[5] The ship's complement was 628 officers and ratings. [11] She was repaired and modernised at HM Dockyard, Devonport between 14 February 1940 and 10 March 1941;[21] Captain W.N.T. Doorman ordered a return to Surabaya at 10:30, and his ships were attacked by eight bombers from the Kanoya Air Group at 14:37. This is where the Type 42 destroyer, the other HMS Exeter, saw active duty. Her beam was increased by one foot (30 cm) to compensate for increases in topweight, and her boiler uptakes were trunked backwards from the boiler rooms, allowing for straight funnels further removed from the bridge rather than the raked funnels on York to ensure adequate dispersal of the flue gases. We have dedicated pages to the history of the ships, if you have any content to add, please let us know. ABOUKIR, cruiser, … [46], Aware of Doorman's movements, the Japanese commander, Rear Admiral Takeo Takagi, detached the convoy's two escorting destroyer flotillas, each consisting of a light cruiser and seven destroyers, to intercept the Allied ships in conjunction with his own pair of heavy cruisers (Nachi and Haguro) which were escorted by a pair of destroyers. This is an introduction to the first major sea battle of World War 2 using the highly readable and frankly thrilling London Gazette despatch, penned by Rear Admiral Harwood who was on the bridge of HMS Ajax throughout the action. The first was a group of seven Nakajima B5N "Kate" torpedo bombers from the light carrier Ryūjō that attacked Exeter with bombs around 10:30. HMS Exeter is portrayed fighting her last battle on 1st March 1942, after being trapped by Japanese forces in the Java Sea. Honours and awards: River Plate 1939: Fate: Sold to Indian Navy 5 July 1948: New Zealand; Name: HMNZS Achilles: Commissioned: 1 October 1941: Decommissioned: 17 September 1946: Identification: Pennant number: 70: Honours and awards: Guadalcanal 1942-43, Okinawa 1945: Fate: Returned to Royal Navy 17 September 1946: General characteristics ; Class and type: [6], The main armament of the York-class ships consisted of six BL eight in (203 mm) Mk VIII guns in three twin-gun turrets, designated "A", "B", and "Y" from fore to aft. SG 308 6p HMNZS Achilles V 8 x 6 Light Cruiser.1932 – 1948. HMS Exeter (68) was a York-class heavy cruiser launched in 1929. Five ships of the Royal Navy have been named HMS Exeter after the city of Exeter in Devon. Aside from a temporary deployment with the Mediterranean Fleet during the Abyssinia Crisis of 1935–36, she spent the bulk of the 1930s assigned to the Atlantic Fleet or the North America and West Indies Station. The fifth HMS Exeter was a Type 42 Destroyer. She was commissioned in 1980, under the command of Captain Jeremy Dreyer RN . This action resulted in the scuttling of the Admiral Graf Spee several days later. HMS Exeter . [15] The two other ships arrived on 12 December, and then the Admiral Graf Spee spotted the Exeter during the following morning. [68] Of these men, 152 died in Japanese captivity. Tactically, the enemy appears to have made two serious mistakes: firstly, in closing the British Cruisers (apparently in the expectation that they would retire), thereby enabling the 8-inch guns of H.M.S. HMS Exeter formed part of the South American Division with Cumberland and together with the Ajax and Achilles engaged the German pocket battle ship ‘Admiral Graf Spee’ at the Battle of the River Plate on 13th December 1939. HMS Exeter (D89) was a Type 42 destroyer, launched in 1979. Without it, the ship was unlikely to be able to reach Germany. She fought at the River Plate in 1939, and was sunk at the Battle of the Java Sea in 1942. Later that month, she was assigned to the Striking Force of the joint American-British-Dutch-Australian Command (ABDACOM), and she took on a more active role in the defence of the Dutch East Indies. During the Falklands War, Exeter was credited with shooting down 2 x A4 Skyhawks, 1 x Canberra and 1 x Photo reconnaissance Lear Jet. In return, the cruiser had hit Admiral Graf Spee three times; one shell penetrated her main armour belt and narrowly missed detonating in one of her engine rooms, but the most important of these disabled her oil-purification equipment. [18] The turret was repaired and she remained in action until flooding disabled the machinery for "Y" turret at 07:30. They were followed shortly afterwards by a group of 23 Mitsubishi G3M "Nell" bombers from the Genzan Air Group that inflicted no damage as they dropped their bombs from high altitude. 