Halcyon Class Minesweepers HMS Hussar 1939
 
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HMS Hussar (Vosper Thorneycroft)
HMS Hussar
(Source: Vosper Thorneycroft)

Date of Arrival

Place

Date of Departure

Orders, Remarks etc

15.1.39

Portland

15.2.39

 

15.2.39

Portsmouth

27.2.39

 

27.2.39

Portland

23.3.39

 

24.3.39

Sheerness

27.4.39

29/3 Taken in hand for miscellaneous defects, completes 12/4

24.4.39

Portland

10.5.39

 

11.5.39

Sheerness

24.7.39

15/5 Taken in hand for refit Completes 15/7

14/6 Reduced to S.N. complement at Chatham under the administration of the CinC Nore a/c being carried out in “Pembroke”.

15/7 HUSSAR will be commissioned at Chatham with a R F R (D) crew from Devonport for service in 5th MSF. Lt Cdr T G P Crick in Command

24.7.39

Harwich

8.8.39

For exercises with Home Fleet

12.8.39

Sheerness

14.8.39

 

14.8.39

Harwich

15.8.39

 

15.8.39

Harwich

16.8.39

 

?

Harwich

23.8.39

 

23.8.39

Dover

23.8.39

 

24.8.39

Sheerness

25.8.39

 

?

Dover

18.9.39

 

15.9.39

Sheerness

?

 

19.9.39

Harwich

22.9.39

 

20.9.39

Harrier and Skipjack sank two floating mines near the South Godwin Light Vessel. Later that day Harrier took on board 39 survivors of the torpedoed sloop Kittiwake. A few days later Harrier, Halcyon, Speedwell, Skipjack, Salamander and HUSSAR commenced sweeping across the channel towards Calais.

?

Harwich

23.9.39

 

23.9.39

Dover

19.10.39

 

19.10.39

Harwich

20.10.39

 

21.10.39

Grimsby

24.10.39

 

25.10.39

Grimsby

28.10.39

 

28.10.39

Grimsby

21.12.39

4/11 Involved in collision with Speedwell.

13/12 From SO 5th MSF: HUSSAR is to refit at Tyne timing arrival so as to enter South Eastern Approach to channel at daylight 15/12

14/12 From F O i/c Humber: Divert HUSSAR here for overdue boiler cleaning

20/12 from SO 5th MSF: HUSSAR is to join me at Tyne

20.11.39

Source: ADM 267/126

From: Commanding Officer HMS HUSSAR

To Flag Officer, Humber,   Copy to Senior Officer, 5th MSF, HMS Sphinx  

20th November 1939, HUSSAR and Salamander discover enemy minefield 116° 2 miles from Humber light vessel.

Sweeps were got in at the end of the channel. Salamander's sweeps were all clear, but there was a mine jammed in the sixth cutter of HUSSAR's sweep, 50 fathoms from the otter. This was observed as the cutter came to the surface. The winch was stopped and put to veer, and as the sweep started to veer the mine exploded. It was five feet under the surface, and 10 yards from the stern. There was no damage to the ship apart from broken glass etc., neither were there any casualties to personnel. Seven mines were destroyed in total.

 

ADM 199/184 Report of minefield HUSSAR

From:               The Commanding Officer HMS HUSSAR
Date:                21st November 1939
To:                   The Flag Officer, Humber
Copy to:           Senior Officer, 5th Minesweeping Flotilla, HMS SPHINX 

Report of Minefield discovered in SCX 60 on 20th November 

This channel was searched by HUSSAR and SALAMANDER in H formation with double Oropesa sweeps, ships 5 cables apart, 5 fathoms of float wire, 15 fathoms of kite wire, and 250 fathoms of sweep wire. The Northern half of the channel was swept on the outward lap, and the Southern half on the return lap. 

At about 1310, course 260 degs, a mine exploded in HUSSAR’s Port sweep. About a cable further on a second mine exploded in HUSSAR’s Port sweep. A passing trawler was requested to drop a dan in a position between the two explosions: which she did. This position was approximately 116 deg. 2 miles from the Humber Light Vessel. The dan buoy flag was a blue one. 

Two mines were then cut in a position approximately 260 deg ˝ mile from the dan buoy, one in the Port and one in the Starboard sweep. At about the same time SALAMANDER cut one mine. She was bearing 350 deg ˝ mile from HUSSAR. The sweep was continued to the end of the channel and the aforementioned trawler was requested to keep the mines in sight and shipping clear of the position. 

Sweeps were got in at the end of the channel. SALAMANDER’s sweep was all clear, but there was a mine jammed in the sixth cutter of HUSSAR’s sweep, 50 fathoms from the otter. This was observed as the cutter came to the surface. The winch was stopped and put to veer, and as sweep started to veer the mine exploded. It was 5 ft under the surface, and 20 yards from the stern. There was no damage to the ship apart from broken glass etc., but she was severely shaken, neither were there any casualties to personnel.

SALAMANDER was detailed to destroy two of the three cut mines, and to get photographs and a description of the third, which was left on the surface in case it was desired for recovery. She was also detailed to keep Westbound shipping clear of the minefield. HUSSAR proceeded to recover her parted Port sweep wire, float and otter. The Starboard float was broken in two at the tail welded joint by the explosion in the Port sweep. HUSSAR then kept Eastbound shipping clear of the minefield. 

In the absence of a reply to a request for instructions as to mine recovery, and because it was getting dusk, SALAMANDER was ordered to destroy the remaining cut mine at 1600. Photographs of the mine were taken. Its description is as follows: spherical mine with strengthening band round centre. Four horns round upper half, and one on top about 6 inches long. Mine painted black, no lettering. Approximately 3 ˝ feet in diameter. 

When SALAMANDER had destroyed the mine, she discovered another of the same type, about 3 cables away, which she also destroyed. Therefore although only 6 mines were seen to be cut it is probable that four were cut, making a total of 7 destroyed, 3 in the sweep and 4 on the surface. The charted depth of water where the mines were cut was 7 and 8 fathoms.

The necessary signal reporting the discovery of the minefield was despatched at 1330. 

After dark HUSSAR and SALAMANDER continued to keep shipping clear of the minefield during the night until HUSSAR sighted SPHINX at 0645. 

Before HUSSAR left the area, the Humber Light Vessel was informed that a minefield existed in SE 2miles from her position and that should any shipping appear to be in danger of entering it she was to hoist an International Code signal directing them to steer North. 

T Crick
Lieutenant Commander In Command.

14.12.39

The Navy List records the appointment of Temporary Lt A J Davies, RNVR as Commanding Officer from 14 December 1939.

21.12.39

Tyne

5.1.40

4/1 HUSSAR is to proceed to refit at Smith’s Dock Middlesbrough

 

HMS Hussar

HMS Hussar
Still photo's from British Pathe film
Facing Danger with the Minesweepers CLICK TO VIEW

Hussar in Pathe minesweeping film

     

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