By Pierre Kosmidis
Photos by Cathy Gaffney
A series of previously unpublished photographs of HMS Howe, the last of the five British King George V-class battleships of the Royal Navy comes to light, thanks to Mrs. Cathy Gaffney.
These photos, which depict the daily lives of sailors aboard HMS Howe, as well as official ceremonies, are a great testament to the history of the Royal Navy during WW2.
We would like to ask for any info related to the high ranking officers and other persons appearing on these photos, as well as any other details regarding this WW2 Battleship.
Howe was completed on 29 August 1942 after her building time was extended, as needed war supplies were diverted to work of a higher priority such as the construction and repair of both merchant ships and escort ships. Like her sister-ship Anson, Howe spent most of her career in the Arctic providing cover for Russian convoys.
In 1943 Howe took part in Operation Husky and bombarded Trapani naval base and Favignana in support of the allied invasions. Along with King George V, Howe escorted two surrendered Italian battleships to Alexandria. Howe was also sent to the Pacific and attached to Task Force 113, where she provided naval bombardments for the Allied landings at Okinawa on 1 April 1945.
Following the end of the war, Howe spent four years as flagship of the Training Squadron at Portland, before she was placed in reserve in 1950. The battleship was marked for disposal in 1957, sold for scrap in 1958, and completely broken up by 1961.