January 18 (Thurs) 1945, Alexandria, Egypt

Another week much the same as last, although we are obviously making progress as the exercises are becoming more like the real thing. [HMCS] Uganda has been assisting. This last statement may be technically incorrect as I believe [HMCS] Uganda is senior ship & is probably in charge of the exercises.

HMS Ceylon deliberately listing for an exercise, 1953. Image copr. IWM HU129765

We were supposed to leave harbour on Tuesday morning but just after Special Sea Duty – men had closed up [assembled], a signal was received from RAL [Rear Admiral Alexandria] cancelling exercises for the day. Instead we carried out some of Thursday’s program & let the Damage Control experts have a “field day”. To give them a clear run hands [sailors] were closed up at Action Stations for most of the forenoon. A list was developed and there were power failures, giving us a good opportunity to exercise working the machinery by hand.

Wednesday morning, we proceeded to sea & carried out a 6″ sub-calibre shoot. Alternative forms of control were tested with success.

A night scene with 3 star shells, P M Scott. Image copr. IWM Art.IWMARTLD5680

Later, in company with [HMCS] Uganda, we were subjected to dummy Dive bombing attacks by Spitfires. This was for the benefit of the close range armament. Exercises were carried out with HM S/M Unswerving [submarine] for an hour in the early afternoon. On completion, destroyer [HMS] Exmoor was secured on the starboard side by spring & breast and 8 tons of oil were discharged to it. Although there were a couple of slight hitches, this manoeuvre can be considered as having gone off very well indeed. After slipping [HMS] Exmoor, stooged about for a while before commencing RIX [Range and Inclination Exercise] with [HMCS] Uganda. Later did a night encounter exercise with it. Its star shell [for illumination] was quite good but ours was very poor. When finished, both anchored in Mex Roads for night.


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