Allied Warships

HMS Howe (32)

Battleship of the King George V class

HMS Howe as completed.

NavyThe Royal Navy
ClassKing George V 
Built byFairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. (Govan, Scotland) 
Ordered28 Apr 1937 
Laid down1 Jun 1937 
Launched9 Apr 1940 
Commissioned28 Sep 1942 
End service21 Apr 1949 

Decommissioned to Reserve on 21 April 1949. Sold to T. W. Ward in 1957, arrived at Inverkeithing for scrapping 4 June 1958.


Commands listed for HMS Howe (32)

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1Capt. Charles Henry Lawrence Woodhouse, RN3 Apr 1942Dec 1943
2Cdr. John Dreyer Shaw-Hamilton, RNDec 19432 Mar 1944
3Capt. Henry William Urquhart McCall, DSO, RN2 Mar 194413 Feb 1946

4Capt. Robert John Shaw, RN25 Aug 19476 Jul 1948

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Notable events involving Howe include:

9 Oct 1942
HMS Howe (Capt. C.H.L. Woodhouse, CB, RN) and HMS Sussex (Capt. W.Y.La R. Beverley, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. They appreared to have been escorted by destroyers. (1)

11 Dec 1942
HMS H 32 (Lt. C. Gordon, RN) conducted A/S exercises at / off Scapa Flow with HMS Goathland (Lt.Cdr. E.N. Pumphrey, RN, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN). After these exercises HMS H 32 conducted a practice attack on HMS Howe (Capt. C.H.L. Woodhouse, CB, RN). (2)

19 Jan 1943
HMS Anson (Capt. H.R.G. Kinahan, CBE, RN), HMS Howe (Capt. C.H.L. Woodhouse, CB, RN) HMS Berwick (Capt. G.H. Faulkner, DSC, RN) and HMS Sussex (Capt. W.Y.La R. Beverley, RN) all conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. (3)

28 Jan 1943
HMS Howe (Capt. C.H.L. Woodhouse, CB, RN), HMS Malaya (Capt. J.W.A. Waller, RN), HMS Cumberland (Capt. A.H. Maxwell-Hyslop, AM, RN) and HMS Belfast (Capt. F.R. Parham, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.L. Burnett, CB, OBE, RN) conducted tactical exercises off Scapa Flow. (4)

4 Feb 1943
HMS P 225 (Lt. C.H. Rankin, RN) participated in A/S exercises at Scapa Flow. Also practice attacks were made on HMS Howe (Capt. C.H.L. Woodhouse, CB, RN) and HMS Malaya (Capt. J.W.A. Waller, RN). (5)

19 Aug 1944

Operation Banquet.

Carrier raid against Padang, Sumatra, Netherlands East Indies by ships of the Eastern Fleet.

On 19 July 1944 ships from the Eastern Fleet put to sea from Trincomalee, Ceylon. ' Force 64 ' was made up of the following ships; Aircraft carriers HMS Victorious (Capt. M.M. Denny, CB, CBE, RN), HMS Indomitable (Capt. J.A.S. Eccles, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C. Moody, CB, RN), battleship HMS Howe (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, DSO, RN), light cruisers HMS Ceylon (Capt. G.B. Amery-Parkes, RN), HMS Kenya (Capt. C.L. Robertson, RN) and the destroyers HMS Rotherham (Capt. H.W. Biggs, DSO, RN), HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. K.W. Michell, DSC, RN), HMS Redoubt (Lt.Cdr. N.E.G. Ropner, DSO, RN), HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Rocket (Lt.Cdr. H.B. Acworth, OBE, RN).

On the 17th ' Force 67 ' made up of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker Easedale (8032 GRT, built 1942) escorted by the light cruiser HrMs Tromp (A/Capt. F. Stam, RNN) had already gone to sea to be in a position to refuel ships from ' Force 64 ' on the 22th.

The submarine HMS Severn (Lt. R.H. Bull, DSC, RN) was in the area for air/sea rescue duties.

On the 24th the carriers launched aircraft to attack Padang. They claimed to have sunk a transport and to have damaged two more transports.

Three aircraft were lost. One on take off, one during the action and one one landing.

' Force 64 ' returned to Trincomalee on 27 August 1944. (6)

2 Nov 1944
During 2 and 3 November 1944, HMS Statesman (Lt. R.G.P. Bulkeley, RN), conducted exercises off Trincomalee. Practice attacks were made on HMS Howe (Capt. H.W.U. McCall, DSO, RN) and HMS Lewes (T/Lt. M.H. Grylls, SANF(V)). Also night RDF (radar) exercises were carried out with HMS Lewes. Before returning to Trincomalee D/F calibration trials were carried out. (7)

Media links

British Battleships, 1919-1945, Revised Edition

R. A. Burt
($ 66.67)
(£ 65.75)

British battleships 1939-45 (2)

Konstam, Angus
($ 16.54)
(£ 9.99)

King George V Class Battleships

Tarrant, V. E.


  1. ADM 53/116070 + ADM 53/116683
  2. ADM 173/17220
  3. ADM 53/118599
  4. ADM 53/117009 + ADM 53/117876
  5. ADM 173/18080
  6. Files and (Dutch Archives, The Hague, Netherlands) and WO 203 / 4980 (British National Archives, Kew, London)
  7. ADM 173/18825

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.

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