Auxiliary Anti-Aircraft Cruiser, HMS Palomares (F98) - "Dovecote of War"

Would you like to see HMS Palomares (F98) in game?
  • Yes, as a tech tree vehicle
  • Yes, as a premium vehicle
  • Yes, as an event vehicle
  • Yes, as a squadron vehicle
  • No, I would not like to see Palomares in game.
0 voters


Side profile of Palomares at sea in 1941.


HMS Palomares was an auxiliary anti-aircraft cruiser of the Royal Navy converted from a merchant vessel in August 1940. Similarly to the other auxiliary anti-aircraft cruisers of the Royal Navy, she began life as a merchant vessel before being requisitioned and converted by the Royal Navy. She was outfitted with three twin 4" DP guns, two quad pom-poms, and two quad Vickers .50 caliber guns, and would begin service in 1941. She was dispatched as an escort vessel for the Arctic convoys, where on June 27 1942 she would join the convoy PQ 17. This convoy would end up being disastrous as the escort force was taken away from the merchant ships to intercept the German battleship Tirpitz. Tirpitz never showed, and with the escort force thinned, U-boats and bombers had free reign to attack the merchant ships. The next convoy to Russia, PQ 18, went much better for Palomares and the rest of the battle group.


Palomares at sea in the Arctic, July 1942.

Palomares eventually found her way into the Mediterranean for Operation Torch. She was used as an anti-aircraft vessel to support the Allied landings in North Africa. During this time, on November 9, 1942, Palomares would take a direct hit from an aircraft bomb and two more were near misses. The aft end of the ship was completely wrecked with serious loss of life. She was put out of action for seven months, and during this time would be refit as a Landing Ship, Fighter Direction vessel. These essentially were mobile radar arrays, serving as H.Q.s for fighter operations against enemy aircraft. She maintained a heavy anti-aircraft armament in this form but lost her main guns. Palomares filled this role in landings at Salerno and Anzio. During the latter, she struck a sea mine on January 21st, 1944, which put her out of action until just before the end of the war. After the war was over, she was able to be converted back to a civilian vessel, as which she was wrecked in 1961.


HMS Palomares (F98)


  • Length: 308 ft. 0 in. (93.9 m)
  • Beam: 45 ft. 1 in. (13.7 m)

Displacement: 4,540 tons

Propulsion: 1 x diesel engine

Max Speed: 14.5 kt (16.7 mph, 26.9 km/h)


  • Primary: 3 x 2 4" DP cannon
  • Secondary: 2 x 4 40mm pom-pom
  • Additional: 2 x 4 .50 caliber Vickers machine guns


Unfortunately, there are very few concrete specifications concerning Palomares, and most of the ones published online are probably wrong. With Gaijin’s resources, though, I believe this ship could be modeled accurately and have a new life in War Thunder. I believe she would fit well as a top-rank vessel for the British coastal forces.