cruiser ordered on 4th September 1939 from
John Brown of Clydebank and laid down on
30th November 1939. The ship was launched
on 11th September 1941 by Viscountess
Weir and was the eighth RN ship to carry
this name, first introduced in 1795. Build
was completed on the 21st August 1942 and
this ship had been adopted in March 1942
by the civil community of West Bromwich,
then in the county of Staffordshire
after a successful WARSHIP WEEK
National Savings campaign.
9 4 2
Commissioned for service.
Build completion and commenced
On completion of trials and storing took
passage to Scapa Flow
to work up with ships of
Carried out further trials and
calibrations at Scapa Flow.
Nominated for support of planned
allied landings in North
On completion of work-up joined HM
Battleships DUKE OF YORK,
NELSON and HM
Battlecruiser RENOWN, HM Aircraft
and FORMIDABLE with
HM Cruiser ARGONAUT screened by eleven
Home Fleet destroyers for passage
of landings. For
details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE
CLOSELY by C Barnett,
and Naval Staff History).
Arrived at Gibraltar
and joined Force H.
Sailed from Gibraltar
Provided Distant Cover for landings
and bombarded shore gun positions
Carried out patrolled in seaward
approaches to prevent any interference
by Vichy French
Under torpedo and
bomb attacks by He111aircraft off Algiers
with HM Cruiser SHEFFIELD.
(Note: One air craft was claimed
destroyed and one damaged during
attacks by 34 aircraft.)
Escorted convoy of three troop ships
with HMS SHEFFIELD.
On release from TORCH took return
passage to Scapa
to resume Home Fleet duties
Deployed as Flagship of Force Q to
carry out attacks on enemy supply
Released from Force H and nominated
for return to Home Fleet.
Passage to Scapa
Fleet for convoy defence and patrol
duty in NW Approaches.
Deployed with HM Battleship KING
GEORGE V and HOWE with Fleet
destroyers to provide
returning Russian Convoy RA51 after
the attacks on the inward Russian
JW51B by German
warships HIPPER and LUTZOW.
(For details of all Russian Convoy
operations see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE
THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS by B. Schoefield,
CONVOY ! by
P Kemp and Russian Convoys
9 4 3
Detached from JW51B during passage and
provided cover for return Convoy RA51
passage from Kola Inlet to Loch Ewe.
Deployed with HM Cruisers GLASGOW and
to provide cover for passage of
JW52 during passage to Kola Inlet.
Detached from JW52 on arrival at Kola
Deployed to provide cover for passage
of return Convoy RA52 during passage
to Loch Ewe
(Note: Attack by U625 failed Ė See
HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR by C Blair.)
Returned to Scapa Flow
on release from RA52
Deployed with HM Destroyer ATHABASKAN
for patrol in Faeroes-Iceland Gap
German battleships TIRPITZ,
SCHARNHORST and LUTZOW were reported
without sighting any enemy ships.
Relieved HM Cruiser SCYLLA as escort
during passage to Canada
Minister embarked for TRIDENT Meeting
with President Roosevelt..
Escorted HM Battleships ANSON and
VALIANT from Scapa Flow
Sailed from Greenock
with HM Cruiser CUMBERLAND,
and ECLIPSE covered by HM Aircraft
Carrier FURIOUS, HM Cruiser
SCYLLA screened by HM Destroyers ECHO
(Operation GEARBOX Ė Relief for
Bad weather forced ships to shelter
Arrived at Spitzbergen
Ship's aircraft used to patrol the
Returned to Scapa
Transferred to Plymouth
to provide cruiser cover for
anti-submarine operations by
Groups B2 and 2nd Support Group in Bay
with HM Cruiser GLASGOW to prevent
by destroyers. (Operations
MUSKETRY and SEASLUG).
(Note: These operations were carried
out in conjunction with RAF Coastal
Bay of Biscay support duty in
Anti-submarine operations by 40th
Escort Group and 5th Support Group
Spanish coast during which attacks
were made for the first time by Hs293
(Note: The escorts involved include HM
Frigates NENE and TWEED.
See also HITLERíS BOAT WAR by C
This deployment also covered passage
of outward Convoy os54 and inward
Under refit at Devonport.
AA defence supplemented by additional
20mm Oerlikon guns.)
Carried out harbour and sea trials on
completion of dockyard work.
resume Home Fleet duty at Scapa
cruiser cover with HMS JAMAICA and HMS
for passage of the Russian
Convoys JW54A and
JW54B and later for returning convoy
Home Fleet duties at Scapa
Taken in hand for repair to heavy
weather damage whilst in Arctic
waters in Clyde
Resumed Home Fleet duties
9 4 4
On completion rejoined Home Fleet.
Deployed in Barents
to provide cruiser cover with HMS
BERWICK and HMS KENT
the Russian Convoys JW56A and JW56B.
Remained in area to cover returning
Detached from RA56 and resumed Fleet
duties in NW Approaches.
(Note: Deployment to provide cover for
intended air operations by HM Aircraft
FURIOUS against enemy shipping off
Norwegian coast was not carried out.)
Home Fleet deployment at Scapa
Taken in hand for refit in Tyne
(Note: Aircraft facilities removed and
additional 20mm Oerlikon guns fitted.)
(Note: Operation by Home Fleet units
to cover air strikes was abandoned
when ships sighted and
returned to Scapa
Took part in Home Fleet exercises to
prepare for support of planned
allied landings in Normandy.
Remained at Scapa
for deployment by major Home Fleet
units as needed in Channel or in
(Note: Home Fleet units were deployed
for diversionary operations off coast
assault operations in Norway
Ship did not therefore take part in
active operations in Channel for NEPTUNE).
Nominated for duty with British
Pacific Fleet and arrived in Clyde
for refit in commercial
shipyard to prepare for service in
Fire control radar Type 284 replaced
by modern Type 274 centimetric
Type 277 and Type 293 fitted for
surface warning and for height
Type 281B air warning radar using only
one aerial unit replaced Type 281
which used two masts.
(For details of development and use of
radar by RN see RADAR AT SEA
by D Howse)
9 4 5
Carried out harbour trials
Shipyard work completed and carried
out sea trials.
Prepared for foreign
service at Scapa Flow with Home Fleet
Sailed for Mediterranean
Took passage to Far
to join BPF with HM Cruiser BELFAST.
Deployed at Sydney
Nominated for duty in British Task
Unit 111.3 with HM Aircraft carrier
COLOSSUS, HM Cruiser ARGONAUT, HM
and HM Destroyers
TUSCAN, TYRIAN and QUIBERON.