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

HMS BLACKPOOL (J 27) - Bangor-class Minesweeper

HMS Blackpool (Pauline Biddlecombe, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 

BANGOR-Class Minesweeper fitted with Diesel propulsion machinery, ordered on 6th July 1939 from Harland and Wolff and laid down at Govan shipyard, Glasgow on 19th September 1939 with sister ship to be named BANGOR. She was launched 4th July 1940 and build was completed on 3rd February 1941. She was the 1st RN ship to carry this name, which like others of the Class built in UK was that of a coastal town. .She was adopted by the civil community of Ashington, Northumberland after a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign 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 Green, upon a Roundel barry wavy Blue and White,

a Black swan 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 1


February                Commissioned for service in 9th Minesweeping Flotilla.

                3rd          Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

                                On completion of trials and storing took passage to Scapa Flow.

                28th        During work-up came under air attack.


March                    Deployment with HM Minesweepers BANGOR, BRIDLINGTON BRIDPORT ,

                                RHYL and ROMNEY at Scapa Flow for work-up and minesweeping trials with


                                On completion deployed for minesweeping to ensure clear passage of Fleet units in and out of

                                Scapa Flow and also of East Coast convoy routes between Aberdeen and NW of Scottish coast.


April                       Flotilla minesweeping duties in continuation based at Scapa Flow.

                                (Note: HMS BUDE and HMS CROMER joined Flotilla.

                                Duties also included clearance of gunnery firing ranges off Cape Wrath.)


May                        Transferred to English Channel for minesweeping duties with Flotilla.


June                        Channel deployment with Flotilla including convoy escort as well as routine clearance

to November         of convoy routes between Dover and Plymouth.

                                Based at Poole and Portland as required by commitments.

                                RAF air cover was provided subject to UK air defence requirements and came under

                                air attacks.

                                (Note: Ships were provided with balloons using specially fitted hand winches, for protection

                                against bombing attacks, but their value was indeterminate.

                                HMS SIDMOUTH and HMS TENBY joined Flotilla.)


December              Transferred to Harwich with Flotilla for special mine clearance off East Coast with ships of

                                13th Minesweeping Flotilla (Operation QO).

                                On arrival carried out joint minesweeping operations to provide two gaps through British East

                                Coast Mine Barrier and a known German minefield for use by allied destroyers requiring speedy

                                access to North Sea from Harwich.

                                Poor visibility often proved of great value since work was completed without enemy air attacks.

                                (Note: This was required In view of any attempt by the German battleships SCHARNHORST

                                and GNEISENAU to return to Germany from Brest through the English Channel instead

                                of via NW Passage. This was indeed justified within two months.)

                                9th Minesweeping Flotilla were also deployed in Channel.)

                                Resumed Channel duties at Poole with Flotilla on completion of QO.


1 9 4 2


January                  Channel deployment based at Poole with Flotilla in continuation.

to June                   (Note: HMS SIDMOUTH had replaced HMS CROMER as Senior Officer.)

                                Nominated for support of planned assault landings at Dieppe (Operation JUBILEE)


July                         Deployed with Flotilla for joint minesweeping operations with 13th Flotilla in preparation

                                for JUBILEE.

                                (Note: This operation had been subject to many delays after its initial conception in April

                                and was cancelled when air attacks on assembled ships off Yarmouth, IoW were

                                attacked by aircraft and later operation further delayed by weather. See THE WATERY

                                MAZE by B Fergusson and Naval Staff History.

                                It is assumed that the minesweepers resumed their Channel duties after the cancellation.


August                  Channel deployment in continuation pending execution of JUBILEE.

                18th        Joined invasion ships in Channel and took passage to assembly area north of Dieppe..

                                (Note: Other ships of Flotilla taking part were HM Minesweepers SIDMOUTH (SO),

                                BANGOR, BRIDLINGTON, BRIDPORT, RHYL and TENBY)

                19th        Commenced night minesweeping operations in advance of assault craft and control ships.

                                (Note: Two channels were swept in advance of invasion force and an unexpected encounter with

                                a German coastal convoy was a prelude to what proved to be a disastrous attempt

                                to make an effective landing.

                20th        Resumed Channel minesweeping and convoy defence duties.

                                (Note: See above references for details of return of invasion force. No record of

                                minesweeping support during return passage was traced.)


