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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2

by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2004

HMS  NIGERIA - Fiji or Colony-type Light Cruiser  
including Convoy Escort Movements

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Nigeria (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

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FIJI or Colony-Class cruiser ordered from Vickers-Armstrong, Newcastle upon Tyne under the 1937 Estimates and laid down on 8th February 1938. The ship was launched on 18th July 1939 and was completed on 30th September 1940. During 1942 following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign this ship was adopted by the civil community of Ayrshire, Scotland.

 

B a t t l e H o n o u r s

ATLANTIC 1941 - NORWAY 1941 - ARCTIC 1942 - MALTA CONVOYS 1942 - SABANG 1944 - BURMA 1944-45

H e r a l d i c D a ta

Badge:  On a Field barry wavy of six White and Blue within two

triangles Green, the Imperial Crown Proper.

 

 

D e t a i l s o f W a r S e r v i c e

 

(for more ship information, go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search

 

 

1 9 4 0

September Contractors trials.

30th Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

October On completion of trials and storing took passage to Scapa Flow.

28th Began work-up at Scapa Flow with 10th Cruiser Squadron, Home Fleet.

Nominated for detached duty in SW Approaches for interception of enemy coastal convoys

and allied convoy defence based at Plymouth.

November On completion deployed in SW Approach and returned to Scapa Flew for duty with Home

Fleet in NW Approaches.

December

26th Covered passage of Atlantic convoys with HM Battlecruiser REPULSE after Convoy WS5A

to the Middle East had been attacked by the German cruiser HIPPER.

For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Burnett and the Naval

Staff History.

1 9 4 1

January Atlantic convoy defence in continuation.

February

6th Provided ocean escort for ships during minelay in Northern Barrage by ships of 1st

Minelaying Squadron (Operation SN7A).

For details of all minelaying operations in WW2 see Naval Staff History (Mining).).

On completion deployed with HM Battleship NELSON for patrol off Iceland.

17th Covered minelay by ships of 1st Minelaying Squadron in Northern Barrage.

(Operation SN7B/68A)

Escorted military convoy to Middle East for initial stare of passage.

March Deployed as escort For landings ships to Lofoten Islands for raid by No 1, and No 4

Commando and covered landing and evacuation.

(Note: HM Cruiser EDINBURGH was also deployed as Distant Cover),

(Operation CLAYMORE).

8th Carried out search in North Sea for German warship reported on passage into the

Atlantic to attack allied convoys.

11th Escorted ships of 1st Minelaying Squadron during minelay in Northern Barrage.

(Operation SN68B).

17th Deployed on patrol off Iceland with HMS NELSON to intercept German battleships

SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU reported on passage into the Atlantic.

26th Deployed on patrol in Denmark Strait with HM Cruiser FIJI.

28th Joined HM Battleship KING GEORGE V and two other Home Fleet cruisers in search for

German cruiser ADMIRAL SCHEER on passage to Kiel. The enemy ship was not found.

30th Deployed with HM Battlecruiser HOOD and HM Cruiser FIJI to cover convoys between

UK and Gibraltar (Operation SN9B).

May Home Fleet deployment in NW Approaches for convoy defence continuation.

June

28th Intercepted German weather ship LAUENBURG with HM Destroyer TARTAR.

Enemy ship detonated scuttling charges but the ENIGMA code books were by recovered

by boarding party from HMS TARTAR before German ship sank.

July

25th Deployed with HM Cruiser AURORA, HM Destroyers PUNJABI and TARTAR.

Took passage to assess possible use for refuelling Russian Convoy escorts.

August

1st Evacuated Norwegian nationals and destroyed weather station on Bear Island.

On completion carried out offensive sweep off Norway.

19th Escorted troopship EMPRESS OF AUSTRALIA taking Canadian Commando force for a raid

on Spitzbergen with HMS AURORA (Operation GAUNTLET).

23rd Provided gunfire support during landings and assisted in the destruction of coalmine

equipment. See ARCTIC CONVOYS by R Woodman and THE WATERY MAZE

by B Fergusson for details.

