1 9 4 1
19th Commissioned for trials
4th Contractor’s Sea Trials.
of Sea Trials and outstanding builder’s work.
(Note: Low forward
sheer found to cause excessive flooding even in moderate sea conditions.)
4th Build completion and acceptance into service.
Passage to Scapa Flow to work-up with Home
Fleet. Main body of ship’s company joined at Scapa
December Work-up in continuation.
10th Took passage to Clyde to embark Prime Minister
and Defence Staff.
Ordered to return
to rejoin Home Fleet after loss of HMS PRINCE OF WALES and HMS
REPULSE in case of
any enemy attempt to pass warships into the Atlantic.
11th Admiralty rescinded order and took passage from Scapa
13th Embarked Prime Minister and Defence Staff at Greenock
for passage to USA
conference with US President and other officials.
(Note: The outcome
from ARCADIA was the promulgation of
the United Nations Charter and
the establishment of a Joint Anglo-American Chiefs of Staff.)
14th Passage via SW Approaches in adverse weather
15th Destroyer escort was detached in view of need to maintain speed
in rough weather.
22nd Arrived at Norfolk, Va and passengers
(Note: Ship was re-routed
during passage to avoid U-Boat positions determined by ENIGMA
decrypts. See HITLER’S U-BOAT WAR, Volume 1 by C Blair.)
1 9 4 2
January Passage to Bermuda
for shakedown cruise and exercises in West Indies area.
14th Deployed at Bermuda to await arrival of
Prime Minister and Defence Staff for return passage to
. Sailed from Bermuda
for Scapa Flow when it was known that the passengers were
to travel by
21st Arrived at Scapa Flow to resume work-up.
February Deployed in Home waters.
(Note: During this
period Home Fleet units including HMS KING GEORGE V were sent to
to counter anticipated move of German units to attack Atlantic shipping.
An air attack on
Tromso was also carried out by HMS VICTORIOUS).
28th Passage to Hvalfjord to provide cover
for passage of convoys to and from North Russia and
for interception duties.
3rd Sailed from Hvalfjord to provide cover
for Russian Convoy PQ12 and the return convoy QP8
with HM Battlecruiser RENOWN, HM Cruiser KENYA
and screen of six destroyers.
6th Met HM Battleship KING GEORGE V, HM Aircraft Carrier VICTORIOUS,
BERWICK and destroyer
screen to form larger covering force to meet threat of attack by
(For details of all
Russian Convoy operations with all ships recorded see CONVOYS TO
by RA Ruegg, CONVOY! by P Kemp,
ARCTIC CONVOYS by R Woodman and
THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS
by B Schoefield)
22nd Deployed to provide Distant Cover for transit of Russian Convoy
PQ13 and return Convoy QP9
with HMS KING GEORGE V, HMS RENOWN, HMS VICTORIOUS, HM Cruisers
EDINBURGH and KENT with screen of 16 destroyers.
(Note: This convoy
had been given additional cover in view of the possible deployment of
TIRPITZ as well as ADMIRAL HIPPER and ADMIRAL SCHEER
in Norwegian waters.)
April Returned to Scapa
Flow after arrival of QP9 at Reykjavik.
10th Deployed with HMS KING GEORGE V, HMS VICTORIOUS, HM Cruisers NIGERIA
screened by 12 destroyers to provide Distant Cover for transit of Russian Convoys
to Murmansk and QP10
Returned to Scapa Flow on release from Distant Cover duties.
May Remained at Scapa
Flow when Home Fleet major units were providing cover for passage of
Convoys PQ12 and returning QP10.
2nd Passage to join Distant Covering Force for PQ15/QP11 to replace
HMS KING GEORGE V
which had been seriously damaged on 1st May after a collision
with HM Destroyer PUNJABI.
(For details see
KGV Class Battleships by VE Tarrant.)
5th Flag of CinC
Home Fleet transferred from KGV.
battleship USS WASHINGTON, HMS VICTORIOUS, HMS KENYA, US cruisers
and WICHITA screened by 11 RN and 4
US Navy destroyers
Distant Cover for transit of Convoys PQ15 and returning QP11.
Flag of CinC transferred to ship.
13th Remained in northern waters to continue covering duty with HM
NORFOLK and HMS VICTORIOUS for return
of HM Cruiser TRINIDAD after repair at
(Note: HMS TRINIDAD
had been damaged by a malfunction of one of her own torpedoes
whilst in action against German destroyers seeking to attack
Convoy PQ13 in March
1942. See THE SHIP
THAT TORPEDOED HERSELF by F Pearce.)
