HMS Curacoa (D 41)
Light cruiser of the Ceres class
|Navy||The Royal Navy|
|Built by||Pembroke Dockyard (Pembroke, Wales): Harland & Wolff (Belfast, Northern Ireland)|
|Laid down||Jul 1916|
|Launched||5 May 1917|
|Commissioned||18 Feb 1918|
|Lost||2 Oct 1942|
|Loss position||55° 50'N, 8° 38'W|
HMS Curacoa was rearmed as an Anti-Aircraft cruiser from August 1939 until April 1940.
HMS Curacoa was engaged in convoy escort duties with the Queen Mary. While both ships were zigzagging, the Curacoa (Capt. John Wilfred Boutwood, RN, survivor) crossed the Queen Mary's bow with insufficent clearance. The Queen Mary knifed into her at a speed of 28 knots, cutting the Curacoa in two. Separated by about 100 yards, she sank instantly with 338 casualties in position 55º50'N, 08º38'W. The Queen Mary did not falter or slow down, despite the fact of a 40 foot gash in her bow, for fear of German submarines. The convoy behind picked up 26 survivors.
Commands listed for HMS Curacoa (D 41)
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|1||Capt. Edward Arthur Aylmer, DSC, RN||5 Dec 1939||4 Feb 1940|
|2||Lt.Cdr. Lionel Haultain Phillips, RN||4 Feb 1940||11 Feb 1940|
|3||Capt. Edward Arthur Aylmer, DSC, RN||11 Feb 1940||10 Aug 1940|
|4||Capt. Cecil Charles Hughes-Hallett, RN||10 Aug 1940||20 Feb 1942|
|5||Capt. Stuart Henry Paton, RN||20 Feb 1942||13 Jun 1942|
|6||Capt. John Wilfrid Boutwood, RN||13 Jun 1942||2 Oct 1942|
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Notable events involving Curacoa include:
24 Apr 1940
After four days serving as AA protection off Aldansnes, Norway HMS Curacoa (Capt. E.A. Aylmer, DSC, RN) is seriously damaged by bombs from German aircraft. Repairs lasted into August. (1)
28 Jan 1941
HMS Prince of Wales (Rear Admiral L.H.K. Hamilton, DSO and Bar, RN) departed Liverpool for Rosyth. She was escorted by the destroyers HMS Highlander (Cdr. S. Boucher, RN), HMS Hesperus (Cdr. D.G.F.W. MacIntyre, RN) and HMS Havelock (Cdr. E.H. Thomas, RN).
At 1825 hours the anti-aircraft cruiser HMS Curacoa (Capt. C.C. Hughes-Hallett, RN) also joined.
At 0850/29 the destroyer HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN) joined until 1253 hours when she departed the screen.
Shortly before 1600/29 light cruiser HMS Nigeria (Capt. J.G.L. Dundas, CBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, DSO, RN), HMS Maori (Cdr. H.T. Armstrong, DSC, RN) and HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr M.J. Clark, RAN) joined. HMS Hesperus and HMS Havelock were then detached.
For the daily noon positions of HMS Prince of Wales during the passage from Liverpool to Rosyth see the map below.
- Personal communication
- ADM 53/114884
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.