HMS Trinidad (46)

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For other ships of the same name, see HMS Trinidad.
HMS Trinidad.jpg
Career RN Ensign
Class and type: Crown Colony-class light cruiser
Name: HMS Trinidad
Builder: HM Dockyard Devonport
Laid down: 21 April 1938
Launched: 21 March 1941
Commissioned: 14 October 1941
Fate: Damaged in air attack and scuttled 15 May 1942
General characteristics
Displacement: 8,000 tons
Length: 169.3 m (555.5 ft)
Beam: 18.9 m (62 ft)
Draught: 5.0 m (16.5 ft)

Four oil fired 3-drum Admiralty-type boilers,

4-shaft geared turbines, 4 screws, 54.1 megawatts (72,500 shp)
Speed: 33 knots
Complement: 907
Armament: Twelve 6 inch guns (4 × 3),
eight 4 inch guns (4 × 2),
eight 40 mm Bofors AA (4 × 2) guns,
3 quadruple 2 pounder ("pom-pom") AA mounts, 12 20 mm AA (6 × 2) guns.
Six 21 inch (2 × 3) torpedo tubes
Armour: Main belt: 83 mm,
deck: 51 mm,
turrets: 51 mm,
Director control tower: 102 mm.
Aircraft carried: Two Supermarine Walrus aircraft

HMS Trinidad was a Royal Navy Crown Colony-class cruiser (also known as the Fiji-class). She was lost while serving in the Arctic on convoy duty after being damaged escorting PQ-13 in 1942.

Early career[edit]

HMS Trinidad as seen from HMS Fury in the North Atlantic during an Arctic convoy escort patrol. HMS Trinidad is dazzle-painted.

Trinidad was built by HM Dockyard Devonport. She was laid down on 21 April 1938, launched 21 March 1941 and commissioned on 14 October 1941. The ship served with the British Home Fleet during her brief career.


While escorting Convoy PQ-13 in March 1942, she and other escorts were in combat with German Narvik-class destroyers. She hit and sank the German destroyer Z 26, and then launched a torpedo attack. One of her torpedoes had a faulty gyro mechanism possibly affected by the icy waters. The path of the torpedo formed a circular arc, striking the Trinidad and killing 32 men. One of the survivors was composer George Lloyd, a Royal Marines bandsman who had earlier written the ship's official march. This was performed at the Last Night of the Proms on 7 September 2013, in the presence of the last surviving crewman from Trinidad.[1]

Trinidad was towed clear of the action, and was then able to proceed under her own power towards Murmansk. The German submarine U-378[2] attempted to engage and sink the damaged cruiser, but was spotted and attacked by destroyer HMS Fury.[3] On arrival in Murmansk she underwent partial repairs.

HMS Trinidad under repair in the Kola Inlet at Murmansk.

She set out to return home on 13 May 1942, escorted by the destroyers HMS Foresight, HMS Forester, HMS Somali and HMS Matchless. Other ships of the Home Fleet were providing a covering force nearby. Her speed was reduced to 20 knots owing to the damage she had sustained. En route, she was attacked by more than twenty Ju-88 bombers on 15 May 1942. All attacks missed, except for one bomb that struck near the previous damage, starting a serious fire. Sixty-three men were lost,[4] including twenty survivors from HMS Edinburgh, which had been sunk two weeks earlier. The decision was taken to scuttle her and she was torpedoed by HMS Matchless and sank in the Arctic Ocean, north of North Cape.[5]



External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Frank Pearce – The Ship That Torpedoed Herself: HMS "Trinidad" (1975) ISBN 0-904593-02-9
  • M.J. Whitley – Cruisers of World War II, An International Encyclopedia. (1995)

Coordinates: 73°37′N 23°27′E / 73.617°N 23.450°E / 73.617; 23.450