Allied Warships

HMS Rajputana (F 35)

Armed Merchant Cruiser

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeArmed Merchant Cruiser
Class[No specific class] 
PennantF 35 
Built byHarland & Wolff Ltd. (Greenock, Scotland) 
Laid down 
Launched6 Aug 1925 
Commissioned16 Dec 1939 
Lost13 Apr 1941 
Loss position64° 50'N, 27° 25'W

On 4 September 1939 the passenger ship Rajputana of the P. & O. Steam Navigation Co Ltd, London was requisitioned by the Admiralty. She was converted to an armed merchant cruiser and commissioned as such on 16 December 1939.

Displacement: 16644 BRT
Armament: 8x 152mm, 2x 76mm
Speed: 17 knots

December 39 - April 40: America and West Indies Station
May 40: Bermuda Convoy Escort Force
June 40 - April 41: Bermuda and Halifax Escort Force
April 41: North Atlantic Escort Force

HMS Rajputana (Capt. Frederick Henry Taylor, DSC, RN (retired)) was torpedoed and sunk on 13 April 1941 by the German submarine U-108 west of Reykjavik, Iceland in position 64º50'N, 27º25'W. 283 survivors were picked up by the British destroyer HMS Legion and landed at Reykjavik. 40 of her crew went down with the ship.  

Hit by U-boat
Sunk on 13 Apr 1941 by U-108 (Scholtz).

U-boat AttackSee our U-boat attack entry for the HMS Rajputana

Commands listed for HMS Rajputana (F 35)

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.

1Capt. (retired) Frederick Henry Taylor, DSC, RN2 Oct 193913 Apr 1941

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Notable events involving Rajputana include:

17 Jan 1940
The light cruiser HMS Despatch (Commodore 2nd cl. A. Poland, DSO, RN), armed merchant cruiser HMS Rajputana (Capt.(Retd.) F.H. Taylor, DSC, RN) and the RFA tanker Abbeydale (8299 GRT, built 1937) made rendezvous off San Nicolás Bay, Peru.

All ships departed again to resume their patrols later the same day. (1)

27 Mar 1941

Convoy HX 117.

This convoy departed Halifax on 27 March 1941.

It was made up of the following merchant vessels; Aelybryn (British, 4986 GRT, built 1938), Balingkar (Dutch, 6318 GRT, built 1921), Bayano (British, 6815 GRT, built 1917), Bengore Head (British, 2609 GRT, built 1922), Boren (Swedish, 4528 GRT, built 1921), British Honour (British (tanker), 6991 GRT, built 1928), British Mariner (British (tanker), 6996 GRT, built 1922), Cape Breton (British, 6044 GRT, built 1940), Cressington Court (British, 4971 GRT, built 1929), Derrymore (British, 4799 GRT, built 1938), Donax (British, 8036 GRT, built 1938), Eastern Star (Norwegian, 5658 GRT, 1920), Edam (Dutch, 8871 GRT, built 1921), Empire Eagle (British, 5775 GRT, built 1919), Fanad Head (British, 5038 GRT, built 1941), Fowberry Tower (British, 4484 GRT, built 1929), Harberton (British, 4585 GRT, built 1930), Henry Dundas (British (tanker), 10448 GRT, built 1937), Labette (British, 4989 GRT, built 1919), Leonidas M. (Greek, 4573 GRT, built 1929), Luculus (British (tanker), 6546 GRT, built 1929), Maaskerk (Dutch, 4343 GRT, built 1929), Maja (British (tanker), 8181 GRT, built 1931), Nailsea Court (British, 4946 GRT, built 1936), Nailsea Manor (British, 4926 GRT, built 1937), Nailsea Moor (British, 4926 GRT, built 1937), New York City (British, 2710 GRT, built 1917), Noreg (Norwegian (tanker), 7605 GRT, built 1931), Nueva Granada (Norwegian (tanker), 9968 GRT, built 1937), Polarsol (Norwegian (tanker), 10022 GRT, built 1939), Prins Willem II (British, 1304 GRT, built 1939), Richard de Larrinaga (British, 5358 GRT, built 1929), San Alvaro (British (tanker), 7385 GRT, built 1935), San Ambrosio (British (tanker), 7410 GRT, built 1935), San Gaspar (British (tanker), 12910 GRT, built 1921), Sandar (Norwegian (tanker), 7624 GRT, built 1928), Sicilian Prince (British, 3489 GRT, built 1922), Sommerstad (Norwegian (tanker), 5923 GRT, built 1926), Taranger (Norwegian, 4873 GRT, built 1930), Vanja (Norwegian (tanker), 6198 GRT, built 1929), Warkworth (British, 4941 GRT, built 1924), West Caddoa (British, 5641 GRT, built 1919) and Zeus (British, 5961 GRT, built 1920).

On departure from Halifax the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Rajputana (Capt.(Retd.) F.H. Taylor, DSC, RN) and the submarine HMS Tribune (Lt.Cdr. R.G. Norfolk, RN).

During the night of 5/6 April 1941 heavy weather was encountered and the Aelybryn and Prins Willem II straggled from thee convoy and did not rejoin.

At 0630N/6, HMS Tribune parted company with the convoy to return to Halifax.

On 9 April 1941 HMS Rajputana parted company with the convoy to proceed to Iceland to patrol in the Denmark Strait.

Around 1400/10, the destroyers HMS Wanderer (Cdr. A.F.St.G. Orpen, RN), HMS Achates (Lt.Cdr. Viscount Jocelyn, RN), HMS Boadicea (A/Cdr. E.C.L. Turner, RN), HMS Montgomery (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) W.L. Puxley, RN), HMCS Columbia (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) S.W. Davis, RN), HMCS St. Clair (Lt.Cdr. D.C. Wallace, RCNR), HMCS St.Francis (Lt.Cdr. H.F. Pullen, RCN) and the corvettes HMS Marigold (T/Lt. J. Renwick, RNR) and HMCS Trillium (Lt.Cdr. R.F. Harris, RCNR) joined.

The convoy arrived in U.K. waters on 14 April 1941 and was then divided into several portions so that the ships could proceed to their destinations.


  1. ADM 53/111986 + ADM 53/113029

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

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