Allied Warships

HMS Queen of Bermuda (F 73)

Armed Merchant Cruiser

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeArmed Merchant Cruiser
Class[No specific class] 
PennantF 73 
Built byVickers Armstrong (Barrow-in-Furness, U.K.) 
Ordered 
Laid down 
Launched1 Sep 1932 
Commissioned28 Oct 1939 
End serviceApr 1943 
History

On 30 August 1939 the passenger ship Queen of Bermuda of the Furness, Withy & Co Ltd, Liverpool was requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to an armed merchant cruiser. Conversion was completed on 28 October 1939.

Displacement: 22575 BRT 
Armament: 7x 152mm, 2x 76mm
Speed: 20 knots

Career:
November 39 - March 42: South Atlantic Station
July 42 - August 42: South Atlantic Station
September 42 - April 43: Eastern Fleet (Indian Ocean)

In April 1943 returned and used as troopship by the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). 1947 returned to owner and scrapped in 1966/67.

 

Commands listed for HMS Queen of Bermuda (F 73)

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CommanderFromTo
1Capt. (retired) Miles Brock Birkett, DSO, RN2 Sep 19396 Dec 1939
2Capt. Geoffrey Alan Brooke Hawkins, DSC, RN6 Dec 193923 Apr 1941
3Capt. Allan Thomas George Cumberland Peachey, RN1 Feb 194115 Nov 1941
4Cdr. (retired) Geoffrey Healey, RN15 Nov 19416 Dec 1941
5A/Capt. (retired) the Hon. Sir Archibald Douglas Cochrane, DSO, RN6 Dec 1941ca. Apr 43

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Notable events involving Queen of Bermuda include:


1 Feb 1943

'Pamphlet' convoy, Suez - Sydney, 1 February to 27 February 1943.

This convoy, made up of the British liners (troopships) Queen Mary (81235 GRT, built 1936), Aquitania (45647 GRT, built 1914), Ile de France (43548 GRT, built 1927, former French), the Dutch liner (troopship) Nieuw Amsterdam (36287 GRT, built 1938) and the British auxiliary cruiser Queen of Bermuda (A/Capt. (retired) the Hon. Sir A.D. Cochrane, DSO, RN) (22575 GRT, built 1933) were transporting 30000 men of the Australian 9th Division from Suez to Melbourne and Sydney.

This convoy had departed Suez on 1 February 1943 and were escorted during their passage through the Red Sea by the British destroyers HMS Pakenham (Capt. E.B.K. Stevens, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Petard (Lt.Cdr. R.C. Egan, RN), HMS Isis (Cdr. B. Jones, DSC, RN), HMS Hero (Lt.Cdr. W. Scott, DSC and Bar, RN), Derwent (Cdr. R.H. Wright, DSC, RN) and the Greek destroyer Vasilissa Olga (Lt.Cdr. G. Blessas, DSO, RHN).

The convoy was joined on the 4th by the British heavy cruiser HMS Devonshire (Capt. D. Young-Jamieson, RN).

Later the British light cruiser HMS Gambia (Capt. M.J. Mansergh, CBE, RN) joined near Addu Atoll.

Around 0840 hours on 16 February 1943 the Dutch light cruiser HrMs Tromp (Capt. J.B. de Meester, RNN) and the Dutch destroyer HrMs Van Galen (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Burghard, RNN) joined the convoy near postion 26°06'S, 101°09'E.

Around 2120 hours on 16 February 1943 the Dutch light cruiser HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck (Capt. E.J. van Holthe, RNN) joined the convoy in approximate position 27°41'S, 104°35'E.

Around 2130 hours on 17 February 1943 the Dutch destroyer HrMs Tjerk Hiddes (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Kruys, RNN) joined the convoy in approximate position 30°30'S, 112°52'E.

In the afternoon of the 18th the convoy arrived off Fremantle.

In the evening of the 20th the convoy departed Fremantle now escorted by the Australian light cruiser HMAS Adelaide (A/Capt. J.C.D. Esdaile, OBE, RAN), the Dutch light cruiser HrMs Jacob van Heemskerck (Capt. E.J. van Holthe, RNN) and the Dutch destroyers HrMs Van Galen (Lt.Cdr. F.T. Burghard, RNN) and HrMs Tjerk Hiddes (Lt.Cdr. W.J. Kruys, RNN). Tromp and Van Galen only remained with the convoy for a short period.

Around 1615 hours on the 24th the convoy was joined by the Australia (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, MVO, DSO, RAN) heavy cruiser HMAS Australia and the US destroyers USS Henley (Lt.Cdr. E.K. van Swearingen, USN) and USS Bagley (Lt.Cdr. T.E. Chambers, USN). The New Amsterdam escorted by HMAS Adelaide, HrMs Heemskerk and HrMs Tjerk Hiddes then departed the convoy and proceeded to Melbourne where they arrived arrived noon on the 25th. The other ships continued to Sydney.

In the afternoon of the 26th the Dutch light cruiser HrMs Heemskerck rejoined the convoy. Later in the afternoon the Free French destroyer Le Triomphant (Capt. P. Ortoli) also joined.

The convoy arrived at Sydney on the 27th.

3 Mar 1943
HrMs Tromp (Capt. J.B. de Meester, RNN) departed Fremantle as escort for convoy OW 2 (Fremantle - Colombo) which was made up of the US cargo ship Mormacdove (6711 GRT, built 1942) and the British Armed Merchant Cruiser Queen of Bermuda (A/Capt. (retired) the Hon. Sir A.D. Cochrane, DSO, RN) (22575 GRT, built 1933). The British light cruiser HMS Gambia (Capt. M.J. Mansergh, CBE, RN) also sailed from Fremantle on this day to provide distant cover for this convoy.

Due to some missing pages in the ships log no map for the daily positions during the period of 3 March 1943 to 6 March 1943 can be displayed. (1)

Sources

  1. File 2.12.03.6851 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)

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