1 9 4 0
August Contractors trials
28th Commissioned for service under the command of Captain M
Denny, Royal Navy.
(Note: 300 of the Ship’s Company were
from HM Cruiser EXETER)
This ship was fitted with Type 279
Radar Outfit to provided warning of the approach
Other radar outfits were fitted later for surface cover and for fire control.
development and use see RADAR AT SEA by D Howse and later references.)
September Storing and preparation for
Acceptance Trials after three days delay due to strike by shipyard workers
wanted extra pay for attendance during sea trials !)
18th Docked at Greenock for hull inspection before Full Power Trials.
for Scapa Flow from Greenock on completion of Acceptance Trials
October Deployed at Scapa Flow for work-up with ships of Home Fleet.
ships of military convoy WS3 as part of escort during Atlantic passage to Freetown.
19th Detached from WS3 on arrival at Freetown.
from Freetown for Scapa
10th Cruiser Squadron on arrival at Scapa Flow after
calls at Belfast and Greenock.
out gunnery exercises with HM Battlecruiser HOOD and HM Cruiser AURORA.
10th Passage to Devonport from Scapa Flow for routine docking.
from Devonport with despatch following attacks on military convoy WS5A by
(Note: WS5A dispersed and had to be
26th Sighted by German aircraft.
Ordered to provide assistance to ss EMPIRE TROOPER which had been seriously
casualties when hit by 11in gunfire from the German cruiser.
(Note: HM Cruiser BERWICK was also
damaged by 11in gunfire.)
HM Corvette CYCLAMEN escorting EMPIRE TROOPER to Punta Delgado, Azores.
1 9 4 1
January Passage from Punta Delgado to Gibraltar as escort for EMPIRE TROOPER with four corvettes.
at Gibraltar with EMPIRE TROOPER.
from Gibraltar to join escort for HMS BERWICK
during passage to UK.
HM Aircraft Carrier ARGUS, HM Destroyers FORESTER, FOXHOUND, FURY
for escort of HMS BERWICK as relief for HM Destroyers FORESTER,
FOXHOUND and FURY which detached and
took return passage to Gibraltar.
from HMS ARGUS and HMS WISHART to take passage to join Convoy SL60
as escort to
UK from Freetown
from SL60 on arrival in Clyde and took passage to Plymouth.
30th Sailed from Plymouth to Greenock for Atlantic convoy escort.
outward Convoy OB281 as Ocean Escort during passage in NW Approaches.
from OB281 and took passage to Freetown.
10th Sailed from Freetown as Ocean Escort for inward Convoy
as Ocean Escort with HM Armed Merchant Cruiser BULOLO for SL63 after
with Convoy SL63 Slow for joint passage to UK.
from joint SL63 and took passage to Gibraltar.
from Gibraltar to join inward Convoy SL66 (Slow Section) as Ocean
passage in Atlantic.
from SL66 and took passage to join Fast Section of SL 66
10th Sighted by German aircraft which was engaged unsuccessfully.
Carried out attack on Italian
submarine which was sighted on surface and force to
submerge by by 6in fire. Joined SL66F.
from SL66F and took passage to Plymouth.
from Plymouth and joined HM Battlecruiser RENOWN, HM Aircraft Carrier ARK
ROYAL, in SW
Approaches to provide cover for passage of inward Convoy SL67 on passage
to UK from Freetown.
(Note: This convoy was believed to be
under threat of attack by German battleships
GNEISENAU which never materialised. See HITLER’S U-BOAT WAR
by C Blair.)
It had been attacked by U105 and U124
on 8th and post war records show a loss of five ships.
See HITLER’S U-BOAT WAR by C Blair
and ALLIED CONVOY SYSTEM by A Hague.)
from SL67 and took passage to join escort of Convoy HG56 inward bound from
(Note: Threat of attack by the German
capital ship was still considered likely.)
HX56 and carried out exercises with HM Submarine OLYMPUS, part of escort.
31st Detached from HG76 on arrival in Clyde.
from Clyde to join ships covering convoys against surface
from patrol duties and took passage to Scapa Flow.
at Scapa Flow and nominated for interception patrol in NW
as Ocean Escort for ships of 1st Minelaying Squadron during minelay in
(Operation SN71 in Faeroes-Iceland Gap – See Naval Staff History (Mining)..)
to Scapa Flow.
ships of 1st Minelaying Squadron as escort during further Northern Barrage
escort for ships of 1st Minelaying Squadron during another minelay in Northern
Barrage (Operation SN9B)
from Scapa Flow with HM Battleship KING GEORGE V, HM Carrier
HM Cruisers AURORA GALATEA and
HERMIONE screened by HM Destroyers INTREPID,
INGLEFIELD, PUNJABI, LANCE, ACTIVE
and WINDSOR to intercept the German battleship
BISMARCK reported on passage to attack North Atlantic convoys.
with HMS HERMIONE and HMS AURORA with screen of destroyers to escort
during air operations after sinking of HM Battlecruiser HOOD.
