HMS Newfoundland (59)

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HMS Newfoundland.jpg
Career (UK) Royal Navy Ensign
Class and type: Crown Colony-class light cruiser
Name: HMS Newfoundland
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
Career (Peru) Naval Jack of Peru.svg
Name: BAP Almirante Grau
Acquired: 30 December 1959
Renamed: Renamed Capitan Quinones on 15 May 1973
Reclassified: Static training ship in 1979
Fate: Scrapped 1979
General characteristics
Post 1951 modernisation
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
four screws
54.1 megawatts (72,500 shp)
Speed: 33 knots (61 km/h)
Range: 10,200 nm at 12 knots
Complement: 730 (wartime)
650 (peacetime)
Sensors and
processing systems:
Type 960M air search
Type 274 surface search
Type 277 height finding
Type 274 fire control (152 mm)
Type 275 fire control (102 mm)
Type 262(MRS1) fire control (40mm)
Armament: 3 triple BL 6 inch Mk XXIII naval guns (152/50 mm)
4 twin Mk XIX 102/45 mm guns
9X2 Mk3 40mmBofors
Armour: 82.5-88.9 mm belt
25.4-50.8 mm turrets
Aircraft carried: Two Supermarine Walrus aircraft (Later removed)
Notes: Pennant number 59
Badge: A caribou

Not to be confused with HMCS Newfoundland

HMS Newfoundland was a Crown Colony-class light cruiser of the Royal Navy. Named after Newfoundland, she fought in the Second World War and was later sold to the Peruvian Navy.

The hospital ship HMHS Newfoundland was a different ship, although also torpedoed in the Mediterranean in 1943.

Early career[edit]

Newfoundland was built by Swan Hunter and launched 19 December 1941 by the wife of the then British Minister of Labour, Ernest Bevin. The ship was completed and commissioned in December 1942.

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.[1]

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.

Postwar[edit]

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.[2]

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.[3]

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.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "The Rev Prebendary Vere Hodge - obituary". Daily Telegraph. 22 Dec 2013. Retrieved 23 Dec 2013. 
  2. ^ Colvin R de Silva, Hartal
  3. ^ The War at Sea

References[edit]

External links[edit]