Part of the Acorn Archive

Hearts of Oak






HMS Duke of York

King George V Class Battleship


Built  John Brown & Co., Ltd., Clydebank, Scotland

Launched 28th February 1940 as HMS ANSON

Completed 4th November 1941 as HMS DUKE OF YORK

Pennant: 17

745ft x 103ft x 29ft

35,000 grt; 42,237 tons displacement.

Complement : 1,422 to 1,900.


Armour Protection

Main Belt  15ins / Ends 5 to 7ins / Lower Belt 3ins.

Deck : 7ins total.

Turrets 11 to 16ins


8 x Admiralty 3 drum type Boilers (300 psi working pressure) 

4 x Parsons single reduction geared Turbines; 4 shafts

110,000 shp

28 knots

3,700 tons fuel oil storage

Range : 6,000 nautical miles at 14 knots


Armament ….

Main Battery 10 x 14ins Mk VII

8 two quad turrets, 2 one dual turret

Quick firing 16 x 5.25ins Mk I, in 8 twin turrets

48 x 2pdr Mk VIII pom-poms

4 rocket projectors.


2 x Aircraft




The sixth ship of this name;

HMS DUKE OF YORK was commissioned in November.

6th November : While working up at Scapa Flow, Flag of Vice Admiral ATB Curteis (VA2, Home Fleet) was transferred from HMS RENOWN until December.

9th December : Left Scapa Flow and arrived on the Clyde on 12th.

13th December : Operation Arcadia - carried Prime Minister Winston Churchill and party to Annapolis, USA, for the first meeting of the Anglo-American General Staff, arriving on 22nd and waited at Hampton Roads for the return journey.


HMS DUKE OF YORK escorted Convoys

PQ12 to PQ18, QP9 to QP14, JW55A, JW55 B and RA55A



3rd January : Shake-down cruise to Bermuda arrived 5th.

17th January : Left Bermuda, arrived Greenock on 25th  arrived Scapa Flow 30th.

28th February : Left for Hvalfjord, Iceland arrived 2nd March. Began search around reported position of Bear Island for German battleship, TIRPITZ, next day with HMS RENOWN. Returned on 10th.

22nd March : Left Scapa Flow, with HMS KING GEORGE V, to escort Russian (Murmansk) convoys PQ13 and QP9; returned 28th.

22nd April : Escorted Russian convoys PQ14 and QP10.

1st May : Ordered to replace HMS KING GEORGE V as flagship of CiC Admiral Sir John Tovey, whose ship had been damaged in a collision, and returned to Scapa Flow on 5th when flag was transferred.

15th May : Escorted Russian convoys PQ16 and QP12, returning to Scapa Flow on 29th.

June : Visit of HM King George to Home Fleet and was accommodated on HMS DUKE OF YORK.

29th June : Escorted convoys PQ17 and QP13, returning 8th July.

Flag of CiC transferred to HMS KING GEORGE V.

PQ17 left Reykjavik 27th June and dispersed on 1st Sea Lord's orders the evening of 4th July, as there was a German surface attack threatened. Admiral Tovey's distant covering force( which sailed from Scapa Flow on 28th – 29th June ),included HMS DUKE OF YORK, HMS VICTORIOUS, HMS CUMBERLAND, HMS NIGERIA and USS WASHINGTON.

Twenty four ships were lost from convoy PQ17.

July-September : Based at Hvalfjord, Iceland and escorted Russian convoys PQ18 and QP14. (Battle Honour: Arctic 1942-3)

Ten merchant ships were lost by air attack, three by U-boat.

27 arrived safely.

One of the ships lost from PQ18 was the ATHELTEMPLAR.

26th September : Returned to Scapa Flow.

October : At Rosyth for repair, returning to Scapa Flow on 28th.

30th October : Flag of Vice Admiral E Neville Syfret, FO Force H. Left Scapa Flow to support the North African landings in French North Africa (Operation Torch) in November 1942. In company with HMS NELSON, HMS RODNEY, HMS RENOWN, HMS VICTORIOUS, HMS FORMIDABLE, HMS ARGONAUT, HMS BERMUDA and HMS SIRIUS.

8th November : Operation Torch - Involved in the landings at Oran Harbour, North Africa (Battle Honour: Africa 1942)

15th November : Transferred Flag to HMS NELSON.

18th November : Left Gibraltar for UK, arriving on 26th.

December - March : Refit at Rosyth.



8th May : Flagship of CiC, Home Fleet, Admiral Sir Bruce Fraser.

31st May : Operation FH - Left Scapa Flow for Hvalfjord, to cover Allied reliefs at Spitsbergen, returning to Scapa Flow on 13th June.

