1 9 4 1
29th Commissioned for
service in Home Fleet after work-up.
April Contractors sea trials and passage to Rosyth.
Prepared for operational service.
15th Joined Home Fleet.
Acceptance Trials and worked-up for service.
20th Embarked of
aircraft and intended to Join Convoy WS8X escort.
22nd Placed at disposal of CinC
Home Fleet and sailed with HM Battleship KING GEORGE V
in search for German battleship BISMARCK which was on passage into Atlantic.
(Note : Aircrew training was incomplete. No other aircraft
24th Launched air strike against BISMARCK
escorted by HM Cruisers AURORA, KENYA and
HERMIONE. One hit obtained but this ran 'shallow' and did
little damage. The
failure of the Aircraft Homing Beacon prejudiced landing of
31st Joined escort for convoy WS8X at Clyde with HM Cruisers NEPTUNE.
(Note: HM Cruiser NORFOLK is also recorded in one
4th During cover of WS8X carried out
series of air searches in Atlantic for German
supply ships with HM Battleship NELSON, HM Cruisers NEPTUNE
Located German ss GOZZENHEIM after report
from British ss ESPERANCE BAY.
ship was intercepted and sunk by HMS NEPTUNE on 5th June).
5th Detached from convoy and took passage
to Gibraltar escorted by ships of Force
13th Deployed for delivery of HURRICANE
aircraft to Malta with HM Aircraft Carrier
ROYAL escorted by HM Battleship RENOWN and ships of Force "H".
TRACER - 45 of the 48 aircraft launched arrived safely).
18th Passage to UK after
completion of TRACER.
(Note : Prisoners from GOZZENHEIM sere embarked at Gibraltar for passage.)
6th Working up exercises for embarked FAA
Squadrons in NW Approaches.
23rd Deployed with HM Aircraft Carrier
FURIOUS and 1st Cruiser Squadron to escort HM
Cruiser ADVENTURE carrying mines to Murmansk (Operation EF).
30th Deployed with HM Cruisers DEVONSHIRE and SUFFOLK screened by 6 destroyers of
Home Fleet as Force P.
out air strikes on Kirkenes concurrently with similar
attacks by HMS
FURIOUS on Petsamo for air attacks after
refuelling in Iceland.
(Note : 11 ALBACORE and 2 FULMAR aircraft from ship were
26th Covered first convoy to Archangel with HM Cruisers DEVONSHIRE
and SUFFOLK screened
by HM Destroyers INGLEFIELD, ECLIPSE and ESCAPADE.
DERVISH – See ARCTIC CONVOYS by R Woodman).
30th Covered return passage of HM Aircraft
Carrier ARGUS after delivering HURRICANE
aircraft to Murmansk (Operation STRENGTH).
details of this and all Russian Convoy operations see "CONVOY!" by P.Kemp,
CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by R.
RUEGG and THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS by B Schoefield.)
3rd Launched air strikes against targets
7th Repeated air strikes operation at Tromso.
12th Launched shipping strikes off Bodo and against shore targets in Vestfjord.
with Home Fleet based in Iceland for interception of German
(Note : The only modern operational carrier available in Home
November Iceland deployment
5th Took passage with HM Battleship KING
GEORGE V to carry out patrol in the Denmark
with US battleships USS IDAHO and
USS MISSISIPPI, cruisers USS WITCHITA
and TUSCALOOSA to intercept German
battleships SCHEER and TIRPITZ.
(Note : This deployment had been made following decryption of
an ENIGNA signal
giving details of planned movements to carry out attacks on
shipping in North Atlantic.
HITLER’S U-BOAT WAR by C Blair.)
13th Withdrawn from
patrol when German movements cancelled by Hitler.
Returned to Reykjavik to resume
Home Fleet duties.
December Home Fleet deployment for
interception based in Iceland in
1 9 4 2
January Home Fleet duty in continuation.
6th Deployed with HM Battleships KING
GEORGE V and DUKE OF YORK, HM Battlecruiser
RENOWN, HM Cruisers BERWICK and KENYA to cover passage of Convoys
PQ12 and QP8.
