1 9 4 3
September Contractors trials
27th Build completion and formally transferred to Royal Navy and commissioned as HMS SHAH.
October Carried out sea trials.
18th On completion took passage to Esquimalt
20th Under modification by HM Canadian Dockyard to suit RN requirements for convoy defence.
November Under modification
to Nominated for service in 1st Aircraft Squadron, Eastern Fleet and to make direct passage to
December Colombo with call in Australia.
Carried out further sea trials after completion of dockyard work
1 9 4 4
2nd Sailed from Vancouver for San Francisco
7th Embarked aircraft for transport
(Note: Photograph in ROYAL NAVY ESCORT CARRIERS by D Hobbs shows
WILDCAT and P40 aircraft loaded on flight deck at a US Port.
As ship was not in USA after early 1944 the destination of these aircraft is to be
. Same reference quoted AVENGER aircraft which had been flown to San Francisco from
15th Took passage from San Francisco to Melbourne, Australia.
February At Melbourne
(Note: Disembarkation of aircraft to be confirmed)
8th Took passage to Colombo from Melbourne
Called at Fremantle.
March Passage in Indian Ocean
19th Arrived at Colombo after call at Cochin.
(Note: Disembarkation of aircraft at Cochin to be confirmed
April Deployed in Eastern Fleet for aircraft ferrying duties.
26th Sailed from Colombo for Bombay
Nominated for convoy defence in Indian Ocean
30th Deployed in Bombay
9th Took passage to Colombo
12th Arrived At Colombo
13th WILDCAT aircraft embarked for trade protection duties with 851 Squadron.
15th Passage to Trincomalee to commenced trade protection duties.
16th Arrived at Trincomalee
17th Sailed from Trincomalee for trade defence.
June Deployed for trade defence in Indian Ocean
(Note: Aircraft carried out anti-submarine patrols and search for blockade runners.
Submarines were active in Indian Ocean. See WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO)
and THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by J Winton.).
July Deployed in Indian Ocean for convoy defence with HMS BEGUM as part of Force 66.
(For details of U-Boat search operations see SEEK and STRIKE by W Hackmann)
August Took part in anti-submarine operations in Indian Ocean with HMS BEGUM, HM
Frigates FINDHORN, INVER, LOSSIE and PARRET, HM Indian Sloop
and SUTLEJ as Force 66..See above references
10th Embarked AVENGER aircraft carried out attack on U198 without evidence of damage.
12th Following further air operations and search by frigates of Force 66 this U-Boat
was again sighted by aircraft from this ship.
(Note: U198 was sunk by HMIS GODAVARI and HMS FINDHORN by HEDGEHOG
attacks. See U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp and above reference.)
18th At Kilindini.
27th Provide air cover for routine convoy from Kilindini to to Aden
September Deployed with Force 66 for searches in Indian Ocean to intercept U-Boats on passage to
Germany from Dutch East Indies.
21st Passage to Cochin
October Deployed for interception of two Japanese submarines known to be on passage from Jakarta
to Germany with raw materials.
(Note: These submarines were not intercepted.)
November Deployed with ships of Task Force 66 and shore based aircraft in search for two Japanese
submarines in Bay of Bengal..
26th Arrived att Colombo
27th Transferred to East Indies Fleet on formation when other ships of Eastern Fleet formed
British Pacific Fleet.
December Eastern Fleet duties in continuation.
1 9 4 5
January Joined HM Escort Carriers, BEGUM, EMPRESS, EMPEROR and EMPRESS in 21st
Aircraft Carrier Squadron, East Indies Fleet at Colombo.
Detached as required for Indian Ocean trade defence and interceptions.
10th Sailed for Trincomalee for anti-submarine defence.
February Nominated for refit and took passage to Durban
(Note: Carried out anti-submarine patrols on passage.)
23rd Arrived at Durban.
March Under refit
April Carried out post refit trials
8th Took passage to Kilindini
15th Sailed from Kilindini to rejoin East Indies Fleet at Trincomalee with call on passage at Colombo.
Nominated for support of planned allied landings in Burma.
(For details of East Indies area operations see OPERATION PACIFIC by E Gray,
THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by J Winton and WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO).
On arrival at Trincomalee joined HM Battleship QUEEN ELIZABETH, French battleship
RICHELIEU, HM Cruisers CUMBERLAND, SUFFOLK and Dutch cruiser TROMP
with HMS EMPRESS in Force 63 to provide cover for landings at Rangoon by attacks
on Car Nicobar and Port Blair in Andamans (Operation BISHOP).
(Note HELLCAT, SEAFIRE and AVENGER aircraft with personnel were embarked.)
27th Sailed for BISHOP from Trincomalee with Force 63 screened by HM Destroyers PENN,
NUBIAN, VERULAM, TARTAR and ROTHERHAM.
30th Air strikes made on airfields at Car Nicobar and the harbour at Port Blair during
bombardment by ships of Force 63.
1st Provided cover for Force 63 ships during bombardment at Car Nicobar and Malacca.
2nd Air cover provision during further bombardments by Force 63.
3rd Carried out shipping attacks during Force 63 operations off Burma.
9th Returned to Trincomalee with ships of East Indies Fleet.
10th Sailed from Trincomalee with HMS ROYALIST, HMS HUNTER, HMS KHEDIVE and
HMS EMPEROR of the 21st Squadron as part of Force 61.
(Force 61 also included HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH, FS RICHELIEU, HM Cruisers
CUMBERLAND and Dutch TROMP screened by HM Destroyers SAUMAREZ, VIRAGO,
VENUS, VIGILANT, TARTAR, NUBIAN and ROTHERHAM to intercept Japanese vessels
reported to be evacuating the Andaman and Nicobar garrisons. (Operation DUKEDOM).
14th Detached with 21st Squadron, HMS CUMBERLAND and HM Destroyers SAUMAREZ,
VENUS, VERULAM, VIGILANT and VIRAGO of 26th Destroyer Flotilla to carry out attack
on ships at Nancowry (Operation MITRE).
15th Flying operations delayed by defective catapult and AVENGERS transferred to HMS
EMPEROR. Japanese ships sighted by air reconnaissance off Penang and attacked
by aircraft from this ship without success. One aircraft was shot down.
(Note: Pilot and aircrew later captured when dinghy drifted ashore in Burma.)
Further sighting by 851 Squadron aircraft identified enemy ships as a cruiser and a destroyer
and then attacked by aircraft.
Enemy ship which altered course after hits.
(Note: Surface interception was then made by destroyers of the 26th Flotilla.
The sinking of Japanese cruiser HAGURO followed a brilliantly executed
night torpedo attack is described in SINK THE HAGURO by J Winton and the
WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO).)
16th Rejoined ships of East Indies Fleet for return passage to Trincomalee.
21st Arrived at Trincomalee.
24th Deployed at Bombay
6th Sailed from Bombay to rejoin Fleet at Trincomalee.
Deployed for Fleet cover and convoy defence duties with Squadron.
See above references for details of naval activities off Burma.
July Nominated for support of planned landings in Malaya (Operation ZIPPER)
(Note: The landings were postponed because of problems relating to the return of
military personnel from the Far East under the PYTHON scheme and the
insistence of US for delay pending planned Pacific operations.
See Final Report of SEAC (HMSO) and above references.)
Fleet duties in continuation.
August Nominated for anti-submarine operations in support of transit of ZIPPER convoys
Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes was changed to R312 to conform
with US Navy identity for this type of warship.)
26th Carried out anti-submarine operations
(Note: Area of these operations to be established.)
Returned to Colombo on completion.