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

HMS MERMAID (U 30) - Modified Black Swan-class Sloop including Convoy Escort Movements  

HMS Mermaid (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

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Modified BLACK SWAN-Class Sloop ordered from Denny, Dumbarton on 11th February 1942 under the 1941 Build Programme. The ship was laid down on 8th September 1942 and launched on 11th November 1943 by Miss Gordon. She was the 14th Royal Navy ship to bear the name, introduced ion 1651 and last used by a destroyer sold in 1919. Build was completed on 12th May 1944 and included installation of a Head Throwing Mortar (HEDGEHOG) as well as the latest surface warning radar Type 277. Following the loss of HM Sloop IBIS in November 1942 this ship replaced her as the warship adopted by the civil community of Stoke Newington, now part of the Metropolitan Borough of Hackney in Greater London.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

CADIZ 1596 - DOVER 1652 - GABBARD 1653 - PORTO FARINO 1655 - TEXEL 1672 - TOULON 1793 - BELGIAN COAST 1914-17 - ARCTIC 1944

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Blue, on a water barry wavy in base White and Blue

a Mermaid Proper.



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



1 9 4 4


May                        Carried out contractors trials and commissioned for service.

                12th        Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

                                Retained in build yard for repair of defects found on trials.

                                On completion of trials and storing took passage to Tobermory.



                2nd         Commenced work-up for operational service at Tobermory.



                                Under work-up which had been extended.

                17th        Completed work-up and taken in hand for further repair before operational service,


August                  Under repair.

                13th        Deployed with Home Fleet for convoy defence.

                15th        Joined HM Sloops KITE and PEACOCK, HM Destroyers WHITEHALL in escort for Russian

                                Convoy JW59 to reinforce defence against aircraft and submarine attacks.

                                (Note: This convoy included battleship ARCHANGELSK (Ex HMS ROYAL SOVEREIGN and

                                ten Ex USN PT boats being transferred to Russian Navy).

                                For details of all Russian convoy operations see CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by RA Ruegg,

                                CONVOY! by P Kemp, THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS by B Schoefield and ARCTIC CONVOYS !

                                by R Woodman.

                20th        JW59A under U-Boat attack by T5 acoustic torpedoes

                24th        After detection by SWORDF1SH aircraft of 825 Squadron from HM Escort Aircraft Carrier

                                VINDEX participated in sinking of U354 in position 72.49N 30.41e with HMS KEPPEL, HMS

                                PEACOCK and HM Frigate LOCH DUNVEGAN.

                                There were no survivors from the submarine. (See U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp.)

                                Detached from convoy on arrival at Kola Inlet.

                28th        Joined escort for returning convoy RA59A with same ships.



                2nd         Took part on sinking of U394 in position 69.47N 04.41E, west of Lofotens, with HMS KEPPEL,

                                HMS WHITEHALL and HMS PEACOCK after detection by SWORDFISH aircraft from HMS

                                VINDEX (825 Squadron).

                6th          Detached on arrival at Loch Ewe with comparatively little interference.

                12th        Taken in hand for repair of defects.


October                  On completion of repair deployed on convoy defence in NW Approaches.


November              Taken in hand for refit at commercial shipyard in Leith. 1945


December              Under refit


1 9 4 5


January                  Nominated for service with 12th Escort Group for defence of Atlantic convoys.


February                On completion of shipyard work carried out post refit trials

                                Passage to Tobermory



                23rd        Completed work-up at Tobermory.

                                Joined Group based at Liverpool.


April                       Deployed for defence of coastal convoys and in SW Approaches                           


May                        After VJ Day nominated for service with British Pacific Fleet. on completion of refit

                14th        Taken in for refit at Portsmouth to prepare for foreign service.


June                        Under refit.

                                (Note: Work done included alterations to suit tropical service.)



                17th        On completion took passage to Malta for work-up.

                24th        Commenced work-up with ships of Mediterranean Fleet.


August                  Work-up in continuation.


P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


HMS MERMAID escorted a Floating Dock AFD22 to Aden during passage to join British Pacific Fleet. However, on arrival at Aden , she was recalled for service with the Mediterranean Fleet in the 33rd Escort Flotilla. The ship remained in the Mediterranean Fleet and served in various Flotillas in the period up to 1954 when she returned to UK to Pay-off and reduce to Reserve status at Portsmouth. After three years in the Reserve Fleet this Sloop was placed on the Sales List and sold to West Germany. Renamed SCHARNHORST on 5th May 1959 following a refit in the Vickers-Armstrong shipyard in Newcastle she joined the Bundesmarine During her German naval service the ship was modernised between 196l-62 and later used for gunnery training before being removed from the Active List during 1980.






by Don Kindell


These convoy lists have not been cross-checked with the text above






Date convoy sailed

Joined convoy as escort

Convoy No.

Left convoy

Date convoy arrived








JW 059





RA 059A





DS 064





SD 064





ONS 050








(Note on Convoys)


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revised 31/5/11
further editing and formatting is required