(iii) Damage to enemy aircraft. HMS Exeter in the River Thames, sailing downstream past … Throughout the action the enemy had spotting aircraft up consisting of single float seaplanes and one large type monoplane was also seen. At this time these were the only enemy ships in sight. I had informed Rear Admiral PALLISER that the Dutch Rear Admiral, Commanding SOURABAYA Naval Base, had recommended to me that, in view of the large concentration of Japanese naval forces in the JAVA SEA, it would be wiser to await developments before sailing. "ENCOUNTER" followed suit and, conditions for smoke being good, the resulting smoke screens were decidedly effective. Some ten minutes later a very heavy explosion was observed starboard side amidships, the column of water from this explosion being higher than the masts. At one time it was seen that a number of "EXETER"'s salvos straddled the leading enemy cruiser on the starboard beam, but with smoke interference it was impossible to say if hits were obtained. The Admiral then ordered EXETER to proceed to SOURABAYA. YORK-Class cruiser ordered from HM Dockyard, Devonport on 15th March 1928 and laid down on 1st August that year. About the time that abandoning was completed, the ship, which had already settled appreciably with a list to port, heeled further to port to a considerable angle. Prince of Wales during the Battle of the Denmark Strait on 24 May 1941. After clearing the minefields the force assumed the cruising order previously arranged namely;  Cruisers in single line, British and Dutch destroyers screening ahead and U.S. destroyers forming a separate unit astern. These appeared to be two merchant ships escorted by a cruiser or destroyer. It was found that hits on the Admiral Graf Spee were rarely observed from the control, but splashes of our 8-inch shell could be distinguished from those of 6-inch with ease. The range was about 16,000 yards and after a few salvos the enemy turned away to the northwards under smoke. … also with some stories from 1945 (75 years ago) until September …, HM Submarine Salmon successfully attacks German cruisers, Captain Langsdorff believes he is trapped. Fire was then shifted to the second four funnel cruiser. The 11-inch shell fired by the enemy were of two types, some being armour piercing, with delay action before bursting, and others bursting immediately on hitting ships or water. Destroyers also experienced difficulty in obtaining fuel but all eventually fuelled though some were unable to complete to full stowage. Neither "EXETER" nor destroyers had yet been hit but now, despite the use of smoke (from funnel and smoke floats), salvos were falling close and snaking was necessary to avoid being hit. The remaining cruisers of the allied squadron turned short and reformed astern of the Admiral. One minute later, when HMS Exeter had fired eight salvoes, another 11” shell knocked out her ‘B’ turret. The ship was evidently leaking oil fuel considerably, which, with a slight lop, made conditions in the water decidedly unpleasant at first. The Secretary The night of 26/27 passed without incident "EXETER" being at the first degree of readiness throughout. 4 years ago. According to surviving Officers of "HOUSTON" and "PERTH" hits were obtained by "HOUSTON" on the leading enemy 8 inch cruiser, and an enemy destroyer was sunk during the torpedo attack. Hole through shield of S.2 four inch mounting. He took command of HMS Exeter in August 1939. 30. (ii) Destroyer mentioned in para. Weather conditions were as follows:  Wind E.N.E. It was about this time, or shortly before, that further masts were sighted to the N.N.E. No enemy air or surface forces were sighted at daylight and visibility was extreme. In the course of conversation he stated that while his ship had not been hit "EXETER"'s splashes had been so close that water from them fell on the bridge. One gun destroyed and one damaged of port Pompom mounting as the result of a direct hit by a shell or part of a shell which ricocheted off the after funnel. Build was completed on 23rd July 1931 at a cost of £1,837,415. 51. In this battle, Exeter also incurred severe damage from seven hits by eleven-inch shells and suffered 61 killed and 23 wounded. The British sent several hunting parties to find her. B turret shell hoist was repaired and seven out of the eight barrels of the port pom-pom were put in working order while at SOURABAYA. Speed was increased until subsequently the action was fought at about 27 knots. Until this damage was realised salvos fell appreciably out for line and during the remainder of the action a clock and Dumaresq had to be used while repairs were attempted. Lest we forget: 61 RN officers and ratings were killed aboard HMS Exeter during that battle. 