HMS Newfoundland (59)
|Class and type:||Crown Colony-class light cruiser|
|Builder:||Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd, Wallsend|
|Laid down:||9 November 1939|
|Launched:||19 December 1941|
|Commissioned:||21 January 1943|
|Out of service:||Sold to Peruvian Navy on 30 December 1959|
|Name:||BAP Almirante Grau|
|Acquired:||30 December 1959|
|Renamed:||Renamed Capitan Quinones on 15 May 1973|
|Reclassified:||Static training ship in 1979|
Not to be confused with HMCS Newfoundland
The hospital ship HMHS Newfoundland was a different ship, although also torpedoed in the Mediterranean in 1943.
After commissioning Newfoundland joined the 10th Cruiser Squadron, Home Fleet. Early in 1943 the ship became flagship of the 15th Cruiser Squadron, Mediterranean. On the night of July 13/14 1943, during Sicily Campaign, she provided effective support for 1st Parachute Brigade helping to secure the Primasole Bridge, linking Catania with Syra.
On 23 July 1943, she was torpedoed, either by the Italian submarine Ascianghi or U-407. Her rudder having been blown off, temporary repairs were carried out at Malta. Later, steering by her propellers only, and with the assistance of "jury rigged" sails between her funnels, she steamed to the Boston Navy Yard for major repairs.
In 1944 the ship was re-commissioned for service in the Far East. While at Alexandria an exploding air vessel occurred in one of the torpedoes in the port tubes which caused severe damage and one casualty. The repairs delayed her arrival in the Far East for service with the British Pacific Fleet (BPF). Newfoundland went to New Guinea to support the Australian 6th Division in the Aitape-Wewak campaign. On 14 June 1945, as part of a BPF task group, Newfoundland attacked the major Japanese naval base at Truk, in the Caroline Islands.
On 6 July Newfoundland left the forward base of Manus in the Admiralty Islands with other ships of the BPF to take part in the Allied campaign against the Japanese home islands. On 9 August she took part in a bombardment of the Japanese city of Kamaishi. Newfoundland was part of a British Empire force which took control of the naval base at Yokosuka.
The ship was present in Tokyo Bay when the Instrument of Surrender was signed aboard the USS Missouri, on 2 September 1945. Newfoundland was then assigned the task of repatriating British Empire prisoners of war.
She returned to Great Britain in December 1946.
Newfoundland was initially in reserve, and was used as a training ship as part of the stokers' training establishment HMS Imperieuse, before starting a 20 month reconstruction at Plymouth in 1951. The modernisation was the most extensive of those applied to any Colony or Town class cruiser in the 1950s with the Newfoundland receiving extensive new electrical and fire control systems, a new bridge, comprehensive nuclear spraydown capability and lattice masts, particularly for the 960 radar in a similar structure to that later fitted to Royalist and Belfast. The integrated 275 and MRS-1 fire control for the 4 twin and 40mm mounts was the most comprehensive fitted to a modernised RN cruiser but possibly not as reliable as the simpler installations on Ceylon and Belfast. Recommissioned on 5 November 1952, she became flagship of the 4th Cruiser Squadron in the East Indies, and also served in the Far East. The cabinet of Sri Lanka meet on board her during the Hartal of 1953.
On 31 October 1956, the Egyptian frigate Domiat was cruising South of the Suez Canal in the Red Sea, when Newfoundland encountered her and ordered her to heave to. Aware that Britain and Egypt had just gone to war in the Suez Crisis, the Domiat refused and opened fire on the cruiser, causing some damage and casualties. The cruiser, with the destroyer HMS Diana, then returned fire and sank her opponent, rescuing 69 survivors from the wreckage.
She then returned to the Far East until paid off to the reserve at Portsmouth on 24 June 1959. She was sold to the Peruvian Navy on 2 November 1959, and subsequently renamed Almirante Grau and then to Capitán Quiñones in 1973. The cruiser was hulked in 1979 and used as a static training ship in Callao, before being decommissioned and scrapped later that year.
- 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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