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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2006

HMS HAZARD (N 02) - Halcyon-class Minesweeper

Edited by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

HMS Sharpshooter, sister-ship (Navy Photos/Mark Teadham, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 

HALCYON-Class Minesweeper ordered from Gray at Hartlepool on 13 March 1936 and laid down on 27th May 1936. The ship was launched on 26th February 1947 as the 11th RN warship to carry this name which had been introduced for coaster requisitioned in 1588 and supported †ships engaged in attacks on the Spanish Armada. The last to carry this name was Torpedo Gunboat built in 1894 and sunk by collision in January 1918. Build was completed on 24th November 1937. In 1939 she was deployed with the 1st Minesweeping †Flotilla in the Home Fleet and during WW2 this ship was adopted by the civil community of Helston and Kerrier, Cornwall after a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in December 1941.


B a t t l e†† H o n o u r s

ARMADA 1588 - MARTINIQUE 1809 - GUADALOUPE 1810 - SYRIA 1840 - CHINA 1839-42 - NEW ZEALAND 1845-47 - BELGIAN COAST 1914†- ATLANTIC 1941 - ARCTIC 1941-42 - SICILY 1943

H e r a l d i c†† D a t a

Badge: On a Field Green, a die Silver


M o t t o

Factaest alea: 'The die is cast'



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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August                  Deployed with Flotilla in Channel and carried out exercise in Lyme Bay.

                                (Note: 50 mines were laid to provide a realistic setting in preparation for war time

                                deployment. All mines were cut.

                                Passage to Scapa Flow to take up War Station with Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.

                                War Station nominated as North Sea.


September             Deployed with HM Minesweepers BRAMBLE, BRITOMART, HEBE, SHARPSHOOTER,

                                SPEEDY and SEAGULL of Flotilla at Scapa Flow for minesweeping operations to ensure.

                                clear passage for Home Fleet ships in and out of Fleet anchorage.


October                  Transferred to Clyde after sinking of HM Battleship ROYAL OAK at anchor in Scapa Flow.

                                (Note: Home Fleet major ships were also moved to west coast of Scotland pending the

                                improvement of ant-submarine defences at the main Fleet anchorages. See ENGAGE

                                THE ENEMY MORE CLOSELY by C Barnett and the Naval Staff History.)


November              Deployed at Greenock and cleared a deep British anti-submarine minefield in Clyde below



December              Resumed North Sea deployment during which passages through the newly laid East Coast

                                Mine Barrier were kept clear of mines.

                                (Note: Extensive enemy minelaying using magnetic mines was being carried

                                out in North Sea. See above references.)


1 9 4 0


January                  Transferred with Flotilla for Atlantic convoy defence based at Stornoway.

                                Deployed for escort of convoys during passage to Canada.


February                Atlantic convoy defence in continuation.




April                       Transferred to Scapa Flow with HM Minesweepers SPEEDY, SEAGULL, BRAMBLE and

 to                           BRITOMART of Flotilla for Fleet minesweeping duties .

October                  (Note: NOT deployed for support of evacuation of allied troops from Dunkirk

                                (Operation DYNAMO.)


November              Nominated for refit and took passage to Leith

                27th        Taken in hand for refit in commercial shipyard,


December              Under refit

1 9 4 1


January                  Under refit


February.               Carried out post refit trials and resumed Flotilla duties.


March                    Transferred to Western Approaches Command for convoy defence duties with 3rd Escort

to                            Group with HMS BRITOMART and HMS BRAMBLE..




                1st           Taken in hand for repair in Aberdeen.

                6th          On completion resumed duties in Escort Group.


June                        Convoy defence in continuation

to                            Deployed in Irish Sea and NW Approaches including convoys to and From Iceland, based at

October                  Stornoway.

                                (Note: To be available for minesweeping as required by Local Command.)


November              Nominated for detached service in North Russia for minesweeping operations to ensure safe

                                passage of Russian convoys to and from Iceland.

                                (Note: HM Minesweepers GOSSAMER, LEDA and HUSSAR were also nominated and the

                                four HALYCONs were to join HM Minesweepers HALCYON, HARRIER and

                                SALAMANDER already at Archangel. Ships required for service in North Russia had a

                                preparatory refit including installation of Radar Type 271 and up-date of Sonar if

                                required. For details of development and use of radar in Royal Navy see RADAR AT

                                SEA by D Howse and for information on Sonar (ASDIC) see SEEK AND STRIKE

                                by W Hackmann.).