(Note: For details of the search and
destruction of BISMARCK see Naval Staff History
BATTLESHIP BISMARCK by Mullenheim-Rechberg..)
with HMS AURORA from Fleet units after sinking of BISMARCK and took passage
to Hvalfjord, Iceland to refuel
from Iceland with HMS AURORA to carry out search south of Greenland for German
(Note: Supply ship movements in
support of BISMARCK had been decrypted by
GCHQ at Bletchley Park from ENIGMA messages,
survivors from British freighter MARCONI sunk by U-Boat on 26th.
and engaged with main armament German tanker BELCHEN which was in process
refuelling U93. Enemy ship was set on fire and developed a list to starboard
she was hit
by a torpedo from HMS AURORA.
(Note: HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR records
that ship took scuttling action.
U 93 escaped and later rescued some
survivors from BELCHEN.)
16th Provided cover for minelay in Northern Barrage by ships of
1st Minelaying Squadron.
return from providing cover for further Northern Barrage minelay in Denmark Strait by
1st Minelaying Squadron, collided
with HM Destroyer BRIGHTON of Close Escort and
abreast B Turret on starboard side (Operation SN70B).
(Note: HMS BRIGHTON had to be towed
to Iceland for temporary repair of her bow structure.
return for permanent repair in UK.)
July Deployed at Rosyth pending repair.
repair by HM Dockyard, Rosyth during which period Radar Type 271 was fitted for
against surface ships and two 20 mm Oerlikon guns were added to improve defence
against close range
air attacks. See above reference for radar details.)
(Note: This was fitted on platform
abaft B turret and experience showed this site could be
the mounting was fired. As a result another site was chosen for later fits in
August (Note: One source records that a 15in shell was
found in an oil fuel tank and its removal whilst
in No 3 Dock
at Rosyth presented a serious problem during removal.)
On completion resumed Home Fleet
duties at Scapa Flow.
with HM Destroyer LIGHTNING as escort for HM Fast Minelayer MANXMAN
during minelay off Stadlandet, southern Norway.
for support of planned operation to reinforce garrison in Malta
Deployed as Flagship for Vice Admiral
HM Burroughs in command of escort for the Operation
Embarked RAF ground
crew personnel for passage to Gibraltar.
to Gibraltar with HM Battleships NELSON, PRINCE OF WALES and RODNEY, HM
Cruisers EDINBURGH, EURYALUS and SHEFFIELD screened by destroyers
for Malta relief convoy during passage to Gibraltar (Operation HALBERD).
HM Cruisers EDINBURGH, EURYALUS, HERMIONE and SHEFFIELD with destroyer
Force X to provide close escort for mercantiles
during passage from Gibraltar to Malta
through Sicilian Narrows.
Cover for transit was provided by
ships of Force H and
Under air and E-Boat attacks with
threat from major Italian surface warships..
For details see Naval Staff History,
MALTA CONVOYS by R Woodman , THE BATTLE FOR
THE MEDITERRANEAN by D MacIntyre and THE NAVAL WAR IN THE MEDITERRANEAN
by J Greene
and A Massigani.
27th Passage through Narrows.
28th Took passage from Malta with ships of Force X to rejoin covering
force west of Narrows.
at Gibraltar with HMS PRINCE OF WALES and HMS SHEFFIELD screened
from Gibraltar with HMS SHEFFIELD to carry out search for German
KOTA PINANG which was known to be on
passage from Bordeaux for support of U-Boat
KOTA PINANG after air search operations and engaged with main
then by torpedo. Enemy ship was set of fire and took on list before
after a large explosion in position 43.26N 24.30W.
by HMS SHEFFIELD and took passage to UK.
repair to weather damage at build yard.
completion took passage from Greenock to Scapa
Flow to resume Home Fleet
from Scapa Flow with HM Destroyers BEDOUIN and INTREPID for
based in Iceland.
November Deployed off Iceland.
(Note: Threat of an attack by major
German warships on Atlantic or Russian convoys had
Russian General Gromoff and staff officers at Seydisfjord for passage to Murmansk..
HM Auxiliary Minelayer MENESTHEUS of 1st Minelaying Squadron for minelay in
(Operation SN 83B).
After escort of HMS MENESTHEUS back
to Iceland took passage with the two destroyers to
Convoy PQ3 as escort in place of HM Trawlers MACBETH during passage to
(Note: One man was lost overboard
during rough weather conditions.)
