Allied Warships

RHS Georgios Averoff (D 54)

Armoured cruiser of the Georgios Averoff class


Giorgios Averoff.

Photo courtesy of D. Kamakaris.

NavyThe Royal Hellenic Navy
TypeArmoured cruiser
ClassGeorgios Averoff 
PennantD 54 
Built byCantieri Orlando (Livorno, Italy) 
Ordered 
Laid down 
Launched12 Mar 1910 
Commissioned16 May 1911 
End service 1952 
History

Escaped to Alexandia in May 1941.
Assigned pennant number D 54 by the British.
Served in the Indian Ocean under British control.
Later returned to the Mediterranean.
Decomissioned in 1951.
Preserved as a museum.

 

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Notable events involving Georgios Averoff include:


The following photographs were taken during Easter 2006 by Alain Craniotakis and are reproduced her with his permission.
They show Georgios Averoff as museum ship.
Giorgios Averoff seems the be in perfect state.

19 Apr 1941

Convoy AS 26.

This convoy departed Piraeus on 19 April 1941.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Bantria (British, 2407 GRT, built 1928), British Lord (British (tanker), 6098 GRT, built 1922), Cleanthis (Greek, 4153 GRT, built 1911), Daisy Molles (British, 4078 GRT, built 1911), Ekaterini Coumantarou (Greek, 7777 GRT, built 1917), Ena (Dutch (tanker), 6229 GRT, built 1936), Evanthia (Greek, 3551 GRT, built 1915), Georgios Potamianos (Greek, 4044 GRT, built 1913), Helka (British, 3471 GRT, built 1912), Katie Moller (British, 3100 GRT, built 1919), Kyriaki (British, 5528 GRT, built 1912), Langleecrag (British, 4909 GRT, built 1929), Meroe (British, 3832 GRT, built 1928), Nitsa (Greek, 4732 GRT, built 1915), Point Clear (Greek, 4839 GRT, built 1920), Port Halifax (British, 5820 GRT, built 1937), Rawnsley (British, 4998 GRT, built 1940), Saronikos (Greek, 3548 GRT, built 1912), Volo (British, 1587 GRT, built 1938), Volsella (British, 2103 GRT, built 1096), Warszawa (Polish, 2487 GRT, built 1915) and Zannis L. Cambanis (Greek, 5317 GRT, built 1920).

[Apparently some of these ships were unable to sail with the convoy and sailed later to overtake.]

They were escorted by the AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. T.C. Hampton, RN) and the destroyers HMS Isis (Cdr. C.S.B. Swinley, DSC, RN) and HMAS Vampire (Cdr. J.A. Walsh, RAN).

In the morning of the 20th, HMAS Vampire was detached to search for straggles. She rejoined shortly before noon with two merchant vessels.

Around 0600C/21, more ships joined coming from Suda Bay, these included several Greek warships among them the armoured cruiser RHS Georgios Averoff. One of the ships joined coming from Suda Bay appeared to be the Desmoulea (British (tanker), 8120 GRT, built 1939).

Also the merchant ship Kyriaki was apparently detached to Suda Bay as she was sunk there on 24 April 1941.

Around 1100C/21, the convoy was attacks and four bombs exploded underneath the British Lord. She was disabled and the engine room slowly flooded. The crew was taken off by HMAS Vampire as were two of them which had been blown overboard but one of these later died. The ship was not sunk as it was hoped she could be towed to Suda Bay later. Apparently she was later taken in tow towards Alexandria by the sloop HMS Auckland (Cdr. E.G. Hewitt, DSO, RN) which was relieved on the 24th by the netlayer HMS Protector (Cdr. R.J. Gardner, RN). The tow arrived at Alexandria on the 25th.

Meanwhile the convoy had continued and was divided into a section of Alexandria and Port Said around 1830C/22.

The Alexandria section arrived there on 23 April escorted by HMS Calcutta and HMS Isis. The Alexandria section was made up of the Bantria, Ena, Georgios Potamianos, Helka, Point Clear, Port Haifax, Rawnslay, Volsella and Warszawa.

The Port Said section arrived there on 24 April. It had been escorted until dark on 22 April by HMAS Vampire but she then parted company and joined the Alexandria section.

The Port Said section was made up of the Cleanthis, Daisy Moller, Desmoulea, Ekaterini Coumantarou, Evanthia, Katie Moller, Langleecrag, Meroe, Nitsa, Saronikos, Volo and Zannis L. Cambanis.


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