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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 1998

HMS EASTBOURNE (J 127) - Bangor-class Minesweeper

HMS Blyth, sister-ship (Navy Photos/Mark Teadham, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 

BANGOR-Class with Reciprocating Machinery ordered on 9th September 1939 from Lobnitz at Renfrew and laid down on 29th June 1940 as Job Number 1089 (Yard N.1029), The ship was launched 5th November 1940 as the 2nd RN ship to carry this name. It was first used by a vessel hired in 1917. This ship was adopted by the civil community of Eastbourne, East Sussex following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in March 1942. Build was completed on 26th May 1941.


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, in front of 2 anchors  in saltire Gold  a sea-horse argent.

                                  (Note:  This  badge may not have  been used until  after WW2).



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


May                 Contractors trials and commissioned for service.

             26th    Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials

                         On completion of trials and storing took passage to Tobermory for work-up.

                         Nominated for service in 13th Minesweeping Flotilla.


June                  Carried out work-up at Tobermory


July                   Carried out minesweeping training in Forth based at South Queensferry.


August              On completion joined Flotilla at Harwich for East Coast minesweeping.

                          (Note: Flotilla comprised HM Minesweepers BLYTH, CLACTON, FELIXSTOWE.

                                        ILFRACOMBE. POLRUAN  and STORNOWAY.

                                        Primary purpose of sweeping operation was to ensure clear passage of the

                                        convoy route in North Sea between Southend and Firth of Forth,


September         Deployed with Flotilla off East Coast.


October              Detached and took passage to Portsmouth with HMS BLYTH.

                            Joined HM Minesweeper BRIDLINGTON with HMS BLYTH at Portsmouth for detached

                           service minesweeping in English Channel.

                           (Note: During this period involved in collection of personnel escaping from France.


November          Channel deployment in continuation.

                            On release took passage alone to rejoin Flotilla at Harwich.

                            (Note: HM BRIDLINGTON rejoined 9th Flotilla).


December          Deployed with Flotilla for clearance of gaps in British East Coast Mine Barrier.

                           (Operation QO - These were required to ensure speedy entry to North Sea and Dover

                           Straits by Nore Command destroyers in the event of an attempt by German battleships

                           SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU to return from Brest to Germany by passage through

                           English Channel).


1 9 4 2


January               Transferred with Flotilla to Falmouth for coastal minesweeping duties.


February             Transferred to Belfast with Flotilla for special duty.

                             Deployed  to ensure clear passage into Belfast for military convoy bringing US troops

                             to Northern Ireland

                             Operation carried out in bad weather.


March                   Resumed coastal minesweeping in Plymouth Command based at Falmouth.

to                          (Note: Subject to air attacks during one of which sister ship HMS BLYTH was hit)



July                      Returned to Harwich with Flotilla for minesweeping off east coast.

                             Nominated for joint minesweeping operation in support of the planned landings at Dieppe

                             (Operation JUBILEE - For details see Naval Staff History and THE WATERY MAZE by

                             B Fergusson.)


August                 Deployed with ships of  9th and 13th Flotillas for operation to clear passage of assault convoy

                             through German minefield off Dieppe.

              15th        Sustained damage during operation.

                             Taken in hand for repair.


September             On completion rejoined Flotilla at Portsmouth and deployed for minesweeping in Channel.

                              Nominated for service in support of planned allied landings in North Africa

                              (Operation TORCH - For details see Naval Staff  History and ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE

                              CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett).



               14th        Sustained damage in collision with HMS ILFRACOMBE during exercises in preparation

                              for Operation TORCH.

                              Taken in hand for repair.


November             On completion took passage to Mediterranean.


December              Deployed for minesweeping off North Africa and support of military operations.


1 9 4 3


January                  Western Mediterranean deployment in continuation.

                                Passage to UK


February                Deployed off for minesweeping in UK Coastal waters.

                10th        Escorted HM Coastal Minelayer PLOVER for minelay in East Coast Barrier.

                               (Operation QV3 - off The Wash)

                 17th       Escorted HMS PLOVER for further East Coast Barrier minelay

                               (Operation QV2).

                 20th       Escorted HMS PLOVER for minelay off Humber Estuary (Operation BS87).


March                     Deployed in North Sea and Channel for mine clearance in convoy routes.

to December


1 9 4 4


January                  Deployed with 13th Flotilla for minesweeping in UK coastal waters

to .                          Flotilla nominated for support of allied landings in Normandy.

April                       Allocated for clearance of Channel 7 for assault convoys to JUNO beachhead.

                                (Operation NEPTUNE: See OPERATION NEPTUNE by K Edwards and Naval Staff History)


May                        Channel minesweeping in continuation and detached to join Amphibious exercises with

                                Force J

                                (Exercise FABIUS series).


June                        Channel 7 clearance in continuation.

                   4th       Operation NEPTUNE delayed 24 hours.

                   5th       Carried out clearance sweep of Channel 7 in advance of Force J assault convoys.

                   6th       After arrival off beach head carried out sweeping of bombardment area to be used by

                               Bombardment Group for gunfire support.

                   7th       Deployed for additional mine clearance of approach channels.

                 24th       Joined US Task Force 129 with Flotilla and sailed from Portland as Minesweeping Unit 2

                               for planned gunfire support  off Cherbourg.

                               (Note: Task Force comprised:

                                           Bombardment Group No 1

                                                     US Battleship NEVADA. US Cruisers USS TUSCALOOSA, QUINCY

                                                     HM Cruisers GLASGOW and ENTERPRISE with screen of six US Navy


                                           Bombardment Group No 2.

                                                     US Battleships USS ARKANSAS ,TEXAS. with five US Navy Destroyers

                                                     as screen.

                                           Minesweeping Unit No 1.

                                                     Four BANGOR Class RN Minesweepers, four RN Danlayers four RN

                                                     Motor Launches and eight RN BYMS of 159th Minesweeping  Flotilla.

                                           Minesweeping Unit No 2.

                                                     Eight US Navy Minesweepers, one RN Danlayer and four  Motor launches

                 25th       Carried out mine clearance operation in Fire Support area prior to the arrival

                               Bombardment Group No 1 came under heavy fire from coastal batteries during sweep and

                               withdrew after completing half of intended task

                               For details see LANDINGS IN NORMANDY JUNE 1944 (HMSO)

                               Released on completion of bombardments and resumed duties with Eastern Task Force

                               for minesweeping and patrol off beachhead.


July                        Deployment in support of allied landings in continuation.

                               Modified for towing duties.

                               Carried out towing duties for barges intend to activate OYSTER Pressure Mines.

                               (Note: HMS SEAHAM and HMS FORT YORK (RCN) were also used as 'Fleet Tugs'

                                           in this role but the results were not a total success).


August                    On release from support of military operations resumed minesweeping duties.




1 9 4 5


January                  Deployed in Home waters for minesweeping and ant-submarine patrol duties.

to                           (Note: No record has been traced of return of ship to 9th Flotilla which was deployed

August                               in Norway after VE Day. This period is subject to amendment).


P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


HMS EASTBOURNE was paid off after VJ Day and remained in Reserve until placed on the Disposal List in 1947. The ship was then sold for breaking-up by Clayton and Davies at Dunston where she arrived in in tow during October 1948. The name was carried forward and used for a Type 12 Frigate built by Vickers-Armstrong. The 3rd ship to carry the named was launched on 29th December 1955 and served with the Fleet for over 20 years before also being sold for breaking-up.


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