9th Launched unsuccessful ALBACORE strikes
on German battleship TIRPITZ.
(Note : This was the opportunity to bring TIRPITZ to action
by air strikes.
aircraft were lost in these attacks.)
20th Deployed to cover passage of Russian
Convoy PQ13 and returning QP9 with same battleships
as for PQ12 and HM cruisers EDINBURGH and KENT.
12th Part of Home Fleet covering force for
Russian Convoys PQ14 and returning QP10
with HMS KING GEORGE V, HMS DUKE OF YORK, HM Cruisers NIGERIA and KENT.
28th Deployed with HMS KING GEORGE V, US Battleship WASHINGTON, HM Cruiser KENYA,
US Cruiser TUSCALOOSA, US Cruiser WICHITA cover
passage of PQ15 and QP11.
(Note : During this operation on 1st May HMS KING GEORGE V
came into collision
with HM Destroyer PUNJABI which was sunk and caused major
damage to KGV).
13th Joined Home Fleet cover for return of HM
Cruiser TRINIDAD from Murmansk with
HMS DUKE OF YORK, HM
Cruisers KENT, LIVERPOOL, LONDON, NIGERIA and NORFOLK.
14th Returned to Scapa Flow after HMS TRINIDAD sank.
25th Part of Home Fleet covering force for
Russian Convoys PQ16 and QP12.
was the largest convoy up to date and ships involved included HMS DUKE OF
YORK, USS WASHINGTON, USS
WICHITA, HMS LONDON and Home Fleet destroyers.
30th Deployed with Home Fleet Distant
Covering Force for passage of Russian Convoy
PQ17 and returning QP13. US Battleship WASHINGTON, US Destroyer MAYRANT and US
RHIND joined HMS DUKE OF YORK, HM Cruiser CUMBERLAND and NIGERIA.
ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett and
after Convoy QP13 arrived at Reykjavik.
Nominated for escort of Malta relief
convoy with other Home Fleet ships.
3rd Deployed with HM Battleship NELSON, HM
Cruisers NIGERIA, KENYA and MANCHESTER
for escort of support convoy WS21S on passage to Gibraltar.
8th Exercises with HM Aircraft Carriers
INDOMITABLE, FURIOUS, EAGLE and ARGUS to
improve multi-carrier operating techniques (Exercise
10th Joined 'Force Z' covering WS21S to Sicilian Narrows (Operation PEDESTAL).
12th During air attacks
hit by bomb which broke up on Impact with flight deck. See PEDESTAL by
P Smith, MALTA CONVOYS by
R Woodman and Naval Staff History.)
20th Took passage with Home Fleet ships to Scapa Flow.
(Note : Survivors from HM Aircraft Carrier EAGLE were
Taken in hand for refit.
October Under refit.
Aircraft Direction Room fitted.
details of development and use of radar see RADAR AT SEA by D. Howse).
completion carried out Deck Landing trials at Scapa Flow.
November Passage to Gibraltar with HM
Aircraft Carrier FORMIDABLE.
8th Joined Force "H" and
provided air cover during landings (Operation TORCH).
(Note : Air attacks made at Algiers including Fort Duree.
MARTLET fighters landed on Blida airfield and accepted
18th Passage to UK with HMS
DUKE OF YORK and HM
Destroyer OPPORTUNE to Scapa Flow.
21st During passage ALBACORE aircraft of 817
Squadron attacked U517 by depth charges
in position 46.10N 17.08W (WNW Cape Finisterre).
Submarine structure was badly
damaged. 51 of crew were rescued by HMS OPPORTUNE after
for loan service in Pacific with US Navy
20th Passage to Norfolk, Virginia escorted by HM Destroyers
QUICKMATCH, RACEHORSE and
1st Independent passage after destroyers
Taken in hand for refit in Norfolk Navy Yard.
14th Took passage to
Pacific via Panama Canal.
German battleship TIRPITZ. A 'mock-up' vessel was placed in
4th On arrival at Pearl Harbour converted for the operation
of U S Navy WILDCAT and
AVENGER aircraft. During this period additional close range
armament was fitted including
fitting of sponsons outboard of Island structure.
