taranto covered by HM
V and HOWE (Operation SLAPSTICK)
9th Landed troops at Taranto
HMS ABDIEL detonated a mine was sunk by mine.)
ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and Naval Staff History (MINING).).
10th Returned to Bizerta for second echelon of 1st Airborne and returned to Taranto.
12th Rejoined Squadron for support of
landings at Salerno (Operation
17th Provided naval gunfire support off Salerno,
19th. Transferred to Aegean for support of
military operations and
returned to Taranto.
details see WAR IN THE AEGEAN by P Smith and E Walker).
in Aegean with HM Cruisers
AURORA, PENELOPE and
SIRIUS to intercept
invasion craft and provide support for military defence of islands.
5th Carried out offensive sweep through Kaso Straits with HMS AURORA
screened by HM
TUMULT and PATHFINDER.
with HMS AURORA and sustained structural damage.
7th Under repair in Alexandria.
completion bombarded Scalletto prior to Commando
with Force K at Malta for defence of
support of allied landings at Anzio (Operation
see Naval Staff History and above reference).
1 9 4 4
with HM Cruisers DELHI, PHOEBE, ORION, PENELOPE, MAURITIUS, US
cruisers USS PHILADELPHIA and USS BROOKLYN screened by Fleet
provide naval gunfire support during assault as a diversion
during allied landings
at Anzio (Operation
21st Bombarded Civitavecchia as a diversion during intial assault.
29th Rescued survivors from HM Cruiser
SPARTAN after Glider bomb attack.
in collision with US Tank Landing Ship in Naples Bay.
Passage to Malta for repair.
repair by HM Dockyard Malta.
31st Resumed naval gunfire support duties
based in Naples.
Mediterranean deployment with Squadron in continuation.
for escort and cover of military convoys during preparation for planned
landings in South France (Operation
DRAGOON – formerly ANVIL)
for support of landings and allocated to SITKA Support Force (TF86)
Operation DRAGOON was under overall command of US Navy)
US Cruiser USS AUGUSTA and US destroyers USS
SOMERS, USS GLEAVES in
TF86 at Naples.
12th Sailed from Naples with TF86.
14th Met Assault Convoys SF2 (Alpha), SF2A
(Delta) and SF2B (Alpha) at designated position
south of Cape Camarat.
15th Deployed with ships of TF86 to cover
landing by French Commando units at Cape Negre
naval gunfire support with USS AUGUSTA and HM Cruiser AJAX during a
HMS AJAX belonged to ALPHA Support Force (TF85).
details of DRAGOON see INVASION OF THE SOUTH OF FRANCE (HMSO).
17th Carried out
bombardment on batteries between Cape Negre and La Lavandou in ALPHA area.
28th On release from DRAGOON resumed
operational control by CinC Mediterranean.
from Mediterranean service and took passage to rejoin 10th
Squadron, Home Fleet.
September Passage to Scapa Flow.
for Squadron duties in NW Approaches and North Sea.
escort of Russian convoy.
22nd Joined main escort of Convoy JW61 with HM
Destroyers ONSLOW, OBEDIENT, OFFA,
OPPORTUNE. ORIBI and ORWELL.
HM Escort Aircraft Carrier VINDEX, NAIRANA and TRACKER were deployed
to provide anti-submarine air cover.)
details of all Russian Convoy operations see CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by RA Ruegg,
RUSSIAN CONVOYS by B Schoefield,
and CONVOY ! by P Kemp.)
28th Detached from JW61
on arrival at Kola Inlet.
6.5 tons Gold bullion.
2nd Joined return Convoy RA61 with HM
Frigates BYRON, FITZROY, CONN, DEANE,
RUPERT and same destroyers during passage to Home waters.
Before departure frigates had carried out anti-submarine operation
assembly of U-Boats
6th Detached from RA61 during passage and
returned to Scapa Flow.
8th Resumed Squadron
27th Escorted HM Aircraft Carrier IMPLACABLE
with Fleet destroyers during air attacks on
convoy north of Mosjoe, north
of Namsos, Norway
(Note: Two ships in convoy were sunk, with one carrying
Russian Prisoners of War with
many lost. See CONVOY !)
Fleet Squadron deployment in continuation.
9 4 5
11th Deployed as Senior Officer Force 3
during escort of HM Escort Aircraft Carriers
and TRUMPETER during air minelays
GRATIS and SPELLBINDER)
12th Deployed as Force 2 with HM Cruiser NORFOLK and Fleet
destroyers for attacks on
coast shipping off Bud. (Operation SELENIUM).
to Scapa Flow after
22nd Deployed as Senior Officer of Force
4 escorting HM Escort Carriers PREMIER and
with Fleet destroyers for air minelay in Karm Sound
This also covered minesweeping north of Shetland (Operation SHRE
with Squadron in Home Fleet for support of Norwegian coast operations.
AA defence for HM Minelaying Cruiser APOLLO and three escorting
22nd during lay of
special anti-submarine minefield in Kola Inlet.
TRAMMEL- See Naval Staff History (MINING).
27th Under repair at Rosyth
completion rejoined Squadron at Scapa Flow
6th Joined HM Cruiser BIRMINGHAM and Fleet
destroyers for passage to Copenhagen covered by
Escort Aircraft Carriers SEARCHER, TRUMPETER, HM Cruiser NORFOLK and Fleet
destroyers (Operation CLEAVER)
9th Accepted surrender of German cruisers
PRINZ EUGEN and NURNBERG at Copenhagen.
22nd Escorted PRINZ EUGEN and NURNBERG to Wilhelmshaven with HM Cruiser DEVONSHIRE.
for transfer to British Pacific Fleet after refit including latest
6th Embarked HM Majesty King George VI and
HM Queen Elizabeth ay Liverpool for passage to
visit Isle of Man.
8th Returned to Liverpool with royal
28th Visited by HM King George VI at Rosyth.
Fleet deployment in continuation