September             Channel minesweeping and convoy escort duties in continuation.

to December          (Note: In addition to routine clearance of convoy routes the Flotilla carried out mine

                                sweeping to ensure clear passage of destroyers to carry out attacks on enemy

                                coastal ships. (TUNNEL Series of operations.)


1 9 4 3


                                Deployed in English Channel with Flotilla for minesweeping and convoy defence.

                                (Note: Other ships in Flotilla during this period were HM Minesweepers

                                SIDMOUTH (SO), TENBY, BRIDPORT, BRIDLINGTON, BANGOR

                                EASTBOURNE, BLYTH and ILFRACOMBE.)



1 9 4 4


January                  Channel deployment in continuation.

to April                  Nominated for minesweeping support with Flotilla for planned allied landings in

                                Normandy (Operation NEPTUNE)



May                        Deployed as part of Force J for service in Eastern Task Force and nominated for

                                clearance of Approach Channel No.7 to JUNO Beach with ships of 9th Minesweeping


                                Took part in preparatory exercises with Ships of Force J based at Cowes, IoW.

                                (Note: Ships of Forces O, S and J carried out Final Rehearsal for NEPTUNE

                                with Force J deployed off Hayling Island . These were primarily for berthing,

                                loading and sailing prior to departure and minesweepers may not have been

                                required. (Exercise FABIUS) between 2nd and 4th May. Similarly a Defence

                                exercise was also carried out off Brighton which may not have included

                                minesweepers. The Flotilla may therefore have remained on normal duties in

                                Channel for part of this month.)

                                Passage to Solent to join Force J for NEPTUNE briefing.

                                For details of naval activities before and during operation see LANDINGS IN

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


June                        Deployed in Solent with HM Minesweepers SIDMOUTH, BANGOR,

                                BOSTON, BRIDLINGTON, BRIDPORT, EASTBOURNE, and TENBY,

                                HM Trawlers BRYHER, DALMATIA, IJUIN and SIGMA.

                                (Note: The Trawlers were to be deployed as Danlayers to identify boundaries of

                                Channel No 7. Three of these were all ships requisitioned for minesweeping

                                early in WW2 but BRYHER built in 1943 was an Admiralty ISLES Class


                4th          Operation delayed 24 hours.

                5th          Sailed from Solent with ships of Flotilla to carry out mine clearance of Channel No 7.

                                On completion of clearance of Channel 7 deployed off beachhead for minesweeping

                                in anchorage area for Force J ships.

                7th          Deployed off landing beaches in Eastern Task Force area.

                25th        Deployed off Cherbourg with ships of Flotilla to clear approach channel to the

                                selected bombardment area for US battleships USS TEXAS and ARKANSAS.

                                On completion carried out further minesweeping off Cherbourg.

                29th        Retained for minesweeping duties off Normandy on completion of NEPTUNE.

                                For further details of minesweeping operations off Normandy see THEY LED

                                THE WAY by J Williams.


July                         Minesweeping support off French coast in continuation.

                                Deployed off Brest after occupation by allied forces.


August                  Released from support of landings in France and taken in hand for repair and



September             Resumed Flotilla duties and carried out mine clearance in Channel and Nore

to December          Command areas.

1 9 4 5


January                  Minesweeping and convoy defence in continuation.

to April


May                        Deployed with HM Minesweepers SIDMOUTH, TENBY, BANGOR, ROMNEY,

                                and RYE off southern Norway after VE Day for mine clearance.

                                Based at Stavanger.

                                Took part in longest continual sweep during WW2 which lasted nearly 79 hours

                                and ensured safe passage for shipping.

                                On completion returned to Stavanger with Flotilla.


June                        On return from Norwegian deployment taken in hand for repair and maintenance.


July                         Deployed with Flotilla in SW Approaches for mine clearance duties based at

to August              Plymouth. 

P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


HMS BLACKPOOL remained in commission after VJ Day and continued mine clearance duties in Bristol Channel area until July 1946 when she was Paid off and reduced to Reserve status. This minesweeper was sold to Norway later in 1946 and was renamed HMNorS TARNA. She remained on the Active List of the Royal Norwegian Navy until 1st May 1961 when stricken and later sold for demolition.





Letter from Petty Officer Henry Sutton,  June 1944


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