Fleet Minesweeper fitted with Turbine
propulsion machinery ordered on 30th
April 1942 from Harland and Wolff,
Belfast. Laid down on 20th August 1943
at the same time as sister ship
CHEERFUL. Launched on
6th May 1944, she was the ninth RN ship to carry this name, or the variant CAMELEON,
introduced in 1777 for a 14
gun Sloop built in London which was lost
during a hurricane in the West Indies in October 1780. Last used for a
destroyer named CAMELEON built at Govan
in 1910 and sold in 1921. Her build was
completed on 18th May 1942. No
record of an adoption by any civil
community in UK after a successful
WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign
held during 1941-42 is recorded, as the
ship had not been ordered.
a t t l e H o n o u r s
1801 - BURMA 1945
e r a l d i c D a t a
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e t a i l s o f
W a r S e r v i c e
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9 4 4
Contractors trials and commissioned for
service in 7th Minesweeping Flotilla.
Build completion and commenced
On completion took passage to Tobermory
to work-up for operational service,
Deployed in Firth Of
Forth for minesweeping training.
Took passage to join Flotilla based at
Harwich for mine clearance operations in
ships in Flotilla were HM Minesweepers
FANCY, SQUIRREL and VESTAL.
fitted with Turbine propulsion machinery
to ensure maximum
compatibility for maintenance and
support during operations.)
for loan service to Plymouth Command for
anti-submarine patrols and
minesweeping based at Falmouth.
for foreign service.
(Note: Ships of Flotilla were all
individually withdrawn from operational
during this period for essential
maintenance and repair in Home dockyards
sailing to join the Eastern Fleet.
9 4 5
Rejoined Flotilla in Channel area for
local duties pending departure for
(Note: Ships were based at Portland or
Took passage for
(Note: Ship may have been deployed as an
escort for a convoy.)
Passage in Mediterranean and Red Sea.
Passage from Aden to Colombo.
Indies Fleet and deployed with HM
Minesweepers PINCHER, PLUCKY,
RECRUIT, PICKLE, VESTAL and RIFLEMAN.
(Note: HMS FANCY and HMS SQUIRREL had
been deployed for tow of a Floating
from UK to Gibraltar but after the Dock
had foundered during passage
their transfer to the East Indies Fleet
had been delayed.. Only HMS SQUIRREL
the Flotilla as HMS FANCY was
transferred to 19th Flotilla in the
Mediterranean during passage.)
Nominated for service in Force 65 of
Eastern Fleet for joint minesweeping
with 37th Minesweeping Flotilla in
support of planned military operation to
Rangoon (Operation DRACULA).
Joined Force 65 at Akyab, Burma.
Sailed with ships of Force 65 as part of
escort for Convoy ABLE for minesweeping
in support of assault.
(Note: For details off other naval
activities associated with DRACULA see
WITH JAPAN (HMSO) and THE FORGOTTEN
FLEET by J Winton.)
Commenced minesweeping to clear approach
passage for assault ships.
Deployed with Force 65 to ensure clear
passage to enable ships to berth at
On release from DRACULA returned with
Flotilla to Colombo.
Nominated for refit in South Africa and
took passage to Durban.
Taken in hand for refit prior to
minesweeping support of planned British
landings in Malaya.
(Note: Absence of this ship in Durban
prevented her taking part in Operation
a minesweeping operation off Phuket
Island. During this operation two ships
the Flotilla were lost, HMS SQUIRREL and
On completion of post refit trials to
passage to Trincomalee to resume
o s t W a r N o
t e s
CHAMELEON rejoined 7th Flotilla at
Singapore and remained in the Far East
until February 1946 when she returned to
UK with the six remaining ships of the
Flotilla to Pay-off . The ship later
recommissioned for service in the 2nd
Minesweeping Flotilla, Mediterranean
Fleet based in Malta. Between 1947
and 1954 she was deployed
for Palestine patrol with other Fleet
units and took part in the standard
Exercise and Visits Programmes each year
after 1948. In 1954 she returned to UK
with HM Minesweepers PLUCKY, RECRUIT and
RIFLEMAN of 2nd Flotilla. After arrival
at Portsmouth on 13th December that year
the ship was Paid-off and reduced to
Reserve status. Laid-up at
Portsmouth she was not recommissioned
before being placed on the Disposal List
in 1965, although she was refitted
during this period when a SQUID
anti-submarine mortar was fitted.
Sold in 1966 to BISCO for demolition by
Ardmore Steel at Silloth, Cumberland she
arrived in tow t the breakerís yard on
3rd April 1966.
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