1 9 4 0
Contractors trials and commissioning 9th Minesweeping Flotilla.
12th - Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials. On completion of trials and storing took passage to
1 9 4 1
with HM Minesweepers BANGOR (SO), BRIDLINGTON. BRIDPORT and RHYL for Flotilla work-up and minesweeping trials at Scapa Flow. On completion deployed for minesweeping to ensure clear passage of Fleet
units in and out of Scapa Flow and also of
East Coast convoy routes between Aberdeen
and NW of Scottish coast.
February to April
minesweeping duties in continuation based at Scapa Flow. (Note: HM Minesweeper CROMER and BUDE joined Flotilla. Duties also included clearance of gunnery firing
ranges off Cape Wrath.)
to English Channel for minesweeping duties with Flotilla.
June to November
deployment with Flotilla including convoy escort as well as routine mine clearance on convoy routes of convoy routes
between Dover and Plymouth. Based at Poole and Portland as required by commitments. RAF air cover was provided subject to UK air defence requirements and came under air attacks. (Note:
Ships of the Flotilla were provided with balloons using specially fitted hand winches, for protection against bombing attacks,
but their value was indeterminate. HMS SIDMOUTH and
HMS TENBY joined Flotilla.)
to 14th Minesweeping Flotilla and joined HM Minesweepers CROMER, CROMARTY, POOLE, BEAUMARIS, RYE, TENBY and FRASERBURGH for North Sea minesweeping based at Rosyth. (Note:
This work was vital and ensured safe passage of convoys between Thames Estuary as far north as Aberdeen
1 9 4 2
January to February
Rosyth deployment in continuation Nominated with Flotilla for transfer to Mediterranean
for convoy defence. (Note: This move was needed in view of the shortage of warships for
anti- submarine work due to losses in defence of Crete and Greece as well as support of the Malta and the Tobruk
for foreign service after release from North Sea
duties. Passage to Gibraltar (Note: HM Minesweepers SEAHAM and WHITEHAVEN joined
the Flotilla before departure.) Re-routed for passage via Cape of Good Hope and Red
arrival at Durban detached from Flotilla with HMS CROMARTY, HMS CROMER and HMS POOLE for service in Indian Ocean
with Eastern Fleet. Nominated for minesweeping support during planned
landings in Madagascar (Operation IRONCLAD).
3rd - Passage
to Diego Suarez
5th - Deployed
with detached minesweepers and two FLOWER Class corvettes in advance of assault ships to clear mines laid in Amararata Bay. (For
details see Naval Staff History and WAR WITH JAPAN ) (Note: HM Corvette AURICULA struck a mine became a
total loss having broken her back.)
6th - Carried out minesweeping in Courier Bay to ensure safe anchorage for disembarkation of troops from Landing Ships. On release from IRONCLAD took return passage to Kilindini to join Escort Force for defence of convoys in Indian
June to August
for convoy escort in Indian Ocean based at Kilindini
for transfer to Mediterranean with same detached ships and to rejoin Flotilla at Alexandria.
22nd - Took
passage to Egypt from Kilindini
HMS BOSTON, HMS SEAHAM and HMS WHITEHAVEN at Alexandria for Flotilla minesweeping duties.
November to December
with Flotilla for minesweeping off Egyptian and Libyan coast to ensure safe passage of supply convoys under air attacks. (Note: HMS CROMER was lost after hitting a floating mine . The ship
sank quickly and survivors were rescued by ships of Flotilla.)
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January to May
Eastern Mediterranean minesweeping in continuation to ensure safe passage for supply convoys supporting advance of
completion of minesweeping to clear entrances to Libyan ports transferred with ships of Flotilla for minesweeping
support of the planned allied landings in Sicily
with Flotilla and ships of 13th Minesweeping Flotilla in preparation for HUSKY. See Naval Staff History and
ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett
9th - Carried
out minesweeping in advance of British Support Force East and assault ships on passage to landing areas.
10th - Deployed for minesweeping in anchorage and bombardment areas.
11th - Deployed off Syracuse and under air attacks.
12th - During
minesweeping off Augusta forced to withdraw because of shore batteries fire.
8th - Joined
HM Minesweepers HYTHE, RYE, WHITEHAVEN, HM Sloop SHOREHAM, HM Australian Minesweepers GAWLER IPSWICH and MARYBOROUGH for escort of military convoy MKS21 during passage from Malta to Gibraltar. (Operation COCKATOO)
13th - Under
air attack by He111 torpedo bombers which damaged two
mercantiles in convoy which were taken in tow.
