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

HMS LENNOX (J 276) - Algerine-class Fleet Minesweeper

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

ALGERINE-Class Fleet Minesweeper fitted with Reciprocating propulsion machinery and originally ordered from Simons but cancelled in March 1942. Re-ordered from Lobnitz on 5 May 1942 and laid down on3rd March 1943. She was launched on 15th October 1943 and was the fourth RN ship to carry this name, introduced in 1678 for a 3rd rate built at Deptford. The name was to have been used for a destroyer under construction in 1913 but that ship was renamed PORTIA before launch in 1913. Build of the minesweeper was completed on 18th January 1944 and she had been adopted by the civil community of Erith, Kent following a successful WARSHIP WEEK campaign for National Savings 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 White, four roses Red slipped and leaved in saltire 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 4


January             Contractors Trials and commissioning.

      18th             Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

                          On completion took passage to Tobermory to work-up for operational service.


February            Work-up at Tobermory and took passage to Granton for minesweeping trials.

                           Joined HM Minesweepers PLUCKY, PELORUS, PICKLE, FANCY and PINCHER

                           with HM Minesweepers LARNE, RIFLEMAN and RECRUIT at Harwich for service in

                           7th Minesweeper Flotilla..


March                 Deployed with Flotilla for minesweeping of East Coast convoy routes to ensure clear



April                   Transferred with Flotilla to Portsmouth.

        8th               Took passage to Portsmouth.

        9th               Arrived at Portsmouth for minesweeping duties in English Channel.

       12th              Returned to Thames Estuary with Flotilla for special mine clearance operations.

       29th              Resumed duties in Portsmouth Command.


May                     Nominated for minesweeping duties in support of planned allied landings in Normandy

                             as part of Force J.

                             (Note: An Isles Class Danlayer, a Motor Minesweeper and three Motor Launches were

                                         allocated for duty with the Flotilla for laying of markers and to provide assistance

                                         during NEPTUNE.)

                             Deployed with Flotilla for exercises including night sweeping and major exercise

                             (FABIUS III) in Bracklesham Bay.

                            (Note: During FABIUS III Flotilla came under E-Boat attack.)

                            Returned to Solent ion completion to prepare for NEPTUNE.

                            For details of naval activities prior to and during NEPTUNE see LANDINGS IN

                            NORMANDY, June 1944 (HMSO) and OPERATION NEPTUNE by K Edwards.



       4th                Operation delayed for 24 hours.

       5th                Sailed from Portsmouth with Flotilla for clearance of Channel 8 ahead of first Assault


       6th                After arrival off JUNO Beach deployed for local minesweeping and for widening of

                            approach Channels.

                            (Note: During Assault Phase continued minesweeping off Normandy and later during

                                        Build-up Phase was part of TROUT Defence Line for patrol against any attempt

                                        by submarines, surface warships or E-Boats to enter Eastern Task Force area.

                            Deployed for escort as required and returned to Portsmouth for refuelling and



July                     Retained in Forward Area for minesweeping after termination of NEPTUNE.

                            (Note: During minesweeping operations HMS POLARIS was damaged and

                                       enemy minelaying and torpedo attacks were frequently carried out in French

                                       coastal waters. See references and HOLD THE NARROW SEA by P Smith.)


August                French coast minesweeping and escort duties with Flotilla in continuation.


September          Transferred with HM Minesweepers PINCHER, LENNOX, RECRUIT and PLUCKY

                            for special duties and took passage to Harwich.

      17th               Deployed with Flotilla for Air Sea Rescue duties during Arnhem airborne

                            landings (Operation MARKET GARDEN)


October               Nore Command duties with Flotilla in continuation.

                            Deployed for mine clearance duties in Scheldt estuary and for escort of military convoy

                            to Antwerp.


November           Transferred with HMS PELORUS to 6th Minesweeper Flotilla.

                            Joined HM Minesweepers FRIENDSHIP (SO), POSTILLION, MELITA, GOZO,

                            LIGHTFOOT and PERSIAN for mine sweeping off Belgian coast and convoy escort for

                            military convoys to Channel ports.