Embarked Russian nationals at Barentsburg.

24th Landed Russian passengers in Archangel and returned to Langyearby in Spitsbergen to

collect Norwegian nationals for passage to UK.

September

1st Escorted colliers and other craft to Scapa Flow with HMS AURORA.

7th During sweep off Norway with HMS AURORA intercepted small convoy of two troopships

near Porshanger Fjord.

In poor weather conditions engaged and sank German training ship BREMSE but the

troopships escaped in poor visibility.

Sustained damage to bow structure

(Note: Post War analysis suggested ship may have detonated a mine)

October Under repair and refit at Tyne commercial shipyard

to (Note: Work done included installation of Type 284 fire control radar for forward main

November armament.

December

15th Carried out Post Refit trials on completion.

1 9 4 2

January Rejoined 10th Cruiser Squadron in Home Fleet.

Nominated for duty as Flagship for convoy defence and patrol in NW Approaches.

8th Escorted Russian Convoy PQ8 from Iceland to Murmansk

(Note: To be confirmed.)

(Note: For details of all Russian Convoy operations see CONVOY! by P. Kemp,

CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by RA Ruegg, RUSSIAN CONVOYS by B. Schoefield,

ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett and

ARCTIC CONVOYS by R Woodman.)

17th Remained in Murmansk to supplement defence of future convoys for passage from

Bear Island to Kola Inlet.

February Passage to join Russian Convoy PQ9/10 with HM Destroyers FAULKNOR and INTREPID.

5th Joined convoy escort.

8th Detached from PQ9/10.

13th Covered passage of returning Convoy QP7.

15th Detached from QP7.

22nd Escorted inward Russian Convoy PQ11 with Russian destroyers for final stage of transit.

March

2nd Provided Distant Cover for passage of returning Convoy QP8

7th Detached from Distant Cover for QP8.

22nd Deployed with Home Fleet covering force for passage of Russian Convoy PQ13 and

returning QP9.

April

5th Escorted HM Battleship KING GEORGE V from Rosyth to Scapa Flow to join Fleet.

10th Part of Home Fleet Distant Cover for passage of Convoy PQ11 and returning Convoy OP10

with HM Battleships KING GEORGE V and DUKE OF YORK, H M Aircraft Carrier

VICTORIOUS and HM Cruiser KENT, screened by Fleet destroyers.

11th Detached from Distant Cover.

28th Escorted Russian Convoy PQ15

May

1st Detached from PQ15 escort for returning convoy QP11 after the loss of HM Cruiser

EDINBURGH.

13th Part of Home Fleet covering force with HMS DUKE OF YORK, HMS VICTORIOUS,.

HM Cruisers KENT, LIVERPOOL, LONDON and NORFOLK screened by Fleet destroyers

for passage of damaged cruiser HMS TRINIDAD to UK for repair.

(Note: HMS TRINIDAD was sunk on 15th May by our own forces after being hit during

heavy air attacks).

Came under air attacks on return passage.

23rd Provided cruiser cover with HM Cruisers KENT, LIVERPOOL and NORFOLK screened by

HM Destroyers MARNE, ONSLOW and ORIBI for Russian Convoy PQ16 and for returning

Convoy QP12 until 28th

June Deployed for convoy and Fleet defence in NW Approaches.

30th Joined Home Fleet Distant Cover for Russian Convoy PQ17 with HMS DUKE OF YORK,

US battleship WASHINGTON, HMS VICTORIOUS and HM Cruiser CUMBERLAND

with Fleet destroyer screen until convoy was scattered by Admiralty on 4th July.

Remained to west of Bear Island for cover of returning Convoy QP13 passage.

See above references.

July

7th After arrival of Convoy OP13 at Reykjavik resumed Home Fleet deployment.

August

2nd Detached with HM Battleship NELSON, HMS VICTORIOUS, HMS KENYA, HM

Cruiser MANCHESTER, HM AA Cruiser CAIRO screened by Home Fleet destroyers to

reinforce escort of military supply convoy WS21s to Malta.

