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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2

by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2001

HMS CADMUS (J 230) - Algerine-class Fleet Minesweeper

HMS Cadmus (Navy Photos/Mark Teadham, 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 21st July 1941 this minesweeper was launched on 27th May 1942. She was the fifth RN ship to carry this name, introduced in 1807 for a Brig-Sloop in 1808 and last borne by a Sloop built in 1903 and sold at Hong Kong in 1921.Her build was completed on 9th September 1942. This warship was adopted by the civil community of Clevedon, Somerset after a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign held in January 1942.

 

B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

NORTH SEA 1942 - NORTH AFRICA 1942 -  SICILY 1943 - SALERNO 1943 - ANZIO 1944

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field White, a Dragon sans wings and legs, Red

bezante impaled by a Spear erect also Red.

 

 

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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September      Contractors trials and commissioned for service in 12th Minesweeping Flotilla.

       9th           Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

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

                       operational minesweeping duties.

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

 

October          Deployed for minesweeping training based at Port Edgar

                       Passage to Harwich to join HM Minesweepers ALGERINE, ALARM and ACUTE

                       in new Flotilla

                       Nominated for minesweeping duties in Mediterranean and support of planned allied landings

                       in North Africa (Operation TORCH See Naval Staff History and ENGAGE THE ENEMY

                       MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett.)

      22nd         Joined military convoy KMS1 in Clyde with HM Minesweepers ALARM, ALBACORE,

                       and ACUTE as part of escort during passage to Gibraltar.

                       (Note: HMS ALGERINE  was delayed for repair after sweep had fouled a propeller.)

 

November      Deployed at Gibraltar with Flotilla and prepared for service in TORCH.

        6th         Joined military convoy KMF1 as part of escort during passage to ABLE Beach

                       Head at Algiers,

        8th          Carried out minesweep with Flotilla in advance of assault convoys to beach head.

        9th          Carried out minesweep off anchorage area off Algiers.

       10th         Took passage to Bougie to carry out minesweeping support for planned landings

                       (Operation PERPETUAL).

                       Involved in collision with HM Cruiser SHEFFIELD and sustained some damage

       11th         Deployed for minesweeping off Bougie

       14th         Took part in rescue of survivors from troop transport NARKUNDA which was sinking

                       off Bougie.

                       (Note: NARKUNDA had been badly damaged in air attacks whilst on return passage

                       to Gibraltar after landing troops. She sank later.)

 

December       North African coast minesweeping, patrol and convoy defence in continuation

       4th           Carried out ramming attack on surfaced submarine which was unsuccessful 

 

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January           Convoy escort and patrol off North African coast in continuation with Flotilla

        29th        Assisted HM Auxiliary Anti-Aircraft Ship POZARICA during passage into Bougie

                       after being torpedoed in air attacks.

 

February         Joined by HM Minesweepers HUSSAR and SPEEDWELL which had been added to 12th

                       Flotilla after loss of HMS ALGERINE and HMS ALBACORE as well damage to HMS

                       ACUTE and HMS ALARM which were under repair to damage at Gibraltar.

 

March             Deployed with  HM Minesweepers ACUTE, HUSSAR and SPEEDWELL.

                       (Note: The only minesweepers operational due to loss and damage since arrival

                                    in the Mediterranean.)

 

April               North African coast deployment in continuation.

                        HM Minesweepers FANTOME, CIRCE and ESPIEGLE joined Flotilla .

                        (Note: HMS FANTOME replaced HMS ALGERINE as Leader)

 

May                  Flotilla nominated for joint operations with 13th Minesweeping Flotilla for mine

                         clearance of passage through Galita and Sicilian Channels.

                         (Operation ANTIDOTE).

       9th             Deployed at Bizerta for ANTIDOTE with the two minesweeping Flotillas.

     20th             Took part in rescue operations after HMS FANTOME sustained major damage when

                         mine exploded in sweep gear.

                         Detached to tow stricken ship to Bone. Took HMS FANTOME in tow for passage to Bone.

                         Resumed ANTIDOTE sweeping on arrival.

 

June                  ANTIDOTE deployment with Flotilla in continuation

       7th             Mine clearance completed with destruction of 126 mines by the 12th Flotilla.

                         HM Minesweepers FLY and MUTINE Flotilla, the former taking over duty as Leader.

                         Nominated for minesweeping and escort duties during planned allied landings in Sicily

                         (Operation HUSKY)

 

July                  Detached with HM Minesweeper FLY, MUTINE and ESPIEGLE for service with 14th Flotilla

                         during HUSKY.

                         For details of Operation HUSKY See above references.)

      10th            Passage to western sector of Assault area as part of escort for military convoy.

      12th            Carried out minesweeping prior to landings and remained in area for anti-submarine patrol

                         and escort duties for traffic between Malta, Bizerta and beachheads.

 

August              Central Mediterranean minesweeping and escort duty with Flotilla in continuation.

 

September        Resumed Flotilla deployment for minesweeping support of planned landings on Italian

                         mainland at Salerno (Operation AVALANCHE See above references).

        8th            Deployed with Flotilla to ensure clearance of mines during passage to Salerno.

                         Sustained slight damage from near miss by shore fire during minesweeping off beachhead.

      16th            Released from AVALANCHE and deployed in Bay of Naples for minesweeping with

                         Flotilla.

