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SERVICE HISTORIES of ROYAL NAVY WARSHIPS in WORLD WAR 2

by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2008

HMS MUTINE (J 227) - Algerine-class Fleet Minesweeper

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Mutine (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 24th November 1941 the ship was launched on 10th October 1942 as tenth RN ship to carry this name, introduced for the captured French 14 gun Cutter MUTIN in 1779, later renamed PIGMY and wrecked in Jersey during 1805. It was last borne by a Sloop built in 1900 and sold after use as an RNVR Drill Ship in 1932. Her build was completed on 26th February 1943. This warship adopted by the civil community of Mitcham, Surrey following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign held in  February 1942.

 

 B a t t l e   H o n o u r s

 

NILE 1798 - ALGIERS 1816 - SICILY 1943 - SALERNO 1943

 

H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field White, a dragon’s head erased proper

 

M a n n i n g   P o r t

Chatham

 

 

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 3

 

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

                26th        Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

 

March                    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.

                                Commenced minesweeping training in Forth area.

 

April                       Deployed in Home waters.

 

May                        Prepared for service in Mediterranean and took passage to join the Flotilla at Bizerta.

 

June                        Joined Flotilla with HM Minesweeper FLY which became Leader in place of HM

                                Minesweeper FANTOME.

                                Took part with ships of Flotilla in clearance of passage through Galita and Sicilian

                                channels to allow passage of convoys to and from the eastern Mediterranean.

                                (Operation ANTIDOTE)

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

                                (Operation HUSKY)

 

July                         Detached with HM Minesweeper FLY, ESPIEGLE and CADMUS for minesweeping support

                                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.

 

December              Nominated with Flotilla for minesweeping in support of planned landings at Anzio.

                                (Operation SHINGLE).

                                Prepared for SHINGLE, based at Naples.

 

1 9 4 4

 

January                  Passage to Anzio, 90 miles north of Naples.

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

                                and HM Minesweepers BUDE and ROTHESAY of 13th Flotilla. to provide a 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 March                for passage ships supporting military operations, including clearance of areas selected for

                                naval gunfire support by cruisers.

 

April                       Carried out minesweeping operations off Malta when not required for support of military

                                on Italian mainland.

 

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.)

 

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, ACUTE and ESPIEGLE of

                                Flotilla supplemented by HM Minesweepers SKIPJACK and TRUELOVE of 5th Flotilla.

                                (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.

                                Sustained slight damage during sweep from an OBOE Mine.

                                (Note: During these operations German OBOE mines designed to explode on the surface after

                                being cut were swept for the first time and caused some damage to the following ship.)

 

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

                17th        Detached with HM Minesweepers FLY and ALBACORE to carry out clearance sweep

                                in Dardanelles to ensure safe passage for warships taking the Prime Minister and the US

                                President for meeting at Yalta with the Soviet Leader.

                                Passage to Mudros for Xmas.

 

1 9 4 5

 

January                  Passage to Malta with HMS FLY after relief in Dardanelles sweep operation by HMS

                                ESPIEGLE.

                                (Note: HMS FLY was relieved by HMS ACUTE at the same time.)

                                On completion resumed mine clearance off Greek mainland with the Flotilla.

 

February                Greek mainland mine clearance deployment with Flotilla in continuation.

 

March                    Deployed at Malta,

                                (Note: Other ships of Flotilla, HM Minesweepers ALBACORE, ACUTE, CIRCE,

                                MUTINE and CADMUS sailed from Malta on 23rd to resume minefield

                                clearance operations based at Naples. As this ship is not included it must

                                be assumed she sailed later to rejoin the Flotilla.)

 

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

(revised partly from the addendum)

 

HMS MUTINE remained in the Mediterranean with the 12th Flotilla and continued deployment for mine clearance operations off Genoa and based at Naples until 1946 when she returned to Malta to prepare for return to UK with the rest of the Flotilla. The Flotilla was then deployed was nominated for mine clearance operations off the French, Belgian and Dutch coasts based at Harwich with HM Minesweepers FLY (SO). CADMUS, ACUTE, CIRCE and  ALBACORE. After repair at Portsmouth in August 1946 she resumed Flotilla duties until November when Paid-off and reduced to Reserve status at Sheerness before being laid-up at Harwich. In April 1956 the ship recommissioned to replace HM Minesweeper LYSANDER for minesweeping training based at Portsmouth. When this requirement ceased the ship was used as a ship target for aircraft training and placed back in Reserve at Chatham. Although refitted for use as an anti-submarine escort in 1958-9 whilst in Reserve, she never recommissioned and in 1966 was put on the Disposal List. Sold to BISCO in March 1967 the ship was towed to Barrow where it arrived in tow for demolition by TW Ward at Dalmuir on 7th April that year.

 


 

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

 


 

Addendum

 

PAYING OFF of  HMS MUTINE

from J P Knell,  Shipwright 4, C/MX691400.
 

Referring to  the post war service record of HMS MUTINE in which you state she was decommissioned on her return to the UK from Malta, being paid-off at Sheerness. When I joined her in June 1946 at Harwich following my return from serving in the Far East, she was then part of the 12th Flotilla comprising HMS FLY J306 [Flotilla Leader], HMS CADMUS J230 [˝ Leader],  HMS ACUTE J106,  HMS CIRCE J214,  HMS ALBACORE J101 and HMS MUTINE J227. The flotilla was employed locating and sweeping often poorly charted mine fields off the French, Dutch coast and islands. HMS MUTINE underwent minor repairs at Portsmouth Dockyard for a week if I recall correctly in late August 1946. She was finally paid-off in November 1946 at Sheerness. I should just like to recognise the contribution these ships and crews continued to make after the end of war. In a way they are perhaps representative of the post-war navy in general, often undertaking hazardous operations for a country thankfully at peace.

 

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