BANGOR-Class Minesweeper fitted with reciprocating machinery, ordered on 21st July 1939 from Ailsa Shipbuilding Co and laid down at Troon,
Ayrshire on 6th November 1939. She was launched 18th July 1940
(below) and build was completed on 9th May 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. In March 1942 she was
adopted by the civil community of Budleigh Salterton, Devonshire after a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign.
B a t t l
e H o n o u r s
DIEPPE 1942 - NORTH AFRICA 1942-43
SICILY 1943 - SALERNO 1943 -
SOUTH FRANCE 1944
H e r a l d i
c D a t a
Badge: On a Field White,
a popinjay perched upon
a trident fess wise Red
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 1
May Contractors trials and commissioned for service in
13th Minesweeping Flotilla.
9th On completion of build commenced Acceptance Trials
June Deployed at Rosyth for minesweeping trials and
work-up for operational service
July Joined HM Minesweepers CLACTON, FELIXSTOWE, STORNOWAY,
BLYTH (Leader), EASTBOURNE and ILFRACOMBE. in
Deployed to ensure clear passage for coastal
convoys based at Harwich
August East Coast deployment with Flotilla in continuation.
October Took part in joint minesweeping operation with ships of
9th and 13th Flotillas to
provide gaps in East Coast Mine Barrier and a
known German minefield. These were
needed to provide destroyers based at Harwich
and Sheerness with an assured clear
passage through minefields for interception of
enemy warships in the North Sea or in
the English Channel. (Operation QO)
(Note: This was to counter any attempt by the
German warships SCHARNHORST and
GNEISENAU to return to Germany from Brest.)
November On completion of QO resumed Channel minesweeping at
December Harwich deployment in continuation.
1 9 4 2
January East Coast minesweeping in continuation
February Transferred with Flotilla for special duty at Belfast
Deployed for minesweeping in NW approaches to
ensure clear passage for military
convoys bringing first US troops to the European
March On completion transferred to Falmouth for minesweeping
in Plymouth Command.
June Nominated for special duty in planned landing
(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
East Coast minesweeping.
Nominated with Flotilla for minesweeping in
support of planned landing
by British and Canadian troops at Dieppe
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
EASTBOURNE, ILFRACOMBE, 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
(Note: For details of JUBILEE see the Naval
Staff History and THE WATERY
MAZE by B Fergusson.)
September Deployed with Flotilla and took part in special
associated with clearance of passages for
destroyers carrying out attacks
on German coast convoys off French coast.
October Nominated with ships of Flotilla for support of planned
allied landings in
North Africa (Operation TORCH)
Prepared for foreign service.
14th Took part in exercises for planned landings in Irish
Sea with Flotilla.
(Note: During these HMS EASTBOURNE collided with
and had to remain in UK for repair.)
These two ships were replaced by HMS BUDE and
Deployed as escort for military convoy to
November Deployed at Gibraltar and prepared for minesweeping role in support of British
landings in the Mediterranean
8th Provided clear passage in front of assault convoy.
On release deployed for minesweeping along North
African coast to ensure clear passage
for coastal convoys and warships carrying out
(Note: For details see Naval Staff History and
ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE
CLOSELY by C Barnett.)
December North African coast deployment in continuation.
1 9 4 3
Her crew at Malta in 1943 (enlargement is 1.7Mb)
January Deployed for minesweeping and convoy defence between
Algiers and Bone.
April Took part in joint operation with ships of Flotilla
and those of the 12th Minesweeping Flotilla
May to clear minefields as far east as Tripoli to enable
passage of routine convoys to be resumed
from Gibraltar to Port Said.
(Note: 13th Flotilla then comprised HM
Minesweepers RHYL (Leader), BUDE, BRIXHAM,
CLACTON, FELIXSTOWE, POLRUAN, ROTHESAY and STORNOWAY.
14th Flotilla was made up if the larger ALGERINE
Class Fleet Minesweepers.)
June On completion of clearance of convoy route
transferred with Flotilla for duty in Malta.
Nominated for minesweeping support of planned
allied landings in Sicily (Operation HUSKY).
Took part in preparation for HUSKY and deployed
for minesweeping in central Mediterranean.
9th Deployed in advance of assault convoys to ensure
clear passage to British beachheads.
10th Carried mine sweeping in selected anchorage for
On completion deployed with Flotilla for
minesweeping in support of allied advance.
(Note: For details see Naval Staff History and
ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY.)
August On release from operations off Sicily returned to Malta
Nominated for minesweeping support of planned
landings on mainland of Sicily at Salerno.
September Prepared for AVALANCHE in Malta with Flotilla.
(Note: HMS FELIXSTOWE and HMS ROTHESAY were
detached for duty as Danlayers
with the 12th Flotilla. See above references.)
7th Deployed for minesweeping in advance of assault
8th Carried out clearance of mines in the north of
Salerno Bay prior to landings by US troops.
12th Released from AVALANCHE and took return passage to
(Note: 36 mines were swept during these
October Deployed for minesweeping in central Mediterranean.
November Nominated with ships of Flotilla to relive 14th Minesweeping
Flotilla in an operation to clear
mines in Straits of Bonifacio.
December Passage to Maddalena with Flotilla.
16th Deployed for Minesweeping operations off Corsica and Sardinia.