April Under conversion at Pearl Harbour.
8th Carried out exercises with US aircraft carrier USS
SARATOGA and US battleship USS
completion of work-up for service with US Navy took passage to Join US Third
Task Group 36.3 for support of US landing operations and
with TG 36.3 to provide defence against attacks by IJN surface warships
during landing operations.
out first 'Cross-Carrier’ operating procedure with USS SARATOGA.
with USS SARATOGA and TG63-3 to cover landings on New Georgia.
from loan duty and took passage to return to UK.
Called at San Diego before
transit of Panama Canal.
October Passage in Atlantic.
15th Rejoined Home
(Note : During Pacific service ship's company adopted US Navy
was introduced into RN use for ships of British Pacific Fleet later
in 1944 and became standard No 8 uniform in RN after WW2.
1982 No 8 Rig was replaced after review of current requirements
and new uniform provided to improve fire protection and
with Home Fleet for interception duties and operations off Norway.
in hand for refit in Liverpool at commercial shipyard.
1 9 4 4
January Under refit at Liverpool. New radars installed.
28th 'Full Dress Rehearsal' with other Home
Fleet aircraft carriers for attack on
30th Joined 'Force 1' to cover Convoy JW58
with HMS DUKE OF YORK and HMS ANSON.
2nd In 'Force 2' (HM Aircraft Carriers
FURIOUS, SEARCHER, EMPEROR, PURSUER and
FENCER) for attacks on TIRPITZ in Altenfjord, Norway (Operation
3rd Launched BARRACUDA strikes on TIRPITZ
which was leaving harbour for trials.
BARRACUDA aircraft were lost due to the intense AA fire but several hits were
obtained. Repair of damage took over a month.
full details see "CONVOY !" by Paul Kemp.)
24th Air strikes on TIRPITZ by Hone Fleet
carriers escorted by HMS ANSON abandoned
because of weather conditions (Operation PLANET). Shipping
strikes in Bodo
area instead. Three ships in convoy were sunk for loss of
15th Deployed for attacks on TIRPITZ with HMS
FURIOUS escorted by HMS ANSON which
were cancelled because of cloud cover (Operation BRAWN).
28th Shipping strike when further TIRPITZ
attack abandoned due to weather over the
target (Operation TIGER CLAW).
30th Acoustic torpedo (GNAT) attack by U957
on shipping attacks off Norway Operation LOMBARD).
1st Sank minesweeper and merchant ship
12th Sailed for Ceylon via Mediterranean with HM Aircraft Carrier
at Colombo and joined Eastern Fleet.
6th Prepared for
operations in Indian Ocean.
25th Launched attacks on airfields near Sabang, Sumatra with HM Aircraft Carrier
escorted by HM Cruiser PHOEBE (Operation CRIMSON).
23rd Covered Eastern Fleet units providing
air-sea rescue facilities during series
of attacks by US Army aircraft on Sumatra (Operations BOOMERANG).
29th Carried out air strikes on Padang, Indaroeng
and Emmahaven with HMS ILLUSTRIOUS
and HMS INDOMITABLE escorted by HMS HOWE and Eastern Fleet
18th Deployed with HMS INDOMITABLE for
attacks on railway yards at Sigli, Sumatra
and photo-reconnaissance of Nicobars
escorted by HMS HOWE (Operation LIGHT).
(Note : Aircraft made inadvertent attack on HM Submarine
SPIRIT fortunately without
causing any casualties. During this
operations steering problems were experienced).
30th Docked at Bombay for
6th Rejoined Eastern Fleet on completion
of repair work.
17th Attacks on Nicobars
and Nancowry harbour with HMS INDOMITABLE escorted by
RENOWN. Four aircraft destroyed and five damaged during enemy air
attacks. Further steering problems arose (Operation MILLET).
made for repair after HM Aircraft Carrier ILLUSTRIOUS arrived.
16th Under repair to
steering gear at Bombay.
22nd Transferred to
British Pacific Fleet on formation.
(Note : Not available for air strikes on oil refineries at Pangkalang by Eastern
Fleet aircraft carriers. (Operation ROBSON).
