Allied Warships

HMS Gambia (48)

Light cruiser of the Fiji class


HMS Gambia in 1943

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeLight cruiser
ClassFiji 
Pennant48 
Built bySwan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. (Wallsend-on-Tyne, U.K.): Wallsend 
Ordered1 Mar 1939 
Laid down24 Jul 1939 
Launched30 Nov 1940 
Commissioned21 Feb 1942 
End service 
History

Transferred to the Royal New Zealand Navy on 22 September 1943.
Returned to the Royal Navy on 27 March 1946.
Decommissioned in December 1960.
Scrapped by Ward, Inverkeithing arriving on 5 December 1968.

 
Career notesTo the Royal New Zealand Navy as HMNZS Gambia

Commands listed for HMS Gambia (48)

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CommanderFromTo
1Capt. Maurice James Mansergh, RN25 Nov 194123 Jun 1943
2Cdr. Leslie Edward Moncaster, RN23 Jun 194324 Aug 1943

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Notable events involving Gambia include:


6 Aug 1942
At 1015 hours, in position 32°05'N, 96°00'E, HrMs Tromp (Cdr. J.B. de Meester, RNN) made rendes-vous with the British passenger (troops) / cargo ship Stirling Castle (25550 GRT, built 1936) and her escort from the British light cruiser HMS Gambia (Capt. M.J. Mansergh, CBE, RN). (1)

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. (2)

Sources

  1. File 2.12.03.6850 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  2. File 2.12.03.6851 (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)

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