HMS Caradoc (D 60)
Light cruiser of the Caledon class
|Navy||The Royal Navy|
|Built by||Scotts Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. (Greenock, Scotland)|
|Ordered||8 Dec 1915|
|Laid down||21 Feb 1916|
|Launched||23 Dec 1916|
|Commissioned||15 Jun 1917|
Became a base ship in April 1944.
Commands listed for HMS Caradoc (D 60)
Please note that we're still working on this section.
|1||Capt. Eric William Longley Longley-Cook, RN||31 Jul 1939||8 Jun 1940|
|2||Capt. Jocelyn Slingsby Bethell, RN||8 Jun 1940||8 Dec 1941|
|3||Lt.Cdr. John Frederick Dehn Bowen, RN||8 Dec 1941||17 Feb 1942|
|4||Capt. John William Josselyn, DSC, RN||17 Feb 1942||1 Jul 1943|
|5||Cdr. Michael Everard, RN||1 Jul 1943||8 Jul 1943|
|6||A/Capt. Edmund Francis Fitzgerald, RN||8 Jul 1943||1 Apr 1944|
|7||Capt. Addison Joe Baker-Cresswell, DSO, RN||1 Apr 1944||early 1945|
|8||T/A/Cdr. Kenneth Elphinstone Gain, RNVR||early 1945||23 Jul 1945|
|9||Cdr. John Henry Eaden, DSC, RN||23 Jul 1945||Sep 1945|
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Notable events involving Caradoc include:
16 Sep 1939
The light cruisers HMS Caradoc (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN), HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) and the destroyer HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, RN) departed Plymouth for a patrol in the Western Approaches. (1)
17 Sep 1939
The sinking of HMS Courageous.
HMS Courageous sinking as seen from one of the escorting destroyers.
HMS Courageous (Capt. W.T. Makeig-Jones, RN) was on anti-submarine patrol about 350 nautical miles west of Lands End, still escorted by HMS Inglefield (Capt. A.G. Talbot, RN), HMS Ivanhoe (Cdr. B. Jones, RN), HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, RN) and HMS Intrepid (Cdr. J.W. Josselyn, RN).
At 1445 hours, the group picked up a distress call from the British merchant Kafiristan that was being attacked by the German submarine U-53 about 350 miles west of Cape Clear. The destroyers HMS Inglefield and HMS Intrepid were detached and the carrier launched four Swordfish aircraft, one of them forced the U-boat to dive without damaging it at 1700 hours.
At about 1800 hours, another U-boat, U-29, spotted the carrier group and began chasing it, but had no chance to get into a favorable attack position until the carrier turned into the wind to recover the four Swordfish returning from the search for U-53. She was now heading on a straight course at 18 knots towards the U-boat which attacked only five minutes after the last aircraft landed. At 1950 hours, U-29 fired a spread of three G7e torpedoes at HMS Courageous and hit her with two of them on the port side abaft the bridge. She almost immediately took a heavy list to port and sank after 17 minutes about 190 miles southwest of Dursey Head, Ireland.
The Commanding Officer, 17 other officers and 501 ratings were lost, including 36 RAF service crewmen. All Swordfish aircraft of 811 and 822 Sqdn FAA were lost with the ship.
While HMS Ivanhoe attacked U-29 with depth charges, HMS Impulsive began to rescue the survivors and was soon joined by the American merchant Collingsworth, the British merchant Dido and the Dutch passenger ship Veendam, which launched 14 lifeboats and also saved the ships log. The rescue work proved difficult due to the heavily oiled sea. Further help arrived when HMS Kempenfelt (Capt. C. Caslon, RN) and HMS Echo (Cdr. S.H.K. Spurgeon, RAN) joined HMS Ivanhoe in the submarine hunt together with the by now returned HMS Intrepid, but the U-boat escaped during the night. Also two light cruisers, HMS Caradoc (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN) and HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) arrived at the scene together with the destroyer HMS Kelly (Capt. L.F.A.V.N. Mountbatten, GCVO, RN), but the cruisers were soon ordered away.
The merchant Dido had picked up 23 officers and 195 ratings and was escorted to Liverpool by HMS Intrepid. The survivors rescued by the neutral merchants were transferred to HMS Inglefield and HMS Kelly and arrived at Devonport (Plymouth) on the afternoon of 19 September.
After this loss and the unsuccessful attack of U-39 on HMS Ark Royal (Capt. A.J. Power, RN) only three days earlier, carriers were withdrawn from such patrols as they were considered to be to valuable.
23 Oct 1939
The British light cruiser HMS Orion (Capt. H.R.G. Kinahan, RN) and the Canadian destroyer HMCS Saguenay (Lt.Cdr. G.R. Miles, RCN) intercept the German tanker Emmy Friedrich (4372 GRT) in the Yukatan Strait west of Tampico. When the British light cruiser HMS Caradoc (Capt. E.W.L. Longley-Cook, RN) also arrived on the scene the Germans scuttled their own ship to prevent her capture.
11 Dec 1940
HrMs Van Kinsbergen (Cdr. J.L.K. Hoeke, RNN) intercepts the German blockade breaker Rhein (6031 GRT, built 1926) west of the Florida Strait in position 24°55'N, 83°15'W. Unfortunately before the German ship can be captured it is set on fire by her own crew. The wreck is sunk later that day by the British light cruiser HMS Caradoc (Capt. J.S. Bethell, RN).
HMS Caradoc and HMS Illustrious then continued on to Trinidad. HMS Dorsetshire set course for Freetown. (2)
- ADM 53/109434
- ADM 53/114133
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.