1929 – 1942. [33] After the successful completion of that duty she was then tasked to escort another ship from Calcutta to Rangoon on 6 December. The light cruisers and destroyers closed to ranges between 13,000 and 15,000 yards (12,000 and 14,000 m) and began firing Type 93 "Long Lance" torpedoes beginning at 16:03. HMS Exeter. Defence against aircraft was provided by four QF four-inch (102 mm) Mk V anti-aircraft (AA) guns in single mounts amidships and a pair of two-pounder (40 mm (1.6 in)) light AA guns ("pom-poms") in single mounts. She was ordered in 1956, but cancelled in 1957. The ship could carry 1,900 long tons (1,930 t) of fuel oil which gave her a range of 10,000 nautical miles (18,520 km; 11,510 mi) at 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph). She was damaged in an explosion in 1691 and was hulked. "Exeter" in the outstandingly successful naval battle of three British cruisers against the German "pocket" battleship "Admiral Graf Spec," in which the "Exeter" played such a gallant part, is Petty Officer W. E. Green, of Florencia, Clovelly Road, Bideford, and son-in-law of Mr. and Mrs. John Headon, … HMS Exeter (1697) was a 60-gun fourth-rate launched in 1697. [citation needed], The wreck was located and positively identified by a small group of dedicated exploration divers specifically searching for the wreck aboard MV Empress on 21 February 2007. Harwood ordered Bell to head to the Falklands for repair. [65] Sensing a kill the Japanese destroyers closed in and fired torpedoes, two of which (out of a total of 18 fired by Japanese combatants) from the destroyer Inazuma,[66] hit the ship – starboard amidships, and starboard just forward of A Turret – (as confirmed when the wreck was first discovered in 2007)[67] As a result Exeter rapidly righted herself,[65] paused briefly, and then capsized to starboard. In the meanwhile, Langsdorff had switched his main guns back to the heavy cruiser and scored several more hits. [47] His heavy cruisers opened fire at long range at 15:47 with little effect. Ajax and Battle Honours; Previous Ajax; HMS Ajax V11 Cruiser; Ajax Crew & Casualties; 1st Commission. She was rebuilt to carry 58 guns in 1744 and was broken up in 1763. Escorted by six American and three Dutch destroyers, the force departed that afternoon. [32], Upon return to Trincomalee (Ceylon) from the Maldives on 14 November, Exeter then departed for Calcutta on the 16th to cover a small two-ship convoy that left Calcutta for Rangoon (Burma) on the 26th and 27th. However, during that convoy, on 8 December, Exeter was ordered to urgently proceed to Singapore[34] to reinforce Force Z, as the Pacific War had just begun. Inside Out follows the ship's veterans on an emotional journey to … [10] Enclosures ("tubs") for single 20-millimetre (0.8 in) Oerlikon guns were added to the roof of both 'B' and 'Y' turrets,[11] but these weapons were never installed, because of shortages in production, and lighter tripod-mounted machine guns were substituted. Consequently, the bridge was lowered (that of York being tall to give a view over the intended aircraft), and was of a streamlined, enclosed design that was incorporated into later cruisers. [45] His own ships were located at 09:35 on the following morning, 27 February, and were continuously tracked by the Japanese. HMS Exeter was a Type 42 destroyer, launched in 1979. The British doctrine on how to engage ships like the Admiral Graf Spee had been developed by Harwood in 1936 and specified that the British force act as two divisions. [58], The Japanese rescued 652 men of the crew of the Exeter, including her captain, who became prisoners of war. [49] Three minutes later, Haguro changed the course of the battle when one of her shells penetrated the British ship's starboard aft twin four-inch gun mount before detonating in the 'B'[50] or aft boiler room,[51] knocking six of her boilers off-line[49] and killing 14 of her crew. [30] On that day Exeter departed Aden for Colombo, British Ceylon) via Bombay, British India arriving on 24 October. [16], Captain Hans Langsdorff decided to engage the British and closed at full speed. [58] The Allied ships laid smoke and turned away to the east with the Japanese to their north and south. HMS Exeter was a York class heavy cruiser launched in 1929. In 1934 she was assigned to the America and West Indies Station and remained there, aside