Allied Warships

HMS Dunvegan Castle

Armed Merchant Cruiser

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeArmed Merchant Cruiser
Class[No specific class] 
Built byHarland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast 
Laid down 
Launched26 Mar 1936 
Commissioned20 Dec 1939 
Lost27 Aug 1940 
Loss position54° 54'N, 11° 00'W

On 7 September 1939 the passenger ship Dunvegan Castle of the Union-Castle Mail SS Co Ltd, London was requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to an armed merchant cruiser. Conversion was completed on 20 December 1939.

Displacement: 15007 BRT
Armament: 8x 152mm, 2x 76mm
Speed: 17 knots

January 40 - April 40: South Atlantic Station
May 40 - August 40: Freetown Escort Force

At 21.47 hours on 27 August 1940 HMS Dunvegan Castle (Capt. Hubert Ardill (retired), RN), escorting convoy SL-43, was torpedoed and damaged by the German submarine U-46 about 120 nautical miles southwest of Cape Clear. The vessel foundered in position 54º54'N, 11º00'W the next day. The master, 249 officers and ratings were rescued, twelve of them wounded, and landed in Scotland.


Hit by U-boat
Sunk on 27 Aug 1940 by U-46 (Endrass).

U-boat AttackSee our U-boat attack entry for the HMS Dunvegan Castle

Commands listed for HMS Dunvegan Castle

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and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1Capt. (retired) Hubert Ardill, RN18 Oct 193927 Aug 1940

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Notable events involving Dunvegan Castle include:

3 Jan 1940
HMS H 50 (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J.R.G. Harvey, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Portland with HMS Viviana (Skr. G.L. Olesen, RNR) and also with HMS Kelvin (Lt.Cdr. J.L. Machin, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. R.G.K. Knowling, RN).

Later in the afternoon HMS Kelvin and HMS Kimberley escorted the armed merchant cruiser HMS Dunvegan Castle (Capt.(Retd.) H. Ardill, RN). (1)

6 Jan 1940
During the morning, HMS Kelvin (Lt.Cdr. J.L. Machin, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. R.G.K. Knowling, RN), screened the armed merchant cruiser HMS Jervis Bay (Capt.(Retd.) A.G. Harris, RN).

In the middle of the day they screened the heavy cruiser HMS Hawkins (Capt. E. Rotherham, RN) during her gunnery exercises.

Later in the afternoon they screened the armed merchant cruiser HMS Dunvegan Castle (Capt.(Retd.) H. Ardill, RN) during her gunnery exercises. (2)


  1. ADM 173/16327
  2. ADM 53/112519

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

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