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

HMS SCYLLA - 4.5in-gunned Dido-class AA Cruiser  
including Convoy Escort Movements

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

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

Modified DIDO-Class cruiser ordered from Scott's of Greenock under the 1938 Build Programme on 18th August 1938 and laid down on 19th April 1939. The ship was launched on 24th July 1940 as the fourth RN warship to carry the name, previously used by a cruiser sold in 1914 and Introduced in 1809. Completion was delayed by a series of factors including priority given to Escorts and the supply of 5.25in mountings. This ship and her sister HMS CHARYBDIS were fitted with four twin 4.5in mountings as their main armament. Before the build was completed on 12 June 1942 she had been adopted by the city of Aberdeen following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in torch of that year. During her war service she became know as The Toothless Tiger.


B a t t l e†† H o n o u r s

NORTH AFRICA 1942†- ARCTIC† 1942-43 - SALERNO 1943 - ATLANTIC† 1943 - BISCAY 1943† - NORMANDY 1944

 H e r a l d i c†† D a t a

Badge:  On a Field Blue, a representation of Scylla White,

crined finned and tailed gold.



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

May††††††††††††††††††††††† Contractors trials

June††††††††††††††††††††††† Commissioned for service.

††††††††††††††† 12th††††††† Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† On completion of trials and storing took passage to Scapa Flow with ships of Home Fleet.

July†††††††††††††††††††††††† Deployed with 10th Cruiser Squadron for convoy defence and interception on completion

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† of work-up.

August††††††††††††††††† Squadron duties in continuation based at Scapa Flow.

September†††††††††††† Nominated for duty as Flagship for Fighting Escort of Russian Convoy PQ 18 during passage

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† to Kola Inlet. (Operation EV)

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (For details of all Russian Convoy operations see CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by RA Ruegg,

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ARCTIC CONVOYS by R. Woodman, CONVOY ! by Paul Kemp and THE RUSSIAN

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† CONVOYS by B Schoefield

††††††††††††††† 8th††††††††† Joined convoy with Fighting Destroyer Escort of 14 Fleet Destroyers and H M Escort Carrier

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† AVENGER screened by HM Escort Destroyers WHEATLAND and WILTON.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Note: Cover for the passage of this convoy was provided by HM Cruisers NORFOLK,

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† LONDON and SUFFOLK.

††††††††††††††† 11th††††††† Detached with HM Destroyers MARNE, MARTIN, METEOR and MILNE to refuel at Lowe

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Sound, Spitzbergen and on completion rejoined PQ18.

††††††††††††††† 14th††††††† Embarked 209 survivors including wounded men rescued by HM Minesweepers HARRIER

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† and SHARPSHOOTER from mercantiles after their ships had been lost in the air attacks

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† since the convoy left Iceland.

††††††††††††††† 16th††††††† Detached to join escort for returning Convoy QP14 with HMS AVENGER and ships of

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Fighting Escort.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Note: QP14 included ships with survivors from previous Convoy PQ17 - See above

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† references).

††††††††††††††† 17th††††††† Joined returning convoy QP14..

††††††††††††††† 20th††††††† Detached from convoy with HM Cruiser SCYLLA because of increasing threat of submarine

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† attack and Flag transferred to HM Destroyer MILNE.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Took passage to land survivors at Akureri , Iceland escorted by HM Escort Destroyers

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† WHEATLAND, HMS WILTON and HM Destroyer FURY.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Note: HM Destroyer SOMALI was torpedoed Just before departure and sank in tow

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† three days later).

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Given resounding welcome by ships of Home Fleet on arrival at Scapa Flow

October††††††††††††††††† Resumed duties in NW Approaches with Squadron.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Visited by Prime Minister and Stafford Cripps at Scapa Flow.

††††††††††††††† 28th††††††† Transferred to 12th Cruiser Squadron , Mediterranean.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Embarked Admiral A B Cunningham at Plymouth for passage to Gibraltar to take

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† up appointment as Naval Commander for planned allied landings in North Africa.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Took passage escorted by HM Destroyer OPPORTUNE.


††††††††††††††† 2nd†††††††† Joined escort for Convoy KMF1 with HM Aircraft Carrier ARGUS, HM Escort

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Aircraft Carrier AVENGER and HM Cruiser SHEFFIELD for passage to Gibraltar,

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Operation TORCH).

                                (See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett and Naval Staff History).

††††††††††††††† 6th††††††††† HM Cruiser CHARYBDIS joined escort for KMF1.

††††††††††††††† 8th††††††††† Joined Eastern Task Force at Gibraltar with HMS ARGUS. HMS AVENGER, HM

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Monitor ROBERTS and HM Cruisers CHARYBDIS and SHEFFIELD.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Deployed with Eastern Task Force to provided cover for landings in British Assault

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† area.

††††††††††††††† 10th††††††† Rescued survivors from HM Sloop IBIS.