                            (Note: These convoys were under attacks by E-Boats and midget submarines which also

                                         carried out minelaying operations to interfere with these convoys. See HOLD

                                          THE NARROWS SEA by P Smith and ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY

                                           by C Barnett.)


December             Flotilla duties in continuation.


1 9 4 5


January                 Nominated for foreign service with Flotilla for minesweeping and convoy defence in

to March               Indian Ocean.

                               (Note: Ships of Flotilla with drawn temporarily from minesweeping duties for essential

                                           repairs and maintenance prior to departure for Colombo.)


April                        Deployed with Flotilla in Channel area and took passage to Falmouth prior to sailing

                                 to Gibraltar with HMS GOZO, HMS LIGHTFOOT and HMS PERSIAN.

            8th                Sailed from Falmouth and joined by HM Danlayers IMERSAY and LINGAY which

                                 were allocated for duty with Flotilla whilst deployed in support of operations off



May                          Passage in Red Sea and Indian Ocean,


June                          Deployed with Flotilla for convoy escort duties in defence of convoys to Rangoon

                                 and Indian ports prior to planned operations by Eastern Fleet.

                                  Nominated for minesweeping duties off Car Nicobar covered by ships of Eastern

                                  Fleet prior to planned landings in Malaya (Operation COLLIE).

                                   (Note: Experience in the Pacific Ocean by the US Navy had shown that Japanese

                                  minefields had been laid in defence of ports under threat of attacks. See

                                               WAR WITH JAPAN, Volume VI (HMSO).)



            2nd                Sailed from Trincomalee with HM Minesweepers MELITA, GOZO, PELORUS,

                                  PERSIAN, POSTILLION and LIGHTFOOT, HMS IMERSAY and HMS LINGAY

                                  as Force 62 for COLLIE.

                                  (Note: Cover was provided by Force 61 comprising HM Cruiser NIGERIA, HM

                                              Escort Aircraft Carriers AMEER and  EMPEROR screened by HM Destroyers

                                              ESKIMO, ROEBUCK and VIGILANT. See above reference and THE

                                              FORGOTTEN FLEET by J Winton.)

            5th                  Commenced mine clearance operations with Flotilla.

            10th                On completion took passage to Ceylon.

                                   (Note: 167 mines were cleared by Flotilla.)

            14th                Arrived at Colombo with Flotilla.

            20th                Prepared for minesweeping support of planned landings in Malaya.

                                   (Operation ZIPPER)

                                   (Note: These landings were delayed by both the implementation of the PYTHON

                                                Scheme to repatriate army personnel who had served in South East Asia for

                                                over three years and four months, and US Policy relating to occupation of

                                                former Colonial territory. See Final SEAC Report (HMSO).)


August                        Joined Force 155 made-up of 6th, 7th and 37th Minesweeping Flotillas for operations

                                    off Malaya

             15th                 Sailed from Colombo for minesweeping operations in Malacca Strait.

             24th                 Delayed by weather conditions and took shelter with Force 155 in the lee of Simular

                                    Island on the west coast of Sumatra.

             30th                Commenced minesweeping operations to enable ships to enter Penang and Sabang.


Post War Notes


HMS LENNOX took part in the clearance of mines in Malacca Strait with Force 155 in advance of Eastern Fleet ships taking the occupation force to Singapore. The ship remained in the Far East with the Flotilla for mine clearance duties in support of re-occupation of ports in the Dutch East Indies until March 1946 when she sailed for UK, After arrival at Portsmouth in May she remained in service and was deployed with the Fishery Protection Squadron from September that year until November 1947 when she was Paid-off and had been reduced to Reserve Status by February 1948. Eight years later in 1956 this minesweeper was recommissioned for further Fishery Protection duties and was deployed mainly in Distant Waters off Iceland and North Norway until February 1958 when she was relieved by the new Type 14 Frigate, HMS RUSSELL. After paying off remained in Reserve and was refitted including installation of a SQUID Mortar Outfit to improve her anti-submarine capability necessary for use as a convoy escort. Placed on the Disposal List in 1960 she was sold to BISCO for demolition by Clinton and Davie and arrived in tow at the Breakers Yard in Milford Haven during June 1961.



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