Allied Warships

HMNZS Leander (75)

Light cruiser of the Leander class

NavyThe Royal New Zealand Navy
TypeLight cruiser
ClassLeander 
Pennant75 
Built byDevonport Dockyard (Plymouth, U.K.) : Vickers Armstrong (Newcastle-on-Tyne, U.K.) 
Ordered18 Feb 1930 
Laid down1 Aug 1928 
Launched13 Jul 1929 
Commissioned23 Jul 1931 
End service8 May 1944 
History

The Royal Navy light-cruiser HMS Leander was loaned to the New Zealand Division from 30 April 1937 until 8 May 1944. At this time she was repairing and refitting at Boston in the USA. HMS Leander returned to service on 27 August 1945.

Decommissioned by the Royal Navy in February 1948.
Sold to be broken up for scrap on 15 December 1949.
Scrapped at Blyth on 15 January 1950.

 
Career notesReturned to the Royal Navy as HMS Leander

Commands listed for HMNZS Leander (75)

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CommanderFromTo
1Capt. James William Rivett-Carnac, DSC, RN14 Nov 19361 Jan 1940
2Capt. Henry Edward Horan, RN1 Jan 194028 Nov 1940
3Capt. Robert Hesketh Bevan, RN28 Nov 194026 Nov 1942
4Cdr. Stephen Wentworth Roskill, RN26 Nov 19425 Feb 1943
5Capt. Cecil Aubrey Lawson Mansergh, RN5 Feb 194330 Sep 1943
6Cdr. Stephen Wentworth Roskill, RN30 Sep 1943Feb 1944
7A/Cdr. Leslie Palmer Brindley, RNFeb 1944Dec 1944

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Notable events involving Leander include:


4 Jun 1940
At 1640 hours (zone -2), HMS Liverpool (Capt. P.A. Read, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN) arrived at Port Sudan. Here Rear-Admiral Murray transferred his flag to HMNZS Leander (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN).

HMS Liverpool then departed Port Sudan for Alexandria at 2140 hours. She was to join the Mediterranean Fleet. (1)

23 Jun 1940

Convoy BN 1.

This convoy departed Bombay on 23 June 1940 for the Suez where it arrived on 12 July 1940.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Akbar (British, 4043 GRT, built 1924), Alavi (British, 3566 GRT, built 1924), Anna Odland (Norwegian, 4980 GRT, built 1939), Beaconstreet (British, 7467 GRT, built 1927), British Architect (British (tanker), 7388 GRT, built 1922), British Hope (British (tanker), 6951 GRT, built 1928), Svenor (Norwegian (tanker), 7616 GRT, built 1931), Turbo (British, 4781 GRT, built 1912) and William Strachan (Norwegian (tanker), 6157 GRT, built 1931).

On departure from Bombay the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) and the armed merchant cruiser HMS Cathay (A/Capt.(Retd.) C.M. Merewether, RN).

HMS Cathay parted company with the convoy on 2 July after the light cruiser HMNZS Leander (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN) and sloops HMIS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN) and HMS Shoreham (Cdr. G.P. Claridge, RN) had joined the escort.

HMS Ceres parted company with the convoy on 4 July.

The destroyer HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) joined the convoy on 5 July 1940. HMIS Hindustan then parted company.

Off Aden the merchant vessels Alavi and Beaconstreet parted company with the convoy. They arrived at Aden on 6 July.

Off Aden the RFA tanker Plumleaf (5916 GRT, built 1917) and the armed boarding vessel HMS Chakdina (Lt.Cdr. W.R. Hickey, RNR) also joined the convoy.

Also off Aden the AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN), destroyer HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) and sloop HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN) joined the convoy.

On 9 July HMS Carlisle, HMS Kandahar and HMS Kingston parted company with the convoy.

On 10 July HMNZS Leander, HMS Flamingo and HMS Shoreham parted company with the convoy being relieved as escorts by the sloops HMS Clive (Cdr. H.R. Inigo-Jones, RIN) and HMS Grimsby (Cdr. K.J. D'Arcy, RN). (2)

26 Jun 1940
RAF reconnaissance reported a large Italian ship leaving Assab and proceeding Northwards. HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) which was on patrol was ordered to intercept but she did not sighted the reported ship.

