Dragon 1917 HMS - Cruiser

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Dragon 1917 HMS - Cruiser

Post by Woody » Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:45 am

HMS Dragon
Light Cruiser, Danae Class, 1st group.
ORP Dragon
Laid down 24/1/1917 and launched by Scotts Greenock, Yard No: 484, on 29/12/1917. Scuttled 9/7/1944 as part of the breakwater of the Mulberry Harbour after being hit by a one man torpedo.
4970t normal, 5870t deep load
471ft oa x 45ft 6in x 16ft 6in
2 shaft Brown-Curtis geared turbines, 6 Yarrow boilers, oil, 40,000shp giving 29 knots.
6 x 6in 45cal BL Mk XII, 2 x 3in Mk I AA, 2 x 2pdr pom-pom, and 12 x 21in TTs (4 x 3)
Crew 450

Completed 16/8/1918 and joined the 5th Light Cruiser Squadron based at Harwich during the last days of the First World War.
1919 she sailed to the Baltic before joining the 1st Light Cruiser Squadron, Atlantic Fleet. August 1919 she was part of the escort for the Prince of Wales visit to the West Indies.
Took part in the Empire Cruise between 1923-24.
1925 till 1929 1st Cruiser Squadron in the Mediterranean.
After a refit she joined the 8th Cruiser Squadron on the American and West Indies Station between 1930 and 1935. Thereafter in reserve in Devonport and Portsmouth till 1939.
July 1939 commissioned for the Review of the Reserve Fleet in Weymouth Bay
August 1939 joined the 7th Cruiser Squadron of the Northern Patrol
December 1939 withdrawn from Northern Patrol as not suitable for Northern Waters and commenced Refit at Chatham
6/3/1940 left Portland to join the 3rd Cruiser Squadron in the Mediterranean for contraband control
June 1940 Refit at Durban and then transferred to South Atlantic Station for Convoy Defence
16/9/1940 captured the French steamer TUAREG off West Africa
23/9/1940 took part in "Operation Menace" (Dakar), and was slightly damaged by gunfire from shore batteries. She also sank the Vichy Submarine PERSEE, assisted by HMS IINGLEFIELD and FORESIGHT
24/9/1940 bombarded shore batteries until the landing force withdrew
9/10/1940 supported Free French landings at Duala
September-October 1940 Refit at Simonstown prior to joining the 5th CS, East Indies, for Convoy Defence in the Indian Ocean
January 1942 transferred to ABDA Command, Dutch East Indies, based at Batvia, for Convoy Defence
February 1942 became part of the Western Striking Force based at Tanjong Priok
March 1942 deployed at Colombo with East Indies Fleet
April 1942 the fleet was transferred to Killindini, Kenya
June 1942 repairs at Simonstown prior to returning to UK
August 1942 commenced major Refit at Chatham
October 1942 transferred to Liverpool for completion of Refit
August 1943 trials
September 1943 transferred to Poland and commissioned under command of Capt. E. Plawski, Polish Navy, as ORP DRAGON and joined the 10th CS, Home Fleet, for North Atlantic and North Sea Convoy Defence
February 1944 used as escort in a convoy JW57 to North Russia and the return convoy RA57.
April 1944 Refit at Chatham to prepare for Normandy landings bombarding duties with Force D
21/5/1944 joined Force D on the Clyde for exercises on the Cape Wrath Range
5/6/1944 left the Solent for SWORD Beach
6/6/1944 bombarded and destroyed the gun battery at Calleville-sur-Orne
7/6/1944 bombarded the shore battery off Trouville, receiving return fire causing three injuries. Returned to Portsmouth for more ammunition
8/6/1944 bombarded positions at Houlgate and returned again to Portsmouth
12/6/1944 provided Naval Gunfire support for military operations at Orne and Varaville and continued to supply gunfire support as requested
18/6/1944 returned to Portsmouth for minor repairs
7/7/1944 returned to beachhead bombarding duties
8/ 7/1944 torpedoed by a Neger, (one man midget submarine), and severely damaged, with 37 killed and several injured. She was taken in tow and beached off Arromanches. She was declared a total loss, stripped of some fittings but not her main armament and scuttled as part of the breakwater at Gooseberry 5 miles north of Quistreham. She is lying on her starboard side and still visited by divers

Seen here during the 1923-24 world cruise. The box shaped bridge is an inbuilt aircraft hangar
C1 DRAGON  Green.jpg
Image from the Green Collection – State of Victoria Library
Dragon Jan 1943 camoflage drawing.jpg
Print of Dragon after her refit in 1943
Dragon ORP after refit 1944.jpg
ORP Dragon after her 1944 refit Looks like Z195 alongside

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