(Operation PEDESTAL).

10th Joined Force X at Gibraltar with HM Cruisers KENYA, MANCHESTER and CA1RO

screened by 12 destroyers for escort of convoy to Malta and for fighter direction duties.

11th Under attack by U-Boats followed by torpedo and dive bombing.

(HM Aircraft Carrier EAGLE was sunk during the submarine attacks)

13th Hit by torpedo from Italian submarine AXUM during air attacks when entering

Skerki Channel.

Sustained serious damage.

Detached with escorted by HM Escort Destroyers WILTON, BICESTER and DERWENT to

return to Gibraltar.

(For details of this operation see THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by Donald

MacIntyre, ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY, PEDESTAL by Peter Smith and

MALTA CONVOYS by R Woodhead. ).

15th Under temporary repair in Gibraltar.

September Under repair at Gibraltar.

Permanent repair arranged in USA.

October

7th Passage to USA.

23rd Taken in hand for repair and refit at Charleston US navy Yard..

(Note: Work done included:

Removal of aircraft

Preparation for fit of AA Fire control radar on return to UK

Preparation for fit of aircraft warning radar Type 279 by Type 281.

Preparation for replacement of Surface radar Type 272..

November Under refit

to

December

1 9 4 3

January Under refit.

to

August

September Passage to UK on completion of post refit trials.

October Completion of refit and A & A work at Chatham.

to (For details of development and use of radar see RADAR AT SEA by D Howse).

December Nominated for duty with Eastern Fleet in 4th Cruiser Squadron.

1 9 4 4

January On completion of trials, calibrations and storing took passage to Scapa Flow

Worked-up for operational service with 10th Cruiser Squadron.

February Deployed at Scapa Flow with Home Fleet for convoy defence in NW Approaches.

March Passage to Ceylon.

27th Joined Squadron.

April

16th Deployed with HM Cruisers NEWCASTLE, CEYLON and GAMBIA and Dutch cruiser

TROMP to escort HM Battleships QUEEN ELIZABETH, VALIANT and the French

battleship RICHELIEU, screened by Fleet destroyers as Task Force 69.

(Operation COCKPIT).

(Note: These ships covered air attacks on airfields and other targets at Sabang, Sumatra by

the aircraft carriers HMS ILLUSTRIOUS and USS SARATOGA.

May

6th Joined HMS NEWCASTLE and Dutch TROMP as escort for HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH,

HMS VALIANT and French RICHELIEU with Fleet destroyer screen as Task Force 65 for

cover of HMS ILLUSTRIOUS and USS SARATOGA during passage for Joint RN/USN

attacks on oil refineries at Soerabaya (Operation TRANSOM).

15th Replenished in Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia.

17th Screened carriers during attacks.

June Deployed in Indian Ocean for patrol and convoy defence..

July Deployed with HM Cruisers KENYA, CEYLON and GAMBIA with Fleet destroyer screen

to escort HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH and HMS VALIANT, HMS RENOWN and French

battleship RICHELIEU during bombardment of targets at Sabang (Operation CRIMSON).

25th Detached to escort HM Submarine Depot Ship MAIDSTONE for passage to Fremantle.

August Deployed in Indian Ocean for convoy defence.

to (For details of Indian Ocean deployments 1943-45 see OPERATION PACIFIC by E. Gray,

September ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY, SINK THE HAGURO by John Winton and

WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO).).

October

11th Passage to Trincomalee from Fremantle.

November Joined 5th Cruiser Squadron, Eastern Fleet when British Pacific Fleet formed.

December

1st Deployed with HMS KENYA, HMS NEWCASTLE and HMS PHOEBE as Force 61 for

support of military operations in Burma (See Naval Staff History).

1 9 4 5

January

1st Deployed with HM Escort Carrier AMEER, HMS NEWCASTLE, HMS PHOEBE and

three Fleet Destroyers in support of landings by 3rd Commando Brigade on Akyab

Peninsula.

Gunfire support not required as Japanese had left (Operation LIGHTNING).

