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

HMS JEWEL (J 390) - Algerine-class Fleet Minesweeper

HMS Jewel (Navy Photos/Mark Teadham, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 

ALGERINE-Class Fleet Minesweeper fitted with Turbine propulsion machinery ordered on 30th April 1942 from Harland and Wolff, Belfast. Laid down on 27th November 1943 at the same time as sister ships HARE and LIBERTY this ship was  launched on 20th July 1944. The third RN warship ship to carry this name first used by a mercantile which accompanied the fleet during the Battle against the Spanish Armada in 1588. The name was last used by a Drifter requisitioned in 1940 for use as a minesweeper and sunk by a mine in Belfast Lough in June 1941. Build of this minesweeper was completed on 9th December 1944. She had not been adopted by any civil community in UK following a successful WARSHIP WEEK campaign during 1941-42 for National Savings as her build had not been started.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s


 ARMADA 1588


H e r a l d i c   D a t a 

Badge: On a Field Blue, an escarbuncle Gold, gemmed Red.



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 4


December        Contractors trials and commissioned for service with 10th Minesweeping Flotilla.

                        (Note: The ships in this Flotilla were HM Miner sweepers COURIER, FELICITY,

                                     GOLDEN FLEECE, and SERENE which had been built in Canada.

       9th            Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

                        On completion of Acceptance Trials and took passage to commence work-up for

                        operational service at Tobermory


1 9 4 5


January            Work-up at Tobermory.

                         Passage to Granton for minesweeping training and work-up.

                         Carried out minesweeping training in Firth of Forth area with HMS Minesweepers HARE

                         and WAVE.


February          On completion took passage to join Flotilla.

                         At Scapa Flow with Flotilla which then also included HMS HARE  and HMS WAVE.

.                        Senior Officerís ship was HMS COURIER.

                         Nominated with ships of Flotilla and HM Danlayer SHILLAY for special Home Fleet

                         operation to clear passage through British minefield to give shorter route for departure of

                         warships from Scapa Flow

          21st        Took passage from Scapa Flow with Flotilla as Force 3 for minesweeping

                         (Operation SHRED)

                         (Note: This operation included lay of WINNER marker buoys to mark the ends of the

                                      swept channel and navigation was assisted by German Beacon at Stavanger.

          23rd       Returned to Scapa Flow on completion.

                         (Note: Clear passage was then available for HM Escort Aircraft Carriers PUNCHER and

                                     PREMIER, HM Cruiser DIDO and screen of Home Fleet destroyers ,HMS

                                     MYNGS, HMS SCORPION and HMS CAVALIER to carry out aircraft minelay

                                     off Norwegian coast (Operation GROUNDSHEET)

                         Passage from Scapa Flow to Granton


March                  Deployed at Granton and joined in Flotilla by HM Minesweeper LIBERTY.

          22nd          Passage to Harwich with ships of Flotilla for minesweeping operations in

                            Nore Command.


April                    Deployed with Flotilla for minesweeping in southern North Sea to ensure safe passage

                            of convoys in Nore Command including military convoys to Antwerp as well as in the

                            Thames estuary for traffic in North Sea.

                            (Note: During this period extensive minelaying was being carried out by enemy aircraft,

                                         surface craft. Attacks on convoys were also being carried out by midget

                                         submarines and E Boat Boats. See HOLD THE NARROW SEA by P Smith,

                                         BATTLE OF THE EAST COAST by JP Foynes and ENGAGE THE ENEMY

                                         MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett.


May                     Based at Cuxhaven in continuation of North Sea mine clearance.

                            Taken in hand for refit at Antwerp prior to foreign service.


June                     Under refit at Antwerp.

to August


P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


HMS JEWEL rejoined the Flotilla on completion and completed preparations for foreign service in the Far East. She took passage with the Flotilla in October 1945 for duty based initially at Singapore with the 10th Flotilla. First deployed for mine clearance in areas near Singapore including ports in Indonesia she was later based at Hong Kong for similar duties. The ship returned to UK and arrived at Portsmouth to Pay-off and reduce to Reserve status in September 1946. The following year she was nominated for use as the Drill Ship for the RNVR Division at Dundee and was towed there in January 1948. The ship was brought forward from Reserve during 1955 and refitted at Devonport before recommissioning on 28th December that year for service in the Dartmouth Training Squadron. She was deployed for training of Cadets from the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth until 1961 when she again Paid-off and was placed in Reserve. In 1966 this ship was put on the Disposal List and sold to BISCO for breaking-up in December 1955. Towed to Inverkeithing she arrived at the beakerís yard for demolition on 7 April 1967.



For more about Algerine-class Minesweepers, see



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revised 23/4/11
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