Customer Helpline (UK) : 01436 820269
Subscribe to our Newsletter!

You currently have no items in your basket

Payment Options Display
Buy with confidence and security!
Publishing historical art since 1985

VIEW ALL OF OUR CURRENT SPECIAL OFFERS HERE!
HMS Arethusa - World Naval Ships Directory

HMS Arethusa

Name : HMS Arethusa
Laid Down : 25th January 1933
Launched : 6th March 1934
Completed : 23rd May 1935
Type : Cruiser
Class : Arethusa
Builder : Chatham
Country : UK
Pennants : 26, C26
Fate : Scrapped 1950

His Majestyís Dockyard Chatham launched this Arethusa class light cruiser on 6 March 1934 and she entered service in the Royal Navy on 23 May 1935. ARETHUSA joined the 3rd Cruiser Squadron in the Mediterranean on commissioning, and towed the seriously damaged destroyer HMS HUNTER in from Almeria to Gibraltar after HUNTER had hit a mine during the Non-intervention patrol off Spanish south coast.

After refit in Chatham in 1937, she returned to the Mediterranean and was still there at the onset of World War II in September 1939. However, early in 1940 she and her sister HMS PENELOPE returned to the Home Fleet, where they formed the 2nd Cruiser Squadron with the remainder of the class. In April 1940 she took part in the Norwegian campaign, before joining the Nore Command on 8 May, where she supported the defending forces in Calais and later assisted evacuations from French Atlantic ports.

In June 1940 she joined the newly formed Force "H" at Gibraltar, with whom she participated in the action against Vichy French forces at Mers el Kebir in July 1940, took part in convoy protection patrols in the Atlantic and operated in the Mediterranean, escorting Malta convoys and running supply trips to the island herself. Towards the end of 1941 she returned to home waters and in December took part in a raid on the Lofoten, in northern Norway, where near misses damaged her. After refit and repair at Chatham until April 1942, she joined the 15th Cruiser Squadron in the Mediterranean in June 1942, operating mostly in support of the resupply of Malta.

While on one such operation ("Stoneage"), a torpedo from an Italian aircraft struck her on 18 November 1942, but she reached Alexandria with many casualties. Temporary repair work lasted until 7 February 1943, after which she proceeded to Charleston Navy Yard, Charleston, South Carolina, USA, for full repair. This was complete by 15 December 1943, and she then returned to Britain, but did not become fully operational again until early June 1944, when she immediately sailed for the invasion of Normandy, forming part of Force "D" off Sword Beach. By January 1945 she was again part of the Mediterranean Fleetís 15th Cruiser Squadron and stayed there until October 1945 when she returned to the United Kingdom and was immediately placed in the reserve (at the Nore).

She was too small to be worth modernising, and she was took part in trials and experiments in 1949 before arriving at Cashmore's, Newport for breaking up, on 9 May 1950.

HMS Arethusa Photos for Sale
Click on the images below to see purchasing options for these photos!
To view an enlarged image click the +Enlarge Image button (where available)



HMS Arethusa


HMS Arethusa


HMS Arethusa, 1935.


HMS Arethusa, August 1948.


HMS Arethusa, at breakers, August 1950.


HMS Arethusa pictured February 1937 with sea plane on her catapult.

Timeline Entries :


