Fleet Destroyer ordered from Swan Hunter at Newcastle on 27th April 1942 with
ships of the 1st and 2nd Flotillas on 27th April 1942. The ship was laid down
on 28th October 1942 and launched on 1st November 1942. She was the 4th RN ship
to carry this name which commemorates the victory off Cape Barfleur
over the French Fleet by a combined British and Dutch Squadron and was first
used in 1697 for a 2nd Rate. It had last been borne by an 1892 battleship sold
in 1910. Build was completed on 14th September 1944 but the ship was accepted
without the new fire-control director (Mk VI). Availability
of this item had already delayed hand-over from the shipbuilder planned to be
in March 1944 and it was decided to commission the snip and carry out as many
First of Class trials as possible without this item
fitted. The ship then returned to the builders’ yard to await installation of
this fundamental item of equipment that also carried the radar aerials for the
main armament fire-control system. This destroyer was the only one of her Class
to take a part in war operations in the Pacific and was designated as belonging
to Group 1 TRAFALGAR Type of the 1942 BATTLE Class.
B a t t
l e H o n o u r s
VIGO 1702 - VELEZ MALAGA 1704 - CAPE PASSARO 1718 - TOULON
17440 - AIX 1757 - CHESAPEAKE 1731 - ST
KITTS 1782 - THE
SAINTES 1782 - GLORIOUS FIRST OF JUNE 1794 -
GROIX 1795 - ST
VINCENT 1797 - CALDER'S ACTION 1805 - CHINA 1900
H e r a
l d i c D a t
Badge: On a Field Blue’ a Goat statant white within a ohaplet of
S u m m a r y of S
e r v i c e
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and type name in Site Search)
1 9 4 4
March Planned completion date delayed due to lack of availability of Gunnery
Ship deployment with
British Pacific Fleet delayed.
April Fitting out in continuation.
to Decision made to
commission on 4th September.
14th Accepted Into service for First of
October Retained at builder's yard to await
delivery of director.
November Mk 6
Director and Type 275 radar installation.
Commenced trials of main fire-control system.
(For details of radar fit and use of radar in Fleet after 1943 see RADAR AT SEA
by D Howse).
1 9 4 5
Radar trials including Target Indication and Fire Control system in
and completion of First of Class trials.
(Note: Although fire control radar for tarns Bofors was intended to be fitted, it had not
acceptance trials - See above reference )
Prepared for foreign service on completion of trials.
Passage to Mediterranean and worked-up for operational service in BPF.
Passage to join British Pacific Fleet.
Following change of US Navy organisation in Pacific nominated for
service in Task Force 37
of 3rd US Fleet.
(Note: RN ships deployed with 5th US fleet as Task Force 57 had been
also been transferred
to 3rd US
Arrived in Sydney after Task Force 37 had sailed to join operations off
15th Deployed with HM Destroyers WAKEFUL
and WRANGLER to screen HM Aircraft Carrier
WRANGLER and WAKEFUL during passage to Join Task Force 37-
Called at British Fleet base at Manus in
(Note: Pennant Number D61 allocated for
Visual Signalling purposes D61 to conform with
requirements whilst serving under overall US Navy
20th Arrived in Replenishment Area with
HMS INDEFATIGABLE and Joined Task Force.
23rd Sailed as part of screen for Task
Force ships to carry out flying operations off Japan against
airfields and shipping.
26th Returned with screen to Replenishment
(Note: For details of operations off Japan see THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by
57 by P Smith, OPERATION PACIFIC by E. Gray and WAR
28th Resumed screening duties during
flying operations against subsidiary targets.
(Note: Due to US Navy internal directives Britain ships did not take
part in the flying
primary targets such as naval installations. See above references.)
31st Returned with screen for
replenishment after further air operations against
air fields in SW
Honshu and shipping at Maizuru and Nagoya Bay.
August Fleet screening duties in continuation with Task Force 37 ships.
