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HMS Ajax - World Naval Ships Directory

HMS Ajax

Name : HMS Ajax
Laid Down : 7th February 1933
Launched : 1st March 1934
Completed : 12th April 1935
Type : Cruiser
Class : Leander
Builder : Vickers Armstrong
Country : UK
Pennants : 22
Fate : Scrapped 1949

HMS Ajax, was built by Vickers Armstrong at Barrow and launched 1st March 1934 and completed 12th April 1935. HMS Ajax served in the South Atlantic 1939, taking a major role in the battle of the River Plate against the Graf Spee, going to the Mediterranean fleet 1940 - 1942, became part of Force H before going for refit in the United States in 1943, returning to the Mediterranean Fleet 1943 till the end of the war. HMS Ajax was finally scrapped at Newport November 1949. Specifications for HMS Ajax : Displacement: 6,985 tons Speed: 32.5kt Complement: 550 Armament: eight 6 inch guns in twin turrets, four 4 inch anti-aircraft guns in single mountings and twelve 0.5 inch machine guns in fours. Eight 21 inch torpedo tubes in quadruple mountings and 1 aircraft. Single 4 inch guns later replaced by four twin mountings.

Vickers Armstrong launched this Leander class light cruiser at Barrow on 1 March 1934 and she entered service in the Royal Navy on 12 April 1935. AJAX served on the America and West Indies Station from completion, then joined the South American Division on the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939. As the flagship of Commodore Henry Harwood's Force G she took part in the hunt for the German raider ADMIRAL GRAF SPEE and The Battle of the River Plate on 13 December 1939. The Germans hit Ajax seven times by but she inflicted more damage on the Spee.

Under repair until July 1940, she then moved to the Mediterranean. On October 11-12 she engaged Italian forces, sinking the torpedo boats AIRONE and ARIEL, and badly damaging the destroyer ARTIGLIERE, which HMS YORK later sank. She took part in the Battle of Cape Matapan, the evacuation of British and Allied troops from Crete and then Syrian operations, and joined Force K at Malta in November 1941.

She refitted in England from May to October 1942, then returned to the Mediterranean where she was again damaged by bombs. After repairs in New York between March and October 1943, AJAX went back to the Mediterranean. As part of Force K, she bombarded Gold Beach during the D-Day invasion, and later supported the landings in southern France. AJAX operated in the Aegean during the reoccupation of Athens and the communist uprising in Greece. She decommissioned in February 1948 and went for scrap to Newport in November 1949.

HMS Ajax Photos for Sale
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HMS Ajax and BYMS2055

HMS Ajax

HMS Ajax, 1935.

HMS Ajax, July 1944.

HMS Ajax, laid up, August 1948.

HMS Ajax, at breakers, January 1950.

HMS Ajax, at breakers, January 1950.

HMS Ajax, at breakers, January 1950.

HMS Ajax, at breakers, January 1950.

HMS Ajax.

Timeline Entries :

