1 9 3 9
September to December
Australian waters. Nominated
for escort of military convoys taking ANZAC troops to Middle East.
1 9 4 0
10th - Joined military Convoy US1 with four troop ships to relieve HMAS
SYDNEY as relief for HM Cruiser LEANDER. (Note: Convoy included troopships from
Wellington, New Zealand and Sydney.)
20th - Relieved as US1 escort by HM Cruiser KENT and French cruiser
SUFFREN which were were to provide Ocean escort for part of Indian Ocean
transit. (Note: Convoy was taking ANZAC troops for service in Middle East)
February to April
Deployment for convoy defence off western Australia in continuation. Nominated
for escort of military convoy US3 and to be transfer to Home Fleet on arrival. in
Deployed with HMAS CANBERRA and HMS LEANDER for escort of US3 during
passage from New Zealand to Sydney (Note: US3 was third convoy taking ANZAC
troops for service in Middle East.)
5th - Arrived at Sydney with US3
6th - Remained with US3 as escort for Ocean passage.
US3 Diverted to take
passage to UK via Cape of Good Hope when Italy was considered as being likely
to join the war.
26th - Arrived at Cape Town with US3 (Note: Convoy included rms QUEEN
MARY, rms MAURITANIA and seven other passenger liners).
Detached from US3 and
took passage to Scapa Flow to join Home Fleet.
Deployed for Home Fleet duties. On arrival in Home waters took passage
to Scapa Flow to join Home Fleet.
7th - Took part in aborted search off Norway for German battleship
GNEISENAU with HM Battlecruisers REPULSE, RENOWN, HM Cruisers DEVONSHIRE,
SHEFFIELD and YORK screened by Home Fleet destroyers. (To be confirmed)
Deployed in Atlantic Ocean for trade defence. Diverted to support
operation against Vichy French at Dakar, West Africa.
7th - Deployed with HM Aircraft Carrier HERMES to report French naval
movements off Dakar.
8th - Took part in attack on French battleship RICHELIEU at Dakar with
HM Aircraft Carrier HERMES and HM Cruiser DORSETSHIRE. (Note: Attempts by Vichy
French aircraft and submarines to intercept after this operation failed.)
26th - Deployed with HMS REPULSE, HMS RENOWN, HM Cruisers SHEFFIELD,
YORK and DEVONSHIRE with screen of Home Fleet destroyers in unsuccessful search
for GNEISENAU reported making an attempt to break out into Atlantic.
Deployed with HM Cruiser NORFOLK to search for blockade runners and
other vessels off Bear Island.
1st - Replaced HM Cruiser FIJI in Force M during passage to support
Vichy French landings at Dakar (Operation MENACE). HMS FIJI was
torpedoed in NW Approaches whilst with Force M ships on passage to Freetown.
(See RELUCTANT ENEMIES and MENACE by A Marder for details.
8th - Under torpedo attack by U36 which failed due to torpedo defect,.
16th - Joined HM Aircraft Carrier ARK ROYAL, HM Battleship RESOLUTION,
HM Battlecruiser RENOWN and Fleet destroyers from Gibraltar with ships of Force
19th - Relieved HM Cruiser CUMBERLAND on interception patrol off Dakar. Intercepted
French cruisers (Force Y) attempting passage away from Dakar.
20th - Escorted French cruisers GLOIRE and MONTCALM to Casablanca
23rd - Engaged three Vichy French destroyers leaving Dakar. Flotilla
Leader L'AUDACIEUX was damaged by 6in gunfire and set en fire. (Note: This
warship was beached later and eventually towed to Bizerta for repair, where she
was sunk in a US air attack in 1943).
26th - Took part in initial bombardment of Dakar. Ship's WALRUS aircraft
shot down during gunnery Fall of Shot duty. Sustained two hits from return
shore fire with little damage..
28th - Operation abandoned because of risk of damage to major units from
3rd - Escorted convoy taking Free French troops to Duala for landing
8th - Covered Free French landings which were successful.
from Free French operation resumed Atlantic convoy defence.
November to December
Atlantic trade defence between Gibraltar and West Africa in
continuation. Passage to UK for refit.
1 9 4 1
On completion carried out post refit trials. Nominated for escort of
11th - Provided AA defence with HM Cruiser NAIAD for troopships assembled
at Moelfre Bay in Clyde prior to passage to Middle East.
12th - Deployed as Ocean Escort for Convoy WS5B with HM Battleship
RAMILLIES and HM Cruisers NAIAD, PHOEBE and EMERALD during passage in NW
15th - Remained with WS5B as Ocean Escort with HMS RAMILLIES when HMS
PHOEBE and HMS NAIAD detached.