                         (Note: Flotilla dealt with 135 mines in Salerno area.)

      30th            Nominated for transfer to Capri on completion of service in Bay of Naples.

 

October

        1st            Deployed for support of operations off west coast of Sicily including mine clearance of

                         positions to be used by allied warships for bombardments prior to military advances.

                         (Note: Minesweeping operations were frequently target of heavy fire from shore batteries

                                     in the Gulf of Gaeta and often restricted in their ability to rapidly change because of

                                     sweeping operation in progress.. Air attacks were also frequent.)

 

November        West coast minesweeping duties and support off west coast of Italy in continuation.

to December     (Note: At the end of 1943 the Flotilla had swept 770 mines since arrival at Gibraltar

                                     in December 1942.)

                         Nominated for minesweeping in support of planned landings at Anzio (Operation SHINGLE).

                         Based at Naples to prepare for SHINGLE.

 

1 9 4 4

 

January             Passage to Anzio, 90 miles north of Naples.

       21st            Deployed with HM Minesweepers RINALDO and WATERWITCH of 19th Flotilla to

                          provide swept channel off Anzio for ships of the assault force.

                          On release from SHINGLE took passage to Naples.

 

February           Took part with ships of Flotilla and 19th Flotilla in minesweeping to ensure clear channels

to April             for ships and for areas selected for naval gunfire support by cruisers.

 

May                  West coast of Italy minesweeping in continuation with part of Flotilla

                         (Note: Some ships of 12th Flotilla were deployed off Malta for clearance of minefields.)

        11th          Deployed with HM Minesweepers FLY, ACUTE, ALBACORE, ESPIEGLE of 12th Flotilla

                         and HM Minesweepers ROSARIO and SPANKER of 19th Flotilla for night sweep off Gaeta

                         to ensure bombardment area for support of offensive against Monte Cassino.

        12th            Carried out sweep close inshore prior to bombardment by HM Cruiser DIDO, US Cruisers

                           BROOKLYN and PHILADELPHIA during which the ships came under heavy fire from

                           shore batteries.

                           On completion of bombardment requirements rejoined Flotilla in mine clearance of channel

                           from Naples to Anzio. 89 mines were cut.

                           (Note: Air attacks were also a constant hazard in this period.)

 

June                    Carried out joint minesweeping operations with ships of Flotilla, 13th Flotilla and 28th

                           Motor Launch Flotilla .

          4th            Cleared entrance to port of Civitavecchia with joint minesweeping force.

        13th            Deployed for clearance of mines in anchorage area off Civitavecchia.

 

July                     Joint minesweeping operations in continuation to ensure passage for ships supporting

                           military advance .

        14th            Took part in operation to clear a channel to port of Leghorn with ships of Flotilla, 19th and

                           13th Minesweeping Flotillas (Operation LOBSTER)

        25th            Port available for use by shipping.

                           (Note: 250 mines were swept during clearance of channel between Anzio to Leghorn and

                                       ships engaged were subject to shore fire.)

 

August               Deployed with Flotilla for clearance of mines off west coast of Italy to ensure safe passage.

to

September     (Note: Aircraft minelaying was a common feature during this period )

 

October             Nominated for minesweeping service with Flotilla, in support of allied military operations

                          in Greece (Operation MANNA).

                          (Note: The Flotilla had swept 1013 mines by this date, an achievement recognised by

                                       the Supreme Commander, Mediterranean in a congratulatory signal)

        22nd          Transferred to eastern Mediterranean

                          Passage to Greek waters with HM Minesweepers ALBACORE, ESPIEGLE and MUTINE.

                          (Note: 5th Minesweeping Flotilla deployed for this work had recently suffered two losses)

 

November

         1st            Carried out minesweeping operation to ensure clear passages for ships deployed in Aegean for

                          support of re-occupation of Greek mainland and Aegean islands.

 

December          Aegean minesweeping in support of Greece re-occupation in continuation.

 

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January             Greek waters mine clearance in continuation including Kinaros and Doro Channels.

to

February

 

March                    Deployed at Malta,

         23rd              Took passage from Malta with HM Minesweepers ALBACORE, ACUTE, CIRCE,

                              MUTINE and ESPIEGLE to resume minefield clearance operations based at Naples.

 

April                      Deployed with Flotilla for clearance between Leghorn and Genoa.

 

May                       Deployed off Genoa.

          9th                Port Anchorage at Genoa cleared of mines.

                               First major warship to enter Genoa.

 

June                        Gulf of Genoa area mine clearance in continuation.

to

August

 

P o s t   W a r   N o t e s

 

HMS CADMUS remained in the Mediterranean with the 12th Flotilla and continued deployment for mine clearance operations in Malta and off the Italian coast near Genoa. She sailed with her sister ships to UK in April 1946 and on arrival was refitted at Plymouth for further service. Between June and September she carried mine clearance duties off the east coast of UK and in the Channel. Her final operations were off the Dutch coast in September before Reducing to Reserve status at Devonport. In 1949 she was placed on the Sales list and refitted at Chatham before joining the Belgian Navy as GEORGES LECOINTE in January 1950.

 


 

For more about Algerine-class Minesweepers, see http://www.minesweepers.org.uk/index.htm

 

 

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