14th Took passage to Scapa Flow with covering force after HMS TRINIDAD
had to abandoned and
sunk due to major damage in air attacks
23rd Deployed with USS WASHINGTON, HMS VICTORIOUS, HM Cruisers LONDON
screened by 9 RN and 4 USN destroyers to provide Distant Cover for transit of
Convoys PQ16 and QP12.
to Scapa Flow on release from covering duty. Prepared for Royal Visit to Home
at Scapa Flow.
Present during visit
of HM King George VI who met commanding officers of RN and USN
ships on board.
Passage from Scapa
Flow with HMS VICTORIOUS, USS WASHINGTON, HM Cruisers
NIGERIA and screen of ten
RN and two USN destroyers to provide Distant
Cover for transit
of Convoy PQ17 and return QP13.
4th When PQ17 ordered to scatter by Admiralty because of the perceived
imminent threat of
attack by heavy German warships, ships of Home Fleet were 350
miles east of PQ17 and
took no part in the disastrous sequence of events. (See: THE
CONVOY IS TO SCATTER by
J Broome, ENGAGE
THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett and Naval Staff
8th Flag of CinC
Home Fleet returned to HMS KING GEORGE V
August Deployed at Scapa Flow.
Took passage to Hvalfjord for interception
September Deployed at Hvalfjord.
9th Passage to Akureyri with HM Battleship
ANSON for cover of relief of garrison at
GEARBOX Series) and transit of Convoy PQ18 and returning QP14.
11th Deployed with HM Battleship ANSON, HM Cruiser JAMAICA,
BRAMHAM, KEPPEL, MACKAY and MONTROSE for Distant Cover duty.
14th Returned to Iceland.
(Note: Further sailings
to Kola Inlet were suspended until December because of transfer of
Home Fleet units for support of allied landings in North Africa Operation
. Passage to Scapa Flow.
29th Captain George Creasy relieved Captain Harcourt on his promotion
to Rear Admiral
October Nominated for support of Allied
landings in North Africa.
30th Sailed from Scapa Flow to Gibraltar
with HMS NELSON, HMS RODNEY,
RENOWN, HM Aircraft Carriers VICTORIOUS, FORMIDABLE and
FURIOUS, HM Cruisers
ARGONAUT, BERMUDA and SIRIUS screened by 17
destroyers from Home Fleet.
5th Deployed at Gibraltar for service with ships
of Force H.
6th Sailed for patrol between Algiers and Bougie after refuelling.
8th Provided cover for landings with HMS RENOWN and HMS RODNEY and
patrol to intercept any Vichy French or Italian surface ships
attempting to interfere with
(For details see
ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and Naval Staff History.)
9th Patrol deployment in continuation with air cover from HMS VICTORIOUS
and under air
10th Under threat of U-Boat attack.
(Note: HM Destroyer
MARTIN was sunk in the area.)
14th Returned to Gibraltar from patrol to refuel.
15th On release from Force H took return passage with HMS
VICTORIOUS and destroyer
screen to resume Home Fleet duties at Scapa Flow.
20th Deployed at Scapa Flow with HM Battleships
KING GEORGE V, ANSON and HOWE
for interception duties.
December Nominated for refit and took passage
Taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard.
1 9 4 3
January to February
March On completion of post refit trials
resumed Home Fleet duties at Scapa Flow.
Attended HM King
George VI visit to the Home Fleet at Scapa Flow
April Deployed at Scapa
14th Flag of CinC
Home Fleet transferred from KGV
(Note: HMS KING GEORGE
V and HOWE were transferred to the Mediterranean for
support of planned allied landings in Sicily.
In view of the threat posed by German
warships based in Norway US Battleships USS SOUTH DAKOTA and
were made available for detached service with Home Fleet.)
deployment at Scapa Flow in continuation.
(Note: Admiral Sir
Bruce Fraser replaced Admiral Tovey as CinC.)
warships arrived at Scapa Flow.
9th Deployed with HMS ANSON, USS SOUTH DAKOTA and USS ALABAMA to
provide Distant Cover during relief of Spitzbergen
by HM Cruisers CUMBERLAND,
BERMUDA and supply convoy.
