Allied Warships

HMIS Sonavati (4.206)

Auxiliary patrol vessel

NavyThe Royal Indian Navy
TypeAuxiliary patrol vessel
Class[No specific class] 
Built byHarland & Wolff Ltd. (Govan, Scotland) 
Laid down 
Launched26 Nov 1935 
Commissioned31 Oct 1939 
End service 

Completed on 21 February 1936 as passenger/cargo vessel.
Displacement: 1638 tons.
Dimentions: 77.8 x 12.9 feet.

Requisitioned by the RIN on 7 October 1939.
Returned to her owner in 1946.  

Commands listed for HMIS Sonavati (4.206)

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1T/Lt. (E) Fleming Robb, RINR8 Oct 193930 Jun 1940
2Lt. Maxwell Brayshaw Hall, RIN30 Jun 194018 Sep 1941
3G W Barnes, RINR18 Sep 19412 Mar 1942
4T/Lt. Charles Fyfe Smith, RINR2 Mar 194218 Jul 1943
5T/Lt. Edward Alexander Frank Weller, RINR18 Jul 194321 Nov 1943
6T/Lt. Allan Brittain, RINR21 Nov 194323 Mar 1945
7T/A/Lt.Cdr. Leslie Neil Hill, RINR23 Mar 194529 Sep 1945

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Notable events involving Sonavati include:

21 Dec 1941

Convoy BM 9A.

This convoy departed Bombay on 21 December 1941 and arrived at Singapore on 3 January 1942.

It was was made up of the following ships; Devonshire (British, 11275 GRT, built 1939), Lancashire (British, 9445 GRT, built 1917), Rajula (British, 8478 GRT, built 1926), Ethiopia (British 5575 GRT, built 1922) and Varsova (British, 4691 GRT, built 1914).

On departure from Bombay it was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Glasgow (Capt. H. Hickling, DSO, RN) and the patrol vessel HMIS Sonavati (T/Lt. G.W. Barnes, RINR).

At 1340/22, in position 14°03'N, 73°02'E, HMIS Sonavati obtained a strong A/S contact and attacked with six depth charges but the contact appeared to be non-sub.

On 24 December the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, CBE, RAN) and sloop HMS Falmouth (Cdr. U.H.R. James, RN) departed Colombo and they joined the convoy the next day in position 05°20'N, 80°00'E. HMS Glasgow then parted company with the convoy.

On 27 December HMS Falmouth and HMIS Sonavati parted company with the convoy and proceeded to Colombo.

On 30 December, in position 02°22'S, 98°00'E, the light cruisers HMS Durban (Capt. P.G.L. Cazalet, DSC, RN), HMS Dragon (A/Capt. R.J. Shaw, MBE, RN) and the destroyer HMAS Vampire (Cdr. W.T.A. Moran, RAN) joined the convoy.

At 1530/31, in position 06°10'S, 101°52'E the destroyers HMS Encounter (Lt.Cdr. E.V.St J. Morgan, RN), HMS Jupiter (Lt.Cdr. N.V.J.T. Thew, RN) joined the convoy.

The Dutch light cruisers HrMs De Ruyter (Cdr. E.E.B. Lacomblé, RNN and flagship of Rear-Admiral K.W.F.M. Doorman, RNN), HrMs Tromp (Cdr. J.B. de Meester, RNN) and the Dutch destroyers HrMs Piet Hein (Lt.Cdr. J.M.L.I. Chompff, RNN) and HrMs Banckert (Lt.Cdr. L.J. Goslings, RNN) departed Batavia on 1 January 1942 to reinforce the convoy escort. The Dutch ships joined the convoy at 1345/1 and remained with the convoy until 2000/2.

The convoy arrived safely at Singapore on 3 January 1942. (1)


  1. ADM 199/408

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

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