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HMS Campania in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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HMS Campania

   HMS Campania D48 was built by Harland & Wolff in Belfast, Northern Ireland. When construction started in 1941 she was intended as a refrigerated cargo ship, but was requisitioned by the British Government, completed as an escort carrier with 18 aircraft and a crew compliment of 639. She was launched on the 17th of June 1943, entering service in early 1944.

HMS Campania undertook convoy escort and anti-submarine work in the Atlantic and Arctic. In December 1944 her Swordfish aircraft sank the German submarine U-365.

After the was she was briefly used as an aircraft-transport before being decommissioned and placed in reserve in December 1945. In 1951 she was used as the Festival of Britain's exhibition ship and in 1952 she became the command ship for Operation Hurricane, the test of the first British atomic bomb on the Monte Bello Islands off western Australia. She was scrapped in Blyth in 1955.


If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.

Those known to have sailed in

HMS Campania

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

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Radar Operator George Louis Robertson HMS Manchester

My Dad, George Louis Robertson served as Radar Operator on the Manchester during Operation Pedestal. He was a survivor of the sinking of the HMS Manchester. He was interned in the Laghouat POW camp but escaped with others. They made their way to the North coast of Africa and came across allied soldiers who nearly shot them because they were in rags and unrecognisable as Royal Navy seamen. However, one of the men shouted that they were British. They were eventually returned to British control and re-assigned to other ships to continue the war.

He also served on Tartar and Campania. George died in 1978 but I am researching that time of his life. If anyone served with George or served on the ships at the same time could you contact me. Thank you.

George Robertson

Chief ERA Herbert Dallimore HMS Campania

Herbert Dallimore was my maternal grandfather. He joined during WW1, served on submarines through most of the twenties and early thirties and was serving the last of his enrollment on the Shanghai patrol. War was declared while he was on the demob ship back from China. He was reluctant to say much about the Artic convoys except that a lot of good friends died.

Gerry Osborne

William Burns Macartney HMS Campania

My Father, Willie Macartney was a fireman (engine room) on board the aircraft carrier HMS CamPania D48. He used to tell me stories about a Pendulum that would swing near it's limits, apparently measured ship's tilt in rough weather, think it was in the ship's mess room? He chatted about planes that would leave and not return and the extreme weather on convoy duty where they would chip ice to prevent build up. I was only a lad when we talked, we used to have documentation, but this was lost due to many house moves in later years.

John Macartney

Gnr. Terence Galloway HMS Campania

My father Terrance Galloway served on HMS Campania as a gunner I guess during 1944/45. Getting any information out of him was difficult to impossible, he just would not talk about this time. But in his 70's he opened up just the once and described the Arctic convoys. The cold was the worst thing. As I said he was a rear gunner, and after his four hour shift he needed to be lifted out of his seat, as his clothes had frozen solid around him. It would then take the rest of the night to warm up. The other anecdote was watching a torpedo coming straight at the ship, frozen solid he couldn't move, thirty yards out the torpedo sank, they were just out of range! And that is it, my only knowledge of his war exploits.

Malcolm Galloway

Eddie "Polo" Pinchbeck HMS Campania

My grandad served on HMS Campania on the Russian Convoys.

Trev Rose

Sig. Dennis Ralph Williams HMS Campania

Dennis Ralph Williams was my father. He was a signalman aboard the aircraft carrier HMS Campania during the Second World War, for much of the time escorting the Russian convoys to and from Murmansk.

He didn't talk much about his life on board except to say how they all looked forward to their ration of rum. He did talk a little about his job as signalman flashing an Aldis lamp and reading Morse code or using flags. My dad would never consider flying after the war because he had witnessed too many planes that simply did not return or returned and ended up in the sea (the drink, as he referred to it).

Andrew Williams

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