ALGERINE-Class Fleet Minesweeper fitted with Turbine
propulsion machinery ordered on 15th November 1940 from Harland and Wolff, Belfast. Laid down on 14th
April 1942 at the same time as sister ship RATTLER (Later LOYALTY) this ship was launched on 11th January 1943. She was the fifth RN ship to carry this
name, introduced in 1797 for a 12 gun vessel purchased at Leith and
last borne by a destroyer built in 1916 and sold in 1926. Build of this ship was completed on 21st May and she
was adopted by the civil community of Ilminster, Somerset after a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings
campaign held in February 1942.
B a t t l e H
o n o u r s
ARCTIC 1943 - NORMANDY 1944
H e r a l d i c
D a t a
Badge: On a field Blue, two flintlock pistols in saltire proper, cocked.
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
May Contractors trials and
commissioned for service in 18th Minesweeping Flotilla.
(Note: This was the
second Minesweeping Flotilla comprised of ALGERINE
ships to be formed.)
21st Build completion and commenced
On completion took
passage to Tobermory for work-up and preparation for
June After Work-up took passage
to Port Edgar to carry out minesweeping training.
minesweeping training in Forth area.
July Deployed with HM
Minesweepers HOUND, HYDRA and LOYALTY in Lyme Bay.
(Note: These ships
were part of the 18th Flotilla and detached for this duty in English Channel.)
August Deployed with HM Minesweepers
ONYX, HOUND, HYDRA, LOYALTY,
COCKATRICE and newly
joined HMS RATTLESNAKE for special
operation in English Channel (Operation STARKEY)
operation also included 9th Minesweeping Flotilla and was intended to
draw attention of enemy
aircraft which would then be vulnerable to attacks
aircraft who were providing air cover.)
September On release from STARKEY which proved
unsuccessful returned to Harwich to resume
mine clearance in
North Sea with Flotilla to ensure clear passage for East Coast convoys.
Channel deployment the Flotilla came under shore fire from coastal
Cape Gris Nez which damaged HMS HYDRA causing casualties and
necessitating dockyard repair.)
October North Sea deployment with
Flotilla in continuation.
Nominated for duty
in Home Fleet with Flotilla.
November Passage from Harwich to Scapa Flow.
12th Sailed from Scapa Flow for
detached service in Iceland with HM Minesweepers
HYDRA, HOUND and COCKATRICE.
15th Carried out patrol to intercept
U-Boats on passage to and from Atlantic.
December Transferred from Home Fleet to
Orkney and Shetland Command for Local Escort
of convoys in NW
Approaches and anti-submarine patrol duties.
Took part in
anti-submarine search operations and carried out patrol between Faeroes
1 9 4 4
January NW Approaches deployment in
7th Deployed for Local Escort of
Russian Convoy RA55B with HM Minesweeper
ORESTES of Flotilla,
during final stage of passage from North Russia. HMS HYDRA
Destroyers WHITEHALL, WESTCOTT, HM Sloop CYGNET, HM
Corvette OXLIP and HM
Minesweeper SEAGULL were also part of Local
Escort in NW Approaches.)
8th Detached from RA55B with
Local Escort on arrival at Loch Ewe.
Joined Russian Convoy
JW56A with HMS ORESTES, HM Corvettes BORAGE,
POPPY, DIANELLA and HM Destroyer INCONSTANT as escort
for initial stage
of passage from Loch Ewe to North Russia.
18th Arrived in Akureri, Iceland
for shelter with JW56Aafter delay on passage due to
conditions on 15th.
21st Took passage from Akureri with
escort for JW56A
22nd Detached from JW56A escort with
HMS ORESTES and returned to Iceland.
For details of
all Russian Convoy operations with names of merchant ships and
CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by RA Ruegg, THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS by
ARCTIC CONVOYS by R Woodman, CONVOY ! by P Kemp
and the Naval
Passage to Loch Ewe.
February Deployed in NW Approaches.
9th Deployed with HM Destroyer
WRESTLER, HM Corvettes BORAGE,
WALLFLOWER ,HM Minesweepers COCKATRICE, LOYALTY
and RATTLESNAKE as Western Local Escort
for return Convoy RA56 for final part of
passage into Loch Ewe from North Russia.
11th Detached from RA56 with escort on
arrival at Loch Ewe.
8th Joined return Convoy RA57 with
HM Minesweepers HYDRA, LOYALTY, ONYX and
ORESTES as Local
Escort for final part of passage into Loch Ewe from North Russia.
