Fleet Minesweeper fitted with Turbine
propulsion machinery ordered on 15th
November 1940 from Harland and Wolff,
Belfast. Laid down on 24th July 1941 at
the same time as sister ship ALBACORE
this minesweeper was to have been named
ALERT but this was changed before launch
on 14th April 1942. She was the third RN
ship to carry this name, introduced in
1797 for Gunboat No 6 and last borne by
a 12 gun Brig, built in 1804 and sold in
1864 after use as a Coastguard Vessel..
Her build was completed on 30th July
1942 and she was adopted by the civil
community of Merton and Morden,
Surrey after a successful WARSHIP WEEK
National Savings campaign held in March
a t t l e H o n o u r s
OSTEND 1798 - NORTH SEA
1942 - NORTH AFRICA 1942-43 - SICILY
1943 - SALERNO 1943 - ATLANTIC 1943
e r a l d i c D a t a
On a Field Blue, A sword. point
downwards, its scabbard
Saltire proper, garnished Gold..
e t a i l s
o f W a r S e
r v i c e
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9 4 2
Contractors trials and commissioned for
service in 12th Minesweeping Flotilla.
Build completion and commenced
completion took passage to Tobermory for
work-up and preparation for
operational minesweeping duties.
After Work-up took passage to Port Edgar
to carry out minesweeping training.
Deployed for minesweeping training based
at Port Edgar
Passage to Harwich to join HM
Minesweepers ALGERINE, ALARM and
in new Flotilla
(Note: HMS CADMUS also joined during
Nominated for minesweeping duties in
Mediterranean and support of planned
in North Africa (Operation TORCH – See
Naval Staff History and ENGAGE THE ENEMY
MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett.)
Joined military convoy KMS1 in Clyde
with HM Minesweepers ALARM, ALBACORE,
and CADMUS as part of escort during
passage to Gibraltar.
(Note: HMS ALGERINE was delayed
for repair after sweep had fouled a
On arrival at Gibraltar with Flotilla
and prepared for service in TORCH.
HMS ALGERINE rejoined Flotilla and HM
Minesweeper HUSSAR and SPEEDWELL
detached from 5th Minesweeping Flotilla
also joined for this operation on
arrival from UK.
Sailed from Gibraltar with ships of
Flotilla as part of escort for assault
KMF1 during passage to Algiers.
out mines sweep with Flotilla in advance
of assault convoys to BAKER
Deployed for anti-submarine patrol and
escort of follow-up and local convoys
Completed patrol and took passage to
North African coast minesweeping, patrol
and convoy defence in continuation
(Note: Ships of the Flotilla were under
air and submarine attacks.)
9 4 3
Convoy escort and patrol off North
African coast in continuation with
Propeller damaged by torpedo and ship
returned to Gibraltar for repair.
(Note: Award of Battle Honour ATLANTIC
1943 suggests hips may have been
convoy defence near Gibraltar. Further
research is needed.)
Deployed with HM Minesweepers CADMUS,
HUSSAR and SPEEDWELL.
(Note: The only minesweepers operational
due to loss and damage since arrival
in the Mediterranean.)
North African coast deployment in
HM Minesweepers FANTOME, CIRCE and
ESPIEGLE joined Flotilla .
(Note: HMS FANTOME replaced HMS ALGERINE
Flotilla nominated for joint operations
with 13th Minesweeping Flotilla for mine
clearance of passage through Galita and
Deployed at Bizerta for ANTIDOTE with
the two minesweeping Flotillas.
Took part in rescue operations after HMS
FANTOME sustained major damage when
mine exploded in sweep gear. Remained
with Flotilla when HMS CADMUS
detached to tow stricken ship to Bone.
Replaced HMS FANTOME as Leader)
ANTIDOTE deployment with Flotilla in
Mine clearance completed with
destruction of 126 mines by the 12th
HM Minesweepers FLY and MUTINE,
the former taking over duty as
Nominated for minesweeping and escort
duties during planned allied landings in
Detached with HM Minesweeper ALBACORE
and CIRCE for service with 14th Flotilla
For details of Operation HUSKY See above
Passage to eastern sector of Assault
area as part of escort for military
Carried out minesweeping prior to
landings and remained in area for
and escort duties for traffic between
Malta, Bizerta and beachheads.
Flotilla deployment for minesweeping
support of planned landings on Italian
mainland at Salerno (Operation AVALANCHE
– See above references).
Deployed with Flotilla to ensure
clearance of mines during passage to
Under shore fire during minesweeping off
Released from AVALANCHE and deployed in
Bay of Naples for minesweeping with
(Note: Flotilla dealt with 135 mines in
Nominated for transfer to Capri on
completion of service in Bay of Naples.
Deployed for support of operations off
west coast of Sicily including mine
positions to be used by allied warships
for bombardments prior to military
(Note: Minesweeping operations were
frequently target of heavy fire from
the Gulf of Gaeta and often restricted
in their ability to rapidly change
sweeping operation in progress.. Air
attacks were also frequent.)
West coast minesweeping duties and
support off west coast of Italy in
December (Note: At the
end of 1943 the Flotilla had swept 770
mines since arrival at Gibraltar
in December 1942.)
Nominated for minesweeping in support of
planned landings at Anzio (Operation
Based at Naples to prepare for SHINGLE.
