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

HMS PLUCKY (J 295) - Algerine-class Fleet Minesweeper

HMS Plucky (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 20th April 1943 at the same time as sister ships RECRUIT and RIFLEMAN she was launched on 29th September 1943 The fourth RN ship to carry this name, introduced in 1856 for a Steam Tender. sold in 1858. It was last used for a destroyer built in 1916 by Scotts at Greenock and sold in 1921. Her build was completed on 10th December 1943. This minesweeper was not adopted by any civil community in UK following a successful WARSHIP WEEK campaign for National Savings as her build had not been started.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

NORMANDY 1944 - BURMA 1945

H e r a l d i c   D a t a 

Badge: On a Field Blue, a Fox terrier guardant.

C h r o n o l o g y   o f   W a r   S e r v i c e



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


December        Contractors trials.

      12th           Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

      13th           Commissioned for service in 7th Minesweeping Flotilla on formation.

                        Completed Acceptance Trials and took passage to Tobermory for work-up


1 9 4 4



        9th           Arrived at Granton and joined HMS PELORUS and PICKLE for minesweeping



February         Passage to Harwich with HM Minesweepers PELORUS, PICKLE for North Sea

                        minesweeping duties to ensure clear passage for East Coast convoys.

                        HM Minesweepers FANCY, LARNE, LENNOX, RECRUIT and RIFLEMAN

                        joined to complete 7th Minesweeping Flotilla.

                        Senior Officer’s Ship was HMS PELORUS.


March             Deployed with Flotilla for minesweeping of east coast to ensure safe passage of

                        coastal convoys.

                        Nominated for service in Force J for minesweeping support during planned

                        allied landings in Normandy (Operation NEPTUNE).



        8th           Passage to Portsmouth with ships of Flotilla to join Force J in Solent.

      12th           Deployed for minesweeping off Portsmouth.

      20th           Deployed in Thames Estuary with Flotilla.

      29th           Returned to resume service with Force J at Portsmouth for exercises prior to



May                 Nominated with Flotilla for clearance of Channel 8 to beach head areas.

                         (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 convoys.

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

                         widening approach Channels.

                         (Note: During Assault Phase continued minesweeping off Normandy and

                                      later during Build-up Phase was part of TROUT Defence Line for

                                      anti submarine patrol. Deployed for convoy escort and returned to

                                      Portsmouth for refuelling and replenishment.)


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

to                      (Note: During this period enemy minelaying and torpedo attacks were carried

August                          in French coastal waters. See references and HOLD THE NARROW

                                      SEA by P Smith.)


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

                         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 to Plymouth Command with Flotilla and took passage to

                         Falmouth for anti-submarine patrol duties.

                         (Note: SCHNORKEL fitted U-Boats were being deployed in SW Approaches

                                      at convoy focal areas and level of escort and patrol was increase to

                                      meet this threat.)


December        Nominated for foreign service with and taken in hand for refit

                         (Note: HMS PELORUS and HMS LENNOX were replaced by HMS SQUIRREL and

                                     HMS VESTAL in order to have all ships in Flotilla with Turbine propulsion Machinery.

                                     This would ensure compatibility of maintenance requirements.

                                     Ships were withdrawn for refit in rotation to ensure some of Flotilla was available

                                      for Channel minesweeping and escort or patrol duties.)


1 9 4 5


January             Under refit and on completion prepared for passage to Colombo to join the

                           East Indies Fleet for minesweeping duties during planned landings.



February           Passage to rejoin ships of Flotilla in Channel.

        17th           Deployed with HM Minesweepers RECRUIT, RIFLEMAN and PINCHER

                          as escort for convoy of Landing Ships (Tank) during passage from Falmouth

                          to Gibraltar.

                          (Note: During passage on 23rd HMS PINCHER sighted and engaged U300 on the

                                      surface with HMS RECRUIT. The submarine then scuttled and 41 survivors

                                      were rescued by ships of the escort.)

                                      See U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp.)

         26th         Detached from convoy at Gibraltar and took passage with sister ships of Flotilla

                          to Colombo.


March               Passage in Mediterranean and Red Sea


April                 Passage in Indian Ocean.

