HMS Anson (1940)

Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd.
Wallsend, Newcastle-on-Tyne, England
Pennant Number:
November 16, 1936
February 24, 1940
Keel Laid:
July 20, 1937
June 22 , 1942
Sold in 1957 to Shipbreaking Industries, Faslane, Scotland and scrapped in 1958.

Commanding Officers
Feb. 10, 1942
July 29, 1943
Captain Harold R. G. Kinhan, R.N.
July 29, 1943
June 1944
Captain Edward D. B. McCarthy, D.S.O., R.N.
June 1944
Nov. 9, 1944
Commander Alexander R. Kennedy, R.N. (Ty/Act. while ship under refit)
Nov. 9, 1944
Jan. 19, 1946
Captain Alexander C. G. Madden, R.N.
Jan. 19, 1946 Nov. 1946 Captain Frederick S. Bell, R.N.
Nov. 1946
Apr. 1948
Captain Markham H. Evelegh, R.N.
Apr. 1948
Nov. 1949
Captain David Orr-Ewing, R.N.

Ship's History (wikipedia)
After her commissioning in 1942, Anson was sent to the Arctic Sea with most of the Home Fleet as an escort ship for multiple Russian convoys. On 12 September 1942 Anson was part of the distant covering force for Convoy QP 14, along with her sister ship HMS Duke of York, the light cruiser HMS Jamaica and the destroyers HMS Keppel, Mackay, Montrose and Bramham.[17] On 29 December Anson provided distant cover for Convoy JW 51B along with the cruiser HMS Cumberland and the destroyers HMS Forester, Icarus and Impulsive. On 23 and 24 January 1943 Anson provided distant cover for Convoy JW 52 along with the cruiser HMS Sheffield and the destroyers HMS Echo, Eclipse, Faulknor, Inglefield, Montrose, Queenborough, Raider and the Polish destroyer Orkan. On 29 January, Convoy RA 52 departed from the Kola inlet, with distant cover provided by Anson, the cruiser Sheffield and the destroyers Inglefield, Oribi, Obedient and the Polish destroyer Orkan from 30 January.In June 1942, the pre-First World War battleship HMS Centurion was disguised as Anson in the Mediterranean Sea, acting as a decoy during Operation Vigorous.

In July 1943 Anson took part in the diversionary moves designed to draw attention away from the preparations for Operation Husky, and in October that year, with Duke of York and the US cruiser Tuscaloosa, provided cover for Operation Leader, in which the US aircraft carrier Ranger mounted air strikes against German shipping off Norway. In February 1944, in company with the French battleship Richelieu and a force of cruisers and destroyers, Anson stood by in the same capacity while aircraft from the aircraft carrier HMS Furious carried out air strikes against German targets in Norway during Operation Bayleaf, and on 3 April she provided cover for Operation Tungsten, a successful air strike against the German battleship Tirpitz, during which she served as flagship for Vice Admiral Sir Henry Moore.

Anson was decommissioned for a refit in June 1944 and did not return to the fleet until March 1945, when she sailed with Duke of York to join the British Pacific Fleet. By the time she arrived in the theatre, hostilities were all but over. She left Sydney on 15 August for Hong Kong with Duke of York, and along with a task force of other ships from Britain and the Commonwealth, accepted the surrender of the Japanese forces occupying Hong Kong. She was also present in Tokyo Bay during the official Japanese surrender aboard USS Missouri.

Following the war Anson was the flagship of the 1st Battle Squadron of the British Pacific Fleet and helped to liberate Hong Kong. After a brief refit, Anson sailed from Sydney to Hobart in February 1946 to collect the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester (the Duke was then Governor-General of Australia) and return them to Sydney.

Anson arrived back in British waters on 29 July 1946 and after a short refit was returned to peacetime duties. In November 1949, Anson was placed in reserve and in 1951 she was towed to Gare Loch. On 17 December 1957 she was purchased for scrap by Shipbreaking Industries, Faslane.

Battle Honours
The Saints 1782
Donegal 1798
Curaçao 1807
Arctic 1942-43

Page published Aug. 25, 2007