1 9 4 3
May Contractors trials and commissioning.
31st Build completion and entered US Navy
to East coast of USA as USS PYBUS
6th Transferred to Royal Navy and
commissioned as HMS EMPEROR.
(Note: On 20th August with Convoy HX253 to be confirmed
3rd Arrived in Clyde.
(Note: HX253 arrived in Liverpool on 4tt September)
7th Taken in hand at Belfast for
modification to suit deployment for RN service.
(Note: This included modification to petrol supply system
carried out in all US
built CVE following loss of HM Escort Carrier DASHER.)
to On completion of post refit trials
embarked 20 HELLCAT aircraft and personnel
December of 800 and 804 squadrons.
1 9 4 4
out work-up for operational service in Clyde
(Note: Deployment in Western Approaches command to be
February Atlantic deployment in
(Note: One source records one complete Atlantic passage to Norfolk and return
Use of convoy defence and transport of aircraft to be confirmed.)
for Home Fleet service
18th Passage to Scapa Flow on release
from Atlantic convoy defence.
30th Deployed with HM Escort Carriers
SEARCHER, PURSUER and FENCER and ships of Home
to provide cover for passage of Russian Convoy JW58 and to carry out attack on
battleship TIRPITZ in Altenfjord, Norway (Operation TUNGSTEN)
(Note: Home Fleet ships included HM Battleship ANSON, HM
Aircraft Carriers FURIOUS
and VICTORIOUS, HM Cruisers BELFAST, ROYALIST, SHEFFIELD and JAMAICA
with screen of 14 Fleet Destroyers.
details of all Russian Convoy operations and attacks on TIRPITZ see CONVOYS TO
RUSSIA by RA Ruegg,
THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS by B Schoefield, ARCTIC
by R Woodman and CONVOY! by P Kemp.)
April Home Fleet TUNGSTEN deployment in
3rd Detached from covering duty with HMS
ANSON, HMS FURIOUS, HMS VICTORIOUS,
Escort Aircraft Carriers PURSUER, SEARCHER, STRIKER three cruisers and screen
of five destroyers to carry out attacks on TIRPITZ.
air cover during bombing attacks carried out by HMS VICTORIOUS aircraft.
(Note: 14 hits were obtained and battleship damage required
four weeks repair.)
5th Return passage to Scapa Flow with Home Fleet ships.
21st Sailed from Scapa Flow with HMS ANSON, HMS
VICTORIOUS, HMS FURIOUS, HMS
SEARCHER, HMS STRIKER
and HMS PURSUER with Home Fleet cruisers and destroyers
to carry out further air attacks on TIRPITZ (Operation
24th Operation delayed by weather conditions.
25th Further delay due to weather made
26th Embarked aircraft carried out attacks on
Norwegian coastal shipping in Bodo area.
RIDGE ABLE. Three mercantiles sunk and another
Fleet duties in continuation.
8th Deployed with HMS SEARCHER and HMS
STRIKER to carry out attacks in N.Kristiansund
area (Operation HOOPS)
(Note: Five enemy aircraft were destroyed for loss of two
Vessel V5704 damaged and ships in convoy.)
14th Deployed with HMS STRIKER covered by HM
Cruisers SHEFFIELD and ROYALIST with a
to screen of
6 Home Fleet destroyers to carry out attacks on shipping at Rorvik
15th Stadlandet. No sinkings reported.
(Operations POTLUCK ABLE and BAKER )
16th Returned to Scapa Flow with Home
20th Resumed Western
23rd Deployed to provide air cover for
passage of outward joint convoy OS78/KMS52
inward joint Convoy SL158/MKS49 during Atlantic passages
release from Atlantic escort took passage to join HMS TRACKER and HMS PURSUER
in SW Approaches to intercept U-Boats attempting to attack
allied invasion convoys to
landing beaches in Normandy,
NEPTUNE - For details of naval
activities prior to and during allied landings see
NEPTUNE by K Edwards and LANDINGS IN
NORMANDY, JUNE 1944
Resumed Atlantic convoy defence duties on release from NEPTUNE.
18th Squadron 804 merged with Squadron 800 to
form single unit.
for service in Mediterranean and took passage to Malta.
(Note: WALRUS aircraft from 700 Squadron embarked.)
25th Arrived in Malta for
service with Mediterranean Fleet.
support of allied landings in South France (Operation
(Note: This Operation was under US overall command.)
HM Cruisers ROYALIST and DELHI with HM Escort Carriers
SEARCHER and PURSUER and nominated for duty in Task Group 88.1.
Carried out joint exercises in western Mediterranean prior to
15th Embarked aircraft carried out patrols
over beachhead and made offensive strike
in support of landings as required by Air Task Force
16th 40 Sorties made for support of landings.
17th Embarked aircraft took part with those
from HMS KHEDIVE in attacks on Port Cros.
Sorties made including attacks on road and rail traffic.
