9 1 8
Deployed with Harwich Force
9 1 9
Transferred to Atlantic Fleet and joined 2nd
Light Cruiser Squadron,
9 2 0 t
o 1 9 2 3
Transferred within Atlantic Fleet and
deployed as Flagship of Flag Officer
Atlantic Fleet Flagship deployment in
(Note: During refit in this period
flying-off Platform removed.)
9 2 4
for duty as Flagship, Flag Officer
9 2 5 t
o 1 9 2 7
Mediterranean deployment in continuation.
9 2 8
Returned to Home waters for refit.
9 2 9
9 3 0
Recommissioned for service as Flagship for
Flag Officer (D), Mediterranean Fleet
9 3 1 t
o 1 9 3 4
Mediterranean Fleet Flagship service in
9 3 5
Nominated for reduction to Reserve status
and returned to UK
Selected for conversion to Anti-Aircraft
Taken in hand for conversion by HM Dockyard,
9 3 6
Commissioned for Trials
Carried out First of Class Trials.
9 3 7
Additional refit work undertaken including
fir of multiple barrelled 2pdr Pom Pom
Recommissioned for service as Trials ship.
Deployed for trials of new design equipment
including Degaussing gear and 20mm
Close Range Oerlikon guns.
9 3 8
Trials deployment in continuation.
(Note: One source records ships was held in
9 3 9
Trials deployment in continuation
War Station in Mediterranean
Embarked war stores and additional
Joined HM Cruisers DANAE and DAUNTLESS for
passage to take up
Detached and made independent passage to Gibraltar
to join Mediterranean Fleet.
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Arrived at Alexandria
and joined Fleet.
Recalled to Home Waters and took passage to
On arrival at Portsmouth
transferred to Humber Force for AA defence
Arrived at Immingham
In action against aircraft attacking convoy.
Detached from escort after defect in
Under repair at Immingham.
On completion resumed convoy defence.
During passage steering failed in Pentland
in heavy weather.
Entered Sullom Voe using emergency manual
Deployed as AA Guardship for Flying Boat
base at Sullom Voe.
In action against high flying enemy
During low level attack by six HEINKEL
aircraft shot down one.
(Note: Two SUNDERLANDs were sunk at anchor
in Lerwick during this raid).
AA Guardship duty at Sullom Voe in
Joined by HM Destroyers ICARUS and
In action against high flying aircraft.
9 4 0
In action against Dornier aircraft and near
Released from Guardship duty at Sullom Voe
when Army AA batteries operational.
Arrived Chatham for repair to steering and
(Note: Masts altered and aircraft warning
radar Type 279 fitted with Plotting Office.
Two after 4in guns (Nos. 6 and 7) removed.
Degaussing coil fitted.
Became Flagship of Humber
Force 1st AA Squadron (CS20).
(For details of development and use of radar
see RADAR AT SEA
by D Howse.)
Passage to Rosyth for radar and gunnery
Rejoined Fleet on completion of trials and
took passage to Sullom Voe.
Passage to Norway
for AA defence of Fleet units in Norwegian
(For details of the disastrous Norwegian
campaign see NARVIK by Donald MacIntyre,
ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by Corelli
Barnett and the Naval Staff History).
Joined HM Cruiser CALCUTTA,
HM Destroyers ZULU, CAMPBELL, WITCH and ISIS
escorting two merchant ships and damaged
cruiser HMS PENELOPE under tow from
When detached deployed for patrol and AA
Guardship for RESOLUTION and damaged
HM Destroyer ESKIMO in Ofot Fjord.
Under sustained air attacks with heavy
expenditure of ammunition.
Barrage' firing had to be discontinued.
Covered HM Cruiser AURORA, HM Destroyers FAME
and WREN during Narvik bombardment.
Embarked troops at Narvik with HM Cruisers
CAIRO and EFFINGHAM.
Passage to Bodo escorted by HM Destroyers ECHO
After HMS EFFINGHAM grounded troops
transferred by HMS EFFINGHAM and operation
abandoned. Returned to Harstad.
Replaced CURLEW as AA Guardship at Lavangs
after she had been sunk in air attack.
One aircraft destroyed by pom-pom fire.
Guardship duty in continuation. Under
sustained attacks. 75 attacks since 11th.
Later transferred to Harstad to relieve HM
Cruiser AURORA as AA Guardship.
Provided naval gunfire support to military
operation at Narvik with HM Cruisers
SOUTHAMPTON, and five destroyers. Withdrew
after HMS CAIRO was
in air attacks and returned to Narvik with
Deployed as AA Guardship for convoy assembly
in Ofot Fjord until 4/6/40.