                                Passage to Iceland

                27th        Deployed with HM Minesweepers SHARPSHOOTER and HEBE as escort for Russian

                                Convoy PQ5 during passage to Murmansk from Hvalfjord, Iceland



                1st           HM Cruiser SHEFFIELD joined escort

                7th          Detached from PQ5 with HMS SHEFFIELD and HMS HEBE for passage to Murmansk

                10th        At Murmansk.

                15th        Took passage from Murmansk with HM Minesweeper SPEEDY to meet inward Russian

                                Convoy PQ6 as Local Escort during entry into Kola Fjord.

                17th        Engaged German destroyers Z23, Z24, Z25, and Z27 which were searching for PQ6.

                                HMS SPEEDY was hit by four shells and seriously damaged.

                                Returned to Murmansk as escort for HMS SPEEDY.

                18th        Took passage from Murmansk with HM Minesweeper LEDA to provide Local Escort.

                19th        Joined PQ6

                20th        Arrived at Murmansk with PQ6.

                                (Note: For details of all Russian Convoy operations with names of the mercantiles and

                                escorts see CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by RA Ruegg, THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS

                                by B Schoefield, CONVOY ! by P Kemp and ARCTIC CONVOYS by

                                R Woodman.

                                When not required for escort deployed for minesweeping n North Russian waters


1 9 4 2



                16th        Sailed to meet inward Convoy PQ8 with HMS SHARPSHOOTER. as Local Escort.

                17th        Detached from PQ8 with HMS SHARPSHOOTER on arrival at Murmansk.



                12th        Deployed with HM Minesweeper SPEEDWELL as Local Escort for outward Convoy

                                QP7 for Local Escort from Murmansk.

                13th        Detached from PQ7 with HMS SPEEDWELL and returned to Murmansk.

                22nd       Met inward Convoy PQ11 with HM Fleet Minesweepers HARRIER and SALAMANDER

                                for Local Escort into Murmansk and detached on arrival.



                1st           Deployed with HMS SALAMANDER, HM Corvettes OXLIP and SWEETBRIAR as

                                Ocean Escort for outward Convoy QP8 during passage to Iceland

                7th          Detached from QP8 during passage from Murmansk

                16th        Taken in hand for refit at Aberdeen.


April                       Under refit during which radar Type 271 was fitted.


May                        On completion of post-refit trials took passage to Iceland

                21st         Escort Sailed from Reykjavik with HM Trawlers ST ELSTAN, ST MADELEINE,

                                NORTHERN SPRAY and Free French Trawler RETRIEVER as Local Escort

                                for inward Convoy PQ16.

                25th        Remained with PQ16 when Ocean Escort arrived and other ships of Local Escort detached.

                                (Note: Ocean Escort, including submarines, destroyers, an AA ship with Distant Cover

                                by major Home Fleet units in view of potential threat of attack by heavy

                                German fleet ships. See references.)

                26th        Rescued crew of ss SYROS which had been torpedoed by U703.

                28th        Under heavy and sustained air attacks for two days.

                30th        Detached from PQ16 and made independent passage to Murmansk after Eastern Local

                                Escort arrived.


June                        Deployed for minesweeping and Local duties at Murmansk.

                26th        Joined HM Minesweepers BRAMBLE, LEDA and SEAGULL for Eastern Local Escort

                                of Outward Convoy QP13 during initial stage of passage to Reykjavik and Loch Ewe

                                Detached from QP13 and returned to Murmansk.



                6th          Deployed with HM Minesweepers BRAMBLE and LEDA in search for survivors from

                                ships dispersed from inward Convoy PQ17 and survivors from those sunk during the

                                subsequent attacks on remnants of the convoy.

                                (Note: PQ17 was dispersed on Admiralty order when imminent threat of attack by

                                German battleship TIRPITZ had been incorrectly anticipated. See THE

                                CONVOYS IS TO SCATTER by J Broome and Naval Staff History.

                9th          Carried out search near Novaya Zemlya

                                Under air attacks.

                11th        Returned to Murmansk.


August                  Deployed for Local duties in North Russia including nightly patrol for enemy air mining

                                operations and minesweeping.

                                Repelled enemy aircraft and prevented mining.



                13th        Sailed from Murmansk for Eastern Local Escort for return convoy QP14 with HM

                                Minesweepers BRITOMART, HALCYON and SALAMANDER.

                                (Note: This convoy was taking some of the survivors from PQ17 to UK

                                and had a particularly strong Ocean Escort provided by Home Fleet.

                                See references for details including loss of HM Destroyer SOMALI

                                and HM Minesweeper LEDA that was later sunk when part of Ocean Escort .)

                18th        Joined two Soviet destroyers in escort of PQ18 in Barents Sea.

