HMS Ceylon (30)
|Class and type:||Crown Colony-class light cruiser|
|Builder:||Alexander Stephen and Sons, Govan|
|Laid down:||27 April 1939|
|Launched:||30 July 1942|
|Commissioned:||13 July 1943|
|Out of service:||Transferred to Peruvian Navy on 9 February 1960|
|Name:||BAP Coronel Bolognesi|
|Acquired:||9 February 1960|
|Fate:||Scrapped in Taiwan, August 1985|
|Displacement:||8,712 tonnes standard
11,024 tons full load
|Length:||169.3 m (555.5 ft)|
|Beam:||18.9 m (62 ft)|
|Draught:||5.3 m (16.5 ft)|
|Propulsion:||Four oil fired three-drum Admiralty-type boilers
four-shaft geared turbines
54.1 megawatts (72,500 shp)
|Speed:||33 knots (61 km/h)|
|Range:||10,200 nm at 12 knots|
|Type 281 air search
Type 272 surface search
Type 277 height finding
Type 274 fire control (152 mm)
Type 283 fire control (102 mm)
Type 282 fire control (2 pdr)
|Armament:||3 triple BL 6 inch Mk XXIII naval guns (152/50 mm)
4 twin Mk XIX 102/45 mm guns
4 quadruple Mk VII 2 pdr (40 mm) pom-pom guns
10 twin Mk II 20/70 mm guns
2 triple 533 mm torpedo tubes
|Armour:||82.5-88.9 mm belt
25.4-50.8 mm turrets
|Aircraft carried:||Two Supermarine Walrus aircraft (Later removed)|
|Notes:||Pennant number 30|
In 1960 she transferred to the navy of Peru becoming the Coronel Bolognesi.
Built by Stephens at Govan and launched on 30 July 1942, she was completed on 13 July 1943. After two months in the Home Fleet she was transferred to the 4th Cruiser Squadron, with the Eastern Fleet and took part in many carrier raids, bombardments and patrols against Japanese-held territory, including Operations Cockpit, Meridian and Diplomat. In November 1944 she joined the British Pacific Fleet and sailed from Trincomalee on 16 January, taking part in a raid on Pankalan Bradan en route. By May 1945, however, she was back in the Indian Ocean, shelling the Nicobar Islands, and remained in that theatre until the end of the war. In October 1945 she returned to England for refit and lay-up.
Postwar, she served in the Portsmouth Command during 1946/50, followed by the 5th and 4th Cruiser Squadrons on the Far East and East Indies stations. She was actively engaged in the Korean War, carrying out a number of bombardments. She was paid off at Portsmouth in October 1954 for re-construction.
Her modernisation was largely on the pattern applied to HMS Newfoundland and HMS Nigeria in 1954-57. The cost of the modernisation of Nigeria (which was later sold to India and served as INS Mysore) was reduced by using mainly sensors and parts originally purchased by the RAN for modernisation of HMAS Hobart before that was cancelled. The modernisation of HMS Ceylon was simplified by fitting the new 960M LRAW to the original tripod main radar mast rather than fitting a new lattice, less comprehensive electrical refitting and the simplification of fire control systems by not fitting the 275 flypane directors used on Newfoundland and relying on the new MRS8 directors supplied and paid for by the US Govt similar to that used in updating of US Navy's heavy gun cruisers in the 1950s, to control a new standard light twin Mk 5 twin L60 Bofors armament on Ceylon.
After trials with the new equipment, in late 1956, HMS Ceylon was deployed to the Mediterranean where she provided beyond visual range gunfire support to suppress emplaced Egyptian shore batteries at Port Said in support of the British Army and Royal Marine landings. A Communication Officer on the cruiser, describes Ceylons bombardment as relatively brief, as the Egyptian batteries did not return fire. Later in the operation Ceylon served as an air direction picket, Royalist having been withdrawn and the cruiser Jamaica lacking modern AW AD. Between 1956 and 1959 she served in the Mediterranean, Home Fleet and East of Suez.
On 18 December 1959, she returned to Portsmouth and was sold to Peru the same month. On 9 February 1960, she was transferred to the Peruvian Navy and renamed Coronel Bolognesi. The sale of her and Newfoundland, while the older Colony and Town cruisers - Gambia, Bermuda, Sheffield and Belfast remained in service or reactivable reserve until the election of a Labour Government in 1964, probably reflected a usual British Treasury desire to balance the books on over cost RN ship modernisations and secondly the fact they would retain in service until 1980 many of the parts used on the Tiger class cruisers, and in fact some crucial parts for the maintenance of the Tigers were obtained from Peru in the 1970s.
She spent over twenty years with the Peruvians until she was finally deleted from the Navy List in May 1982, and towed to Taiwan in August 1985 to be scrapped.
- Lt Albert(Ted) Briggs.Signals Officer HMS Ceylon. Imperial War Museum Interview 10751.
- Lt A Briggs. IWM Interview (audio) 10751.
- Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) . Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8. OCLC 67375475.
- Raven, Alan; Roberts, John (1980). British Cruisers of World War Two. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-922-7.
- Rohwer, Jürgen (2005). Chronology of the War at Sea 1939-1945: The Naval History of World War Two (Third Revised ed.). Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-59114-119-2.
- Whitley, M. J. (1995). Cruisers of World War Two: An International Encyclopedia. London: Cassell. ISBN 1-86019-874-0.
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