Allied Warships

HMS Antenor (F 21)

Armed Merchant Cruiser

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeArmed Merchant Cruiser
Class[No specific class] 
PennantF 21 
Built byPalmers Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd (Jarrow-on-Tyne, U.K.) 
Ordered 
Laid down 
Launched30 Sep 1924 
Commissioned7 Nov 1939 
End service31 Oct 1941 
History

On 13 September 1939 the passenger ship Antenor of the Alfred Holt & Co, Liverpool was requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to an armed merchant cruiser. Conversion was completed on 7 November 1939.

Displacement: 11174 BRT
Armament: 6x 152mm, 2x 76mm
Speed: 15 knots

Career:
January 40 - April 40: Mediterranean Fleet
May 40 - October 41: East Indies Station

On 31 October 1941 returned and used as troopship by the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT).

 

Commands listed for HMS Antenor (F 21)

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CommanderFromTo
1Capt. (retired) Arthur Bannatyne Arnold Baker, DSO, RN30 Aug 193931 Dec 1939
2Cdr. Gilbert Palmer Claridge, RN31 Dec 193910 Jan 1940
3Capt. (retired) Donald Irvine McGillewie, RN10 Jan 1940late 1941

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Notable events involving Antenor include:


31 Dec 1939
Capt A B A Baker was CO 30/8/39-31/12/39 : Capt G P Claridge 31/12/39-10/1/40 : Capt D I mcGillewie 10/1/40-1/12/41 (1)

19 Sep 1940

Convoy BN 5A.

This convoy departed Bombay on 19 September 1940 for Suez where it arrived on 29 September 1940.

The convoy was made up of the following merchant vessels; Empress of Japan (British, 26032 GRT, built 1930), Orion (British, 23371 GRT, built 1935) and Ormonde (British, 14982 GRT, built 1917).

On departure escort was provided by the light cruiser HMS Colombo (Capt. C.A.E. Stanfield, RN) and the armed merchant cruiser HMS Kanimbla (A/Capt. F.E. Getting, RAN).

The Ormonde was not ready to depart on the 19th and she departed one day later with orders to overtake the convoy. Until she made rendez-vous with the convoy she was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Antenor (Capt.(Retd.) D.I. McGillewie, RN).

The convoy arrived off Aden on 25 September and HMS Kanimbla was relieved as escort by the light cruiser HMS Ajax (Capt. E.D. McCarthy, RN), AA cruiser HMS Coventry (Capt. D. Gilmour, RN), destroyers HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN), HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN) and sloop HMS Flamingo (Cdr. J.H. Huntley, RN).

Light cruiser HMNZS Leander (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN) had also been with the convoy (briefly) but parted company on 26 September 1940.

On 27 September the southbound convoy SW 1 was sighted and the destroyers HMS Kandahar, HMS Kimberley and sloop HMS Flamingo joined that convoy as escorts. The convoy then continued northwards escorted by HMS Ajax and HMS Coventry.

Çonvoy BN 5A arived at Suez safely on 29 September 1940. (2)

7 Jan 1941
HMS Dauntless (Capt. G.D. Moore, RAN) departed Singapore around 1530/7 to make rendezvous with the transport Lycaon (British, 7552 GRT, built 1913).

Rendezvous was effected around 1200/9, in position 03°20'N, 91°27'E when escort was taken over from HMS Antenor (Capt.(Retd.) D.I. McGillewie, RN) which was then to proceed to Colombo.

At 1200/12, HMS Dauntless parted company with the Lycaon in approximate position 05°41'N, 99°53'E.

HMS Dauntless returned to Singapore around 1700/13. (3)

16 Jan 1941

Convoy US 8A.

This convoy departed Colombo on 16 January 1941 for Suez where it arrived on 28 January 1941.

The convoy was made up of the following troopships / merchant vessels; Christiaan Huygens (Dutch, 16287 GRT, built 1927), Devonshire (British, 11275 GRT, built 1939), Dilwara (British, 11080 GRT, built 1936), Dominion Monarch (British, 27155 GRT, built 1939), Indrapoera (Dutch, 10825 GRT, built 1925), Johan de Witt (Dutch, 10474 GRT, built 1920), Lancashire (British, 9557 GRT, built 1917), Nevassa (British, 9213 GRT, built 1913), Nieuw Zeeland (Dutch, 11069 GRT, built 1928), Rajula (British, 8478 GRT, built 1926), Rohna (British, 8602 GRT, built 1926) and Slamat (Dutch, 11636 GRT, built 1924).

