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HMS Exeter a short photo essay

Page added 6 November 2008

Also see History of HMS Exeter

HMS ExeterHMS Exeter, 8th Cruiser Squadron
The 8th Cruiser Squadron was assigned to the Americas and West Indies Station. She was attached to the Squadron between 1933 to 1940, apart from a brief period with the 1st Cruiser Squadron in the Mediterranean, in 1935, during the Abyssinian emergency. See HMS Exeter's history for more.

Docked at DevonportDocked at Liverpool 1932
Launched at HM Dockyard, Devonport on 13th July 1929.

Docked in ArgentinaDocked at Base Naval Puerto Belgrano
She was based in Montevideo from January to April 1937, which is probably when she visited the base.

Pennants flyingPennants flying
The twin barrels of her 8 inch guns - location not known.

Walrus launched from catapultLaunching her Walrus for patrol
The Walrus was a reconnaissance aircraft designed by R. J. Mitchell, designer of the Spitfire. They were the first amphibious aircraft in the world to be launched by catapult from a warship, with a full military load.

Recovering WalrusRecovering the Walrus
Using a winch on the ship, the Walrus could be recovered from the sea after a patrol. Only advisable in calm weather!

HMS Exeter docked at nightExeter docked at night
Here the great ship is docked under floodlights at Praça Maua Quay, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Thanks to Osmundo Pimentel for establishing the location.

Exeter at nightExeter in port, at night
A photo that shows the nameplate of HMS Exeter on her stern while docked at night.

Gunnery practiceGunnery practice
One of the four quick firing four-inch Mk.V guns being put through its paces by the gunnery crew.

Night firingNight firing
The four-inch guns fired at night, while on exercise in the South Atlantic.

Regatta crewThe regatta crew
Group photo of the crew involved in the St Kitts pulling regatta held against HMS Apollo (renamed HMAS Hobart Sep 1938). Exeter won by 8 points.

Crew and lionCrew line the decks
The occasion is not known, but the crew have made a large banner with a lion on it.

At PanamaPassing through the Panama Canal
In 1938, Exeter visited San Diego and San Francisco and took part in exercises with the Royal Canadian Navy. This was when she passed through the Panama Canal.

at San Francisco docksDocked at San Francisco
Docked at one of the famous San Francisco piers - Yerba Buena Island and the Oakland Bay Bridge are behind.

Shackleton's Cairn, South GeorgiaShackleton's Cairn
Exeter visited South Georgia. where she was photographed anchored off shore from a Shackleton's Cairn, remembering his heroic journey in 1916 in a rowing boat with four others, from Elephant Island in Antarctica, across 800 miles of ocean. He reached South Georgia at Cave Cove, and after a perilous journey across the mountains reached Stromness, from where a rescue ship was sent for the rest of his crew.

Showing the Union flagFlying the Union flag
The Union Jack flies proudly over the bow of Exeter in a South American port.


Graf SpeeThe scuttled Graf Spee
The Graf Spee burns at Montevideo in December 1939 after she was scuttled, following the Battle of the River Plate. Captain Langsdorf, her commander, said of Exeter - "I knocked out their foremost guns; I smashed their bridge; yet, with only one gun firing, they came at me again. One can only have respect for such foe as that".

Laying down a smokescreenMaking smoke
Making smoke during exercise in the South Atlantic.

Exeter returns to PlymouthExeter returns to Plymouth
The battle scarred Exeter returns to Plymouth in February 1940.

Churchill welcomes Exeter homeChurchill welcomes Exeter home
Winston Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty, travelled to Plymouth to welcome Exeter home and to congatulate her crew on a job well done. Churchill, later wrote "I had the honour to pay my tribute to her brave officers and men from her shattered deck in Plymouth Harbour."

Battle of the Java SeaShowing the Union flagExeter in her final battle
HMS Exeter was sunk in one of the Battle's of the Java Sea on the 1 March 1942. The top photo shows HMS Exeter during a battle in the Java Sea on 15th February 1942. The lower photo shows HMS Exeter listing to starboard just before she sank.

Churchill welcomes Exeter homeThe White Ensign flies over Exeter's wreck
During 2007 an expedition found the wreck of HMS Exeter, 60 miles from her reported position. Photo courtesy of Kevin Denlay

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