                                Under air attacks.

                20th        Detached from PQ18 on arrival and resumed local minesweeping and patrol duties.


October                  North Russian deployment in continuation.

                16th        Deployed with HMS HALCYON and HMS SHARPSHOOTER for special

                                minesweeping operation to ensure clear passage for next outward convoy.

                18th        Carried out Acoustic Sweeping in extreme weather conditions which prevented

                                Oropesa sweep.

                20th        Returned to Archangel after two more days sweeping, including some in Fog using


                                (Note: One source records slight damage after detonating an acoustic mine on 24th.

                                To be confirmed.)



                17th        Deployed with HM Corvettes BERGAMOT, BLUEBELL, BRYONY and CAMELLIA

                                as Ocean Escort for Convoy QP15 during passage from Archangel to Loch Ewe.

                20th        Detached from QP15 and returned to Archangel with Local Escort.


December              Passage to Hull for refit

                7th          Taken in hand for refit in commercial shipyard.


1 9 4 3


January                  Under repair


February                Carried out post repair trials on completion of shipyard wok.

                15th        Joined outward convoy JW53 with HM Corvettes BRYONY, DIANELLA and HM Trawler

                                as Local Escort for Convoy JW53 during initial stage of passage to Kola Inlet.

                17th        Detached from JW53 on relief by Ocean Escort and returned to Loch Ewe


March                    Deployed in NW Approaches.

to                            Nominated for service in Mediterranean with 12th Minesweeping Flotilla.



May                        Passage to Mediterranean with joint Convoy OS47/KMS14 with HMS SHARPSHOOTER

                16th        Detached from convoy and took passage to join Flotilla in Malta.


June                        Deployed with Flotilla for minesweeping in eastern Mediterranean

                                Based in Malta and nominated for convoy escort and minesweeping support during

                                planned allied landings in Sicily (Operation HUSKY)



                9th          Deployed as part of escort for military Convoy KMS18 during passage to Beach Head. from Malta.

                10th        Detached on arrival at BARK WEST and deployed with HMS HEBE and HMS

                                SHARPSHOOTER for minesweeping to ensure clear passage for landing craft.

                                On completion deployed for interception patrol off Beach Heads.

                17th        Released from HUSKY and resumed Flotilla minesweeping duties in central



August                  Deployed for escort, patrol and minesweeping and transferred to Adriatic.


September             Flotilla duties in continuation based at Bari

                                (Note: At Taranto after surrender of Italian Fleet units.)


October                  Central Mediterranean deployment with Flotilla in continuation.




1 9 4 4


January                  Transferred to 46th Escort Group and deployed for convoy escort duties in

to                            Eastern Mediterranean.

June                        Nominated for refit at Haifa.


July                         Passage to Haifa.

                31st         Taken in hand for repair at Haifa.


August                  Under refit

                17th        On completion of post refit trials resumed convoy escort duties.


September             Nominated for return to UK for minesweeping in Home waters with 1st Minesweeping


                                Passage to UK


October                  Nominated for further refit

                18th        Taken in hand for refit in commercial shipyard in Aberdeen.


November              Under refit




1 9 4 5


January                  Under refit

                19th        Joined Flotilla at Harwich after carrying post refit trials and work-up for

                                resumption of minesweeping deployment.

                                (Note: Flotilla included HM Fleet Minesweepers HARRIER, HALCYON,

                                GLEANER, SHARPSHOOTER, SEAGULL, JASON and SPEEDWELL.

                                Of these some would be under repair or refit at any one time.


February                Deployed for extensive and continuous minesweeping operations in southern North Sea

to                            to ensure safe passage of shipping in Nore Command.

April                       (Note: As threat of air attacks from French bases had been removed Atlantic convoy

                                traffic was re-routed through English Channel and military supplies to support

                                final operations were being sent to Dutch and Belgian ports.


May                        After VE Day continued Flotilla duties for mine clearance operations in North Sea

to                            based at Harwich.




                26th        Involved in collision with HMS JASON and sustained major damage to stern structure.


August                  Withdrawn from service pending repair


P o s t†† W a r†† N o t e s


HMS HAZARD was taken in hand at Ipswich for repair to stern in September and resumed service with Flotilla for mine clearance in Home waters during November 1945.. The ship remained in commission until nominated for reduction to Reserve status. Paid-off at Chatham the ship was de-equipped and de-stored at Chatham in June 1946 and laid-up in the Medway prior to being placed on the Disposal List. She was sold to BISCO for demolition by  W Ward at Grays, Essex on 22nd April 1949 and arrived at the Breakerís yard later that year.





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