HMS Argonaut (61)
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HMS Argonaut in her War (Dazzle) Colours, November 1943 just after repairs at Philadelphia Navy yard
|Builder:||Cammell Laird Shipyard (Birkenhead, UK)|
|Laid down:||21 November 1939|
|Launched:||6 September 1941|
|Commissioned:||8 August 1942|
|Out of service:||6 July 1946|
|Reclassified:||In reserve from 1946 to 1955|
|Fate:||Scrapped, Arrived at J Cashmore, Newport on 19 November 1955|
|Class and type:||Dido-class light cruiser|
|Beam:||50.5 ft (15.4 m)|
|Draught:||14 ft (4.3 m)|
|Speed:||32.25 knots (60 km/h)|
|Notes:||Pennant number 61|
HMS Argonaut was a Dido-class cruiser. During October through November of 1942, HMS Argonaut served as part of Operation "Torch", Allied landings in North Africa. In this time part of Force "H", Gibraltar, commanding officers Vice Admiral Sir E. N. Syfret. Force "H" was a supporting force against German–Italian attacks or French counterattacks. December 1942 part of the new Force "Q" (RAdm. C. H. J. Harcourt) to fight against German–Italian convoys on the Tunisian coast. Part of Force "Q" are the cruisers Aurora, Sirius, Argonaut and the both Australian destroyers Quiberon and Quentin. On 1 December fighting with Italian Escort forces, the Italian convoy lost all four transport ships and the Italian destroyer Folgore. On the following day the German Air Force sunk HMAS Quentin westward of Cap Serrat.
On 14 December 1942, Argonaut was heavily damaged by Italian submarine Mocenigo not far from Bone. The cruiser suffered immense damage and survived only due to to the skill of its Captain and crew and the extensive subdivision and integrity of its cruiser design. The bow and stern sections at the front and rear of the cruiser had effectively been blown off and almost severed and the steering wrecked. The ship was patched up and limped to Algiers for more temporary repairs.It then sailed for the United States were it underwent a seven month reconstruction completed in November 1943. After return to the UK, it received a new sensor fit with 293 and 277 radar and was essentially fitted out as a picket and command ship for escort carriers and fleet carriers in the Pacific. It was rearmed with its 4 twin 5.25 turrets but Q turret replaced by a Quad pom pom. It was returned to service, under command of its earlier 1942 Captain Longley Longley on bombardment duties on D Day and the subsequent invasion of Normanby, and then covered the allied invasion from the South of France, Operation Dragoon, in the cruiser's new role as an Escort carrier Flagship and after that successful role, conducted a sweep of the Agean Sea, sinking a number of Axis small craft, before sailing east to the Indian Ocean. In 1945, HMS Argonaut was employed with the British Pacific fleet. It was laid up on return to the UK in 1946 and saw no furthur service before being scrapped in 1945 one of the first war built cruisers and Dido's to be disposed of.
- 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.
- Fechter, H.; Hümmelchen, G.: Seekriegsatlas. Mittelmeeer, Schwarzes Meer, 1940 - 1943. J. F. Lehmanns Verlag, München 1972, p. 90 (Op. Torch) and 98 ff. (Tunesia) ISBN 3-469-00298-3
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to HMS Argonaut (61).|
- HMS Argonaut at naval-history.net
- World War II cruisers
- HMS Argonaut at Uboat.net
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