PQ3 as escort with HMS BEDOUIN and HMS INTREPID.
from PQ3 and took passage to Murmansk to disembark passengers.
For details of Russian Convoy
operations including names of warships and mercantiles
CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by RA Ruegg, THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS by
CONVOY ! by P Kemp and RUSSIAN CONVOYS by R Woodman.)
out search for enemy shipping off NE coast of Norway with Russian destroyers
GREMYASHI, HMS BEDOUIN and HMS INTREPID.
25th Took part in bombardment of Vardo
and Hornoy islands with other destroyers.
RAF personnel for return passage to UK.
(Note: These had been giving instruction
on HURRICANE aircraft to Russian personnel
training Soviet airmen.)
passage from Archangel to join HMS BEDOUIN, HMS INTREPID, HM Fleet
Minesweepers GOSSAMER as Ocean Escort
for return Convoy QP4.
from QP4 and took passage to Rosyth.
at Rosyth and taken in hand for routine maintenance and installation of steam
effects of icing on upper deck equipment..
Radar Type 284 for main armament was
fitted and Type 273 installed in place of Type 271.
killed by fall into dry dock.
15th On completion
took passage to resume Fleet duties and deployed for preparatory exercise prior
gunfire support during planned commando raid on Lofoten
islands by No 3 and
No 4 Commando
from Scapa Flow with HM Destroyers ONSLOW, OFFA, ORIBI and
for HM Landing Ships (Infantry) PRINCE CHARLES and PRINCE ALBERT to carry
out landings at Vaagso and Malloy with air support (Operation ARCHERY)
(Note: Military commander, Brigadier
J C Haydon was embarked.)
to shelter at Sullom Voe in Shetlands by adverse weather conditions which had
HMS PRINCE CHARLES. Operation postponed by 24 hours.
passage covered against surface attack by ships of Home Fleet.
Marines detachment embarked in Landing Craft (Personnel) specially carried on
gunfire support prior to landings by Commando units and Royal Marines.
from return fire from shore battery which was then permanently silenced.
Came under sporadic air attacks/
(Note: Norwegian troops and Royal
Engineers also took part in the landings.)
For details see IN HARMS WAY by B Crabb and THE WATERY MAZE by B Fergusson.)
28th Arrived at Scapa Flow with 343 Norwegian citizens who wished to join Norwegian forces in UK.
1 9 4 2
repair to action damage at Scapa
On completion deployed for exercises
based at Scapa Flow.
(Note: Despite stormy weather
conditions ship was not damaged.)
with HM Cruisers SHEFFIELD and SUFFOLK in search for German battleship
TIRPITZ reported on passage in North Sea.
On release from search took passage
to Hvalfjord, Iceland.
to Scapa Flow with HMS NIGERIA after carrying out interception
22nd Took passage from Scapa Flow for BLACK patrol between Iceland and Faeroes.
in Iceland for interception patrols with HM Cruisers SHEFFIELD
(Note: The three cruisers were
deployed in turn.)
February Iceland patrol duties in continuation
Nominated to provide cover for
minelay off Norwegian coast (Operation EA) which was
cover for HM Auxiliary Minelayers AGAMEMNON, MENESTHEUS and PORT
QUEBEC of 1st Minelaying Squadron during minelay in Northern
Barrage between Iceland
to Scapa Flow
March Passage to Iceland and joined HM Battlecruiser RENOWN, HM Battleship
DUKE OF YORK,
FAULKNOR, ESKIMO, PUNJABI, FURY, ECHO and ECLIPSE.
from Hvalfjord with same ships to provide cover for
passage of Russian Convoy PQ12
to Murmansk and return Convoy QP8 from North Russia to UK.
See IN HARMS WAY by B Crabb.
QP12 during passage from Reykjavik
and sighted by KONDOR aircraft.
and took passage to join Home Fleet ships
(Note: HM Battleship KING GORGE V.
HMS VICTORIOUS and HM Cruiser BERWICK,
HM Destroyers ONSLOW, ASHANTI, INTREPID, ICARUS, LOOKOUT
had sailed from Scapa Flow to join force from Iceland on 4th.)
reported on passage and presumed threat to convoys,.
12th Detached from PQ12 on arrival at Kola Inlet.
(Note: Air attacks on TIRPITZ by HMS
VICTORIOUS were unsuccessful. See references.
These were the only attacks made by
the Fleet Air Arm
German ship whilst she was at sea.
from Kola Inlet with ten tons of gold bullion and took passage to UK independently.
(Note: Intended deployment to cover
outward Convoy QP9 not carried out.)
at Scapa Flow. Command change.
