The second HMS King George V (pennant number 41) was the lead ship of the five British King George V-class battleships of the Royal Navy (RN). Laid down in 1937 and commissioned in 1940, King George V operated during World War II as part of the British Home Fleet and the British Pacific Fleet, along with transporting Winston Churchill to the Tehran Conference.
Following the end of the war, King George V spent three years as flagship of the British Home Fleet, before she was placed into reserve in 1949. The battleship was scrapped in Dalmuir 8 years later.
King George V (KG5) began convoy escort duties in February 1941. The ship also took part in an unsuccessful search for the German warships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau during the Kriegsmarine Operation Berlin.
The ship was made the flagship of the Home Fleet under the command of Admiral Sir John Tovey after the destruction of HMS Hood, and was involved in the chase and the sinking of Hood's opponent, the German battleship Bismarck. On 27 May 1941, she fired 339 x 14 inch and 660 x 5.25 inch shells at Bismarck. King George's shellfire helped damage the Bismarck's superstructure and disable its main armament. At 10:39 that morning, Bismarck sank.
HMS King George V in Tokyo harbour, 1945. USS Missouri is visible in the background.
While escorting convoy PQ-15 to Murmansk on 1 May 1942, King George V collided with the destroyer HMS Punjabi, resulting in the sinking of the latter ship with 49 crew, and bow damage to the battleship.
In the Mediterranean, King George V covered the Operation Husky landings at Sicily, as well as transporting the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, back to Britain from the Tehran Conference.
From 1944 until the surrender of Japan, King George V served with the British Pacific Fleet, and was present off Japan during the official surrender ceremony.
She was recommissioned as flagship of the Home Fleet in 1946. Just three years later, King George V was decommissioned into the Reserve Fleet and subsequently scrapped at Dalmuir in 1957.