HMS Forfar (F30)

HMS Forfar (F30), formerly the ocean liner SS Montrose, was an armed merchant cruiser commissioned into Royal Navy service in 1939 and sunk in 1940.

SS Montrose in the port of Funchal, Madeira Island, in the early 1930s
History
Canada
Name: SS Montrose
Owner: Canadian Pacific Steamship Company
Operator: Canadian Pacific Steamship Company
Builder: Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Glasgow, Scotland
Launched: 14 December 1920
Sponsored by: Lady Raeburn
Fate: Requisitioned by Royal Navy 4 September 1939
History
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Forfar
Acquired: 4 September 1939
Commissioned: 1939
Fate: Sunk 2 December 1940
Notes: Pennant number F30
General characteristics
Type: Armed merchant cruiser
Displacement: 16402 BRT
Length: 548.7 ft (167.2 m)
Beam: 70.2 ft (21.4 m)
Speed: 17 knots
Complement: 193 men
Armament: 8x 152mm, 2x 76mm

Construction and history

SS Montrose

The ship was built by the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company in Glasgow, Scotland, as the passenger ship SS Montrose for the Canadian Pacific Steamships Company and was launched on 14 December 1920, sponsored by Lady Raeburn, the wife of the Director-General of the British Ministry of Shipping.

About the 20 March 1925, the Montrose was in Saint John, New Brunswick, as a local paper reported that the ship's band put on an excellent performance in that city.

Montrose ran aground on 7 August 1925 in the Saint Lawrence River in Canada.[1] She was refloated on 10 August 1925 and drydocked for repairs to her rudder and port propeller.[2][3]

On 31 March 1928, Montrose was in Saint John, New Brunswick as reported in the 2 April 1928 Telegraph-Journal, a Saint John newspaper.

On 31 July 1928, Montrose collided with the British cargo ship Rose Castle in the Saint Lawrence River, Quebec, Canada; Rose Castle beached herself to avoid sinking,[4] but was refloated on 3 August 1928.[5]

On 12 April 1930, Montrose was announced as being about to set sail for "Canada" from Southampton, England (reported in the 14 April 1930 Moncton, NB, Daily Times). A paper from shortly after this reported that it was due on the 20th in Saint John, New Brunswick.

The 21 April 1930 Telegraph-Journal reports Montrose arrived that morning in Saint John, New Brunswick, and was scheduled to sail on the 23rd from there for Cherbourg, Southampton and Antwerp.

HMS Forfar

On 4 September 1939, Montrose was requisitioned by the British Admiralty for World War II service with the Royal Navy and converted to an armed merchant cruiser. Her conversion was completed on 6 November 1939 and she was commissioned into Royal Navy service as HMS Forfar (F30).

On 2 December 1940 Forfar, operating on the Northern Patrol, was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine German submarine U-99 under the command of Otto Kretschmer. Forfar was en route to join convoy OB 251 and was about 500 nautical miles west of Ireland. Thirty-six officers, including her commanding officer, Norman Arthur Cyril Hardy, and 136 men lost their lives. The survivors were rescued by the Royal Canadian Navy destroyer HMCS St. Laurent, the British destroyer HMS Viscount, and the British cargo steamer Dursley.

See also

References

  1. "Casualty reports". The Times (44036). London. 10 August 1925. col E, p. 18.
  2. "Casualty reports". The Times (44037). London. 11 August 1925. col G, p. 19.
  3. "Marine insurance". The Times (44037). London. 11 August 1925. col C, p. 20.
  4. "Marine insurance". The Times (44960). London. 1 August 1928. col D, p. 24.
  5. "Marine insurance". The Times (44963). London. 4 August 1928. col B, p. 21.

Bibliography

  • Osborne, Richard; Spong, Harry & Grover, Tom (2007). Armed Merchant Cruisers 1878–1945. Windsor, UK: World Warship Society. ISBN 978-0-9543310-8-5.

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