ALGERINE-Class Fleet Minesweeper fitted with Turbine
propulsion machinery ordered on 30th April 1942 from Harland and Wolff, Belfast. Laid down on 11th January
1943 at the same time as sister ship PICKLE she was launched on 19th August 1943. The seventh RN ship to carry this
name, introduced in 1797 for a Gunboat. It was last used for a destroyer built
in 1910 and wrecked in July 1918 on the Seven Stones. Her build was completed
on 12th November 1943 and she had been adopted by the civil community of Swadlingcote, Derbyshire in place of sister ship HMS NIGER which was lost in July 1942 when she struck a mine off
Iceland. The community had made the original adoption following a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings
campaign in March 1942.
B a t t l
e H o n o u r s
ATLANTIC 1943 - NORMANDY 1944 -
H e r a l d i c D a t a
Badge: On a Field White
a lobster proper.
a sprig of three oak
D e t a i l s o f W a r S e r v i c e
(for more ship information,
Naval History Homepage
and type name in Site Search
1 9 4 3
November Contractors trials and commissioned for
service in 7th Minesweeping
Flotilla on formation.
12th Build completion and commenced
On completion took
passage to Tobermory for work-up and preparation for
December After Work-up took passage to Port
Edgar to carry out minesweeping training.
training in Forth area.
1 9 4 4
January Deployed in Forth area for
February Passage to Harwich to join HM
Minesweepers PELORUS, PICKLE, FANCY,
LARNE, LENNOX, RECRUIT
and RIFLEMAN to form 7th Minesweeper]
March Deployed with Flotilla for
minesweeping of east coast to ensure safe passage of
Nominated for service
in Force J for minesweeping support during planned
allied landings in
Normandy (Operation NEPTUNE).
8th Passage to Portsmouth with ships of
Flotilla to join Force J in Solent.
12th Deployed for minesweeping off
20th Deployed in Thames Estuary with
29th Returned to resume service with
Force J at Portsmouth for exercises prior to
May Nominated with Flotilla for
clearance of Channel 8 to beach head areas.
(Note: An Isles Class
Danlayer, A Motor Minesweeper and three Motor
were allocated for duty with the Flotilla for laying of
and to provide assistance during NEPTUNE.)
Deployed with Flotilla
for exercises including nigh sweeping and major
exercise FABIUS III in
(Note: During FABIUS
III Flotilla came under E-Boat attack.)
Returned to Solent ion
completion to prepare for NEPTUNE.
For details of naval
activities prior to and during NEPTUNE see LANDINGS
IN NORMANDY, June 1944
(HMSO) and OPERATION NEPTUNE by K Edwards.
4th Operation delayed for 24 hours.
5th Sailed from Portsmouth with
Flotilla for clearance of Channel 8 ahead of first
6th After arrival off JUNO Beach
deployed for local minesweeping and for
(Note: During Assault
Phase continued minesweeping off Normandy and
during Build-up Phase was part of TROUT Defence Line for
submarine patrol. Deployed for convoy escort and returned to
Portsmouth for refuelling and replenishment.)
July Retained in Forward Area for
minesweeping after termination of NEPTUNE.
to (Note: During this period
enemy minelaying and torpedo attacks were carried
August in French coastal waters. See references
and HOLD THE NARROW
SEA by P
September On release from Channel duties
transferred to Harwich for minesweeping in
Nore Command and escort
of convoys to Scheldt area.
(Note: During final
months of 1944 extensive enemy attacks were being made
submarines and E-Boats which both also were used for
17th Deployed with Flotilla for Air Sea
Rescue duties during Arnhem airborne
October Nore Command duties with Flotilla
November Transferred to Plymouth Command with
Flotilla and took passage to
anti-submarine patrol duties.
fitted U-Boats were being deployed in SW Approaches
focal areas and level of escort and patrol was increase to
December Nominated for foreign service with
and taken in hand for refit
1 9 4 5
January Under refit and on completion
prepared for passage to Colombo to join the
East Indies Fleet for
minesweeping duties during planned landings.