She however did encounter the Italian submarine Perla which was returning to Massawa from patrol. HMS Kingston then opened fire on her. The submarine crash dived and was then hunted and depth charged by HMS Kingston.

The light cruiser HMNZS Leander (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral A.J.L. Murray, DSO, OBE, RN) and the destroyer HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) departed Aden to search for the wreckage of the submarine which was thought to have been probably sunk and also to invite action with Italian surface ships.

The submarine was located on the 27th laying beached midway between Assab and Messina. It was then bombarded and bombed. No enemy surface craft were encountered but Leander, Kandahar and Kingston were shadowed by enemy aircraft and also bombed by them but they sustained no damage. It was thought the beached submarine was either a total-loss or if not it would at least take months to repair her. [Perla was indeed out of action for months, She ran post repair trials in mid-December.] (3)

7 Jul 1940

Convoy BS 1.

This convoy departed Suez on 7 July 1940 for the Gulf of Aden where it was to be dispersed on 15 July 1940.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Almenara (British, 1851 GRT, built 1922), Arabistan (British, 5874 GRT, built 1929), Athelmere (British (tanker), 5566 GRT, built 1918), British Colonel (British (tanker), 6999 GRT, built 1921), British Commodore (British (tanker), 6865 GRT, built 1923), Bronxville (Norwegian, 4663 GRT, built 1929), Bullmouth (British (tanker), 7519 GRT, built 1929), Cliftonhall (British, 5063 GRT, built 1938), Egyptian Prince (British, 3490 GRT, built 1922), Ganges (British, 6246 GRT, built 1930), Ganymedes (Dutch, 2682 GRT, built 1917), Gogra (British, 5190 GRT, built 1919), Herstein (Norwegian, 5100 GRT, built 1939), Khandalla (British, 7018 GRT, built 1923), Khosrou (British, 4043 GRT, built 1924), Orwell (Norwegian (tanker), 7920 GRT, built 1905), Ross (British, 4878 GRT, built 1936) and Zamzam (Egyptian, 8299 GRT, built 1909).

On departure from Suez the convoy was escorted by the sloops HMS Clive (Cdr. H.R. Inigo-Jones, RIN) and HMS Grimsby (Cdr. K.J. D'Arcy, RN).

On 10 July 1940, HMIS Clive and HMS Grimsby parted company with the convoy as escort was taken over by the light cruiser HMNZS Leander (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN), AA-cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN), destroyers HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) and the sloops HMS Shoreham (Cdr. G.P. Claridge, RN) and HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN).

The merchant vessel Khosrou parted company (on the 10th ?) to proceed to Port Sudan arriving there on the 11th. (2)

17 Jul 1940

Convoy BN 2.

This convoy departed Bombay on 17 July 1940 for the Suez where it arrived on 5 August 1940.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; British Consul (British (tanker), 6940 GRT, built 1924), Clydefield (British (tanker), 7365 GRT, built 1928), Cornwall (British, 10605 GRT, built 1920), Daviken (Norwegian, 2922 GRT, built 1926), Ellenga (British, 5196 GRT, built 1911), Germa (Norwegian, 5282 GRT, built 1920), Grena (Norwegian (tanker), 8117 GRT, built 1934), Hoegh Hood (Norwegian (tanker), 9351 GRT, built 1936), Jalarashimi (British, 4449 GRT, built 1918), Jehangir (British, 3566 GRT, built 1924),Longwood (British (tanker), 9463 GRT, built 1930), Nawab (British, 5430 GRT, built 1915), Olivia (Dutch (tanker), 6307 GRT, built 1939), Ranee (British, 5060 GRT, built 1928) and Varsova (British, 4701 GRT, built 1914).

On departure from Bombay the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) and the armed merchant cruisers HMS Cathay (A/Capt.(Retd.) C.M. Merewether, RN) and HMAS Westralia (Cdr. A.S. Rosenthal, RAN).

On 20 July two of the merchant ships parted company with the convoy to proceed to other destinations, these were the tankers British Consul (to Trincomalee) and Clydefield (to Colombo).

On 26 July the armed merchant cruisers HMS Cathay and HMAS Westralia parted company with the convoy while the light cruiser HMNZS Leander (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN) joined the convoy.

