ALGERINE-Class Fleet Minesweeper fitted with Turbine
propulsion machinery ordered on 30th April 1942 from Harland and Wolff, Belfast. Laid down on 11th January
1943 at the same time as sister ship PINCHER this ship was launched on 3rd August 1943. The ninth RN ship to
carry this name, introduced in 1800 for a Cutter which was later renamed HMS STING in 1802 which was wrecked
off Cadiz in 1808. The name was last used in 1914 for the German whaler STURMVOGEL.
seized after war was declared and sold in 1920. The build of this minesweeper was completed on 15th October 1943. She
was adopted by the civil community of Lunesdale Lancashire following the loss of HM Fleet Minsweeper GOSSAMER which had been originally selected in March 1942 after a successful WARSHIP WEEK campaign
for National Savings
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 Caduceus erect and two ears of wheat in saltire Gold,
by a lozenge Gold charged with a fleur-de-lys, Blue.
D e t a i l s o f W a r S e r v i c e
(for more ship information,
Naval History Homepage
and type name in Site Search
1 9 4 3
October Contractors trials and commissioned
for service with 7th Minesweeping Flotilla on
15th Build completion and commenced Acceptance
On completion of
Acceptance Trials and took passage to commence work-up for
operational service at
November Deployed at Tobermory.
December Deployed at Tobermory
26th Despatched with HM Minesweeper
PELORUS to take part in operation to intercept the
SCHARNHORST believed to be on passage to attack Atlantic shipping.
(Note: This was probably
a precautionary move in case the enemy ship was able to
action with Home Fleet ships which later engaged and sank her on this day.
Returned to Tobermory on release from this operation.
1 9 4 4
January Passage to Granton
for minesweeping training.
minesweeping training in Firth of Forth area with HMS PELORUS
On completion took passage to Harwich with
sister Minesweepers PELORUS and
PLUCKY to join HM
Minesweepers FANCY and PINCHER
(Note: All these
ships were allocated to the 7th Flotilla.)
February Deployed at Harwich for North Sea minesweeping
duties to ensure clear passage for East
HM Minesweepers LARNE,
LENNOX, RECRUIT and RIFLEMAN joined to complete
Officer’s Ship was HMS PELORUS.
March Deployed with Flotilla in
continuation of North Sea duties.
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
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
were allocated for duty with the Flotilla for laying of
and to provide assistance during NEPTUNE.)
Deployed with Flotilla
for exercises including night sweeping and major
exercise FABIUS III in
(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
6th After arrival off JUNO Beach
deployed for local minesweeping and for
(Note: During Assault Phase continued
minesweeping off Normandy and
during Build-up Phase was part of TROUT Defence Line for
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.
(Note: During this
period enemy minelaying and torpedo attacks were carried
in French coastal
waters. See references and HOLD THE NARROW SEA by P Smith.)
Nominated for refit
and withdrawn from operational use.
2nd Taken in hand for refit.
September Under refit
(Note: Did not take
part in North Sea Air Sea duties in support of air landings at
Arnhem (Operation MARKET GARDEN)
On completion of refit carried out post refit trials and prepared to
rejoin Flotilla. which
had been redeployed in
Passage to Harwich
Deployed for mine
clearance duties in Scheldt estuary and for escort of military convoy
November Transferred to Plymouth Command with
Flotilla and took passage to
anti-submarine patrol duties.
fitted U-Boats were being deployed in SW Approaches at convoy
focal areas and level of escort
and patrol was increased 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
VESTAL in order to have all ships in Flotilla with Turbine propulsion
machinery. This would ensure compatibility of maintenance requirements.
withdrawn for refit in rotation to ensure some of Flotilla were
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.
and escort duties in continuation
March Took passage to join ships of
Flotilla as Senior Officer’s ship during for service with the
Eastern Fleet based
(Note: Ship may
have joined escort for Atlantic convoy during passage to Gibraltar.
April Passage in Indian Ocean.
14th At Colombo with HM Minesweepers
PINCHER, RECRUIT, CHAMELEON,
VESTAL, PLUCKY and
RIFLEMAN. Senior Officer’s Ship.
Took passage with
Flotilla to Trincomalee to commence Fleet duties.
24th Nominated 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
(Note: For details
off other naval activities associated with DRACULA see WAR
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.
Nominated for refit
in South Africa and took passage to Durban.
(Note: Ships of
Flotilla were successively withdrawn from service for refit and
support of planned British landings in
Malaya. HMS CHAMELEON also went to Durban or Port Elizabeth in
June Taken in hand for refit.
July Under refit
August Took passage to UK to Pay-off at
(Note: The fact that this ship
did not rejoin the Flotilla in the East Indies Fleet for
service suggest that there were defects preventing her operational use.)
September On arrival at Plymouth reduced to
Reserve status after Paying-off
P o s t W a r
N o t e s
HMS PICKLE was initially laid-up at Plymouth but
transferred to Harwich in April 1951. When the Harwich Division of the Reserve
Fleet was closed the ship was towed to Portsmouth and remained in Reserve. As part of the
reduction in the Reserve Fleet following the Defence Review in 1957 she was placed on the Disposal List
and sold to the Singalese Navy in July 1958. After tow to Devonport for docking and essential
repair the ship was handed over on 18th August that year and renamed PARAKRAMA.
On completion she was sailed to Ceylon with a Singalese crew and remained in
service until 1964 when sold for demolition in Hong Kong.
For more about Algerine-class Minesweepers, see