Renown file photo [1730]


CountryUnited Kingdom
Ship ClassRenown-class Battlecruiser
Laid Down22 Oct 1935
Commissioned1 Sep 1916
Decommissioned1 Mar 1948
Displacement26,500 tons standard
Length794 feet
Beam90 feet
Draft27 feet
Speed31 knots


ww2dbaseHMS Renown, lead ship of a class of two 26,500-ton battlecruisers, was built at Glasgow, Scotland. Completed in September 1916, she served with the Grand Fleet in the North Sea during the remaining two years of World War I. In 1920-21, following a refit, she carried the Prince of Wales on a voyage to Australia and America. During 1923-26, she was extensively refitted to increase her protection against gunfire and torpedoes. After a decade of further service, Renown was again reconstructed, greatly changing her appearance and giving her a modern anti-aircraft gun battery, much enhanced aircraft-handling facilities and up-to-date gunfire controls. This work was completed in September 1939, just after the outbreak of the Second World War.

ww2dbaseRenown's high speed made her a valuable asset during World War II. In late 1939, she was sent to the South Atlantic to search for the German armored ship Admiral Graf Spee. She covered minelaying operations along the Norwegian coast in early April 1940 and, on the 9th of that month, engaged the German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, damaging the latter. Later in 1940 and into 1941, she operated with Force "H", based at Gibraltar to provide strategic presence in both the Atlantic and Mediterranean. While with Force "H", she participated in a bombardment of Genoa, Italy, in February 1941. After Home Fleet service in 1942-43, Renown was sent to join the Eastern Fleet in the Indian Ocean. Operating from Ceylon in 1944-45, she helped contain the Japanese in the East Indies. HMS Renown had brief post-war service in British waters and was sold for scrapping in March 1948.

ww2dbaseSource: Naval Historical Center

Last Major Revision: Jan 2005

Battlecruiser Renown Interactive Map


Renown steaming at high speed, seen from another British warship, circa 1916-1917Renown circa 1918Renown during WW1, probably in 1918Renown in Pedro Miguel Lock, Panama Canal, 13 Sep 1920
See all 12 photographs of Battlecruiser Renown

Renown Operational Timeline

1 Sep 1916 Renown was commissioned into service.
19 May 1941 British Force H, consisting of the battlecruiser HMS Renown, the carriers HMS Ark Royal and HMS Furious, the cruiser HMS Sheffield and six destroyers proceeded to the area south of Sardinia, Italy.
21 May 1941 48 Hurricane fighters flew off from carriers HMS Ark Royal and HMS Furious to reinforce Malta; all fighters arrived safely. The carriers were part of British Force H, which also included battlecruiser HMS Renown, cruiser HMS Sheffield, and six destroyers. The Italian submarines Corallo and Diaspro, stationed at the point where the British force launched the aircraft, did not approach nor engage.
21 Mar 1944 HMS Cumberland carried out offensive sweep in Indian Ocean with HM Battleships Queen Elizabeth, Valiant, HM Battlecruiser Renown, HM Aircraft Carrier Illustrious, HM Cruisers London, Gambia and Ceylon screened by fleet destroyers. (Operation Diplomat).
19 Apr 1944 Admiral Sir James Somerville's new Eastern Fleet launched a devastating raid on the oil refinery at Sabang in Sumatra, Dutch East Indies with aircraft flown from the carriers HMS Illustrious and USS Saratoga escorted by HMS Cumberland, HMS Renown, USS Cummings, and others.
17 May 1944 The oil refineries at the Wonokromo district of Surabaya, Java, Dutch East Indies and the nearby Braat Engineering Works were struck by British and American carrier aircraft struck by carrier aircraft of the Royal Navy’s Eastern Fleet made up of carriers HMS Illustrious and USS Saratoga escorted by HMS Cumberland, HMS Renown, USS Cummings, and others.
25 Jul 1944 HMS Cumberland, along with Eastern Fleet for offensive operation against targets in Sumatra including HMS Queen Elizabeth, HMS Valiant, HMS Renown, French battleship Richelieu, HM Cruisers Nigeria, Kenya, Ceylon and Gambia and screened by five fleet destroyers, bombarded Japanese positions at Sabang (Operation Crimson).
2 Aug 1945 King George VI met with President Harry Truman on board HMS Renown in Plymouth Sound. The US President had flown from Germany to an airport in Devon, England, United Kingdom, and had toured the city of Plymouth.
1 Mar 1948 Renown was decommissioned from service.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Villageduckpond says:
4 Jan 2017 09:50:33 AM

I have just learnt that my father was on HMS Renown in 1919. How can I find out what rank he had, please
2. Ray Whitworth says:
31 Jan 2017 03:57:00 AM

Im trying to confirm wether my Grandad was on HMs Renown JAMES DEVLIN O RIELLY a cook. Im told he was but need to have it confirmed. Any help most appreciated Im also looking for a picture. Many thanks Ray W
3. Jacqueline Entwistle says:
6 Mar 2017 01:24:38 PM

I believe my Uncle Harry Newton was on HMS Renown. I have a Christmas card showing the a photo of the ship and signed by him no date on the card. can anyone help please.
4. Andrew says:
26 Mar 2017 11:23:48 AM

Looking for a crew member last name mason served on the renown during ww2 can anyone help
5. andrew Waller says:
26 Mar 2017 11:31:46 AM

Looking for a Frederick Mason who served on the renowned
6. Kieran says:
22 Jun 2017 05:31:39 PM

What floatplanes did H.M.S Renown use?
7. Anonymous says:
19 Aug 2017 10:47:21 AM

