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

HMS LIVERPOOL  - Town-type Light Cruiser 
including Convoy Escort Movements

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Liverpool (Navy Photos, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 

SOUTHAMPTON-Class cruiser ordered in March 1935 from Fairfield SB at Govan, Glasgow in the 1935 Estimates and laid down on 17th February 1936. This ship was launched on 24th March 1937 by Mrs. Montague Norman, wife of the Governor of the Bank of England. She was the 8th Royal Navy ship to carry this name, introduced for a 5th Rate in 1756. It has been previously borne by a 1909 cruiser sold in 1921. Build was completed on 2nd November 1938. She was not adopted by a civil community in UK after a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign during 1941 and early 1942 as the ship was not in commission.

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 Silver, a Cormorant Black, beaked and legged Red,

holding in its beak a branch of seaweed called lavergreen.


M o t t o

Deus nobis haec otia fecit: 'God gave us this ease'



 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 3 9

September             Deployed on East Indies Station in 5th Cruiser Squadron.

                6th          Deployed to meet HM Depot Ship LUCIA in Gulf of Oman.

                10th        Based at Aden for interception of German raiders and blockade runners.


October                  Trade defence duties in continuation.



                14th        Transferred to China Station in continuation.

                                Passage to Hong Kong with calls at Singapore and Saigon.



                10th        Arrived at Hong Kong.

                14th        Deployed in Chinese waters on trade defence and interception duty.

1 9 4 0

January                  Trade defence and interception duty off China and Japan in continuation.

                21st         Intercepted and boarded Japanese liner ASSAMA MARU off coast of Japan.

                                Recovered 21 German seamen who were survivors from merchant ship COLOMBUS.

                                which had scuttled off the east coast of US when challenged as a blockade runner.

                28th        Taken in hand for repair in Hong Kong.


February                On completion resumed trade defence and interception duty.




April                       Transferred to East Indies Station for duty with HM Australian Cruiser HOBART in

                                Red Sea Force.

                                Supported military operations in Somaliland.


May                        Red Sea Force duty in continuation.

                13th        Joined HM Battleship RAMILLIES, HM Cruisers KENT and HOBART (RAN), French

                                cruiser SUFFREN, HM Destroyers DECOY, DEFENDER and HM Sloop SHOREHAM

                                as escort to military convoy US2 during passage in Red Sea.

                                (Note: This convoy was taking ANZAC troops to Middle East)

                17th        Detached for call at Port Sudan.


June                        Joined 7th Cruiser Squadron, Mediterranean Fleet.

                                Deployed with HM Battleship WARSPITE and MALAYA, HM Aircraft Carrier EAGLE,

                                ships of Squadron and destroyers to attack Italian convoy to North Africa reported on

                                passage south of Crete.

                12th        Bombarded positions at Tobruk with HM Cruiser GLOUCESTER and four


                                Engaged enemy minesweepers whilst under fire from shore batteries. Sank

                                minesweeper GIOVANNI BERTA.

                27th        Deployed with HM Cruisers KENT, GLOUCESTER, NEPTUNE, ORION and

                                SYDNEY to meet HM Cruisers CALEDON and CAPETOWN to cover passage of

                                convoy from Aegean to Egypt.

                                Detached with Cruisers of Squadron to intercept Italian convoy escorted by three


                                In action off Zante against Italian warships.

                                Sank Italian destroyer ESPERO taking supplies to Tobruk. Two others ZEFFIRO

                                and OSTRO.

                                Hit aft by 4.7in shell causing minor damage.

                                (Note: Mediterranean Fleet was mainly deployed for cover of Convoys MF1 and

                                MS1 from Malta (Operation MA3)

                                This operation was later abandoned after high expenditure of ammunition

                                against air attacks)



                7th          Deployed with HM Battleships WARSPITE, MALAYA, ROYAL SOVEREIGN,

                                HMS EAGLE, HM Cruisers NEPTUNE, GLOUCESTER, ORION and SYDNEY

                                screened by HM Destroyers DAINTY, DEFENDER, HASTY, HOSTILE,

                                HYPERION, ILEX, IMPERIAL, JUNO, VAMPIRE (RAN) and VOYAGER (RAN)

                                as Force A to provide Distant Cover for passage of Convoys MF1 and MS1 in a repeat of

                                Operation MA3 (Operation MA5).

                8th          Under air attack from high level bombers during which HMS GLOUCESTER was damaged.

                9th          Took part in brief action against Italian force including two battleships and 12 cruisers which

                                then withdrew at high speed (Battle of Calabria).