17th - Remained with WS5B as Ocean Escort with HMS EMERALD when HMS
25th - Arrived at Freetown with WS5B
29th - Rejoined WS5B on departure from Freetown as Ocean Escort with HMS
EMERALD for passage to Capetown.
8th - Arrived at Capetown with WS5B and HMS EMERALD detached.
12th - Sailed from Capetown as Ocean Escort for ships of WS5B destined
15th - Sailed from Durban as Ocean Escort for passage to Suez, and HMS
EMERALD for passage to Bombay.
21st - Remained with ships destined for Suez when Bombay section
detached off Mombasa.
Passage in Red Sea with WS5B.
3rd - Detached from WS5B on arrival at Suez.
Passage to resume trade
defence and interception duties in Indian Ocean.
April to October
Deployed for trade defence, interception of blockade runners and
commerce raiders in Indian Ocean and South Atlantic
Returned to RAN control and took passage to Sydney.
23rd - Deployed as escort for military convoy ZK5 during passage from
Sydney to Port Moresby with HMAS CANBERRA, PERTH and HMNZS ACHILLES. (Note:
This convoy included troopships AQUITANIA and SARPEDON).
1 9 4 2
3rd - Ferried troops ashore from troopships on arrival.
9th - Escorted KZ convoy from Noumea to Suva.
19th - Joined ANZAC Squadron on formation and deployed in SW Pacific
under overall US Navy command. ANZAC Force also included HM Australian
Cruisers CANBERRA, ADELAIDE, HOBART, PERTH, HM New Zealand Cruisers ACHILLES,
LEANDER, US Cruiser USS CHICAGO and two US Navy destroyers.
27th - Deployed with ANZAC Force and ships of US Navy Task Force 11
ships in Coral Sea.
Deployed in Coral Sea with US Navy.
6th - Joined by ships of US Navy Task Force 17 near New Hebrides.
22nd - ANZAC Squadron disbanded. Remainder under US Navy overall command
for convoy defence
Deployment with US Navy in SW Pacific in continuation.
1st to 6th - Deployed as Task Force 44 with HMAS HOBART and USS CHICAGO and two
US Navy to destroyers in support of US TASK Force 17 during US operations by US
Navy Task Forces
TF17 and 11 against Japanese invasion of New Guinea (Battle of
7th - Under air attacks without damage. Ship took no further part
in operations (For details see WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO).)
Provided convoy defence in SW Pacific.
12th - Remained with Task Force 44 when USS Pacific Fleet was
re-organised. (Note: Ships in TF44 the included HMAS HOBART, HMAS CANBERRA, USS
CHICAGO and nine US Navy destroyers of DESDRON 4. DESDRON is equivalent of an
RN Destroyer Flotilla.)
14th - Deployed with HM Australian Cruiser HOBART, US Cruisers CHICAGO
and SALT LAKE CITY screened by 3 US destroyers to meet US Task Group off
Wellington (Note: This Task Group was to take part in amphibious operations in
26th - Joined US Task Force 61 for invasion exercises prior to
Guadalcanal landings. (Operation WATCHTOWER - For details of naval activities in
Pacific area see HISTORY OF USN OPERATIONS IN WW2 by SE Morris, AUSTRALIAN AND
NEW ZEALAND WARSHIPS 1914-1945 by R Gillette and WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO)
31st - Deployed as Task Group 62.1 with HMAS CANBERRA, HMAS HOBART, USS
CHICAGO and destroyers of DESDRON 4 for escort of 23 mercantiles during passage
from Fiji for landings on Guadalcanal.
7th - On arrival deployed with HMAS CANBERRA and US cruiser CHICAGO in
Southern Group to providing cover for US landings on Tulagi.
Detached from these
two cruisers to attend conference with Admiral in US Navy Transport USS
MCAWLEY. (Note: HMAS HOBART and USS SAN JUAN were also not present during the
engagement with Japanese warships off Savo Island during which HMAS CANBERRA
was sunk. See above references and THE SHAME OF SAVO)
21st - Patrolled off Solomon Islands with HMAS HOBART.
31st - Joined US 4th Fleet Task Force TF44 on formation with HMAS
HOBART, US cruiser PHOENIX and five US destroyers.
6th - Sailed from Brisbane with ships of TF44 for support of operations
against Japanese invasion in New Guinea.
11th - Arrived in New Guineas and unable to intercept destroyers
evacuating Trobriand Islands.
October to December
Military support and convoy defence with TF44 in continuation.
1 9 4 3
Task Force 44 deployment in continuation.
Transferred to US 7th Fleet and redesignated as part of TF74 with HMAS
HOBART, HM Australian Destroyers WARRAMUNGA and ARUNTA. Deployed south of
Australia as Task Group 74.3 with HMAS ADELAIDE and three US Navy destroyers to
cover transit of military cover during passage from Fremantle to Sydney (Note:
Convoy included rms QUEEN MARY, rms AQUITANIA, French Liner ISLE DE FRANCE and
Dutch Liner NIEUW AMSTERDAM. deployed as Task Group 74.3 for passage to Sydney.