Trying to find any information regarding Jim broad-Ashman who served on renown unfortunately Jim has passed away .
8. Anonymous says:
23 Oct 2017 09:08:59 PM

Bernard Griffiths ( deceased) crew member HMS Renown
9. Carly morgan says:
1 Mar 2018 04:04:37 PM

So proud of my grandad Samuel Thompson recruited on the hms renoun in ww2 so brave so proud love you grandad Sam xxxxxxxxxxxx
10. Carly Morgan says:
1 Mar 2018 04:26:58 PM

My brave grandad served his country on the HMS Renoun in the 2nd world war ...SAMUAL THOMPSON rip Oct 2006 Im so proud and miss you & love you grandad Sam xxxxxxx
11. Zena Clarke says:
9 May 2018 06:56:56 AM

I don’t know whether anyone’s relati ve ever talked about Ray (Nobby) Clarke? He was a wireless telegraphist on The Renown from late 1941 until 1945. Although sadly no longer with us, he used to tell me all about his time on The Renown.
12. Bryan Millar says:
5 Jun 2018 01:17:00 PM

My father, Andrew Millar, served onboard Renown between 1941 and 1945. He was a Leading Stoker when discharged. I remember him telling me stories about being in The Mediteranean, the Indian Ocean and dry dock in Durban. Sadly passed away in 2005.
13. Lin says:
15 Aug 2018 01:31:47 AM

My father Ralph Bagley also served on the renown during ww11 , he sadly died 18 years ago and I know was very proud to have served on this ship. Does anyone know if the renown was involved in supporting Malta ? I know he was stationed in South Africa for a while.
14. anne carson says:
19 Aug 2018 02:26:58 PM

my dad jock dickson was a gunner on the renown for most of the war but came to an end when the ship was under fire and he lost an eye.sadly he passed away in 1996
15. Carl shooter says:
15 Sep 2018 12:34:35 PM

My dad survived on the renown
Didn’t talk much he used tell me bits about the berma and the ship getting torpedoed he passed in 93
He to was proud of the renown and to have done his bit

Would like to know more about the ship and if any one mentioned him
16. carl shooter says:
16 Sep 2018 12:27:33 PM

My farther Derek shooter served on HMS renown during ww2 I know little about his time on the ship
His nickname was jacko
I heard it was torpedoed
Any info would be amazing
17. Nicola says:
16 Oct 2018 02:05:00 AM

My grandad William Garnett was on the renown approx round 1949 -1955 i was wondering whether anyone had any information on him or if anyone’s grandad knew him his nickname was bill and was from Manchester /ancoats / Newton Heath way
18. Vicky says:
22 Oct 2018 11:16:00 AM

My grandad served on Renown in 1944 i have a few pictures. I have a big one of the radar division. From 1944. And a few group photos.
19. Tom says:
20 Nov 2018 03:19:13 PM

My Grandad whom I never met served on the Renown I know little about him, he lived in Wythenshawe and his name was Thomas Rochford. Not sure when he served either if I was to guess I would say 1940-1955 but I am not certain.
20. Anonymous says:
5 Dec 2018 08:24:57 AM

my farther John Knowles served on HMS Renown during ww11 he was a stoker any info will i will be greatfull
21. Colin Salmon says:
14 Dec 2018 05:54:39 AM

My uncle John Simpson, served on HMS Renown, he was a CPO and a Yeoman of the signals
22. Susie says:
10 May 2020 01:52:40 PM

My father Robert( Carysfort ) Buckley was chief petty officer on HMS renown in WW2 . I wonder if anyone knew him ?
23. Anonymous says:
12 Sep 2020 01:55:17 PM

My father in law served in ww2 he was Maurice Richard surgeon chief yeoman of signals
24. Stephen Adshead says:
15 Sep 2020 04:44:15 AM

Looking for information on Albert Adshead who served on the Renown during ww2.
25. Mr McConnell says:
29 Nov 2020 09:56:37 AM

My grandad Kerry McConnell served on hms renown during ww2 , we do not have any records just a photo and his service medals. He sadly passed away a few months before his 100th birthday and he did not talk much about his time in service.
We would be grateful for any information regarding his service.
26. michael John o'sullivan says:
12 Oct 2021 03:44:27 PM

My father served on renown his name is George Albert Waters , mothers name Louise , fathers name Christopher , dad changed his name after the war to O'Sullivan , can someone help me find his details in ww11 Michael O'Sullivan
27. Geoff Griffiths says:
13 Nov 2021 02:48:27 PM

My father served on the HMS Renown 1941 or 42 until 1946. I'm looking to buy a cap tally and his trade badges he was a stoker. Could someone please help me, Thanks.
28. Jenny says:
12 Aug 2022 07:31:48 PM

My Dad served on Renown all through the 2nd ww his name was John Griffiths, did anyone know him
29. Steve says:
10 Aug 2023 01:00:05 PM

My uncle, Alexander Rumble served on Renown during WWII. I understand he was Chief Petty Officer. The ship docked at various places around the world and he said that Cape Town was his favourite. I believe he also served in submarines at one point.
30. Mervyn hillman says:
20 Feb 2024 11:19:14 AM

My father served on renown from 39/46. William Henry Hillman.
His nick name was knats knees.

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More on Renown
Event(s) Participated:
» Malta Campaign
» Operation Cockpit and Operation Transom

Battlecruiser Renown Photo Gallery
Renown steaming at high speed, seen from another British warship, circa 1916-1917
See all 12 photographs of Battlecruiser Renown

Famous WW2 Quote
"We no longer demand anything, we want war."

Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Foreign Minister, Aug 1939

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