HMS Birmingham (1937) CC (2nd)
This the second ship to carry the name HMS Birmingham was a
Southampton Class (1937)
Built at Devonport Dockyard, laid down 18-Jul-1935, launched 01-Sep-1936 and commissioned 18-Nov-1937.
On completion went to the China Station and the 5th Cruiser Squadron.
When W2 started went to Malta for refit, then on to join the Home Fleet.
Took part in the Norwegian Campaign, then refitted from Sep to Dec-1940.
From Jan to Apr-1941 provided troop convoy escort to the Middle East via the Cape.
Took part in operations against the Bismarck.
Jul-1941 became Flagship of the South America Division. Then Feb-1942 went to the Eastern Fleet. Jun01942 went to the Mediterranean for Operation Vigorous, after which she returned to the Eastern Fleet in the Indian ocean.
Continued patrol and escort work in the Indian Ocean until Apr-1943 when she returned home for refit.
With the refit completed she was on her way back to the Eastern Fleet through the Mediterranean when on 28-Nov-1943 off Cyrenaica she was hit by a torpedo fired by U-407, and seriously damaged. Temporary repairs at Alexandria took until Jun-1944 when she went to the USA for full repairs which were completed in Nov-1944.
On returning to the UK she joined the Home Fleet at Scapa Flow and took part in sweeps off the Norwegian coast of the rest of the war.
After the war ended she refitted at Portsmouth went to the East Indies with the 4th Cruiser squadron until 1950. Except for a short spell in the South Atlantic in 1948.
To the Far east in 1952 with the 5th Cruiser Squadron.
In 1955 to the Mediterranean as Flagship 1st Cruiser Squadron.
Continued in the Home and Mediterranean Fleets until 03-Dec-1959 when she was paid off. The last of her class to remain in service.
Put up for sail Mar-1960 and arrived at Ward of Inverkeithing 07-Sep-1960 for breaking up.
This page last edited -
15 March, 2013.
Copyright © Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.