10th Under threat of U-Boat attack
13th Returned to Scapa Flow. Passage to Glasgow
for visit by new CinC.
(Note: Replacement of Type 271M by prototype of new Type 272 to be confirmed.
This equipment is
recorded as being used during North Cape battle.)
7th Deployed with HM Battleships ANSON and MALAYA,
USS ALABAMA and USS
DAKOTA, HMS FURIOUS and seven cruisers screened by eight
RN and five
USN destroyers for diversionary operation off Norwegian coast.
– Convoy of miscellaneous ships was deployed to represent a
possible assault force on passage to Norway
during the planned landings in Sicily.)
9th On completion of simulated approaches to coast took passage
to return to Scapa Flow.
27th Deployed with HM Aircraft Carriers ILLUSTRIOUS and UNICORN during
operations as part of further diversionary operation off Norway
29th Return passage to Scapa Flow
(Note: Neither diversionary
operation met concentrated air attacks since German
aircraft based in Norway
had been used to reinforce defence against allied
operations in the Mediterranean.)
August Home Fleet
Flagship deployment in continuation at Scapa
warships left Home Fleet.
11th HM King George VI on board during Royal visit
to Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.
14th Took part in demonstrations for HM King by
ships of Home Fleet.
September Home Fleet
Flagship deployment in continuation.
8th Sailed from Scapa Flow with HMS ANSON
and five destroyer screen after reports of
bombardment by German warships TIRPITZ and SCHARNHORST at Spitzbergen.
9th Returned to Scapa Flow when German warships
had returned to Altenfjord.
deployment in continuation at Scapa Flow.
2nd Deployed with HMS ANSON, US Cruiser USS TUSCALOOSA
to provide cover for
air operations by US Aircraft Carrier RANGER against Norwegian
port of Bodo
6th Returned to Scapa Flow.
deployment at Scapa Flow in continuation.
Captain B Schoefield assumed command.
(Note: Captain Schoefield
relieved by Captain the Honourable Guy Russell after three
weeks for compassionate reasons.)
14th Deployed with HM Cruiser JAMAICA screened by HM Destroyers SAVAGE,
and Norwegian STORD to provide Distant Cover for
transit of Russian Convoy JW55A and return RA55
16th Arrived at Murmansk
with HMS JAMAICA for official visit to the Russian Admiral
Arseni Golovko commanding Northern Fleet.
(Note: This was the
first visit made by a British battleship to Murmansk.)
18th Sailed from Murmansk
21st Arrived at Akueyri
22nd Meeting on board with commanding officers to discuss planned tactics
in the event of
action against German SCHARNHORST in defence of Convoy JW55B
left Loch Ewe on 20th for passage to Kola Inlet.
23rd Sailed with HMS JAMAICA,
HMS SAVAGE, HMS SCORPION, SAUMAREZ and
Norwegian STORD as Force 2.
24th Exercised planned tactics at sea during passage to protect JW55
25th SCHARNHORST reported on passage to attack JW55B.
26th Engaged SCHARNHORST with HM Cruisers BELFAST,
SHEFFIELD of Force 1 and ships of Force 2.
(For full details
of the Battle of North Cape see KGV CLASS BATTLESHIPS by
VE Tarrant, DEATH
OF THE SCHARNHORST by J Winton, and Naval Staff
at 1945 after extensive gun and torpedo hits in position
72.16N 28.41E with a loss of 1,767 men. Only 36 survived and
were rescued by
HMS SCORPION and HMS MATCHLESS.
(Note: Defects made
evident in both HMS PRINCE OF WALES and in HMS KING
GEORGE V during the
May 1941 BISMARCK action deprived the
maximum offensive capability. See references)
27th Arrived at Kola Inlet to refuel and visited by Soviet officers
who made a presentation
of a fur coat and hat (of questionable quality!)
Embarked German survivors.
28th Took passage to Scapa Flow.
31st Arrived at Scapa Flow to tumultuous welcome
by ships of Home Fleet.
1 9 4 4
1st Christmas Day Routine.
16th Under repair at Rosyth by HM Dockyard.
(Note: The majority
of damage had been caused by Blast effects of the armament and
weather on structure. See references.)
February Resumed Home Fleet Flagship duties
on completion of repair work.
