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HMS Cleopatra (C33)

Dido Class Light Cruiser

1941
1941
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 Built by Hawthorn Leslie, Hebburn. Laid Down 5 January 1939.

Launched 27 March 1940. Completed 5 December 1941.

Bombed 5/2/42 off Malta - repaired Malta 2/42 - 3/42. Torpedoed off Sicily 16/7/43 - repaired Philadelphia 11/43 - 11/44.

Paid off 1953. Broken up by Cashmore, Newport, 1958.

Cleopatra went out to Gibraltar early in 1942, and on 9 February sailed for Malta, where she was immediately damaged by a bomb. After repair she was transferred to Alexandria early in March for the 15th Cruiser Squadron, and took part in the 2nd Battle of Sirte. In June she covered Operation Harpoon/Vigorous, and in August bombarded Rhodes as a diversion for the Pedestal convoy. By January 1943 she was part of Force K, later Force Q at Bone, from where the Axis traffic to and from Tunisia was attacked. Later she was a unit of the 12th Cruiser Squadron, and was present at the landings in Sicily, Operation Husky, in June, followed by supporting the army ashore. However, on 16 July 1943 Cleopatra was torpedoed by the Italian submarine Dandolo and again badly damaged. Temporary repairs at Malta lasted until October 1943, after which the ship sailed to Philadelphia for full repairs. These were completed in November 1944, and in 1945 she went out to the East Indies, where she was the first ship into the newly recaptured base at Singapore in September. Cleopatra served postwar with the 5th Cruiser Squadron in the East Indies until returning to Portsmouth on 7 February 1946 to refit. Thereafter she joined the Home Fleet, 2nd Cruiser Squadron, 1946/51 and later served in the Mediterranean 1951/53, but returned to Chatham on 12 February 1953 to pay off. On 15 December 1958 she arrived at the Newport yard of Cashmore for breaking up.

An action shot from the battle of Sirte as the cruisers lay smoke at the beginning of the battle. Note the bomb or shell splashes on the starboard side of Cleopatra. The flagship still appears to be engaging enemy aircraft with her after turrets.
An action shot from the battle of Sirte as the cruisers lay smoke at the beginning of the battle. Note the bomb or shell splashes on the starboard side of Cleopatra. The flagship still appears to be engaging enemy aircraft with her after turrets.
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Follow the link to Sirte 2 for more information.

in the Med - 1942
in the Med - 1942
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Cathy Spillard Stamm : 2018-6-22;16:20
both father and stepfather served aboard..met my mother in Philadelphia while being repaired...so half British/half American...so proud of both
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moored at Singapore, probably 1945
moored at Singapore, probably 1945
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probably 1946
probably 1946
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after the war with later AA armament. The quadruple 40mm Bofors AA mount replaced Q 5.25in mount during a refit in the USA in 1943-44 following action damage escorting a Malta convoy.
after the war with later AA armament. The quadruple 40mm Bofors AA mount replaced Q 5.25in mount during a refit in the USA in 1943-44 following action damage escorting a Malta convoy.
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Brian Butcher : 2018-9-4;22:58
Thank you so much for sharing your Father Thomas's story. My Gandfather CPO Frederick Ellender was one of those casualties taken off the Cleopatra following a skirmish. I still do not know the exact date but he died of Typhus on a Hospital ship
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