Arrived at Glasgow
and detached for passage to Tyne.
Escorted Group II evacuation convoy from
Narvik area with HM Cruiser
SOUTHAMPTON, HM Destroyers BEAGLE, DELIGHT,
during passage to UK,
(Note: Convoy included troopships ORONSAY,
ORMONDE, ARANDORA STAR,
DUCHESS OF YORK,
Troopship VANDYCK was sunk by air attack and
failed to join convoy.)
Began refit and docking in Tyne
shipyard at Wallsend. Gun barrels replaced..
Rejoined Home Fleet at Scapa
and deployed as AA Guardship.
Covered HMS SOUTHAMPTON and six Fleet
destroyers escorting HM Submarine SHARK
area as submarine unable to dive. Under air
Escorted damaged destroyer HMS FAME
to Rosyth and returned to Scapa
Encountered Dutch mercantile adrift and
unmanned in North
Escorted ships of 1st Minelaying Squadron
for minelay in Northern Barrage.
(Operation SN1-For details of all minelaying
operations see Naval Staff History).
Detached after U-Boat attacks.
Deployed at Plymouth
for convoy defence
Docking and repair at Devonport prior to
transfer to Mediterranean Fleet.
Nominated for service in Mediterranean
to supplement available AA defences.
Joined KM Cruiser BONAVENTURE at Greenock
for escort of Atlantic convoy.
Detached from convoy and took passage to Gibraltar.
Embarked troops for passage to Malta.
Joined W Battleship VALIANT, HM Aircraft
Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS and HM AA Cruiser
for transit of Mediterranean
to join Fleet at Alexandria,
escorted by HM
Battlecruiser RENOWN, HM Aircraft
ROYAL and HM Cruiser SHEFFIELD
screened by destroyers of Force H to Sicilian
Landed embarked troops in Malta
and joined Mediterranean Fleet. Under air
Detached to escort convoy for Greece
in Kithera Channel with HMS CALCUTTA.
Sustained air attacks continued.
Joined HM Cruisers GLASGOW, LIVERPOOL
and SYDNEY (RAN) for passage to
Transferred to Red Sea Escort Force for AA
defence of convoys.
Sailed from Alexandria
Joined slow convoy at Port Tewfik as escort
for passage to Aden.
Detached from southbound slow convoy to
escort Convoy BS4 on
passage to Aden
in view of threat of Italian air attacks.
Detached from BS4 at Aden
and took passage to join military convoy
WS2A off Perim.
Deployed with HM Cruiser HOBART
(RAN), HM Destroyers
as escort for Fast Section of WS2A
during passage in Red
(Note: This section comprised troopships ANDES,
and EMPRESS OF CANADA.)
Detached from Fast Section of WS2A after air
threat no longer likely
and took passage to join southbound convoy
for AA defence during
transit of threatened area.
Under air attack on arrival at Aden.
Escorted northbound convoy to Bab
Escorted rms EMPRESS OF JAPAN,
rms ORION and rms ORONSAY to Port Tewfik.
Passage to Alexandria
with HM River Gunboat GNAT and rejoined
Joined HM Aircraft Carrier EAGLE, HM
and RAMILLIES with H M
and destroyers in unsuccessful search for
Italian convoy to Libya.
Provided AA defence during passage of Malta
supply convoy ME6.
Under air attacks with HMS CALCUTTA off Crete.
Joined HMS EAGLE, HMS MALAYA and ships of
Fleet for offensive sweep in the Eastern
AA Guardship for passage of HMS AJAX, HM
Netlayer PROTECTOR, minesweepers and
tankers to Suda
Under low level air attacks at Suda
Passage to Alexandria
with HMS AJAX and under air attacks.
Covered passage of convoy MW3 to Malta
and convoy AN6 to Greece
with HMS AJAX,
HMS CALCUTTA and HMAS SYDNEY.
Joined Fleet units after HMS CALCUTTA
detached with AN6 to Suda
Returned to Alexandria
with Fleet units covering passage of HM
HM Cruiser BERWICK, HM Cruiser GLASGOW and
three destroyers transferred from Home
waters (Operation COAT).
(For details of all Mediterranean
operations in 1940-41 see ENGAGE THE ENEMY
CLOSELY, THE BATTLE
FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN
by Donald MacIntyre and the Naval
convoy and returned on 20/11/40.
convoy and on arrival took passage to Malta.
