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

HMS TRINIDAD - Colony-type Light Cruiser   
including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Trinidad (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

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FIJI or Colony-Class cruiser ordered from HM Dockyard, Devonport on 1st December 1937 under the 1937 Build Programme and laid down on 21st April 1938. The ship was launched on 21st March 1940 as the 3rd RN ship to carry the name, introduced in 1805 for a Schooner and last used for a WW1 destroyer. After damage by a bomb hit on quarterdeck during air raid on Plymouth in April 1941 she was taken to HM Dockyard Rosyth where work was completed on 14th October. This ship was fitted with newly developed Fire-control radar outfits for main and secondary armament and also air warning radar.


B a t t l e  H o n o u r s




H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge:  On a Field Blue, three anchors joined by their rings.


M o t t o

'Have faith'




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



1 9 4 1


October                  Contractors Setting to Work and harbour trials.

                                Commissioned for service.

14th        Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

                25th        Passage to Clyde for trials escorted by Polish destroyer ORP KUJAWIAK.


November              Carried out further trials in NW Approaches based in Clyde.

                6th          Work-up for service with ships of 10th Cruiser Squadron.


December              On completion took passage to Scapa Flow to join Home Fleet.


1 9 4 2


January                  Nominated for duty with escort of convoy to Murmansk.

                                (For details of all Russian convoy operations see CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by R A Ruegg,

                                CONVOY ! by P Kemp, THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS by B Schoefield and ARCTIC

                                CONVOYS by R. Woodman.)

                                Took passage to Iceland to join mercantiles.

                10th        Joined escort for Russian Convoy PQ8 at Hvalfjord with HM Destroyers MATABELE and


                17th        During passage in Barents Sea convoy under attack by U454 which sank HM Destroyer

                                MATABELE with heavy loss of life. Only two of ship's company survived.

                                Detached from PQ8 on arrival at Murmansk.

                24th        Embarked 250 Polish nationals for passage to UK.

                25th        Joined returning convoy QP6 with HMS SOMALI, HM Minesweepers BRAMBLE and HEBE for

                                escort during passage to Loch Ewe.

                28th        Detached when mercantiles of QP6 dispersed in NW Approaches and took passage to Clyde



                1st           Landed passengers at Greenock.

                10th        Deployed at Scapa Flow and nominated for BLACK patrol to relieve HM Cruiser KENYA.

                11th        Passage to Faeroes-Iceland Gap for interception of commerce raiders.

                21st         At Hvalfjord for maintenance.

                25th        Relieved HM Cruiser SHEFFIELD for interception duties.

                28th        Deployed as Ocean escort for minelay by ships of 1st Minelaying Squadron in the Northern

                                Barrage (Operation SN85 - See Naval Staff History (MINING).


March                    Home Fleet deployment in continuation.

                7th          Carried out patrol with HM Cruiser LIVERPOOL south east of Jan Mayen during sortie by

                                German battleship TIRPITZ.

                                (Note: After refuelling in Iceland deployed with HM Cruisers LONDON and KENT and these

                                four ships were also made available for refuelling destroyers carrying out interception

                                patrols. See ARCTIC CONVOYS by R Woodman.)

                9th          Covered rear of returning Russian Convoy QP8 with HM Destroyers PUNJABI, ECHO

                                and FURY.

                11th        Deployed with destroyer screen to intercept TIRPITZ north of Trondheim screened by Home

                                Fleet destroyers.

                13th        Search abandoned.

                                (Note: TIRPITZ did not enter area until after withdrawal.)

                23rd        Deployed with HM Destroyers ECLIPSE and FURY to provide Close Cover for Russian

                                Convoy PQ13

                                (Note: HM Escort Destroyer LAMERTON was also deployed with HM Fleet Auxiliary

                                OLIGARCH AS Force Q to provide fuel during passage.)

                24th        Convoy scattered by gale and remained to cover destroyers during re-assembly.

                                Warned that attack by German destroyers was likely.

                29th        In action against German destroyers Z24, Z25 and Z26 with HM Destroyer ECLIPSE.

                                (Note: Enemy ships were searching for PQ13-)

                                Damaged Z26 at close range but hit on port side aft by return fire causing damage

                                by outbreak of fire.

                                After further damage to Z26 by HMS ECLIPSE, fired torpedo at enemy ship to complete

                                its destruction. Owing to malfunction this torpedo circled and hit the ship on port side forward

                                of Bridge structure.

                                Forward Boiler Room flooded with oil fuel which ignited causing further major damage.

                                Joined by HM Minesweeper HARRIER, HM Destroyers ORIBI and FURY.

                                Taken in tow until own propulsion available.

                                (Note: Z26 was sunk in this engagement.

                                For full details of passage of PQ13 see ARCTIC DESTROYERS and Naval Staff History.).

                30th        Arrived at Murmansk screened b y HMS FURY and HMS ORIBI,


 April                      Taken in hand for temporary repair at Murmansk to allow passage to UK.

                                (Note: Steel plating for repair was brought to Murmansk by HM Cruiser EDINBURGH.)

                7th          Docked for repair during which 32 bodies were recovered.

                                (Note: Burial at sea later carried out from HM Minesweeper NIGER.)



                2nd         Temporary repair completed.

                13th        Sailed for UK escorted by HM Destroyers FORESIGHT, FORESTER, MATCHLESS and

                                SOMALI. Cover provided by HM Cruisers NIGERIA, KENT, NORFOLK and LIVERPOOL

                                with destroyer screen stationed west of Bear Island and ships of Home Fleet including ships

                                of  Home Fleet farther to the south west. See references for details.

                                Speed was restricted to 20 knots as only after boiler room was in use.

                14th        Under heavy dive bombing and torpedo attacks.

                                Hit by several bombs in forward structure which wrecked repair work and caused an

                                outbreak of several fires.

                15th        Ship abandoned when fires could not be controlled and threat of further attacks

                                by aircraft during daylight period.

                                63 of ship's company were killed. (Casualty List - note on casualties)

                                Survivors rescued by H M Destroyers MATCHLESS, FORESIGHT and FORESTER.

                                Hulk sunk by three torpedoes from HMS MATCHLESS.

                                (Further details are in THE SHIP THAT TORPEDOED HERSELF by F Pearce and the Naval

                                Staff History).

                                (Note: Casualty List for action on 29th March was published on 18th April 1942.)







by Don Kindell


These convoy lists have not been cross-checked with the text above






Date convoy sailed

Joined convoy as escort

Convoy No.

Left convoy

Date convoy arrived








PQ 008





QP 006





PQ 013








(Note on Convoys)



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revised 5/6/11
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