HMS Monnow (K441)

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HMS Monnow 1944 IWM A 22680.jpg
HMS Monnow, March 1944
United Kingdom
Name: Monnow
Namesake: River Monnow
Ordered: 26 December 1942
Builder: Charles Hill & Sons, Bristol
Laid down: 28 September 1943
Launched: 4 December 1943
Commissioned: 11 May 1944
Decommissioned: 3 August 1944
Identification: pennant number: K 441
  • Transferred to Canada 3 August 1944
  • Returned 11 June 1945
  • Sold to Denmark 1945
Name: Monnow
Commissioned: 3 August 1944
Decommissioned: 11 June 1945
Identification: pennant number: K 441
Honours and
Atlantic 1944–45, Arctic, 1944–45, North Sea 1945[1]
Fate: Returned to Royal Navy 1945
Name: Holger Danske
Namesake: Ogier the Dane
Commissioned: 20 October 1945
Decommissioned: 1 August 1959
Identification: pennant number: F 338
Fate: Scrapped 1960 at Odense
Badge: Ship's badge for Holger Danske (F338).svg
General characteristics
Class and type: River-class frigate
  • 1,445 long tons (1,468 t; 1,618 short tons)
  • 2,110 long tons (2,140 t; 2,360 short tons) (deep load)
  • 283 ft (86.26 m) p/p
  • 301.25 ft (91.82 m)o/a
Beam: 36.5 ft (11.13 m)
Draught: 9 ft (2.74 m); 13 ft (3.96 m) (deep load)
Propulsion: 2 × Admiralty 3-drum boilers, 2 shafts, reciprocating vertical triple expansion, 5,500 ihp (4,100 kW)
  • 20 knots (37.0 km/h)
  • 20.5 knots (38.0 km/h) (turbine ships)
Range: 7,500 nautical miles (13,890 km) at 15 knots (27.8 km/h)
Endurance: 646 long tons (656 t; 724 short tons) oil fuel
Complement: 157

HMS Monnow was a River-class frigate of the Royal Navy. The frigate served as a convoy escort in the Battle of the Atlantic during the Second World War. Named for the River Monnow in the United Kingdom, the vessel was transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy in 1944, keeping the same name, and finished the war with them. Returned to the Royal Navy following the war, it was sold to the Royal Danish Navy and renamed Holger Danske. It served until 1960 when it was scrapped. The ship is significant as it is one of the few ships employed by the Royal Canadian Navy never to visit Canada.[2]

Service history[edit]

Royal Navy[edit]

Monnow was ordered on 26 December 1942 as part of the River-class building programme. The keel was laid down on 28 September 1943 by Charles Hill & Sons at Bristol. The vessel was launched on 4 December 1943.[3] The ship was commissioned into the Royal Navy on 11 May 1944 with the pennant number K 441.[note 1][3] After commissioning, Monnow worked up at Tobermory and served only a few months in the Royal Navy before being transferred officially to the Royal Canadian Navy on 3 August 1944.[note 2][3][4]

Returned to the Royal Navy on 11 June 1945,[4] Monnow was never reactivated in the Royal Navy and was instead sold to the Royal Danish Navy in October 1945.[2][5]

Royal Canadian Navy[edit]

After the official transfer, Monnow was assigned to the convoy escort group EG 9 based in Londonderry. The frigate spent the majority of its wartime career in British waters with the exception of one convoy round trip to Gibraltar in October 1944. In November 1944, the ship escorted convoy JW 62 to Kola Inlet in Russia and returned to the United Kingdom escorting RA 62.[2]

From 14 March to 20 April 1945, Monnow deployed with the 9th Escort Group in the English Channel.[6] While escorting convoy JW 67 in May 1945, Monnow was detached to escort surrendered U-boats departing Trondheim and making for Loch Eriboll.[2] At the end of the month, the frigate sailed for Sheerness where Monnow was paid off and returned to the Royal Navy[2] on 11 June 1945.[3][4]

Royal Danish Navy[edit]

The Royal Danish Navy acquired Monnow in October 1945. The frigate was renamed Holger Danske and commissioned 20 October 1945.[5] During its service with the Danish, the ship's main armament was upgraded in 1948 from 4-inch single mounts to 5-inch single mounts.[5] The frigate was mainly used for training purposes.[5][7] The ship was decommissioned 1 August 1959[5] and broken up at Odense, Denmark[2] in 1960.[3][4]



  1. ^ Macpherson and Barrie state that the ship was transferred directly to the Royal Canadian Navy on 8 March 1944.
  2. ^ See note 1


  1. ^ "Battle Honours". Britain's Navy. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Macpherson and Barrie, p. 99
  3. ^ a b c d e Helgason, Guðmundur. "HMS Monnow (K 441)". German U-boats of WWII - Retrieved 19 October 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d Colledge, p. 421
  5. ^ a b c d e Balsved, 2005
  6. ^ Rohwer, p. 400
  7. ^ Blackman, p. 169


External links[edit]

Media related to River class frigates at Wikimedia Commons