BANGOR-Class Minesweeper fitted with turbine propulsion machinery, ordered on 28th August 1939 from Hamilton Shipbuilders and laid down at Port Glasgow on
October 1939. She was
launched on 29th January 1941 and build was completed on 20th August that year.
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. In November 1941 she was
most appropriately adopted by the civil community of Ilfracombe, Devonshire after a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign.
B a t t l
e H o n o u r s
DIEPPE 1941 - NORTH AFRICA 1942-43 - NORMANDY 1944
H e r a l d i
c D a t a
Badge: On a Field Blue, a
D e t a i l
s o f
W a r S e r v i c e
(for more ship information,
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and type name in Site Search
1 9 4 1
August Contractors trials and
commissioned for service in 13th Minesweeping Flotilla.
20th On completion of build commenced
September Deployed at Rosyth for minesweeping
trials and work-up for operational service
October Joined HM Minesweepers CLACTON, FELIXSTOWE, STORNOWAY, EASTBOURNE
BLYTH (Leader), EASTBOURNE and POLRUAN for service in North Sea.
Took part in joint
minesweeping operation with ships of 9th and 13th Flotillas to
gaps in East Coast Mine Barrier and a known German minefield. These were
to provide destroyers based at Harwich and Sheerness with an assured clear
through minefields for interception of enemy warships in the North Sea or in
English Channel. (Operation QO)
This was to counter any attempt by the German warships SCHARNHORST and
GNEISENAU to return to Germany from Brest.)
On completion of QO resumed Channel minesweeping at Harwich
December Harwich deployment in continuation.
1 9 4 2
East Coast minesweeping in continuation
Transferred with Flotilla for special duty at Belfast (Operation MAGNET)
Deployed for minesweeping
in NW approaches to ensure clear passage for military
bringing first US troops to the European Theatre.
On completion transferred to Falmouth for minesweeping in Plymouth Command.
June Nominated for special
duty in planned landing operation.
(Note: Some of channel minesweeping was undertaken in 9th Flotilla based
at Portland for service in the eastern part of the English Channel.)
July Transferred with Flotilla
to Harwich for further service in North Sea for
Flotilla for minesweeping in support of planned landing
British and Canadian troops at Dieppe (Operation JUBILEE)
August Passage to Portsmouth to prepare for JUBILEE.
Took part in
preparatory exercises with ships of 9th and 13th Minesweeping
(Note: Other ships in Flotilla then included HM Minesweepers
EASTBOURNE, POLRUAN, BLYTH, STORNOWAY,
CLACTON and FELIXSTOWE.)
18th Carried out
joint operations to ensure safe passage of assault convoys.
19th On completion of
sweep returned to Portsmouth.
24th Transferred with
Flotilla to Portsmouth Command for Channel coast
For details of JUBILEE see the Naval Staff History and THE WATERY
MAZE by B Fergusson.)
Deployed with Flotilla and took part in special minesweeping operations
with clearance of passages for destroyers carrying out attacks
German coast convoys off French coast.
Nominated with ships of Flotilla for support of planned allied landings
North Africa (Operation TORCH)
Prepared for foreign service.
14th Took part in
exercises for planned landings in Irish Sea with
major structural damage in collision with HMS EASTBOURNE.
exercises and took passage for repair.
November Under repair.
Nominated for transfer to 9th Minesweeping Flotilla on completion.
1 9 4 3
Minesweeping Flotilla deployed in English Channel
based at Portsmouth
minesweeping in English
Channel to ensure clear
passage for coastal convoys and also
provide gaps in British and enemy minefields to allow clear passage for allied
(Note: Interception operations were carried out frequently by ships based at Plymouth
and Portsmouth to attack merchant traffic, commerce raiders and
on passage to and from ports in France (TUNNEL operations.).
HOLD THE NARROW SEA by P Smith and THE BATTLE OF THE
SEAS by P Scott.)
ships in the Flotilla were HM Minesweepers SIDMOUTH, BRIDPORT,
BRIDLINGTON, BANGOR, BLACKPOOL, EASTBOURNE and BLYTH.)
1 9 4 4
Channel minesweeping in continuation with Flotilla based at Portsmouth.
Nominated for support of
planned allied landings in Normandy with Flotilla.
Transferred to 16th Minesweeping Flotilla based at Plymouth.
ships in Flotilla were HM Minesweepers BEAUMARIS, DORNOCH,
PARRSBOROUGH (RCN), QUALICUM (RCN), SHIPPIGAN (RCN)(Leader),
TADOUSSAC (RCN) and WEDGEPORT (RCN). RCN Ships were Canadian-
BANGORS built completed in 1942.)
duty with Flotilla in Force U under US Command
experienced minesweeping officer was appointed to serve in the American
Ships USS CHIMO to act as Commander Minesweeping (West),)
Plymouth and took part in preparatory exercises for NEPTUNE.
with ships of Force U
carried out included the ill-fated Exercise TIGER that came under E-Boat
attacks on passage to the landing area at Slapton Sands.)
details of naval activities prior to and during landings see LANDINGS
NORMANDY, June 1944 (HMSO), OPERATION NEPTUNE by K Edwards
and Naval Staff History.)
clearance of Channel 1 to UTAH Beaches with Flotilla.
June Deployed with HM
Minesweepers Flotilla for final preparation at Plymouth.
4th Passage to Solent to commence sweep of
by 24 hours
5th Commenced clearance
of Channel 1 in The Spout.
6th On completion of
clearance of Channel deployed for clearance of anchorage areas.
7th Minesweeping off US
Beaches in continuation
to Experienced many
difficulties during the Great Gales on 19th to 21st.
July Reverted to RN command with Flotilla on
completion of NEPTUNE.
deployment in continuation off Normandy with periodic return to
replenishment and maintenance.
August Channel deployment with Flotilla in
(Note: Flotilla were re-deployed eastward as required to ensure safe
passage for ships
supporting military operations including approaches to ports in France.
October After period for refit and
R&R in UK deployed with Flotilla for minesweeping off
work included mine clearance of passage to ports in Belgium and off
coast of UK because of extensive minelaying by surface craft and
well by aircraft.)
1 9 4 5
January East Coast deployment in
continuation with Flotilla.
6th Despatched with
HMCS TADOUSSAC to for mine clearance of entrance into
of work at Kristiansund rejoined Flotilla for mine clearance to ensure
safe passage of
ships into Norway after liberation of the country.)
12th Deployed with
Flotilla to carry out minesweep ahead of HM Cruisers DEVONSHIRE,
ARIADNE, HM Destroyers IROQUOIS (RCN), SAVAGE, SCOURGE and
Norwegian destroyer ARENDAL
(Ex HMS BADSWORTH.)
in Oslo Fjord to bring Crown Prince Olaf of Norway back to his country.
29th Took passage from
Norway to Granton, near Edinburgh with ships of Flotilla on release
June Deployed at Granton for repairs and maintenance
mine clearance duties in North Sea based at Harwich.
July Harwich deployment in
continuation with Flotilla for clearance of allied and German mines
to August for safety of North Sea
P o s t W a
r N o t e s
HMS ILFRACOMBE remained in commission after VJ Day and
continued mine clearance duties in North Sea. She was transferred for similar duty in the Bristol
Channel in 1946 and on completion was Paid-off. After de-storing the ship was laid up in the Reserve Fleet until placed
on the Disposal List in 1947. Sold to BISCO on 1st January 1948 she was towed to Dunston, County Durham for
breaking-up by Messrs Clayton and Davie later that year.