HMS Exeter (1931) CC (4th)
The fourth ship to carry the name HMS Exeter was a Cruiser
Built at Devonport Dockyard, laid down 01-Aug-1928, launched 18-Jul-1929 and commissioned 27-Jul-1931.
On completion joined the 2nd Cruiser Squadron with the Atlantic Fleet from 1931 to 1933.
1934 went to the America and West Indies Squadron where she stayed until 1939, except for a short deployment to the Mediterranean during the Abyssinian crisis of 1935/36.
At the start of the war was with the South American division and with HMS Cumberland formed Force G, off the East coast of South America, one of a number of groups formed to hunt for German raiders.
Played a major part in the Battle of the River Plate in Dec-1939 when together with HMS Ajax and HMS Achilles, engaged the German Admiral Graf Spee and forced her to retire to Montevideo and subsequent scuttling.
During the action Exeter was badly damaged and had to later withdraw to The Falkland Islands for temporary repairs. this took until Jan-1940 when she returned to Devonport for full repairs which took until 10-Mar-1941.
The rest of 1941 was spent on convoy escort in the Atlantic.
To the East Indies after Japan entered the war and at the start of 1942 was part of the ABDA Command formed to defend the Dutch East Indies.
When the Japanese invaded Java Feb-1942 during the Battle of the Java Sea, she was damaged and tried to make for Surabaya.
But was intercepted 01-Mar-1942 by the Japanese cruisers Nachi and Haguro, and badly damaged by gunfire and a torpedo from the destroyer Ikazuchi, before being scuttled off the Bawean Islands.
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This page last edited -
15 January, 2013.
Copyright © Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.