On departure from Colombo the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Capetown (Capt. P.H.G. James, RN) and the armed merchant cruiser HMS Antenor (Capt.(Retd.) D.I. McGillewie, RN). The heavy cruiser HMAS Canberra (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, RAN) provided cover to the south of the convoy until the 18th after which she returned to Colombo on 19 January 1941. While berthing there she hit a pier and sustained some damage.

On 22 January the convoy escort was taken over by the AA cruiser HMS Carlisle (Capt. G.M.B. Langley, OBE, RN) and the destroyers HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, RN).

On 23 January two more merchant vessels joined the convoy coming from Aden, these were the City of Lincoln (British, 8039 GRT, built 1938) and the Thurland Castle (British, 6372 GRT, built 1929). They were escorted by the sloop HMAS Yarra (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Harrington, RAN).

On the 24th HMS Capetown rejoined the convoy.

Early in the evening of 26 January HMS Carlisle and HMAS Yarra parted company with the convoy to proceed to Port Sudan where they arrived the following day. HMS Capetown and HMS Kimberley also parted company with the convoy to proceed to Aden where they arrived on the 28th.

On the 27th the sole remaining escort, HMS Kandahar was relieved by HMS Grimsby (Cdr. K.J. D'Arcy, RN). HMS Kandahar then proceeded to Port Sudanwhere she arrived on the 28th.

The convoy arrived at Suez also on 28 January 1941. (4)

8 Mar 1941

Convoy BM 4.

This troop convoy departed Bombay on 8 March 1941 and arrived at Penang on 17 March 1941. Some ships went on to Singapore, arriving on 17 March 1941.

The following transports / troopships were part of this convoy; Egra (British, 5108 GRT, built 1911), El Madina (British, 3962 GRT, built 1937), Felix Roussel (French, 17083 GRT, built 1930), Rajula (British, 8478 GRT, built 1926), Rohna (British, 8602 GRT, built 1926), Santhia (British, 7754 GRT, built 1925), Talma (British, 10000 GRT, built 1923), Varela (British, 4651 GRT, built 1914).

On departured from Bombay the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Antenor (Capt.(Retd.) D.I. McGillewie, RN). On the 12th it was joined by the light cruiser HMS Emerald (Capt. F.C. Flynn, RN) after which HMS Antenor parted company and returned to Bombay. On the 13th the light cruiser HMS Dauntless (Capt. G.D. Moore, RAN) joined. On the 14th the light cruiser HMS Durban (Capt. J.A.S. Eccles, RN) also joined. HMS Emerald parted company with the convoy on the 15th.

On the 17th, HMS Durban arrived at Penang with the Elma, El Madina, Felix Roussell, Santhia and Talma.

On the 18th, HMS Dauntless arrived at Singapore with the Rajula, Rohna and Varela. (4)

24 Aug 1941

Convoy BM 8.

This troop convoy departed Bombay on 24 August 1941 and arrived at Port Swettenham on 3 September 1941.

This convoy was made up of the following transports / troopships; Egra (British, 5108 GRT, built 1911), Ekma (British, 5128 GRT, built 1911), El Madina (British, 3962 GRT, built 1937), Ethiopia (British, 5574 GRT, built 1922) and Nevasa (British, 9213 GRT, built 1913).

On departure from Bombay the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Ceres (Capt. E.G. Abbott, AM, RN) until this ship was relieved in the afternoon of August 28th by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Antenor (Capt.(Retd.) D.I. McGillewie, RN).

In the afternoon of August 31st, HMS Antenor was relieved by the light cruiser HMS Dauntless (A/Capt. J.G. Hewitt, DSO, RN).

The convoy arrived at Port Swettenham on 3 September 1941. (5)

Sources

  1. Personal communication
  2. ADM 199/383
  3. ADM 53/114034 + ADM 199/411
  4. ADM 199/408
  5. ADM 53/113592 + ADM 53/113889 + ADM 53/114039

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.


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