Allied Warships

HMS Caradoc (D 60)

Light cruiser of the Caledon class

HMS Caradoc in May 1942 after her U.S. refit

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeLight cruiser
PennantD 60 
Built byScotts Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. (Greenock, Scotland) 
Ordered8 Dec 1915 
Laid down21 Feb 1916 
Launched23 Dec 1916 
Commissioned15 Jun 1917 
End service 

Became a base ship in April 1944.
Sold to be broken up for scrap on 5 April 1946.
Scrapped at Briton Ferry, Wales in May 1946.


Commands listed for HMS Caradoc (D 60)

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1Capt. Eric William Longley Longley-Cook, RN31 Jul 19398 Jun 1940
2Capt. Jocelyn Slingsby Bethell, RN8 Jun 19408 Dec 1941
3Lt.Cdr. John Frederick Dehn Bowen, RN8 Dec 194117 Feb 1942
4Capt. John William Josselyn, DSC, RN17 Feb 19421 Jul 1943
5Cdr. Michael Everard, RN1 Jul 19438 Jul 1943
6A/Capt. Edmund Francis Fitzgerald, RN8 Jul 19431 Apr 1944
7Capt. Addison Joe Baker-Cresswell, DSO, RN1 Apr 1944early 1945
8T/A/Cdr. Kenneth Elphinstone Gain, RNVRearly 194523 Jul 1945
9Cdr. John Henry Eaden, DSC, RN23 Jul 1945Sep 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).

4 May 1941
Around noon, HMS Dorsetshire (Capt. B.C.S. Martin, RN), turned over the escort of HMS Illustrious (Cdr. G.S. Tuck, RN) over to HMS Caradoc (Capt. J.S. Bethell, RN).

HMS Caradoc and HMS Illustrious then continued on to Trinidad. HMS Dorsetshire set course for Freetown. (2)


  1. ADM 53/109434
  2. ADM 53/114133

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.

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