18th 16 Sorties flown
19th Embarked aircraft carried cut attacks on
retreating German columns for a 48 hour
LANDINGS IN SOUTH OF FRANCE (HMSO).
20th Replenished at Maddalena
21st Embarked aircraft carried out attacks
on targets in Rhone valley
(Note: Increased HELLCAT radius of operation proved of
36 Sorties flown.)
22nd Embarked aircraft flew 24 sorties against
HELLCAT Aircraft failed to return safely.
23rd Embarked aircraft made 32 sorties
against shore targets.
24th Took passage to Maddalena with ships of Task Group 88.1 to refuel and
(Note: Summary: 252 Sorties flown with loss of 11
27th Released from
DRAGOON and resumed RN control by CinC Mediterranean
for service in British Aegean Force for support of allied re-occupation of islands
in eastern Mediterranean.
Passage to Alexandria with call
British Aegean Force with HMS HUNTER, STALKER, ATTACKER, SEARCHER,
PURSUER and KHEDIVE.
(Note: Other ships in Force included HM Cruisers ORION, AJAX, ROYALIST, AURORA,
BLACK PRINCE and COLOMBO, Destroyers of 24th Flotilla and
Class Destroyers. See Naval Staff History and Military Staff
2nd Arrived at Alexandria.
14th Sailed from Alexandria with HMS PURSUER to provide
air cover during operations against
evacuation craft and carry out air attacks on shipping and
(Operation OUTING 1.)
16th Air Attacks made near Milos
17th Carried out anti-shipping sweeps and
18th Air attacks carried out on transport in Crete.
19th Air attacks carried out on Rhodes.
21st Replenished at Alexandria.
30th Deployed for air attacks in Aegean (Operation OUTING 2)
1st Carried out air
operations in Aegean including
shipping attacks and shore attacks in Crete.
to (Note: HELLCAT aircraft diverted to Turkey when undercarriage inoperable.)
4th Returned to Alexandria on
8th Sailed from Alexandria with HM
Cruiser ROYALIST for further operations in Aegean.
11th Carried out
attacks on shipping off Salonika prior to
the allied re-occupation of Greece.
12th During return passage to Alexandria to refuel carried cut
further air attacks on Rhodes
13th Sailed from Alexandria as part of Force 120 for
allied occupation of Athens
details see Military Staff History, Eastern Mediterranean).
(Note: Force 120 included HM Cruisers ROYALIST, ORION, AJAX, AURORA, BLACK
SIRIUS and COLOMBO, HM AA Ship ULSTER QUEEN, HMS STALKER
and HMS ATTACKER screened by HM
TUSCAN, TYRIAN and Polish ORP GARLAND.)
14th Deployed for air
operations on passage to Athens.
15th Provided air cover
19th Embarked German Prisoners-of-War at Khios
dive-bombing attack on radar on Milos destroying this target,
26th Deployed in support of operations prior
to re-occupation of. Milos (Operation CONTEMPT.)
(Note: The support included bombardment spotting and air
in support of operations to re-occupy Aegean islands in continuation.
for return to UK for refit prior to service
with East Indies Fleet
. (Note: East Indies Fleet was formed on 22nd November when some ships of Eastern
transferred to newly formed British Pacific Fleet.)
14th Provided cover for spotting aircraft
during bombardment of Milos by HM Battleship
15th Passage to Gibraltar escorted by Polish destroyer
at Newport, Mon. after landing 800 Squadron aircraft and
in hand for refit and prepared for foreign service.
completion of post refit trials and work-up resumed operational service.
Embarked 800 Squadron aircraft and personnel before leaving UK.
to Trincomalee via Mediterranean to join 21st Aircraft Carrier Sqdn.
25th Arrived at Colombo
HM Escort Carriers BEGUM, EMPRESS, SHAH, AMEER, KHEDIVE, SLINGER
and SPEAKER in Eastern Fleet based at Trincomalee.
April Eastern Fleet deployment with Squadron.
for carrying out photographic reconnaissance flights at ports in southern Malaya
as part of Operation SUNFISH by East Indies Fleet
and AVENGER aircraft embarked to supplement 800 Squadron
8th Sailed from Trincomalee as part of
Force 63 for joint operation to carry out the
reconnaissance flights and a bombardments in the Andamans and Sumatra.
(Note: Bombardment group comprised RN battleship HMS QUEEN
battleship RICHELIEU and HM Cruiser LONDON screened by HM
Destroyers SAUMAREZ, VERULAM
group comprised HM Escort Carriers EMPEROR and KHEDIVE with HM
Cruiser CUMBERLAND screened
by HM Destroyers VENUS and VIRAGO.)
11th Bombardment group detached for attacks
on Sabang by battleships and cruiser with
air cover from the two CVE. During retaliatory air attacks
two of enemy aircraft
shot down by fighters from CVE.
12th Planned launch of
aircraft delayed by defect in catapult.
refuelled from Tankers of Force 70.
