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HMS Aurora

Arethusa Class Light Cruiser

1941, in Mountbatten Pink camouflage
1941, in Mountbatten Pink camouflage
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Built by Portsmouth Dockyard. Laid Down 27 July 1935.

Launched 20 August 1936. Completed 12 November 1937.

Mined 19/12/41 off Tripoli - Liverpool for repair 4/42 - 6/42.

Bombed 30/10/43 - Taranto for repair 11/43 - 4/44.

Paid off April 1946. Transferred to China 1948, sunk by Nationalist aircraft in 1949, raised and seems to have remained in service until the mid 50s

Aurora served with the Home Fleet from completion as Rear Admiral (D). In September 1939 she was with the 2nd Cruiser Squadron, escorting convoys to Scandinavia and engaged on the hunt for Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. After the Norwegian campaign she participated in the operations hunting Bismarck and, with Kenya, intercepted one of the German supply ships, Belchen, on 3 June 1941. Between July and August, as part of Force K with the Home Fleet, she was involved in operations to Spitzbergen and Bear Island. After one of these sorties, in company with Nigeria, she intercepted a German troop convoy off north Norway, and the German Bremse was sunk. In the autumn she was transferred to the Mediterranean and arrived in Malta on 21 October to join a new Force K. Her task was to interdict the Axis supply routes to North Africa, which was done with great success, several convoys being decimated by the cruisers and destroyers of Force K before the loss of Neptune, on which occasion Aurora was also mined. After temporary repairs at Malta, the ship sailed home on 29 March for full repair at Liverpool, which took until the end of June 1942. After her return to the Mediterranean she joined Force H, and in November was part of the Centre Task Force for the Landings in North Africa, Operation Torch. Off Oran, she engaged the Vichy French torpilleurs Tramontane and Tornade on 8 November, sinking the latter and damaging the former so badly that she had to be beached. The following day she badly damaged the contre-torpilleur Epervier and drove her ashore. By December she was operating as part of Force Q at Bone against the Axis evacuation and supply convoys between Trapani and Tunis. Then, as a unit of the 15th Cruiser Squadron, she participated in the invasion of Sicily and the Salerno landings before moving into the Aegean in Octoben During operations in that area she was damaged by bombs off Castelorizo on 30 October, and withdrew to Taranto for repairs which lasted until April 1944. In August she was at the landings in the south of France, then returned to the Aegean, where she assisted in the liberation of Athens. After the war Aurora was sold to Nationalist China on 19 May 1948 and renamed Chung King. She defected to the Communists on 19 May 1948 and was renamed Tchoung King, but was sunk by Nationalist aircraft in Taku harbour in March 1949. She was later salvaged, but is not believed to have become operational again, although she was subsequently renamed Hsuang Ho (1951), Pei Ching (1951) and Kuang Chou.

before the war
before the war
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operating in typical heavy seas in Northern waters, November 1940
operating in typical heavy seas in Northern waters, November 1940
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laying smoke, from Sirius
laying smoke, from Sirius
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December 1942
December 1942
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Malta - likely postwar
Malta - likely postwar
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nice pic of Aurora
nice pic of Aurora
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post war
post war
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post war
post war
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1951 Chinese Chunking - after being raised
1951 Chinese Chunking - after being raised
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