5. "EXETER" under my command on the latter date. All rafts, float-a-nets and available woodwork were thrown overboard and good use was subsequently made of these. Owing to smoke the air observer found the length of the ship the best guide in judging distances “over” and “short”. The German heavy cruiser Admiral Graf Spee had sailed into the South Atlantic two weeks before the war began, and had been commerce raiding after receiving appropriate authorisation on 26 September 1939. Battle damage to HMS Exeter following the Battle of the River Plate[220 × 165] Close. While accurate records are not available it can be stated that slightly over one third main armament outfit was expended during the action and also a small amount of A/A ammunition. (d) "A" boiler room on fire, with the after bulkhead of the four inch magazine situated four feet from this boiler room necessitating the flooding of this magazine. Exeter was damaged before it could be catapulted, and petrol sprayed over the ship; fortunately it did not catch on fire. 3. Until this boiler room could be entered and thorough examination made, it was not possible to say how soon, if at all, other boilers could be put in working order. It was unfortunate that "EXETER's" Walrus aircraft was unserviceable as the result of blast damage sustained during frequent enemy air attacks. HMS Exeter after the Battle off the River Plate. 4. 16. Reload time - 12.0 s. 180 degree turn time - 22.5 s. Maximum dispersion - 131 м. 29. 37. Posted by. This turn towards by the enemy cruisers was brief and may possibly have been for the purpose of flying off aircraft, as they resumed their Northerly course and were soon out of sight. Exeter not put out of action fired 95 and 82 rounds per gun. HMS Exeter after refit in 1941. After retiring from the action HMS Exeter made for the British base on the Falkland Islands to make temporary repairs. 43. The Graf Speehad a top speed of 26 knots. I considered that the best policy was to continue to the Eastward and to conserve ammunition by continuing to engage the enemy on either side when clear of smoke in the hope of reducing the odds by crippling one or more of the enemy cruisers. 50. Air reports were of considerable assistance in the latter part of the action. She was launched on 18 July 1929 and completed on 27 July 1931. Torpedoes were seen approaching, one exploding in the water and another hitting and blowing up the Dutch destroyer KORTENAER, whose back was broken and who remained afloat for some minutes with bow and stern only showing. This was a critical moment in the fight, and had he done this the end of the story might have been different. When "EXETER" was hit and started to lose way "ENCOUNTER" and "POPE" drew rapidly ahead, still engaging the enemy destroyers. The ensuing action is difficult to describe in detail with no records available. "EXETER" sailed from SOURABAYA at 1900/28 February, 1942, in compliance with a signal received from C.C.C.F. 3. The aircraft of H.M.S. The group that e… The modifications brought to Exeter produced a noticeably different profile from the original lead ship York. 42. Shown here is an extract of Admiralty file ADM 267/111, concerning damage received by H.M.S. In 1934 she went out to the America and West Indies Station and remained there, with a temporary deployment to the Mediterranean during the Abyssinian crisis of 1935/36, until 1939. 2. The Allied force, still retaining the previous cruising order, steered 350 degrees at 20 knots to intercept. HMS Exeter (68) was a York-class heavy cruiser of the Royal Navy that served in World War II. Some 400 survivors of "EXETER" were picked up after about one hour in the water by two Japanese destroyers, which then left the scene of the action on an Easterly course. With two boilers "EXETER"'s maximum speed was 15 to 16 knots; with four boilers it was hoped to obtain 24 knots, but 23 knots was the maximum that could be maintained subsequently. Anticipated courses and speeds were accordingly given to the Navigating Officer of "DE WITT", but she did not join and no information was received as to whether or not she ever left SOURABAYA. The enemy cruisers were disposed in pairs, one pair approximately abeam to starboard and the other on the port quarter. Reports in … 13. At first difficulty was experienced in identifying our own splashes until it was realised that HOUSTON was using brown splashes. The above mentioned enemy ships namely, 2 ASHIGARA or ATAGO class cruisers, 2 SENDAI class cruisers, and 12 ASASHIO class destroyers composed the enemy force during daylight on 27th February as far as could be seen from EXETER although officers from HOUSTON and PERTH subsequently stated that 6 or more enemy cruisers were present. There was however no indication of this on the R.D/F screen nor was any aircraft sighted until action was subsequently joined. Firing range - 14.3 km. No difficulty was found in observation, but casualties and damage prevented the report being received in the former. (iii) It was clear that the Dutch cruisers were outranged for most of the daylight action and their splashes only made spotting more difficult for the remainder. The names of those killed were reported by signal after arrival at SOURABAYA. 