††††††††††††††† 13th††††††† Embarked stores and bullion at Gibraltar for passage to Algiers.

††††††††††††††† 14th††††††† Arrived at Algiers

††††††††††††††† 15th††††††† Supplemented AA defence at Algiers and later assisted in tow of transport which

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† had grounded outside port.


††††††††††††††† 1st†††††††††† Joined H M Cruisers AURORA, ARGONAUT, CHARYBDIS and SIRIUS in Force Q

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† at Bone for defence of coastal military convoys and attacks on enemy supply convoys.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† See above references.

††††††††††††††† 25th††††††† At Algiers.

††††††††††††††† 28th††††††† Passage to UK with escort of Convoy MKS4.

††††††††††††††† 31st†††††††† Detached from convoy to search for German blockade runner located by aircraft of 10

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Squadron RAF off Finisterre.

1 9 4 3


††††††††††††††† 1st†††††††††† Intercepted and sank with torpedoes ss RHAKOTIS on passage from Japan to French

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† port. Rescued of survivors prevented by threat of attacks by U-Boats.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Taken in hand for refit in Tyne shipyard.

February††††††††††††††† Under refit in Tyne shipyard. This included modifications for Arctic service.

††††††††††††††† 15th††††††† Passage to Iceland with HM Escort Carrier DASHER.

††††††††††††††† 21st†††††††† Reinforced escort for Russian Convoy JW53 with HM Destroyers ECLIPSE,

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† IMPULSIVE, FURY, INTREPID and Polish destroyer ORP ORKAN.

††††††††††††††† 27th††††††† Detached from JW53.


††††††††††††††† 1st†††††††††† Joined escort for returning convoy RA53 at Kola Inlet.

††††††††††††††† 10th††††††† Detached from RA53 and resumed Squadron duties in Home Fleet.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Present at Scapa Flow during visit to Home Fleet by HM King George VI.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Embarked His Majesty for return to Scrabster on the mainland.

April†††††††††††††††††††††† Squadron duties in NW Approaches in continuation.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Rescued crews from 3 SWORDFISH aircraft from HM Aircraft Carrier FURIOUS

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† which had crashed during exercise in foggy weather.


††††††††††††††† 11th††††††† Escorted rms QUEEN MARY taking Prime Minister to TRIDENT conference in Quebec.

††††††††††††††† 13th††††††† Relieved by HM Cruiser BERMUDA

††††††††††††††† 31st†††††††† Covered HM Cruisers BERMUDA and CUMBERLAND during operation to relieve allied

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† garrison on Spitsbergen ( Operation GEARBOX I).

June††††††††††††††††††††††† Nominated for duty in English Channel based at Plymouth for convoy defence and support

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† of operations against enemy coastal convoys.

††††††††††††††† 14th††††††† Returned to Scapa Flow after GEARBOX I and took passage to Plymouth.

††††††††††††††† 20th††††††† Covered anti-submarine operations by ships of 2nd Escort Group in Bay of Biscay

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† with HM Cruisers CHARYBDIS and ROYALIST.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Operations SEASLUG and MUSKETRY - See CONFLICT OVER THE BAY by

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† A Franks).

July†††††††††††††††††††††††† During cover of UK-Freetown convoys and cover for Interception of enemy coastal

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† convoys under attack by Glider Bombs.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Sighted NARVIK Class German destroyers but abandoned chase after order from the

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Admiralty because of threat of further Glider Bomb attacks.

August††††††††††††††††† Transferred to Mediterranean with H M Cruiser CHARYBDIS to replace H M Cruisers

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† CLEOPATRA and NEWFOUNDLAND which had been damaged.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† On arrival, deployed on convoy defence based at Gibraltar.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Nominated for support of planned allied landings at Salerno (Operation AVALANCHE)

September†††††††††††† Took passage to Malta to join Support Carrier Force (TF88)

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Note: Other ships in TF88 were:

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† HM Cruisers EURYALUS and CHARYBDIS for defence of HM Light Fleet

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Carrier UNICORN, HM Escort Carriers BATTLER, HUNTER, ATTACKER

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† STALKER, HM Escort Destroyers CLEVELAND, HAYDON, HOLCOMBE,

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ATHERSTONE, LIDDESDALE, FARNDALE, CALPE and Polish

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† destroyers ORP SLAZAK and ORP KRAKOWIAK.)

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Took part in preparatory exercises with Force V in TF88.

††††††††††††††† 8th††††††††† Sailed from Malta for Salerno with ships of Force V

††††††††††††††† 13th††††††† Detached to embark troops at Tripoli for passage to Salerno as reinforcements.

††††††††††††††† 14th††††††† Joined HM Cruisers CHARYBDIS and EURYALUS in Tripoli.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† During return speed had to be reduced due to machinery vibration caused by the air

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† attack by Glider Bomb in Bay of Biscay (See above).

