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HMS ROYAL SCOTSMAN  - mercantile conversion, Landing Ship Infantry (H - Hand-operated davits)

by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2001 - further editing and formatting is required

MV Royal Scotsman in civilian service (PhotoShips, click to enlarge return to Contents List 

MV ROYAL SCOTSMAN built by Harland and Wolf in Belfast for Burns and Laird Lines Ltd and launched on 11th March 1936 as Yard No. 964. The ship was completed on 29th May 1936 and entered service for use as a Passenger and Cargo liner in the Irish Sea. She was requisitioned by the Admiralty in October 1940 for use as a Stores Carrier but later converted for use as a Landing Ship Infantry. This name had not previously been used for an RN ship and she was commissioned as HMS ROYAL SCOTSMAN.


B a t t l e    H o n o u r s


ATLANTIC 1942 - SICILY 1943 - NORTH AFRICA 1942-43 - SALERNO 1943


H e r a l d i c  D a t a

None is recorded in the Official List as this ship was an Auxiliary Warship..


General Information as Landing Ship Infantry

Displacement    3244grt

Dimensions       340ft Length Overall             48ft Beam         17ft  Draught (Deep)

Propulsion         7,500 SHP Twin Diesel Engines

Armament          1 x 12pdr, 4 x 20mm Oerlikon

Complement       236 plus 830 Troops


S u m m a r y   o f   W a r   S e r v i c e


(for more ship information, go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search



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October                  Requisitioned by Admiralty for use as a Store Carrier



November              Commissioned as HMS ROYAL SCOTSMAN

to                            Future deployment as Landing Ship Infantry decided

December              Taken in hand for modifications to suit deployment as a Landing Ship Infantry.


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January                  On completion carried out Acceptance Trials and prepared for operational service.

to                            Ship storing and naval specialist complement joined

May                        (Note: The majority of the ship's company was merchant navy personnel serving under a

                                T124X Engagement, not subject to the Naval Discipline Act.

                                The captain and some specialist officers were RN, RNR or RNVR personnel with

                                specialist ratings.)


June                        Deployed in Home waters

to                            Nominated for service in planned British Occupation of the Azores (Operation GREY)



August                  Embarked troops for GREY.

                9th          Passage from Clyde to Scapa Flow with Landing Ships, RFA Tankers and mercantiles carrying

                                troops and transport. Escort was provided by HM Destroyers BULLDOG, CASTLETON,

                                CHARLESTOWN, ECHO, INTREPID, WHITEHALL, WINCHELSEA and WITCH as military convoy


                                (Note: Ships taking part in GREY were to assemble at Scapa Flow prior to escort by Home Fleet

                                warships during passage to Azores.

                10th        Arrived at Scapa Flow with WS8C.

                15th        Operation GREY cancelled and ships of WS8C took return passage to Clyde escorted by HM

                                Destroyers ANTELOPE, CASTLETON, CHARLESTOWN, DOUGLAS, GEORGETOWN,

                                INTREPID, LEAMINGTON, SALADIN and HM Auxiliary AA Ship POZARICA

                17th        Arrived in Clyde and disembarked troops.


September             Nominated for transport of reinforcement military personnel to Gibraltar.

                17th        Joined military convoy WS11X in Clyde and took passage to Gibraltar escorted by HM Destroyers


                                WITCH, Polish ORP GARLAND, Polish PIORUN, Dutch ISAAC SWEERS, HM Battleship PRINCE

                                OF WALES, HM Cruisers EURYALUS and KENYA (Note: WS11X was a Malta relief Convoy

                                (Operation HALBERD))

                25th        Detached from WS11X with four other mercantiles carrying troops to Gibraltar.


October                  Took return passage to UK from Gibraltar


November              Resumed Home waters deployment for training with Combined Operations personnel.


December              Deployed for transport of troops and equipment in Mediterranean.


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January                  Home waters deployment in continuation.

to                            (Note: During this period extensive exercises and planning were carried out for planned

September             amphibious operations involving use of this type of ship.


October                  Nominated for service in planned operation to North African landings (Operation TORCH.)                              

                26th        Passage to Gibraltar as part of military Convoy KMF1 carry troops to TORCH.



                6th          At Gibraltar

                7th          Passage to Algeria for assault landings

                8th          Landed troops at Arzew.

                                (For details see Naval Staff History and ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett.)


December              Deployed for transport of troops and equipment in western Mediterranean.


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January                  Mediterranean deployment in continuation.

to                            (Note: Troops were landed in Tunisia during this period.)



May                        Prepared for support of planned landings and service as transport in continuation.

                                (Note: Landings were made on Pantalleria in May.)


June                        Nominated for planned assault landings in Sicily (Operation HUSKY).

                                Took part in preparatory exercises prior to landings.

July                         Sailed from Malta to take part in landings on BARK SOUTH Beach head in Sicily

                10th        Landed troops on BARK SOUTH Beach Head.


August                  Nominated for transport of troops for planned allied landings at Salerno.

                                Took part in preparatory exercises.


September             Passage to Tripoli.

                                Embarked troops.

                6th          Took passage from Tripoli to join military Convoy TSF1.

                9th          On arrival at Salerno disembarked troops for assault landings.


October                  On release from AVALANCHE nominated for return to UK.


November              Passage to UK.

to                                            Deployed in Home waters.



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January                  Home waters deployment in continuation.

to                            (Note: Did not take part in any of the landing operations at Anzio (Operation SHINGLE)

December              in January, in Normandy landings during June (Operation NEPTUNE) or in

                                assault on Walcheren (Operation INFATUATE) in November

                                Further research is required to confirm whether ship was damaged or only used for

                                training purposes.


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January                  Home waters deployment in continuation.

to                            Withdrawn from service and Paid-off.



March                    Returned to Trade.


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