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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2

by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2004

HMS CURLEW   -  World War 1 C-type Light Cruiser
including Convoy Escort Movements

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Curlew (Navy Photos/Ingo Bauernfiend, click to enlarge)

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CERES-Class Cruiser ordered from Vickers-Armstrong at Newcastle in April 1916 and laid down on 21st August that year. She was launched on 5th July 1917 as the ninth Royal Navy ship to carry this name, first used in 1795 for a Sloop and previously in 1885 for a Torpedo Sloop sold in 1906. Build was completed on 14th December 1917.

 

Battle Honours

 

CRIMEA 1854-55 - ATLANTIC 1940

 

H e r a l d i c D a t a

Badge:  On a Field Blue, a Curlew gold.

 

M o t t o

Solvitur ambulando:  'The question is solved by going on'

 

 

S u m m a r y   o f   P r e - War   S e r v i c e

 

1 9 1 7

November Contractors trials.

December Commissioned. for service in Grand Fleet.

14th Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

1 9 1 8

January On completion of trials and storing took passage to Harwich to join 5th Light Cruiser

Squadron.

February Prepared for operational service with Squadron.

March Deployed in North Sea for Squadron duties

to

October

November Squadron duties in continuation.

11th Germany signed Armistice.

December Nominated for service in Baltic

1 9 1 9

January Passage to Baltic with other ships of Squadron to relieve Baltic Squadron which had been

deployed in November 1918 to assist in defence of Baltic States against Bolshevik troops.

Entered Baltic via Kiel Canal.

February Deployed in Baltic.

to Nominated for transfer to 1st Light Cruiser Squadron, Atlantic Fleet on return to UK.

April

May Joined Squadron for Atlantic Fleet service.

to Nominated for reduction to Reserve status.

June Passage to Devonport.

July Reduced to Reserve at Devonport.

August Laid-up in Reserve Fleet at Chatham

to

December

1 9 2 0

January Transferred to Reserve Fleet at Rosyth.

to Nominated for service in 5th Light Cruiser Squadron on China Station..

March

April Prepared for service.

27th Commissioned for service at Rosyth

May Carried out sea trials and work-up.

June Passage to Singapore to join Squadron

July Joined Squadron.

August Deployed with Squadron on China Station.

to

December

1 9 2 1

China Station deployment with Squadron in continuation.

1 9 2 2

January Squadron deployment on China Station in continuation.

to Nominated for service with 8th Light Cruiser Squadron on America and West Indies Station

August

September Passage to UK to recommission.

October Paid-off.

November Prepared for recommissioning at Chatham.

24th Recommissioned for service on America and West Indies Station

December Passage to West Indies.

1 9 2 3

 

Deployed with 8th Light Cruiser Squadron

(Note: Briefly deployed with HM Battlecruisers REPULSE, and HOOD as part of escort

during passage in Atlantic for Royal Tour by HM The Prince of Wales.)

1 9 2 4 t o 1 9 2 6

West Indies Squadron deployment in continuation.

(Note: Ships of Squadron carried out visits programme to ports in both North and South

America in Atlantic and Pacific as well Squadron exercises

Based at Bermuda.)

1 9 2 7

January Returned to UK and Paid-off into Reserve

to Nominated for service as a troopship

April

1928

January China Station deployment in continuation

to Nominated for return to UK for refit and to Pay-off into Reserve.

June

July Passage to UK.

August Arrived at Chatham

September

15th Paid off into Dockyard control at Chatham.

Taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard, Chatham.

October Under refit

to

December

1 9 2 9

January Under refit

to Nominated for service with 3rd Cruiser Squadron Mediterranean Fleet on completion

July of refit.

August Dockyard work completed and re-commissioned.

September Passage to join Squadron in Mediterranean on completion of post

refit trials and shakedown.

October Deployed with Squadron in Mediterranean.

1930 to 1932

Deployed with Squadron in Mediterranean and took part in Fleet Exercise and

Visits programmes.

Routine dockings and refits were carried out in Malta.

1933

January Mediterranean deployment with Squadron in continuation.

to Nominated for reduction to Reserve

July

August Passage to Sheerness

22nd Paid-off at Chatham.

September Re-allocated for further service

23rd Re-commissioned for service with 1st Cruiser Squadron, Mediterranean Fleet.

October On completion of trials took passage to join Squadron in Malta.

November Deployed with Squadron for Mediterranean Fleet duties.

to

December

1934 to 1935

Mediterranean Fleet service with Squadron in continuation

1 9 3 6

January Squadron deployment in Mediterranean in continuation.

to Nominated for return to UK for conversion as an Anti-aircraft Cruiser.

September

October Passage to Chatham to Pay-off into Dockyard control

November Taken in hand for conversion by HM Dockyard, Chatham

to (Note: This ship and HM Cruiser COVENTRY were the prototypes for a new design of

December warship specifically intended to provide defence against air attacks. Changes made

Included the replacement of the existing armament by ten single 4" AA guns and the

provision of two multiple 2pdr Pom Pom mountings. Fire control of new weapons

was provided by new control platforms on foremast and on new superstructure aft.