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Note: During passage with HMS CHARYBDIS through Straits of Messina -

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† with the mythological association of their birthplace !)

††††††††††††††† 16th††††††† Disembarked troops.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Joined HM Cruisers EURYALUS and DELHI in escort for the damaged battleship

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† HMS WARSPITE to supplement AA defence during passage under tow to Malta.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and Naval Staff History).

††††††††††††††† 21st†††††††† Turbines inspected in Malta

October††††††††††††††††† Withdrawn from operational service and took passage to UK for repair of turbine beds.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Called at Devonport prior to being taken in hand at HM Dockyard Chatham.

November††††††††††††† Under repair and conversion for use as Escort Carrier Squadron Flagship.

to††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Paid-off.


1 9 4 4

January††††††††††††††††† Repair and conversion

to††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Carried out Post refit trials



††††††††††††††† 1st†††††††††† Re-commissioned for service with 10th Cruiser Squadron in Home Fleet.

††††††††††††††† 6th††††††††† Worked-up for operational service in NW Approaches based at Scapa Flow.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† On completion Joined 10th Cruiser Squadron, Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Nominated for duty as Flagship of Eastern Naval Task Force during allied landings

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† in Normandy (Operation NEPTUNE).

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Note: Rear Admiral Sir Philip Vian, KCB, DSO, RN who had been in command

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† of HM Destroyer COSSACK in 1940 during the rescue British seamen held

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† in the tanker ALTMARK).

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Allocated target in Bombardment Plan - Ouistreham.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (For details of naval activities before and during the Normandy invasion see

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† OPERATION NEPTUNE by K Edwards and LANDINGS IN NORMANDY June 1944

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (HMSO).)

May††††††††††††††††††††††† Took part in preparatory exercises with Home Fleet ships.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Passage to Solent to join assembly of invasion fleet.


††††††††††††††† 5th††††††††† Sailed from Solent to Beach Head area.

††††††††††††††† 6th††††††††† Bombarded Ouistreham area and on completion closed SWORD beachhead and provided

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† gunfire support prior to touch down.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Controlled night defence measures against surface attack from SWORD area.

††††††††††††††† 7th††††††††† Deployed in co-ordinating and night defence control role off SWORD Beach.

††††††††††††††† 8th††††††††† Escorted Motor Torpedo Boats of 14th Flotilla for minelay in Bay de la Seine as

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† part of Operation MAPLE (Operation KN26).

††††††††††††††† 11th††††††† Repositioned MTB's scattered by enemy surface force during minelay off Cap d' Antifer

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† to allow another minelaying operation to proceed (Operation KN28).

††††††††††††††† 23rd††††††† Detonated mine in six fathoms of water off beachhead.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Sustained major damage to starboard keel structure adjacent to machinery compartments.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Turbine casings cracked.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Ship disabled without electric power.

††††††††††††††† 24th††††††† Flag transferred to HM Landing Ship (HQ) HILARY.

††††††††††††††† 25th††††††† Control of night defences transferred to HM Frigate RETALICK.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Took passage to Spithead under tow.

July†††††††††††††††††††††††† Passage to Chatham under tow.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† On survey damage found to be uneconomic for total repair and given no priority.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Completion of conversion for use as Escort Carrier Flagship in British Pacific Fleet not

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† then implemented.

August††††††††††††††††† Paid off into Dockyard Control at Chatham

September†††††††††††† Non operational.



1 9 4 5

January††††††††††††††††† Remained at Chatham under Dockyard Control.




 P o s t†† W a r†† N o t e


HMS SCYLLA was held in the Reserve Fleet until 1948 when she was placed on the Disposal List. Later that year she was used for ship target trials before being sold for to BISCO for demolition at Barrow by Vickers. She arrived at the Breakersí yard on 6th May 1950. The name was carried forward in August 1968 when given to a LEANDER Class Frigate which had an active operational career lasting 25 years. This frigate Paid-off in December 1993 and was put on the Disposal List (Sales). 







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 018





QP 014





KMF 004





MKF 004Y





KMF 005A





JW 053





RA 053





SL 132MK





MKF 018





MKF 019





SL 133MK





MKF 020





MKS 020





SL 134





OS 053KM





MKS 025G








(Note on Convoys)




by Andy Goff , 13 October 2010

My Dad, William Alfred Goff, spent most of his time on HMS SCYLLA and thought the world of Captain McIntyre. He had a "good" war in a boys own kind of way - Russian convoys and the Med, and received his Russian Medal when they were distributed a few years ago. He finished the war as a Petty Officer, I believe on HMS STORK.

I occasionally hear from old hands or their children. Itís slightly frustrating that I didnít get Dad to write down his memories of events and people when his mind was more able. He is now 87 but canít be sure of what he remembers. However I do have his D-Day Diary on my website.

(Andy also sent Naval-History.Net this newspaper cutting.)






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