ALGERINE-Class Fleet Minesweeper fitted with Turbine
propulsion machinery ordered on 30th April 1942 from Harland and Wolff, Belfast. Laid down on 20th April
1943 at the same time as sister ships RECRUIT and PLUCKY she was launched on 25th November 1943. The sixth RN
ship to carry this name, introduced in 1804
for a Gun Brig built at Blackwall and purchased from the
builder. It was last used for a destroyer built in 1910 at Cowes by JS White and sold in 1921. Her build was completed on
11th February 1944. This minesweeper was not adopted by any civil community
in UK following a successful WARSHIP WEEK campaign for National Savings as her
build had not been started.
B a t t l e H o n o u r s
NORMANDY 1944 - BURMA
H e r a l d i
c D a t a
Badge: On a Field
Green, a Maltese cross surmounted by a Roundel
Gold, charged with a bugle, stringed, Black.
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 4
February Contractors trials and commissioned for
service with 7th Minesweeping Flotilla..
11th Build completion and commenced
13th On completion took passage to
Tobermory for work-up
Took passage to join
Flotilla at Harwich.
(Note: It is likely that
minesweeping trials in Firth of Forth were limited due to
Joined HM Minesweepers PELORUS (SO), PICKLE,
PLUCKY, FANCY, LARNE, PINCHER
LENNOX and RECRUIT to
complete constitution of 7th Flotilla.
March Deployed with Flotilla for
minesweeping of east coast to ensure safe passage of coastal convoys.
Nominated for service in
Force J with Flotilla 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 landings.
May Nominated with Flotilla for
clearance of Channel 8 to beach head areas.
(Note: An Isles Class
Danlayer, a Motor Minesweeper and three Motor Launches were
duty with the Flotilla for laying of markers and to provide assistance
Deployed with Flotilla
for exercises including night sweeping and major exercise FABIUS III
(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 Assault convoys.
6th After arrival off JUNO Beach deployed
for local minesweeping and for widening approach
(Note: During Assault
Phase continued minesweeping off Normandy and later during Build-up
part of TROUT Defence Line for patrol against any attempt by submarines
or E-Boats to
enter Task Force area..
Deployed for escort as
required 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 Transferred with HM Minesweepers
PINCHER, LENNOX, RECRUIT and PLUCKY
for special duties and
took passage to Harwich.
17th Deployed with Flotilla for Air Sea
Rescue duties during Arnhem airborne
landings (Operation MARKET
October Nore Command duties with Flotilla
Deployed for mine
clearance duties in Scheldt estuary and for escort of military convoy
November Transferred to Plymouth Command with
Flotilla and took passage to
anti-submarine patrol duties.
fitted U-Boats were being deployed in SW Approaches at convoy
areas and level of escort and patrol was increase to meet this threat.)
December Nominated for foreign service with and
taken in hand for refit
(Note: HMS PELORUS
and HMS LENNOX were replaced by HMS SQUIRREL and
VESTAL in order to have all ships in Flotilla with Turbine propulsion
would ensure compatibility of maintenance requirements.
Ships were withdrawn
for refit in rotation to ensure some of Flotilla was available
minesweeping and escort or patrol duties.)
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 PINCHER as escort for convoy
of Landing Ships
(Tank) during passage from Falmouth to Gibraltar.
22nd Rescued some of the 41 survivors from
U900 which was sighted on the surface and engaged
by HMS PINCHER. The
submarine later scuttled. See U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp.
26th Detached from convoy at Gibraltar and
took passage with sister ships of Flotilla
March Passage in Mediterranean and Red
April Passage in Indian Ocean.
14th At Colombo with HM Minesweepers
PINCHER, RECRUIT, CHAMELEON, VESTAL,
PICKLE (SO) and PLUCKY
Took passage with Flotilla to
Trincomalee to commence Fleet duties.
24th Nominated for minesweeping support of
planned landings at Rangoon with Flotilla and Indian
Flotilla as Force 65 (Operation DRACULA.)
Took passage to Akyab
29th Sailed with ships of Force 65 as part
of escort for Convoy ABLE for minesweeping
operations in support
(Note: For details off other
naval activities associated with DRACULA see WAR
JAPAN (HMSO) and THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by J Winton.)
1st Commenced minesweeping to clear approach
passage for assault ships.
3rd Deployed with Force 65 to ensure
clear passage to enable ships to berth at Rangoon.
On release from
DRACULA returned with Flotilla to Colombo.
(Note: Ships of
Flotilla were successively withdrawn from service for refit and
maintenance pending support of
planned British landings in the Andamans
and Malaya. Some of the ships went to
Durban or Port Elizabeth in South Africa.)
June Deployed with Flotilla at
Trincomalee to prepare for planned minesweeping
off Phuket Island (Operation LIVERY)
19th Sailed from Trincomalee with HM
Minesweepers PINCHER, PLUCKY, VESTAL and
SQUIRREL for LIVERY.
(Note: Cover was
provided by HM Battleship NELSON, HM Cruiser SUSSEX. HM Escort
Carriers AMEER and EMPRESS, screened by four destroyers of East Indies
laying was carried 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
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 (Operation ZIPPER)
(Note: This operation was
delayed by several factors including the return of service personnel
and US insistence on timing of landings to suit their overall policies.
Passage to Colombo
15th Sailed from Colombo with HM
Minesweepers PINCHER, PLUCKY and RECRUIT to join
Force !55 comprised
also of 6th Minesweeping Flotilla and RIN minesweepers.
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 RIFLEMAN 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 sister ships of the
Flotilla in July 1946. Paid off at
Sheerness in September she was reduced to Reserve status and laid-up. This ship was recommissioned for
service in the 2nd Minesweeping Flotilla, Mediterranean Fleet after refit in
1947. at Portsmouth. Based in Malta
during subsequent service deployed in the Mediterranean and on took part Fleet and Flotilla exercises as
well as Mediterranean Fleet exercises and visits annual programmes. At the end
of 1954 she returned to UK with
sister ships PLUCKY, CHAMELEON and RECRUIT to Pay-Off. After arrival at
Portsmouth on 13th December she reduced to Reserve status and was laid-up. During 1958-59 this ship was refitted including
installation of a SQUID anti-submarine mortar to improve her capabilities as an
escort. In 1970 the ship was
transferred to Barrow where she was used to provide accommodation for Reserve
Fleet personnel and those
standing-by warships and submarines under construction by Vickers-Armstrong.
Placed on the Disposal List in 1972 she
was sold to BISCO for demolition by WH Arnott Young at Dalmuir where she arrived in tow in October
For more about Algerine-class Minesweepers, see