        14th          At Colombo with HM Minesweepers PINCHER, RECRUIT, CHAMELEON,

                         VESTAL, PICKLE (SO) and RIFLEMAN.

                         Took passage with Flotilla to Trincomalee to commence Fleet duties.

        24th          Nominated for minesweeping support of planned landings at Rangoon with Flotilla and Indian

                         37th Minesweeping Flotilla as Force 65 (Operation DRACULA.)

                         Took passage to Akyab with Flotilla.

        29th          Sailed with ships of Force 65 as part of escort for Convoy ABLE for minesweeping

                         operations in support of assault.

                         (Note: For details off other naval activities associated with DRACULA see WAR

                                      WITH JAPAN (HMSO) and THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by J Winton.)



         1st           Commenced minesweeping to clear approach passage for assault ships.

         3rd           Deployed with Force 65 to ensure clear passage to enable ships to berth at Rangoon.

                         On release from DRACULA returned with Flotilla to Colombo.

                         (Note: Ships of Flotilla were successively withdrawn from service for refit and

                                      maintenance pending support of planned British landings in the Andamans

                                      and Malaya. Some of the ships went to Durban or Port Elizabeth in South Africa.)


June                  Deployed with Flotilla at Trincomalee to prepare for planned minesweeping

                         off Phuket Island (Operation LIVERY)



        19th          Sailed from Trincomalee with HM Minesweepers PINCHER, RIFLEMAN,

                         VESTAL and SQUIRREL for LIVERY.

                         (Note: Cover was provided by HM Battleship NELSON, HM Cruiser

                                     SUSSEX, HM Escort Aircraft Carriers AMEER and EMPRESS

                                     screened by four destroyers of East Indies Fleet. Dan laying was

                                     carried out by RIN minesweepers.)

        24th          HMS SQUIRREL damaged by detonation of mine and had to be sunk after

                         rescue of survivors. Seven of ship’s company were killed.

        26th          Came under air attack by suicide aircraft after completion of LIVERY.

                         HMS VESTAL was seriously damaged and also had to be sunk.

                         20 of ship’s company were lost.

                         (Note: For details of LIVERY see WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO) and

                                     THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by J Winton.)

                         Took return passage to Trincomalee.


August            Deployed at Trincomalee to prepare for planned landings in Malaya

                         (Operation ZIPPER)

                         (Note: This operation was delayed by several factors including the return of service

                                      personnel to UK and US insistence on timing of landings to suit their overall

                                      policies. See references.)

                         Passage to Colombo

        15th          Sailed from Colombo with HM Minesweepers PINCHER, RIFLEMAN and RECRUIT

                         to join Force 155 comprised also of 6th Minesweeping  Flotilla and RIN minesweepers.

         30th         Carried out minesweeping operations to clear approaches to Penang prior

                         To entry of HMS NELSON, HM Cruisers CLEOPATRA and SUSSEX,



          4th          Deployed in Malacca Straits for mine clearance of entry into Singapore by

                         Eastern Fleet ships prior to formal surrender of Japanese forces in Malaya.


P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


HMS  PLUCKY remained in the Far East with the Flotilla for minesweeping operations to ensure safe passage of shipping into ports in the area. She returned to UK with the remaining sister ships of the Flotilla in July 1946. Paid off at Sheerness in September she was reduced to Reserve status and laid-up. This ship recommissioned for service in the 2nd Minesweeping Flotilla, Mediterranean Fleet after refit in 1947. Based in Malta during her subsequent service was deployed in the Mediterranean and on took part Fleet and Flotilla exercises as well as Mediterranean Fleet annual Exercises and Visits programmes. At the end of 1954 she returned to UK with her sister ships RIFLEMAN, CHAMELEON and RECRUIT to Pay-Off. After arrival at Portsmouth on 13th December she reduced to Reserve status and laid-up at Chatham. In 1956 this minesweeper was placed on the Disposal List and sold to BISCO for demolition by Clayton and Davie at Dunston where she arrived in tow on 15th June that year.



For more about Algerine-class Minesweepers, see



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revised 23/4/11
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