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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2007

HMS RYE (J 76) - Bangor-class Minesweeper

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMIS Rohilkand, ex-HMS Padstow, turbine-engined sister ship (Navy Photos, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 

BANGOR-Class with Turbine Machinery ordered from Ailsa at Troon on 27th July 1939. The ship was laid down on 27th November 1939 and was launched on 19th August 1940 as the 4th RN ship to carry this name, introduced in 1696 for a 5th Rate and last used for a similar category in 1745. Build was completed on 20th October 1941 and the ship was adopted by the civil community of Rye, East Sussex after a successful National Savings campaign in March 1942


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s




H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field per pale red and blue, a demi-lion passant,

Gold  langued and armed Blue conjoined  to the hulk of

a ship, White.



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



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October                  Contractors Trials

                                Commissioned for service in 14th Minesweeping Flotilla

                                Passage to Tobermory for work-up


November              Worked-up at Tobermory


December              Joined Flotilla in Rosyth Command.

                                (Note: Other ships in Flotilla were

                                HM Minesweepers CROMER, BEAUMARIS, CROMARTY, FRASERBURGH,

                                POOLE, ROMNEY and TENBY, all sister ships. )


1 9 4 2


January                  Deployed with Flotilla in Western Approaches for mine clearance.

                                (Note: British minelaying operations were being carried out on Northern Barrage and

                                minesweeping operations were required to provide gaps in some areas


February                Atlantic duties in continuation. Nominated for service with Flotilla in Mediterranean.


March                    Under refit prior to foreign service.

                                (Note: Did not take passage with Flotilla which was later diverted for service with the

                                Eastern Fleet)


April                       Completed refit and prepared for foreign Service.



                8th          Took passage to Gibraltar with Sister ship, HMS HYTHE.

                                On arrival delayed at Gibraltar and later nominated for service at Malta with HM Minesweepers

                                HEBE, HYTHE and SPEEDY as 17th Minesweeping Flotilla.

                                Deployed at Gibraltar pending arrival of Malta relief convoy.



                12th        Joined escort for Malta convoy (Operation HARPOON).

                                (For details see ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by Corelli Barnett and BATTLE

                                FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN by D McIntyre and MALTA CONVOYS by R Woodman

                14th        Under heavy and sustained air attacks.

                15th        Under attack by Italian surface ships and sustained air attacks.

                                Shot down one attacking aircraft. Rescued survivors from ss CHANT which had been

                                damaged and was disabled.

                16th        On arrival off Malta deployed to sweep entry route of convoy into Grand Harbour.

                                (Note: This was not executed and resulted in sinking and damage to warships and also

                                to one of the two surviving mercantiles (ss ORARI). The Polish destroyer

                                ORP KUJAWIAK (Ex HMS OAKLEY) was sunk. HM Destroyers BADSWORTH

                                and HMS MATCHLESS of the escort were badly damaged and had to remain in

                17th        Deployed with Flotilla to begin mine clearance operations in approaches to Grand Harbour

                                assisted by Motor Launches of 3rd Motor Launch Flotilla.


July                         Malta mine clearance operations in continuation with Flotilla.

                                (Note: During this period enemy minelaying of moored and ground minks by air and by submarine

                                were unremitting. 214 Moored and 58 Ground Mines were swept).


August                  Malta minesweeping duties in continuation.

                                (Note: 27 Moored mines were cut between 1st and 8th August)

                13th        Deployed with Flotilla to ensure approach channel into Grand Harbour was clear to allow safe entry

                                of Malta relief convoy  (Operation PEDESTAL)

                                Joined escort for three of the surviving ships of this convoy.

                                Detached to assist HM Destroyer PENN which had been disabled by air attacks

                                On arrival off the island assisted in towing operation and under sustained air attacks.

                14th        Towing operation in continuation with HM Destroyers LEDBURY, and PENN

                                Under attack by dive bombers.

                                The other three ships of 17th Flotilla provided an anti-submarine screen.

                                During the subsequent tow of OHIO by tug ,assisted and HM Destroyers BRAMHAM and PENN

                                carried out minesweep ahead of rescue group

                15th        Resumed Malta mine clearances duties after arrival of OHIO in Grand Harbour.


September             Malta minesweeping in continuation with Flotilla.

to                            (Note: Total number of mines swept by Flotilla since June was 300)

December              Mine clearance operations extended and included Fifla area after an enemy minelay by


                                Flotilla ships were withdrawn individually for maintenance and refit.



1 9 4 3


January                  Deployed with Flotilla for mine clearance in Malta area.

to                            (Note: Flotilla total of mines swept was 419 by end April.).



May                        Malta mine clearance in continuation with HMS HYTHE.

                                (Note: HMS SPEEDY was badly damaged by a mine on 15th and under repair for some weeks

                                HMS HEBE was also damaged by an air attack whilst in harbour.)


June                        Malta deployment in continuation.

                20th        Escorted HM Cruiser AURORA into Malta with HMS HYTHE.

                                (Note: HMS AURORA had HM King George VI embarked for Royal visit to the Island..


