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HMS Despatch

Dauntless Class Light Cruiser

off Normandy in 1944, converted into a depot ship, armed with only a few anti-aircraft guns.
off Normandy in 1944, converted into a depot ship, armed with only a few anti-aircraft guns.
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Built by Fairfield, completed at Chatham DY. Laid Down July 1918.

Launched 24 September 1919. Completed 2 June 1922.

Scrapped Troon August 1946

June 1935
June 1935
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probably 1942
probably 1942
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Despatch was towed to Chatham Dockyard for completion, and did not enter service until June 1922. On commissioning, she went out to the China Station, 5th LCS, until 1927, then served on the America and West Indies Station with the 8th Cruiser Squadron until the summer of 1931, when she reduced to reserve. After a refit which lasted until 1933, Despatch recommissioned on 3 February 1933 for the 3rd Cruiser Squadron and served in the Mediterranean until 24 November 1937, when she left Malta for home. She then spent the years up to the war in reserve and on training duties. She joined the 8th Cruiser Squadron on the America and West Indies Station on the outbreak of war. In the South Atlantic Command, Despatch captured the German merchantmen Dusseldorf off Chile in December 1939, Troja off Aruba in March 1940, and Norderney off the Amazon estuary with the AMC Pretoria Castle on 15 August 1941. She remained on this station until 1942, apart from a period with Force H in November 1940. In the spring of 1942 the ship was under refit in Britain, then went to the South Atlantic Command until 1943. By October that year she was back in Portsmouth, and was under refit there until May 1944, after which she was attached to the escort forces as headquarters ship for the invasion of Normandy in June 1944. By January 1945 she was in reserve as an accommodation ship. Despatch was handed over for breaking up on 5 April 1946, and arrived for scrapping at Arnott Young, Troon, on 5 May 1946.

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