HMS GOSSAMER (J63) was a minesweeper of the
"Halcyon" class authorised in the 1936 naval program. She was
built by William Hamilton and Co. Ltd, Port Glasgow, with machinery by
Stephen and Sons, Ltd., and was laid down on 2nd November, 1936;
launched On 5th October 1937; and completed on 31st March 1938.
When the War broke out In September
1939, she was serving in the North Atlantic Command at Gibraltar. She
left there on 6th February 1942, arriving at Chatham on the 15th, and
after degaussing was allocated to the 5th Minesweeping Flotilla,
At the evacuation from Dunkirk GOSSAMER made six trips to and from that port or the beaches, and
brought home 3,200 Officers and men. Her Commanding Officer Commander
R. C. V. Ross was awarded the D.S.O.
She was later transferred to the 6th
Minesweeping Flotilla, Nore Command, and took part in several
minesweeping and escort operations. In 1941 the 6th Flotilla joined
successively the Orkneys and Shetlands command and the Western
In October GOSSAMER was part of the
anti‑submarine escort of the North Russian convey PQ1, arriving at
Archangel on the 11th. She was afterwards engaged on minesweeping and
anti‑submarine sweeps from that port and in the escort of later
On 30th April 1942, GOSSAMER left
Murmansk with two other ships of her flotilla to assist the cruiser
EDINBURGH which had been torpedoed with Convoy QP11. Next day the
EDINBURGH was further attacked by German destroyers and sunk. GOSSAMER rescued 440 survivors. In May she to took part in the escort
of Convoy PQ16.
GOSSAMER remained in North Russia
and on 24th June was sunk by a direct bomb hit during an air attack
while at anchor in the Kola Inlet. Three officers were killed and 20
ratings missing, twelve were wounded.