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Rodney file photo [29759]


CountryUnited Kingdom
Ship ClassNelson-class Battleship
Hull Number29
BuilderCammell Laird, Birkenhead, England, United Kingdom
Laid Down28 Dec 1922
Launched17 Dec 1925
Commissioned10 Nov 1927
Displacement34,270 tons standard; 38,030 tons full
Length710 feet
Beam106 feet
Draft31 feet
Machinery8 Admiralty 3-drum oil-fired boilers, 2 Brown-Curtis geared turbine sets, 2 shafts
Power Output45,000 shaft horsepower
Speed23 knots
Range14,500nm at 10 knots
Armament3x3x16in Mk I guns, 6x2x6in Mk XXII guns, 6x4.7in Mk VIII anti-aircraft guns, 8x2pdr anti-aircraft guns, 2x620mm torpedo tubes
Armor330-356mm belt, 111-162mm deck, 305-381mm barbettes, 229-406mm turrets, 254-256mm conning tower, 102-305mm bulkheads


ww2dbaseHMS Rodney entered British Royal Navy service in 1927. Like her sister ship HMS Nelson, all of her primary guns were unusually placed forward of the superstructure. Although her armor protection was less than originally designed (due to the Washington Naval Treaty limitations), she was considered one of the world's most powerful battleships through the 1930s. Her pre-WW2 career saw her with the Atlantic Fleet and with the Home Fleet. During the German invasion of Norway, she operated off the coast in support of the ground operations; on 9 Apr 1940, off Karm√ły, she was hit by a German aerial bomb that penetrated the armored deck but failed to explode. After the completion of the Norwegian campaign, she returned to Britain, from where she would guard against any potential German cross English Channel operations and would set sail to escort convoys crossing the Atlantic Ocean to and from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. In Jan 1941, she participated in the failed search for German warships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. On 16 Mar 1941, while escorting a convoy, she made contact with potential German raiders, but no action ensued as the Germans were under orders to avoid confrontation. In May 1941, while escorting the troop ship Britannic to Canada, she received new orders to intercept German battleship Bismarck; action was engaged in the early morning of 27 May, during which HMS Rodney hit Bismarck several times (including one battleship-to-battleship torpedo hit, the only time in history such situation had occurred), contributing decisively to Bismarck's eventual demise. After some time spent in Boston, Massachusetts, United States, then a non-belligerent nation, for repairs, she joined Force H in Gibraltar, from where she would escort convoys to Malta. She returned to Britain in Nov 1941, and shortly afterwards served briefly from Iceland. In Nov 1942, she supported the Operation Torch landings in North Africa. In 1943, she supported the landings at Sicily and Salerno in Italy. She returned to the Home Fleet in Oct 1943. Her final major responsibility took place during the Allied Cross-Channel invasion, during which she bombarded German defensive positions and routes of transportation along the Normandie coast in France. In Sep 1944, she covered convoys going to and returning from Murmansk, Russia. Having covered 156,000 nautical miles between 1942 and 1945 without going through scheduled maintenance due to war demands, she was deemed to be in poor mechanical shape at the war's end. She was scrapped in 1948.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: May 2013

Battleship Rodney (29) Interactive Map


HMS Rodney firing a salvo, 1936A sailor in his bunk aboard HMS Rodney, 1940
See all 50 photographs of Battleship Rodney (29)