Later a second air attack was driven off with one
He111 shot down by of the escorts.
A submarine attack later failed.
20th - Passage to Malta to resume minesweeping duties with Flotilla.
based in Malta in continuation. To be confirmed. Nominated for minesweeping operations to open up the Strait of Bonifacio
between Sardinia and Corsica. (Note: This area was known to have been heavily
mined with no known channels.
*October to November
with Flotilla for mine clearance in Strait of
Bonifacio based at Maddalena. To be
confirmed. (Note: A requirement for shallow
draft minesweepers had been recognised before the start of this work, but only one Ex Italian Navy craft was available to deal with mines laid in shallow water. The loss of HMS CROMARTY on 23 October may have been due to failure to use a suitable vessel.
47 mines were swept by the Flotilla during these operations.
relief by 13th Minesweeping Flotilla took passage with 14th Flotilla to Malta prior to leaving Mediterranean.
Passage in Mediterranean and Bay of
Biscay from Malta to UK. To be confirmed.
1 9 4 4
arrival in Home ports ships of Flotilla under routine maintenance and essential repairs. To be confirmed. Resumed operational deployment based at Plymouth for minesweeping in SW Approaches coastal convoy routes. Joined 14th Minesweeping Flotilla ships at Plymouth as Senior Officer's ship.
February to March
deployment in continuation,
in Flotilla were HM Minesweepers SEAHAM POOLE, RYE, WHITEHAVEN, GUYSBOROUGH, KENORA and VEGREVILLE. (Note:
The last three were sister ships built in Canadian shipyards. Nominated for minesweeping support during the planned allied landings in Normandy (Operation NEPTUNE)
to Force U of Western Task Force and nominated for clearance of Swept Channel No 2 from south of the Isle of Wight to UTAH Beach landing area. (Note: HMS GEORGIAN, HMS PETERHEAD, HMS SIR GALAHAD and HMS SIR LANCELOT were attached to Flotilla for use as Danlayers to lay
marker buoys marking extremities of swept area.) Took part in preparatory exercises with ships of Force U (Note: Exercise TIGER, a landing exercise in Lyme Bay came under E-Boat attacks and was a total disaster with many casualties. See LANDINGS IN NORMANDY June 1944 and OPERATION NEPTUNE by K Edwards for details of naval activities prior to and during NEPTUNE.
as part of Force U for service in Western Task Force when not deployed for minesweeping. and
took part in preparatory exercises with Ships
of Force U. Passage to Portland to join Force U
for NEPTUNE briefing.
from Portland with Flotilla and Danlayers for designated Channel 2 mine clearance.
4th - Operation
was delayed by 24 hours. See references.) After discovery of minefield 15 miles south of St Catherine Point, IoW deployed with Flotilla for a
minesweep during which five mines were cut
and two exploded in sweeps of Flotilla.
5th - Commenced
sweep of Channel 2 with Flotilla and the attached Danlayers
6th - After
undetected arrival off UTAH beach with ships of Flotilla commenced further clearance operations in area between
Channels 3 and 4.
7th - Deployed for minesweeping off assault area.
8th - Carried
out minesweeping operation off Brest with Flotilla (Note: During this operation HMS PETERHEAD, a sister ship converted for use as a Danlayer,
was lost after hitting a mine.) Eleven mines were swept and 25 anti-minesweeping devices caused loss of sweeps and delayed work.)
25th - Deployed
off Cherbourg with ships of Flotilla to clear approach channel to the selected bombardment area for US battleships USS TEXAS and USS ARKANSAS. On completion carried out further minesweeping off Cherbourg.
29th - Retained for minesweeping duties off Normandy on completion of NEPTUNE. For further details of minesweeping operations off Normandy see THEY LED THE WAY by J Williams.
Minesweeping support off French coast in continuation. Deployed off Brest after occupation by allied forces.
from support of landings in France and taken in hand for repair and maintenance.
September to December
Flotilla duties and carried out mine clearance in Channel and Nore Command areas.
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January to April
and convoy defence in continuation.
with HM Minesweepers SIDMOUTH, TENBY BLACKPOOL, BANGOR and RYE off southern Norway after VE Day for mine clearance. Based at Stavanger. Took
part in longest continual sweep during WW2 which
lasted nearly 79 hours and ensured safe
passage for shipping.
On return from Norwegian deployment taken in hand for repair and maintenance.
July to August
with Flotilla in SW Approaches for mine clearance duties based at Plymouth