1 9 4 3
October Contractor's trials.
31st Build completion and carried out sea trials.
3rd Formal transfer and renamed HMS PREMIER.
Passage to Esquimalt for modifications to suit RN use.
11th Taken in hand for modification by HM Canadian Dockyard,
December Under modification
1 9 4 4
January Prepared for ocean passage on completion of dockyard work
9th Sailed for Panama from Esquimalt.
(Note: Call in west coast USA port to be confirmed.)
17th Transit of Panama Canal.
25th Arrived in Norfolk, Va
6th Took passage to UK
(Note: Embarkation of aircraft for transport to UK and passage with a routine convoy
to be confirmed.)
20th Arrived in Liverpool
29th Allocated for deployment as a ferry carrier and took passage for Norfolk.
11th Arrived at Norfolk Navy Yard and embarked aircraft for transport to UK
26th Arrived in Liverpool and unloaded aircraft.
Nominated for further ferry trip.
May Passage to Norfolk to collect aircraft.
12th Arrived at Norfolk
31st Arrived in Liverpool and taken in hand for repair
(Note: Passage with a routine convoy to be confirmed.)
June Under repair.
July Under repair.
7th Nominated for future deployment as an operational carrier
August Under repair.
5th Carried out post repair trials on completion of shipyard work.
13th Embarked 12 AVENGER aircraft and personnel of 856 Squadron.
Deployed in Clyde area to wok-up for operational service in Home Fleet.
13th On completion of work-up took passage to Clyde for routine maintenance.
November Nominated for air minelay operations and attacks on shipping off Norway.
10th Took passage to join Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.
17th Deployed with HM Cruiser DIADEM and HM Escort Aircraft Carrier PURSUER screened
by HM Destroyers ONSLAUGHT. SCORPION and SCOURGE as Force 3 for air minelay.
20th Carried out minelaying in Kara Sound.
21st Returned to Scapa Flow with Force 3.
26th Deployed with HM Fleet Aircraft Carrier IMPLACABLE and HM Escort Aircraft Carrier
PURSUER to carry out air attacks on shipping between Mosjoen and Rorvik.
27th Returned to Scapa Flow with HMS PURSUER due to weather conditions.
(Note HMS IMPLACABLE was able to execute attacks during which two ships were sunk.
December Embarked four AVENGER aircraft and personnel of 846 Squadron.
6th Deployed with HM Aircraft Carriers IMPLACABLE and TRUMPETER, HM Cruiser DIADEM
screened by HM Destroyers ZEALOUS, ZAMBESI, VIGILANT, SAVAGE, SERAPIS, Canadian
destroyers ALGONQUIN, SIOUX and Norwegian destroyer STORD as Force 1 for a joint
anti-shipping strike and air minelay off Norwegian coast (Operation URBANE).
7th Aircraft carried out minelay in Kara Sound and attacks on shore targets.
8th Aircraft carried out attacks on shipping between Bergen and Stavanger.
9th Returned to Scapa Flow with Force 1.
12th Sailed from Scapa Flow for minelay.
14th Deployed with HM Cruiser DEVONSHIRE, HM Escort Aircraft Carrier PREMIER and a
destroyer screen comprising HM Destroyers ZEALOUS, ZEPHYR, SAVAGE, SERAPIS,
SIOUX (RCN) and ALGONQUIN (RCN) (Force 2) for joint shipping strike and air minelay.
Air minelay carried out in Ramosund.
Under air attack by Ju88, one of which was destroyed.
Two AVENGER aircraft crashed on landing without casualties.
Diversionary air strikes on air fields at Hammerfest and Banak not possible due to low cloud
in target areas.
Later one aircraft ranged on deck lost overboard. in bad weather.
Planned air minelay in Skatestromme cancelled due to deteriorating weather
(Note: Minelay in Skatestrommen was cancelled after Force was shadowed.
15th Ship sustained weather damage.
17th Returned to Scapa Flow with Force 2
Repair arranged in Clyde shipyard and passage to Greenock
23rd Under repair in commercial shipyard.
1 9 4 5
January Returned passage to resume Home Fleet duties.