18th During operation off Sardinia, HMS FELIXSTOWE detonated a mine in position 3 miles east
of Cape Ferro and sank without any loss
of life. Rescue was carried out by ships of Flotilla.
31st During minesweeping off east coast of Corsica HMS CLACTON sank when a mine
in her sweep wire exploded on the quarterdeck.
43 survivors were rescued.
1 9 4 4
January Deployed for continuation of Minesweeping operations
with the five remaining ships
(Note: HMS RHYL was refitting in Malta.)
20th Straits of Bonifacio operations in continuation
without HMS BUDE and HMS ROTHESAY
which had been detached for service as Danlayers
with 12th Flotilla during minesweeping
support of planned allied landings in north of
Italy at Anzio. (Operation SHINGLE)
February Deployed at Maddalena for minesweeping with Flotilla.
May On relief by a ship of 19th Minesweeping Flotilla
took passage with HM Minesweepers
STORNOWAY, BUDE AND BRIXHAM to Naples for joint
operation with ships of 12th
Minesweeping Flotilla to provide clear passage
between Naples and Anzio for supply of
by sea of stores and personnel for military
June Deployed with same ships of both Flotillas to clear
entrance to port of Civitavecchia
ROTHESAY joined 13th Flotilla to replace HMS
Deployed with the other four of the 13th
Flotilla, ships of 12th and 19th Minesweeping
Flotillas to clear passage between Anzio and
Leghorn. (Operation LOBSTER).
(Note: This covered an area of 234 square miles
from which 250 mines were accounted for.
A number of Danlayers and auxiliary minesweepers
were also used to support
this extensive operation
August Nominated for minesweeping support of planned allied
landings in South France
(Operation DRAGOON – Formerly ANVIL)
(Note: This operation was under overall US Navy
For details of DRAGOON see LANDINGS IN SOUTH
Took passage to Naples on completion of LOBSTER.
9th Sailed from Naples as part of escort for Convoy
SS1B (ALPHA) during passage to Ajaccio.
(Note: HM Minesweepers ROTHESAY, RHYL, BUDE,
LARNE, CLINTON, OCTAVIA, STORMCLOUD, WELFARE,
US Destroyer FC
DAVIES and 18 smaller craft were also deployed
for escort of SS1B (ALPHA)
13th Rejoined convoy on departure from Ajaccio.
14th Arrived at nominated rendezvous position.
15th Joined by HM Minesweeper ARIES of 19th Flotilla and
carried out sweep in advance of the
assault craft on passage to YELLOW Beach south
After arrival deployed of beaches for
minesweeping to clear all landing areas.
16th Deployment for minesweeping in landing areas
18th Deployed with CTG80.10 under command of Commander
Messmer, USN and deployed to
clear Bormes Roads and Hyeres Roads during which
11 mines were accounted for.
24th Deployed for clearance of Gulf of Fos and under shore fire from
batteries between Cape
Mejean and Cape Couronne without damage.
25th Resumed operations.
31st Completed operation and released from DRAGOON.
(Note: 173 mines were dealt with and their
positions had been determined by air
September Passage to Malta for R&R and routine maintenance.
Nominated for minesweeping duties off Greek
coast to ensure clear passage for support
of military operations.
Passage to carry out minesweeping for clearance
of Gulf of Patras and Gulf of Corinth.
(Note: HMS RHYL rejoined Flotilla for this
(For details of military operations see Military
October Minesweeping to clear entrances to ports in southern
Greece in continuation.
November (Note: 353 mines swept. Many explosive and other devices
intended to delay
minesweeping were encountered with consequent
need to replace parts of sweep gear.)
Nominated for return to UK to pay-off and reduce to Reserve
Passage to Malta to prepare for passage to UK.
December Took passage to Devonport to pay-off and de-store
1 9 4 5
January Paid-off and de-stored.
February Reduced to Reserve status
April Laid-up in Reserve Fleet
Presumably laid up with a sister ship - a sad
contrast with her launching
P o s t W a r
N o t e s
HMS POLRUAN was placed on the Disposal List in 1949
and sold to BISCO in 1950 for demolition by
T Young at Sunderland. In June 1950 the ship was taken in tow to the Tyne
and handed over to the ship
WARSHIP WEEK ADOPTION and
SHIP'S BADGE of HMS
from David Hill
Chairman, Polruan Town Trust, Polruan, Fowey
The above record shows that the ship was adopted in March 1942 by the civil
community of Budleigh Salterton, Devon and not by Polruan. I am the
Chairman of Polruan Town Trust in Polruan Cornwall which is a Charity owning
feudal lands in the village. We have in our possession a copy of the ship's
badge, photos of the ship, photos of her launching, and one of her crew at Malta
in 1943 (all seen
above - with thanks to David Hill). Recently we
were given the ensign from the ship from a sailor who “collected” it when the
ship was decommissioned and sent to the breakers yard. The original items [ships
plaque and photos] were given by the ship at the time [1940?] to the local
Parish Council who have loaned them to the Trust as they have a building to
exhibit them in. I would be grateful for any information on how the ship
was apparently was adopted by Budleigh Salterton rather than Polruan.
One additional snippet for you is the ships badge – you refer to this as a
popinjay which I understand is a description of a parrot. Residents of the
Village where often referred to as “Pollyroosters” and therefore I had assumed
that the ships plaque had possibly reflected this as it was effectively a “Polly