30th Deployed with HMS ANSON, HMS VICTORIOUS, HM Escort Carriers
PURSUER and FENCER, HM Cruisers JAMAICA,
ROYALIST and BELFAST with 14 destroyers
of Home Fleet as
screen to provide distant cover for passage of Russian Convoy's
JW58 return RA58
together with air attacks on German battleship TIRPITZ in Altenfjord, Norway.
3rd Provided cover during air strikes.
(Note: Hits by BARRACUDA
aircraft caused significant damage to structure and
upper deck equipment of enemy ship but no bombs penetrated armoured
See CONVOY! by P Kemp.)
4th Further air operations cancelled due to weather and took passage
to Scapa Flow.
6th Arrived at Scapa Flow.
(Note: Did not take
part in cover during further air attacks on 26th
(Operation PLANET) ).
May Fleet Flagship duties at
Scapa Flow in continuation.
6th General Montgomery visited ship.
10th Present during visit to Home Fleet by HM
King George VI who visited ship.
June Deployed at Scapa
16th Admiral Fraser succeeded by Admiral Moore as CinC Home Fleet.
(Note: The departure
of HMS ANSON for refit left this ship as the only modern
battleship in commission in Home Waters.
deployment at Scapa Flow in continuation.
14th Sailed from Scapa Flow with HM Aircraft
to carry out fourth series of air attacks on TIRPITZ ,
– See above reference.)
17th Air attacks carried out unobserved due to smoke screen and fog.
Passage to Scapa Flow with ships of Force.
August Nominated for service as Flagship,
British Pacific Fleet after refit.
Flagship duties at Scapa Flow in continuation.
18th Sailed from Scapa Flow for last Home Fleet
operation and final RN air attacks on
(Note: This Home
Fleet deployment was coincident with transit of Russian
Convoy JW59 and returning
Deployed with HMS
INDEFATIGABLE, FORMIDABLE, FURIOUS, HM Escort
Carriers NABOB, TRUMPETER,
HM Cruisers BERWICK and DEVONSHIRE
screened by 14 Home Fleet destroyers and provided with anti-submarine
protection by frigates of 20th Escort Group from Western Approaches
20th Air attacks postponed because of weather conditions.
22nd to 29th
Air attacks commenced
These were not successful and only two hits reported
. During U-Boat attacks HMS NABOB was hit and sustained damage which
was never repaired on return to UK.
(Note: Lack of success
resulted in use of RAF bombers for future attacks.)
September Returned to Scapa Flow
with Fleet units. Captain AD Nicholl assumed command.
Visited by HM King George VI at Scapa Flow prior to Paying-off.
Passage to Liverpool
for refit by Cammell Laird at Gladstone Dock, Liverpool
Paid off and taken
in hand for refit.
October to December
refit. Work done included:
Warning Radar Type 281 replaced by 281B which needed only
for its aerial.
Surface Warning Radar
Type 273 Prototype replaced by 293 and Type
277 which had a height finding capability for aircraft.
New radar display
equipment fitted for these outfits.
Forward Main armament
Fire-control Radar Type 284 replaced by
Type 274 and second
Type 274 fitted aft for control of “Y” mounting.
Barrage control radar
equipment was also fitted and additional Type 282
Radar for new close
range weapons aft.
were removed and additional close AA weapons added.
1 9 4 5
January to February
for service in Pacific Fleet.
Officer Captain D Nicoll.
March Completion of shipyard work and
27th Visited by HM King George VI and HM Queen Elizabeth
Refit sea trials and shakedown.
5th Passage to Scapa Flow.
25th Sailed from Scapa Flow with HMS ANSON to join
BPF as Flagship.
May Carried out exercises and
trials in Mediterranean.
2nd Arrived in Malta
3rd Under repair by HM Dockyard for major electrical
27th Carried out gunnery firings off Mersa Matruh during work-up after
in Red Sea and Indian Ocean.
8th At Colombo
19th Crossing the Line ceremonials.
24th Arrived at Fremantle.
26th Visited Albany, Western
1st Arrived at Sydney
to prepare for service with US Fleet as part of Task Force 37 for
operations off Japan
under overall US Command.
4th Entertained US visitors at reception on Independence Day.
11th HRH The
Duke of Gloucester, Governor General of Australia
31st Sailed from Sydney
for Forward Base at Manus, Admiralty Is. escorted by
HM Destroyers WAGER
3rd Arrived at Manus.
6th Flag of Admiral Fraser, CinC BPF hoisted
7th Took Passage to Guam for meetings with
staff of US CinC Pacific Fleet,
Admiral Chester Nimitz.
