Passenger Liner requisitioned on 28th August
1939 and hired for use as
an Armed Merchant Cruiser. The ship was to
have been named METAPEDIA but was
later renamed MONTCLARE. She was ordered
from John Brown at Clydebank and
launched on 18th December 1921. Her
machinery was provided by Harland and Wolff
and on completion she was deployed for
cross-Atlantic passenger trade. Details
of her tonnage and machinery as well as her
armament during naval service are
given in the General Description information
for Armed Merchant Cruisers, This
ship was converted for deployment as an
Armed Merchant Cruiser and retained her
mercantile name which had not previously
been borne by an RN ship. She carried
out trade protection duties until 1943 when
she was purchased outright by the
Admiralty and selected for further use as a
Depot Ship for destroyers. The ship
then underwent an extensive conversion for
her new role and was allocated for
service in the Pacific..
On return to UK after the end
of hostilities she was again converted to
suit the support of submarines and
served in the Clyde until 1955 when she was
placed in Reserve until being sold
in 1957 for demolition.
a t t l e
H o n o u r s
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D a t a
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o t t o
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u m m a r
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v i c e
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9 3 9
Requisitioned by the Admiralty at
Liverpool and hired for naval use.
Retained her mercantile name and
renamed HMS MONTCLARE in accordance
in hand at Barrow in Furness
for conversion to suit use as an Armed
an interim measure ship was fitted with WW1
vintage 6in guns
and two 3in AA guns.
fittings of a flammable nature were removed
and in order to improve buoyancy
space and compartments not required were
filled with empty steel drums wooden
Conversion in continuation.
Formally Commissioned for war
service with naval personnel.
Allocated for service based at
Freetown for defence of convoys to and
from West Africa.
proportion of the ships company were
merchant navy personnel under a T124
Agreement with the
crews and communications personnel were
personnel were given naval rank.)
Worked up and took
passage to Scapa Flow
Freetown to join South Atlantic Command.
arrival deployment at
Freetown cancelled due to lack of fresh
water facilities adequate
the escort of convoy to UK and immediate
return to Freetown.
Joined escort for Convoy SL7 to UK.
On arrival reallocated for Northern
details see ARMED MERCHANT CRUISERS by K Poolman
and ENGAGE THE
ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C
Deployed for patrol in
9 4 0
in Denmark Strait for
interception of blockade runners and
Weather conditions deteriorated
after first week.
to Clyde on relief.
Withdrawn for completion of conversion.
(Note: 6in guns
were replaced by newer 5.5in mountings and
both 3in AA replaced
fire control equipment was fitted for main
out post conversion trials and shakedown
worked up for operational service
for trade defence and escort
9 4 1
defence and convoy escort in continuation.
in West Indies
9 4 2
trade defence and
convoy escort in continuation.
9 4 3
defence and convoy
escort in continuation
(Note: Despite the
incessant U-Boat Group attacks on Atlantic
90% of convoys arrived at its destination
HITLER'S U-BOAT WAR by C Blair).
Future deployment of
Armed Merchant Cruisers under review.
The need for this
type of auxiliary warship was diminishing
construction was becoming available for
from service as an Armed Merchant Cruiser. Paid
operations had been severely restricted in
defensive armament and to introduce
U-BOAT WAR IN THE ATLANTIC (HMSO),
STRIKE by W Hackmann.and
WAR by C Blair.
for conversion to suit use as a
Destroyer Depot Ship.
in hand for extensive conversion, by Harland
Wolff at Belfast
9 4 4
conversion at Belfast
in British Pacific Fleet.
Allocated for duty
at Forward Base as part of British Pacific
service and completed to full
Pacific Fleet was formed in November from
ships serving in the East Indies
Fleets and others
nominated or suitable ships on passage
9 4 5
completion took passage to Manus in
Admiralty Islands to support of
Fleet in Task Force 57
British Pacific Fleet Train was identified
as Task Force 112 and
some of the
were already deployed in the Pacific
Flagship HMS LOTHIAN arrived at Manus on 2nd
March and had proved to
unsuited for this task. See THE FORGOTTEN
by J Winton.
and WAR WITH
at Manus for support of destroyers in BPF.
Rear Admiral DB
Fisher, Flag Officer Fleet Train and staff
joined ship from HMS LOTHIAN.
officers and ratings together with equipment
from Manus to Brisbane.
Ships of BPF were returning to Australian
ports for maintenance and leave after
part in Operation
ICEBERG II in Sakishima
Deployed at Brisbane.
Sailed from Brisbane
with Flag Officer Fleet Train embarked for
passage to Manus..
addition to duty as Destroyer Depot Ship the
ship wore the Flag of Flag Officer
BPF Rear Admiral JH Edelsten
provided Base W/T communication
Arrived at Manus for support duties.
Ships of BPF now re-designated Task
Force 37 and part
of us Navy 3rd Fleet sailed
from Sydney on
28th June to return to operations off Japan
after Replenishment at
for ships of BPF on arrival at Manus.
at Manes during BPF operations
to provide repair and support to ships
(For details of BPF
involvement in operations off Japan see WAR
WITH JAPAN (HMSO),
FORGOTTEN FLEET BY J Winton and TASK FORCE
57 by P Smith.)
Pacific Fleet ships of Task Force
37 left operational area leaving a Token
Force of RN
ships as part of
US Task Force 38 and designated Task Group
support to BPF ships on return
to Manus from operational area off Japan.
Train sailed from Manus for Hong
Kong to provide support for ships deployed
of the Colony and to
Deployed at Hong Kong for support
of destroyers of BPF.
On release from BPF took passage to
return to UK
9 4 6
Paid off at Portsmouth and
reduced to Reserve status
Nominated for conversion to suit
use as a Submarine Depot Ship.
Taken in hand for
conversion to suit new role
9 4 7
service as Depot Ship in Clyde to support
3rd Submarine Flotilla.
Post refit trials
and completed storing for service.
passage to Clyde.
Deployed in Clyde
for repair and support of submarines.
9 4 8 t o 1 9 5 4
with 3rd Submarine Squadron.
were redesigned as Squadrons in 1953.)
reduction to Reserve status and withdrawn
from duty in Clyde.
9 5 5
Prepared for tow to enter
Reserve at Portsmouth
Passage to Portsmouth in tow of
During passage in Force 12 Gale
conditions, medical assistance provided by
injured man on tug.
Completed reduction to
Reserve and laid up at Portsmouth.
i n a
l S t a g
was placed on the Disposal List in 1957 and
sold to BISCO for
breaking up by TW Ward at Inverkeithing. The
ship was taken in tow from
Portsmouth on 29th January 1958 and arrived
at the Breakers yard in the Forth
on 3rd February for demolition.