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

HMS UGANDA, later HMCS QUEBEC -  Colony-type Light Cruiser including Convoy Escort Movements

Sister ship HMCS Ontario  (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

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MINOTAUR (Improved  FIJI or Colony) Class Cruiser ordered from Vickers  Armstrong at Newcastle on 1st March 1939 and laid down on 20th July that year under the 1939 Build Programme. Launched on 7th August 1941, she was the first RN ship to bear this name. Build was completed on 3rd January 1943 and later the ship transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy. After 1945 she was renamed HM Canadian Cruiser QUEBEC.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s



(* Awarded to HMCS UGANDA)


H e r al d i c   D a t a

Badge:  On a Field Gold, a Balearic (or created) Crane Proper



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 2




Contractors trials



1 9 4 3




3rd - Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.


Commissioned for service in 10th Cruiser Squadron, Home Fleet.


27th - On completion of trials and storing took passage to Scapa Flow for work-up with ships of Home Fleet.




Work-up for operational service.


29th - Deployed in NW Approaches for interception patrol and convoy defence.




Detached for convoy defence based at Freetown.




Deployed for convoy defence and interception of blockade runners in South Atlantic.




5th - Escorted rms QUEEN MARY with HM Cruiser CHARYBDIS during passage to Canada in Atlantic. (Note: QUEEN MARY was taking Winston Churchill and Staff Officers to attend meeting with President Roosevelt. HMS CHARYBDIS detached during passage because of weather conditions.)




Deployed in SW Approaches for convoy defence and interception. Transferred to Mediterranean for service with 15th Cruiser Squadron. Passage to Clyde to join joint military convoy WS31/KMF17 as Ocean Escort during passage in the Atlantic for defence against surface attack by German warships.


21st - Joined convoy in Clyde. (Note: HM Destroyers ARROW, BLANKNEY, BLENCATHRA, BRECON, BRISSENDEN, HAMBLEDON LEDBURY, MENDIP, VICEROY, WALLACE, WITHERINGTON and WOOLSTON were also deployed for escort of KMF17 to Gibraltar.)


26th - Detached with KMF17 ships and escorting destroyers. when convoys divided. Sailed for Algiers.




Deployed in western Mediterranean.


3rd - Embarked CinC (Admiral Cunningham) in Algiers for passage to Malta.


4th - Arrived in Malta to join Support Force East. Other ships in Force included HM Cruisers CARLISLE, COLOMBO and DELHI, HM Monitors EREBUS and ROBERTS.


9th - Sailed from Malta and covered passage of invasion convoy during passage to Sicily with HM Cruisers ORION, MAURITIUS and NEWFOUNDLAND, in eastern Mediterranean (Operation HUSKY). (For details of HUSKY landings and support see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett , BRITISH INVASION FLEETS by J de Winser and Naval Staff History).


10th - Arrived at ACID Beach Head. Covered landings of 1st Airborne Division SW of Syracuse. Rescued 36 survivors from Hospital Ship TALAMBA after air attack.


11th - Bombarded Augusta screened by HM Destroyers ESKIMO and NUBIAN.


12th - Deployed in central Mediterranean for shipping sweep with HMS MAURITIUS, HM Destroyers NUBIAN and TARTAR for shipping sweep.




Deployed in support of military operations in Sicily.




9th - Covered landings by British X Corps at Salerno (Operation AVALANCHE). Slightly damaged by collision with HMS DELHI during air attacks on anchorage.


11th - Provided naval gunfire support with HMS ROBERTS, HM Cruisers MAURITIUS, ORION, AURORA, US Cruisers PHILADELPHIA and USS BOISE during German counter-attack. Under sustained air attacks. (For details see same references as for HUSKY).


13th - Hit by FX1400 Glider Bomb when providing naval gunfire support and sustained major damage with serious flooding.


Towed to Malta by US Tug NARRAGANSETT.




Under temporary repair for passage.




Passage to USA.




3rd - Began repair at US Navy Yard, Charleston.



1 9 4 4


January to September


Under repair and refit. Transfer to Royal Canadian Navy agreed.




S e r v i c e   a s   H M C S    U G A N D A




21st - On completion re-commissioned and manned by RCN. (Note: Name retained because of colonial connections.)


30th - Passage to UK for completion of work not possible in US Navy Yard. Nominated for service in British Pacific Fleet.




After arrival took passage to Tyne shipyard.




Refit work in hand including fit of modem radars. (Note: Work done included: Type 274 to replace Type 284 for fire control of forward 6in turrets, Types 277 and 293 instead of Type 272 for surface warning and height finding with associated identification outfits (IFF). For details of development and use of radar see RADAR AT SEA by D. Howse)


30th - On completion took passage to Mediterranean for work-up.



