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HMS Phoebe (C43)

Dido Class Light Cruiser

July 43
July 43
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 Built by Fairfield, Govan. Laid Down 2 September 1937.

Launched 25 March 1939. Completed 27 September 1940.

Torpedoed 27/8/41 - repaired New York 11/41 - 4/42. Torpedoed 23/10/42 off Pointe Noire - repaired New York 1/43 - 6/43.

The story of her first year in commission including the torpedoing off Tobruk is told here.

Paid off March 1951. Broken up by Hughes Bolckow, Blyth, 1956.

Phoebe joined the 15th Cruiser squadron on completion and served with the Home Fleet. She operated in the North Atlantic on trade protection duties, but by April 1941 had joined the Mediterranean fleet at Alexandria. She participated in the evacuation of Greece, Malta convoys and the evacuation of Crete, then in June covered operations against Vichy-French Syria as flagship. On 3 July 1941 she was missed by torpedoes from Malachite, but on 27 August was hit by an aerial torpedo while on a trooping operation to Tobruk. After temporary repairs at Alexandria, full repairs were undertaken in New York between 21 November 1941 and 21 April 1942, but the ship did not retum to service until May 1942. She returned to the Mediterranean and took part in Operation Pedestal in August, but the following month she and Sirius were ordered to Capetown to patrol against Axis blockade runners to and from the Far East. They had no success, and while proceeding to Pointe Noire in French Equatorial Africa on 23 October 1942, Phoebe was hit forward and aft by torpedoes from U161. The damage was severe, and after temporary repairs at Pointe Noire until December, the ship had to go to the USA again for repair. This lasted from January to mid-June 1943, and the ship was not operational until July. Phoebe returned to the Mediterranean again and operated in the Aegean, and then supported the Anzio landings in January 1944. Later that year she sailed to join the 5th Cruiser Squadron in the Eastern Fleet, and for the remainder of the war operated in the Indian Ocean, covering the carrier raids on the Nicobars and Sabang as a Fighter Direction ship. She also covered the assault landings on the coast of Burma and the Rangoon landings in April/May 1945. At this time she was Flagship of the 21st Escort carrier Squadron, until relieved by Royalist. Postwar she came home from the East Indies to refit, arriving at Sheerness on 29 October 1945, then, in 1946, joined the Mediterranean Fleet as Flagship, Destroyer Flotillas, until November 1947, when she joined the 1st Cruiser Squadron, also in the Mediterranean. She arrived at Chatham on 14 March 1951 to pay off, then acted as senior officer's ship, Harwich reserve, between 1951 and 1955, followed by reserve at Portsmouth until 1956, when she was put up for disposal. She arrived at the Blyth yard of Hughes Bolkow on 1 August 1956 to be broken up.

1942
1942
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leaving New York in June 1943, A turret is missing - it had been removed as a temporary measure after being torpedoed
leaving New York in June 1943, A turret is missing - it had been removed as a temporary measure after being torpedoed
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bow of Phoebe - June 1943
bow of Phoebe - June 1943
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stern view - June 1943
stern view - June 1943
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refuelling from Renown in the Indian Ocean
refuelling from Renown in the Indian Ocean
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entering Valetta harbour, probably postwar
entering Valetta harbour, probably postwar
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in reserve after the war
in reserve after the war
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