7. Commissioned in September 1980, her first captain was Jeremy Dreyer, son of Lieutenant (later Admiral Sir Desmond) Dreyer, gunnery officer in HMS Ajax at the Battle of the River Plate. This indicates that the lessons of the Battle of Jutland, when three battlecruisers were lost owing to lack of anti-flash precautions, have been effectively applied in our post-war construction. It is reproduced here by kind permission of The National … (ii) This action demonstrated in a very marked manner the difficulty of working with a heterogeneous squadron composed of ships of different nationalities all of whose methods, but in particular those of signalling and fire distribution, differ from our own and with whom there had been no opportunity of even the briefest discussion on such matters. Exeter's six eight-inch guns were mainly responsible for seriously damaging the Admiral Graf Spee in the Battle of the River Plate in December 1939. On completion, Exeter joined the 2nd Cruiser Squadron with the Atlantic Fleet, where she served during 1931/35. (v) During the action an attack was made on the enemy cruisers by land based bombers from SOURABAYA, and several bomb splashes were observed. document.write("whitet"); This signal is believed to have been the result of a decision made at BANDOENG, since I had, in telephonic conversation with Rear Admiral PALLISER that morning from the Dutch naval headquarters, been warned to be prepared for such orders in spite of the fact that, at the time, six of "EXETER"'s eight boilers were out of action. Exeter, the fourth ship of her name to serve in the Royal Navy, was laid down on 1 August 1928, launched on 18 July 1929 and completed on 27 July 1931. A torpedo track, slightly more distinct than the track left by ours, was observed. At the outbreak of World War Two, EXETER was heading back to South American waters. HMS Exeter was badly damaged by gunfire and two torpedoes from the destroyer Inazuma, the cruisers captain decided it was a lost cause and scuttled the Exeter off Bawean Island. A 1900 lb projectile from the USS New Jersey's 16" Mark 7 gun, was found and eliminated by the … (b) Cruising formation and destroyer screening. She was launched 13th July 1929 as the fifth RN ship to bear this name, introduced in 1680 for a 3rd Rate 70 gun ship. Pinterest. (vi) Damage and casulaties sustained were as follows:-. For some time it appeared that evasion had been achieved since no enemy forces were sighted, although it was subsequently stated by the Japanese that their cruisers, as these ships proved to be, had flown off reconnaissance aircraft. (According to CombinedFeet.com, this shot was from the cruiser Haguro)  The opinion was formed on subsequent examination that this shell did not detonate but exploded on entering a boiler, since the baseplate complete and a large portion of the nose were recovered. These proved to belong to 2 cruisers of the ASHIGARA or ATAGO classes. By 08.00, still with only superficial damage, she headed for the neutral Uruguayan port of Montevideo, I have the honour to be, As a result of her final speed of 26 knots the ship still had slight headway when abandoned and without doubt this was instrumental in reducing casualties, since the water around the ship was alive with splashes from the enemy gunfire. 34. Rear Admiral PALLISER was informed accordingly by telephone from Dutch Naval Headquarters. At 0623 hours, a 11” shell from the third salvo from the Admiral Graf Spee, bursting short amidships, killed the crew of HMS Exeter’s starboard torpedo tubes and damaged her search lights, communications, funnels and aircraft. She was laid down on 1 August 1928 at the Devonport Dockyard, Plymouth, Devon. It is understood that both "ENCOUNTER" and "POPE" claimed hits on the enemy destroyers but no doubt these will be made in their separate reports. From then (about 1055) a speed of 25 knots was maintained and before the end the ship was steaming at 26 knots. This, together with difficulties already referred to, made it some time before range was established, in all about 15 salvos. She was launched to sea on July 18th, 1929 and was formally commissioned on July 27th, 1931. The latter with tail damage was shown to the Director Gunner of "EXETER". Flank marking of H.M.S. (ii) If action was joined and ships or units became separated. The most powerful ship in the Battle of the River Plate was the Admiral Graf Spee, a German Deutschland-class pocket battleship commanded by Captain Langsdorff. She had a displacement of 8,400 tons, a complement of 628 and main armament of three twin 8-inch guns in addition to AA guns and torpedoes. The main armament reporting that this cruiser was now within gun range, EXETER opened fire at approximately 27,000 yards, this being outside DE RUYTERS's extreme range. 48. (c) Secondary armament control out of action. These proved to be 2 four funnel SENDAI class cruisers, each leading a flotilla (or division) of 6 ASASHIO type destroyers. Steam pressure dropped rapidly to 170 lbs/sq.         