July                         Nominated for service with 14th Minesweeping Flotilla for support of planned allied landings in

                                Sicily (Operation HUSKY - See Naval Staff History).

                                Transferred with HMS HYTHE and joined HM Minesweepers CROMARTY, BOSTON,

                                SEAHAM and POOLE.

                8th          Sailed from Malta with Flotilla as escort for Landing Craft convoy.

                9th          Deployed with Flotilla for mine clearance in approaches to ACID Sector beaches.

                to            Continued support of landings and military advance in Sicily.

                18th        Carried out anti-submarine patrols, mine clearance and escort duties


August                  Resumed duty with 17th Flotilla and deployed for convoy defence.

                8th          Sailed from Alexandria with HMS HYTHE as escort for Convoy MKS21 during passage to Gibraltar.

                                (Operation COCKATOO)

                                Other ships in escort included HM Sloop SHOREHAM, HM Minesweepers WHITEHAVEN,

                                ROMNEY and four RAN corvettes).

                13th        Under air attacks by 36 He111 torpedo bombers near Alboran.

                                Destroyed one aircraft during defence of convoy.

                                Took mercantile disabled during air attacks in tow until transferred later to HMS HYTHE.

                                Carried out anti-submarine attacks after wake of torpedo from submarine was reported.

                15th        Arrived at Gibraltar and took passage to Malta with HMS HYTHE.

                                (Note: HM Minesweeper SPEEDY was in this convoy and then took passage to UK for repair.


September             Deployed at Malta.


October                  Malta deployment for convoy defence in continuation.

                9th          Took passage from Malta with HMS HYTHE.

                                Joined US Destroyer USS BRISTOL as escort for Convoy GU18 to Gibraltar.

                11th        Under attack by U371 off Algerian coast.

                                Carried out anti-submarine operation after sinking of HMS HYTHE by GNAT Torpedo.

                                Rescued 12 survivors from HMS HYTHE which sank in a few minutes off Bougie in

                                position 37.04N 05.00E. Two survivors died on board later

                16th        Return passage to Malta.


November              Deployed at Malta for mine clearance and convoy defence.

to                            Nominated for refit in UK.

December              (Note: This ship was the sole surviving operational ship of the Flotilla which had made a

                                vital contribution to the defence of Malta and will always be associated with the

                                HARPOON and PEDESTAL convoy operations).


1 9 4 4


January                  Passage to UK.

                                On arrival taken in hand for refit in Build Yard at Troon.


February                Under refit and repair.

to                            Nominated for service with 14th Minesweeping Flotilla on completion.



April                       Post refit trials and shakedown for operational service.

                                Joined HM Minesweepers ROMNEY, SEAHAM, POOLE, WHITEHAVEN,

                                GUYSBOROUGH (RCN), KENORA (RCN) and VEGREVILLE (RCN) in Flotilla


May                        Deployed in Channel for minesweeping prior to allied landings in Normandy.

                                (Operation NEPTUNE - See OPERATION NEPTUNE by K Edwards and Naval Staff

                                History (HMSO)).

                                Flotilla allocated for clearance of Channel 2 for assault on UTAH Beachhead).

                                Took part in preparatory amphibious exercises in Channel (Exercise FABIUS Series).


June                        Preparatory minesweeping in continuation.

                5th          Carried out Channel 2 sweep in front of first assault convoy.

                6th          Arrived of French coast earlier than planned.

                                Carried out clearance sweep of Bombardment Area.

                                Deployed for widening of Channels 3 and 4 in joint operation with the 4th and 14th

                                Minesweeping Flotillas.

                7th          Deployed off Beach Head for minesweeping operations in Eastern Task Force area with

                to            Flotilla and assisted by smaller minesweeping vessels (BYMS, YMS and ML's).

                30th        Carried out patrol to intercept attacks by E-Boats and submersibles off beachhead.


July                         On release from Neptune deployed for minesweeping and convoy defence in Channel.



1 9 4 5


January                  Deployed for Patrol, convoy defence and mine clearance deployment in Channel and

to                            Nore Command area in continuation.

April                       (Note: During this period enemy submarine and E-Boat minelaying continued with

                                particular increase in Thames estuary and off Dutch coast..)

                                See HOLD THE NARROW SEA by P Smith.


May                        Transferred to 9th Minesweeping Flotilla after VE Day.

                                Deployed in Norwegian waters for mine clearance with HM Minesweepers SIDMOUTH,

                                TENBY, BLACKPOOL, BANGOR and ROMNEY.

                                Based at Stavanger during sweeping operations which frequently lasted several days of.

                                continuous sweeping.


June                        Norwegian coast operations in continuation

to.                           On completion returned to Rosyth.



P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


HMS RYE continued minesweeping duties after VJ Day and in January 1946 was deployed in the Bristol Channel and off coast of South Wales for clearance of minefields. On completion the ship was Paid-off and had been placed in Reserve by the end of the year. She was put on the Disposal List in 1947 and sold to BISCO for demolition by Chicks at Purfleet where she arrived in tow on 24th August 1948.


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