|Navy||The Royal Navy|
|Class||[No specific class]|
|Built by||Harland & Wolff Ltd. (Belfast, Northern Ireland)|
|Laid down||29 Jun 1916|
|Launched||17 Jan 1918|
Designed as an Cavendish class heavy cruiser but redesigned as a aircraft carrier and renamed HMS Vindictive. Between 1923 and 1925 she was reconverted back to a cruiser. In 1939-1940 she was converted to a repair ship. She served as a base ship during the Norwegian Campaign and later with the South Atlantic fleet during 1940-1942, Mediterranean Fleet 1943-1944 and Home Fleet and reserve 1945. Scrapped at Blyth in February 1946.
Commands listed for HMS Vindictive
Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.
|1||Capt. Henry Cecil Bovell, RN||17 Dec 1938||25 Sep 1939|
|2||Capt. Arthur Robert Halfhide, RN||2 Jan 1940||late 1940|
|3||Capt. Hubert Guy Dyke Acland, DSO, RN||15 Mar 1941||15 Dec 1942|
|4||Capt. Herbert Wyndham Williams, RN||15 Dec 1942||30 Jan 1943|
|5||G R S Watkins, RN||30 Jan 1943|
|6||A/Capt. (retired) Edmund Hugh Hopkinson, RN||4 Dec 1943|
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Notable events involving Vindictive include:
11 Apr 1940
Convoy NP 1.
This troop convoy departed the Clyde on 11 April 1940 for Harstad, Norway. In the end the convoy was split up and one part arrived at Harstad on 15 April. The other part arrived off Namsos on 16 April.
It was made up of the troopships Empress of Australia (British, 21833 GRT, built 1914), Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931) and Reina del Pacifico (British, 17702 GRT, built 1931).
They were escorted by the destroyer HMS Amazon (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Roper, RN).
Early in the afternoon of 12 April the troopships Batory (Polish, 14387 GRT, built 1936) and Chrobry (Polish, 11442 GRT, built 1939) departed Scapa Flow to join convoy NP 1 at sea.
They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Highlander (Cdr. W.A. Dallmeyer, RN), HMS Vanoc (Lt.Cdr. J.G.W. Deneys, RN), HMS Volunteer (Lt.Cdr. N. Lanyon, RN), HMS Whirlwind (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Rodgers, RN) and HMS Witherington (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Palmer, RN). The netlayer HMS Protector (Capt. W.Y la L. Beverley, RN) also departed Scapa Flow with these ships.
Around 1600/12, the light cruisers HMS Manchester (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN, flying the flag of Vice Admiral G. Layton, CB, DSO, RN) and HMS Birmingham (Capt. A.C.G. Madden, RN) departed Scapa Flow to join the convoy at sea which they did around 1945/12.
Shortly afterwards the convoy was also joined by the AA cruiser HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) and the destroyers HMS Brazen (Lt.Cdr. M. Culme-Seymour, RN), HMS Fearless (Cdr. K.L. Harkness, RN) and HMS Griffin (Lt.Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, RN) which had sailed from Sullom Voe around 1130/12.
Late in the evening of 12 April repair ship HMS Vindictive (Capt. A.R. Halfhide, RN) escorted by the destroyers HMS Codrington (Capt. G.E. Creasy, MVO, RN), HMS Acasta (Cdr. C.E. Glasfurd, RN) and HMS Ardent (Lt.Cdr. J.F. Barker, RN) departed Scapa Flow to join the convoy which they did late in the afternoon of the 13th.
Coming south from a patrol off the Vestfjord area were the battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN), battlecruiser HMS Repulse (Capt. E.J. Spooner, DSO, RN) and the destroyers HMS Janus (Cdr. J.A.W. Tothill, RN), HMS Javelin (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN) and HMS Juno (Cdr. W.E. Wilson, RN). These ships made rendez-vous with the convoy in the afternoon of the 13th after which HMS Repulse with the three J-class destroyers continued on towards Scapa Flow while HMS Valiant joined the convoy.
On April 14th it was decided that some of the troops were to be sent to Namsos and the convoy split up;
Troopships Chrobry and Empress of Australia escorted by the light cruisers HMS Manchester and HMS Birmingham, AA cruiser HMS Cairo and the destroyers HMS Highlander, HMS Vanoc and HMS Whirlwind split off late in the afternoon. This convoy arrived off Namsos early in the morning of the 16th.
The remainder of the ships; troopships Batory, Monarch of Bermuda, Reina del Pacifico, repair ship HMS Vindictive and netlayer HMS Protector with their escort made up of the battleship HMS Valiant and the destroyers HMS Codrington, HMS Amazon, HMS Acasta, HMS Ardent, HMS Brazen, HMS Fearless, HMS Griffin, HMS Volunteer and HMS Witherington arrived at Vaagsfjord late in the morning of the 15th. They had been escorted in by the light cruisers HMS Southampton (Capt. F.W.H. Jeans, CVO, RN) and HMS Aurora (Capt. L.H.K. Hamilton, DSO, RN).
