When I was in Mongolia I was looking for something a little different to paint up, but still on a nautical theme. I’d already ordered from Navwar some World War 2 Italian and French vessels, had the Battle of Jutland set as well as the Battle of Matapan set and had rounded those sets off with the Austrian and Italian fleets from World War 1 and the American and Japanese fleets from the Battle of the Philippine Seas. What would fit with all that and be a little out of the ordinary. World War 1 French came to mind as did the US and Japanese fleets from World War 1. I also thought about Greeks, Turks and other smaller navies from World War 1. Then I opened a book to read, Task Force 57: British Pacific Fleet, 1944-45 (Crécy soft cover), by Peter C Smith, which was about the British Pacific Fleet in 1944 and 1945. Perfect! Something slightly out of the ordinary and that would fit in with the Philippine Sea set.
The British put together a fleet supporting the efforts against the Japanese in the Pacific. Whilst this fleet was somewhat smaller than the equivalent US fleets, it was still quite sizeable. The British Pacific Fleet was the most powerful conventional war fleet assembled by the Royal Navy. Its home base was Sydney. At the end of the war in the Pacific it consisted of four battleships, eighteen aircraft carriers, eleven cruisers and many destroyers, auxiliaries and so on.
The United States Navy had control of Allied operations in the Pacific Ocean Areas during World War 2 and so gave the British Pacific Fleet the designation of Task Force 57 when it joined Admiral Raymond Spruance’s United States Fifth Fleet on 15 March 1945. On 27 May 1945, it became Task Force 37 when it became part of Admiral William Halsey’s United States Third Fleet. I’m referring to it here as Task Force 57 though as that was the name of the book 🙂
The vessels I purchased to make Task Force 57 I chose based on the contents of Smith’s book as well as the contents of the Navwar catalogue. The vessels selected were (and all are HMS except where noted):
|Battleship||King George V||King George V, Duke of York, Anson, Howe||N1103A|
|Carriers||Illustrious||Formidable, Indomitable, Illustrious, Implacable||N1203|
|Colossus||Colossus, Glory, Venerable, Vengeance||N1202|
|Escort Carriers||Attacker||Striker, Chaser, Fencer||N1215|
|Ruler||Arbiter, Ruler, Slinger, Speaker, Reaper||N1221|
|Campania||Vindex – from the merchant Campania||N1218|
|Crusiers||Fiji||Bermuda, HMNZS Gambia, Newfoundland,||N1315|
|Leander||HMNZS Achilles||N1322 ((I already had this vessel as part of my Battle of the River Plate collection))|
|Swiftsure||Swiftsure, HMCS Ontario||N1314|
|Black Prince||Bellona||N1316 ((see Dido))|
|Mine Layers||Apollo||Apollo, Ariadne||N1714|
|Auxiliary Anti-Aircraft||HMCS Prince Rupert||No model|
|Destroyer Depot Ships||Tyne||N1610|
|Destroyers||N Class||HMAS Napier, HMAS Nepal, HMAS Nizam, HMAS Norman||N1510|
|Q and R Class||Quillian, Quadrant, Quality, HMAS Queenborough, HMAS Quiberon, HMAS Quickmatch||N1507A|
|T Class||Teazer, Tenacious, Termagant, Terpsichore, Troubridge, Tumult, Tuscan, Tyrian||N1506|
|U Class||Grenville, Ulster, Ulysses, Undaunted, Undine, Urania, Urchin, Ursa||N1506|
|W Class||Kempenfelt, Wager, Wakeful, Wessex, Whelp, Whirlwind, Wizard, Wrangler||N1506|
|Battle Class||Armada, Barfleur, Camperdown, Trafalgar||N1505|
|O and P class||Penn||N1507|
|Town Class||Lewes ((ex US Navy))||N1517|
|V Class||HMCS Algonquin||N1506|
OK, that is as far as I got. I know that the British Pacific Fleet also included a fair number of Frigates, Sloops, Corvettes and Submarines but I did not get around to purchasing them. The last thing I purchased was aircraft – lots of 1/3000th aircraft models. Originally I had planned on mounting these on stands to show incoming air attacks as well as the Combat Air Patrols over the fleet but I got to thinking that the aircraft components are better handled by using 1/1200th models – so I’ll get around to purchasing some of them in the future. In the meantime, all the aircraft I did purchase will go on the decks of the aircraft carriers.
There were 34 squadrons embarked on the carriers of Task Force 57. The picture to the right is from the Fleet Air Arm Archive website – very useful for aircraft information for Fleet Air Arm aircraft and shows Corsairs on the deck of HMS Victorious. The aircraft used by the this Fleet were:
For the record, I’ll add the extra ships here along with the Navwar codes thatI have found for anyone looking to add the extra ships.
|Frigates||River Class||Aire, Avon, Barle, Derg, Findhorn, Helford, Odzani, Parret, Plym, Usk||N1728|
|Bay Class Anti-aircraft||Bigbury Bay, Veryan Bay, Whitesand Bay, Widemouth Bay||N1730|
|Sloops||Black Swan Class||Alacrity, Amethyst, Black Swan, Crane, Cygnet, Erne, Flamingo, Hart, Hind, Opossum, Pheasant, Redpole, Starling, Whimbrel, Woodcock, Wren||N1722|
|Bittern Class||Enchantress, Stork|
|Corvettes||Flower Class||HMNZS Arbutus||N1719|
|Bathurst Class ((I am not sure why this is not modelled as there were about 60 of them built – certainly far more than the Insect class river gunboats))||HMAS Ballarat, HMAS Bendigo, HMAS Burnie, HMAS Cairns, HMAS Cessnock, HMAS Gawler, HMAS Geraldton, HMAS Goulburn, HMAS Ipswich, HMAS Kalgoorlie, HMAS Launceston, HMAS Lismore, HMAS Maryborough, HMAS Pirie, HMAS Tamworth, HMAS Toowoomba, HMAS Whyalla, HMAS Wollongong,|
|Submarines||Grampus Class mine-layer||Porpoise, Rorqual||N1606|
|S Class||Sanguine, Scotsman, Sea Devil, Sea Nymph, Sea Scout, Selene, Sidon, Sleuth, Solent, Spark, Spearhead, Stubborn, Stygian, Supreme||N1604|
|T Class||Taciturn, Tapir, Taurus, Terrapin, Thorough, Thule, Tiptoe, Totem, Trenchant, Trump, Tudor, Turpin||N1601|
|V Class||Virtue, Voracious, Vox|
- I have not included the Fleet Train, Landing Ships, Oilers and such here – buy Smith’s book and look them up – there are a lot of vessels there.
The best source for all this information comes from Smith’s book, Task Force 57 mentioned above, pages 178-185