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

HMS ROSARIO (J 219) - Algerine-class Fleet Minesweeper

HMS Welcome, sister-ship (Navy Photos, 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 22nd September 1042 at the same time as sister ship RINALDO, the ship was launched on 3rd April 1943 as the eighth RN ship to carry this name, introduced in 1588 for a Galleon named DE ROSARIO which was captured during the defeat of the Spanish Armada. It was last borne by a Sloop built in 1898 at Sheerness and sold in 1921 after use as a submarine depot ship. The build of this minesweeper was completed on 9th July 1943.and she had been adopted by the civil community of Carlton, Nottinghamshire after a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign held 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, a chaplet of eight roses, 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 3


July                   Contractors trials and commissioned for service in 19th Minesweeping Flotilla

         9th            Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials

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


August              Deployed in Firth of Forth based at Port Edgar for minesweeping training.


September         Passage to Kyle of Lochalsh to join ships of Flotilla.


October             Carried out training for minesweeping and Flotilla operations with HM Minesweepers

                          RINALDO, BRAVE, WATERWITCH and SPANKER which then formed the 19th



November         Nominated for foreign service with ships of Flotilla and took passage from Clyde to

                          Milford Haven.

                          Part of escort with ships of Flotilla, for Convoy KX12 during passage from Milford Haven

                          to Gibraltar

                          (Note: Convoy comprised two mercantiles and eight smaller minesweepers and a coal

                                      burning trawler which limited speed of convoy to 6 knots and produced sufficient

                                      smoke to be a constant source of danger !)


December          Detached from Flotilla and retained at Gibraltar for convoy escort duties.

.                          (Note: HMS RINALDO, HMS BRAVE and HMS WATERWITCH sailed for Malta.)


1 9 4 4


January              Deployed at Gibraltar for local convoy escort and anti-submarine patrol.



          1st            Released from duty at Gibraltar and took passage to Malta to rejoin Flotilla for


                           On arrival deployed for local minesweeping ,

                           (Note: Did not take part in Operation SHINGLE with Flotilla)


March                  Deployed at Malta

                            (Note: HM Minesweepers ARIES, ANTARES and ARCTURUS, of this Class, built in

                                         Canada joined Flotilla in Malta during this period and ships were transferred to

                                         join ships off Italy as reliefs.)


April                    Deployed for minesweeping off Malta

                            Passage to Naples for detached service with 12th Minesweeping Flotilla.

         26th            Joined HMS SPANKER for minesweeping off west coast of Italy.


May                     Detached service at Naples in continuation.

       11th              Deployed with HM Minesweepers FLY, CADMUS, ACUTE, ESPIEGLE and

                            ALBACORE of 12th Flotilla for mine clearance operation in Bay of Gaeta.

                            (Note: This operation was to provide clear anchorage are for HM Cruiser DIDO,

                                        US cruisers BROOKLYN and PHILADELPHIA which were to provide

                                        naval gunfire support for attack on Monte Cassino.)

                            Came under fire from shore batteries during this sweep.

                            On completion resumed detached duties and took part in clearance of passage from

                            Naples to Anzio through Gulf of Gaeta.

                            Released from detached service and took passage from Naples to rejoin 19th Flotilla

                            at Maddalena, Northern Sardinia.

                            On arrival commenced minesweeping with Flotilla in Straits of Bonnifacio.


June                     Straits of Bonnifacio sweeping in continuation

        16th             Deployed with Flotilla to carry out minesweep in advance of ships on passage to carry

                            out landings on island of Elba (Operation BRASSARD). 40 mines were swept.

                            (Note: This clearance enabled bombardment of shore positions to be carried out by

                                        HM River Gunboats APHIS, COCKCHAFER and SCARAB.)

                            On release from BRASSARD took passage with Flotilla to resume minesweeping

                            operations off west coast of Italy.


July                     Deployed with Flotilla in joint minesweeping operations off Civitavecchia to clear a

                            channel north of Cape Corso (Operation LOBSTER)

                            (Note: Ships of 12th and 13th Minesweeping Flotilla also took part.)