April Deployed at Scapa Flow for Fleet duties.
cover for minelay by HM Auxiliary Minelayers SOUTHERN PRINCE, PORT
QUEBEC, AGAMEMNON and MENESTHEUS of 1st Minelaying Squadron
Faeroes and Iceland. (Operation SN88).
with Home Fleet covering force to provide Distant Cover for Russian Convoy
QP15 and return Convoy QP11 during
transit in Arctic Ocean.
(Note: Units deployed included HMS
KING GEORGE V, US battleship USS WASHINGTON,
HM Cruiser KENT, US cruisers USS TUSCALOOSA and WICHITA screened by
destroyers and four US Navy destroyers. See references
with Home Fleet covering force when HMS KING GEORGE V was involved in
with HM Destroyer PUNJABI which was sunk
. (Note: HMS KING GEORGE V was serious
damaged and replaced by HMS DUKE OF YORK
On release from covering duties
resumed interception patrol duty..
June Nominated for support of planned Malta Relief
Convoy (Operation HARPOON).
with HM Cruiser LIVERPOOL, HM Destroyers BEDOUIN, ESCAPADE, ICARUS,
MATCHLESS, BADSWORTH, BLANKNEY, MIDDLETON and
KUJAWIAK as escort for Convoy WS19Z during passage to Gibraltar.
HM Battleship MALAYA, HM Aircraft Carriers EAGLE and ARGUS, HM Cruisers
LIVERPOOL and CHARYBDIS, HM Destroyers ONSLOW, ESCAPADE, ICARUS,
WISHART, WESTCOTT, WRESTLER, VIDETTE,
ANTELOPE to form Force W to
cover for re-designated Convoy GM4 during passage in western Mediterranean
to the Sicilian Narrows.
(Note: Force X comprising HM Cruiser CAIRO, nine destroyers and four Fleet Minesweepers
formed to escort GM4 during passage through Narrows to Malta.
For details of all Malta Relief
convoys see MALTA CONVOYS by R Woodman,
THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by D
MacIntyre, THE NAVAL WAR
IN THE MEDITERRANEAN by J Greene and A Massignani and the Naval Staff History.)
heavy and sustained air attacks during which HMS LIVERPOOL was damaged by a
had to return to Gibraltar under tow.
15th Detached with remaining ships of Force W when GM4 took
passage into Malta.
west of Narrows with HMS CHARYBDIS to await return of Force Z
passage to Gibraltar with Force W and ships of Force Z
at Gibraltar with HMS CHARYBDIS, HMS CAIRO, HM Destroyers
ITHURIEL, MARNE and MIDDLETON.
(Note: HMS BADSWORTH and HMS
MATCHLESS has remained in Malta.
Polish ORP KUJAWIAK also in Force Z
was mined and sunk on entry into Malta.)
from Gibraltar to resume Home Fleet duties hat Scapa Flow with survivors from
ORP KUJAWIAK embarked.
at Scapa Flow.
HM Battleship HOWE from Tyne to Rosyth on completion of
See KING GEORGE V
interception patrol off Iceland.
Return passage to Scapa Flow for special duties in support of Malta Relief convoy
(Operation PEDESTAL - For details see above references
29th Took passage from Scapa Flow to Clyde to join escort for convoy.
with HM Battleships NELSON, RODNEY, HM Aircraft Carrier FURIOUS,
HM Cruisers NIGERIA, MANCHESTER*,
HM Destroyers AMAZON, ASHANTI, ESKIMO,
MALCOLM, PATHFINDER, PENN, QUENTIN, SOMALI, TARTAR, VENOMOUS,
WISHART, WOLVERINE, BICESTER,
BRAMHAM, DERWENT, LEDBURY, WILTON
as escort for |Convoy WS21S during passage to Gibraltar.
(Note: * ships
which joined later on passage.)
HM Cruisers CAIRO, MANCHESTER
and NIGERIA, HM Destroyers ASHANTI,
FURY, ICARUS, INTREPID, PATHFINDER, PENN, BICESTER, DERWENT, LEDBURY
WILTON and BRAMHAM, on formation of Force X as Close escort
through Sicilian Narrows after covering Force Z detached.
Deployed as Lead Ship for starboard
column during initial stage of passage from
Gibraltar until taking station astern of aircraft carriers.
air and submarine attacks during which HM Aircraft Carrier EAGLE was hit by
fired by U93 and sank within eight minutes with loss of over 200 of her
attacks continued with a series of submarine attacks.
Force Z detached on arrival at entrance to Narrows.
In an attack by Italian submarine
AXUM, HM Cruisers NIGERIA and CAIRO were hit
(Note: HMS CAIRO had to be scuttled
later but HMS NIGERIA had to withdraw from
and return to Gibraltar. Both these ships were fitted with VHF radio
for control of aircraft defence.
