Allied Warships

HMS Arawa (F 12)

Armed Merchant Cruiser

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeArmed Merchant Cruiser
Class[No specific class] 
PennantF 12 
Built byWilliam Beardmore & Co. Ltd. (Dalmuir, Scotland) 
Laid down 
Launched15 Dec 1921 
Commissioned17 Oct 1939 
End service25 Jul 1941 

built as Esperance Bay, 1936 renamed Arawa.
On 27 August 1939 the passenger ship Arawa of the Shaw, Savill & Albion Co Ltd, London was requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to an armed merchant cruiser. Conversion was completed on 17 September 1939.

Displacement: 14462 BRT
Armament: 7x 152mm, 2x 76mm
Speed: 15 knots

November 39 - Sep 40: China Station
October 40: East Indies Station
November 40 - July 41: South Atlantic Station

On 25 July 1941 returned and used as troopship by the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT), later as repatriation ship for prisoners. 1945 returned to owner.


Commands listed for HMS Arawa (F 12)

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1A/Capt. George Robert Deverell, RN4 Oct 1939

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Notable events involving Arawa include:

11 Jan 1940
HMS Pandora (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Linton, RN) conducted exercises off Hong Kong together with HMS Arawa (A/Capt. G.R. Deverell, RN). (1)


  1. ADM 173/16395

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

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