9 4 4
Passage to Anzio, 90 miles north of
Deployed with Flotilla supplemented by
HM Minesweepers RINALDO and WATERWITCH
of 19th Minesweeping Flotilla as well as
HM Minesweepers BUDE and ROTHESAY of
13th Minesweeping Flotilla to carry out
mine sweep in front of assault convoys
On release from SHINGLE took passage to
Took part with ships of Flotilla and
19th Flotilla in minesweeping to ensure
passage ships supporting military
operations, including clearance of areas
gunfire support by cruisers.
Carried out minesweeping operations off
Malta when not required for support of
on Italian mainland,
Deployed with HM Minesweepers ESPIEGLE,
CIRCE and SPANKER of Flotilla for sweep
of known minefield SW of Anzio during
which five mines were cut.
Carried out mine clearance northwards
and into Tiber River and under fire from
Deployed for clearance sweep in western
channel off Anzio and during night
Assisted HMS CIRCE after of mine caught
in sweep exploded on board causing many
casualties. Took part in towing
operation to Naples with HMS ESPIEGLE of
(Note: The distance was about 100
West coast of Italy minesweeping in
continuation with part of Flotilla
(Note: Some ships of 12th Flotilla were
deployed off Malta for clearance of
Deployed with HM Minesweepers FLY,
CADMUS, ALBACORE, ESPIEGLE of 12th
and HM Minesweepers ROSARIO and SPANKER
of 19th Flotilla for night sweep off
ensure bombardment area for naval
gunfire support of offensive by allied
(Note: Air attacks were also a constant
Carried out sweep close inshore prior to
bombardment by HM Cruiser DIDO, US
BROOKLYN and PHILADELPHIA during which
the ships came under heavy fire from
On completion of bombardment
requirements rejoined Flotilla in mine
clearance of channel
from Naples to Anzio. 89 mines were cut.
Carried out joint minesweeping
operations with ships of Flotilla, 13th
Flotilla and 28th
Motor Launch Flotilla .
Cleared entrance to port of
Civitavecchia with joint minesweeping
Deployed for clearance of mines in
anchorage area off Civitavecchia.
minesweeping operations in continuation
to ensure passage for ships supporting
Took part in operation to clear a
channel to port of Leghorn with ships of
Flotilla, 19th and
13th Minesweeping Flotillas (Operation
Port available for use by shipping.
(Note: 250 mines were swept during
clearance of channel between Anzio to
engaged were subject to shore fire.)
Deployed with Flotilla for clearance of
mines off west coast of Italy to ensure
Aircraft minelaying was a common feature
during this period )
Nominated for minesweeping service with
Flotilla, in support of allied military
in Greece (Operation MANNA).
(Note: The Flotilla had swept 1013 mines
by this date, an achievement recognised
the Supreme Commander, Mediterranean in
a congratulatory signal)
Transferred to eastern Mediterranean
Passage to Greek waters with HM
Minesweepers ALBACORE, ESPIEGLE and
(Note: 5th Minesweeping Flotilla
deployed for this work had recently
suffered two losses)
Carried out minesweeping operation to
clear passage into Salonika from
(Note: The four ships of 12th Flotilla
were joined by HM Minesweepers SKIPJACK
and TRUELOVE of 5th Flotilla
minesweeping in support of Greece
re-occupation in continuation.
Sustained slight damage by mine which
exploded on reaching surface after being
(Note: During Aegean
mine sweeping new type of German mine
dealt with for the first time. These
exploded after time delay from the
instant of cutting and could caused
damage to following minesweeper.
Nominated for special operation to
ensure safe passage through Dardanelles
warships taking US President and British
Prime Minister to Yalta for meeting with
leader, Joseph Stalin,
Passage to Malta for Xmas.
9 4 5
passage from Malta with HMS ESPIEGLE to
relieve HMS FLY for completion
of mine clearance in Dardanelles to
ensure safe passage for warships taking
Minister and the US President for a
meeting at Yalta with the Soviet Leader.
During the subsequent operations ran
aground on Turkish coast but towed clear
enough to avoid any international
(Note: During Dardanelles operations 52
mines were swept .
On completion of clearance in
Dardanelles deployed off coast of Greece
for further mine
clearance including approach
channels near Doro and Thermia.
passage to Malta for R&R after
extensive operational duties.
Resumed Flotilla duties.
Deployed at Malta,
Took passage from Malta with HM
Minesweepers ALBACORE, CADMUS, CIRCE.
MUTINE and ESPIEGLE to resume minefield
clearance operations based at Naples.
Deployed with Flotilla for clearance
between Leghorn and Genoa.
Deployed off Genoa.
Port Anchorage at Genoa cleared of
First major warship to enter Genoa.
Taken in hand for refit at Taranto.
o s t W a r N o
t e s
ACUTE resumed duties in the
Mediterranean with the 12th Flotilla
after the Taranto refit and was deployed
for mine clearance operations. After
sustaining major damage by hitting a
submerged wreck in January 1946 she was
taken in hand for repair in Genoa. On
completion she rejoined the Flotilla at
Malta and sailed with her sister ships
to UK on 9th May. On arrival at
Portsmouth she remained in commission
and took part in mine clearance
operations in Home waters. After taking
part in operations off the Dutch coast
during September and October she
Paid-off and reduced to Reserve status.
Laid-up at Harwich for 10 years she
recommissioned in May 1956 for service
with the Dartmouth Training Squadron
attached to RNC Dartmouth for training
of cadets for the next five years.
Paid-off again in July she spent another
three years in the Reserve Fleet before
being placed on the Disposal List. The
ship was towed to Malta for use as a
torpedo target before being sold to an
Italian shipbreaker on 20th November
1964. She arrived at the breaker’s yard
in La Spezia later that year for
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