Operation Aintree (ii)

'Aintree' (ii) was the British naval undertaking in support of the delivery of the Duke of Gloucester to Australia, where he was to become the governor general (December 1944/28 January 1945).

The duke travelled in the requisitioned 16,504-ton passenger/cargo liner Rimutaka of the New Zealand Shipping Company. Among the ship’s ports of call was Colombo in Ceylon, which was reached on 9 January under escort of the light anti-aircraft cruiser Euryalus and destroyers Ulster and Urchin. On departure two days later the liner was escorted by the heavy cruiser Suffolk and destroyers Ulster and Urania. Off the south-west coast of Australia the three escorts departed for Fremantle after being relieved by the light cruiser Achilles and two destroyers of Admiral Sir Bruce Fraser’s British Pacific Fleet for completion of the voyage to Sydney.