Under conversion at Chatham.

1 9 3 7

January Under conversion.

to Commissioned for trials.

April

May On completion of dockyard work carried out trials on new equipment.

Deployed with 10th Cruiser Squadron

June Attended Coronation Review by HM King George VI at Spithead.

July Trials in continuation with Home Fleet.

to

December

1 9 3 8

January On completion of trials nominated for service as Boys Training Ship at Chatham.

to

July

August Commissioned for service as Training Ship at Chatham.

September Deployed at Chatham for training duties.

to

December

1 9 3 9

January Training Ship deployment at Chatham in continuation

to Nominated for installation of prototype aircraft warning radar outfit Type 79Z

July (Note: This was the first RN designed radar and had been under development by HM Signal

School Extension at Southsea since 1936.

An earlier version Type 79Y had been fitted in HM Battleship RODNEY and HM

Cruiser SHEFFIELD during 1938.

It had been intended to fit this improved version in HM Cruiser DUNEDIN at

Portsmouth.)

August Installation of radar in hand at Chatham,

(Note: Changes were needed to both masts to accommodate the radar aerial units.)

War complement joined ship

 

 

D e t a i l s o f W a r S e r v i c e

 

(for more ship information, go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search

 

September Conversion including docking in continuation

23rd Refit and installation work completed.

25th Arrived at Portland after radar trials on passage.

October

1st Took passage to Scapa Flow to continue work-up and radar trials.

3rd Deployed at Scapa Flow.

21st On completion of work-up deployed with Home Fleet.

(Note: Major Fleet units had been transferred to Loch Ewe after sinking of HM

Battleship ROYAL OAK on 14th.)

30th On completion of trials took passage to Rosyth

November

2nd Returned to Scapa Flow from Rosyth for Fleet deployment.

5th Deployed as escort for convoy in North Sea.

10th Sailed from Scapa Flow for convoy air defence duties in North Sea.

24th Took passage from Grimsby for air defence duties.

28th Arrived at Chatham.

December At Chatham.

9th Sailed from Chatham to Scapa Flow to resume Home Fleet duties.

12th Under repair at Invergordon. Resumed Fleet duties on completion.

1 9 4 0

January Deployed for air defence duties in North Sea.

Nominated for transfer to 1st AA Squadron with Humber Force

16th Took passage to Humber with call at Rosyth.

21st Deployed with Humber Force for convoy defence in North Sea.

February Humber Force deployment in continuation.

to

March

April

8th Transferred to Scapa Flow for duty with Home Fleet after German invasion of Norway,

Deployed with Fleet units to provide air defence cover during support of military operations.

9th Passage to Norway to join Fleet Units for air defence.

16th Deployed at Namsos to provide AA defence during landings (Operation MAURICE)

(Note: Arrival as escort to military convoy had been delayed.)

19th Deployed at Namsos to provide air defence during landing of French troops.

21st Return passage to Scapa Flow.

23rd Deployed with HM Aircraft Carriers GLORIOUS and ARK ROYAL, HM Cruiser

BERWICK and screen of six Home Fleet destroyers during passage to Narvik to provide

air defence (Operation DX.)

(Note: The aircraft carriers were also taking RAF GLADIATOR fighter aircraft for use in

Norway

24th Under heavy and sustained air attacks which caused some damage.

28th Relieved by HM Cruiser SHEFFIELD.

May

1st Detached from air defence duties off Norway and took passage to

Scapa Flow for repair and replenishment.
5th Resumed air defence duties off Norway

Deployed with HMS ARK ROYAL, HMS GLORIOUS, HMS BERWICK and Fleet

destroyers in support of military operations.

24th Deployed as AA Guardship at Ofotfjord.

to

25th

26th Under air attack whilst on passage off Skutenes, Lavangfjord near Narvik and hit by

stick of bombs.

Sank in position 67.32N 16.37E in Lavang Fjord. (Casualty List - note on casualties)

(Note: The loss of this valuable ship one of few with an aircraft warning radar outfit

deprived the Fleet of invaluable air cover at a critical stage of the Norwegian

campaign.

For details of the disastrous operations off Norway during April. May and June

see NARVIK by D Macintyre, CARRIER GLORIOUS by J Winton, THE

DOOMED EXPEDITION by J Adams and Naval Staff History (HMSO 2001).

 


 

Addenda

 

CONVOY ESCORT MOVEMENTS of HMS CURLEW

by Don Kindell

 

 

 

 

 

Date convoy sailed

Joined convoy as escort

Convoy No.

Left convoy

Date convoy arrived

 

 

 

 

 

04/11/39

05/11/39

ON 001/1

07/11/39

07/11/39

12/04/40

17/04/40

FP 001A

19/04/40

19/04/40

 

 

 

 

 

(Note on Convoys)

 


 

link to

COMMISSION OF HMS CURLEW, AMERICA & WEST INDIES STATION, 1922-25

from the photographic collection of Chief Yeoman of Signals George Smith

 

 

 

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revised 3/6/11
further editing and formatting is required


 

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