7th July : Operation Camera - HMS DUKE OF YORK along with HMS Anson, HMS Malaya and HMS Furious and a US task Force consisting of USS ALABAMA and USS SOUTH DAKOTA carry out a diversionary sortie off Norway to divert attention from imminent landings in Sicily. This sortie was undetected by the Germans.

27th July : Operation Governor - Diversionary operation for the Sicily landings.

October 1943, she resumed operations in Arctic waters.

2nd October : Operation Leader - Left Scapa Flow to assist in attacks by aircraft from USS Ranger on shipping off of Norway on 4th.

4th October  Operation Leader -  HMS DUKE OF YORK along with HMS ANSON and USS TUSCALOOSA provides cover for air strikes by aircraft from USS RANGER against German shipping of Norway.

12th December : Operation FV - Escort cover for Russian convoys JW55A.

23rd December : Left Akuroyri to cover return convoy JW55B.

26th December : Intercepted German battlecruiser SCHARNHORST, and sunk her by gunfire and torpedoes off North Cape. (battle honour: North Cape 1943)

On the morning of December 26th, DUKE OF YORK was providing distant cover for Convoy JW55B when the cruisers HMS NORFOLK, BELFAST, and SHEFFIELD began shadowing the German battleship SCHARNHORST. At 1651, DUKE OF YORK opened fire; an hour and a half later, at a range of more than 18,000 yards (about 10 miles), she hit Scharnhorst's boiler room. The fatal blow enabled the British ships to close to 3,000 yards, and at 1745 Scharnhorst sank in 72°16N, 28°41E.

27th December : Arrived Kola Inlet, and departed for Scapa Flow the following day, arriving on 1st January 1944.

DUKE OF YORK remained in Arctic waters until September 1944.



March : Operation FY - Escort cover for Russian convoys JW58 and RA58, returning to Scapa Flow 3 April.

29th May : Operation Brawn and Operation Proteus - Airstrike attacks on the TIRPITZ. Both operations cancelled due to adverse weather conditions.

10th June : Left Scapa Flow for Rosyth to receive new CiC, Home Fleet, Admiral Sir Henry Moore. Returned to Scapa Flow on 17th.

14th July : Operation Mascot -  Unsuccessful naval air attack on TIRPITZ.

17th July  as Admiral Moore's (C in C Home Fleet) Flagship covers air

raids by carrier aircraft from HMS FORMIDABLE, HMS INDEFATIGABLE and HMS FURIOUS on TIRPITZ in Kaafjord. The raid is unsuccessful.

18th August : Operation Victual and Operation Goodwood - Escort cover for Russian convoys JW59 & RA59A (operation Victual). This was also combined with an air strike on the TIRPITZ (Operation Goodwood) Returned to Scapa Flow on 3rd September.

20th  - 22nd August   Covers further air raids against TIRPITZ by aircraft from


18th September : Left Scapa for Liverpool to undergo refit and modernisation until end March 1945.



March : Allocated to British Pacific  Fleet , leaving Liverpool 4th April to work up at Scapa Flow until 25th when she departed in company with HMS ANSON and others to the Far East, calling at Malta, Port Said, Suez, Colombo and arrived at Sydney in July.

31st July : Left Sydney for Manus; At Manus when Japan surrendered.

After an eight-month refit, she joined the British Pacific Fleet and took part in the bombardment of the Japanese home islands in August 1945.

9th August  As part of Task Force 37 involved in sorties against North Honshu

and Hokkaido.

28th August : Arrived Tokyo with flag of Admiral Fraser (CiC British Pacific Fleet).

2nd September : Present at signing of Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay.

9th September : Left Tokyo for Hong Kong and from there, left for Manila.



June : Transferred flag of CiC, BPF; left Hong Kong for Plymouth on 11th.

11th July : Arrived Plymouth and flag of Admiral Fraser.

Went into refit. After refit, became Flagship of CiC Home Fleet, Admiral Sir Neville Syfret.



April : Flag transferred to HMS IMPLACABLE.


July 1949 to September 1951 - Flagship of Reserve fleet.


2nd September 1951 – Due to leave Portsmouth for Birkenhead.

Delayed by bad weather, she actually left on the 3rd September,

hit a bad fog bank at Land’s End. Arrived Birkenhead 7th September.


6th November 1951 - Towed to Gareloch for laying up.


13th May 1957 - Sold to Shipbreaking Industries; arrived Faslane for breaking up.



"Convoys to Russia 1941-1945" Ruegg and Hague.

"Chronology of the War at Sea 1939-1945" Rohwer and Hummelchen

"British Battleships" Parkes.


Thanks to Dave Mallinson


Royal Naval Museum

HM Naval Base (PP66)

Portsmouth, Hampshire UK



Raymond Forward