1 9 4 5




Commenced working up with Fleet in eastern Mediterranean. Under repair at Alexandria after explosion of torpedo during maintenance.




14th - Passage to Australia to join British Pacific Fleet.




2nd - Diverted to join HM Aircraft Carrier FORMIDABLE, HM Destroyer NAPIER (RAN) and HM Destroyer URCHIN in search for survivors from merchant ship torpedoed 800 miles west of Fremantle.


9th - Joined BPF at Sydney.


Carried out Exercises with HMS FORMIDABLE prior to service with 5th US Fleet in SW Pacific.


24th - Passage to Manus with HMS FORMIDABLE, HM Destroyer URSA and HMS URCHIN. For details of Operations by BPF see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY, OPERATION PACIFIC by E. Gray and WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO).




8th - Joined British Task Force 57 of US 5th Fleet in Area COOTIE to cover attacks by RN and USN aircraft carriers on Sakishima-Gunto islands. (Operation ICEBERG I ).


11th - Covered attacks by HM Aircraft Carrier INDEFATIGABLE on North Formosa with HM Cruiser GAMBIA, HM Destroyers URSA, URCHIN and WHIRLWIND. Air attacks broken up by air cover and ship AA defences. (Operation ICEBERG OOLONG).


23rd - Rest and Recuperation period at US Navy Forward Base, Leyte.




2nd - Deployed with HMS GAMBIA, HM Cruiser EURYALUS and HM Cruiser BLACK PRINCE to cover air attacks by HM Aircraft Carriers INDOMITABLE, VICTORIOUS, FORMIDABLE and INDEFATIGABLE on Sakishima-Gunto (Operation ICEBERG II). Bombarded shore targets at Nobara and Suknama in conjunction with ships of US Task Group 58. Under KAMIKAZE attacks.


3rd - Fouled oiling hose whilst refuelling. Divers used to clear obstruction.


4th - Bombarded airfields on Miyako with TF 57 ships and detached to shell an air strip at Sukhamo.


5th - Deployed away from operating area as a radar picket to give early warning of approach of KAMIKAZE aircraft.


9th - Under KAMIKAZE attacks on BPF ships. (Note: HMS FORMIDABLE and VICTORIOUS were damaged in these attacks.).


12th - Further deployment as radar picket with HM Destroyer WESSEX.


13th - Rejoined TF 57 for continuation of cover duty. (For full details see above references and TASK FORCE 57 by P Smith.)


25th - Released from operation and took passage to Sydney for Rest and Recuperation Period.




12th - Transferred to British Task Group 111.2 with HM Aircraft Carrier IMPLACABLE, HM Escort Carrier RULER, HM Cruisers SWIFTSURE, NEWFOUNDLAND and ACHILLES (RNZN).


13th - Covered HMS IMPLACABLE during air attacks on Truk Archipelago.


14th - Bombarded Dublon seaplane base with HM CRUISERS NEWFOUNDLAND, ACHILLES (RNZN) and SWIFTSURE (Operation INMATE). (Note: This were not very successful due to inexperience of crew and also technical problems.)


17th - Returned to British Forward Base at Manus with ships of TG111.2.




6th - Transferred to US 3rd Fleet as part of re-designated British element Task Force 37 after US Navy command structure alterations.


16th - Covered HMS FORMIDABLE, HMS VICTORIOUS and HMS IMPLACABLE with HM Battleship KING GEORGE V, HM Cruisers NEWFOUNDLAND, ACHILLES (RNZN) EURYALUS, HMS GAMBIA and BLACK PRINCE during joint RN/USN operations and bombardments of targets in Japan as preparation for Operation OLYMPIC (Planned final assault on main islands of Japan.)


20th - Refuelled from USN tankers to reduce delay in replenishment.


27th - Relieved in Task Force 37 by HM Cruiser ARGONAUT. (Note: This was because of Canadian legislation preventing service in Pacific by any personnel who had not volunteered for this duty).




4th - Passage to Esquimalt from Pearl Harbour and returned to RCN control.



P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


HMS UGANDA was retained in RCN and renamed HMCS QUEBEC. She was used as a training cruiser and carried out training cruises in the Atlantic. This ship has the distinction of being the first RCN ship to sail round Cape Horn. She was placed on the Disposal List about 1960 and arrived at the breakersí yard in Osaka, Japan  on 8th February 1961







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








SL 127





MKS 011





MKS 026





GUS 020








(Note on Convoys)



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revised 25/6/11
further editing is required