Ship took over control of convoy
after these losses.
Hit forward by one of four torpedoes
from Italian submarine ALAGI and sustained
bow structure. Ship was able to continue defence of mercantiles.
MANCHESTER hit during series of attacks by E-Boats and convoy under threat
(Note: HMS MANCHESTER was later
scuttled but enemy cruiser squadron withdrew.
After daylight incessant air attacks
resumed with loss of one mercantile.
Near miss to stern later found to
have damaged a propeller.
Detached from escort on arrival of
the three remaining mercantiles off Malta and
passage through Narrows to rejoin ships of Force Z with HM Cruiser
CHARYBDIS, HM Destroyers ASHANTI, FURY, ICARUS, INTREPID and
See above references for details of
defence of PEDESTAL convoy.
HMS VICTORIOUS, HMS NELSON, HMS PHOEBE, HM SIRIUS, HM Destroyers
LOOKOUT and QUENTIN off Bougie for onward passage.
Under air attacks and slightly
damaged by near miss.
17th Taken in hand for temporary repair to bow structure by HM
20th Took passage to Scapa Flow.
25th Arrived at Scapa Flow having lost temporary bow structure
Accorded well deserved welcome.
30th Passage to Tyne for repair in South Shields commercial shipyard.
31st Taken in hand for repair and refit.
August Under repair and refit
to December Work
undertaken included replacement of air warning Radar Type 279 by Type 281,
Type 281, Installation of
fire-control Radars Type 282 and 285 for anti-aircraft
and removal of aircraft facilities. Close range AA armament
addition of six twin 20mm Oerlikon mountings.
(Note: The availability of radar had
allowed this new policy which also
risk presented by storage of petrol.)
1 9 4 3
January Nominated for service in
12th Passage to Rosyth to prepare for operational service.
to Scapa Flow from Rosyth to commence work-up with
February Work-up at Scapa Flow in continuation.
from Rosyth on completion of work-up.
at Plymouth and kept at short notice for sea as
(Note: Cruisers were being deployed
in SW Approaches for attacks on
shipping of French coast and to protect convoys from
escort for outward convoy and on release took passage
from Gibraltar for Freetown to provide cover for military convoy
Atlantic passage between Freetown
and Cape of Good Hope.
with HM Destroyers QUADRANT and REDOUBT as Ocean
Escort for Convoy WS28 during
(Note: This convoy was taking troops
and equipment to Middle East
from WS28 on arrival at Capetown and took passage to Simonstown.
WS28 as Ocean Escort during passage in Indian Ocean.
from WS28 and took passage to Kilindini and commenced
May Deployed at Kilindini
for routine maintenance.
(Note: Ship was repainted to suit
deployment in Eastern Fleet)
On completion took passage to Durban as escort for southbound convoy.
military convoy WS29 off Durban
as Ocean Escort during passage to
from WS29 on arrival at Kilindini.
from Kilindini to Diego Suarez for escort of troopship during
back to Kilindini.
18th Took passage from Kilindini to escort two troopships to Colombo.
On arrival at Colombo detached as escort and took passage to main
Eastern Fleet at Trincomalee, Ceylon.
20th Took passage to Colombo for routine docking.
July On completion returned to Trincomalee for
Took part in exercises
with ships of Eastern Fleet.
from Trincomalee to meet military convoy US20 bringing troops and
for service in Middle East.
over escort of WS20 from Dutch cruiser TROMP.
20th Returned to Kilindini after refuelling at Addu
24th Command change.
September Deployed at Kilindini for
interception and patrol duties in Indian Ocean.
(Note: Carried out exercises with HM
Submarine OSIRIS and HM Cruiser
SUFFOLK, the latter having just completed refit in Durban.)
October Deployed as escort for convoy
to Ceylon during passage from Kilindini.
Resumed Fleet duties at Trincomalee
including exercises in preparation
operations in Indian Ocean.
passage to Bombay from Trincomalee to carry out demonstration
On completion took passage to Kilindini
for trade defence duties.
unsuccessful search for warship reported in Bay of Bengal.
(Note: Naval Staff History WAR IN
JAPAN (HMSO) records that no
Japanese raider was active at this
December Deployed at Kilindini
passage to Trincomalee with HM Cruiser NEWCASTLE.
13th Fatal accident during recreational bathing in harbour.
out Local Exercises with HMS NEWCASTLE until 24th.