13 May 1940
French troops were landed at Bjervik, Norway today. This is just to the north of Narvik. The town was captured successfully.
Naval ships involved in landing the troops and to provide cover were; battleship HMS Resolution (Capt. O. Bevir, RN), light cruisers HMS Aurora (Capt. L.H.K. Hamilton, DSO, RN), HMS Effingham (Capt. J.M. Howson, RN) which both landed French troops, repair ship HMS Vindictive (Capt. A.R. Halfhide, RN), netlayer HMS Protector (Capt. W.Y la L. Beverley, RN) and the destroyers HMS Somali (Capt. R.S.G. Nicholson, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Havelock (Capt. E.B.K. Stevens, DSC, RN), HMS Fame (Cdr. P.N. Walter, RN), HMS Basilisk (Cdr. M. Richmond, OBE, RN) and HMS Wren (Cdr. H.T. Armstrong, RN).
Air cover for this operation was provided, from a distance, by aircraft from HMS Ark Royal (Capt. C.S. Holland, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral L.V. Wells, CB, DSO, RN).
Later this day these ships also bombarded Narvik with the assistance of aircraft from the Ark Royal.
6 Jun 1940
Evacuation of the 'Narvik / Harstad / Tromso area'.
1st troop evacuation convoy from Harstad.
From 4 to 6 June 1940 the troopships Batory (Polish, 14287 GRT, built 1936), Franconia (British, 20175 GRT, built 1923), Georgic (British, 27759 GRT, built 1932), Lancastria (British, 16243 GRT, built 1922), Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931) and Sobieski (Polish, 11030 GRT, built 1939) embarked almost 15000 troops in the Andfiord, near Harstad, Norway. They did this one by one and they were then escorted out to sea by the destroyer HMS Arrow (Cdr. H.W. Williams, RN) and sloop HMS Stork (Cdr. A.C. Behague, RN).
On completion of the embarkation of the troops of the last ships they departed on 6 June 1940 from the assembly point escorted by the repair ship HMS Vindictive (Capt. A.R. Halfhide, RN).
They were joined shortly after midnight on the 8th by the battleship HMS Valiant (Capt. H.B. Rawlings, OBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Tartar (Capt. C. Caslon, RN), HMS Mashona (Cdr. W.H. Selby, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, DSO, RN) and HMS Ashanti (Cdr. W.G. Davis, RN). These additional escorts parted company with the convoy late in the evening of the 8th after the destroyers HMS Viscount (Lt.Cdr. M.S. Townsend, OBE, RN), HMS Witherington (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Palmer, RN), HMS Wolverine (Cdr. R.H. Craske, RN), HMS Antelope (Lt.Cdr. R.T. White, RN) and escort destroyer HMS Atherstone (Cdr. H.W.S. Browning, RN) had joined the convoy coming from Scapa Flow which they had departed around 2300/7.
The convoy arrived in the Clyde on 10 June 1940. (1)
4 Nov 1942
Convoy CF 7A.
This convoy departed Freetown on 4 November 1942.
It was made up of the troop transports; Antenor (British, 11174 GRT, built 1925), Highland Brigade (British, 14134 GRT, built 1929), Maloja (British, 20914 GRT, built 1923), Samaria (British, 19597 GRT, built 1921) and Volendam (British, 15434 GRT, built 1922).
On departure from Freetown the convoy was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Shropshire (Capt. J.T. Borrett, OBE, RN), destroyers HMS Arrow (Cdr. A.M. McKillop, RN) and HMS Active (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, RN) and sloop HMS Bridgewater (Cdr.(Retd.) N.W.H. Weekes, OBE, RN).
Around 1110Z/9, the destroyer HMS Marne (Lt.Cdr. H.N.A. Richardson, DSO, DSC, RN) joined the convoy.
Around 1225Z/9, the destroyer HMS Venomous (Cdr. H.W. Falcon-Stewart, RN) joined the convoy.
Around 1235Z/9, HMS Hecla and HMS Vindictive parted company with the convoy to proceed to Gibraltar escorted by HMS Marne and HMS Venomous.
Around 0800N/11, the destroyers HMS Duncan (Capt. H.St.L. Nicolson, DSO, RN) and HMS Anthony (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Hodges, DSO, RN) joined the convoy. HMS Arrow and HMS Active then parted company to proceed to Ponta Delgada, Azores.
Around 0945N/12, HMS Arrow and HMS Active rejoined the convoy. HMS Bridgewater then parted company to proceed to Ponta Delgada, Azores to fuel and then return to Freetown.
The convoy arrived at Liverpool on 17 November 1942 escorted by HMS Arrow and HMS Active.
The Highland Brigade had been detached on the 16th to Belfast and HMS Shropshire, HMS Duncan and HMS Anthony had proceed to the Clyde also arriving on the 16th.
- ADM 199/361 + ADM 199/376
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.