         18th            On completion of LOBSTER continued west coast deployment for clearance of

                            passage towards Leghorn.


August                Returned to Naples with ships of Flotilla to prepare for planned allied landings in

                            South France (Operation DRAGOON formerly ANVIL)

                            (Note: Royal Navy ships were under overall command of Vice Admiral HK Hewett

                                        US Navy. This ship was allocated to DELTA Attack Force under command of

                                        Rear Admiral Rodgers, US Navy to whom Commander CH Corbet-Singleton,

                                        Royal Navy as Senior Officer 19th Minesweeping Flotilla in HMS RINALDO

                                        was responsible.)

          12th           Deployed with HM Minesweepers RINALDO, ANTARES, ARCTURUS, SPANKER,

                            BRAVE and five US Navy Patrol Craft as escort for military convoy SF2A (DELTA)

                            during passage to assault area.

                            (Note: Convoy comprised three Landing Ships (Infantry).)

           13th          Called at Ajaccio with SF2A

           14th          Sailed with convoy from Ajaccio as escort to St Tropez for landings.

           15th           Detached from escort with ships of Flotilla to carry out minesweep in advance of

                             assault convoy. No mines were swept.

                             On completion of swept channel work cleared area to be used for naval gunfire support.

                             (Note: Ships assigned to DELTA area for gunfire support included:

                                         US battleships USS TEXAS and USS NEVADA, US cruiser

                                         PHILADELPHIA, French Cruisers GEORGES LEYGUES and MONTCALM)

                             (For details of Operation DRAGOON  See INVASION OF THE SOUTH OF

                             FRANCE (HMSO) and ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett).

           18th           Transferred from command of Task Force Commander to Task Group 80.12 ton carry

                             out programme of minesweeping.

          19th           Deployed for minesweeping off assault area with ships of Task Unit.

          to               (Note: During this period mine clearance was carried out to enable ports at Toulon and

          30th                        Marseilles to be used.  Both German and French mines had been laid in these



September            Task Unit minesweeping operations deployment in continuation.

             4th           Flotilla released from service with US Navy and took passage to Malta.

            15th          Resumed service under RN administration after R&R Period

                             (Note: Some ships of Flotilla were then deployed at Taranto for minesweeping and

                                         convoy escort)


October                Deployed with Flotilla for minesweeping in Adriatic.

to                          (Note: Some of Flotilla were deployed at Ancona and other cleared a passage off

November                         Split for use by Royal Navy ships. The remainder were used for minesweeping

                                          to ensure clear passage for warships in support of military operations.)


December             Returned to Ancona for Xmas.


1 9 4 5


January                 Adriatic deployment in continuation.

to March               Took part in Operation ANTAGONIZE III for mine clearance in southern Adriatic.


April                     Deployed with ships of Flotilla and ships of 5th Flotilla for joint operation to provide

to May                  clear passage to Trieste and Genoa.  77 mines were swept during this operation.


June                      Northern Adriatic minesweep in continuation with HM Minesweepers ARIES.

                             ARCTURUS, FANCY and SPANKER.

                             (Note: HMS Fancy had been transferred from 7th Minesweeping Flotilla in March to

                                         replace HMS ARCTURUS damaged during ANTAGONIZE  III.)

                                         During this period minesweeping was assisted by US dirigibles which

                                         provided surveillance ahead of the minesweepers.)


July                      Deployed for mine sweeping in central Mediterranean based in Malta.



P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


HMS ROSARIO remained in the Mediterranean for mine clearance off Malta, and in the Aegean until  returning to UK in 1946. In May of that year she was deployed at Cuxhaven for mine clearance until December when she returned to Port Edgar for minesweeping training. Paid-off in 1947 she was laid-up at  Port Edgar until placed on the Sales List and sold to Belgium in 1953. After a refit in Hull she was renamed DE MOOR on 15th January 1953 and served in the Belgian Navy until 1969 when removed from the Active List. The ship was sold in 1970 and broken-up in Bruges.



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revised 23/4/11
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