Joined Force D (HMS RAMILLIES, HM Cruiser NEWCASTLE
and HM Cruiser BERWICK
being transferred to Force H. After
rendezvous with Force H ships briefly
engaged a superior
Italian force south of Cape
which promptly withdrew. Provided additional
support for passage of HM Cruisers
MANCHESTER, SOUTHAMPTON and other
ships joining Mediterranean Fleet (Operation
Returned with Fleet units to Alexandria.
Provided AA protection for HMS BARHAM and
Fleet units during bombardment of Mersa
in support of military advance by 8th Army.
Operation abandoned due to weather
Hit forward by torpedo fired by Italian
submarine NAIAD off North African coast.
Submarine sunk during counter-attack by HM
Destroyer HYPERION. Steamed stem first
Under temporary repair at Alexandria.
During trials new bow structure fell off.
Docked again and heavier steel structure
filled with concrete.
9 4 1
Resumed service with bow down attitude and
maximum speed restricted to 23 knots.
PRINCE, LANARKSHIRE and CITY
Returned with convoy to Alexandria.
Escorted convoy to Piraeus.
Supported military operations at Tobruk
Escorted HM Monitor TERROR, minesweeping
corvettes and petrol carrier.
Under air attacks on passage to Benghazi.
Passage to Tobruk with convoy until detached
120 miles east of Malta.
Escorted convoy to Alexandria.
Escorted Greek ships on passage to Piraeus.
Storm conditions off Greek coast forced
convoy to scatter.
Returned to Alexandria
because of possible damage to weaken bow
Escorted Convoy AN17 with HM Destroyer
STUART (RAN), HM Destroyer HEREWARD
and HM Corvette HYACINTH during passage to Piraeus
Returned to Alexandria..
Joined Piraeus convoy off Crete
but had to return to Suda
because of weather.
Deployed with HMS CALCUTTA for AA defence of
troop convoys to Piraeus.
Under air attacks.
Covered passage of Malta
convoy with Fleet units.
Detached with HMS CALCUTTA to assist AA
defence of Piraeus
During refuelling at Suda Bay HM Cruiser YORK
attacked by Italian Explosive Motor Boat
and seriously damaged.
Attacked by 24 Ju88's when escorting convoy
6 aircraft destroyed.
Escorted Crete and Piraeus
convoys until 10/4/41.
Joined 3 destroyers for escort of fast
merchant ship into Aegean
In action with Rumanian manned DORNIER
Escorted storeship GLENGYLE with HM
Australian Destroyers WATERHEN, STUART
and VOYAGER and for raid by 7 Cdo at Bardia
which was cancelled due to sea state
Deployed for Bardia landing operation which
was not a complete success.
Detached from escort of two mercantiles with
HM Destroyers DIAMOND, GRIFFIN
and WRYNECK to provide defence for Convoy ANF29
during allied evacuation from
Embarked troops at Megara
for passage to Suda
with HM Destroyers DECOY, HAVOCK
and HASTY. Under sustained air attacks.
Sailed for Suda
with same ships plus the destroyers HMS
DECOY, VENDETTA (RAN)
HMS WATERHEN (RAN) and HMS WRYNECK. During
AA action against heavy air
attacks 4" shell exploded prematurely
killing one PO
and injuring other ratings. Use of 4in gun
mountings had to be restricted to
emergencies only because of barrel wear.
Escorted Convoy GA14 to Alexandria
with HMS CALCUTTA and HMAS STUART.
Gun barrels replaced.
Deployed with Fleet units to escort convoy
bringing tanks to Middle
Joined close escort for convoy (Operation
Carried 700 troops of Argyll and Sutherland
Highlanders to Tintokioun, Crete
HM Sloop AUCKLAND,
HMAS VOYAGER and HMAS WATERHEN
Deployed on patrol in Kaso - Leros area.
Joined HM Cruisers DIDO and PHOEBE, HM
for attacks on invasion craft.
Detached with HMS PHOEBE to assist the
hospital ship mv ABBA being bombed
despite international Red Cross markings.
Petty Officer A. E. Sephton, Director
Control Officer mortally wounded during the
defence of ABBA and posthumously awarded the
Landed wounded at Alexandria.
Deployed with HM Sloops AUCKLAND and
FLAMINGO to reinforce squadron off
Timbakion but recalled.
Escorted troopship GLENROY taking
reinforcements to Timbakion with HMS JAGUAR
and HMAS STUART. Ordered to return because
air attacks made landing impossible
(For details of Tobruk support operations
see LEADER OF THE CROCKS by LE Clifford.
Deployed with HM Cruisers PHOEBE, PERTH
HM Destroyers HASTY,
JANUS and JERVIS to evacuate troops from
Provided AA defence with HMS CALCUTTA
against sustained air attacks.