Embarked 20 WILDCAT aircraft and personnel of 881 Squadron
11th Deployed as Force 3 with HM Cruiser DIDO, HMS TRUMPETER, HM Destroyers
OPPORTUNE, CAVENDISH, ZEST, ZODIAC and Motor Torpedo Boats for Air-Sea
(Operation GRATIS - This was an air minelay in Karm Sound and was a part of major
Home Fleet operation to attack shipping and lay a minefield off Utsira Is. by HM Cruiser
Cruiser APOLLO (Operation SPELLBINDER).
12th Carried out mixed air minelay in Karm Sound.
13th Returned to Scapa Flow with Force 3.
(For details of all minelaying operations see the Naval Staff History (Mining)).
24th Deployed with HM Escort Aircraft Carrier PREMIER to cover night air attacks by
HM Escort Aircraft Carrier CAMPANIA on shipping off Vaagso, Norway
28th Deployed with HM Escort Aircraft Carriers CAMPANIA and NAIRANA to carry
out night air attacks on shipping near Vaagso.
Provided cover during air strikes by HMS CAMPANIA.
29th Returned to Scapa Flow.
11th Deployed with HMS DEVONSHIRE, HM Escort Aircraft Carrier PUNCHER screened by HM
Destroyers CAVENDISH, CAVALIER, SCOURGE and ZEBRA as Force 2 to carry out an air
minelay in Skatestrommen (Operation SELENIUM)
(Note: This was part of a coincident shipping strike by Force 1 off Bud which
was unsuccessful. See above reference.)
13th Returned to Scapa Flow with Force 2.
22nd Deployed as Force 4 with HMS DIDO, HMS PUNCHER, HM Destroyers MYNGS, SCORPION
and CAVALIER for a combined air minelay and shipping strike in Karm Sound.
(Note: This was part of Home Fleet Operation SHRED and included the clearance of
mines by 10th Minesweeping Flotilla to reduce length of passage to Norway
The minelay was carried out under fire and two aircraft were lost.
23rd Returned to Scapa Flow with Force 4.
19th Deployed with HM Cruiser BELLONA, HM Escort Aircraft Carriers SEARCHER and QUEEN
screened by HM Destroyers ONSLOW, ZEST, SERAPIS, HAIDA (RCN) and IROQUOIS (RCN)
as Force 1 to carry out dual shipping and shore strikes and air minelay.
20th Carried out aircraft minelay at Askevold and attacks on shore targets.
(Note: This was first operation by HMS SEARCHER and HMS QUEEN was still working-
up for service. The minelay was later declared as very successful.)
Last dual minelay with airstrikes, the first was in August 1944.)
21st Returned to Scapa Flow with Force 1
Passage to Clyde for repair of defects.
1st Resumed Home Fleet duties at Scapa Flow.
18th Joined Russian Convoy JW66 with HMS BELLONA, HM Escort Aircraft Carrier V1NDEX, HM
Destroyers OFFA, ZEALOUS, ZEPHYR, ZEST, ZODIAC, Canadian destroyers HAIDA,
HURON, IROQUOIS and Norwegian destroyer STORD to support Close Escort during passage
to Kola Inlet (Operation ROUNDEL – Provision of air cover.).
26th Arrived at Kola Inlet with JW66 after uninterrupted passage.
(Note: Passage into Kola Inlet was cleared of awaiting submarines by a special anti-submarine
'Search and Destroy' operation.)
29th Sailed from Kola Inlet as escort for passage to UK on return Convoy RA66 with the
same ships and also Home Fleet units previously engaged in anti-submarine minelay
off Kola Inlet (Operation TRAMMEL).
(Note: Anti-submarine operations were carried out off Kola Inlet before sailing
of RA66 by Close Escort. For details of all Russian Convoys see CONVOYS
TO RUSSIA by RA Ruegg, ARCTIC CONVOYS by R Woodman, THE RUSSIAN
CONVOYS by B Schoefield and CONVOY! by P Kemp. This was the last Russian
6th Detached from RA66 with HMS BELLONA and HMS VINDEX to resume Home Fleet duties.
21st Nominated for service as a deck landing training carrier based in Clyde.
Under repair in Clyde.
June Under repair
24th Commenced deck landing training role in Clyde.
August Deck landing training duties in continuation.