HMS Howe file photo [18890]


CountryUnited Kingdom
Ship ClassKing George V (1939)-class Battleship
Hull Number32
BuilderFairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
Laid Down1 Jun 1937
Launched9 Apr 1940
Commissioned29 Aug 1942
Displacement39,780 tons standard; 44,510 tons full
Length745 feet
Beam103 feet
Draft30 feet
Machinery8 Admiralty 3-drum small-tube boilers, 4 sets Parsons geared turbines
Bunkerage4,300 tons fuel oil, 200 tons diesel oil, 300 tons reserve feed water, 400 tons fresh water
Power Output110,000 shaft horsepower
Speed28 knots
Range15,600nm at 10 knots, 2,600nm at 27 knots
Armament1x2x356mm BL 14in Mk VII guns, 2x4x356mm BL 14in Mk VII guns, 8x2x133mm QF 5.25in Mk I guns, 48x40mm QF 2pdr Mk VIII guns, 18x20mm Oerlikon cannon
Armor370mm main belt, 140mm lower belt, 127-152mm deck, 324mm main turrets, 324mm barbettes, 254-305mm bulkheads, 76-102mm conning tower
Aircraft4 Walrus seaplanes


ww2dbaseHMS Howe was the fifth and final King George V-class battleships, completed in 1942 after some delay due to war time source reallocations. Althought she was a treaty battleship, meaning that her primary weapons were limited to 14-inch guns only, she carried an array of anti-aircraft weapons as well as radar sensors to counter the surging threat of aircraft to warships. She was commissioned into service in Aug 1942 and was immediately assigned to the Home Fleet. Her first assignments saw her providing long range escort to Allied convoys sailing to and from northern Russia. In 1943, she was transferred to Gibraltar, from which location she would set sail for Sicily, Italy to provide cover for the Allied invasion, shelling Trapani and Favignana on 11 and 12 Jul. In Sep, she provided cover for the Allied invasion of Salerno, Italy and escorted surrendered Italian battleships Vittorio Veneto and Italia to Alexandria, Egypt. Returning to Britain in Oct 1943, she would undergoing an overhaul at Devonoprt, Plymouth, England, United Kingdom between Dec 1943 and May 1944, during which she would receive updated anti-aircraft weaponry, new radar sets, and air conditioning equipment, the latter in preparation of her departure for the Pacific War. She arrived at Trincomalee, Ceylon in Aug 1944, joining the Eastern Fleet. She provided cover for carrier operations against Japanese targets in Sumatra, Indonesia before being sent to Auckland, New Zealand for a morale-building operation. In Feb 1945, she departed from Sydney, Australia, along with sister ship King George V and other warships, in escort of four British carriers. She provided naval gunfire support for the invasion of Okinawa, Japan in Apr 1945; during that campaign, she was credited with shooting down one Japanese special attack aircraft. She returned to Sydney in Jun 1945, then move on to Durban, South Africa for a refit, where she would received the news of the end of the Pacific War. She was relocated back to Portsmouth in Britain in Jan 1946, where she would serve as the flagship of the Training Squadron for the following four years. She was decommissioned in 1950 and was placed in reserve in the following year. She was ordered to be scrapped in 1957, which began in the following year and would be completed in 1961.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Jun 2013

Battleship Howe (32) Interactive Map


Fairfield shipyard workers aboard HMS Howe at Govan, Scotland, United Kingdom, Jul 1942HMS Howe at Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom, Jul 1942HMS Howe at Govan, Scotland, United Kingdom, circa 1942HMS Howe firing 2-pounder anti-aircraft guns while at sea in the Atlantic Ocean, 1942-1943; HMS Berwick in background; photo taken from HMS King George V
See all 17 photographs of Battleship Howe (32)

