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

HMS LIBERTY (J 391) - Algerine-class Fleet Minesweeper

HMS Espiegle, sister-ship (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 JEWEL this ship was launched on 22nd August 1944. The name was introduced in 1632 when given to the 44 gun ship CHARLES in 1649. It was also used later by 13 other vessels, lastly by a destroyer built by JS White at Cowes in 1913 instead of previous name ROSALIND after launch. Build of this minesweeper was completed on 18th January 1945. 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


  H e r a l d i c   D a t a 

Badge: On a Field Blue, Statue of Liberty in New York Harbour



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 5


January           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.

      18th           Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

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

                        operational service at Tobermory


February         Work-up at Tobermory.

                         Passage to Granton for minesweeping training and work-up.

                         Carried out minesweeping training in Firth of Forth area.


March              Joined Flotilla at Granton on completion of training.

          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.


June                 Deployed with Flotilla for mine clearance in North Sea until withdrawn for refit and

                         preparation for foreign service.


July                  Under refit.


P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


HMS LIBERTY rejoined the Flotilla on completion and took passage with them in October 1945 for duty based initially at Singapore. 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 July 1946. Whilst Laid-up at Devonport she was put on the Sales List and sold to Belgium in 1949. After refit at Cowes, Isle of Wight this ship was renamed ADRIEN DE GERLACHE on 29th November 1949. She remained in service until 20th June 1969 and was broken-up at Bruges the next year.



For more about Algerine-class Minesweepers, see



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