22nd Embarked Royal Marines at Akyab for landing on Cheduba Island, Burma.

26th Landed Royal Marines and supported operation with HMS NEWCASTLE and HMS

KENYA escorted by HM Destroyers RAPID and PALADIN (Operation SANKEY).

31st Re-embarked RM's and bombarded west coast of Ramree Island with HMS KENYA and

HMS NEWCASTLE.

February Passage to Simonstown.

March Under Refit and Rest and Recreation period.

May Post refit trials.

3rd Returned to Ceylon with call at Durban.

13th Deployed with HM Destroyers ROEBUCK, RACEHORSE and REDOUBT as Task Force 62

to reinforce ships of Force 61 during operation to intercept Japanese evacuation craft.

18th Returned to Trincomalee.

June Deployed in Indian Ocean with Eastern Fleet.

July

5th Joined HMS AMEER and HMS EMPEROR to cover minesweeping operations escorted by

HM Destroyers ROEBUCK, ESKIMO and VIGILANT.

(Operation COLLIE - Preparation for Malayan coast landings..

Bombarded Car Nicobar during the minesweeping task.

15th Bombarded Nancowry.

August Prepared for operations in Malacca Strait in support of landings.

15th Joined HM Battleship NELSON, HM Escort Carriers ATTACKER, HUNTER, SHAH

and STALKER for passage to Penang for occupation.

Landings delayed on passage because of political pressure by USA and implementation of

PYTHON release scheme to enable SEAC personnel to return to UK.

See references and Final Report from Supreme Commander, SEAC (HMSO).

24th Returned to Trincomalee with HMS SHAH and HMS STALKER to refuel.

September

4th Passage to Port Swettenham to join HM Cruisers CEYLON, CLEOPATRA, ROYALIST

and Escort Carriers of 21st Carrier Squadron.

9th Covered allied landings north of Port Dickson with HMS NELSON, RICHELIEU, HM

Cruisers CEYLON, HMS CLEOPATRA and 21st Aircraft Carrier Squadron with destroyer

screen (Operation ZIPPER - See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY.

P o s t W a r N o t e s

HMS NIGERIA remained in full commission on return to UK from East Indies in 1945. Between 1946 and 1950 she served as Flagship, South Atlantic based at Simonstown. After paying off in 1951 she was placed in Reserve and three years later purchased by the Indian government. This ship was extensively refitted before recommissioning into the RIN as IS MYSORE in 1957. Following Fleet duties until 1975 she was used as a training ship for several years until being scrapped.

S u m m a r y o f P o s t W a r S e r v i c e

1 9 4 6

Commissioned for service and took passage to Simonstown.

Visited Lagos.

1 9 4 7

Deployed for visits and exercises including ships of the newly

formed South African Navy

(Note: Supervision of sovereignty of Falkland Islands was part

of the responsibility of CinC South Atlantic Station.

1 9 4 8

South Atlantic deployment in continuation

(Note: During this period an increase in presence of Argentine warships

became evident and whilst in Falklands area and the ship made

formal protest to Argentine naval tugs lying at Melchior, 800

miles south of Cape Horn.)

1 9 4 9 to 1 9 5 0

South Atlantic deployment in continuation.

1 9 5 1

Returned to UK to pay-off and reduce to Reserve status.

Paid-off and destored.

Accepted into Reserve.

1 9 5 2 to 1 9 5 3

Laid-up in Reserve and placed on Sales List

.

1 9 5 4

Sold to the Indian Government for 300,000 and to be refitted with

equipment brought up to current standards of an RN cruiser of this Class.

1 9 5 5 t o 1 9 5 6

Under refit and modernisation at Birkenhead by Cammell Laird shipyard.

(Note: Amongst the changes made during this period were:

Radar equipment replaced.

Aircraft Warning Type 960 in place of Type 279

Surface Warning Types 277 and 293 in place of Type 272

Under refit and modernisation at Birkenhead by Cammell Laird shipyard.

(Note: Amongst the changes made during this period were:

Main Armament Fire Control Type 274 in place of Type 284.

