1 9 3 9
from Reserve for service in Home Fleet and manned by Reservists.
Royal Review by HM King George 6th in Weymouth Bay.
in commission and nominated for service on Northern Patrol in 7th Cruiser Squadron.
completion of storing and with additional complement for war service took
passage to join
Squadron in Scapa Flow.
for patrol in NW Approaches to intercept of German mercantiles returning to Germany
and commerce raiders attempting to enter Atlantic.
3rd Blockade duties authorised and patrol
details of blockade activities see THE BLOCKADERS by C Hampshire.)
October Northern Patrol with Squadron
deployment under consideration as war experience had shown this Class of
cruiser was unsuited for service in northern waters because
of weather conditions.
18th Withdrawn from
21st Taken in hand for weather damage repair
and refit at Chatham.
1 9 4 0
January Under refit.
for duty in South Atlantic..
February Under refit.
changed to Mediterranean.
26th Carried out post refit trials on
completion of dockyard work..
for foreign service in 3rd Cruiser Squadron.
6th Passage to Mediterranean from Portland to Join
in Mediterranean for Contraband Control.
to 4th Cruiser Squadron for convoy defence in Indian Ocean.
28th Nominated for refit in Durban and took passage from Aden.
After the later outbreak of war with Italy it was evident that this
Class of cruiser was
unsuitable for operations in the Mediterranean because of lack of an adequate AA
defence - See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett).
June Under repair at Durban.
Transferred to South Atlantic Station for convoy defence.
on convoy defence In Atlantic.
Taken in hand for repair in Lagos, Nigeria.
4th On completion
escorted convoy to Durban.
to Simonstown to resume duty in West African waters.
16th Captured French ship TOUREG off West Africa.
21st Joined Force M with CUMBERLAND for support of French
landings at Dakar.
MENACE - For full details see MENACE By A Marder and the Naval
23rd Deployed with HM Battleship BARHAM, HM Aircraft Carrier ARK ROYAL, HM
DEVONSHIRE, CUMBERLAND, DELHI, AUSTRALIA (RAN) and ten
destroyers during disastrous operations at Dakar operation.
Vichy French submarine PERSEE with HM Destroyers INGLEFIELD and
by shore battery fire during bombardment operations..
24th Bombarded shore batteries until Force
M withdrew when operation abandoned.
9th Deployed In
support of Free French landings at Duala.
3rd Returned to Freetown and resumed convoy defence
duties in South Atlantic.
18th Diverted from patrol to join search off St Helena for German cruiser ADMIRAL
with HM Aircraft Carrier HERMES and HM Armed Merchant Cruiser
PRETORIA CASTLE after
sinking of ss DUQUESA.
details of searches for German raiders in Atlantic see ENGAGE THE ENEMY
1 9 4 1
Atlantic for convoy defence.
September Under refit by HM Dockyard, Simonstown.
for duty with 5th Cruiser Squadron in East Indies on completion of refit.
Took passage to Join Squadron after sea trials.
Squadron for convoy defence in Indian Ocean.
Deployed for escort of ss AWATEA from Singapore.
26th Met military convoy WS12 which was on passage to Singapore
escorted by HM Cruiser
Took over escort
of mv DOMINION MONARCH and ss
EMPRESS OF CANADA from
(Note: ss AWATEA took passage with HMS GLASGOW for passage to Colombo. )
Escorted ships from WS12V to Singapore.
28th Detached on arrival at Singapore.
29th Escorted troopship carrying the
survivors from HM Battleship PRINCE OF WALES and
Battlecruiser REPULSE to Colombo with HM Cruiser DURBAN and HM Australian
outbreak of war with Japan deployed on escort of
convoys between Singapore and
details of naval activities in Indian Ocean and East Indies area after the
outbreak of war
with Japan see OPERATION PACIFIC by E
Gray and WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO).).
1 9 4 2
to ABDA Command for convoy defence in Dutch East Indies area.
convoy taking reinforcement troops from Ceylon to Singapore.
5th Embarked CinC (Vice Admiral G Layton)
and staff officers at Singapore for passage
to Batavia from Singapore.
Based at Batavia with ABDA
16th Took passage from Singapore to Colombo.
20th Diverted during passage to join British
China Force for escorted of military convoys
between Sunda Strait and Singapore.
Deployed with HM Cruisers DANAE and DURBAN, six
destroyers and RIN Sloops.
of Western Striking Force based at Tanjong Priok with HM Australian Cruiser HOBART,
HMS DANAE, HM Destroyer SCOUT and HM Destroyer TENEDOS.
convoys to Sunda Strait
. 6th Relieved HM Australian Cruiser CANBERRA with HMS DURBAN as escort
for Convoy M53
to Singapore from Christmas Island.
11th Relieved HI Cruiser DORSETSHIRE with HM
Destroyer ENCOUNTER as escort for Convoy
JS2 to Oosthaven.
15th Deployed as part of Western Striking
Force for defence duty off Western Java to intercept
Japanese invasion craft.
26th Carried out Unsuccessful
search in Banka - Bilintong area for invasion fleet.
from area and transferred to Colombo.
28th Passage to Colombo with HMS DANAE, HMAS HOBART,
HMS SCOTT and HMS TENEDOS
Indies ships at Colombo.
