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
June 1942 as the fifth RN ship to carry
this name, introduced in 1785, built at
Dover and wrecked in 1803. Last borne by
a Torpedo Gunboat built at Sheerness in
1892 and sold in 1920, it was also
carried by a minesweeper hired in 1939,
but transferred to the Royal Australian
Navy and renamed MEDEA in 1942. and sold
in 1928. Build was completed on 16th
October 1942 and she had been adopted by
the civil community of Chadderton,
Lancashire after a successful WARSHIP
WEEK National Savings campaign held in
a t t l e H o n o u r s
CAMPERDOWN 1792 - MARTINIQUE
1809 - SICILY 1943 - SALERNO 1943 -
e r a l d i c D a t a
On a Field barry wavy of twelve
White and Blue,
a pomme, a demi-boar erased holding a
o t t o
Sequente: “Always somewhere about”.
Circe was the daughter of Helios
and lived on the island of Aeaea
where she transformed her guests
into beasts until Odysseus
resisted and vanquished her charms
thus induce the release of
her captives and their restoration
into human form (Homer’s Odyssey)
e t a i l s
o f W a r S e
r v i c e
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9 4 2
Contractors trials and commissioned for
service in 12th Minesweeping Flotilla.
Build completion and commenced
On completion took passage to Tobermory
for work-up and preparation for
operational minesweeping duties.
9 4 3
Completed minesweeping training and
deployed in Home waters.
Home waters deployment in continuation.
Nominated for service in Mediterranean
with 12th Minesweeping Flotilla.
Passage to Mediterranean.
Joined Flotilla with HM Minesweeper
Nominated for duty with Flotilla for
clearance of passage through Galita and
Sicilian channels to
Tripoli to ensure safe passage for
allied ships (Operation ANTIDOTE)
(Note: HM Minesweepers FANTOME joined
later to replace HMS ALGERINE as
Flotilla deployment at Bizerta in joint
operations with 13th Minesweeping
Flotilla for Operation
Took part in rescue operations after HMS
FANTOME sustained major damage when
mine exploded in sweep gear.
ANTIDOTE deployment with Flotilla in
Mine clearance completed with
destruction of 126 mines by the 12th
HM Minesweepers FLY and MUTINE Flotilla,
the former taking over duty as Leader.
Nominated for minesweeping and escort
duties during planned allied landings in
Detached with HM Minesweepers ACUTE and
ALBACORE for service with 14th Flotilla
For details of Operation HUSKY See
engage the enemy more closely by C
The Naval Staff History.)
Passage to eastern sector of Assault
area as part of escort for military
Carried out minesweeping prior to
landings and remained in area for
and escort duties for traffic between
Malta, Bizerta and beachheads.
Resumed Flotilla deployment for
minesweeping support of planned landings
mainland at Salerno
(Operation AVALANCHE – See above
Deployed with Flotilla to ensure
clearance of mines during passage to
Sustained slight damage from near miss
by shore fire during minesweeping off
Released from AVALANCHE and deployed in
Bay of Naples for minesweeping with
(Note: Flotilla dealt with 135 mines in
Nominated for transfer to Capri on
completion of service in Bay of Naples.
Deployed for support of operations off
west coast of Sicily including mine
positions to be used by allied warships
for bombardments prior to military
(Note: Minesweeping operations were
frequently target of heavy fire from
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.)
West coast minesweeping duties and
support off west coast of Italy in
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
Based at Naples
to prepare for SHINGLE.
9 4 4
Passage to Anzio, 90 miles north of
Deployed with HM Minesweepers ACUTE.
ESPIEGLE and SPANKER (of 19th Flotilla)
clear minefield NW of Anzio during which
five mines were cut.
On release from SHINGLE took passage to
Took part with ships of Flotilla and
19th Flotilla in minesweeping to ensure
for passage ships supporting military
operations, including clearance of areas
naval gunfire support by cruisers.
Mine clearance off Italian west coast in
Deployed with HM Minesweepers ESPIEGLE,
ACUTE and SPANKER of Flotilla for sweep
of known minefield SW of Anzio during
which five mines were cut.
Carried out mine clearance northwards
and into Tiber River and under fire from
Deployed for clearance sweep in western
channel off Anzio and during night
During recovery of gear on completion of
sweep mine caught in sweep exploded on
causing many casualties. Took part in
towing operation with HMS ESPIEGLE of
for 100 mile passage to Naples..
Under repair at Taranto
Carried out sweep close inshore prior to
bombardment by HM Cruiser DIDO, US
BROOKLYN and PHILADELPHIA during which
the ships came under heavy fire from
On completion of bombardment
requirements rejoined Flotilla in mine
clearance of channel
from Naples to Anzio. 89 mines were cut.
Carried out joint minesweeping
operations with ships of Flotilla, 13th
Flotilla and 28th
Motor Launch Flotilla .
entrance to port of Civitavecchia with
joint minesweeping force.
Deployed for clearance of mines in
anchorage area off Civitavecchia.
Carried out post refit trials on
completion of repair work.
Passage to Malta to rejoin Flotilla.
Deployed with Flotilla for Aegean
minesweeping in support of Greece
9 4 5
Greek waters mine clearance in
continuation including Kinaros and Doro
Deployed at Malta,
Took passage from Malta with HM
Minesweepers ALBACORE, ACUTE, CADMUS,
MUTINE and ESPIEGLE to resume minefield
clearance operations based at Naples.
Deployed with Flotilla for clearance
between Leghorn and Genoa.
Deployed off Genoa.
Port Anchorage at Genoa cleared of
First major warship to enter Genoa.
Gulf of Genoa area mine clearance in
o s t W a r N o
t e s
CIRCE 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
Paid-off and reduced to Reserve status
at Sheerness. The ship was Laid-up at
Harwich until brought forward for use as
RNVR Drill Ship at Dundee. Placed on the
Disposal List in1956 she was sold to
BISCO for breaking-up by Arnott Young
& Co. She arrived under tow at
Dalmuir on the Clyde for demolition in
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