HMS Sheffield (1937) CC (1st)
This the first ship to carry the name HMS Sheffield was a
Built by Vickers Armstrong on the Tyne, laid down 31-Jan-1935, launched 23-Jul-1936, and commissioned 25-Aug-1937.
Was fitted with the first British radar set he Type 79Y in 1938.
At the start of WW2 was with the 18th Cruiser Squadron and carried out patrols in the Denmark Straits until Apr-1940 when she took part in Norwegian operations.
Remained in the south of England during mid-1940 on anti-invasion duties, then on 22-Aug sailed for Gibraltar to join force H.
Operated in the Mediterranean and off the Azores for the rest of 1940.
On 09-Feb-1941 bombarded Genoa, and in March operated against Vichy-French convoys.
After taking part in covering operations during carrier re-supply of fighters to Malta, she returned to the Atlantic and operations in the hunt for the Bismarck.
On 12-Jun-1941 intercepted one of Bismarck's tankers, the Friedrich Breme.
She returned to the Mediterranean until Oct-1940 when she returned to the UK in company with HMS Kenya. During the return they intercepted and sank the German supply ship Kota Pinang off Cape Ortegal on 03-Oct.
Arctic convoy escort followed until 04-Mar-1942 when she struck a mine off Iceland. Repairs took until Jul-1942 when it was back to Arctic convoy duty again. Except for a short spell in the Mediterranean to help cover the Torch landings in North Africa.
In Dec-1942 while escorting convoy JW51B of North Cape during an attack by the German Heavy Cruisers Admiral Hipper and Lutzow together with their escorting destroyers, Sheffield damaged the Hipper and sank the destroyer Friedrich Eckoldt.
Arctic duties continued until Feb-1943 when she operated in the Bay of Biscay in July and August. After which it was to the Mediterranean for the Salerno landings.
After this it was back to the Arctic once again and she took part in the operation which sank the Scharnhorst in Dec-1943.
In 1944 covered raids against the Tirpitz when she went to Boston for refit. She returned the UK for the work to be finished and was still under refit when the war ended. The refit finally finished in May-1946..
After rejoining the Fleet she went to the America and West Indies Station, and returned to Chatham for refit in 1949/50.
Went to the Home fleet with the 2nd Cruiser Squadron, then to the West Indies as Flagship 8th Cruiser Squadron. Returning on 26-Oct-1954 for yet another refit.
Appeared at the Coronation Review 1953.
Later served with both the Home and Mediterranean Fleets before being reduced to Reserve Jan-1959. Relieving the Battleship HMS Vanguard as Flagship Reserve Fleet.
Placed on the disposal list Sep-1964. Towed to Rosyth for de-equipping 06-Jan-1967.
Arrived at Faslane for breaking up, Sep-1967.
Won the Battle Honours: Norway 1940, Spartivento 1940, Atlantic 1941-43, 'Bismarck' 1941, Mediterranean 1941, Malta Convoys 1941, Arctic 1941-43, North Africa 1942, Barents Sea 1942, Salerno 1943, Biscay 1943 and North Cape 1943.
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This page last edited -
20 January, 2013.
Copyright © Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.