HMS Cornwall (56)
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|Builder:||Devonport Dockyard (Plymouth, UK)|
|Laid down:||9 October 1924|
|Launched:||11 March 1926|
|Commissioned:||8 May 1928|
|Identification:||pennant number 56|
|Fate:||Sunk 5 April 1942, with HMS Dorsetshire, by bombs from Japanese carrier aircraft, west of Ceylon (198 lost)|
|Class and type:||County-class heavy cruiser|
|Length:||630 ft (190 m)|
|Beam:||68 ft 3 in (20.80 m)|
|Draught:||16 ft 3 in (4.95 m)|
|Speed:||31.5 knots (58.3 km/h)|
|Endurance:||3,400 tons (3,450 t) fuel oil|
|Aircraft carried:||Three aircraft with one catapult, removed in 1942|
In a single ship action of 8 May 1941 Cornwall sank the German commerce raider Pinguin but was hit in the stern. She returned to Durban for repairs, which were completed on 10 June 1941. On 25 November 1941, Cornwall intercepted the Vichy-French merchant Surcouf off the east coast of Somalia and brought her to Aden. Surcouf was en route to Djibouti with food.
On 2 April 1942, Cornwall and her sister ship Dorsetshire were detached from the fleet: Dorsetshire to resume an interrupted refit and Cornwall to escort convoy SU-4 (composed of the U.S. Army transport USAT Willard A. Holbrook and Australian transport MV Duntroon) to Australia and the aircraft carrier Hermes to Trincomalee in Ceylon for repairs. On 4 April, the Japanese carrier fleet was spotted and the two cruisers left harbour and, after a hurried refuelling at sea, set out for Addu Atoll shortly after midnight. On 5 April 1942, the two cruisers were sighted by a spotter plane from the Japanese cruiser Tone about 200 miles (370 km) south-west of Ceylon.
As part of the engagement known as the Easter Sunday Raid, a wave of dive bombers led by Lieutenant Commander Egusa took off from Japanese carriers to attack Cornwall and Dorsetshire, 320 km (170 nmi; 200 mi) south-west of Ceylon, and sank the two ships. British losses were 424 men killed; 1,122 survivors spent thirty hours in the water before being rescued by HMS Enterprise and two destroyers.
- Chesneau, Roger, ed. (1980). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922–1946. Greenwich: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-146-7.
- Dimbleby, Ken (1984). Turns of Fate. The Drama of HMS Cornwall 1939–1942. London: William Kimber. ISBN 0-7183-0523-X.
- Gill, G. Hermon (1968). Royal Australian Navy 1939–1942. Australia in the War of 1939–1945. Series 2 – Navy. 2. Canberra: Australian War Memorial. LCCN 76454854. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
- 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 (3rd rev. ed.). Annapolis, MD: 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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to HMS Cornwall (56).|
- HMS Cornwall at U-boat.net
- IWM Interview with survivor Robert Crick
- IWM Interview with survivor John Maule
- IWM Interview with survivor Harold Farmer
- IWM Interview with survivor Roger Collett
- IWM Interview with survivor Patrick Fitz
- IWM Interview with survivor Edwin Drew
- IWM Interview with survivor Benjamin Fuller