Monday, May 9, 2011

HMS Queen Elizabeth at Craney Island

This is a picture of the British battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth at the Craney Island fuel depot, 1943.  The picture had been taken shortly after Norfolk Naval Shipyard completed a major repair project on the vessel.  The depot (located about half way down the Elizabeth River) had five piers to refuel warships, including one specifically for aircraft carriers and battleships. 

Italian naval commandos severly damaged the 33,000-ton warship on December 18, 1941.  The commandos mined Queen Elizabeth and the battleship HMS Warspite during a daring raid on the two ships' Alexandria, Egypt anchorage.   The Royal Navy conducted some temporary repairs on Queen Elizabeth, but only enough to allow the battleship to make it across the Atlantic Ocean to Hampton Roads.  The battleship was one of many Royal Navy ships Norfolk Naval Shipyard repaired during World War II.

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