Rodney Operational Timeline

28 Dec 1922 The keel of Rodney was laid down by the firm Cammell Laird at Birkenhead, England, United Kingdom.
17 Dec 1925 Battleship Rodney was launched at Birkenhead, England, United Kingdom, sponsored by Princess Mary, the daughter of King George V.
10 Nov 1927 HMS Rodney was commissioned into service.
30 Oct 1939 U-56 fired three G7e (TII) torpedoes on HMS Rodney near the Orkney Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom; all three missed the target, but two of them hit HMS Nelson situated directly behind HMS Rodney.
9 Apr 1940 HMS Rodney was hit by a German aerial bomb off Karm√ły, Norway; the bomb failed to detonate.
13 Sep 1940 HMS Rodney arrived at Rosyth, Scotland, United Kingdom.
20 Apr 1941 British anti-submarine trawler HMT Topaze was accidentally rammed by British battleship HMS Rodney and sank in the Clyde Estuary, Scotland, United Kingdom, killing 18.
26 Apr 1941 British freighters Clan Chattan, Clan Campbell, Clan Lamont, Empire Song, and New Zealand Star, carrying 295 tanks for Egypt, departed from the Clyde in Scotland, United Kingdom in Operation Tiger. They were escorted by battleship HMS Rodney, cruiser HMS Naiad, destroyer HMS Havelock, destroyer HMS Hesperus, and destroyer Harvester.
24 May 1941 HMS Rodney received orders to abandon her sortie to Boston, Massachusetts, United States for repairs and instead turn north to attempt to intercept and engage Bismarck.
27 May 1941 HMS King George V and HMS Rodney closed to within 23,000 yards of Bismarck and opened fire.
12 Jun 1941 HMS Rodney arrived at Boston Navy Yard in Massachusetts, United States to commence a refit. She would remain in Boston for one month. Many crewmembers stayed with local Boston families during the refit.
17 Jun 1943 The Royal Navy battleships HMS Nelson (flying the flag of Vice-Admiral Algernon Willis) and HMS Rodney plus a large squadron sailed from Scapa Flow to join the largest invasion fleet yet mustered in World War II - 280 warships, 320 merchantmen, 2,125 landing craft and smaller vessels - for Operation Husky, the Sicilian landings.
7 Jun 1944 HMS Rodney collided with LCT 427 off Portsmouth, England, slicing the LCT in half and killing all 13 British Royal Navy personnel aboard the LCT.
26 Mar 1948 Rodney began to be scrapped at Inverkeithing, Scotland, United Kingdom.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Jenny says:
31 Jul 2015 07:40:48 AM

Can I get a crew list from the HMS Norfolk and the HMS Rodney, I am looking for Maurice Goodwin who was on one of these ships, Thank you
2. Anonymous says:
14 Aug 2015 02:51:43 PM

Jenny, Rodney crew list: http://www.geocities.ws/Pentagon/Quarters/4433/crewlisting/crewlisting.htm I dont think it is complete but it has many names. There is an excellent facebook group for Rodney, lots of images and friendly help.
3. Anonymous says:
30 Apr 2016 09:55:25 AM

Can please tell me if , hms rodey had a e. Leivers in its crew please
4. Larris grant says:
5 Jul 2016 01:52:04 AM

Hi just wondering if anyone had a crew list from 1942 onwards trying to find information on my grandad Benjamin Peck.

Many thanks
5. Anne Tiplady says:
12 Aug 2016 02:20:19 AM

Wishing to locate my father Leslie Tiplady and my Uncle Eric Tiplady.. Their service numbers they served between 1941 - 1943.. Thank you
6. David Creevy says:
15 Oct 2016 03:51:14 AM

My uncle sadly passed away a couple of years ago but was always very proud of his time on HMS Rodney. It would be a great memory for our family if we could locate him on the crews listings. John 'Johnny' Williams. Uncle John was from the Stepny Green area
7. susan horseman says:
11 Nov 2016 04:03:42 PM

Remembering my uncle, marine Leslie Hallifax, who was accidentally killed on board hms Rodney 4.12.1944, on this Remembrance Day!
8. Carol says:
15 Dec 2016 01:11:15 PM

I think my dad was on the hms rodney in ww2. I remember him saying something about the Russian convoys, is this correct his name was Albert Hickman. I would be pleased for any information.
9. Dave Jenks says:
3 Jan 2017 07:51:55 AM

I spotted this video on the the web;
One of the seamen in the engine room appears to be named S. JENKS. He doesn't appear in the crew list for 1944, does anyone know anything about him?

Kind Regards
Dave Jenks
02 January 2017
10. Patricia Francetti says:
11 Mar 2017 08:21:15 AM

Could anyone tell me when my father Edward Burton was on the Rodney he was a stoker in ww2
11. Keith says:
11 Jul 2017 12:49:55 AM

I have my Grandfathers Royal Navy service record which clearly places him on board HMS Rodney during WW2 however he doesnt appear on any of the published crew lists. His name was Edward Handy Worley and he was a Petty Officer Gunner. Does anyone have any information on why he is not on any crew lists?
I also have access to loads of photographs of him during his time on there including the period that the ship was in South Boston Navy Yard.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
12. Jim Walker says:
3 Sep 2017 08:36:16 AM