from a temporary deployment to the Mediterranean during the Abyssinian crisis of 1935–1936, until 1939. "A" and "B" were superfiring forward of the superstructure and "Y" was aft of it. The ship sheered out of line to avoid another torpedo and slowed, followed by all of the trailing cruisers. The Japanese did not initially press their pursuit as they manoeuvered to use their torpedoes against the crippled Exeter, which could only make 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph), and her escorts. The turbines developed a total of 80,000 shaft horsepower (60,000 kW) and gave a maximum speed of 32 knots (59 km/h; 37 mph). She was burned as unseaworthy in 1784. The German ship straddled the British cruiser with her third salvo; shrapnel from the near misses killed the crew of the starboard torpedo tubes, started fires amidships and damaged both Supermarine Walrus seaplanes. River Plate Heroes Convalescing. In addition, a Type 284 fire-control radar was fitted to the DCT. [53] Perth laid a smoke screen to protect Exeter[54] and the Allied ships sorted themselves into separate groups as they attempted to disengage. [8] In 1934–1935, two quadruple mounts for Vickers 0.5 in (12.7 mm) antiaircraft machineguns replaced the pair of two-pounder "pom-poms" originally installed. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->. The pole masts were replaced by stronger tripod masts because the Type 279 early-warning radar had separate transmitting and receiving aerials, one at each masthead. [69] The wreck was lying in Indonesian waters at a depth of about 200 feet (61 m), 90 miles (140 km) north-west of Bawean Island – some 60 miles (97 km) from the estimated sinking position given by Gordon after the war. [12], Exeter, the fourth ship of her name to serve in the Royal Navy,[13] was laid down on 1 August 1928, launched on 18 July 1929 and completed on 27 July 1931. Guildhall Luncheon For River Plate Heroes. Two years service. Slide title. She served in the Falklands War and the Gulf War, and was in service until she was decommissioned on 27 May 2009. Churchill makes a speech to the heroes of the Battle of the River Plate. HMS Exeter was involved in one of the most significant sea battles of the 2nd World War, The Battle of the River Plate. The wrecks of EXETER and the destroyer ENCOUNTER have been almost totally removed. [55], The Japanese began launching torpedoes beginning at 17:20 at ranges of 10,000 to 18,500 yards (9,100 to 16,900 m), but they all missed. The sides of Exeter's boiler and engine rooms and the sides of the magazines were protected by 3 inches (76 mm) of armour. [43], On 25 February, Helfrich ordered all available warships to join Doorman's Eastern Striking Force at Surabaya. HMS Exeter was to have been a frigate. Her second torpedo attack at 06:43 was also unsuccessful. HONOURS AWARDED TO INDIVIDUAL SHIPS (including single ship actions) ABDIEL, destroyer leader, Jutland 31 May 1916. AB. Under Sir Edward Hughes, Exeter's action were heroic against the French Commodore Suffren's fleet of twelve ship of the line and three frigates, just north of Trincomalee. Aside from a temporary deployment with the Mediterranean Fleet during the Abyssinia Crisis of 1935–36, she spent the bulk of the 1930s assigned to the Atlantic Fleet or the North America and West Indies Station. At first they had been able to damage the German ship, but when it moored in Uruguay to review and repair its damage, the Germans spent four days in the port providing the Allies with an opportunity to continue the attack. Ayre, Thomas W. Steward. We have dedicated pages to the history of the ships, if you have any content to add, please let us know. Many thanks for a superb tour. Two months later, Harwood ordered Exeter and the light cruiser Achilles to rendezvous with his own Ajax off the mouth of the Río de la Plata, while HMS Cumberland was refitting in the Falkland Islands. [7] During that same refit, her pair of fixed catapults were finally installed for her Fairey IIIF floatplanes. Exeter was one of three British cruisers that fought the German pock… The Japanese were further north than he anticipated and his ships found nothing. In the Falklands conflict, under the command of Captain Hugh Balfour, she served with distinction, being involved in air defence of the Task Force and gaining battle honours. [57], At about 0800, the British ships spotted two of the Japanese cruisers, one of which