HALCYON-Class Minesweeper ordered from HM
Dockyard Devonport on 2nd March 1936 with propulsion
machinery to be supplied by JS White, Cowes.. The ship was laid down on 27th April 1936 and launched on 28th
October 1936. She was the 8th
RN warship to carry this name which had been introduced for a 40 Gun ship
taken as Prize in 1794 and renamed BLONDE in 1804 The last
to carry the name was a† 5th Rate in 1873
. Build was completed on 23rd October 1937 †and this ship was adopted by the civil
community of Hemsworth Urban
District in the West
Riding of Yorkshire after a WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in March
B a t t l e†† H o n o u r s
DUNKIRK 1940 - ARCTIC† 1941-42
CONVOYS 1942 - SICILY
H e r a l d i
c†† D a t a
Badge: On a Field Red a two handled Drinking
M o t t o
M a n n i n g†† D i v i s i
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 3 9
July Deployed with HM Fleet Minesweepers BRAMBLE,
BRITOMART, HAZARD, SEAGULL
SHARPSHOOTER and SPEEDY in 1st Minesweeping
August Carried out minesweeping trial in Lyme Bay with ships of
(Note: This field had been specially laid to
establish minesweeping capabilities.
50 mines were swept.)
Took passage to War Station with Flotilla at
September Deployed with Flotilla for minesweeping operations to
ensure clear passage for
Home Fleet ships in and out of Fleet anchorage.
October Scapa Flow deployment in continuation.
14th Transferred to Clyde and cleared British deep
anti-submarine mine field off
(Note: Home Fleet units were moved to Clyde
area after the sinking of HM
Battleship ROYAL OAK at anchor in Scapa Flow by
a torpedo from U47
which penetrated the anchorage.)
November Resumed North Sea Service to ensure passages through East
Barrier were kept clear of mines.
(Note: Extensive enemy minelaying using
magnetic mines was being carried
out in North Sea. See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY
by C Barnett.)
December Transferred to Stornoway for Atlantic convoy escort duties
1 9 4 0
January Returned to Scapa Flow for Fleet duties.
February Home Fleet mine clearance duties in continuation.
March Nominated for transfer on loan to the newly 6th
Minesweeping Flotilla and took passage
to Dover to join Flotilla as Senior Officerís
April Deployed at Dover for minesweeping Dover Command and
duty as Flagship for Flag
Officer Dover and Senior Officer of Flotilla.
(Note: Other sister ships in the Flotilla were
HALCYON, HUSSAR and SPEEDWELL.
May Deployment at Dover in continuation.
28th Nominated for support of evacuation of allied troops
Sailed for La Panne.
29th On arrival during dive bombing attacks on beaches
embarked 66 troops including stretcher cases.
Took passage back to Dover.
Ordered to Dunkirk harbour to embark Captain
Bush for duty off the beaches as Senior Officer
Sailed from Dover
After arrival came under attacks by three He111
aircraft without damage.
Embarked survivors from ss CRESTED EAGLE which
had been sunk in an earlier air raid.
30th Embarked Rear Admiral WF Wake-Walker from HM
Destroyer ESK who was relieving
Captain Bush as SO Afloat at Dunkirk.
Returned to beaches and embarked more troops.
(Note: SNO (Afloat) later transferred to HM
Took return passage to Dover with 633 troops.
31st Sailed from Dover for further support of evacuation
Under fire from shore batteries at La Panne and
move further to the West.
Came under direct dive bombing by four aircraft
which caused significant damage by near
and some minor casualties.
One aircraft was shot down by AA fire from ship.
Lord Gort, CinC BEF embarked from yacht and more
troops embarked from beaches.
(Note: Pennant Number for visual signalling
purposes changed to J24 as part of total
revision for all RN ships of these identities.)
Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes
changed to J82 as part of changes
in all RN warships.
1st Lord Gort disembarked for transfer.
Took passage from Dunkirk to return to Dover
with 365 troops.
On arrival 28 of ships company were taken to
hospital and troops landed
Ship withdrawn from DYNAMO and repair arranged
Took passage to Portsmouth
5th Taken in hand for repair by HM Dockyard.
10th On completion resumed service with 1st Flotilla and
took passage to Scapa Flow
July Deployed with Flotilla for Home Fleet minesweeping
duties based at Scapa Flow
to Nominate for refit at Leith
November Passage from Scapa Flow to Leith
15th Taken hand at commercial shipyard in Leith.
December Under refit
1 9 4 1
January Under refit
February Carried out harbour trials
3rd Shipyard work completed
8th Sustained structural damage to stem in collision.
9th Under repair by HM Dockyard Rosyth.
