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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2005

HMS SALTASH (N 62) - Old Hunt-class Minesweeper

HMS Saltash (Photo Ships, click to enlarge return to Contents List 

Later HUNT-Class coal burning minesweeper ordered from Murdoch and Murray of Port Glasgow in May 1917. The ship was laid down on 5th September 1917. Machinery was supplied by Yarrow of Scotstoun. She was launched on 25th July 1918 as the 7th RN ship to carry this name introduced in 1731 for a Sloop and last used by a Store Lighter in 1809. Her build was completed on 30th October 1918. After WWI this ship was deployed for mine clearance work but later was placed in Reserve at Alexandria. .Following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign February 1942 this ship was adopted by the civil community of Saltash, Cornwall..


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s


GOREE 1758* - DUNKIRK 1940 - NORMANDY 1944

(* = Only in Manning .)


H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: None is recorded in the Official List



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



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August                 Brought forward from Reserve at Alexandria for service in Eastern Mediterranean as 3rd

                              Minesweeping Flotilla with sister ships ROSS, PANGBOURNE, LYDD, ALBURY, FERMOY

                              and SUTTON

.                             (Note: Ships were to be deployed for patrol for interception of ships carrying illegal immigrants to



September          Requirement cancelled and commissioned for minesweeping duties

to                           Deployed with Flotilla for Contraband Control duties in eastern Mediterranean and Red Sea for

October                 interception of mercantile traffic.


November             Contraband Control duties in continuation

                               Nominated for return to UK for minesweeping duties.

                               (Note: Increase in minelaying with magnetic mines had mad necessary an increase in the number

                                           of ships with a minesweeping capability, especially required off the East Coast of UK..


December              Passage to UK

                               On arrival deployed at Harwich for minesweeping off East Coast.


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January                 Deployed at Harwich to ensure convoy routes off East Coast were kept clear of mines.

to                           (Note: The ships from Alexandria formed the 3rd and 4th Minesweeping Flotillas.)



March                   Deployed with 5th Minesweeping Flotilla based at Rosyth with HM Minesweepers ALBURY,

                              LYDD, PANGBOURNE and ROSS for minesweeping on northern parts of  East Coast convoy


                             (Note: In addition also deployed to ensure a clear passage for RN minelayers during the lay of the

                                        East Coast Mine Barrier to provide protection of convoy route from enemy craft.).


April                    East Coast deployment in continuation based at Granton, near Edinburgh


May                      Transferred to 4th Minesweeping Flotilla at Harwich for special duty after German attacks on Low


           24th            Deployed with HM Destroyer VEGA, HMS FITZROY, HM Corvettes MALLARD WIDGEON

                              and SHELDRAKE to clear a passage for mercantiles FLORENTINO and TRANSEAS from North

                              Goodwin area to Zeebrugge (Operation EF).

                               (Note: This operation was to place blockships across harbour entrance.)

            25th            After clearance operation completed took passage to return to Harwich.

                               (Note: Blockships and escort came under air attack and operation abandoned.)

            28th            Joined HM Minesweepers GOSSAMER, LEDA, PANGBOURNE, ROSS, LYDD, KELLETT,

                               SUTTON, ALBURY, FITZROY, SELKIRK and HMS DUNDALK for passage to assist

                               in the evacuation of allied troops from Dunkirk

                               (Operation DYNAMO).

            29th            Deployed off beaches to ferry troops to ships unable to go into shallow water.

                               Under air attacks and continued rescue operations.

            31st            Return passage to Dunkirk to resume evacuation duties.

                               Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to J52.



              1st            Embarked 499 troops and took passage to Margate.

                               Returned to beaches and embarked 359 troop

              2nd           On arrival at Margate released from DYNAMO resumed minesweeping duties at Harwich.

                               Deployed with HM Minesweepers KELLETT, ROSS, LYDD and PANGBOURNE as 5th

                               Minesweeping Flotilla at Harwich for east coast minesweeping.


July                         Flotilla deployment in continuation.

to                             (Note: Extensive anti-invasion measures were introduced during this period including patrols off

August                                 East Coast ports to intercept invasion craft.)


September               Despatched with HM Fleet Minesweeper LEDA to assist in recovery of HM Destroyer EXPRESS

                                 that had been seriously damaged after detonating a mine whilst engaged in minelaying (Operation

                                 CBX5) off  the Dutch coast and was disabled.

              2nd            Assisted in operation to tow HMS EXPRESS to safety and returned to Harwich on release.

                                 For details see Naval Staff History (Mining).


October                    Transferred with Flotilla to Granton to resume minesweeping of northern section of east coat

                                 convoy routes.


November                Granton deployment with Flotilla in continuation.


