- Churchill, Peter, Lieutenant Commander, RN (Rtd) and Payne, Alan
- Ship histories and stories
- None noted.
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- June 1979 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
On the 18th December Renown hoisted the flag of Vice-Admiral A.J. Power in command of the First Battle Squadron and as Second-in-Command, Eastern Fleet. She left Rosyth the same day for Scapa, and sailed from there on the 30th December with Queen Elizabeth and Valiant to join the Eastern Fleet, arriving at Colombo on the 27th January 1944. For most of that year Renown served as flagship of the V.A.2, Eastern Fleet. She served with the Fleet in company with Illustrious, USS Saratoga and FS Richelieu on several occasions. Renown also took part in the bombardment of Sourabaya and Sabang. Between 17th and 19th October, Renown was again in action during bombardments of the Nicobar Islands. The flag of the V.A.2, Eastern Fleet was struck on the 22nd November and Renown proceeded to Durban for refit.
After a refit at Durban Renown arrived at Trincomalee on the 7th March 1945. It was then decided to bring her home in anticipation that the Germans, whose bases on the eastern Baltic had become untenable, might stage a breakout ‘deathride’ operation similar to that planned in 1918, but this did not materialise. Renown left Colombo on 30th March and arrived at Rosyth on the 15th April. On the 11th May German naval delegates arrived in Rosyth by air from Norway bringing details of the German minefields and swept channels. The meeting with them was held on board Renown. Next day the ship left for Portsmouth where some of her 4.5 inch turrets were removed for ships under construction.
On the 20th July Renown arrived at Plymouth for her last Royal occasion and this time the President of the United States, Mr. Truman dined on board Renown as the guest of His Majesty King George VI on the 2nd August. Peter Churchill had left the ship on arrival at Portsmouth in May. However Renown gave a cocktail party in Plymouth Sound on the 18th August and one of the guests was Alan Payne, who was very impressed with the battle cruiser.
At the end of the year Renown was reduced to Reserve at Plymouth. The decision to scrap the Renown was announced on the 21st January 1948, and on the 3rd August she left Plymouth in tow for shipbreakers on the Clyde. There had been some talk of giving the ship a major refit, but it was finally decided not to. Both Renown and Repulse were wonderful ships in spite of what their critics may say. Renown was in fact in many ways a better battle cruiser than the German Scharnhorst, she certainly packed a much heavier punch, and if she had been as fast as Gneisenau would probably have sunk her.