27th - Arrived at Sydney with convoy. (Operation PAMPHLET).
Resumed support and convoy defence duties in SW Pacific.
15th - Deployed in Task Farce 74 with HMAS HOBART, USS PHOENIX and seven
destroyers of DESDRON 4 for support of US Navy operations in SW Pacific.
April to May
Deployment with Task Force 74 for military support and convoy defence in
SW Pacific in continuation.
23rd - Covered US amphibious operation in New Georgia with HMAS HOBART,
ARUNTA, WARRAMUNGA and nine US Navy destroyer. (Operation CARTWHEEL
– See WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO).)
16th - Diverted with HMAS HOBART and four US Navy destroyers from
Espiritu Santo to reinforce US ships supporting the landings in New Georgia
after recent losses. (Note: HMAS HOBART was hit by torpedo from Japanese
submarine I11 and had to return to Espiritu Santo - See WAR WITH JAPAN.)
Military support with TF74 in continuation.
Provided naval gunfire support with T74 ships in support of US landings
in New Britain.
Support deployment in continuation.
5th - Transferred with HMAS SHROPSHIRE, ARUNTA, WARRAMUNGA and
two US Navy destroyers of TF74 from Milne Bay to reinforce South Pacific
forces. (See reference.
13th - Covered landing by VII Amphibious Force in Arawe, New Britain
with SHROPSHIRE, ARUNTA and WARRAMUNGA with
TF74 ships. (Operation DIRECTOR – See WAR WITH JAPAN for details)
26th - Covered landing and provided naval gunfire support for landing of
US 1st Marine Division at Cape Gloucester, New Guinea with SHROPSHIRE,
ARUNTA, WARRAMUNGA and US destroyers HELM and RALPH TALBOT. (Operation
BACKHANDER –See WAR WITH JAPAN for details)
1 9 4 4
2nd - Covered landing by 32nd US Infantry Division near Saidor, New
Guinea with HMAS SHROPSHIRE, ARUNTA, WARRAMUNGA and six US destroyers.
(Operation DEXTERITY – See WAR WITH JAPAN for details.)
February to March
Under refit. Close range single Oerlikon guns for AA defence replaced by
On completion rejoined TF74
22nd - Covered landings of 1 US Corps
in New Guinea at Hollandia
(Operation RECKLESS) and Aitape (Operation PERSECUTION) with HMAS SHROPSHIRE,
ARUNTA and two US destroyers and ships of Task Force 75. (See reference for
25th - Covered landings by 41st US Infantry Division on south coast of
Biak with HMAS SHROPSHIRE, ARUNTA, WARRAMUNGA and two US destroyers of
TF74 and ships of Task Force 75. (Operation HORLICKS)
8th - Deployed with US cruiser PHOENIX and destroyer screen to
intercept convoy taking Japanese reinforcements for landing on Biak Island.
reversed course and ineffective exchanges of fire by destroyers during darkness
at long range, pursuit was abandoned to ensure air cover would be available
after daylight. (See WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO)
14th - Bombarded Japanese troops at Aitape in support of US shore
operation with HMAS SHROPSHIRE, ARUNTA, WARRAMUNGA and US destroyers.
TF74 deployment in continuation.
Transferred to Task Force 75 with RAN ships.
15th - Covered landings of US troops on Morotai and provided naval
gunfire support with HMAS SHROPSHIRE, ARUNTA, WARRAMUNGA and two US
destroyers of TG75.2.
16th - Supported preparatory operations for assault on Philippines with
US Cruisers PHOENIX and BOISE, HMAS SHROPSHIRE, ARUNTA, WARRAMUNGA and US destroyers of TG77.3.
20th - Hit on Bridge structure by dive bombing during the Battle of
Leyte Gulf and sustained serious damage with many casualties.
British Fleet base at Manus.
28th - Rejoined US 7th Fleet for support of military operations and
convoy defence duties.
7th - Fleet deployment in continuation.
1 9 4 5
5th - Deployed with HMAS SHROPSHIRE and US Navy warships in Unit 1 of
TG77.2 for support of Luzon landings.
6th - Hit by KAMIKAZE aircraft when entering Lingayen Gulf to provide
naval gunfire support. Sustained major damage.
8th - Hit by four more KAMIKAZE aircraft and sustained further damage
and many casualties.
9th - Under further KAMIKAZE attacks and hit again. Withdrawn from
operations and took passage to Leyte for temporary repair.
On completion of repair work took passage to Australia with call at
Taken in hand for repair.
April to August
Under repair. Twin 8in mounting in X position removed. Improved design