December                 Transferred to Londonderry with HMS KELLETT and HMS ROSS for minesweeping duties in

                                  NW Approaches.


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January                    On completion of task returned to Granton and resumed East Coast duties.


February                  East coast minesweeping in continuation. and deployed for convoy escort as required,




April                        Transferred to 4th Minesweeping Flotilla when 5th Flotilla disbanded.

                                 (Note: The 4th Flotilla was thus the only one of this Class deployed in Home waters.)


May                         Transferred with Flotilla to Aberdeen and continued duties off Scottish coast.

to                              Under air attacks.

November                Flotilla nominated for clearance of British mines in Northern Barrage between Faroes and Iceland.

                                  (Note: This was to create a Gap for passage of allied ships.) Deployed in NW Approaches.


December                  Deployed for Atlantic minesweeping.

                                   Under air attacks during passages to and from operational area


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January                      On completion of clearance in Atlantic resumed duties in southern North Sea.

                                    Took passage from Aberdeen to Yarmouth


February                   East coast deployment in continuation

to                               Nominated for transfer to Plymouth Command.



July                            Deployed in SW Approaches for minesweeping

to                                (Note: In addition to clearance of mines from coastal convoy routes  operations to provide

December                               safe passage to allied warships carrying out interception of enemy coastal shipping

                                                were also carried out.).


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January                       Channel deployment in continuation.




June                             Transferred with Flotilla to Milford Haven for clearance of existing minefield off Irish coast..

to                                 (Note: This proved a long task due to adverse weather conditions in the area which restricted

December                                 sweeping.

                                     Carried out final check of area prior to new minelay by HM Cruiser ADVENTURE.


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January                        SW Approaches minesweeping duties with Flotilla based at Milford Haven in continuation.




March                         Transferred to Portsmouth Command and took passage to Portsmouth.

                                     Deployed with Flotilla for minesweeping operations prior to allied landings in Normandy

                                     (Operation NEPTUNE)

                                      (Note: Other ships in Flotilla were ALBURY, ELGIN, KELLETT, LYDD, PANGBOURNE,

                                                   ROSS, SUTTON and SELKIRK.)


April                             Deployed with Flotilla for mine clearance in area to be used by cross-channel invasion convoys

                                      Detached to take part in preparatory exercises with Assault Forces.

                                       (Note: These included minesweeping during darkness.)


May                               Mine clearance in Channel and exercises deployment in continuation.

                                       Detached from Exercise FABIUS to recover bodies of personnel drowned after sinking of US

                                       Landing Ships during Exercise TIGER in Lyme Bay.

                                       (See LANDINGS IN NORMANDY (HMSO).)

                                       On release resumed minesweeping duties in English Channel

                                       (Note: Flotilla allocated for mine sweep in Channel 4 ahead of ships of Assault Force O to

                                                     beach head.


June                                Deployed for support of Operation NEPTUNE.

                  5th                 Carried out sweep in Channel 4 ahead of invasion craft.

                  6th                 Completed sweep of Channel 4 without any incident.

                                         Commenced sweep of area between Channels 4 and 5 to create new Channel 34.

                                         (Note: Canadian 31st Minesweeping Flotilla, Danlayers and Motor Launches were also


                                                      For details see above reference.)

                  7th                  Returned to Portsmouth with Flotilla when Channel 34 work completed

                  8th                  Deployed for minesweeping away from beach heads, nearer UK coast.

                                         (Note: Ships of this Class were not suitable for patrol deployment off the beach head.)

                 28th                 After completion of NEPTUNE support Flotilla and resumed minesweeping in SW

                                         Approaches with Flotilla.


July                                   Deployed in Lands End area after report of mine explosion by convoy escort.

                                           (Note: U-Boats concentrating attacks in coastal areas frequently laid mines.

                                                      See HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR by C Blair.)


August                              Transferred with Flotilla to Swansea for minesweeping operations in Bristol Channel and St

                                           Georges Channel.

                                           (Note: Atlantic traffic was still being routed through Irish Sea as mercantiles using English

                                                        were still vulnerable to air attacks.)


September                          SW Approaches deployment based at Swansea in continuation with HMS ROSS,

to                               .         HMS SUTTON and HMS PANGBOURNE.

December                            Nominated for withdrawal from operational use with ships of 3rd Minesweeping Flotilla.



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January                                Passage to Falmouth to Pay-off.

to                                          Paid-off, de-stored and reduced to Reserve status.



March                                   Laid-up at Falmouth




F i n a l   P h a s e


HMS SALTASH remained in Reserve at Falmouth until 1947 when she was placed on the Disposal List. The ship was sold to Dohmen and Habets of Ghent in July 1947 and towed to Belgium for Demolition.


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