Allied Warships

HMCS Prince Robert (F 56)

Armed Merchant Cruiser of the Prince class

HMCS Prince Robert as seen during the war.

NavyThe Royal Canadian Navy
TypeArmed Merchant Cruiser
PennantF 56 
Built byCammell Laird Shipyard (Birkenhead, U.K.) 
Laid down3 Apr 1930 
Commissioned31 Jul 1940 
End service10 Dec 1945 

Conversion to armed merchant cruiser completed on 3 August 1940.
Paid off to be refitted as Anti-Aircraft "cruiser" on 2 January 1943 and recommissioned as such on 7 June 1943.
Decommissioned 10 December 1945.
Sold into mercantile service in 1948 and renamed Charlton Sovereign.
Resold in 1953 when she became the Italian Lucania.

See also this website (offsite link).


Commands listed for HMCS Prince Robert (F 56)

Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1Cdr. Charles Tachereau Beard, RCN31 Jul 19407 Oct 1940
2Cdr. Frederick Gordon Hart, RCN8 Oct 194021 Jun 1942
3A/Capt. Frank Llewellyn Houghton, RCN22 Jun 194231 Dec 1942
4Lt.Cdr. Owen Conor Robertson, RCNR1 Jan 19435 Jun 1943
5Cdr. Adrian Mitchell Hope, RCN7 Jun 19437 Dec 1944
6Capt. Wallace Bourchier Creery, RCN8 Dec 194410 Dec 1945

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Notable events involving Prince Robert include:

25 Sep 1940
HMCS Prince Robert (Cdr. C.T. Beard, RCN) intercepts and captures the German merchant Weser (9472 GRT) off Manzanillo, Mexico.

20 Oct 1943
Around 0500A/20, the battleship HMS Revenge (Capt. St.J. Cronyn, DSO, RN) departed Greenock for Southampton. She is escorted by the AA ship HMCS Prince Robert (Cdr. A.M. Hope, RCN) and the destroyer HMS Saladin (Lt. A.A. Diggens, DSC, RN).

Around 1110A/20, HMS Saladin is detached.

Around 0715A/21, the escort destroyers HMS Limbourne (A/Cdr. W.J. Phipps, MVO, RN), HMS Melbreak (Lt. G.J. Kirkby, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Stevenstone (Lt.Cdr. P.B.N. Lewis, DSC, RN) joined coming from Plymouth and HMCS Prince Robert was detached.

HMS Revenge arrived at Portsmouth around 1615A/21. The escort destroyers then set course to return to Plymouth. (1)

21 Jun 1944

Convoy MKF 32.

This convoy departed Port Said on 21 June 1944 and arrived in U.K. waters on 4 July 1944.

It was made up of the following transport vessels; Antenor (British, 11174 GRT, built 1925), Nieuw Holland (British, 11066 GRT, built 1927), Orduna (British, 15507 GRT, built 1914), Orion (British, 23371 GRT, built 1935), Ormonde (British, 14982 GRT, built 1917), Ranchi (British, 16738 GRT, built 1925), Stratheden (British, 23722 GRT, built 1937) and Strathmore (British, 23428 GRT, built 1935).

On departure from Port Said the convoy was escorted by the escort destroyers HMS Chiddingfold (Lt. T.M. Dorrien-Smith, RN), HMS Croome (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J.S. Lawrence, DSC, RNVR), HMS Exmoor (Lt. D.D. Howson, RN), HMS Tetcott (Lt. H.J. Watkins, RN) and HMS Wheatland (Lt. H.A. Corbett, DSC, RN).

Later on 21 June 1944 the damaged light cruiser HMS Birmingham (Capt. H.W. Williams, RN) joined the convoy for passage to Gibraltar. She came from Alexandria together with the netlayer HMS Guardian (Capt.(Retd.) H.A.C. Lane, OBE, RN) which also joined the convoy for passage westwards to Djidjelli, Algeria [now called Jijel].

In the eastern Mediterranean the escort destroyer Quantock was also with the convoy for a while. [Further details currently unkown.]

Around noon on 25 June 1944 convoy SNF 25 coming from Naples merged with the convoy. Convoy SNF 25 had departed Naples on 24 June 1944 and was made up of the transports Hai Lee (Norwegian, 3616 GRT, built 1934), Orontes (British, 20097 GRT, built 1929) and Samaria (British, 19597 GRT, built 1921).

On departure from Naples this convoy was escorted by the escort carrier HMS Attacker (Capt. H.B. Farncomb, DSO, MVO, RAN), frigates HMS Bazely (Lt.Cdr. J.V. Brock, RCNVR), HMS Bentinck (Cdr. E.H. Chavasse, DSO, DSC, RN), HMS Byard (A/Lt.Cdr. J.I. Jones, DSO, DSC, RNR), HMS Calder (T/A/Lt.Cdr. E. Playne, RNVR), HMS Drury (Lt.Cdr. N.J. Parker, RN), HMS Pasley (Lt.Cdr. J.H. Wright, RD, RNR) and the destroyer escort USS Frederick C. Davcis (Lt.Cdr. O.W. Goepner, USNR). This last ship served as jammer escort against German radio guided bombs.

The transport Hai Lee proceeded to Bizerta while the other two transports joined convoy MKF 32.

On 26 June, off Djidjelli, HMS Guardian was detached and later off Algiers the transport Champollion (French, 12263 GRT, built 1925) joined the convoy while HMS Attacker was detached.

On 27 June, off Oran the transport Monarch of Bermuda (British, 22424 GRT, built 1931) and the escort carrier HMS Hunter (Capt. H.H. McWilliam, RN) joined the convoy. They were escort from Oran to the rendezvous with convoy MKF 32 by the destroyers USS Knight (T/Cdr. J.C. Ford, Jr., USN) and USS Doran (T/Cdr. N.E. Smith, USN). USS Frederick C. Davis was detached to Mers-el-Kebir.

On 28 June, off Gibraltar the escort carrier HMS Hunter was detached as were the escort destroyers HMS Chiddingfold, HMS Croome, HMS Exmoor, HMS Tetcott and HMS Wheatland.

Also off Gibraltar the transports Felix Roussell (French, 17083 GRT, built 1930) and Tai Shan (Norwegian, 6962 GRT, built 1929) joined the convoy as did the escort carriers HMS Nairana (Capt. R.M.T. Taylor, RN), HMS Ravager (A/Capt. G.V.B. Faulkner, RN) and the AA ship HMCS Prince Robert (Cdr. A.M. Hope, RCN).

The convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 4 July 1944.


  1. ADM 53/118468 + ADM 199/2280

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

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