Allied Warships

HMS Bermuda (52)

Light cruiser of the Fiji class

HMS Bermuda in 1943

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeLight cruiser
Built byJohn Brown Shipbuilding & Engineering Company Ltd. (Clydebank, Scotland) 
Ordered4 Sep 1939 
Laid down30 Nov 1939 
Launched11 Sep 1941 
Commissioned21 Aug 1942 
End serviceJul 1962 

Decommissioned in July 1962.
Scrapped by Ward, Briton Ferry, Wales starting on 26 August 1965.


Commands listed for HMS Bermuda (52)

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1Capt. Terence Hugh Back, RN14 Jul 194211 Feb 1944
2Capt. Jocelyn Slingsby Bethell, RN11 Feb 194411 Sep 1944
3Cdr. Thomas Leslie Bratt, DSC, RN11 Sep 194410 Nov 1944
4Capt. Jocelyn Slingsby Bethell, RN10 Nov 194410 Dec 1945

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Notable events involving Bermuda include:

22 Aug 1942
HMS Otway (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J.R.G. Harvey, RN) conducted exercises in the Clyde area for the C.O.Q.C. (Commanding Officers Qualifying Course) with the brand new light cruiser HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN). (1)

18 Sep 1942
HMS H 34 (Lt. J.P.H. Oakley, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Tanatside (Lt.Cdr. F.D. Brown, RN) and HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN). Also a practice attack was carried out on HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN). (2)

14 Dec 1942
HrMs O 15 (Lt. A.J. Schouwenaar, RNN) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Matchless (Lt.Cdr. J. Mowlam, RN) and HMS Bermuda (Capt. T.H. Back, RN). (3)

23 Aug 1943
On the 23th August 1943 the 40th Escort Group (Cdr. Dallison), consisting of the sloops HMS Landguard, HMS Bideford, HMS Hastings and the frigates HMS Exe, HMS Moyola and HMS Waveney were deployed on a U-boat hunt off Cape Ortegal. The whole operation was covered by the British light cruiser HMS Bermuda.

On the 25th August the Canadian 5th Support Group (Cdr. Tweed), consisting of the British frigates HMS Nene, HMS Tweed and the Canadian corvettes HMCS Calgary, HMCS Edmundston and HMCS Snowberry were deployed to relieve the 40th Escort Group. While this was in progress the ships were attacked at 1415 hrs by 14 Dornier Do-217's and 7 Ju-88's. with the new German weapon, the Henschel Glider Bombs, (the "Hs293 A-1"). Designed by the German Professor Herbert Wagner. HMS Landguard and HMS Bideford were the first of the Allied and R.N. ships to be attacked and damaged by them. This being the first time of their being brought into action against Allied ships. Several sailors were injured on HMS Bideford and one sailor was killed.

Another two days later on the 27th August 1943 the Canadian 5th Support group was relieved by the 1st Support group (Cdr. Brewer) consisting of the sloops HMS Pelican, HMS Egret and the frigates HMS Jed, HMS Rother, HMS Spey and HMS Evenlode. Also the covering cruiser HMS Bermuda was relieved by the Canadian destroyer HMCS Athabaskan and the British destroyer HMS Grenville. These ships were also attacked by the Germans. This time with 18 Dornier Do-217?s also carrying Henschel Glider Bombs. HMCS Athabaskan was heavily damaged and HMS Egret was sunk with the loss of 194 of her crew. After this loss the U-boat hunt was blown off.

8 Mar 1944
HMS Trusty (Lt. M.F.R. Ainslie, DSO, DSC, RN) conducts attack exercises with HMS Bermuda (Capt. J.S. Bethell, CBE, RN). (4)

20 Jun 1944
HMS Viking (Lt. R. Bannar-Martin, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises at/off Scapa Flow with HMS Bermuda (Capt. J.S. Bethell, CBE, RN). (5)

29 Jun 1944
HMS Trusty (Lt. L.E. Herrick, DSO, RN) conducts attack exercises for the Commanding Officer Qualifying Course with HMS Bermuda (Capt. J.S. Bethell, CBE, RN). (6)

18 Apr 1945
HMS Scorcher (Lt. K.S. Renshaw, DSC, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow with HMS Bermuda (Capt. J.S. Bethell, CBE, RN) and ORP Garland (Lt. K. Hess). (7)

25 Apr 1945
HrMs Dolfijn (Lt.Cdr. J.B.M.J. Maas, RNN) conducted A/S exercises off Scapa Flow together with HMS Bermuda. (Capt. J.S. Bethell, CBE, RN), HMS Scourge (Lt.Cdr. C.G.H. Brown, DSC, RN) and HMS Carysfort (Lt.Cdr. L. St.G. Rich, DSO and Bar, RN). (8)


  1. ADM 173/17339
  2. ADM 173/17241
  3. File (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)
  4. ADM 173/19123
  5. ADM 173/19393
  6. ADM 173/19126
  7. ADM 173/19572
  8. File (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands)

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

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