HMS Leander (1933) CC (5th)
This the fifth ship to carry the name HMS Leander was a
Cruiser, and name ship of a class of five ships.
Built at Devonport Dockyard, laid down 08-Sep-1930, launched 24-Sep-1931, and commissioned 24-Mar-1933.
Took part in the King George V Silver Jubilee Fleet Review 16-Jul-1935.
On completion joined the Home Fleet, then in Apr-1937 was loaned to the New Zealand Division., When WW2 started, as part of the NZ Division undertook trade protection duties in the South-West Pacific. Then on to troop convoy escort for ANZAC forces going across the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea and Suez. This continued until 1941.
In Feb-1941 intercepted the Italian raider Ramb 1 off Bombay. Then on 04-Mar in company with HMAS Canberra intercepted the blockade runners Ketty Brovig and Coburg South-East of the Seychelles
Went to Basra Apr-1941 during the Iraq insurrection, then Jun-1941 moved to the Mediterranean and the operation against Vichy-French Syria. Arriving 13-Jun-1941 and took part in the blockade of Beirut. In company with HMS Naiad and escorting destroyers engaged the French ship Guepard on 23-Jun.
Returned to NZ at the end 1941 for refit and continued in the South-West Pacific area Dec-1941. Was part of the ANZAC force when it formed at Suva in Fiji 12-Feb-1942. Saw action in the Papua-New Guinea-New Hebrides area of operations, as well as in the Coral Sea.
May-1942 landed the first Allied forces on Espirito Santo in the New Hebrides. Completed convoy escort duty during the Guadalcanal campaign.
Jan-1943 was transferred to the US 3rd Fleet, then it she went from he New Hebrides to the Solomon Islands to join CruDiv9, part of Task Force 36.1.
On 12-Jul-1943 intercepted Japanese Destroyers running the 'Tokyo Express' in the Kula Gulf. During the resulting night gun action, known as the Battle of Kolombangara, was hit by a torpedo and badly damaged.
Temporary repairs were made at Auckland which took until Dec-1943. After which she went to Boston where full repair took from 03-Jan-1944 until 27-Aug-1944.
Returned to UK waters.
Sold 15-Dec-1949, and arrived at Blyth 15-Jan-1950 for breaking up.
Won the Battle Honour: Kula Gulf 1943.
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This page last edited -
03 February, 2013.
Copyright © Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.