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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2

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

HMS FRANKLIN (N 84)  - ex-Halcyon-class Minesweeper,  Survey Ship

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Franklin (Photo Ships, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 
 

HALCYON-Class Minesweeper ordered from Ailsa SB on 4th September 1936 with sister ship HMS JASON. Her machinery was supplied by Messrs J I Thornycroft of Woolston. The ship was laid down on 17th December that year and to be named HMS FRANKLIN in commemoration of the explorer Sir John Franklin (1786 to 1847). This name had not previously been used for an RN ship but was borne by an RAN Training Ship (Ex ADELE) which had been purchased in 1915 and served until 1922 when used for civil use. This Australian ship was requisition for further naval use in WW2 and was wrecked in 1943 when deployed as store carrier and ran aground off Port Kembla in October 1943. The RN ship was launched on 22nd December 1937 and completed for use as a Survey Ship on 17th August 1938. She was not adopted by a UK civil community after a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign during 1941-2, †possibly because she was not being deployed as a warship.

 

B a t t l e†† H o n o u r

 

NORMANDY 1944

 

H e r a l d i c† †D a t a

 

Badge: On a field Blue a dolphin embowed White pierced

through the sides with two fishing spears in saltire Gold.

 

 

S u m m a r y†† 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

 

 

1 9 3 9

 

August††††††††††††††Deployed for survey of St Lewis Inlet, Labrador Canada.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††† Recalled to take up war station and took passage to UK with call at Halifax

 

September

††††††††††† 3rd†††††††††Arrived at Dover for surveying duties in connection Channel Mine Barrage.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††† Deployed to lay marker buoys between Goodwin to minelaying by HM Minelayer ADVENTURE

†††††††††††††††††††††††††† HM Auxiliary Minelayers HAMPTON and SHEPPERTON (Operations GR, DM, HW, FE

†††††††††††††††††††††††††† and RG)

†††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Note: The Auxiliary Minelayers were Cross Channel this specific use before outbreak of war.)

 

October ††††††††††††Transferred to Faeroes to carry out survey in anticipation of use of Scaale Fjord as a refuelling base

†††††††††††††††††††††††††† for Atlantic convoy escorts.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††† During survey work ordered to Scapa Flow for priority requirement.

 

 

November††††††††† Carried out investigation of tidal movements prior to improvement of defences against submarine

†††††††††††††††††††††††††† entry following the sinking of HM Battleship ROYAL OAK on 14th October.

 

December†††††††††† Scapa Flow deployment in continuation.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††† †On completion transferred for duties in North Sea.

 

January†††††††††††††† Deployed off UK East Coast for survey duties including:

to†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Establishment of diversions from Swept Channel because of wrecks

October.††††††††††††††††††††††† Provision of markers during minelay in Galloper area

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Operation DML - Part of East Coast Mine Barrier See reference)

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Selection of positions for the erection of sea defence towers in Thames Estuary as part

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† of Anti-Invasion measures.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Note: This involved extensive use of shore parties for setting-up of triangulation

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† points.)

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to J84 (May 1940.)

 

November†††††††† Under refit in West India Docks, London

to

December

 

1 9 4 0

 

January†††††††††††††† Deployed off UK East Coast for survey duties including:

to††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Establishment of diversions from Swept Channel because of wrecks

October.†††††††††††††††††††††† Provision of markers during minelay in Galloper area

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Operation DML - Part of East Coast Mine Barrier See reference)

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Selection of positions for the erection of sea defence towers in Thames Estuary as part

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† of Anti-Invasion measures.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Note: This involved extensive use of shore parties for setting-up of triangulation

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† points.)

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to J84 (May 1940.)

 

November†††††††† Under refit in West India Docks, London

to

December

 

1 9 4 1

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††† Deployed for survey and marking duties in North Sea and for convoy escort as required.

