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Pennant Number: 69
Notes: This class resembled the preceding KENT class, but was not fitted with bulges. A catapult with one aircraft was installed in 1933. In 1937, the four single "pom-poms" were replaced by four more 4" guns. Plans were drawn up in 1936 for the reconstruction of the entire class; as it turns out, only LONDON was refitted. This reconstruction was done from December 1938 through March, 1941, and considerably altered LONDON in appearance; she somewhat resembled the FIJI class of light cruisers. It has been noted that her new appearance confused British observers, and must have had a similar effect on her enemies. (Raven and Roberts, BRITISH CRUISERS OF WORLD WAR II, p. 264; see Bibliography.) A 3.5" armored belt was added; her three funnels re-trunked into two; a cross-deck catapult, cranes and two hangars were added, with aircraft capacity increased to three; the single 4" guns were removed and replaced by four twin 4" mounts, and 16 2-pdr. "pom-poms" were added (two octuple mounts, one on the roof of each hangar). Unfortunately, the added weight overstressed the hull, and considerable trouble was experienced until the hull was strengthened in a refit from October, 1941 through January, 1942, and again from December, 1942 through May, 1943.
During World War II, LONDON had six single 40mm Bofors and 20 - 20mm AA guns added. In 1943, her aircraft and catapult was removed. LONDON served with Home Fleet through 1944, when she was transferred to the Eastern Fleet, where she served through the end of 1949. LONDON's 20mm guns were removed in late 1945. In 1949, she was damaged by Chinese shore batteries while aiding in the rescue of the sloop AMETHYST on the Yangtze. In the period following World War II, consideration was given to refitting LONDON for further service; there was sufficient space for new equipment as well as use as a flagship, her range was excellent, and she was suitable for use in hot climates. However, her years of service had taken their toll, and nearly all of her machinery had reached the end of its service life; replacement was not considered to be cost- effective. LONDON was sold for breaking up and scrapped at Barrow in January, 1950.