Allied Warships

HMS Phoebe (43)

Light cruiser of the Dido class

Photo courtesy of Paul Johnson Collection

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeLight cruiser
Built byFairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. (Govan, Scotland) 
Ordered20 Mar 1937 
Laid down2 Sep 1937 
Launched25 Mar 1939 
Commissioned27 Sep 1940 
End service14 Mar 1951 

Adopted by the people of Bournemouth during Warships Week.
Decommissioned on 14 March 1953.
Arrived at Blyth on 1 August 1956 to be scrapped by Hughes Bolkow.


Hit by U-boat
Damaged on 23 Oct 1942 by U-161 (Achilles).

U-boat AttackSee our U-boat attack entry for the HMS Phoebe

Commands listed for HMS Phoebe (43)

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1Capt. Guy Grantham, RN10 Jun 1940Sep 1941
2Cdr. Frank Arthur Ballance, RNSep 194111 Mar 1942
3Capt. Charles Peter Frend, RN11 Mar 194224 Jun 1944
4Capt. Sidney Moffat Raw, RN24 Jun 1944late 1945

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Notable events involving Phoebe include:

23 Oct 1942
HMS Phoebe (Capt. C.P. Frend, RN) was torpedoed by U-161 off the Congo Estuary, while on passage to French Equatorial Africa. Her route was from Simonstown to Freetown, but the ship had to refuel at Pointe Noire. Two U-boats (U-161 and U-126) were patrolling that area by the time. After the hit, a corvette coming up from the harbour prevented the U-boat to finish off the cruiser. About 60 crew members were killed (and three more from malaria in the following days). After provisional repairs, Phoebe made to New York for definite repairs. It was an outstanding deed to go 10.000 miles with a hole 60' by 30' in size. The repairs were not completed until June 1943. (1)


  1. Personal communication

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