Hi Keith,my dad,Frederick John Walker,served aboard H M S Rodney and spoke fondly of their time in Boston.He mentioned singing,drinking,guiness and having a great time with his fellow crew mates.I would love to see the photos you mention.Thanks,Jim Walker.
13. Albert says:
8 Sep 2017 08:27:59 PM

Hi Keith, I'm also interested in any photos and info of Mr Worley time here in Boston. Was he welcomed by the civilians? Where was he quartered while in Boston?
Lend lease seems to have given Rodney a better welcome in Boston than Graf Spee got in Uruguay

14. Albert says:
8 Sep 2017 08:30:35 PM

Hi Keith, I'm also interested in any photos and info of Mr Worley time here in Boston. Was he welcomed by the civilians? Where was he quartered while in Boston?
Lend lease seems to have given Rodney a better welcome in Boston than Graf Spee got in Uruguay

15. Brian Reis says:
17 Sep 2017 09:39:16 PM

Hector Gatley, first cousin, once removed, served on Rodney during the war. Are there any crew lists available that would yield more info?
16. John crawford says:
17 Nov 2017 05:50:59 AM

I am trying to find out when my father Henry Crawford served on HMS Rodney during the war.

Regards John
17. Gordon says:
14 Jan 2018 10:44:11 AM

Albert, My Grandparents lived in the area at the time, and on several occasions provided a home cooked meal and lively conversation in a break from the routine. I have a couple of photographs of a small 1942 HMS Rodney calendar, signed by Michael Fitzgerald that was given as a memento to my grandparents in appreciation for their hospitality. My mother who was about 9 at the time, remembers being woken several times throughout the night by the sound of great joy and laughter.

Gordon McAdams
18. eddy Burton says:
13 Mar 2018 02:08:09 PM

My father Alf Burton served on the Rodney as Engineer. He died in Jan aged 98. I found a photo taken in Boston of family called Green. There was a Dorothy George, Marjorie, Mr Mrs Green, Miss Thayer and Ida.He often spoke of his time in USA during war and how kind everyone was to him! So thanks from me too!ps Its a lovely photo!
19. Anonymous says:
19 Apr 2018 12:40:44 PM

does anyone know of my great grandfather: david thomas henry thomas? i heard he served in 1941 and was present at the sinking of the bismarck. he married an italian woman whilestationed
20. David Price says:
15 May 2018 12:55:53 PM

I have been informed that my Great uncle Charles Price served on the Rodney during the war. Can anybody verify this and tell me when he served on her if at all?
21. Jay Howson says:
23 Jun 2018 09:26:32 AM

I got some things from my Father after he passed away. He was with the 407th Canadian sub chasers Squadron. In his things was a Silver Cigarette Case with the HMS Rodney seal on it. Have no idea who gave it to him
22. Anonymous says:
2 Jan 2019 11:44:47 AM

is there a crew list or information I can find about my father Thomas dennis Thomas who served on hms Rodney, and hms Sylvia during the war.
23. Mark Corr says:
20 Nov 2019 02:52:33 PM

My great uncle served on the Rodney versus the Bismarck. I dont know his first name -- my grandmother had long since left England and did not discuss her family. His brother Lt Commander John Lee Machin was killed on the HMS Hood in battle with the Bismarck. When they refit in Boston afterward, they had to get rid of a mascot (monkey) and my Dad took it. I'd like to learn more about her family.
24. James Duff says:
27 Mar 2020 12:40:14 PM

The photograph on the page captioned as HMS Rodney isn't Rodney but HMS Nelson. The disruptive pattern camouflage schemes carried by the two sisters was completely different and very distinctive from one another.
25. Commenter identity confirmed C. Peter Chen says:
29 Mar 2020 10:21:32 AM

Thanks James Duff, we have made the correction.
26. Anonymous says:
11 Jun 2020 08:40:37 AM

Looking for information on an officer on HMS Rodney during WW2, Frank/Francis Jeune who was my Godfather.
27. Rodney says:
14 Oct 2020 03:22:06 PM

My Father [Charles Alfred Burton] was on HMS Rodney as an ERA from 9 Jul 1940 to 10 April 1942. After Bismarck action the ship was in Boston for refit work between June and August 1941. He stayed with a family named Green and became good friends. Has anyone got some leads as to how I try and trace the family?
28. John cowleyAnonymous says:
20 Nov 2020 07:50:43 AM

My father Samuel John Cowley served as stoker on Rodney, trying to find where and when it was
29. Leo says:
21 Nov 2020 05:34:43 AM