                                (Note: For details of naval activities in Mediterranean see THE BATTLE FOR THE

                                MEDITERRANEAN by D MacIntyre and Naval Staff History).

                11th        Under air attacks.

                13th        Sustained damage in air attacks.

                21st         Deployed with HM Cruiser CAPETOWN, HM Destroyers STUART (RAN), DAINTY,

                                DEFENDER and DIAMOND as escort for convoy to Aegean ports and return convoy to


                29th        Hit by bomb on Bridge front which failed to explode after passing through B Gun Deck

.                               There was one fatal casualty.

                30th        Transferred to 3rd Cruiser Squadron.


August                  Under repair.

                30th        Deployed with HMS WARSPITE, HMS MALAYA, HMS EAGLE, HMS KENT,

                                HMS GLOUCESTER, HMS ORION and HMAS SYDNEY screened by Fleet

                                destroyers including HM Destroyers DECOY, ILEX, IMPERIAL, JANUS, NUBIAN,

                                VAMPIRE (RAN), VENDETTA (RAN) and Polish ORP GARLAND.


September             Provided distant escort of Convoy MS2 to Malta (Operation MB3).

                2nd         Deployed with Mediterranean Fleet ships as for MB3 to meet HM Battleship VALIANT,

                                HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS, HM Cruisers CALCUTTA and COVENTRY

                                off Pantellaria to reinforce Mediterranean Fleet (Operation HATS).

                4th          Fleet carried out air operations against Rhodes.

                5th          Returned to Alexandria with Fleet units.

                22nd       Escorted HMS ILLUSTRIOUS on passage to join Fleet in eastern Mediterranean.

                                Detached with HM Cruisers GLOUCESTER, KENT, HM Destroyers MOHAWK and

                                NUBIAN to a convoy to Alexandria in Gulf of Nauphlia.

                28th        Embarked troops with HMS GLOUCESTER for passage to Malta covered by HMAS




                8th          Deployed with HM Aircraft Carriers EAGLE and ILLUSTRIOUS, HM Battleships

                                MALAYA, RAMILLIES and WARSPITE, HM Cruisers AJAX, GLOUCESTER,

                                ORION, YORK and SYDNEY (RAN) to provide Distant Cover for passage of

                                Convoy MW2 to Malta and also return Convoy ME4 of empty ships to Egypt.

                                (Operations MF3 and MB6.

                                (Note: Screen included HM Destroyers DAINTY, DECOY, JANUS, JERVIS, JUNO,

                                STUART, VAMPIRE and Polish ORP GARLAND).

                11th        Covered air attacks by HMS ILLUSTRIOUS and HMS EAGLE on airfields at Leros.

                12th        Under attack by Italian torpedo boats one of which, ARTIGLIERE, was sunk by HMS


                14th        Provided cover for further air attacks by carriers on Leros.

                                During air operations on Leros hit forward by aircraft torpedo which caused fire

                                in petrol stowage and damaged A turret.

                                Major damage sustained to bow structure.

                                Taken in tow by HMS ORION screened by HM Destroyers DAINTY, DECOY, DIAMOND

                                and VAMPIRE (RAN).

                15th        Bow structure broke away during stern tow.

                16th        Arrived at Alexandria and taken in hand for temporary repair.


November              Under repair.




1 9 4 1


January                  Repair work in continuation at Alexandria.

to                            Permanent repair arranged in USA at Mare Island California.

March                    Prepared for ocean passage.


April                       Passage to USA via Manila.


May                        Passage across Pacific.


June                        Passage from Hawaii to San Francisco.

                16th        Arrived at Mare Island and taken in hand for repair.


July                         Under repair




November              Post refit trials.

                20th        Took passage to UK.



                5th          Arrived in UK.

                                Taken in hand for completion of radar installations and other work not completed

                                during refit.


1 9 4 2


January                  Under refit.

                                Radar Type 273 for surface warning, Radar Type 281 for aircraft warning

                                Fire Control Radar Type 284 (main armament) and Type 285 (4in AA armament)

                                installations were completed.

                                (Note: Type 282 for close range armament may also have been included.)


February                Post refit trials including radar acceptance.

                6th          Sailed to work-up at Scapa Flow with Home Fleet ships on completion.


March                    Worked-up with Home Fleet in continuation.

                                Joined 18th Cruiser Squadron for convoy defence and interception duties in NW Approaches.