On 27 July the sloops HMIS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN) and HMS Shoreham (Cdr. G.P. Claridge, RN) joined the convoy to provided A/S escort while the convoy was approaching Aden.

On the 29th the merchant vessels Jerhangir and Varsova split off from the convoy and proceeded to Aden escorted by HMS Ceres.

The following merchant ships joined the convoy at Aden; Beaconstreet (British, 7467 GRT, built 1927), British Judge (British (tanker), 6735 GRT, built 1921), Marija Petrinovic (Yugoslavian, 5684 GRT, built 1918), Mathura (British, 8890 GRT, built 1920), Ozarda (British, 6985 GRT, built 1940) and Peshawur (British, 7934 GRT, built 1919).

On 30 July the AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN), destroyers HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN), HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN) and the sloop HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN) joined the convoy to escort it partly through the Red Sea. HMIS Hindustan and HMS Shoreham parted company with the convoy on 30 July.

On 3 August the following merchant vessels split off to proceed to Port Sudan; Daviken, Grena, Marija Petrinovic and Ozarda. They were escorted to there by HMS Kimberley.

Also on 3 August 1940 HMS Leander, HMS Carlisle, HMS Kandahar and HMS Flamingo parted company with the convoy, while the sloop HMS Clive (Cdr. H.R. Inigo-Jones, RIN) joined the convoy to escort it on it's last leg to Suez.

31 Jul 1940

Convoy BS 2.

This convoy departed Suez on 31 July 1940 for the Gulf of Aden where it was to be dispersed on 9 August 1940.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; African Prince (British, 4653 GRT, built 1939), Deebank (British, 5060 GRT, built 1929), Esneh (British, 1928 GRT, built 1919), Hopecastle (British, 5178 GRT, built 1937), Manaqui (British, 2802 GRT, built 1921), Masirah (British, 6578 GRT, built 1919), Novasli (Norwegian, 3204 GRT, built 1920), Ovula (Dutch (tanker), 6256 GRT, built 1938) Tweed (British, 2697 GRT, built 1926) and William Strachan (Norwegian (tanker), 6157 GRT, built 1931).

On depature from Aden the convoy was escorted by the sloops HMS Clive (Cdr. H.R. Inigo-Jones, RIN) and HMS Grimsby (Cdr. K.J. D'Arcy, RN) until position 21°30'N, 63°37'E on 3 August.

Two more merchant vessels joined the convoy coming from Port Sudan on 3 August, these were the Akbar (British, 4043 GRT, built 1924) and Trajanus (Dutch, 1712 GRT, built 1930).

Escort was then taken over by the light cruiser HMNZS Leander (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN), AA-cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN), destroyers HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN), HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN) and the sloop HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN).

The convoy was dispersed on 9 August 1940. Three of the merchant vessels proceeded to Aden as did the escorts. (2)

27 Feb 1941
HMNZS Leander (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN) sank the Italian armed merchant cruiser Ramb I (3667 GRT, Lt.Cdr. Bonezzi) west of the Maldives Islands in position 01°00'N, 68°30'E after a short gun duel. 103 men were captured.

23 Mar 1941
HMNZS Leander (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN) intercepts and captures the Vichy-French merchant Charles L.D. (5267 GRT) in the Indian Ocean between Mauritius and Madagascar.

19 Jun 1941
At 1845/19 the light cruiser HMNZS Leander (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN) and the destroyers HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN), HMS Hero (Cdr. H.W. Biggs, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN) and HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN) departed Haifa for a patrol off Syria. They returned to Haifa at 0845/20. (4)

20 Jun 1941
HMS Naiad (Capt. M.H.A. Kelsey, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral E.L.S. King, CB, MVO, RN), HMNZS Leander (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN) and several destroyers [the logbook of HMS Naiad gives the number of destroyers as eight, their exact identity are currently unknown to us but most likely they must have been HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN), HMS Hero (Cdr. H.W. Biggs, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN), HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN), HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO, RN), HMS Kimberley (Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, DSO, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN) as these were the ones operting in the area at that time] departed Haifa around 1945/20 for a patrol off the coast of Syria. They returned to Haifa around 0900/21. (4)

22 Jun 1941
The light cruisers HMS Naiad (Capt. M.H.A. Kelsey, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral E.L.S. King, CB, MVO, RN) and HMNZS Leander (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN) and the destroyers HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN) departed Haifa around 1915 hours for a patrol off the Syrian coast. (4)

23 Jun 1941
While on patrol off Syria, HMS Naiad (Capt. M.H.A. Kelsey, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral E.L.S. King, CB, MVO, RN) and HMNZS Leander (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN), HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN), HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, DSC, RN) and HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN) encountered two Vichy French destroyers at 0150 hours (actually on the Guépard was present) and engaged 'them'.