22nd Resumed Flotilla duties on completion.
Passage to Harwich
March Deployed with HM Fleet Minesweepers BRAMBLE, BRITOMART
at Harwich for mine clearance operations between
the Thames Estuary and Portsmouth
(Note: HMS BRAMBLE was hit by bomb during air
raid at Harwich.)
April Under repair.
May On completion rejoined Flotilla which had been
transferred to Western Approaches Command
for convoy escort and based at Stornoway.
(Note: This change was made in view of the
shortage of escorts caused by the losses and
damage during 1940 during evacuation operations
and the increase in threat of U-Boat
attacks on convoys after bases in French ports
became available. See HITLERíS U-BOAT
WAR by C Blair and U-BOAT WAR IN THE ATLANTIC
June Atlantic convoy defence with 3rd Escort Group and
Irish Sea Escort Force
to in continuation.
August (Note: During periods when not required for escort
these minesweeper were deployed for
minesweeping in Western Approaches.)
September Nominated for detached service in North Russia.
(Note: Three HALCYON Class Fleet Minesweepers
had been transferred to North Russia
in August for minesweeping and convoy escort in
the White Sea based at Archangel.).
16th Under repair in Belfast commercial shipyard..
(Note: Ship may have not have been ĎArticisedí.
To be confirmed
October Under repair
9th On completion took passage to Iceland to join
Russian Convoy as part of escort for passage
27th Sailed from Hvalfjord, Iceland with HM Fleet
Minesweepers SHARPSHOOTER and HAZARD
as escort for PQ 5.
1st HM Cruiser SHEFFIELD joined escort
7th Detached from PQ5 with HMS SHEFFIELD and HMS
Passage to Archangel.
29th Deployed with HM Fleet Minesweepers BRAMBLE, LEDA,
SPEEDY and two trawlers for
escort of outward Convoy QP4 during passage from
1 9 4 2
5th Detached from QP4 with HMS BRAMBLE and took
independent passage to UK
(Note: QP4 dispersed on 9th and took
independent passage to ICELAND.)
Resumed Flotilla duties in NW Approaches
February Nominated for refit and took passage to Humber.
9th Taken in hand for refit at Immingham in commercial
(Note: ĎArticisationí to be confirmed.)
March Nominated for further detached service in North Russia.
11th On completion of shipyard work carried out post
Took passage to Iceland to join escort of Convoy
PQ14 during passage from Iceland to
5th Sailed from Iceland with HMS SPEEDY as part of
escort for PQ14.
12th Sustained significant damage during passage in ice.
Withdrawn from service for repair and took
passage to Humber
(Note: 18 mercantiles in convoy were also
forced to return due to ice damage.)
May Under repair
25th Carried out post repair trials and resumed Flotilla
Nominated for foreign service
Passage to Clyde to join military convoy
Convoy WS19S in NW Approaches as part of Ocean Escort for passage to
(Note: Home Fleet ships deployed with WS19S included HM Cruisers LIVERPOOL,
KENYA, HM Destroyers ONSLOW, ICARUS, BEDOUIN, HM Escort
Destroyer BADSWORTH and Polish destroyer ORP KUJAWIAK).
Joined HM Cruiser
CAIRO, HM Destroyers BEDOUIN,
ITHURIEL, BLANKNEY, MIDDLETON , HM Escort Destroyer
BADSWORTH and ORP KUJAWIAK, HM Minesweepers SPEEDY, HYTHE
RYE as Force X
at Gibraltar for escort
of convoy for passage to Malta
through Sicilian Narrows.
heavy and sustained air attacks during which HMS LIVERPOOL was damaged
had to return to Gibraltar.
15th In action
with Italian warships attempting to intercept and attack convoy.
details see THE BATTLE FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by D MacIntyre,
ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY and MALTA CONVOYS by R
Sustained slight damage during engagement with
major structural damage forward after detonating a mine whilst entering
Harbour, Malta with the two mercantiles which survived passage of HARPOON,
17th Under repair by HM Dockyard, Malta
July On completion of repair commenced minesweeping
duties with Flotilla based
August Deployed with HM Fleet Minesweepers SPEEDY, HYTHE and
RYE in support
of passage of PEDESTAL Convoy during passage
into Malta from Gibraltar.
13th Assisted damaged tanker OHIO into Malta.
September Malta deployment with Flotilla in continuation.
1 9 4 3
22nd Sunk off Bari, Italy after detonating
mine laid by U453 earlier in the month.
Bulkhead in Boiler Room demolished by two
Ship capsized and sank very quickly. 35 of
shipís company were killed and of the
72 survivors, 36 were injured.
by Bill Burn