launched its spotting floatplanes. Beckett was appointed to relieve Bell on 12 December 1940. Exeter then spent several days in a graving dock and after undocking (on the 29th)[31] conducted exercises off Colombo and visited the Maldives. Select Language. Exeter is the fifth ship to bear the name in the Royal Navy. He was in service during the Battle of the Rio de la Plata (that is the way crew members of the HMS Exeter referred to what I see written in English as the River Plate, and sometimes erroneously as other names). After her repairs were completed, the ship spent most of 1941 on convoy escort duties before she was transferred to the Far East after the start of the Pacific War in December. They claimed to have made two hits on the Jupiter, but actually they missed the British destroyer. Several days later, unable to be repaired and apparently confronted by powerful Royal Navy reinforcements (including HMS Cumberland), the Admiral Graf Spee was scuttled by her captain in the harbour of Montevideo. She fought at the River Plate in 1939, and was sunk at the Battle of the Java Sea in 1942. The blast from a near miss badly damaged her Walrus, but the ship was only damaged by shrapnel. Bell, wounded in the face, transferred to the aft conning position to continue the battle. While passing through the strait, the Dutch destroyer Van Ghent struck a rock in poor visibility and another Dutch destroyer was tasked to take off her crew. Roll of Honour Northern Ireland men in HMS Exeter Battle of Java Sea BELL, Stanley Hugh RN. [20], Exeter made for Port Stanley for emergency repairs which took until January 1940. Exeter henceforth became attached to the East Indies Squadron[28] (later redesignated as the Far East Fleet). The Japanese attacks were almost entirely ineffectual, with no ship reporting anything more than shrapnel damage. On 13 February, Allied reconnaissance aircraft spotted Japanese invasion convoys north of Bangka Island and the new commander of ABDA naval forces, Vice Admiral Conrad Helfrich of the Royal Netherlands Navy, was ordered to assemble the Allied Striking Force of Exeter and three Dutch and one Australian light cruisers at Oosthaven on the morning of 14 February. Exeter was crippled early in the battle, and she did not play much of a role as she withdrew. [59] Exeter was able to reach a speed of 26 knots (48 km/h; 30 mph)[60] before the first hit on her detonated in her 'A', or forward, boiler room[61] and catastrophically knocked out all power around 11:20. [59] Encounter and Pope were also lost; Encounter approximately fifteen minutes after Exeter, while Pope temporarily survived the initial melee, only to be sunk by several B5Ns a couple of hours later. Honours have also been added from the London Gazette, together with the casualty lists compiled by Don Kindell. REPORTED WOUNDED ON H.M.S. [14], At the outbreak of the Second World War, she formed part of the South American Division with the heavy cruiser Cumberland, under Commodore Henry Harwood. Our crew have joined up to have a Standard made with all of the Battle honours of both HMS Exeter’s. The Dutch Rear Admiral Karel Doorman, commanding the force, took his ships through the Gaspar Strait and then northwest towards Bangka Island. Battle Honours are the UK’s leading company offering award winning walking battlefield tours, with the ability and experience to arrange tours for groups of all sizes. HMS Cumberland (57) - WikiMili, The Free Encyclopedia - WikiMili, The Free Encyclopedia Asagumo was damaged by Electra, but the Japanese ship sank the British destroyer at 17:46. [42] The attacks continued as 27 G3Ms of the Mihoro Air Group then bombed from high altitude. As the eight-inch (203 mm) gun turrets had proved not strong enough to accommodate the aircraft catapult originally intended, Exeter was given a pair of fixed catapults angled out from amidships in a "V" shape, with the associated crane placed to starboard. Button. Stoker 2nd Class . HMS Exeter A Cathedral class light cruiser of 8390 tons It was February 1941 when as a young stoker I joined 'HMS Exeter' then famous for her role in the Battle of the River Plate. The U-boat War in World War Two (Kriegsmarine, 1939-1945) and World War One (Kaiserliche Marine, 1914-1918) and the Allied efforts to counter the threat. , Providien, Negapatam and Trincomalee ) ABDIEL, destroyer leader, Jutland 31 1916. 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