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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2

by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2001

HMS COSSACK (ii) (R 57) -  Co-class Destroyer

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Cossack (Navy Photos/Gerry Wright, click to enlarge)

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Co-Class Fleet Destroyer ordered from Vickers-Armstrong, Newcastle on 12th Sept. 1942 as the 7th RN warship to bear the name and to ensure the distinguished service of her immediate predecessor during WW2 would be kept in the Public eye. She was laid down on 18th March 1943 and launched on 10th May 1944. He final completion was delayed until 4th September 1945 due to problems associated with the design and the manufacture of the fire-control system for her main armament.

 

 

S u m m a r y   o f    S e r v i c e

 

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1 9 4 5

 

August               Contractors trials and commissioning

 

September          Commenced Acceptance Trials

                            Nominated for service with 6th Destroyer Flotilla, British Pacific Fleet

                            as Senior Officer’s ship. Pennant Number changed to D57 after VJ Day.

October              Passage to join British Pacific Fleet

to December      Joined Flotilla for service in Far East as Senior Officer’s ship of 6th

                            Destroyer Flotilla,

                            (Note: During this period RN warships were involved in support of

                                       military operations in the Dutch East Indies where insurgent

                                        forces were opposed to the return of Dutch colonial rule. In

                                        this area very extensive movement of returning civilians

                                        imprisoned after the Japanese occupation took place under

                                        RN supervision for passage to Singapore.

 

                                        The re-occupation of Indo-China and guardship duties in Japan

                                        were other events affecting Fleet deployments. In addition a

                                        patrol was maintained off Chinese ports to protect British

                                        flagged mercantiles which were subject to attacks by both

                                        Nationalist and Communist forces during the ongoing civil war.

                                        British Pacific Fleet was to be based in Hong Kong pending the

                                        restoration of facilities at Singapore.

 

1 9 4 6   t o   1 9 4 7

 

                          Deployed with Flotilla for fleet and flotilla exercises and Far East

                          Station visits programmes.

                          (Note:  British Pacific Fleet headquarters moved to Hong Kong from

                                        Sydney, Australia and later transferred to Singapore.

                                        Deployments in Japan and support of military operations

                                        in Dutch East Indies also continued with other activities

                                        in Indo China. each demanding an RN presence.

 

1 9 4 7   to   1 9 4 9

 

                          Flotilla deployment in Far East continued.

                          (Note:   RN base at Singapore available for refits and docking.

                                         Japan guardship requirement continued with patrol for

                                         protection of shipping in Formosa Strait

                                         Deployments in support of operations against Communist

                                         terrorists in Malaya began and RN ships provided gunfire

                                         support.

 

 1 9 5 0   t o   1 9 5 3

 

                          Deployed with ships of Flotilla for service with United Nations

                          naval task force after outbreak of war in Korea.

                          (Note: Ships on Far East Station were deployed with Commonwealth

                                       warships in Korean waters on a regular basis after June and

                                       provided gunfire support and for safe passage of shipping.

                                       Formosa Strait patrol and guardship was maintained..

                                       Support of operations in Malaya continued throughout this

                                       period as well as Fleet and Flotilla exercises.

 

1 9 5 4   t o   1 9 5 8

 

                           Flotilla duties in Far East in continuation.

                           (Note: After end of hostilities in Korea an RN presence was

                                        continued for UN service off east Coast of Korea and

                                        in addition exercises were carried out with UN ships

                                        off Japan. These included US Navy and ships of the

                                        RAN, RNZN and R Netherlands Navy. Similar exercises

                                        were carried out with USN based in the Philippines.

                                        Other exercises were carried out with SEATO nations

                                        in Indian Ocean. Visits programme was significantly

                                        extended and some ships visited ports in Australia and

                                        New Zealand.

                                        Far East Station ships were involved in the atomic weapon

                                        tests at Montebello and the H Bomb tests at Christmas

                                        Island during this period.

                                        There were Royal Visits to Hong Kong and Singapore

                                        for which ships on station played their part.

 

1 9 5 9

 

                           Nominated for return to UK to Pay-off and reduce to Reserve status

                           after 14 years continuous service on the Far East Station..

 

November          Passage to UK from Singapore

to December      Reduced to Reserve at Devonport after de-storing and paying-off.

 

F i n a l   P h a s e

 

HMS COSSACK (ii) was placed on the Disposal List in 1960 and sold to BISCO for demolition. The ship was towed to Troon for breaking-up by the West of Scotland Shipbreaking Co. and arrived there to be broken-up on 1st March 1961

 

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