Howe Operational Timeline

28 Apr 1937 The British Royal Navy issued the order for the future battleship HMS Howe.
1 Jun 1937 The keel of HMS Howe was laid down by the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company at Govan, Scotland, United Kingdom.
9 Apr 1940 HMS Howe was launched at Govan, Scotland, United Kingdom.
31 Mar 1941 HMS Howe was completed.
29 Aug 1942 HMS Howe was commissioned into service.
30 Aug 1942 HMS Howe was assigned to the British Navy Home Fleet.
11 Jul 1943 HMS Howe bombarded Trapani and Favignana, Sicily, Italy.
12 Jul 1943 HMS Howe bombarded Trapani and Favignana, Sicily, Italy.
14 Sep 1943 HMS Howe escorted Italian battleship Vittorio Veneto and Italia to Alexandria, Egypt.
8 Aug 1944 HMS Howe arrived at Trincomalee, Ceylon.
8 Sep 1944 HMS Cumberland exercised with HM Battleship Howe, HMS London and HMS Gambia.
14 Sep 1944 HMS Cumberland provided cover with HMS Howe and Eastern Fleet cruisers during air operations by HM Aircraft Carriers Victorious and Indomitable carriers on Sigli, Northern Sumatra (Operation Light).
27 May 1958 HMS Howe was towed to Inverkeithing, Scotland, United Kingdom to be broken up by the firm T. W. Ward and Company.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Mrs c morgan says:
13 Jan 2018 01:41:36 AM

I would love more information, if possible, about my father who served on this ship in the war..
His name is John Stanley Upton, born in 1926.. sadly passed away now..
I am his daughter and I’d love more information and pictures, and details about his life and role aboard the HMS Howe.. many grateful thanks..
2. Anonymous says:
1 May 2018 05:15:42 AM

looking for any information on Douglas Francis beech who served on HMS Howe, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Greyhound between 1940 and 1945, this is the only information I have at the moment.
3. William Dyson says:
12 Aug 2018 01:45:56 PM

I’m searching for my fathers records on HMS Howe on or about 1943-1945.His name was Ernest Dyson born 1925 in Sheffield.He once had a book on said ship.regards
4. James Wa;sh says:
24 Sep 2018 01:59:56 PM

hi i collect trench art and iv came across a 2 and a half foot trench art boat and iv been looking to find who made it and try and find out the real history of it as it could be 1 of a kind can some one help me please
5. Sally says:
29 Jan 2019 04:42:09 PM

Looking for any information on my dad who served on hams Howe around 1945, his name was Edmond Charles malins, any help would be grateful appreciated
6. Anonymous says:
20 May 2019 05:51:16 AM

My grandfather was on the Howe I believe during the Russian convoys and Mediterranean battles. He would be made up as an officer in order to play for the ships soccer team. His name was John Griffith.
7. Susan Thomas says:
8 May 2020 07:04:41 AM

Looking for any information on a Frederick Joseph Powers (Fred) who served on hms Howe during world war 2, believe him to have been a radio operator? My father.
8. ian draper says:
8 Jun 2020 09:10:44 AM

My father Cyril George Draper was a Sick Berth Attendant onboard HMS Howe in the Pacific Theatre in the latter part of the war. I have photos he took during the journey out there. Anyone have any information about Howe at that time?
Ian Draper, S Northants area
9. Sharon says:
3 Jan 2021 12:38:28 PM

My grandad served on Hms Howe; his name was Harold Rand. I have many photos of him while in service and i was lucky enough to inherit his medals and his Royal navy Bible that he was issued with.
Sadly he passed away 4 or 5 years ago. If anyone else could give me anymore info I would be very great full
10. Paul Jarvis says:
31 Jan 2021 01:47:21 PM

My father Henry Jarvis served on HMS Howe from 1943.
11. Gemma Barrett says:
23 Apr 2021 04:32:43 AM

My Grandad served on HMS Howe and I am looking for more information if anyone could help. His name is Edward Rutherford, he has his medals and photos but love more info on the Howe and his time aboard.
12. sam clegg says:
10 May 2021 07:08:07 PM

my grandfather James (Jim) clegg served in ww2 on HMS Howe he passed away 3 years ago want to find out more for my son who was to young to know his great grandfather
13. Lynne Whitley says:
13 Mar 2023 03:22:48 AM

My father Sidney Hagan on radar and sonar, was on this ship ww2. Searching for info for my children and grandchildren

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More on Howe
Event(s) Participated:
» Arctic Convoys
» Invasion of Sicily and Italy's Surrender
» Operation Avalanche
» Okinawa Campaign

Battleship Howe (32) Photo Gallery
Fairfield shipyard workers aboard HMS Howe at Govan, Scotland, United Kingdom, Jul 1942
See all 17 photographs of Battleship Howe (32)

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