February 1931 - Authorised under the 1931 programme
25th January 1933 - Laid down at Chatham Dockyard
25th January 1933 - Pennant Number 26
25th January 1933 - Laid down at Chatham Dockyard
27th April 1933 - Arrived Malta
March 1934 - Scrapped
6th March 1934 - Launched
6th July 1934 - Launched
28th July 1934 - Fitting out at Chatham
28th July 1934 - Capt. W.S. Green Assumed Command
26th February 1935 - Commissioned for trials
16th March 1935 - Arrived Lamlash
22nd March 1935 - Arrived Chatham
27th March 1935 - Paid off
2nd April 1935 - Fitting out in Chatham for duty with the 3rd Cruiser Squadron
21st May 1935 - Completed at Chatham
21st May 1935 - Commissioned for service in the Mediterranean
23rd May 1935 - Completed
23rd May 1935 - Commissioned
23rd May 1935 - Became the flagship of the 3rd Cruiser Squadron in the Mediterranean
3rd July 1935 - Arrived Portland
20th August 1935 - Arrived at Malta
3rd April 1936 - Sailed Alexandria for Malta
5th April 1936 - Arrived Malta
22nd April 1936 - Sailed Malta for Alexandria
12th May 1936 - Sailed Alexandria for Haifa
10th June 1936 - Arrived Larnaka
17th June 1936 - Sailed Limasol for Haifa
18th June 1936 - Arrived Haifa
1st September 1936 - Sailed Malta for Haifa
13th January 1937 - Arrived Palma
February 1937 - Suffered from excessive rolling in bad weather off NW Sardinia and had to return to Malta for repairs
6th March 1937 - Arrived Gibraltar
25th March 1937 - Arrived Malta
17th April 1937 - At Malta
17th April 1937 - Flagship of Rear-Admiral G.H. D'Oyly Lyon
18th April 1937 - Flagship of Rear-Admiral Lionel V. Wells
27th April 1937 - Sailed Malta for Palma
28th May 1937 - Arrived Gibraltar
10th June 1937 - Arrived Gibraltar
19th June 1937 - Arrived Malta
7th July 1937 - Arrived Golfe Juan, on the French Riviera
17th July 1937 - Sailed Golfe Juan, on the French Riviera
18th July 1937 - Arrived Valencia
27th July 1937 - Arrived Tangier
7th August 1937 - Arrived Palma
10th August 1937 - Arrived Gibraltar
16th August 1937 - Sailed Gibraltar for Malta
27th August 1937 - Arrived Chatham
2nd November 1937 - Recommissioned after refit at Sheerness
January 1938 - 3rd Cruiser Squadron, Mediterranean
10th March 1938 - Arrived Barcelona
11th March 1938 - Arrived Palma
24th March 1938 - Arrived Barcelona
28th March 1938 - Sailed Palma for Malta
29th March 1938 - Arrived Malta
4th April 1938 - Sailed Malta for Port Said
7th April 1938 - Arrived Port Said
30th July 1938 - Arrived Rab
10th December 1938 - Sailed Malta for Gruz
3rd January 1939 - Sailed Gibraltar to join the Home Fleet and join the 2nd Cruiser Squadron
10th January 1939 - Sailed Malta for Petala
14th January 1939 - Arrived Zaverda
21st January 1939 - Arrived Malta
18th March 1939 - Sailed Gibraltar
21st March 1939 - Arrived Golfe Juan
30th March 1939 - Sailed Golfe Juan
30th March 1939 - Sailed Golfe Juan
1st April 1939 - Arrived Malta
1st April 1939 - Arrived Malta
2nd September 1939 - Sailed Alexandria on anti-shipping patrol
2nd September 1939 - Sailed Alexandria with the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla to patrol between Cape Matapan and Crete
3rd September 1939 - 3rd Cruiser Squadron, Mediterranean Fleet
6th September 1939 - Arrived Alexandria
December 1939 - To UK for duty in Home Waters
7th December 1939 - Arrived Malta from Alexandria for refit
18th December 1939 - Completed refit
28th December 1939 - Ceased to be the flagship of the 3rd Cruiser Squadron in the Mediterranean
31st December 1939 - Sailed Malta
3rd January 1940 - Arrived Gibraltar
26th January 1940 - Sailed Portsmouth for Scapa Flow
26th January 1940 - Sailed Portsmouth
29th January 1940 - Arrived Scapa Flow for duty with the Home Fleet
29th January 1940 - Arrived Sacapa Flow for duty with 2nd Cruiser Squadron, Home Fleet
29th January 1940 - Arrived at Scapa Flow.
13th February 1940 - Carried out OperationDT
14th February 1940 - Arrived Rosyth
14th February 1940 - Sailed Rosyth on Operation DT
14th February 1940 - Capt. Q.D. Graham in Command
14th February 1940 - Sailed Rosyth to sweep the Norwegian coast for enemy shipping
14th February 1940 - Flagship of Rear-Admiral R.H.C. Hallifax
16th February 1940 - Close support for Convoy HN.12
16th February 1940 - Ordered to search for the Altmark
17th February 1940 - Joined Convoy HN.12
17th February 1940 - Sighted Altmark off Egero Light