††††††††††††††††††††††††† Sustained damage by collision in fog with tanker DOMAX and under repair at Aberdeen

††††††††††††††††††††††††† for one month.

 †††††††††††††††††††††††† After completion deployed off UK West coast to carry out survey in Kilbrannon Sound

††††††††††††††††††††††††† prior to its use as an Anti-submarine Exercise area for Western Approaches and Home Fleet

††††††††††††††† ††††††††††warships.

 

1 9 4 2†† t o†† 1 9 4 3

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††† Deployed in Home Waters for survey duties, marking of specific areas prior to minesweeping

††††††††††††††††††††††††† operations or for Home Fleet requirements.

 

1 9 4 4

 

January             Home Waters survey and marking in continuation.

to†††††††††††††††††††††† (Note: During this period extensive amphibious training exercises were carried out in

March††††††††††††††††††††††††††† preparation for the planned allied landings in Normandy.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Operation NEPTUNE - For details of naval activities prior to assault landings

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† including exercises and the execution of the attacks see OPERATION NEPTUNE

†††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††by K Edwards, LANDINGS IN NORMANDY (HMSO) and D-DAY SHIPS by

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† J de Winser for information about all mercantiles and warships taking part.))

 

April†††††††††††††††† Nominated for survey duties with HM Survey Ship SCOTT for support of operations off French

to††††††††††††††††††††† coast including clearance of entrance channels to ports after re-occupation

May.†††††††††††††††† Took part in preparatory exercises requiring survey assistance.

 

June††††††††††††††††† Nominated for retention as Reserve minesweeper during assault phase and to relieve HMS

†††††††††††††††††††††††† SCOTT for maintenance and leave after initial landings had been completed.

 ††††††††††††††††††††††† Home waters survey duties in continuation.

 July†††††††††††††††† ††Relieved HMS SCOTT off Beach Head

†††††††††††††††††††††† ††††Deployed for survey duties to enable clearance of entrance to port of Cherbourg after capture.

 

August†††††††††† ††††Carried out surveys in Seine estuary prior to clearance of entrances to Le Havre

to†††††††††††††††††††† †††and Dieppe.

September

 

October††††††††††† Deployed for survey and marking of entrance to Ostend and south bank of Scheldt.

 

November††††††† Transferred to Terneuzen to carry out survey of Scheldt entrance to allow clearance for passage of

††††††††††††††††††††††††  shipping to and from Antwerp.

 

December†††††††† Scheldt clearance survey duties in continuation.

 

1 9 4 5

 

January†††††††††††† Scheldt survey duties in continuation.

to†††††††††††††††††††††  Nominated for testing of radio navigational equipment being developed by the DECCA Company for

February†††††††††† mercantile use.

††††††††††††††††††††††††  (Note: This system had been used by the RN since 1944 and had revolutionised ship navigation

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† especially in bad weather.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Its Naval Identity was Outfit QM).

 

March††††††††††††† Deployed for testing of† DECCA Navigator System.

to††††††††††††††††††† ††Local surveys were carried out in North Sea and off Dutch coast during this period.

May

 

June††††††††††††††††† DECCA testing and surveys to assist in mine clearance in North Sea.

to†††††††††††††††††††† †(Note: Extensive mine clearance operations were carried out in areas †known to be infested with

August†††††††††††††††††††††††† †allied and enemy air and sea minelaying operations.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Groups of all sizes of minesweeper were deployed with specialist survey capability provided

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †by this type of ship to ensure accurate positioning of markers used to indicate areas which

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †had been cleared..)

 

P o s t†† W a r†† N o t e s

 

HMS FRANKLIN continued deployment in Home waters including assistance during mine clearance operations as well as post war survey requirements. The ship remained in service until 1955 when Paid-off and reduced to Reserve status. She was placed on the Disposal List in 1956 and sold to BISCO for demolition by Clayton and Davie at Dunston. where she arrived in tow at the breakerís yard during February that year.

 

 

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