In response to anonymous 26's question.
My Grandfather was Francis William Jeune, a Jerseyman who served on HMS Rodney.
Please email myself on
leowilliamjeune@gmail.com if you wanted to get in touch,
30. John cannon says:
2 Dec 2020 10:20:18 AM

My uncle
John served on the HMS Rodney
Was in the battle with the Bismarck
I would like to know more
31. Rodney jennings says:
28 Apr 2021 09:13:04 AM

My dad was on the Rodney during the battle with the Bismark his name was Tommy Jennings
32. Chris Hardy says:
29 Apr 2021 07:24:43 AM

My Dad samuel Hardy was posted on the Rodney. He worked in the engine room as a stoker after the war he was a electrician. He was on ship during the battle with Bismarck, Maltaand the refit in Boston. Just looked at a photo of him with a star and what looks like a sub or torpedo shape badge on his tunic does this mean anything in better understanding his service. As he never said much
Regards Chris
33. Jo says:
26 May 2021 04:58:36 AM

My dad served on Rodney after the battle with Bismarck. He was an O.S then A.S. His papers say he was in Communications? Anyone know what that involved?
34. Barrie Davies says:
29 May 2021 06:07:01 PM

I was always told my grandfather, Richard Davies, was on HMS Rodney. I'm unsure of the dates but he stayed in Rosyth, Scotland after the vessel was based there in 1940. He was originally from Liverpool - Wallasey - but remained in Fife until his death in 1985. I wondered if anyone could shed any light on his time on board, as I can't find any details of him on the crew manifest?
35. Ian says:
19 Oct 2021 07:52:59 AM

I knew a gentleman who was at the sinking of the Bismarck .
He said the final action was bloody murder.
36. Graham Field says:
30 Oct 2021 01:20:33 PM

I understand my father was a junior officer at the time of the Bismark sinking.
How long was he on board
37. tony wood says:
31 Oct 2021 09:17:18 AM

i have a photo of my father Bert wood he is in full navel uniform on his cap the HMS Rodney he would have been in 18 in 1941 he was a prisoner of war for the last 2 years of the war he never spoke much about the war he died 16 years ago can i find out if he was on the Rodney when the Bismark was sank
38. Andrew Stone says:
4 Nov 2021 09:02:08 AM

Does anyone know my grandad Ernest Cecil Stone? He served on HMS Rodney between 1930 and 1932. I have a painting of him stood in his uniform on the deck of HMS Rodney. Please contact me with any information. Thank you.
39. james stenhouse says:
14 Nov 2021 08:57:25 AM

do you have any crew photos, my father was, Chief Petty Officer Stoker, Daniel Stenhouse
40. Rodney adamson says:
18 Nov 2021 10:34:26 PM

Hello I know my grandad was on the Rodney as a gunner in the Second World War, his name was John Adamson.
That is all I know I would love to find out more about him.
He called my dad after the ship my dad named me after the ship and I named my son after the ship. Any help would be much appreciated.
Regards Rodney.
41. Phil Cooper says:
24 Sep 2022 04:04:52 AM

My dad served on HMS Rodney for much of the war.
42. Keith England says:
23 Oct 2022 05:02:00 AM

My late father-in-law served on H.M.S Rodney during the sinking of the Bismarck. I'm looking for information about him and his service record for my wife (his daughter). His name was Frederick John Marshalll from Cornwall. Thankyou
43. Anonymous says:
9 Sep 2023 04:17:31 PM

My uncle John Kelly was on the
H M s Rodney when it went in to battle with the Bismarck
44. Anonymous says:
5 Dec 2023 04:16:30 PM

Can you get list of all served on the Rodney my grandad John jack salmon did
45. Glenn Sharpe says:
24 Feb 2024 08:37:28 AM

Looking for information of my father's (Boyce Gordon Sharpe) service aboard. HMS Rodney. He was a Newfoundlander.

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More on Rodney
Event(s) Participated:
» Invasion of Denmark and Norway
» Malta Campaign
» Battle of Denmark Strait
» Arctic Convoys
» Operation Torch
» Invasion of Sicily and Italy's Surrender
» Operation Avalanche
» Normandy Campaign, Phase 1

Battleship Rodney (29) Photo Gallery
HMS Rodney firing a salvo, 1936A sailor in his bunk aboard HMS Rodney, 1940
See all 50 photographs of Battleship Rodney (29)

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