Halcyon-class minesweeper

The Halcyon class was a class of 21 oil-fired minesweepers (officially, “fleet minesweeping sloops”) built for the British Royal Navy between 1933 and 1939. They were given traditional small ship names used historically by the Royal Navy and served during World War II.

This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2013)

HMS Britomart secured to a buoy in Plymouth Sound
Class overview Operators  Royal Navy Preceded by Racecourse class Succeeded by Bangor class Subclasses reciprocating / turbine-engined Planned 22 Completed 21 Lost 9 (+1 constructive total loss) Retired 12 General characteristics (reciprocating) Type fleet minesweeper Displacement
  • 815 tons (828 tonnes) standard
  • 1,370 tons (1,391 tonnes) full load
Length 245 ft 9 in (74.90 m) o/aii Beam 33 ft 6 in (10.21 m) Draught 9 ft (2.7 m)[1] Propulsion 2 × Admiralty 3-drum water-tube boilers, vertical compound reciprocating steam engines on 2 shafts, 1,770 ihp Speed 16.5 to 17 kn (31 km/h) Range 7,200 nmi (13,330 km) at 10 knots (19 km/h) Complement 80 Armament General characteristics (Niger, Salamander) Displacement 1,330 tons (1,351 tonnes) Length 245 ft 3 in (74.75 m) Propulsion Vertical triple-expansion, 2,000 ihp Speed 17 knots (31 km/h) Armament Notes Other characteristics as per reciprocating ships General characteristics (turbine) Displacement
  • 815 – 835 tons (828 – 848 tonnes) /
  • 1,290 – 1,350 tons (1,310 – 1,372 tonnes) full load
Propulsion 2 × Admiralty 3-drum water-tube boilers, Parsons steam turbines, 1,750 shp (1,305 kW) on 2 shafts Speed 16.5 knots (31 km/h) Notes Other characteristics as per Niger / Salamander

. . . Halcyon-class minesweeper . . .

There were 21 ships in the Halcyon class, built in two groups; the first using reciprocating steam engines, with steam turbines in the latter. They were generally smaller versions of the Grimsby-class escort sloops. Niger and Salamander of the reciprocating group used vertical triple expansion engines, instead of the vertical compound engines of their sisters. As a result of the increased installed power they had a half knot speed advantage, even though they used slightly shorter hulls. The turbine ships used the same shorter hulls as Niger and Salamander, but with lower installed power, speed dropped back to 16.5 knots (31 km/h).

Gleaner, Franklin, Jason and Scott were completed as unarmed survey vessels, Sharpshooter and Seagull being converted to follow suit. They were all re-armed and deployed in their original role on the outbreak of war. Seagull had the first all-welded hull built for the Royal Navy.[2]

Halcyons served in Home waters, at Dunkirk, on Arctic convoy duty, and in the Mediterranean Sea.

On 3 February 1940 Sphinx (Cdr. J. R. N. Taylor, RN) was sweeping an area 15 miles (24 km) north of Kinnaird Head when attacked by enemy aircraft. A bomb pierced the fo’c’sle deck and exploding destroying the fore part of the ship. She remained afloat and was taken in tow by Halcyon but steadily flooded and capsized and sank. The wreck was later washed ashore north of Lybster and was sold for scrap. The Commanding Officer and forty of the men were killed in the explosion.

Skipjack (Lt.Cdr. F. B. Proudfoot, RN) was attacked and sunk by a force of German dive bombers off De Panne, Belgium on 1 June 1940. On board Skipjack were between 250 and 300 soldiers just rescued from the Dunkirk beaches during Operation Dynamo. Eyewitness William Stone said “she just disappeared”.[3]

Halcyons were pressed into service as anti-submarine escorts; this task slowly decreasing as the ships specifically designed for this task, such as Flower-class corvettes, came off the slips. Halcyons accompanied most of the Arctic convoys, serving both as minesweepers and anti-submarine escorts. Several spent extended periods working out of Soviet naval bases in Northern Russia, such as Murmansk. Four Halcyons were lost during this period.

Hebe and Speedy served in the Mediterranean Sea as part of the 14th/17th Minesweeper Flotilla based in Malta. The minesweepers saw action during the Malta Convoys, Operation Torch, and Operation Corkscrew. Hebe was lost to a mine off Bari, Italy on 22 November 1943.

. . . Halcyon-class minesweeper . . .

This article is issued from web site Wikipedia. The original article may be a bit shortened or modified. Some links may have been modified. The text is licensed under “Creative Commons – Attribution – Sharealike” [1] and some of the text can also be licensed under the terms of the “GNU Free Documentation License” [2]. Additional terms may apply for the media files. By using this site, you agree to our Legal pages . Web links: [1] [2]

. . . Halcyon-class minesweeper . . .