9th Arrived at Guam escorted by HM Destroyers
WAGER and WHELP.
10th Fleet Admiral Nimitz invested with Knight
Grand Cross of the Order of the
Bath by Admiral Fraser
on behalf of HM King George VI.
12th Task Force 37 ships of British Pacific Fleet, except a Token Force,
withdrawn from the operational area because of lack of fuel from
(For details see
WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO), THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by
J Winton, TASK FORCE
57 by P Smith, and Naval Staff History.)
13th Took passage from Guam with HMS WAGER and
HMS WHELP to join US
3rd Fleet including
ships of BPF in operational area
18th Deployed with ships of Token Force (Task Group 38.5) with Task
Force 38 for
support operations to recover PoW and
(Note: TG38.5 comprised:
HMS KING GEORGE V, HMS
Cruisers NEWFOUNDLAND and GAMBIA
(RNZN), HM Destroyers
BARFLEUR, NAPIER (RAN), TEAZER,
NIZAM (RAN), WAKEFUL, and
Logistic Support Group of Task Force 112 (Fleet Train).
23rd Re-designated with HMS WAGER and HMS WHELP as Task Group 30.2
entry into Japanese waters.
of Task Group 38.5 were redesignated Task Force 37.)
27th Anchored in Sagami Wan prior to formal surrender ceremony in Tokyo Bay..
29th Passage to Tokyo Bay after mine
2nd Present in Tokyo Bay during formal
surrender of Japan.
(Note: Admiral Fraser
signed the formal instrument of surrender and this
ceremony was attended by representatives of the BPF.)
5th Reverted to RN control.
9th Passage from Tokyo Bay to Hong Kong with call at Okinawa.
14th Arrived at Hong Kong with CinC
16th Formal surrender ceremony.
(Note: Rear Admiral
CJ Harcourt, former captain of ship, signed for Great
in his capacity as CinC Hong Kong and Head of
Fraser as CinC BPF attended as an
21st Sailed for Sydney with call at
Manila to refuel.
October Passage to Sydney
9th Arrived at Sydney
November At Sydney
3rd Sailed from Sydney for visit to
21st Arrived at Sydney
from Norfolk Bay, Tasmania.
1st Took passage from Sydney
for Hong Kong with calls at Fremantle, Christmas
Island and Singapore.
7th At Fremantle.
14th At Singapore.
21st Arrived at Hong Kong after passage in
extreme weather during which the
Lieut. Cdr. May, RN was swept overboard with several
other men from cable party during work to secure anchors.
All the men were
saved except the First Lieutenant.
26th 1,200 of ship’s company were landed as part of KENNEDY FORCE,
temporary garrison of the Colony, pending the arrival of the
relieved the naval personnel landed from HM Battleship ANSON
1 9 4 6
January At Hong
(Note: Admiral Fraser
raised to Peerage.)
17th Sailed from Hong Kong for Flag Visit to
21st Returned to Hong Kong.
February At Hong
19th Took part in exercises off Hong Kong which included US Navy
March At Hong
10th Admiral Fraser and staff left ship
(Note: BPF was being
administered from Hong Kong pending transfer of
Headquarters from Sydney.)
11th Passage from Hong Kong for visit to Japan.
15th At Nagasaki
16th At Kagoshima
19th At Kure.
(Note: British Commonwealth
Base was at Kure
and later used by RN and
Commonwealth warships during the Korean War. Visits to Hiroshima
see results of Atom Bomb attack were arranged.)
26th At Yokohama.
(Note: Ships company able to visit Tokyo
which had been extensively
damaged by allied bombing.)
27th Took passage to Sydney.
10th At Sydney for routine
docking and leave.
May At Sydney
15th Sailed from Sydney
for Hong Kong.
29th Arrived at Hong Kong.
7th Admiral Lord Fraser embarked for passage to Singapore.
11th Arrived at Singapore.
Admiral Lord Fraser relieved as CinC BPF by
Admiral Sir Denis
Sailed from Singapore
to UK with Admiral
Lord Fraser embarked.
18th Sailed from Colombo.
28th Sailed from Port Said with calls
at Malta and Gibraltar.
8th Passage from Gibraltar to Plymouth.
11th Arrived at Plymouth.
(Note: Ship has steamed
58,413 miles since leaving Scapa Flow in April 1945.