14th Aircraft launched for reconnaissance
over Penang, Port Swettenham and Port Dickson
which one enemy aircraft was shot down and one carrier aircraft lost.
15th Mission was successful.
16th Took part in air
strikes at Emmahaven, port of Padang, Sumatra.
submarine chaser (Ch 7) was sunk and a freighter damaged.
20th Returned to Trincomalee with Force 63.
HELLCAT and AVENGER supplementary aircraft landed
details see Naval Staff History and WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO).
23rd Sailed with Eastern Fleet ships from
Trincomalee to Akyab prior to provision of
air cover for assault convoys on passage to Rangoon (Operation DRACULA).
27th Deployed with HM Escort Carriers HUNTER,
STALKER and KHEDIVE of Squadron
by HM Cruisers PHOEBE and ROYALIST. Provided air cover during passage
30th of assault convoys.
1st Present during
landings at Rangoon and
provided air cover.
4th Released from DRACULA and took passage
with ships of Squadron Sqdn. to carry out
air strikes on Burmese coastal targets between Mergui and Port Victoria.
5th Carried out air attacks with ships of
Squadron till 6th May.
7th Passage to Trincomalee
9th Arrived at Trincomalee.
10th Joined Force 61 which was formed after
report of Japanese warships on passage to
(Note: Force 61 comprised HM Battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH, French RICHELIEU, HM
ROYALIST and CUMBERLAND, Dutch cruiser TROMP, HM Escort Carriers
KHEDIVE, SHAH and EMPEROR of 21st Carrier Squadron
Destroyers SAUMAREZ, VENUS, VERULAM, VIRAGO, VIGILANT of 26th
Flotilla and ROTHERHAM, TARTAR and NUBIAN of 11th Destroyer
Sailed from Trincomalee with Force 61 to intercept Japanese ships.
13th Force 61 refuelled from Force 70
14th Detached from Force 61 with ships of
Squadron to position 50 miles west of Six
Degree Channel to carry out air search operations.
15th Aircraft from HMS SHAH operated from
ship because of defective catapult in HMS SHAH.
AVENGER aircraft launched for to carry out search for Japanese ships.
Supply Ship KUROSHIO MARU and Submarine Chaser No 57 sighted.
attack made by one AVENGER aircraft which was hit by return fire and forced
into the sea.
(Note: Owing to a series of errors the crew were not located
and their dinghy
drifted ashore when the aircrew were captured.
WAR WITH JAPAN, SINK THE HAGURO and Naval
search for these two ships was unsuccessful and they escaped to Penang.
that morning an AVENGER aircraft belonging to HMS SHAH but operating from
ship sighted Japanese cruiser HAGURO and Japanese destroyer
KAMIKAZE which were
bombed during the afternoon by 3 embarked AVENGER aircraft.
Only slight damage was
(Note: This sighting resulted in
a brilliant night torpedo action by ships of
26th Destroyer Flotilla during which HAGURO was sunk
SINK THE HAGURO by J Winton and Naval Staff History.)
21st Returned to
Trincomalee with Fleet units.
June Eastern Fleet deployment with Squadron in
with HMS AMEER as part of Force 61 to provide cover for a
operation off Car Nicobar by 6th
Minesweeping Flotilla and launch air strikes
on airfields in North Sumatra (Operation COLLIE).
(Note: HM Cruiser NIGERIA was also part of Force 61
with HM Destroyers ROEBUCK
ESKIMO and VIGILANT as screen.)
aircraft of 1700 Squadron and personnel joined.
5th Embarked aircraft carried cut air
strikes during bombardments by HMS NIGERIA
to and attached destroyers. Six
aircraft were lost.
11th Embarked aircraft launched for air
strikes with HMS AMEER on airfields at Kota
Raja and Lho Nga
in NW Sumatra.
Japanese aircraft which approached shot
14th Returned to
Trincomalee with ships of Force 61.
for cover of British landings in Malaya (Operation ZIPPER)
15th Sailed with East
Indies Fleet to implement planned landings.
(Note: Fleet commanded by Admiral, 3rd Battle Squadron, in
Setting up of advanced base at Penang (Operation JURIST.)
16th JURIST delayed for 48 hours By General
(See Final Report by SEAC (HMSO).
19th Further delay imposed until Japanese
signed Surrender terms in Tokyo.
28th Arrived off Penang.
(Note: Pennant Number R307 was allocated for visual
signalling purposes to
conform with US Navy identity for warships of this type.)
September Passage to landing area from Penang.
9th Provided air cover during landings
with ships of Squadron
(Note: Squadron ships engaged included HM Cruiser ROYALIST,
HM Escort Carriers
HUNTER, KHEDIVE, PURSUER, TRUMPETER and STALKER. HM
NELSON and French
Battleship RICHELIEU with HM Cruisers CEYLON,
and NIGERIA also took part. For details
of all ships in East Indies
on VJ Day see THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by J Winton and above references.
10th Deployed at Singapore with ships of