HMS Ajax (1935) CC (7th)
This the seventh ship to carry the name HMS Ajax was a Cruiser.
Built by Vickers Armstrong of Barrow, laid down 07-Feb-1933 , launched 01-Mar-1934, and commissioned 12-Apr-1935.
On completion went to the America and West Indies Squadron. Then in Nov-1939 moved to the South America Division forming part of Force G, operating from the Falkland Islands to the River Plate.
Intercepted the German merchantmen Carl Fritzen and Olinda in Nov-1939 and on 05-Dec in company with HMS Cumberland the Ussukuma.
During the Battle of the River Plate against the Admiral Graf Spee was hit seven times and badly damaged. Repairs took from Dec-1939 to Jul-1940.
Then it was to the Mediterranean and the 7th Cruiser Squadron.
On the night of 11/12-Oct-1940 engaged an Italian torpedo boat force, sinking the Airone and Ariel, while badly damaging the destroyer Artigliere which was later sunk by HMS York.
Mediterranean operations included raids into the Straits of Otranto, Malta convoy escort, the Battle of Cape Matapan, the evacuations from Greece where she took off the last troops on 29-Apr-1941, and sorties against axis invasion convoys to Crete.
On 21-May-1941 was hit by bombs from Ju87's.
Covered Syria operations in Jun-1941.
Nov-1941 moved to Malta to join Force K, but was withdrawn Feb-1942 when Force K was disbanded.
Returned to the UK and underwent repair and refit at Chatham from May to Oct-1942.
Returned to the Mediterranean and joined force Q at Bone 01-Jan-1943. But was almost immediately hit by bombs and badly damaged. Repairs were completed at New York Navy Yard and took from 04-Mar-1943 to Oct-1943.
Returned to the Eastern Mediterranean and was recalled to home waters May-1944 for the Normandy landings Jun-1944, where she formed part of Force K supporting the landing on Gold Beach.
After this she went back to the Mediterranean in time to support he landings in the South of France in Ag-1944.
Continued with operations in Greek and the Aegean waters where she ended her war service.
Returned to the UK and was laid up in the River Fal.
Arrived at Cashmore of Newport 18-Nov-1949 for breaking up.
This page last edited -
29 January, 2013.
Copyright © Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.