1 9 4 5
4th Joined HMS INDOMITABLE and HMS
IMPLACABLE for air strikes on oil refineries
at Pangkalan Brandan
covered by Eastern Fleet TF 63 (Operation LENTIL).
16th With British Pacific Fleet ships as TF63
to attack refineries in Sumatra.
24th Launched air attacks on Pladjoe, with HMS ILLUSTRIOUS, HMS INDOMITABLE and
HMS VICTORIOUS during passage to Australia. Mana,
SW Sumatra attacked in
second strike. Little opposition from
enemy aircraft (Operation MERIDIAN I).
29th Unsuccessful attacks on oil
installations at Soengi-Gerong with damage to several
KAMIKAZE attacks beaten off. Losses
by all Carriers - 16 aircraft in action and
25 lost by ditching or when deck
landing. 9 pilots captured by the Japanese were executed
in April 1945 (Operation MERIDIAN II).
10th Transferred to
Task Force 113 at Sydney to prepare
for service with US Navy.
28th Sailed from Sydney for Manus with HMS KING
GEORGE V and rest of TF113
25th Arrived at Ulithi and joined 5th US Fleet as Task Force 57.
26th Deployed to
neutralise airfields in Sakashima Gunto
Group (Operation ICEBERG I.)
attacks with HMS ILLUSTRIOUS, HMS INDEFATIGABLE and HMS INDOMITABLE.
1st Escaped damage during KAMIKAZE attack
when aircraft exploded alongside.
from HMS INDEFATIGABLE landed on when own Flight Deck damaged.
9th Detached with TF57 ships for attacks
on Formosan airfields. (Operation ICEBERG OOLONG).
12th Launched attacks on Formosa with same Carriers with
16th Returned to
operations off Sakishima Gunto
group with BPF aircraft carriers.
(HMS FORMIDABLE, HMS INDEFATIGABLE and HMS INDOMITABLE.
Attacked targets at Ishigaki and Mikayo with refuelling breaks until 20/4/45.)
1st Sailed with TF57
to join US TF58 off Sakishima Group. (Operation
4th Concentrated KAMIKAZE attacks and 7
destroyed but 3 hit selected targets. One
exploded on island structure causing fires and damage to
boiler steam piping.
reduced to 19 knots. Air operations resumed after 8 hours.
9th Launched air strikes on Hirara and Ishigaki. Hit twice in
attacks. The first damaged the Flight Deck and equipment but
second failed to
explode. 3 killed and 19 of ship's company injured.
reduced due to damaged forward lift but remained operational.
17th Twenty aircraft transferred temporarily
to other carriers after damage to flight
deck by crashes on landing. Jury barriers rigged and
aircraft returned. Ship remained operational.
25th Left operational
5th Arrived Sydney for repair and Rest and
16th Transferred with HMS FORMIDABLE and HMS
IMPLACABLE to TF37 (US 3rd Fleet)
for joint operations with TF38 on Japan in Yokohama - Tokyo area.
(Note : This due to a reorganisation of naval command
structure by US Navy.)
28th Sailed from Sydney with ships
of TF57 for Manus.
6th Sailed from
British forward base at Manus for operations off Japan.
16th Joined US Third Fleet ships 300 miles
east of Japan.
17th Aircraft carried cut strikes on
airfields in Tokyo area.
18th Air operations
restricted by contamination in carrier petrol refuelling supply system.
24th During air strikes on Osaka sank IJN KOBE Class escort
carrier in Shido Bay.
9th Attacked airfields and shipping in North Honshu and Hokkaido.
12th Returned to Manus with TF37 and then
took passage to Sydney.
(Note : Withdrawal of British Pacific Fleet from operational
area was due to the
lack of fuel from British sources. Only a 'Token' force
remained as part
of US Third Fleet. Sources report steering and machinery
service prior to deployment in Pacific continued.)
details of all operations by BPF in Pacific see THE FORGOTTEN FLEET
by J Winton, TASK FORCE 57 by Peter C Smith and Naval Staff
31st Ships company
took part in Victory Parade at Sydney.