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 -
- NEW ZEALAND 1845-47 - BELGIAN COAST
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
M o t t o
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,
Naval History Homepage
and type name in Site Search
1 9 3 9
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
War Station nominated as North Sea.
September Deployed with HM Minesweepers BRAMBLE, BRITOMART, HEBE,
SPEEDY and SEAGULL of Flotilla at Scapa Flow for minesweeping operations to ensure.
clear passage for Home Fleet ships in and out of
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
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
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
October (Note: NOT deployed for support of evacuation of
allied troops from Dunkirk
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
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
(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
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
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
17th Engaged German destroyers Z23, Z24, Z25, and Z27
which were searching for PQ6.
HMS SPEEDY was hit by four shells and seriously
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
by B Schoefield, CONVOY ! by P Kemp and ARCTIC
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
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
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
28th Under heavy and sustained air attacks for two days.
30th Detached from PQ16 and made independent passage to
Murmansk after Eastern Local
June Deployed for minesweeping and Local duties at
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
9th Carried out search near Novaya
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
and HM Minesweeper LEDA that was later sunk when
part of Ocean Escort .)
18th Joined two Soviet destroyers in escort of PQ18 in
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
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
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
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
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
Based in Malta and nominated for convoy escort
and minesweeping support during
planned allied landings in Sicily (Operation
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
October Central Mediterranean deployment with Flotilla in
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
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
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
GLEANER, SHARPSHOOTER, SEAGULL, JASON and
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
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
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
o s t W a r N o t e s
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
for demolition by W Ward at Grays, Essex on 22nd
April 1949 and arrived at the Breaker’s yard later that year.
by Bill Burn