31st Joined HM Battleships RESOLUTION,
RAMILLIES, ROYAL SOVEREIGN and REVENGE
with HM Cruiser CALEDON and the Dutch cruiser JACOB VAN
HEEMSKERCK to form
B of Eastern Fleet with older destroyers.
west of Force A during search for Japanese naval units reported to
be on passage
with Force B and transferred to Kilindini, Kenya.
Colombo was considered unsafe because of its
vulnerability to air attack
Escorted military convoys in Indian
Ocean prior to Madagascar landings.
for convoy defence.
June Under repair at Simonstown.
from operational service and took passage to UK.
in hand for refit at Chatham.
to Liverpool for completion of work.
November Under repair in Liverpool.
to (Note: During refit extensive changes
were made including removal of No 6in gun,
forward 4in mountings. These were replaced by 2pdr Pom-Pom
mountings for Close
AA defence. In addition radar equipment was fitted for fire-control, for
warning and for aircraft warning.)
on loan to Poland under consideration.
1 9 4 3
to Loan to Poland approved and ship to be
renamed ORP DRAGON.
out Post refit trials.
to Prepared for operational service
September Formal transfer to Polish Navy
S e r v i
c e u n d e r P o l i s h C o m m a n d
Home Fleet for convoy defence duty.
November Under repair in Tyne commercial
completion resumed Home Fleet duties
31st Deployed at Greenock.
1 9 4 4
Fleet Atlantic convoy defence with 10th Cruiser Squadron in continuation..
with Home Fleet units providing cover for passage of Russian convoys.
Some sources suggest part of escort for Murmansk Convoy JW57 and this is
by award of Battle Honour ARCTIC 1944. However although
there is no dispute
about service off Normandy,
no Battle Honour
this was because the ship was then a Polish warship.)
and North Sea convoy defence In
for support of planned allied landings in Normandy (Operation NEPTUNE)
for service in Bombarding Force D.
April Under refit at Chatham to suit
deployment in Force D.
changes made to armament included:
Installation of twin 4in AA gun mounting in place of after Pom-Pom.
Addition of 20mm Oerlikon guns and two 4 Barrelled Pom Pom
15th On completion rejoined Squadron in Home
21st Joined HM Battleships WARSPITE and
RAMILLIES, H M Monitor ROBERTS, HM Cruisers
FROBISHER and DANAE of Force D in Clyde.
26th Took part in bombardment exercises on Cape
Wrath range with Force D ships to prepare for
support of landings in SWORD
target in Pre-Arranged Fire Plan - 105mm Gun Battery at Colleville-sur
28th Returned to
Assembly area in Clyde with Force
details of naval activities before and during Normandy landings see LANDINGS
IN NORMANDY, June 1944
(HMSO) and OPERATION NEPTUNE by K
2nd Passage to Solent area from Clyde.
in company were HM Battleships WARSPITE, RAMILLIES, HM Monitor ROBERTS,
Cruisers MAURITIUS, ARETHUSA, DANAE , FROBISHER
screened by HM Destroyers
SCORPION, SCOURGE, SERAPIS, SWIFT, VERULAM, VIRAGO, KELVIN
destroyers STORD, SVENNER, Polish destroyer SLAZAK, HM Escort Destroyers
EGLINTON and MIDDLETON.)
4th Operation delayed for 24 hours.
5th Formed Convoy S6 with ships of Force
D and took passage through swept channel to Beach
Head firing area
escorted by HM Destroyers SAUMAREZ and SWIFT, H M Norwegian
Destroyers STORD and SVENNER, and HM Frigates ROWLEY and HOLMES.
6th Bombarded gun battery at Calleville-sur-Orne in accordance
with fire plan.
Battery was destroyed.
7th Bombarded shore battery off Trouville which returned fire causing
by HMS ROBERTS and deployed for further bombardments.
Passage to Portsmouth to
8th Returned to beachhead
and bombarded positions at Houlgate.
9th Passage to Portsmouth to
11th Landed casualties
and returned to beachhead after replenishment.
12th Provided Naval
Gunfire support to military operations at Orne and Varaville.
13th Provided further
gunfire support on request.
14th Gunfire Support in continuation.
18th Took passage to Portsmouth with HM Battleship NELSON
during which the battleship was
damaged after detonating a mine.
casualties and taken in hand for repair work.
for bombardment duties on completion of repair.
Operation NEPTUNE terminated on 24th June.)
7th Took passage to
beachhead area from Spithead on completion of repairs.
One source states ship carried out bombardments in support of operations in Caen
area with HM Battleship RODNEY, HM Monitors EREBUS and
EMERALD, ARGONAUT and ENTERPRISE on 4th July.)
8th Hit by One Man
Torpedo (NEGER) and badly damaged.
details of development of submarine weapons see SEEK AND STRIKE by W Hackmann
and THE TORPEDOMEN by A Poland).
exploded on port side between funnels and detonated content of magazine.
of ships company were killed and several others
9th Taken in tow by tugs and beached off Arromanches.
Opened fire with AA armament during air attacks in area.
of ships company evacuated for return to UK.
11th Declared constructive total loss and
used as part of artificial harbour.
16th Remainder of ship’s company left ship.