10th Detached from RA57 with Local
Escort on arrival at Loch Ewe.
On release from
duties in NW Approaches returned to rejoin ships of Flotilla at
April Carried out essential
repairs and routine maintenance following deployment away
from base, Leave
granted to personnel.
minesweeping support of planned allied landings in Normandy
May On resuming Flotilla
duties joined Force G of Eastern Task Force.
preparatory exercises with Flotilla and ships of Force G prior to
Operation to be
(Note: These included Exercise
FABIUS II and a Defence exercise including all
Forces C, G and J which were to be deployed for NEPTUNE
Solent with Flotilla to prepare for assault phase minesweeping.
clearance of Channel No 6 with HM Minesweepers READY (SO),
HOUND, HYDRA, LOYALTY, RATTLESNAKE and ORESTES of
June Deployed in Solent.
4th Operation delayed by 24
Took passage for
clearance of Channel 6.
Danlayers and two Motor Launches were also attached to the Flotilla
assist in marking of the swept Channel.
6th On completion of the sweep
of Channel 6 deployed off beachhead for minesweeping to
ensure safety of
anchorage for unloading.
7th Remained in Assault area for
(For details of
naval activities before and during Operation NEPTUNE see
NEPTUNE by K Edwards and LANDINGS IN NORMANDY June
In addition the Flotilla was
deployed to provide a protective ring around the assault
included night patrols to intercept enemy interference.
20th Under defect repair.
On completion of NEPTUNE
rejoined Flotilla for Channel minesweeping in
following completion of NEPTUNE.
minelaying was being carried out by midget submarine as well by
other surface ships and aircraft. Mines laid included magnetic and
July Flotilla Channel
minesweeping and interception patrol duties in continuation.
(Note: During this
period HM Minesweeper PYLADES on loan to Flotilla was
by torpedo from a midget submarine.)
August Channel deployment in
22nd During passage in Channel
carrying out minesweep continued operation with HM
HOUND, HYDRA and RATTLESNAKE when HMS LOYALTY
sweep gear parted.
recovering sweep gear HMS LOYALTY was torpedoed by U480 and
with the loss of 19 of her ship’s company including her captain.)
September Deployed with Flotilla for
minesweeping operations of Le Havre.
October On release from Channel
duties took passage to Harwich where ships of Flotilla
various duties in Channel area were to re-assemble.
Prepared for minesweeping
support of planned attack at Walcheren. Holland.
Minesweeper TANGANYIKA had joined Flotilla after completion
minesweeping trials and replaced HMS LOYALTY.
1st Deployed with Flotilla to
provide clear area required for bombarding ships to
support during landings at Walcheren for CINDERELLA.
Bombarding ships were HM Battleship WARSPITE, HM Monitors
EREBUS and ROBERTS.
10th Deployed off Ostend
with HM Minesweepers ONYX, ORESTES, HYDRA,
TANGANYIKA, HYDRA and COCKATRICE of Flotilla.
(Note: HMS HYDRA
detonated a mine during this operation and sustained
major damage. Although towed back to Sheerness the ship was
declared a Total Constructive Loss and never repaired.)
December Deployed with Flotilla for
minesweeping of coast of Belgium and Holland.
Military convoys and other shipping were carrying out support of
the allied forces in Europe, using ports which were available..
minelaying was being carried out by submarines and surface
craft to interfere with this
traffic. See Naval Staff History and
NARROW SEA by P Smith.)
1 9 4 5
January Minesweeping duties
with Flotilla to ensure clear passage for convoys to
to May. European ports in
continuation. During this period operations were frequently
by adverse weather including fog.
Particular attention was paid to clearance of mines to ensure safe entry into
Hamburg and Cuxhaven.)
June Remained in
Channel and southern North Sea for mine clearance.
P o s t W a r
N o t e s
HMS READY remained with the
Flotilla after the end of hostilities and deployed for mine clearance off the East Coast of UK before being
sent to join Plymouth Command for similar duties in SW Approaches and the Bristol Channel. In March
1947 she was transferred to the 3rd Minesweeping Flotilla based at Port Edgar
on the Forth and deployed for equipment trials until being Paid-off and reduced
to Reserve status at Chatham in 1948. Whilst in
Reserve she was placed on the Sales List and sold in 1951 for service in the Belgian Navy. Refitted by JS
White at Cowes she was renamed JAN VAN HAVERBEKE and served with remained on the Active List
for 10 years and on 7th March that 1961 sold for breaking-up at Bruges and arrived at the breaker’s yard
during August that year.
For more about Algerine-class Minesweepers, see