7th First Atomic bomb dropped on
9th Second Atomic bomb dropped on
Part of screen for BPF units during Joint RN/USN attacks on airfields
and ships in Nort
12th Transferred to Task Force 38 when
ships of BPF had to return to Manus because of lack
from British Fleet Train tankers. See above
Note: This ship was the only BATTLE Class destroyer to see operational
service in WW2).
Joined Task Group 38.5 with HM
Destroyers NAPIER (RAN), NIZAM (RAN), TEAZER
TERMAGANT, TENACIOUS, WAKEFUL and WRANGLER for
screening of HM
Battleship KING GEORGE V, HM Aircraft Carrier 1NDEFATIGABLE, HM Cruisers
NEWFOUNDLAND and GAMBIA (RNZN).
HMS KING GEORGE V was on passage from Guam and did not Join TG38.5 until
13th Deployed with screen for TG38.5
during air strikes on Onagawa and under attack by
aircraft 25 of which were shot down by Ships of the Task Force.
14th Returned to Replenishment area
with TG38.5 to refuel from US tankers.
15th Deployed with screen during what
proved to be final air strikes made on Japan.
After attacks on airfields at Hisaruki and Nobara were made all strike operations were cancelled
but ships came under attack by an aircraft which dropped two bombs near
16th HMS KING GEORGE V Joined TG38.5 in
position south east of Tokyo.
18th Replenished with ships of TG38.5.
27th Arrived in Sagami Wan with TG38.5.
P o s t W a r
S e r v i c e
2nd Present in Tokyo Bay for formal
October Deployed with ships of BPF under RN control to assist in repatriation of
PoW and allied
December Transferred to 19th Destroyer Flotilla.
Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to D80 after
reverting to RN control.
1 9 4 6
British Pacific Fleet deployment with Flotilla in continuation.
(Note: Ships in the 19th Destroyer Flotilla were all BATTLE Class.
Destroyers ARMADA, CAMPERDOWN, HOGUE, LAGOS and TRAFALGAR
BPF after VJ Day as they became available for service.
and HMS FINISTERRE were retained in tans waters.)
After requirements in
Japan were terminated based at Hong Kong for Fleet duties including
protection of British
flagged shipping off coasts of China and Indo China.
1 9 4 7
January Flotilla recalled to UK.
to Passage to UK with
March Paid off and reduced to Reserve
Joined Reserve Fleet after reduction to Reserve.
1 9 4 8 t o 1952
deployment in continuation.
changes were made::
4.5in mountings fitted.
single Mk7 Bofors fitted.
Twin Bofor STAAG Radar controlled mounting fitted.
SQUID A/S Mortar fitted with Type 144Q and 147 Asdics
Definition Warning Surface Radar Type 974 fitted.
torpedo tubes were retained.
Commissioned for service in 3rd Destroyer Flotilla, Mediterranean Fleet
in place of HMS
GRAVELINES, HMS VIGO and
(Note: Other ships is Flotilla were SAINTES (Leader) and VIGO.
Deployed in Mediterranean and took part in Fleet exercise and visits
programmes with ships
(Note: HMS VIGO was replaced by HMS ST KITTS).
1 9 5 4
Returned to UK in
December and recommissioned for General Service
1 9 5 5
Flotilla in Home Fleet until October.
Mediterranean for Fleet duties with Flotilla.
1 9 5 6
Flotilla in Mediterranean.
Took part in Suez operations in October and November (Operation
Returned to UK in
December 1956 for service with Home Fleet.
(Note: HMS ARMADA
replaced HMS SAINTES as Leader).
1 9 5 7 / 1 95 8
Served with 3rd Destroyer Squadron.
Spent 1957 in the Med Fleet, with two anti-gun running patrols off Cyprus.
In January 1958, took part in Home Fleet Spring excursion to the
West Indies, then various exercises around UK.
Homing torpedo trials in Loch Long June/July and back to Plymouth for Navy Days.
Paid off and reduced to Reserve in September 1958.
F i n
a l P h a s e
HMS BARFLEUR remained in Reserve until 1966 and was placed
on the Disposal List. The ship was sold to
Arnott Young for breaking-up at Dalmuir where she arrived in June that year.