BIRMINGHAM-Class cruiser built by Harland and
Wolff at Belfast
under an Emergency War Programme and was
ordered in July 1917- She was laid down on 8th
and was intended to be named CAVENDISH, but on
selection to be converted for use as an
aircraft carrier was renamed. Her new name was
introduced In 1779
for a Galley, probably purchased in America.
was last used for a cruiser in 1897 which
achieved renown when she took part in the Zeebrugge
attacks in 1918 and was sunk as a blockship
at Ostend. This cruiser was launched on 18th
December 1918 and the 5th RN warship to carry
the name VINDICTIVE. Her conversion involved
removal of 3 of her 6in guns and the fitting
of a 215 ft landing deck aft with another
forward measuring 100 ft. The ship carried six
or eight aircraft, depending on their type.
Build was completed on 19th June 1919. In 1925
the ship was again converted and reverted to
use as a cruiser in 1929. The forward hangar
was retained and a
catapult with crane for recovery were
fitted aft. After 11 years use as a cruiser
yet another conversion was authorised and the
ship was converted for use as a Cadet Training
Ship. She was disarmed and modified to provide
the facilities for training of Cadets. As a
result her use during WW2 was limited to
9 3 9
outbreak of war with Germany
selected for use as a Repair
Taken in hand for
conversion to new role.
9 4 0
completion of conversion commissioned for
service and joined Home Fleet.
for support of ships deployed in Norway
after the German invasion.
Passage to Norway
in Convoy NP1 taking troops
for initial landings.
Escort included HM Battleship VALIANT
screened by HM Destroyers ACASTA
Passage to Vaagsfjord
when some ships detached for Namsos.
Naval Staff History (HMSO- 2000)
Embarked troops at Bygen
for passage to Vaagsfjord,
Escorted by HM
high level air attacks which disrupted
landing arrangements and were
of the extent of air defence required.
Landed troops west of
Embarked troops at Bogden
for passage to land near Narvik after
with HMS WARSPITE, HMS ENTERPRISE and HM
Landings were not carried out because of
adverse weather conditions,
at Harstad for support duties.
for support of planned landings at Bjerkvik
Chasseurs at Bjerkvik.
with HM Battleship RESOLUTION, HM
AURORA, HM Destroyers
HAVELOCK, WREN and
PROTECTOR also carried troops.)
Bombarded landing area with HMS
RESOLUTION, HMS EFFINGHAM
Returned to Harstad
when released from support duty.
Took part in final evacuation from
reference for details.
Embarked troops for evacuation.
Harstad for UK
escort for Group I Evacuation Convoy.
Group I comprised troopships MONARCH OF
Polish SOBIESKI, FRANCONIA, LANCASTRIA and
against single aircraft which was
HM Battleship VALIANT met Group I to
provide additional cover during
with Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.
to West Africa Command for support of
Passage to Freetown.
as Base Repair Ship at Freetown.
9 4 1
support duty in continuation
9 4 2
for transfer to Oran for support duties after allied landings in North
Passage to Oran.
HM Destroyer Depot Ship HECLA escorted by
HM Destroyers VENOMOUS and
west of Gibraltar.
(See HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR
Avoided torpedoes fired by U515. During
a series of attacks HMS HECLA was hit by
sank with heavy loss of life.
MARNE was seriously damaged after being
hit by another torpedo.
at Oran in support role for escorts.
9 4 3
Deployed at Oran
9 4 4
duties in continuation
for return to UK
for repair duties after
allied landings in Normandy.
Passage to UK.
in Home Waters and awaiting transfer to
area after completion
of Assault Phase. Refitted
use as a Destroyer Depot Ship.
for Accommodation and repair purposes in
support of operations off the French
9 4 5
On release from support of
operations retained in use as an
Passage to Portsmouth.
for reduction to Reserve status
off and reduced to Reserve
Laid-up at Portsmouth.