Halcyon Class Minesweepers

HMS Jason

Jason Pre-War
Jason 1939
Jason 1940
Jason 1941
Jason 1942
Jason 1943
Jason 1944
Jason 1945
Jason Post-War
Jason - Crew


HMS Jason - Halcyon Class Minesweeper
HMS Jason

Summary of History

HMS JASON (J99) was one of four survey ships built to the same hull design as the Halcyon Class minesweepers. Two, Franklin and Scott, were primarily designed for surveying and had larger bridges than the minesweepers, a chartroom on the upper deck aft, a full outfit of boats and a foremast stepped on the forecastle in place of ‘A’ gun from which the beaconing derrick was rigged. No provision was made in their fitting out for their conversion to minesweepers. The other two (JASON and Gleaner) were designed primarily for minesweeping and simply fitted for their survey role.  No armament was to be fitted, though the Survey Minesweeping Sloops were fitted for but not with the standard Halcyon armament of 2 x 4-inch guns and small arms. All wiring and strengthening was built into these two to allow for their speedy conversion to full minesweeping configuration on the outbreak of war.

JASON was laid down at Ailsa (Troon) on 12th Dec 1936 and was commissioned on 21st April 1938 (some accounts say 9th June). She carried out surveys on the south coast of England and the Bristol Channel. On 23rd August 1939 she was ordered to proceed to her home port for conversion to a minesweeper. On 14th September it was decided she should in fact convert to an Anti/Submarine vessel instead, fitting extra depth charge arrangements. She then commenced her escort duties, based in Rosyth. These lasted until 24th August 1942 when she went to Leith and was converted to become a  minesweeper, she was also 'arcticised'. She completed working up on 27th January 1943 and on 15th Feb sailed for Murmansk as part of the ocean escort to JW53. The convoy met severe weather (the cruiser Sheffield had the armour plate torn off her A-turret by the heavy sea) and Commander Lewis JASON, who was in charge of the escort, earned Tovey’s praise for his achievement in keeping even a semblance of order in the confusion. JASON remained in North Russia until 1st November 1943 when she returned with RA54A. JASON's crew had endured the daily air attacks and carried out the many duties expected of them to a very high standard. Rear Admiral Archer (SBNO North Russia) wrote:

With this convoy went HMS JASON (Commander H G A Lewis RN) and HMS Britomart (Lt Commander S S Stamwitz DSC) who had also made a lengthy stay in North Russia. I cannot speak too highly of the service they have given during this period or the manner in which both Commanding Officers have maintained the morale of their ships’ companies. They leave a very good name behind them with the Russians who even offered to buy the ships, so impressed were they.

HMS JASON then had a refit at Portsmouth and when she completed in Feb 1944 commenced exercises in preparation for D day with the 1st Minesweeping Flotilla. On D Day she and the rest of the Flotilla successfully swept Channel 9 into Sword Beach for Canadian troops. She then continued to clear mines and provide protection for the invasion fleet over the next few weeks. On 27th August 1944 the flotilla came under attack from two squadrons of rocket firing Typhoons which, due to an error, had been ordered to destroy the ships. (See Friendly Fire for the full account). Although damaged and losing two crew members, she was fortunate not to suffer as severely as her sister ships Britomart and Hussar (both sunk) and Salamander (constructive loss).

HMS Jason then went to Harwich for refit and spent the rest of the war based there clearing mines between the East Coast and the Continent. She never returned to her minesweeping role. In August 1946 she was reduced to the Reserve and in September was sold to Wheelock Marden & Co for conversion to cargo vessel; renamed Jaslock. In 1950 she was scrapped at Grays, Essex.

Commissioned and on Home Service until 11.38. Served in 1st A/S Striking Force 10.39; 3rd A/S S F Western Approaches 1.40; 3rd A/S S F Rosyth 4.40; Rosyth Escort Force 9.40, 6th MSF 12.42; 1st MSF 1.43; Fishery Protection 5.46 - 8.46.

See also www.naval-history.net


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This site was last updated 17 Januar 2012