1 9 4 4
with HM Cruisers NEWCASTLE, CEYLON and SUSSEX for Local
passage with HMS NEWCASTLE from Trincomalee to Madras for
10th Recalled to Colombo to refuel for special operation.
with HM Cruisers NEWCASTLE and SUFFOLK, HM Escort
Aircraft Carrier BATTLER, HM Armed
Merchant Cruiser CANTON, HM
Destroyer NEPAL (RAN) and HM Frigate
BANN to carry out search for a
runner in the area SE of Mauritius (Operation THWART).
out search with HMAS NEPAL as Force 64 from Tombau Bay,
Mauritius to SE of the island. Aircraft from HMS BATTLER provided
cancelled due to adverse weather after fruitless search.
Sailed from Mauritius for Simonstown
On arrival taken in hand by HM
Dockyard for refit which included
fit of two
more twin 20mm Oerlikons to reinforce defence against
March Refit in continuation.
April Carried out post refit harbour and sea trials.
from Simonstown and resumed trade defence duties.
During patrol carried out ship
exercises to ensure future efficiency.
from Kilindini as escort for routine convoy during passage to
May Detached from convoy on arrival.
at HM Dockyard, Bombay for routine docking/
(Note: As ship was only a few weeks
from refit, there may have been
HM Battleships QUEEN ELIZABETH and VALIANT, HM
Battlecruiser RENOWN, French
Battleship RICHELIEU, Dutch cruiser
TROMP HM Destroyers NAPIER (RAN), NEPAL (RAN), ROTHERHAM,
RACEHORSE, QUIBERON (RAN), QUALITY
(RAN), and Dutch
VAN GALEN in Force 65.
Wearing Flag of Officer Commanding
4th Cruiser Squadron Force 65 deployed
cover for air strikes by HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS and US
Aircraft Carrier USS SARATOGA on Sourabaya. (Operation TRANSOM)
15th Refuelled at Exmouth Gulf in Western Australia from tankers of Force 67.
Sailed from Exmouth Gulf with Force 65 on completion and took passage
area to provide cover.
cover during raid and began return passage to Ceylon.
(Note: The attacks inflicted
For full details see WAR WITH JAPAN
(HMSO) and THE
FORGOTTEN FLEET by
SARATOGA detached to rejoin US Pacific Fleet.
27th Returned to Trincomalee with Eastern Fleet ships.
(Note: On return from TRANSOM ships
had steamed some 7,000
the fuel remaining in cruisers and larger ships
the level needed to carry out a Fleet operation.
Shortage of Fleet tankers in Ceylon resulted in three days
to complete refuelling of Eastern Fleet ships.
June Carried out exercises in Palk Strait between mainland of India and
Returned to Trincomalee on completion
and nominated for support of
attacks on Andaman islands (Operation PEDAL)
HMS ILLUSTRIOUS, HMS RENOWN, FS RICHELIEU, HMS NIGERIA
CEYLON screened by HM Destroyers QUILLIAM, QUALITY,
QUICKMATCH, ROTHERHAM, RACEHORSE, RELENTLESS, ROEBUCK
as Force 60 to carry out attack on Port Blair.
arrival at flying off position provided cover against surface attack
defence against air attacks.
23rd Arrived at Trincomalee after completion of PEDAL.
(Note: Despite damage to
installations the Japanese seem to have
attack as a diversion from other activities. The use
of only one
aircraft carrier was somewhat questionable as in
the event of
damage returning aircraft would have been at
27th Carried out exercises in Palk Strait.
July Deployed at Trincomalee
(Note: HM Aircraft Carriers
INDOMITABLE and VICTORIOUS joined
Eastern Fleet to add to capability of
carrying out air operations
than one carrier. See above Note.)
100 Indian troops at Colombo for passage to Addu Atoll.
passage with Indian dock workers for passage to Colombo.
from Trincomalee with HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH, HMS VALIANT,
HMS RENOWN, FS RICHELIEU, HMS
NIGERIA, HMS CEYLON, HMS
PHOEBE and Dutch cruiser TROMP screened by
HM Destroyers RELENTLESS, ROTHERHAM, RACEHORSE, RAIDER,
ROEBUCK, RAPID, QUILLIAM, QUALITY and
QUICKMATCH to carry out
against airfields near Sabang together with a
and shore installations by surface warships.
(Operation CRIMSON - Force 62)
with main force when aircraft carriers and three destroyers
proceed to launching area.
in naval bombardment of wireless station at Pulo We
counter-fire against enemy shore batteries.
passage to Trincomalee with Force 62
August Deployed with HMS CEYLON screened by HM Destroyers
REDOUBT, RAIDER, RAPID and ROCKET as
escort for HM Battleship
HOWE for final
stage of Indian Ocean passage into Colombo.
