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)

Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

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)

23 Sep 1940

Convoy BN 6.

The Karachi section of this convoy departed that place on 23 September 1940.

It was made up of the transports; Devonshire (British, 11275 GRT, built 1939), Egra (British, 5108 GRT, built 1911) and Pundit (British, 5305 GRT, built 1919).

It was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Hector (Capt.(Retd.) F. Howard, DSC, RN).

On 26 September 1940, the ' Kararchi section ' was joined by the ' Bombay section ' which had departed that place on 25 September 1940.

It was made up of the following transports (one one tanker); Borgestad (Norwegian, 3924 GRT, built 1924), Dilwara (British, 11080 GRT, built 1936), Garmula (British, 5254 GRT, built 1920), Khandalla (British, 7018 GRT, built 1923), Lancashire (British, 9557 GRT, built 1917), Marisa (Dutch (tanker), 8029 GRT, built 1937), Naringa (British, 6607 GRT, built 1923), Nizam (British, 5322 GRT, built 1914), President Doumer (British, 11898, built 1935), Rajput (British, 5521 GRT, built 1925), Rajula (British, 8478 GRT, built 1926), Ranee (British, 5060 GRT, built 1928), Rhona (British, 8602 GRT, built 1926), Shirala (British, 7841 GRT, built 1925), Takliwa (British, 7936 GRT, built 1924) and Talamba (British, 8018 GRT, built 1924).

It was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Antenor (Capt.(Retd.) D.I. McGillewie, RN).

Around 1230C/1, the light cruiser HMAS Hobart (Capt. H.L. Howden, RAN) took over from the armed merchant cruisers which then parted company to proceed to Bombay.

Around 0800C/3, the sloops HMS Hindustan (Cdr. G.V.G. Beamish, RIN) and HMAS Parramatta (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Walker, MVO, RAN) joined.

Around 0830C/4, the ' Bombay / Karachi section ' merged with the ' Aden section '. On doing so, HMAS Hobart parted company and proceeded to Aden.

The ' Aden section ' was made up of the following transports / tankers; Ayamonte (British, 845 GRT, built 1899), Bencruachan (British, 5920 GRT, built 1928), British Captain (British (tanker), 6968 GRT, built 1923), City of Singapore (British, 1988 GRT, built 1937), Clan Ross (British, GRT, built ), Cyprian Prince (British, GRT, built ), Devis (British, 6054 GRT, built 1938), El Amin (British, 746 GRT, built 1926), El Segundo (Panamanian (tanker), 3664 GRT, built 1912), Elpis (Greek, 3651 GRT, built 1912), Helka (British (tanker), 3471 GRT, built 1912), Hilda Moller (British, 4622 GRT, built 1912), Jalaputra (British, 4856 GRT, built 1906), Jehangir (British, 3566 GRT, built 1924), Jhelum (British, 4038 GRT, built 1936), Liss (British (tanker), 5932 GRT, built 1921), Lurigethan (British, 3564 GRT, built 1916), Quiloa (British, 7765 GRT, built 1925), Recorder (British, 5981 GRT, built 1930), Robert L. Holt (British, 2918 GRT, built 1926), Soli (Norwegian (tanker), 5834 GRT, built 1915), Star of Alexander (Egyptian, 4329 GRT, built 1928), Strix (Norwegian (tanker), 6219 GRT, built 1930), Therese Moller (British, 3930 GRT, built 1905) and Umberleigh (British, 4950 GRT, built 1927).

The ' Aden section ' of the convoy was escorted by the light cruiser HMS Leander (Capt. H.E. Horan, RN) (from the New Zealand division), destroyer HMS Kingston (Lt.Cdr. P. Somerville, DSO, RN) and sloops HMS Auckland (Cdr. J.G. Hewitt, DSO, RN) and HMAS Yarra (Lt.Cdr. W.H. Harrington, RAN).

The convoy now proceeded northwards up the Red Sea.

At dawn on the 5th, the Ayamonte was detached to proceed to Kamaran escorted by HMAS Parramatta.

On the 5th, 6th and 7th of October convoy BN 6 was attacked by high level Italian bombers but no damage was done.

The following ships were detached to Port Sudan where they arrived on 7 or 8 October 1940; Borgestad, Devonshire, El Amin, Garmula, Jehangir, Khandalla, Pundit, Rajput, Ranee, Rohna, Strix, Takliwa and Talamba.

From the escort HMIS Hindustan arrived and left Port Sudan on 7 October 1940, HMAS Auckland arrived and left on 8 October and HMAS Yarra arrived and left on 9 October. HMS Kingston also called at Port Sudan [date currently unknown to us].

The remainder of the convoy arrived at Suez on 11 October 1940. on 9 October 1940, HMS Leander had been replaced as escort by the sloops HMS Grimsby (Cdr. K.J. D'Arcy, RN) and HMS Clive (Cdr. H.R. Inigo-Jones, RIN). (3)

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. (4)

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 27th.

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. (5)

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. (5)

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. (6)

18 Sep 1941
The aircraft carrier HMS Hermes (Capt. R.F.J. Onslow, DSC, MVO, RN), light cruisers HMS Enterprise (Capt. J.C. Annesley, DSO, RN), HMS Mauritius (Capt. W.D. Stephens, RN) and the armed merchant cruiser HMS Antenor (Capt.(Retd.) D.I. McGillewie, RN) all arrived at Diego Garcia for Operation Snip. (7)

19 Sep 1941

Operation Snip.

The purpose of this operation was to intercept a Vichy French escorted convoy en-route from Saigon to Madagascar.

On 19 September 1941, the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes (Capt. R.F.J. Onslow, DSC, MVO, RN) and light cruisers HMS Mauritius (Capt. W.D. Stephens, RN), HMS Enterprise (Capt. J.C. Annesley, DSO, RN) and the armed merchant cruiser HMS Antenor (Capt.(Retd.) D.I. McGillewie, RN) departed Diego Garcia for this operation.

On 24 September 1941, the ' heavy ' cruiser HMS Hawkins (Capt. H.P.K. Oram, RN) departed Port Victoria, Seychelles for this operation.

On 27 September 1941, the operation was abandoned as the convoy had not been sighted.

On 28 September 1941, HMS Enterprise arrived at Port Victoria and HMS Mauritius arrived at Mauritius from the operation.

On 29 September 1941, HMS Hermes and HMS Hawkins arrived at Mauritius from the operation.

On 30 September 1941, HMS Antenor arrived at Colombo from the operation. (8)

Sources

  1. Personal communication
  2. ADM 199/383
  3. ADM 199/383 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Hobart for October 1940 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Parramatta for October 1940 + Report of proceedings of HMAS Yarra for October 1940
  4. ADM 53/114034 + ADM 199/411
  5. ADM 199/408
  6. ADM 53/113592 + ADM 53/113889 + ADM 53/114039
  7. ADM 53/114237 + ADM 53/114410 + + ADM 53/114643 + ADM 199/408
  8. ADM 53/114237 + ADM 53/114375 + ADM 53/114410 + ADM 53/114643 + ADM 199/408

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


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