17th February 1940 - Detached Convoy HN.12 for Scapa Flow
18th February 1940 - Arrived Scapa Flow
19th February 1940 - Sailed Scapa Flow to cover Convoy 4
20th February 1940 - Sailed Scapa Flow
21st February 1940 - Joined Convoy ON.14
22nd February 1940 - Arrived Bergen with Convoy ON.14
22nd February 1940 - Arrived Bergen with Convoy ON.14
25th February 1940 - Arrived Rosyth.
3rd March 1940 - Sailed Rosyth for Convoy close support duties
6th March 1940 - Arrived Portsmouth
8th March 1940 - Near cover for Convoy ON.18
10th March 1940 - Arrived Bergen with Convoy ON.18
13th March 1940 - Sailed Rosyth for Scapa Flow
14th March 1940 - Arrived Scapa Flow
20th March 1940 - 2nd Cruiser Squadron
20th March 1940 - Sailed Scapa Flow on Operation DU
23rd March 1940 - Arrived Rosyth
17th April 1940 - Sailed Rosyth with 1,000 troops of 148 Infantry Brigade for Namsos
19th April 1940 - Sailed Aandalsnes
22nd April 1940 - Took stores, light AA guns and an advance party of RAF for a forward airfield to Molde
30th April 1940 - Involved with the evacuation of Aandalsnes
11th May 1940 - Escorted two bullion ships from Ljmuiden to Southend
24th May 1940 - Sailed Portsmouth to bombard concealed batteries off Calais. Called off returned to Sheerness
26th May 1940 - Sailed Sheerness to bombard concealed batteries off Calais. Called off returned to Sheerness
16th June 1940 - Arrived Le Verdon
19th June 1940 - Sailed with British Embassy staff from Bordeaux and the President of Poland and his staff to Plymouth
28th June 1940 - Sailed Portsmouth for Gibraltar wearing the flag of Vice Admiral Somerville
October 1940 - Took part in the Norwegian campaign
October 1940 - Returned to Sheerness to refit.
31st October 1940 - Arrived on the Tyne for repairs after collision with Merchant ship
23rd November 1940 - Completed repairs on the Tyne. Rejoined the 2nd Cruiser Squadron of the Home Fleet at Scapa Flow
May 1941 - Patrolled the Iceland-Faroes gap
August 1941 - Arrived on the Mediterranean
24th August 1941 - Commenced refitting in the Tyne
1st November 1941 - Completed refitting in the Tyne
1st January 1942 - Returned to Scapa Flow
May 1942 - Sailed to join the Mediterranean Fleet via the Cape of Good Hope
13th June 1942 - Sailed from Alexandria to join Convoy MW11 which had sailed earlier from Egypt (Operation VIGOROUS).
14th June 1942 - Met convoy and came under air attacks. Under threat of attack by U77
15th June 1942 - Under attack by German E-Boats
12th August 1942 - Bombarded Rhodes
November 1942 - Took part in Operation Stoneage
18th November 1942 - Torpedoed by low flying enemy aircraft
18th November 1942 - Sailed Alexandra to provide cover for passage of Convoy MW13 to Malta.
February 1943 - Sailed Alexandria for Charleston, South Carolina
June 1944 - Completed refitting at Sheerness
2nd June 1944 - Sailed from the Clyde for the D-Day Beaches
6th June 1944 - Arrived off the D-Day beaches at 0455
6th June 1944 - Participated in the Normandy Landings
14th June 1944 - Arrived Portsmouth
16th June 1944 - Sailed for D-Day beachhead at 0830 wearing the standard of King George VI
16th June 1944 - Arrived Portsmouth in the evening
25th June 1944 - Off the D-Day beaches. attacked by an aircraft which dropped a mine and suffered internal damage.
January 1945 - Sailed for Gibraltar to rejoin the 15th Cruiser Squadron
November 1945 - Relieved by Liverpool in the Mediterranean. Returned to the U.K. and placed in reserve
29th April 1949 - Moored off Nab Tower for Atomic tests
April 1950 - Broken up
May 1950 - Broken up at Troon

Return to Ship Search Page


Database Currently Holds : 6271 ships and 6288 crew!

Last edited : 11:50, July 25, 2011
By : tjstoneman

Everything we obtain for this site is shown on the site, we do not have any more photos, crew lists or further information on any of the ships.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE. ALL IMAGES DISPLAYED ON THIS WEBSITE ARE PROTECTED BY  COPYRIGHT  LAW, AND ARE OWNED BY CRANSTON FINE ARTS OR THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS.  NO REPRODUCTION OR COPYING ALLOWED ON OTHER WEBSITES, BOOKS OR ARTICLES WITHOUT PRIOR AGREEMENT.

Join our forum - currently 34477 members!

This website is owned by Cranston Fine Arts.  Torwood House, Torwoodhill Road, Rhu, Helensburgh, Scotland, G848LE

Contact: Tel: (+44) (0) 1436 820269.  Fax: (+44) (0) 1436 820473. Email:

Return to Home Page