|Dad served from 05-05-42 to 17-09-42|
Battle Honours: Mediterranean 1940, Calabria 1940, Arctic 1942, Malta Convoys 1942.
Town Class Light CruisersLight cruisers built up to treaty limits in response to American and Japanese designs.
X turrets were removed from Glasgow, Sheffield and Newcastle in exchange for A A armament.
Displacement: 9,400 tons standard ; 11,650 tons full load
Dimensions: 558 pp, 591.5 oa x 62.25 x 17.5 feet
Propulsion: 4 shaft Parsons geared turbines, 4 Admiralty 3-drum boilers, 82,500 SHP. = 32.25 knots
Range: 12,100 miles at 12 knots; 2,075 tons fuel oil
Armament: 4 triple 6-inch / 50 Mk 23 (one turret later removed); 4 dual 4-inch / 45 QF Mk 16 HA; 2 quad 2 pdr (further 4 quad and 4 single 2 pdr added); 2 quad 0.5-inch MG (later replaced by 6 dual and 7 single 20 mm A A); 2 triple 21-inch TT.; 2 seaplanes
Armour: 1 to 4.5 inch magazine box protection; 4.5 inch belt; 1.5 inch deck; 2 to 4 inch turrets; 2.5 inch bulkheads
HMS Liverpool (C11)[Malta]   [early 1942]  [March 1950]
Built by Fairfield, Govan. Laid Down 17th February 1936.
Launched 24th March 1937. Completed 2nd November 1938. Paid off 1952.
Broken up by McLellan, Bo'ness, 1958.
HMS Newcastle (C76)Built by Vickers Armstrong, Tyne. Laid Down 4th October 1934.
Launched 23rd January 1936. Completed 5th March 1937. Paid off 1948.
Broken up by Shipbreaking Ltd., Faslane, 1959.
HMS SouthamptonBuilt by John Brown, Clydebank. Laid Down 21st November 1934.
Launched 10th March 1936. Completed 6th March 1937.
Scuttled 11th January 1941 after being bombed by German aircraft in the Sicilian Narrows (81 lost).
HMS Sheffield (C24)[photo #1] [photo #2] [late 42]
Built by Vickers Armstrong, Tyne. Laid Down 31st January 1935.
Launched 23rd July 1936. Completed 25th August 1937. Paid off 1959.
Reserve 1960-1966. Broken up by Shipbreaking Industries, Faslane, 1967.
HMS Glasgow (C21)[photo]
Built by Scotts, Greenock. Laid Down 16th April 1935.
Launched 20th June 1936. Completed 9th September 1937. Paid off November 1956.
Broken up by Hughes Bolckow, Blyth, 1958.
HMS Birmingham (C19)[photo]
Built by Devonport Dockyard. Laid Down 18th July 1935.
Launched 1st September 1936. Completed 18th November 1937.
Paid off December 1959. Broken up by Ward, Inverkeithing, 1960.
Built by Hawthorn Leslie, Hebburn. Laid Down 28 March 1936.
Launched 12th April 1937. Completed 4th August 1938.
Sunk 13th August 1942 by torpedoes from Italian MTBs MAS16 and MAS22, off Tunisia (150 lost).
HMS GloucesterBuilt by Devonport Dockyard. Laid Down 22nd September 1936.
Launched 19th October 1937. Completed 31st January 1939.
Sunk 22nd May 1941 by bombs from German and Italian aircraft, north-west of Crete
Random notes on HMS Liverpool (more to follow...)14th October 1940 Liverpool was hit by an Italian aerial torpedo. Petroleum stowage exploded. The bows and roof of 'A' turret were blown off and she was taken in tow, stern first by HMS Orion. Temporary repairs at Alexandria until April 1941. Sailed to Mare Island, California, for full repairs. Operational January 1942. Present on convoy QP12, May 1942.
