Allied Warships

HMNZS Monowai (F 59)

Armed Merchant Cruiser

NavyThe Royal New Zealand Navy
TypeArmed Merchant Cruiser
Class[No specific class] 
PennantF 59 
Built byHarland & Wolff Ltd, Greenock 
Laid down 
Launched16 Oct 1924 
Commissioned30 Aug 1940 
End service18 Jun 1943 

Built as Razmak for P&O S.N. Co, London. Built with deck strengthening to carry guns as an armed merchant cruiser. On 30 November 1930 she was sold to the Union Steamship Company of New Zealand Ltd. and renamed Monowai for the trans-Pacific route.

On 23 October 1939 the passenger ship Monowai of the Union SS Co of New Zealand Ltd, Wellington was requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to an armed merchant cruiser. Conversion was completed on 30 August 1940.

Displacement: 10852 BRT
Armament: 8x 152mm, 2x 76mm, 6x 20mm, MGs and depth charges
Speed: 18 knots

August 1940 - June 1943: Pacific Ocean

From June 1943 to February 1944 converted to a landing ship LSI(L). From 1944 to September 1946 used as troopship. On 31 August 1946 she was returned to her owner. She resumed merchant service in January 1949. In 1960 she was sold for breaking up in Hong Kong.


Commands listed for HMNZS Monowai (F 59)

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

1A/Capt. Hubert Victor Perry McClintock, RN30 Aug 194028 Nov 1941
2A/Capt. George Robert Deverell, RN28 Nov 1941

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Notable events involving Monowai include:

16 Jan 1942
The New Zealands Navy armed merchant cruiser HMNZS Monowai (Captain George Robert Deverell, RN) was attacked by the Japanese submarine I-20 (offsite link) off Suva, Fiji Islands. The submarine was driven off by gunfire.

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