The Guépard was damaged by British gunfire but managed to escape to Beirut after an action which lasted barely 15 minutes.

The British ships, of which none had sustained any damage, returned to Haifa around 0645 hours. (4)

25 Jun 1941
HMNZS Leander (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN), HMS Decoy (Lt.Cdr. J.M. Alliston, RN), HMS Havock (Lt. G.R.G. Watkins, RN) and HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN) departed Haifa late in the evening for a sweep to the north of Beirut.

At dawn the following morning (26th), the ships bombarded the Damur area. (5)

10 Jul 1941
HMS Valiant (Capt. C.E. Morgan, DSO, RN), HMNZS Leander (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN), HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO, RN), HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN) and HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, DSO, RN) conducted exercises off Alexandria. (6)

22 Jul 1941
Around 2100 hours, the Mediterranean Fleet, made up of the battleships HMS Queen Elizabeth (Capt. C.B. Barry, DSO, RN), HMS Valiant (Capt. C.E. Morgan, DSO, RN), light cruisers HMS Naiad (Capt. M.H.A. Kelsey, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral E.L.S. King, CB, MVO, RN), HMS Phoebe (Capt. G. Grantham, RN), HMS Neptune (Capt. R.C. O'Conor, RN), fast minelayers HMS Abdiel (Capt. E. Peydell-Bouverie, MVO, RN), HMS Latona (Capt. S.L. Bateson, RN) and the destroyers HMS Griffin (Cdr. J. Lee-Barber, DSO, RN), HMS Hasty (Lt.Cdr. L.R.K. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN), HMS Havock (Lt. G.R.G. Watkins, RN), HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN), HMS Kimberley (Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, DSO, RN), HMS Kipling (Cdr. A. St. Clair-Ford, RN) and HMAS Nizam (Lt.Cdr. M.J. Clark, RAN) departed Alexandria to proceed to a position to the west of Crete.

Earlier that day the light cruisers HMS Ajax (Capt. E.D.B. McCarthy, DSO, RN), HMNZS Leander (Capt. R.H. Bevan, RN) and the destroyers HMS Jervis (Capt. P.J. Mack, DSO, RN), HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN), HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, DSO, RN) and HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, DSC, RN) had departed Haifa to rendez-vous with the fleet at 0600/23.

At daylight on 23 July the AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (A/Cdr. W. Pope, RN) also joined the fleet.

After dark on 23 July the fleet turned eastwards. HMS Neptune, HMS Abdiel and HMS Kimberley were then detached with orders to proceed to Port Said where they arrived on 24 July.

HMS Latona, HMS Jervis, HMS Jaguar and HMS Kandahar were detached on the 24th to make rendez-vous off Alexandria with the damaged aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Capt. A.W.la T. Bisset, RN) and escort her to Port Said. HMS Formidable arrived at Port Said on the 25th.

On the 24th HMNZS Leander was also detached with orders to proceed to Port Said where she arrived on 25 July to embark troops together with HMS Latona and HMS Jaguar.

The bulk of the fleet returned to Alexandria on 25 July. (5)

13 Jul 1943
During the Battle of Kula Gulf, HMNZS Leander (Capt. C.A.L. Mansergh, DSC, RN) is torpedoed by Japanese warships. Leander is severely damaged with an engine room, a boiler room and a 4-inch gun destroyed. After making temporary repairs Leander proceeded to Boston, USA for major restoration and a refit.

Sources

  1. ADM 53/112610 + ADM 199/383
  2. ADM 199/383
  3. ADM 199/378
  4. ADM 53/114751
  5. ADM 199/415
  6. ADM 53/115212 + ADM 199/415

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


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