February Passage to rejoin ships of Flotilla
17th Deployed with HM Minesweepers
RECRUIT, RIFLEMAN and PLUCKY
as escort for convoy
of Landing Ships (Tank) during passage from Falmouth
23rd Detected submarine which later
surfaced. Engaged with surface gunfire in
which HMS RECRUIT
also took part. Submarine scuttled and was abandoned
by crew. Four
officers and 37 ratings were rescued by ships of the convoy
was identified as U300 and had been damaged in earlier
on Convoy USG2. For details see U-BOATS DESTROYED
by P Kemp and
HITLER’S U-BOAT WAR by C Blair.)
Later landed rescued
German survivors at Gibraltar.
March Passage to Red Sea.
April Passage in Indian Ocean.
14th At Colombo with HM Minesweepers
PLUCKY, RECRUIT, CHAMELEON,
VESTAL, PICKLE (SO)
Took passage with
Flotilla to Trincomalee to commence Fleet duties.
24th Deployed with Flotilla and Indian
37th Minesweeping Flotilla as Force 63
for minesweeping prior
to planned landings in Rangoon.
1st Carried out minesweeping off Rangoon
during landing operations.
On release from
DRACULA took passage to Trincomalee with Flotilla.
June Deployed with Flotilla at Trincomalee
to prepare for planned minesweeping
off Phuket Island
19th Sailed from Trincomalee with HM
Minesweepers PLUCKY, RIFLEMAN,
VESTAL and SQUIRREL
(Note: Cover was
provided by HM Battleship NELSON, HM Cruiser
Escort Aircraft Carriers AMEER and EMPRESS
by four destroyers of East Indies Fleet. Dan laying was
out by RIN minesweepers.)
24th HMS SQUIRREL damaged by detonation of
mine and had to be sunk after
rescue of survivors.
Seven of ship’s company were killed.
26th Came under air attack by suicide
aircraft after completion of LIVERY.
HMS VESTAL was
seriously damaged and also had to be sunk.
20 of ship’s company
(Note: For details of LIVERY see
WAR WITH JAPAN (HMSO) and
FORGOTTEN FLEET by J Winton.)
Took return passage to
August Deployed at Trincomalee to prepare
for planned landings in Malaya
(Note: This operation
was delayed by several factors including the
service personnel to UK and US insistence on timing
landings to suit their overall policies. See references.)
Passage to Colombo
15th Sailed from Colombo with HM
Minesweepers PLUCKY, RIFLEMAN
and RECRUIT to join Force
comprised also of 6th Minesweeping
Flotilla and RIN
30th Carried out minesweeping operations to
clear approaches to Penang prior
to entry of HMS
NELSON, HM Cruisers CLEOPATRA and SUSSEX,
4th Deployed in Malacca Straits for mine
clearance of entry into Singapore by
Eastern Fleet ships
prior to formal surrender of Japanese forces in Malaya.
P o s t W a r
N o t e s
HMS PINCHER remained in the Far East with the
Flotilla for minesweeping operations to ensure safe passage of shipping into ports in the
area. She returned to UK with the remaining ships of the Flotilla in July 1946, Paid off in September for
reduction to Reserve this ship was laid-up at Harwich. In 1951 she recommissioned for service in the 4th
Minesweeping Squadron based at Portland and during 1953 joined the Fisheries
Protection Squadron. Following a refit in 1955 she resumed Fishery Protection
duties including service off Iceland. Paid-off again in 1955 she laid-up at
Chatham before being moved to Portsmouth in 1956. After being placed on the
Disposal List in 1960 she was hulked and used as a Fender until sold to BISCO
for demolition by Clayton and Davie at Dunston where she arrived in tow at the
Breaker’s yard on 7th March 1962.
For more about Algerine-class Minesweepers, see