London, (a) Some survivors of HOUSTON and PERTH stated that an enemy cruiser, believed to have been under fire from "EXETER", was seen to sink stern first. It had been intended to alter course to 290 degrees at 0400, but shortly before this three ships, two large and one smaller, were sighted to the Westward in the light of the setting moon distant about 10 miles, steering to the S.S.W. Ajax. "ENCOUNTER" and "POPE" engaged the two leading destroyers. Weather conditions were:-  Wind N.E" force 1-2, Sea 10, one tenth cloud, visibility extreme. Its splinters swept the bridge, killng or wounding all the … Later five destroyers (ASASHIO class), which had not been in sight when action was joined, appeared from the Southwest and drew ahead, passing on the starboard beam at a range of about 14,000 yards shortly before "EXETER" was hit in "A" boiler room. 16. 18. It may be well to remark here that all four serviceable boilers were on the starboard side, two in each boiler room. Initial reduction of speed to 11 knots with a subsequent maximum of 15 to 16 knots. "ANKING" and an Australian station (name uncertain but may have been PORT MORESBY, I cannot recall). Her reason for returning to SOURABAYA was not known but was possibly to refuel, as subsequently the four American destroyers were directed by the Admiral to return to SOURABAYA for this purpose. EXETER started to haul out of the line gradually to port simultaneously with the development of torpedo attack by the enemy destroyers lead by the one remaining four funnel cruiser. These latter showered splinters, which caused many casualties and much unexpected damage; most of the bridge personnel of H.M.S. The following extract from a note written after release from Japan by C.P.O. The funeral of those killed in action took place with full naval honours at 1700, every assistance being given by the Dutch Navy, all local naval authorities being represented. When DE RUYTER passed ahead after reversing course, the Admiral enquired by signal as to damage sustained and was informed that, as the result of a boiler room hit, speed was reduced to a maximum of 15 knots, this reply being repeated to PERTH. The following are general remarks on the action: -. Exeter and the 6-inch guns of Ajax and Achilles to come into action at once. Secondly, in making no attempt to press the attack home on the Exeter after she had been seriously damaged and forced to drop out of the action. Posted by 1 day ago. "Four messages were transmitted, after being coded, by P.O. The ship was then assigned to the 2nd Cruiser Squadron of the Atlantic Fleet, where she served between 1931 and 1933. This was not the case, but "POPE" did make use of rain squalls later, after "EXETER" and "ENCOUNTER" had been sunk, in her endeavour to work round to the North and West. HMS EXETER, the second of two York Class heavy cruisers, was launched in 1929. As a result the Comnanding Officer of "PERTH" and myself were very late in joining this meeting, and only arrived at the risk of our lives in the fastest and most dangerous motor car ride through traffic that we had ever experienced! Ajax from those of H.M.S. 46. Fire was opened at extreme range and the first splashes were not seen. Target was then shifted to the rear (right-hand) of the two 8 inch cruisers previously referred to. Deafening escape of steam through the waste steam pipes. 45. SOURCE: Highlighted Text will be in Yellow. All times given are Zone -7½. Detailed investigation of this latter damage, probably of a minor nature, was not possible in the time available in harbour at SOURABAYA, but did not affect the steaming or fighting efficiency of the ship. Almost immediately afterwards she turned away under smoke. "POPE", which was stationed on the starboard bow of "EXETER", informed me that onboard "POPE" they felt certain that this enemy destroyer was hit. We abandoned ship immediately after their transmission but it is almost certain that they were received by one of the three stations.". 21. HE initial velocity - 855 m/s. Main armament ammunition was adjusted at SOURABAYA so that all turrets had equal amounts. 23. Plating - 13 mm. The general trend of the action was Easterly with course varying between about 070 degrees and 110 degrees as alterations were made to avoid straddling or to open "A" arcs. All Out Assault CN: 全弹发射 Third Upgrades Full Barrage I→II / Torpedo Efficiency +15% (Retrofit) Giant Hunter CN: 巨兽猎手 JP: 大物狩り: Increase damage dealt to heavy cruisers by 15% (25%). The Guardian has the full report. When almost dark the Dutch destroyer "DE WITT", then about 5 miles to the Eastward, signalled on shaded lamp that she would lead "EXETER" through the SOURABAYA minefields. An enemy report was therefore made and repeated but no acknowledgement was received. More than three and a half years has elapsed since the events covered by this report took place, but the essential points were recorded within three weeks of that time and have been most carefully preserved throughout my captivity by such devices as concealment in a large empty shaving cream tube and similar subterfuges, causing me considerable concern during frequent searches by the Japanese. 