Moments in the Life of HMS Vanguard
Diary of Events for  1952

The fleet sailed down the Clyde on a fine calm morning into the North Atlantic and from 13th to 24th September we fought two battles - one against our enemies in the make believe war of Exercise Mainbrace and the other against the fury of the sea. The Clyde was to be our last sighting of land until we arrived at Rosyth on 24th September to pick up the Commander-in-Chief and his staff who had conducted the exercise from the NATO headquarters at Pitreavie. During the night of 14th September we passed north of the Shetland Islands on a north easterly course headed for the replenishment area which we hoped to reach on the Tuesday. Whilst on passage we were operating with an American Group about fifteen miles away and our main effort was in providing a constant combat air patrol overhead and a sweep of anti-submarine aircraft ahead of the group. The day's flying programme was spread over 13 hours from just before sunrise and would consist of four jet attackers from HMS Eagle, Sea Furies and Fireflies from HMS Illustrious and Corsairs during the forenoon from the USS Wright. Our group was known as TGI75.I & TGI75.2.. TG174.1 & TG173 were a Hunter Killer Group and a Replenishment Group. The enemy raider (HMCS Quebec) was on her way south to attempt to destroy the Replenishment Group. We continued our course to the replenishment area which was in a position 65 deg. North 5 deg. East. A hunter killer anti-submarine group was some 180 miles ahead of us en-route for the same position. It had also been reported that an Orange (enemy) raider, a six inch gun Cruiser had been sighted leaving Narvik by our aircraft.

Some elements of Replenishment at Sea (RAS)