View Full Version : hms Phoebe

01-22-2011, 08:08 PM
Hi, does anyone out there have any information on, or know anybody who served on the Hms Phoebe ? My great uncle Stan Roberts was on this ship and I would love to see some pictures or know somebody else who was on this ship during the second world war.

Thanks, Karen.

captain kong
01-22-2011, 10:21 PM
hHi Karen,
try this link,
there are more on Google

HMS Phoebe, British AA cruiserHMS PHOEBE was not retained in the Eastern Fleet and returned to UK during September 1945. The ship arrived at Chatham on 29th October and was taken in hand ...
www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chrono-06CL-Phoebe.htm - Cached - Similar
All her wartime history is there. in complete detail, very intersting, she was a DIDO class cruiser, there is a photo of her on this link. There is also a HMS PHOEBE web site.
There is also a hms phoebe frigate which came after the war so dont be mislead between the two ships


HMS Phoebe (43)
British Light cruiser

HMS Phoebe (43) in June 1943

Name HMS Phoebe (43)
Type: Light cruiser (Dido)
Tonnage 5,450 tons
Completed 1940 - Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd, Govan, Glasgow
Owner The Admiralty
Date of attack 23 Oct 1942 Nationality: British

Fate Damaged by U-161 (Albrecht Achilles)
Position Grid FH 9678
Complement ? men (42 dead and ? survivors).
Route Simonstown - Point Noire, French Equatorial Africa - Freetown
History After completion in September 1940, HMS Phoebe (43) (Capt G. Grantham, RN) was assigned the 15th Cruiser squadron as part of the Home Fleet and used in the North Atlantic on trade protection duties. In April 1941, she joined the Mediterranean fleet at Alexandria from where she took part in the evacuation of Greece and Crete and some Malta convoys. She returned to Alexandria on 29 May with New Zealand troops evacuated from Crete, but was sent back to Crete accompanied by the destroyers HMAS Napier (G 97), HMAS Nizam (G 38), HMS Kelvin (F 37) and HMS Kandahar (F 28) to evacuate as many as possible of the remaining New Zealand and Australian soldiers before Crete capitulated. The cruiser served then as flagship in the operations against the Vichy-French Syria in June.

At 20.05 hours on 3 Jul, 1941, the Italian submarine Malachite (Zanni) fired torpedoes at HMS Phoebe (43) in 32°25N/24°40E and heard a detonation after two minutes and claimed the sinking of the cruiser, which was in fact missed. On 27 Aug, 1941, HMS Phoebe (43) was hit by a torpedo from an Italian aircraft, while covering troop transports to the besieged Tobruk. Temporary repairs were made at Alexandria and the cruiser then left to New York for permanent repairs, which were made between 21 November and 21 Apr, 1942 and she returned to service in May 1942. After the transfer to the Mediterranean, the cruiser took part in the Operation Pedestal in August 1942 as escort for the aircraft carriers that brought Spitfires to Malta. The following month, she and HMS Sirius (82) were stationed in Capetown to patrol against Axis blockade runners, but had no success.

After returning to service in July 1943, HMS Phoebe (43) returned to the Mediterranean again and operated first in the Aegean and then took part in the Operation Shingle, the landings at Anzio in January 1944. Later that year she joined the 5th Cruiser Squadron as part of the Eastern Fleet and operated in the Indian Ocean until war´s end. The cruiser covered the carrier raids on the Nicobars and Sabang as a fighter direction ship and the assault landings on the coast of Burma and the Rangoon landings in April/May 1945. During this time she was flagship of the 21st Escort Carrier Squadron, until relieved by HMS Royalist (89).

On 29 Oct, 1945, the cruiser arrived at Sheerness to refit and in 1946 joined the Mediterranean Fleet as flagship for the Destroyer Flotillas until November 1947, when she was assigned to the the 1st Cruiser Squadron. On 14 Mar, 1951, the ship arrived at Chatham to be paid off, then acted as senior officer´s ship in the Harwich reserve until 1955, followed by a year with the Portsmouth reserve. On 1 Aug, 1956, the ship arrived at Hughes Bolkow, Blyth to be broken up.

Notes on loss At 07.56 hours on 23 Oct, 1942, HMS Phoebe (43) (Capt C.P. Frend, RN) was hit on the port side forward and aft by two torpedoes from U-161 six miles 282° from Pointe Noire, French Equatorial Africa. The U-boat reported the torpedoeing of a Balch class destroyer and observed the lowering of boats but was then chased away by a corvette. The badly damaged cruiser continued at 6 knots to Point Noire and was beached there.

After temporary repairs and removal of the first turret left in December via Takoradi and Trinidad to New York, escorted by HMS Bridgewater (L 01) (Cdr N.W.H. Weekes, OBE, Rtd, RN). Permanent repairs lasted from January to June 1943, the cruiser then went to the Vickers Armstrong Shipyard at Barrow in Furness to be fitted with a new turret and returned to service in August.

Hope this is of use to you Karen.

01-22-2011, 10:38 PM

captain kong
01-22-2011, 11:03 PM
A very sad list there Oudeis.

01-22-2011, 11:16 PM
A very sad list there Ouseis.

Indeed. Life is temporary enough, but for these lads and others like them, friendships must have been hell. I have noticed over the years that many ways have been employed to convey loss in wartime;empty seats at dinner, naming folk by the job they do etc. It is bad enough missing the odd aquainance from down the pub, but to have chums, real chums ripped away...(enough)

captain kong
01-23-2011, 09:12 AM
There were so many MEN, on that list, who were only 16 years old when they were killed
Here today at 16, they are still regarded as children and still act as children.
They do not use those MEN as examples to grow up with. What a terrible wste.

01-23-2011, 11:03 AM
There were so many MEN, on that list, who were only 16 years old when they were killed
Here today at 16, they are still regarded as children and still act as children.
They do not use those MEN as examples to grow up with. What a terrible wste.

Alas CK, there times are different. It is one thing to heed the call when all about are doing the same, but this time around we take a child from the last years of Primary School up through Secondary school past the GCSEs, take them into the forces, send them to Afghanistan and have them brought home in a bag and the point were this process begins means the 'chosen' are getting younger and younger. In all this time no solution is found, mainly because we were never honest in outlining the problem for which the solution is sought.
War without end. A whole different kettle of fish.

01-23-2011, 08:18 PM
Thanks Captain K, Thats a lot of information you have given me. I need to get some crew lists as well , how would I get them ? Its amazing just how much stuff you can find out about something , thanks again for your input.

05-16-2011, 10:47 PM
Hello, Karen, ET AL

I was wondering if you had any luck with your search. Like you I have been searching for those who served in the HMS Phoebe 43 and have extended my search to include the next of kin of the survivors. Could anyone forward me a link on any association, organization, websites, or blogs related to the HMS PHOEBE 43 in addition to the ones already provided below?

On May 18, 70 years ago, the evacuation ship HMS PHOEBE 43 left Sfakia, Greece on May the 31st 1941 and arrived in Alexandria, Egypt on June 1st 1941.