(Note: HMS HOWE was on passage to
join British Pacific Fleet being
formed in Ceylon.)
in Force 64 with HMS VICTORIOUS, HMS INDOMITABLE, HMS
HOWE, HMS CEYLON, HM Destroyers ROTHERHAM, REDOUBT, RAIDER,
RAPID and ROCKET to carry out air
operations at Padang and at
Emmerhaven as a diversion during US operations in New Guinea.
oil fuel from RFA tanker EASEDALE.
cover against surface and air attacks during air operations.
passage to Trincomalee.
27th (Note: : During BANQUET it was discovered that HMS HOWE could not
maintain the speed of the Fleet when at 28 knots,
required by specification. Her fuel capacity was
(See WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO).)
28th At Colombo
(Note: This was the fourth
anniversary of her commission.)
September Deployed for Fleet and Squadron
completion returned to Trincomalee.
from Trincomalee in Force 63 with HMS INDOMITABLE,
HMS VICTORIOUS, HMS HOWE and HM
Cruiser CUMBERLAND screened
Destroyers ROTHERHAM, REDOUBT, RAPID, ROCKET,
(Operation LIGHT - air attacks on
railway works at Sigli, Sumatra and air
A of LIGHT (Strikes on airfields and air
reconnaissance) abandoned because
conditions but Operation LIGHT B still to be executed.
18th Provided cover during air operations by carrier aircraft.
to Trincomalee with Force 63
(Note: Various mistakes were
identified including communications errors
procedures for landing aircraft.
as escort to HM Submarine Depot Ship MAIDSTONE during
Ceylon to Fremantle.
(Note: Reports of Japanese cruiser
operating in area may have made it
provide suitable escort.)
at Fremantle with HMS MAIDSTONE
from Fremantle as escort for troopship mv DUNNOTAR CASTLE during
passage in Indian Ocean.
Destroyers PATHFINDER and PALADIN joined escort.
from escort and took passage to Addu Atoll to refuel.
26th Diverted to proceed to Colombo for routine docking after
November Docked at Colombo.
for Trincomalee to resume Fleet duties.
Deployed at Trincomalee for Fleet
exercises and bombardment
prior to planned landing operations in Burma.
transferred to 5th Cruiser Squadron East Indies Fleet on formation of British
December Deployed with HM Cruisers NEWCASTLE, NIGERIA and PHOEBE as Force 61 for
CinC, Eastern Fleet to bases on coast of Burma to be used during
naval operations in support of military advance in Burma.
to Calcutta for official visit by CinC Eastern Fleet,
20th At Calcutta.
from Calcutta and took passage to Bombay.
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out landing exercises for Royal Marines near Bombay.
(Note: Four Landing Craft (Personnel)
were embarked for this purpose.
On completion returned to Trincomalee
with HM Cruisers NEWCASTLE, NIGERIA, PHOEBE, HM
Destroyers PALADIN and RAPID for
exercises in preparation for
off Burma in support of military advance.
HMS NEWCASTLE, HMS NIGERIA, PALADIN and RAPID as
Force 65 to provide support for
landings by Royal Marines.
naval gun fire support prior to landings by Royal Marines
on Cheduba Island (Operation SANKEY).
to Ramree to supplement bombardment by ships of Force
in support of landings at Ramree Island (Operation MATADOR)
29th Returned to Cheduba after release
from Ramree support.
Royal Marines and carried further support bombardment
taking return passage to Trincomalee.
from Trincomalee with HM Escort Aircraft Carriers EMPRESS
HM Destroyers VOLAGE, VIRAGO and VIGILANT, HM Frigates
SPEY, SWALE and PLYM as Force 62 to
carry out air reconnaissance
in Andaman Sea.
22nd (Operation STACEY – See WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO).
(Note: HMS SPEY detached with defects
on 26th and was replaced by
HM Frigate TRENT
which had been apart of Tanker Force 61.
25th Provided cover during air operations.
(Note: Reconnaissance flights were
made on Kra Isthmus, Phuket Island,
Penang, Langkawi and Butong Islands, as well as Victoria Point in
Malaya and northern Sumatra.)
air attacks which were repelled by aircraft from carriers.
Took passage with Force 62 ships to Simalur Island for further
to Ceylon with Force 62 on completion of air
15th Provided naval gunfire support during landings at Letpan.
On return nominated for release from
Eastern Fleet and prepared for
passage to UK via Durban and Cape
of Good Hope.
Upper 6in gun-mounting (X Turret) removed.
(Note: This was in preparation for
installation of additional AA gun
this Class of cruiser. Removal in South Africa may
arranged to ensure availability of spare mounting
following damage in another ship deployed
in Indian Ocean area.)
23rd Sailed for Capetown after embarking gold bullion for passage
May Passage to Sheerness
with call at Freetown.