Two Type 275 Fire Control Type 275 in place of Type 285

Display equipment modernised and installed in

compartments designed for the RN Action

Information System.

New Type 974 Radar fitted for navigational purposes

Bridge structure replaced by new design.

Lattice masts fitted to replace earlier Tripod type.

Triple 6in mounting in X position aft removed.

Two triple torpedo tube mountings removed.

Electrical power supply system modified to suit new equipment

requirements.

 

S e r v i c e i n I n d i a n N a v y

1 9 5 7

Commissioned on 29th August as INS MYSORE for service

as Flagship of the Indian Navy.

Passage to Bombay for operational service.

1 9 5 8

Flagship duties in continuation including exercises with other

Commonwealth Navies of SEATO Powers.

1 9 5 9

Flagship duties in continuation

Involved in collision with HM Destroyer HOGUE in Indian

Ocean during Exercise JET59.

(Note: HMS HOGUE sustained major structural damage and

on survey was found beyond economical repair.)

1 9 6 0 to 1 9 7 4

Flagship duties in continuation.

1 9 7 5 t o 1 9 8 0

Redeployed for training duties before being placed on Disposal List

Sold for breaking-up.

 

 


 

Addenda

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS NIGERIA

by Don Kindell

 

These convoy lists have not been cross-checked with the text above

 

 

 

 

 

Date convoy sailed

Joined convoy as escort

Convoy No.

Left convoy

Date convoy arrived

 

 

 

 

 

24/03/41

03/04/41

HG 057

09/04/41

11/04/41

01/02/42

05/02/42

PQ 009

08/02/42

10/02/42

12/02/42

13/02/42

QP 007

15/02/42

15/02/42

14/02/42

22/02/42

PQ 011

23/02/42

22/03/42

01/03/42

02/03/42

QP 008

07/03/42

11/03/42

26/03/42

12/04/42

PQ 014

18/04/42

19/04/42

10/04/42

12/04/42

QP 010

18/04/42

21/04/42

10/04/42

28/04/42

PQ 015

02/05/42

05/05/42

21/05/42

23/05/42

PQ 016

26/05/42

30/05/42

21/05/42

26/05/42

QP 012

28/05/42

29/05/42

27/06/42

29/06/42

PQ 017

04/07/42

04/07/42

26/06/42

29/06/42

QP 013

08/07/42

07/07/42

03/03/44

03/03/44

KMF 029A

14/03/44

17/03/44

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 


 

HMS NIGERIA and HER COMMANDING OFFICER 1946-47

by Lawrence Cooper.

"I am attaching a document of some 6,000 words describing my rather unusual experience in serving in a very close relationship with Commander (as he was then) Charles Playfair Coke on HMS NIGERIA during 1946/7 which I have written for the benefit of my grandchildren. I have also attached Cdr Coke's obituary." - click for Mr Cooper's Account and for Cdr Coke's obituary.

 


HMS NIGERIA and ADDITIONAL SERVICE NOTES, FEBRUARY to OCTOBER 1944
by Commander (F) David Hamilton RN, Rtd, from his Midshipman's Journal

10 February 1944 - Operation Posthorn, battleships Anson, Richelieu, carrier Furious, cruisers Belfast and Nigeria, escorted by destroyers Impulsive, Oribi, Iroquois (RCN), Serapis, Haida (RCN), Athabaskan (RCN), Onslaught. Barracudas with Seafire escort to strike reported German convoy. Not found but ship and repair ship alongside destroyed. One Me 109 shot down, one Seafire lost.

 

25 August - Sailed for Freemantle with Maidstone, Atheling and destroyers Pathfinder, Nizam (RAN), Van Galen (RNN). Joined later by liner Dunrotter Castle plus Norman (RAN) and HMS Helford. After three days all except Maidstone left.

 

5 September - Freemantle.

 

27 September - Left for Trincomalee and took two US fast troopships General Randall and General Mitchell with us.

 

3rd October - Met by destroyers Redoubt and Racehorse

 

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