HMS Newfoundland (59)

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United Kingdom
NamesakeDominion of Newfoundland
BuilderSwan Hunter, Wallsend
Laid down9 November 1939
Launched19 December 1941
Commissioned21 January 1943
IdentificationPennant number: 59
Honours and
Mediterranean 1940–1945, Sicily 1943
FateSold to Peruvian Navy, 30 December 1959
BadgeA caribou
NameBAP Almirante Grau
NamesakeMiguel Grau Seminario
Acquired30 December 1959
RenamedRenamed Capitan Quinones on 15 May 1973
ReclassifiedAs a static training ship, 1979
FateScrapped, 1979
General characteristics Post 1951 modernisation
Class and typeFiji-class light cruiser
  • 8,712 tons standard
  • 11,024 tons full load
Length169.3 m (555 ft)
Beam18.9 m (62 ft)
Draught5.3 m (17 ft)
  • Four oil fired three-drum Admiralty-type boilers
  • four-shaft geared turbines
  • four screws
  • 54.1 megawatts (72,500 shp)
Speed33 knots (61 km/h)
Range10,200 nautical miles (18,900 km) at 12 kn (22 km/h)
  • 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 (40 mm)
Aircraft carriedTwo Supermarine Walrus aircraft (Later removed)

HMS Newfoundland was a Fiji-class light cruiser of the Royal Navy. Named after the Dominion of Newfoundland, she participated 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 in December 1942 and commissioned the next month.

HMS Newfoundland firing her 6-inch guns during target practice, April 1943. Taken from HMS Rodney

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 13/14 July 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 by the Italian submarine Ascianghi.[2] Some sources attribute the torpedo to the German submarine U-407.[3] One crewman was killed in the attack. 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 Japanese naval base at Truk, in the Caroline Islands during Operation Inmate.

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 US battleship 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.


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 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 the cruisers 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 Royal Navy cruiser but possibly not as reliable as the simpler installations on the cruisers Ceylon and Belfast.[citation needed] Recommissioned on 5 November 1952,[4] she became flagship of the 4th Cruiser Squadron in the East Indies. The cabinet of Sri Lanka met on board her during the Hartal of 1953.[5] From December 1953 Newfoundland underwent a three-month refit at Singapore before transferring to the Far East Station, shelling Malayan National Liberation Army targets near Penang in June 1954 when on passage to the Far East.[4]

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 of tensions between Britain and Egypt that would lead to the Suez Crisis, Domiat refused and opened fire on the cruiser, causing some damage and casualties. The cruiser, with the destroyer Diana, then returned fire and sank her opponent, rescuing 69 survivors from the wreckage. One man from the Newfoundland was killed and five were wounded.[6]

Newfoundland 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.


  1. ^ "The Rev Prebendary Vere Hodge – obituary". Daily Telegraph. 22 December 2013. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  2. ^ Reginald Maurice James Hutton (26 July 1943), Operation "Husky" – Letter of Proceedings ADM 1/14477, London: Admiralty
  3. ^ "HMS Newfoundland (59) (British Light cruiser) - Ships hit by German U-boats during WWII -".
  4. ^ a b "Command News: H.M.S.Newfoundland". Portsmouth Navy News. No. 4. September 1954. p. 10. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  5. ^ Colvin R de Silva, Hartal Archived 9 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ The War at Sea Archived 12 May 2006 at the Wayback Machine


  • Brown, D. K. & Moore, George (2003). Rebuilding the Royal Navy: Warship Design Since 1945. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-59114-705-0.
  • Campbell, N.J.M. (1980). "Great Britain". In Chesneau, Roger (ed.). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922–1946. New York: Mayflower Books. pp. 2–85. ISBN 0-8317-0303-2.
  • Colledge, J. J.; Wardlow, Ben & Bush, Steve (2020). Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of All Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy from the 15th Century to the Present (5th ed.). Barnsley, UK: Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 978-1-5267-9327-0.
  • Friedman, Norman (2010). British Cruisers: Two World Wars and After. Barnsley, UK: Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 978-1-59114-078-8.
  • Murfin, David (2010). "AA to AA: The Fijis Turn Full Circle". In Jordan, John (ed.). Warship 2010. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-84486-110-1.
  • Raven, Alan & Roberts, John (1980). British Cruisers of World War Two. Annapolis, Maryland: 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 (Third Revised ed.). Annapolis, Maryland: 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.

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