Passage to Chatham on completion of de-ammunitioning
June Paid-off into Dockyard control and prepared
for long refit by HM
July Under refit
to December (Note:
Close Range AA armament improved by fit of 40mm Bofor
mountings in place of Oerlikon 20mm guns.)
S u m m a r y o f P o s t – War S e r v i c e
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Re-commissioned in April for service
in the West Indies the ship worked-up in Malta before joining the 8th
Cruiser Squadron in Bermuda during December.
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Her first cruise between January and
April included British
Honduras, Cuba Dominica, Haiti before going to
Puerto Rica and ports in Brazil. After return in April she took part in exercises
Acapulco in Mexico, California and Canada followed by Alaska. On her return passage she called in
Portland, Oregon an San Francisco and the final visit was to Manzillo, Mexico. On arrival at Bermuda
she was ordered back to UK to pay off as part of the reductions in Fleet
strength due to manning
problems. She Paid-off into Reserve in November.
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Deployed in Reserve
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Brought forward to replace HM Cruiser
LONDON in the Far
East the ship was refitted
in July. After a brief work-up and docking at Portsmouth she sailed for Foreign service in
October. Christmas was spent in Malta and she then continued her journey to join the 5th
Cruiser Squadron.. At Suez the Foreign Secretary, Ernest Bevin embarked for
passage to Ceylon
where he was
to open the Colombo Conference of Commonwealth ministers.
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After arrival at Colombo the ship was sent to assist a disabled mercantile in
the Indian Ocean and towed this
vessel back to Colombo. She then embarked Buddhist relics which were taken
exhibition before resuming passage to Hong Kong where she
arrived in February having called at Singapore. Exercises at Subic
Bay and later at Hong Kong were carried out in March when she went to Singapore The invasion of South Korea precipitated major change RN deployments in the Far East and a
planned visit to Japan was cancelled.
Joining the UN naval organisation she
sailed from Hong Kong in July with HM Cruisers BELFAST and JAMAICA for operational service based at Sasebo,
Japan. Her first patrol was undertaken later that month
and she took part in support of landings at Inchon in September followed by patrols off
Korea in October. An R&R visit to the Commonwealth base at Sasebo in November brought needed respite and she returned to operation to provide cover
for an evacuation by South Korean troops
from the Chinnampo Peninsular.
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During January she supported
evacuation operations from Inchon before returning to Hong Kong. Further UN duties began in March when
she was deployed for support bombardments and patrol in the Yellow Sea. Raiding parties were landed behind enemy lines to obtain information
prior to the bombardments.
Her second operational tour ended in June when she sailed for Hong Kong. She resumed UN
duties in July and carried out patrols with more bombardments including some at
on the east
coast of Korea. The ship sailed for Hong Kong in August having carried out 19 patrols, steamed
63,118 miles and fired 3,386 rounds of 6” ammunition as well as 2,242 rounds of
during bombardments. She arrived at Singapore for refit. in September and
on completion in November
was transferred to the East Indies Station in exchange for HM Cruiser MAURITIUS in the 4th
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A visit were paid to Calcutta, Pakistan in January before sailing to Mombasa, Kenya to escort ss
GOTHIC taking HM King George VI for a Commonwealth Tour. This was cancelled on
the death of HM
the King and the ship returned to Trincomalee. During March the ship took part
in a cruiser to
the Nicobars and Port Blair in the Andamans followed by a visit to Madras before return to
Trincomalee for a SEATO exercise including Commonwealth navies and HMS GAMBIA. After routine docking in Colombo a second cruise was carried out to ports in East Africa and the
Seychelles. This was followed by Series of exercises with RN
ships of the East Indies Station and RIN warships.
In October she went to Mombasa before taking passage to Malta where she arrived at the end
of October. During service with the Mediterranean Fleet the ship was involved
in exercises in the
eastern Mediterranean and on 22nd December took part in rescue personnel
from the French mercantile, ss CHAMPOLLION aground south of Beirut. On return to Port Said she was immediately sent to
assist in salvage of another mercantile, ss BURICA
which was towed to Port
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Before sailing back to UK in February she continued service in the Mediterranean and returned to Malta
exercises. The ship arrived at Portsmouth on the 23rd February and was visited by HRH The Duchess of Gloucester before being Paid-0ff into Reserve
and later laid-up at Rosyth.
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Laid-up at Rosyth.
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HMS KENYA re-commissioned for service
on 15th August after a refit and sailed via the Azores
Bermuda in October as relief for HM Cruiser
SWIFTSURE. She took part in
exercises with US Navy ships based in Cuba during the next few weeks and returned to Bermuda in December. Parties from the ship gave aid to the civil power in Hamilton after unrest.
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