Halcyon Class Minesweepers HMS Bramble, HMS Britomart, HMS Franklin, HMS Gleaner, HMS Gossamer, HMS Halcyon, HMS Harrier, HMS Hazard, HMS Hebe, HMS Hussar, HMS Jason, HMS Leda, HMS Niger, HMS Seagull, HMS Salamander, HMS Scott, HMS Sharpshooter, HMS Skipjack, HMS Speedwell, HMS Speedy, HMS Sphinx

 

HALCYON CLASS
MINESWEEPERS AND SURVEY SHIPS OF WORLD WAR TWO

Halcyon Class Minesweepers - HMS Sharpshooter
Origins of site
Quotes
Specifications
Survey Ships
Minesweeping
Pre War Reports
Ships' Histories
Arctic
Mediterranean
D Day
Friendly Fire
References & Links
News
Site Map

 

      
There were twenty-one Halcyon Class Ships which served with the Royal Navy during World War Two. They saw varied service as minesweepers (the purpose for which they were originally designed), convoy escorts and survey ships. They served in Home Waters, the Arctic, the Mediterranean, the Atlantic and the North Sea. The Halcyons were at Dunkirk (rescuing 14,000 troops), spent many months in North Russia (making 78 ocean crossings between them while escorting convoys and making numerous shorter local trips to see convoys on their way or safely home) and helped to 'clear the way' in Italy and Normandy. Nine ships were lost in action and 578 crew died.

But the story of the Halcyons cannot be told by the statistics alone. It is only by reading the Ships' Histories that the true nature of the hard work, endurance and gallantry of the crews is revealed. This site is a tribute to them.

The site contains a collection of stories, reports and anecdotes that have been gathered from many sources and brought together to create a comprehensive chronological account of the history of each ship. Names and details of crew members have been included whenever they have been found.


Any contributions you could make to this site, especially if you are a relative of a crew member, would be most welcome. Please
contact me
 

HMS Bramble HMS Britomart HMS Franklin
HMS Gleaner HMS Gossamer HMS Halcyon
HMS Harrier HMS Hazard HMS Hebe
HMS Hussar HMS Jason HMS Leda
HMS Niger HMS Salamander HMS Scott
HMS Seagull HMS Sharpshooter HMS Skipjack
HMS Speedwell HMS Speedy HMS Sphinx

HMS Harrier survivor transfer PQ18 - Halcyon Class Minesweeper

Click photo to see video of HMS Harrier transferring survivors to HMS Scylla during PQ18, 14th September 1942

(Source: Naval Video Time Capsules The Hazards of Russian Convoys. 4.8MB, running time 1 minute 50 seconds, Windows Media Player required)

 

MESSAGE FROM THE PRIME MINISTER TO THE OFFICERS AND MEN OF THE MINESWEEPING FLOTILLAS 

Now that Nazi Germany has been defeated I wish to send you all on behalf of His Majestys Government a message of thanks and gratitude. 

The work you do is hard and dangerous. You rarely get and never seek publicity; your only concern is to do your job, and you have done it nobly. You have sailed in many seas and all weathers... This work could not be done without loss, and we mourn all who have died and over 250 ships lost on duty. 

No work has been more vital than yours; no work has been better done. The Ports were kept open and Britain breathed. The Nation is once again proud of you. 

W S Churchill
Source: National Archives Ref PREM 3/314/5

 


Arctic Emblem - click here to see details of this award which was issued in October 2006

 

Contact information@halcyon-class.co.uk 

 

Site optimised for page size 1024 x 768
Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0
Please report any problems with the operation of this site to the webmaster

 

Home | Origins of site | Quotes | Specifications | Survey Ships | Minesweeping | Pre War Reports | Ships' Histories | Arctic | Mediterranean | D Day | Friendly Fire | References & Links | News | Site Map

This site was last updated 17 Januar 2012