HMS Emerald (D66)

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For other ships of the same name, see HMS Emerald.
HMS Emerald WWI IWM Q 045940.jpg
HMS Emerald at anchor
History
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Emerald
Builder: Armstrong (Newcastle-on-Tyne, UK)
Laid down: 23 September 1918
Launched: 19 May 1920
Commissioned: 14 January 1926
Decommissioned: 9 June 1948
Out of service: 15 July 1933
Reclassified:
  • In reserve between 1937 to 1939
  • In reserve between 1945 to 1947
Identification: Pennant number: D66
Fate:
  • Scrapped
  • Handed over to British Steel 23 June 1948 for breaking up
  • Scrapped at Arnott Young (Troon, Scotland), arriving 5 July 1948
General characteristics
Class & type: Emerald-class light cruiser
Displacement:
  • 7,580 tons standard
  • 9,435 tons full load
Length: 570 ft (170 m)
Beam: 54.5 ft (16.6 m)
Draught: 16.5 ft (5.0 m)
Installed power: 80,000 shp (60,000 kW)
Propulsion:
  • Four shafts
  • Brown-Curtis geared turbines
  • Eight boilers in four compartments - part forward of amidships magazine and part abaft forward engine room
Speed: 33 knots (61 km/h; 38 mph)
Range:
  • 1,350 nautical miles (2,500 km; 1,550 mi) at 32 knots (59 km/h; 37 mph)
  • 8,000 nautical miles (15,000 km; 9,200 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Endurance: 1,746 tons fuel oil
Complement: 572 officers and enlisted
Armament:
  • Original configuration:
  • 7 × single BL 6 in (150 mm) Mk XII guns
  • 4 × 3-pounder (47 mm) "pom-pom" guns
  • 3 × single 4 in (100 mm) anti-aircraft guns
  • 4 × 21 in (533 mm) quadruple torpedo tubes.
  • August 1939
  • 7 × 6 in (152 mm) single guns,
  • 2 × quadruple 0.5 in MG guns,
  • 4 × 3 pdr (47 mm) pom-pom single guns,
  • 4 × 21 in (533 mm) quadruples torpedo tubes.
  • April 1943:
  • 5 × 6 in (152 mm) single guns,
  • 2 × 2 pdr (37 mm/40 mm) pom-poms quad guns,
  • 4 × 3 pdr (47 mm) pom-pom single guns,
  • 6 × 20 mm (0.8 in) dual power-operated guns,
  • 4 × 21 in (533 mm) quadruples torpedo tubes.
  • April 1944:
  • 5 × 6 in (152 mm) single guns,
  • 2 × 2 pdr (37 mm/40 mm) pom-poms quad guns,
  • 4 × 3 pdr (47 mm) pom-pom single guns,
  • 6 × 20 mm (0.8 in) single guns,
  • 6 × 20 mm (0.8 in) dual power-operated guns,
  • 4 × 21 in (533 mm) quadruples torpedo tubes.
Armour:
  • Original configuration
    • Side: 3 in (76 mm) (amidships),
    • Side: 2.5–1.5 in (64–38 mm) (bow),
    • Side: 2 in (51 mm) (stern),
    • Deck: 1 in (25 mm)
Aircraft carried:
  • One aircraft with one catapult
  • Catapult later removed. A Fairey Seafox was carried in the early days of World War II

HMS Emerald was an Emerald-class light cruiser of the Royal Navy. She was built by Armstrong at Newcastle-on-Tyne, with the keel being laid down on 23 September 1918. She was launched on 19 May 1920 and commissioned 14 January 1926.

History[edit]

Emerald went out to the East Indies, 4th Cruiser Squadron, on commissioning, finally returning home to pay off on 15 July 1933. During her time in the far east she participated as part of a Royal Navy flotilla in the 1927 Nanjing incident, helping to protect British and other international citizens and business interests. After a refit at Chatham, the ship recommissioned for the East Indies again on 31 August 1934, which tour lasted until September 1937, on relief by Liverpool. On her return home she paid off to reserve.

Recommissioned for war service, she joined the 12th Cruiser Squadron on Northern Patrol duties in September 1939. However, the appearance of German raiders in the Atlantic resulted in her transfer to Halifax in October, to escort homeward-bound convoys, where she remained into 1940. Between October 1939 and August 1940 the ship carried £58 million in gold from Britain to Canada (her sister ship Enterprise shipped another £10 million) some for Operation Fish. During the early part of the war, until May 1940, her captain was the noted officer, Augustus Agar, V.C..

In 1941 Emerald was transferred to the Indian Ocean, where she escorted troop convoys to the Middle East and stood by in the Persian Gulf during the operations in Iraq in April 1941. After Japan's entry into the war, in December 1941, Emerald joined the Eastern Fleet as part of the 'Fast Group', and in March 1942 was flagship. In August 1942 the ship returned home to refit at Portsmouth in August, and did not return to service until early April 1943.

She rejoined the Eastern Fleet, 4th Cruiser Squadron, for escort duties, then returned home once more for the Invasion of Normandy, when she served with Force "K" in support of Gold Beach. By January 1945 Emerald had joined the reserve fleet and, in 1947, was allocated for ship target trials. As a result of these trials the ship foundered in Kames Bay, Rothesay, on 24 October, and was not refloated until 9 June 1948, after which she was docked, examined, and then handed over to BISCO on 23 June 1948 for breaking up. She was scrapped at Arnott Young (Troon, Scotland) where she arrived on 5 July 1948.

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