7th February 1933 - Laid down at Vickers Armstrong, Barrow-in-Furness
1st February 1934 - Pennant Number 22
1st February 1934 - Launched
5th April 1935 - Sailed Barrow for Portsmouth
7th April 1935 - Arrived Portsmouth
8th April 1935 - Commissioned for the South American Division
12th April 1935 - Completed
12th April 1935 - Completed
24th May 1935 - Sailed Portsmouth the South American Station
3rd June 1935 - Commissioned
20th June 1935 - Arrived Malta for workup
20th June 1935 - Capt. C.S. Thomson in Command
22nd July 1935 - Sailed Gibraltar for Trinidad
13th August 1935 - Arrived La Guaira
13th April 1936 - Arrived Malta
13th April 1936 - Arrived Malta
28th July 1936 - Sailed Malta for Chatham
31st August 1936 - Sailed Buenaventura for Guayaquil
9th September 1936 - Sailed Guavaquil for Talara
10th September 1936 - Arrived Talara
25th September 1936 - Arrived Callao
25th September 1936 - Arried Callao
5th October 1936 - Arrived Iquique
22nd October 1936 - Arrived Coquimbo
22nd October 1936 - Arrived Coquimbo
22nd October 1936 - Arrived Coquimbo
27th October 1936 - Sailed Coquimbo for Valparaiso
27th October 1936 - Sailed Coquimbo for Valparaiso
27th March 1937 - Sailed Tortola
9th May 1937 - Capt. C.S. Thompson in Command
9th May 1937 - Arrived St. John's Newfoundland
13th May 1937 - Sailed St. John's Newfoundland
14th July 1937 - Sailed Trinidad for Portsmouth
27th July 1937 - Arrived Portsmouth
January 1938 - 8th Cruiser Squadron, America/West Indies Station
12th March 1938 - Arrived Bermuda
8th June 1938 - Sailed Bermuda
8th June 1938 - Capt. C.H.L. Woodhouse in Command
8th December 1938 - Sailed Falkland Islands
10th December 1938 - Arrived Punta Arenus
10th December 1938 - Arrived Punta Arenas
12th December 1938 - Sailed Punta Arenus
17th December 1938 - Arrived Ancud
19th December 1938 - Sailed Ancud
19th December 1938 - Arrived Puerto Mott.
29th December 1938 - Sailed Pueto Mott.
30th December 1938 - Arrived Coronel
30th December 1938 - Arrived Coronel
3rd January 1939 - Sailed Coronel
3rd January 1939 - Arrived Talcahuano
9th January 1939 - Sailed Talcahuano for Iquique
9th January 1939 - Sailed Talcahuano
12th January 1939 - Arrived Iquique
13th January 1939 - Arrived Iquique
17th January 1939 - Sailed Iquique
18th January 1939 - Sailed Iquique
19th January 1939 - Arrived Coquimbo
19th January 1939 - Arrived Coquimbo
19th January 1939 - Arrived Coquimbo
23rd January 1939 - Sailed Coquimbo for Valparaiso
23rd January 1939 - Sailed Coquimbo
23rd January 1939 - Sailed Coquimbo
24th January 1939 - Arrived Valparaiso
24th January 1939 - Arrived Valparaiso
24th January 1939 - Arrived Valparaiso
3rd February 1939 - Sailed Valparaiso
3rd February 1939 - Sailed Valparaiso
8th February 1939 - Arrived Callao
16th February 1939 - Sailed Callao
17th February 1939 - Arrived Huacho
20th February 1939 - Sailed Huacho
21st February 1939 - Arrived Payta
24th February 1939 - Sailed Payta
27th February 1939 - Arrived Colon
27th February 1939 - Arrived Balbao
28th February 1939 - Sailed Balbao
3rd March 1939 - Arrived Kingston
2nd June 1939 - Sailed Bermuda
5th June 1939 - Arrived Turks Islands
5th June 1939 - Sailed Turks Islands
7th June 1939 - Arrived Kingston
15th June 1939 - Sailed Kingston
17th June 1939 - Arrived Aruba
21st June 1939 - Sailed Aruba
22nd June 1939 - Arrived Curacoa
27th June 1939 - Sailed Curacoa
29th June 1939 - Arrived Martinique
3rd July 1939 - Sailed Martinique
4th July 1939 - Arrived Grenada
5th July 1939 - Arrived Trinidad
5th July 1939 - Sailed Grenada
15th July 1939 - Sailed Trinidad
17th July 1939 - Arrived Georgetown
22nd July 1939 - Sailed Georgetown
25th July 1939 - Arrived Para
1st August 1939 - Sailed Para
7th August 1939 - Arrived Bahia
14th August 1939 - Sailed Bahia for Rio de Janeiro
14th August 1939 - Arrived in Montevideo
14th August 1939 - Sailed Bahia
17th August 1939 - Arrived Rio de Janeiro
30th August 1939 - Sailed Rio de Janiero on patrol
31st August 1939 - Sailed Rio de Janeiro
31st August 1939 - Arrived Elha Grande
September 1939 - Joined South American Division
2nd September 1939 - South American Division, Port Stanley in the Falklands
4th September 1939 - Intercepted the German freighter SS Olinda, outward bound from Montevideo
5th September 1939 - Sailed Elha Grande
8th September 1939 - Arrived Rio Grande Do Sul
13th September 1939 - Sailed Rio Grande Do Sul
2nd October 1939 - Covering outbound shipping from Rio de Janiero
22nd November 1939 - Searched for German merchant ships off Cape San Antonio
23rd November 1939 - Force G. Off Montevideo
1st December 1939 - Sailed Para for Bahia
1st December 1939 - Refitting a damaged propeller at Port Stanley in the Falklands
2nd December 1939 - Sailed Port Stanley for Rio de la Plata
5th December 1939 - Intercepted German steamer Ussukuma
12th December 1939 - Off the Uruguay coast near Rio de la Plata
12th December 1939 - Took up patrol in the Plate estuary
13th December 1939 - Encountered German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee off Rio de la Plata
29th December 1939 - Sailed the Falklands for patrol off Rio de la Plata
5th January 1940 - Sailed Montevideo after refuelling
6th January 1940 - Off Rio de la Plata
11th January 1940 - Arrived Rio de Janeiro
19th January 1940 - Arrived Freetown
30th January 1940 - En route to Plymouth
31st January 1940 - Arrived Plymouth
31st January 1940 - Arrived Plymouth then to Chatham for repairs
July 1940 - Repairs completed at Chatham
27th March 1941 - Participated in the Battle of Cape Matapan
1st January 1943 - Makes way to New York Navy Yard for repairs
1st January 1943 - Severely damaged in Bone by Luftwaffe Ju 87 dive bomber
October 1943 - Completed repairs
28th December 1943 - Arrived Scapa Flow
8th January 1944 - Sailed Scapa Flow
4th June 1944 - Sailed Greenock
4th June 1944 - 10th Cruiser Squadron
6th June 1944 - At Normandy Landings
6th June 1944 - Participated in the Normandy Landings
16th October 1944 - Flagship of Rear Admiral J.M. Mansfield
1st February 1948 - Decommissioned
February 1949 - Sold for scrap

HMS Ajax Artwork Collection
Click the images below to view the fantastic artwork we have available to purchase!

HMS Ajax by Ivan Berryman.

The Pursuit of the Graf Spee by Ivan Berryman.

The Battle of the River Plate by Randall Wilson.

The Pursuit of the Graf Spee by Ivan Berryman.

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Database Currently Holds : 6278 ships and 6289 crew!

Last edited : 12:17, July 21, 2011
By : tjstoneman

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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.


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