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Sister ship: ROBERTS
Pennant number: F.109
Notes: The ROBERTS class were a development of the World War I era EREBUS class; as such, they were the last monitors constructed for the Royal Navy, and the only monitors of any navy to be built during Word War II. ABERCROMBIE's design was modified from that of her sister, with more armor over her machinery spaces, a taller funnel, more anti-aircraft guns, and a lengthened shelter deck (to provide for more crew accommodations); these changes added nearly 600 tons to her weight. ABERCROMBIE was armed with a turret originally designed for the "light battlecruiser" FURIOUS, should that ship's 18" guns had proved unsuitable. The mount was modified to allow 30° of elevation. The 4" guns were mounted on the shelter deck (on ROBERTS, they were mounted on the upper deck). Construction was delayed for several reasons, including problems getting a proper fit for her 15" turret, with the result that ABERCROMBIE did not enter service until, May, 1943. During the war, 20 - 20mm Oerlikon AA guns (8x2 and 4x1) were added to her anti-aircraft battery.
Immediately upon her commissioning, ABERCROMBIE was sent to the Mediterranean, where she joined the monitors ROBERTS and EREBUS in gunfire support for the Allied landings on Sicily. In early September, 1943, the three were together again for the landings at Salerno. On 9 September, ABERCROMBIE drifted into an unswept minefield and hit a single mine. Counter-flooding and damage control were successful in keeping ABERCROMBIE on an even keel, and her machinery was undamaged. But her radar and main battery fire control were knocked out, and she was unable to fire her 15" guns. She sailed for repairs, arriving at Taranto on 7 October 1943 (after the Italian Armistice). Repairs did not start until January, 1944, and took long enough that ABERCROMBIE was unavailable to support the landings at Normandy in June, 1944. Finally, repairs were finished and she sailed to Malta, arriving there on 15 August 1944. Six days later, she struck two mines laid by the Germans. This time, ABERCROMBIE suffered damage to both of her propellers shafts, and she had to return to Malta for repairs. After 11 months under repair there, ABERCROMBIE received orders to sail to the Pacific and join the Far East Fleet. But she had only made it as far as Aden, Yemen when World War II ended, and was recalled to home waters. In November, 1945, ABERCROMBIE was placed in the reserve, where she saw occasional duty as a drill ship. ABERCROMBIE was sold for scrapping and broken up at Barrow in December, 1954.
Note: Many thanks to Steelnavy.com for additional information on the ROBERTS!