During return came under heavy air attacks
but reached Alexandria
Returned to assist AA defence of Spakhia
evacuation convoy with HMS CALCUTTA.
Near missed during further air attacks
during which HMS CALCUTTA was sunk.
Rescued 255 survivors.
Deployed in support of military operations
and escorted ss GLENGYLE from
for Commando attack on bridge over Litani
river to delay retreat of the
Vichy French forces (Operation EXPORTER).
Patrolled off Tyre
when landing delayed because of weather.
Covered landings later.
Joined HMS AJAX, HMS PHOEBE, HM Destroyers
JACKAL, JANUS, KANDAHAR
for patrol and support of shore operations.
In action against Ju 88 attacking pipe line
and fighter aircraft at Haifa.
During patrol escorted by HM Destroyers ILEX
engaged two Vichy
at long range and followed them to Beirut.
Under fire from shore batteries and
later drove off air attacks.
AA Guardship duty at Haifa
for 7 days. Periodic air raids during day
Rest and Recuperation period at Alexandria.
Regular night air raids during stay.
Aircraft mine exploded near ship whilst in
harbour without causing damage.
Resumed operations and escorted convoy to Beirut.
AA Guardship at Beirut
with HMS CARLISLE.
Returned to Alexandria.
Escorted HMS BARHAM after Durban
refit from Port
Escorted troopships ILE DE FRANCE, NIEUW
AMSTERDAM and ORION to Port Tewfik.
Deployed to provide AA protection to troops
ships during passage from Anchorage
area in Gulf
to Port Tewfik. Air raids kept at high level
by 4in barrage.
Relieved as AA Guardship by HMS CARLISLE.
Deployed for convoy defence.
Rescued crew of US
freighter sunk 50 miles south of Suez
Returned to anchorage area for Guardship
duty but had to return to Port Tewfik to
carry out repair to radar equipment.
On completion took passage to anchorage area
Escorted two troopships to Suez
and during passage through Canal to Alexandria
down minelaying aircraft.
Escorted southbound convoy through Red
After refuelling in Aden
escorted Norwegian tanker into Aden.
Passage to Bombay
with Greek destroyer
Began refit at Bombay.
Under refit. Boilers re-tubed and new Bows
9 4 2
On completion embarked gold bullion and took
passage to Alexandria.
Off loaded gold for oil sheik into dhow off
Jiddah and called at Port
After arrival in Alexandria
two 20mm Oerlikon guns fitted.
Escorted convoy to Tobruk with three
destroyers as diversion for Malta
(Operation VIGOROUS - For details of this
ill fated attempt which was very poorly
controlled from shore, see ENGAGE THE ENEMY
MORE CLOSELY and THE BATTLE
FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN
and Naval Staff History).
Detached to join Fleet units escorting
Covered convoy passage with ships of 4th and
15th Cruiser Squadrons, escorted by
Under heavy air attacks by high level and
dive bombers during daylight.
HMS NEWCASTLE was damaged and HMS HASTY had
to be sunk after E- Boat and
Under threat from superior Italian forces
and continuing air attacks convoy.
Instructed to return to Alexandria
and operation abandoned.
Resumed AA Guardship duties in Gulf
and deployed at Abu Zenima.
Escorted HM Battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH for
part of Red
passage to refit in USA.
On completion resumed AA defence duties off
AA Guardship at Haifa.
Detached to join Mediterranean Fleet units
sweep during passage of PEDESTAL convoy from
On completion returned to Guardship duty in
(See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY, PEDESTAL
BY P. Smith THE
FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN
by D MacIntyre and The Naval Staff History.
Returned to Alexandria
to prepare for assault on Tobruk. Owing to
enemy defences were forewarned of the
planned attack (Operation AGREEMENT).
Passage with HM Destroyers BELVOIR, CROOME,
DULVERTON and HURSLEY
to provide AA cover during Tobruk raid
Joined HM Destroyers ALDENHAM, BEAUFORT, EXMOOR,
Under dive bomber attacks after attempt by
HMS SIKH and HMS ZULU to enter port.
After sinking of HMS SIKH and damage to HMS
ZULU the remaining ships became
prime targets. Two aircraft were destroyed
and 5 by RAF Beaufighters.
Sustained four direct bomb hits that gave
little opportunity to take effective damage
Ship had to be abandoned but HMS BEAUFORT
was able to close ship forward to
embark survivors and HMS DULVERTON rescued
men in the water.
List - note
(For details of war service and loss see HMS
COVENTRY ANTI-AIRCRAFT CRUISER
by George Slums - Privately published 1972).