Minesweeper ordered from JS White at
Cowes on 5 February 1935 with
sister ship to be
HMS SALAMANDER.. Her Propulsion
machinery was to be
supplied this shipbuilder. The ship was
down on 1st April 1935 and launched on
29 January 1936 as the 6th RN warship to
carry this name which
been introduced for a 5th Rate in 1759.
warship to carry the name was a Torpedo
Gunboat built in
converted for use as a minesweeper in
1909 and sunk
by a U-Boat off Deal in November 1914.
Her build was
completed on 4th June 1936. During
after a successful WARSHIP WEEK National
February 1942 this ship was adopted by
community of Swadlingcote,
a t t l e
H o n o u r s
1941-2 - ARCTIC
e r a l d i c D a t a
a field Red a double
triangle Green within it a
The double triangle represents
e t a i l s o f
W a r
S e r v i c e
more ship information,
Naval History Homepage
type name in Site Search
9 3 9
Deployed with HM Minesweepers HALCYON,
HARRIER, HUSSAR, LEDA SALAMANDER,
GOSSAMER, SPEEDWELL and SPHINX in the
5th Minesweeping Flotilla.
Allocated War Station at Dover.
Passage to Dover for minesweeping
(Note: Extensive British minelaying
operation were planned for establishment
of the Channel
Deployed at Dover.
Dover deployment in continuation.
Transferred with Flotilla to Grimsby for
minesweeping and convoy defence duties
in North Sea.
Deployed at Grimsby.
Note: Extensive enemy minelaying using
magnetic mines was being carried out in
the North Sea
See ENGAGE THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C
Barnett and the Naval Staff
Under repair at Chatham
1 9 4 0
On completion took passage to Rosyth to
resume minesweeping in northern
(Note: Flotilla had been transferred to
Rosyth in continuation of North Sea duties
HMS HALCYON and HMS HUSSAR remained at
Grimsby as part of 4th Minesweeping
Deployed in Moray Firth with Flotilla.
Under air attacks in snow storm 15 miles
north of Kinnairds Head.
(Note: HMS SPHINX was sunk during these
Convoy escort was also carried out
during this period.)
Investigated report of submarine in
position SE of Duncansby Head from
Depth charge attack carried out in
vicinity of oil slick.
(Note: This was later classified as
having probably been damaged.)
North Sea deployment in continuation.
(Note: Anti-submarine operations were
carried out in this period.)
Transferred to 4th Minesweeping Flotilla
with HMS SALAMANDER in place
of HM Minesweepers HALCYON and HUSSAR.
North Sea duties in continuation with new Flotilla
Deployed in North Sea with 4th Flotilla
Under dive-bombing attack of Gravelines
and sustained some fire damage.
Detached with HMS SALAMANDER and took
passage to Dover for the
evacuation of allied troops from Dunkirk
Deployed at Dunkirk with HM Minesweepers
GOSSAMER, SKIPJACK, HALCYON, HEBE and
1st, 5th and 6th Flotillas and HMS
After several trips with rescued troops
made final trip to beaches and rescued
party of sailors
who were adrift in a lifeboat.
Returned to beaches and embarked
soldiers from Guards Regiments and Kings
Released from DYNAMO and took passage to
Grimsby for repair of defects.
On completion resumed minesweeping and
escort duties in North Sea with Flotilla.
Sustained damage in collision with HM
Trawler LAUREL in North Sea
Taken in hand for repair in commercial
shipyard in Grimsby.
On completion resumed Flotilla duties in
Nominated for special duties in
connection with anti-invasion measures.
Took passage to Thames area to take part
in Operation LUCID which was intended to
fireships in French harbours.
Deployed with HM Minesweeper ELGIN as
escort for tanker WAR NAWAB during
Recalled from LUCID during passage due
to weather conditions.
Resumed Flotilla duties based at Harwich
for escort and mine clearance.
North Sea duties in continuation.
Assisted damaged minesweeper ELGIN which
had been damaged by an acoustic mine
minesweep ahead of coastal convoy off
Flotilla duties in North Sea in continuation.
Nominated for refit
Taken in hand at commercial shipyard in
1 9 4 1
On completion of post refit trials
resumed Flotilla duties in North Sea.
North Sea deployment in continuation.
