Builder: John Brown and Company, Clydebank, Dunbartonshire, Scotland.
Displacement: 16,314 tons
Length: 570 ft
Beam: 70 ft
Draught: 28 ft
Speed: 18 Knots
Crew complement: Not known
Captain. G. W. Hoare-Smith
Launched December 1921 for service with the Canadian Pacific Steamship Company the S.S. MONTCLARE made her maiden voyage, on 18 August 1922, operating, initially on the Liverpool-Québec-Montréal service, switching to the Antwerp and Hamburg services in 1929. From 1933 until being requisitioned for war service she operated various cruises and transatlantic services; her final commercial passenger voyage in July 1939, a Liverpool-Montréal roundtrip.
The S.S. MONTCLARE was taken over as an armed merchant cruiser in August 1939; she was purchased by the Admiralty in 1942 and converted into a destroyer depot ship H.M.S. MONTCLARE.
She joined the BPF in May 1945 when she arrived on station at Manus. MONTCLARE was unusual in that she was to have dual roles as Fleet Train Headquarters ship carrying the Flag of Rear Admiral Fleet Train (RAFT), Rear Admiral D. Fisher and as a Destroyer Depot Ship she carried the Flag of Rear Admiral Destroyers (RA(D)) Rear Admiral J.H. Edelsten. MONTCLARE relieved the existing Headquarters Ship, HMS Lothian upon her arrival on station at Manus. MONTCLARE relocated to Hong Kong harbour in October 1945. .
MONTCLARE resumed her role as Destroyer Depot Ship after the break up of the BPF before she was decommissioned in 1954. She was laid up at Gareloch and later at Portsmouth. She was scrapped in 1958.
Last modified: 16 June 2020
My late uncle, Alan Stenton was I think a Chief Petty Officer on the HMS Montclare in the latter years of the war, and ended up in the British Pacific Fleet on the Montclare, possibly having also served earlier in the Atlantic theatre. At the end of the war I believe he was involved in engineering work on the Hong Kong tram system before the ship returned to the UK. Any information or photos would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance
HM Ships COLOSSUS, GLORY, VENERABLE and VENGEANCE. GLORY did not arrive in Sydney until August 16th.
At the end of June 1945, the Admiralty implemented a new system of classification for carrier air wings, adopting the American practice one carrier would embark a single Carrier Air Group (CAG) which would encompass all the ships squadrons.
Sturtivant, R & Balance, T. (1994) 'Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm’ list 899 squadron as conducting DLT on the Escort Carrier ARBITER on August 15th. It is possible that the usual three-day evolution was cancelled due to the announcement of the Japanese surrender on this date and was postponed for a month.
Gordon served with the radio section of Mobile Repair UNit No.1 (MR 1) at Nowra, he was a member of the local RN dance band, and possibly the last member of MONAB I to leave Nowra after it paid off. .
In March 1946 I joined 812 squadron, aboard HMS Vengeance, spending some time ditching American aircraft north of Australia. Eventually we sailed for Ceylon ( Sri Lanka ) landing at Trincomalee and setting up a radio section at Katakarunda. In the belief that we were exhausted we were sent to a rest camp at Kandy for a few weeks. We moved down to Colombo to pick up Vengeance and returned to Portsmouth via the Suez Canal . I was discharged in November 1946.