Allied Warships

HMS Alcantara (F 88)

Armed Merchant Cruiser

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeArmed Merchant Cruiser
Class[No specific class] 
PennantF 88 
Built byHarland & Wolff Ltd. (Belfast, Northern Island) 
Ordered 
Laid down 
Launched 1926 
Commissioned20 Dec 1939 
End service29 Jun 1943 
History

laid down as Amazon, completed as Alcantara.
On 25 September 1939 the passenger ship Alcantara of the Royal Mail Lines Ltd, London was requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to an armed merchant cruiser. Conversion was completed on 20 December 1939.

Displacement: 22209 BRT
Armament: 8x 152mm, 2x 76mm
Speed: 19 knots

Career:
January 40 - April 43: South Atlantic Station
May 43: West Africa Command

On 29 June 1943 returned and used as troopship by the Ministry of War Transport (MoWT).

 

Commands listed for HMS Alcantara (F 88)

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CommanderFromTo
1Capt. (retired) James Geoffrey Penrose Ingham, DSO, RN12 Sep 193916 Sep 1941
2A/Capt. (retired) John Douglas Harvey, RN16 Sep 1941mid 1943

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Noteable events involving Alcantara include:


28 Jul 1940
The armed merchant cruiser HMS Alcantara (Capt.(retd.) J.P.G. Ingham, DSO, RN) had a gun duel with the German auxiliary cruiser Thor in the south Atlantic east of Brazil in position 24°30'S, 31°56'W and was badly damaged, while the German ship escaped.

28 Nov 1942
HMS Alcantara (A/Capt.(retd.) J.D. Harvey, RN) picks up 18 survivors from the American merchant Jeremiah Wadsworth that was torpedoed and sunk the previous day by German U-boat U-178 about 270 nautical miles south of Cape Agulhas, South Africa in position 39°25'S, 22°23'E.


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