                                Deployed with HM Cruisers TRINIDAD., LONDON and KENT for patrol east of Jan Mayen

                                Island during Home Fleet operations in defence of passage of Convoy PQ12 in transit to

                                Kola Inlet and under threat from German battleship TIRPITZ.

                                (Note: These ships were also available for refuelling of Home Fleet destroyers deployed with

                                Home Fleet operation, See ARCTIC CONVOYS by R Woodman).



                12th        Escorted returning Convoy QP10 with HM Destroyers PUNJABI, ORIBI. MARNE, FURY

                                and ECLIPSE covered by Home Fleet major units.

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

                                ARCTIC CONVOYS by R Woodman, RUSSIAN CONVOYS by B Schoefield and

                                CONVOY ! by P Kemp.

                18th        Detached from QP10 and resumed Squadron duties in Home Fleet.



                13th        Part of Home Fleet covering force for return passage of the damaged cruiser HMS

                                TRINIDAD with HM Battleship DUKE OF YORK, HM Aircraft Carrier VICTORIOUS,

                                HM Cruisers KENT, LONDON, NIGERIA and NORFOLK until HMS TRINIDAD was

                                abandoned. See above references.

                                Came under air attacks on return passage.

                23rd        Provided cruiser cover for passage of Russian Convoy PQ16 and return convoy QP12

                                with HM Cruisers KENT, NIGERIA and NORFOLK screened by HM Destroyers

                                ICARUS, MARNE, ONSLOW and ORIBI.

                28th        Detached from covering duties and resumed Home Fleet duties with Squadron.



                5th          Joined escort for Convoy WS19S with HM Cruiser KENYA screened by HM Destroyers

                                BEDOUIN, ESCAPADE, ICARUS, MARNE, MATCHLESS, ONSLOW, HM Escort

                                Destroyers BADSWORTH, BLANKNEY, MIDDLETON and Polish ORP KUJAWIAK.

                11th        Joined Force W as escort for HM Battleship MALAYA, HM Aircraft Carriers EAGLE

                                and ARGUS with HM Cruisers KENYA and CHARYBDIS to cover passage of Malta relief

                                convoy. (Operation HARPOON).

                                (For details see THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN and Naval Staff History).

                13th        Refuelled escorts during passage.

                14th        Under air attack by Savoia aircraft.

                                Hit on starboard side in engine room by torpedo.

                                Major flooding caused 7 degree list and steering gear jammed.

                                Speed reduced to 4 knots and training gear for X and Y-turrets jammed.

                                Taken in tow by HM Destroyer ANTELOPE escorted by HM Destroyer WESTCOTT.

                                HM Corvettes JONQUIL and SPIREA joined escort from Gibraltar.

                16th        Under air attacks during passage to Gibraltar.

                                Sustained further damage and flooding by near misses.

                17th        Taken in hand for temporary repair at Gibraltar.


July                         Repair work in continuation.


August                  Prepared for ocean passage.

                5th          Took passage to UK.


September             Taken in hand for repair by HM Dockyard, Rosyth.


October                  Under repair.




1 9 4 4


January                  Repair work in continuation.

to                            X-turret removed and additional AA armament fitted.

July                         To be placed in Care and Maintenance at Rosyth on Completion..

                                Radar Fit was up-dated and following changes made:

                                Air warning radar replaced by single mast Type 281B.

                                Surface warning radar replaced by Type 293 and associated Heightfinder Type 277.

                                Main armament Fire Control radar replaced by Type 274.

                                Barrage control Radar Type 283 fitted.


August                  Post refit trials


September             At Rosyth under Care and Maintenance.

to                            (Note: This decision was due to shortage of manpower due to extensive requirements to man

December              new ships which were commissioning in Home and US shipyards.)


1 9 4 5


January                  Rosyth deployment in continuation

to                            Complement increased to allow ship to be deployed at sea.



June                        Embarked Tripartite Commission for passage to Germany to inspect German warships.


July                         Nominated for re-commissioning with full complement.




P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


HMS LIVERPOOL was re-commissioned for service in the 15th Cruiser Squadron, Mediterranean Fleet in   October 1945. She remained in commission until 1953 when reduced to Reserve status. The ship was placed  on the Disposal List in 1957 as part of the Defence Review that year. Sold to BISCO for demolition by P&W MacLellan at Bo'ness, she arrived at the Breaker's Yard on 2nd July 1958. This name was used again  for a  Type 42 SHEFFIELD-Class destroyer completed in 1982 and still in commission in 1998.






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













QP 010





PQ 016





QP 012













(Note on Convoys)



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