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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2000

HMS LOYALTY (J 217) - Algerine-class Fleet Minesweeper

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Loyalty (Navy Photos, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 

ALGERINE-Class Fleet Minesweeper fitted with Turbine propulsion machinery ordered on 15th November 1940 from Harland and Wolff, Belfast. Laid down on 14th April 1941 this minesweeper was to be called HMS RATTLER but the  name was changed to LOYALTY before launched on 9th December 1942. She was the third RN ship to carry this name,  introduced in 1650 for a 34 Gun Ship and last used for a Stores Hulk purchase at Cadiz in 1694 and which foundered in 1701.Her build was completed on 22nd April 1943, and she had been adopted by the civil community of Ripley in Derbyshire after a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign held in March 1942.


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 barry wavy of six White and Blue,

a sprig of three oak leaves, Gold


M o t t o

“Fight for the King”



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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April                 Contractors trials and commissioned for service in 18th Minesweeping


                          (Note: This was the second Minesweeping Flotilla comprised of ALGERINE

                                     Class ships to be formed.)

      22nd            Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

                          On completion took passage to Tobermory for work-up and preparation for

                          operational minesweeping duties.


May                  After Work-up took passage to Port Edgar to carry out minesweeping training.

                          Commenced minesweeping training in Forth area.


June                   Joined HM Minesweepers HOUND, HYDRA and READY for service in 18th

                          Minesweeping Flotilla.

                          Took part in minesweeping operation in Lyme Bay


July                   Deployed for mine clearance in English Channel to ensure safe passage of

                          coastal convoys.


August              Transferred for North Sea minesweeping and convoy defence based at

                          Harwich with ships of Flotilla.

                          (Note: HM Minesweepers COCKATRICE, ORESTES and ONYX joined

                                      the Flotilla at Harwich.)

                          Nominated for service at Dover with Flotilla and took passage to join ships

                          of 9th Flotilla.

      25th              Deployed for joint operation with 9th Minesweeping Flotilla and cover

                           from RAF aircraft which was intended to attract German aircraft to unusual

                           minesweeping operations near French coast (Operation STARKEY)

                           (Note: During this operation ships came under fire from shore batteries and

                                        some damage was sustained by HMS HYDRA causing casualties

                                        and on return to Dover came under further fire from British coastal

                                       defence causing further damage which put the ship out of operational

                                       use for some weeks.)

                                        Little enemy air activity resulted and the operation was abandoned.)


October              Resumed North Sea deployment with Flotilla.


November          Transferred to Scapa Flow with Flotilla for service with Home Fleet in place

                           of 15th Minesweeping Flotilla comprised of smaller BANGOR Class.

      15th              Remained at Scapa Flow when HMS READY, HOUND, HYDRA and

                           COCKATRICE were detached for duty in Iceland.

                           Deployed at Scapa flow to ensure clear passage for Home Fleet ships.


December           Transferred to Orkney and Shetland Command and based with rest of

                            Flotilla as Seidisfjord for anti-submarine patrol and local convoy escort.

                            (Note: Duties included U-Boat search operations between Iceland the

                                         Faeroes to intercept submarines in transit to and from bases in

                                         Norway. See HITLER’S U-BOAT WAR by C Blair.)


1 9 4 4


January                Iceland deployment in continuation.

        to                 (Note: Despite the fact that this Class had been prepared for service in

February                          arctic conditions they were found ill-suited but still retained.

                                         Some of Flotilla took part in local escort of convoys to and from

                                         North Russia and experienced much extreme weather.)


March                  Nominated for return to UK

      30th               Took passage from Iceland to Portsmouth with Flotilla.


April                    Under refit and repair prior to joining Force G for minesweeping support

                            during planned allied landings in Normandy

                            Nominated for clearance of Channel 6 (Operation NEPTUNE)

                            On completion rejoined Flotilla and took part in minesweeping exercises

                            in preparation for NEPTUNE.

                            (Note: For details of naval activities prior to and during NEPTUNE see

                                        LANDINGS IN NORMANDY June 1944 (HMSO) and

                                        OPERATION NEPTUNE by K Edwards.)


May                     Deployed for exercises with HM Minesweepers HOUND, ONYX, HYDRA,

                            ORESTES and later STORMCLOUD.

                            Took part in Rehearsal exercises with Assault Forces including FABIUS II

                            and minesweep of Newhaven. See references.

                            Escorted HMS STORMCLOUD to Portsmouth after damage caused by

                            explosion of an acoustic mine.


June                    Harbour preparations for operation.

                           (Note: Four ISLES Class Danlayers and three Motor Launches were

                                       attached to the Flotilla for NEPTUNE.)

         4th             Operation delayed 24 hours.

         5th             Sailed for clearance of Channel 6 prior to passage of first Assault convoys.

         6th             On completion of Channel 6 with Flotilla deployed for minesweeping off

                           GOLD landing Beaches.

                           Remained off Beachhead for convoy defence and protection of Assault

                           Area with periodic return to Portsmouth.


July                    Deployed for minesweeping of anchorage areas after completion of NEPTUNE.

                           (Note: During this period enemy attacks using midget submarine craft and

                                       E-Boats were a regular feature and included minelaying. See references.)


August               Support of landings in continuation.

        22nd           During minesweeping on return passage to Portsmouth with HM

                           Minesweepers READY, HOUND, HYDRA and RATTLESNAKE sweep

                           wires parted and detached with HM Trawler DOON to recover sweep.

                           Under attack by U480 in position 50.09N  00.41 W about 27 miles south of

                           Nab Tower. Ship capsized in less than seven minutes.

                           Captain and 18 ratings lost their lives.

                           (Casualty List - note on casualties)

                           (Note: Replaced in Flotilla by HMS TANGANYIKA.)



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revised 23/4/11
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