Notes taken from Liverpool's "Log Book" June 1942:[P.R.O. ref. ADM 53 /116162]
Captain W. R. Slayter. 5th June sailed from Greenock to Gibraltar. 12th June set off for Malta. 13th June 1452 Alarm to Arms. 1725 Hostile aircraft in site. 1735 Action Stations. 14th June 0545 Action Stations. 1125 [LAT 37 o 55' N] [LON 07 o 38' E] Hit by one torpedo on starboard side. 2 crossed the bow and passed down the port side. 1 passed under the stern and the 4th struck. 15 killed and 22 injured. The names of the 15 are pasted into the log book. 1240 Tow passed to Antelope. 1626 Tow parted. 1631 Attacked by 5 fighter bombers (Fiat CR.42). Near misses. 1728 In tow. 1730 Tow parted. 1800 Attacked by 9 high level bombers (1 P.108 / 8 Cant Z1007). 1945 In tow. 2015 2nd HLB attack (5 Cant Z1007). 2225 6 torpedo aircraft attacked. No hits. 15th June 1422 Fired on 3 T/B aircraft who attacked from astern. Torpedoes missed. 1535 HM Tug Salvonia arrived. 2105 - 2205 Transferred tow from Antelope to Salvonia. 17th June 1315 Gibraltar in sight. 1715 Passed Gibraltar harbour entrance. 1740 Secured. 1920 Divers inspect damage.
Notes taken from "Operation Harpoon"[P.R.O. ref. ADM 835] (includes photos)
1110 - 1135 (14th June) Two groups of SM 79 (13 & 15 a/c) escorted by 20 fighters (Macchi C.200) approached round the port side of the force.The rear group (15 a/c) came inside the screen and attacked the port column of the convoy and then splitting into three groups attacked along the length of the starboard column. Torpedoes were released from 100 feet at a range of 2000 yds. Liverpool was hit. Attacks on Eagle and Argus. Liverpool escorted by Westcott and Antelope, was attacked later by Italian a/c a number of times between 1638 and 2235 (14th June) and once at 1420 (15th June). List increased from 2 degrees to 10 degrees. A total of 7 aircraft were shot down by Liverpool, including 3 SM 79, one of which passed low over the forecastle burning fiercely to crash into the sea 300 yds away. Bedouin sunk 1425 (15th June). Partridge damaged. The convoy arrived Malta 0200 (16th June).
Notes taken from Liverpool's "Damage Report"[P.R.O. ref. ADM 234 (489)]
There were some nice drawings in this report and the only details I recorded were: Ship's speed at impact 21 knots. Torpedo probably 17.7 inch 440lbs TNT. Hole rectangular in shape 24' long by 19' deep. Hit at bilge keel level (B engine room). Ship down 4' at stern. Only port outer engine working. Ship's speed under tow 9 knots. Arrived Gibraltar 17th June. Patched up and arrived Rosyth in July. Repairs not pressed. Completed July 1943. Out of service till May 1944.
Malta ConvoysOn 12th June 1942, the convoy (Harpoon) left Gibraltar for Malta; six merchant vessels escorted by the A A cruiser HMS Cairo, nine destroyers and four mine sweepers. The four fleet sweepers were henceforth to be designated the 17th MS Flotilla under the command of Cdr. Doran in HMS Speedy. Along with this convoy was the covering force of the battleship HMS Malaya, the aircraft-carriers HMS Argus and HMS Eagle, three cruisers and eight destroyers. During the passage the convoy was repeatedly attacked by aircraft and Italian surface ships. Four of the supply ships and the destroyer HMS Bedouin were sunk or had to be abandoned. The cruiser HMS Liverpool and the destroyer HMS Partridge were badly damaged.
My Dad was on the Liverpool in 'B' turret and recalls that a torpedo from an Italian a/c hit amidships and 15 men were killed in the engine room. Liverpool was towed for 3 days back to Gibraltar by the destroyer Antelope and then the tug Salvonia and was put in dry dock for repairs. During the six weeks of repairs my dad says that exploring the town, bars and swimming when off-duty, was like being on holiday!
The Malta mine sweepers worked flat out over the four days preceding the arrival of the convoy. On 13th June a nest of mines was found five and a half miles south east of the Grand Harbour entrance and several mines were cut on the 15th just in time for the sweepers to take up positions as mark boats. The four fleet sweepers led the escorts and the remaining merchantmen towards Grand Harbour sweeping all the way and finding eight more mines in the process. Nevertheless the Polish destroyer Kujawiak hit a mine and was sunk and two other destroyers HMS Badsworth and HMS Matchless and the supply ship Orari were damaged by mines, the latter at the very entrance to Grand Harbour. This was a bitter blow for the Malta mine sweeping force which had raised an average of 12 mines a day over the previous four days. They had been repeatedly attacked by Me 109's and mines had been parachuting down amongst them as they swept.
Malta Extracts by Jack Williams.
Convoy Systems and Battles.