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ROYAL NAVY SOUTH ATLANTIC COMMAND - ROYAL NAVY A B SHIPS

8)ARAWA (ARMED M CRUISER)



Photo. IWM (FLS 840)



Armed Merchant Cruiser - F.12


Troopship


Built: 1921 as ESPERANCE BAY


Tonnage: 14,462 / 14,621 tons


Dimensions: 530.9ft x 68.3ft x 39.9ft


Propulsion: 2-shaft, 4 steam turbines DR, geared with Forced Draught Boilers giving 15 knots


Armament:7 x 6in guns and 2 x 3in AA guns


History
27/10/1939 commissioned as HMS Arawa, her crew being mostly Australian Reservists, and served on the China Station


October 1940 to the East Indies Station


November 1940 to the South Atlantic Station


18/1/1941 while on passage from the Clyde to Sierra Leone West of the canary Islands saw gunfire and heard a distress call from the tanker British Union. She cleared for action and approached at full speed. Thinking the attacker might be the Admiral Scheer she jettisoned her depth charges omitting to set them at safe. On arrival in the area she found oil wreckage and 7 survivours which she took to Freetown. The raider later turned out to be the Kormoran. Unfortunately the survivours were lost on their way home when their ship was sunk by the German cruiser Adm. Hipper.


25/7/1941 Paid off and used as troopship by the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT). Later she was a repatriation ship for prisoners 


1945 returned to owner.


By http://forums.clydemaritime.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=5894#p11855


 

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