Nominated for service based in Iceland
with 6th Minesweeping Flotilla.
Passage to Iceland with HM Minesweeper
SPEEDWELL to join Iceland Escort Force
On arrival deployed for convoy escort
and anti-submarine patrol based in
Atlantic duties in continuation.
(Note: Duties included support of
convoys under threat during Atlantic
Atlantic deployment based in Iceland in
Deployed with HM Catapult Armed Ship
MAPLIN, HM Minesweeper SPEEDWELL, two
destroyers, two corvettes and three
trawlers in support of passage of inward
under sustained attack by U-Boats.
Iceland duty including detached service
for special operation.
Detached for special duties with HM
Minesweepers SALAMANDER. HALCYON and
(Note: This may have been a preparatory
investigation of route to be used for
and from North Russia which began the
journey from Iceland. or an
Deployed at Aberdeen for installation of
Under repair in Dundee
Resumed minesweeping duties after post
Taken in hand for repair in Dundee
Nominated for detached service in North
Russia for local escort and minesweeping
Barents Sea area.
1 9 4 2
(Note: This included “Arcticisation”
during which bow structure was
additional insulation provided for
deckheads and internal bulkheads.
Radar Type 271 may have been fitted
prior to this detached service. For
development and use of radar by RN see
RADAR AT SEA by D Howse.)
On completion of Post Refit Trials
resumed operational service.
Joined Ocean Escort as Senior Officer
for passage of Russian Convoy PQ11 to
with HMS HUSSAR, HM Corvette OXLIP,
Trawlers, HM Destroyers AIREDALE and
Trawlers detached and HM Corvette
SWEETBRIAR joined PQ11.
HM Cruiser NIGERIA joined PQ11 escort
with two Soviet destroyers for Local
Commenced duties in North Russia.
Deployed with HM Minesweepers GOSSAMER,
HARRIER, HUSSAR, SPEEDWELL
and a Soviet destroyer as Local Escort
for return Convoy QP9
Detached from QP9 and returned to Murmansk to resume minesweeping
(Note: For full details of all Russian
convoy passages with names of the
mercantiles see CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by RA
Ruegg, THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS
by B Schoefield, CONVOY ! by P Kemp and
ARCTIC CONVOYS by R Woodman.)
Deployed with HM Minesweepers GOSSAMER,
HARRIER and HUSSAR to join two
Soviet destroyers for Local Escort of
Russian Convoy PQ14 into
Murmansk from Reykjavik.
Detached from PQ14 on arrival and
resumed local duties.
Joined return Convoy QP11 as Local
Escort for passage from Murmansk with
destroyers, HM Minesweepers GOSSAMER,
HARRIER and HUSSAR.
Detached from QP11 with Local Escort on
relief by Ocean Escort for passage to
(Note: The Ocean Escort for Home Fleet
destroyers and Corvettes was joined
later by HM
Cruiser EDINBURGH which was sunk on 2nd
May with a large cargo of bullion
after being badly damaged by submarine
torpedo on 28th April. See above
Local minesweeping and patrol duties in
Barents Sea continued.
Nominated for duty with Ocean Escort of
return Convoy QP13
Joined HM Minesweeper HUSSAR, HM
Destroyers INGLEFIELD, INTREPID,
ACHATES, VOLUNTEER and Polish destroyer
ORP GARLAND, four corvettes,
HM Auxiliary AA Ship ALYNBANK and two
trawlers Ocean Escort for QP13.
Detached from QP13 with HMS HUSSAR, Free
French Corvette ROSELYS, HM Trawlers
LADY MADELAINE and ST ELSTAN as escort
for 19 ships of PQ13 for passage to
Detached from Iceland section of QP13
with HMS HUSSAR to make landfall prior
convoy passage through gap in British
minefield off Iceland.
(Note: This detachment was made due to
appalling weather conditions including
restricted visibility to less than one
Detonated mine in British field and sank
very quickly. 80 of the ship’s company
the captain, as well as 39 survivors
from the cruiser EDINBURGH lost their
lives. Ships of
the Iceland section of PQ13 then ran
into this minefield and five were sunk
mines. Only 183 survivors from these
ships were rescued out of the 600
Rescue was carried out by the corvette
ROSELYS and the two trawlers from the
entered the dangerous mined area at