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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2001

HMS FANTOME (J 224) - Algerine-class Fleet Minesweeper

HMS Brave, sister-ship (Navy Photos/Mark Teadham, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 

ALGERINE-Class Fleet Minesweeper fitted with Turbine propulsion machinery ordered on 15th November 1940 from Harland and Wolff, Belfast. Laid down on 15th March 1941 at the same time as sister ship ESPIEGLE. She was launched on 22nd September 1942 as the fifth RN ship to carry this name, introduced for a captured French Brig Sloop in 1810 and last borne by a Sloop built at Sheerness in 1901 and sold in 1925 at Sydney, Australia after service as a Survey Ship. Her build was completed on 23rd January 1943, This warship was adopted by the civil community of Friern Barnet, then in Middlesex, after a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in March 1942.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s



H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Blue, a fan tailed pigeon, proper.



D e t a i l s   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



1 9 4 3


January          Contractors trials and commissioned for service in 12th Minesweeping Flotilla.

      23rd          Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

                        On completion took passage to Tobermory for work-up and preparation for operational

                        minesweeping duties.

                        (Note: Ships intended for use as convoy escorts were subjected to extensive training

                                    exercises at Tobermory.

                                    See THE TERROR OF TOBERMORY by Richard Baker.)


February         After Work-up took passage to Port Edgar to carry out minesweeping training.

                        Commenced minesweeping training in Forth area

                        (Note: For details of minesweeping equipment and background see THE TORPEDOMEN

                                    by E N Poland.)


March             Deployed at Port Edgar for minesweeping training. See above reference.

                        Prepared for passage to Mediterranean for operational service.


April               Passage to Bizerta to join Flotilla

                        (Note: HM Minesweepers CIRCE and ESPIEGLE had joined earlier to replace ships recently

                                   lost or damaged in the Mediterranean).

                        On arrival replaced HMS ALGERINE which had been withdrawn from service after damage

                        during air attack in December 1942.

                        Deployed with Flotilla for convoy defence and patrol off North Africa coast between Bizerta

                        and Algiers. For details see Naval Staff History)


May                Flotilla nominated for joint operations with 13th Minesweeping Flotilla for mine clearance to

                       ensure safe passage through Galita and Sicilian Channels.

                       (Operation ANTIDOTE).

       9th           Deployed at Bizerta for ANTIDOTE with the two minesweeping Flotillas.

     20th           Sustained major damage when mine exploded in her minesweeping gear being towed astern.

                       Stern structure was destroyed.

                       Taken in tow to Bizerta by HMS CADMUS of Flotilla.


June                Ship withdrawn from operational service.


P o s t   W a r   N o t e


HMS FANTOME underwent temporary repair at Bizerta to enable her to return under tow to UK but this was not carried out until conditions in the Mediterranean made this practicable.. Since more minesweepers of this Class and other types were becoming available no further repair work was carried out after arrival and she was declared a Constructive Total Loss. Placed on the Disposal List after VJ Day this ship was sold to BISCO in January 1947 for demolition by TW Ward at Milford Haven where she arrived in tow on 22n May 1947.



For more about Algerine-class Minesweepers, see



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revised 23/4/11
further editing and formatting is required