8. Transcribed by RESEARCHER @ LARGE. The last ship with the name was a Trawler hire for use as a minesweeper during WW1. 40. 180 Degree Turn Time 22.5 sec. This is the report by the Captain of Exeter, covering the Battle of the Java Sea, in which Exeter was sunk, and Captain O.L.Gordon RN was taken a POW by the Japanese. "EXETER" engaged the third destroyer which was hit and dropped out of line. "EXETER" with "PERTH", "ELECTRA", "JUPITER" and "ENCOUNTER" in company sailed from BATAVIA at 1600, 25th February, 1942, for SOURABAYA, with instructions that on arrival this force was to be under the orders of Rear Admiral DOORMAN, Eskadier Comnandant (E.C.). 10 E.R. "EXETER" anchored in SOURABAYA roads just before midnight and proceeded to a berth alongside at the Naval Base at 0700/28. A torpedo track, slightly more distinct than the track left by ours, was observed. 18 this cruiser was seen to have been hit and only one 8 inch cruiser was sighted from "EXETER" during the remainder of the day action. There was now no possibility of saving the ship and to ensure that she should not fall into the hands of the enemy the order was given to sink the ship and a few minutes later, estimated at about 1135, to abandon ship. 2) then in Japanese hands. Maximum HE shell damage – 2850. 6. Rear Admiral DOORMAN'S reason for stationing the U.S. destroyers astern was due to their inferior gun and superior torpedo armament. It was not clear what was their target but the majority of these torpedoes were seen to be running on the surface in the direction of the Japanese destroyers. 12. A drastic alteration of course at the moment a salvo was fired was found to be desirable. camp the navigating officer of the first SENDAI class cruiser engaged by "EXETER" visited the camp. It appeared as though little if any arrangement had been made in this respect prior to arrival. "ELECTRA" and "EXETER" embarked pilots inside the minefields and the latter with "PERTH" in company anchored at SOURABAYA at about 1600. This was carried out in an orderly manner but, with the failure of power, no boom boats could be got out. Subsequently some after underwater conpartments were found to be flooded. This is believed to have been the result of a torpedo hit, probably fired by an enemy destroyer. De Ruyter, HMS Exeter, and HNMS Java) and 9 destroyers, set sail to engage the enemy (Hornfischer 2006:69). 31. The gunnery officer of U.S.S. (v) During the action an attack was made on the enemy cruisers by land based bombers from SOURABAYA, and several bomb splashes were observed. Four funnel SENDAI class cruiser referred to in para. R.CO. Normal | The Exeter was badly damaged by shell fire from the Japanese cruiser Haguro in the first Battle of the Java Sea on Feb. 27, 1942, but it survived to fight in … 11in hit and “Achilles” already had splinter damage. As the enemy were making no attempt to close the range and so provide a better target, the port tubes were fired. Enemy air raids were continuous throughout daylight of 28th February. The enemy appeared to be unaffected by this attack. Does not stack with the same skill. Air reports were of considerable assistance in the latter part of the action. All power in the ship failed shortly afterwards, and with it the whole of the Main armament and also the secondary armament control. It was at about 1120 that "EXETER" received a vital hit in "A" boiler room (likely from the cruisers Haguro or Nachi) which started a large fire necessitating immediate and complete evacuation of this boiler room. Since all records were lost when H.M.S. cap of this projectile was recovered with the date of September 1921 stamped on it. The 8-inch mounting proved its worth by the fact that the only turret in H.M.S. Shortly after this a hit was observed by myself, other officers on the bridge and several members of the Director Control Tower's crew including the Gunnery Officer, in the vicinity of her lower bridge structure. This information was acquired from The National Archives, Kew, London. In addition to the textual extract, a number of photos of said damage are also included. 20. In spite of failure to receive acknowledgement of the enemy report I decided against further repition, since avoidance of disclosure of movements by D/F seemed of greater importance than any possible advantage to be gained by continuing to make this report. By dusk of 1st March 1942 the survivors from all three ships, spread out miles apart, were clinging to wreckage in the waters of the Java Sea. Rear Admiral DOORMAN had called a meeting of Commanding Officers for 1700 but no information of this was received until nearly that time when the British Liaison Officer attached to "DE RUYTER" arrived onboard "EXETER". Record Group 38, Records of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, WWII War Diaries. Light was failing and the time must have been about 1830. 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