Halcyon Class Minesweepers Report of SBNO (extracts) - October 1942
Nov 1941
Dec 1941
Jan 1942
Feb 1942
Mar 1942
Apr 1942
Jun 1942
Aug 1942
Sep 1942
Oct 1942
Nov 1942
Dec 1942
Jan-Feb 1943
Feb-Apr 1943
May 1943
June 1943
July 1943
Aug 1943
Sep 1943
Oct 1943
Nov-Dec 1943
Dec 43-Jan 44
Feb 44
Mar 1944



Source: ADM 199/1104

Be pleased to lay before Their Lordships the following report of proceedings for the period 1st to 31st October 1942.


The chief event of importance was the visit of HM Ships Argonaut, Intrepid and Obdurate on the night of 22nd/23rd October for Operation EZ. The object of the visit was the evacuation of about 38 officers and 207 other ranks of the Royal Air Force who formed the crews and ground staff of the two Squadrons of Hampdens and three P.R.U. Spitfire aircraft which had been sent out for Operation EV. Opportunity was also taken for these ships to bring out personnel and stores for North Russia, and to take personnel to the United Kingdom. The personnel going home, apart from RAF, were mainly from Archangel and included Rear Admiral Boddham-Whetham (Commodore of PQ18 convoy), survivors ex PQ17 and PQ18, and various odds and ends from Moscow and North Russia, making a total of 75 officers and 341 men. 

The personnel coming out were Commodore Meek (relief for Rear Admiral Boddham-Whetham), Medical Officers and ratings for the hospital unit at Vaenga, and a few reliefs for time-expired officers and men out here. Stores and provision brought out include 18 tons of corned beef and biscuit, and apparatus for W/T Station and Masking Beacon. About 350 tons of fuel was taken in by each ship during the night. 

To bring the 165 0fficers and ratings round from Archangel and to take back stores, 2 minesweepers and 2 corvettes were used. These arrived a.m. Wednesday 21st October - the Minesweepers left on 23rd and the Corvettes (which were detained while sorting the stores) left on 24th October, all for Archangel.

As in Operation EU, the Russians co-operated well, and the transfer of men and stores and the fuelling were carried out fairly quickly, allowing Argonaut and destroyers to leave Vaenga 8 hours after their arrival.


On 11th September the Soviet patrol-vessel Musson was mined and sunk at the entrance to the Matochkin Strait, and on the 13th the Commander in Chief, Northern Fleet, asked if British Minesweepers from Archangel could be sent to clear the area of mines, observing that there was a good deal of shipping in the Matochkin Strait awaiting release. 

Having first ascertained that the three new motor-minesweepers recently handed over by us to the Soviet at Archangel, were not available, I ordered HM Ships Halcyon, Hazard and Sharpshooter to be sailed from Archangel for this purpose. They passed the Dvina Bar at 0800 local time on the 16th and off Cape Gorodetski picked up two Russian Merchant vessels to be escorted to Novaya Zemlya. 


Home | Nov 1941 | Dec 1941 | Jan 1942 | Feb 1942 | Mar 1942 | Apr 1942 | Jun 1942 | Aug 1942 | Sep 1942 | Oct 1942 | Nov 1942 | Dec 1942 | Jan-Feb 1943 | Feb-Apr 1943 | May 1943 | June 1943 | July 1943 | Aug 1943 | Sep 1943 | Oct 1943 | Nov-Dec 1943 | Dec 43-Jan 44 | Feb 44 | Mar 1944

This site was last updated 17 Januar 2012