Improved 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 December 1917
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
It was last used for a
cruiser in 1897 which achieved renown when she took part in the Zeebrugge and Ostend
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 support duties.
1 9 3 9
September After the
outbreak of war with Germany selected for use as a Repair
Taken in hand for conversion to new role.
October Under conversion.
1 9 4 0
completion of conversion commissioned for service and joined Home Fleet.
for support of ships deployed in Norway after the German invasion.
12th Passage to Norway in Convoy NP1 taking troops
for initial landings.
Escort included HM Battleship VALIANT screened by HM Destroyers ACASTA
ARDENT and CODRINGTON).
14th Passage to Vaagsfjord when some ships detached for Namsos.
Naval Staff History (HMSO- 2000)
18th Embarked troops at Bygen
for passage to Vaagsfjord, See reference..
Escorted by HM Destroyer ELECTRA.
high level air attacks which disrupted landing arrangements and were
a forewarning of the extent of air defence required.
Landed troops west of Oftfjord.
24th Embarked troops at Bogden
for passage to land near Narvik after preliminary bombardment.
Carried bombardment 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
12th Embarked French
Chasseurs at Bjerkvik.
to Bjerkvik with HM Battleship RESOLUTION, HM
AURORA, HM Destroyers SOMALI, FAME, HAVELOCK, WREN and
HM Netlayer PROTECTOR also carried troops.)
13th Bombarded landing area with HMS
RESOLUTION, HMS EFFINGHAM
prior to landings.
Returned to Harstad when released from support duty.
June Took part in final evacuation from Narvik
reference for details.
4th Embarked troops for evacuation.
7th Sailed from
Harstad for UK as sole
escort for Group I Evacuation Convoy.
Group I comprised troopships MONARCH OF
Polish SOBIESKI, FRANCONIA, LANCASTRIA and
8th In action
against single aircraft which was driven off.
9th HM Battleship VALIANT met Group I to
provide additional cover during
with Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.
to West Africa Command for support of escorts.
Passage to Freetown.
as Base Repair Ship at Freetown.
1 9 4 1
Freetown support duty in continuation
1 9 4 2
January Freetown deployment
for transfer to Oran for support duties after allied landings in North
Africa (Operation TORCH)
November Passage to Oran.
HM Destroyer Depot Ship HECLA escorted by HM Destroyers VENOMOUS and
MARNE west of Gibraltar. (See HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR
12th Avoided torpedoes fired by U515. During
a series of attacks HMS HECLA was hit by three
torpedoes and sank with heavy loss of life.
MARNE was seriously damaged after being hit by another torpedo.
at Oran in support role for escorts.
1 9 4 3
Deployed at Oran for Repair
1 9 4 4
January Oran duties in continuation
for return to UK for repair duties after
allied landings in Normandy.
April Passage to UK.
in Home Waters and awaiting transfer to Normandy area after completion
to of Assault Phase. Refitted
for use as a Destroyer Depot Ship.
for Accommodation and repair purposes in support of operations off the French
1 9 4 5
January On release from support of
operations retained in use as an Accommodation Ship.
to Passage to Portsmouth.
for reduction to Reserve status
off and reduced to Reserve
to Laid-up at Portsmouth.