Halcyon Class Minesweepers HMS Jason 1939
 
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HMS Jason (Halcyon Class) as Survey Ship
HMS Jason
 


By 1939 when I (Ritchie) returned to England the Admiralty had at last recognised that custom‑built ships were best suited for surveying and four Halcyon class minesweepers had been completed as surveying vessels with modem echo sounders both onboard and in the boats. I served for a few months in the early part of the year in one of these ships ‑ JASON under the command of Alun Jones, a slightly pompous but rather shy Welshman. 

I recall an incident in JASON that occurred early one morning when the captain and I were alone on the bridge as we sailed down the Bristol Channel after week‑ending in Avonmouth. Commander Jones, rather short in stature, was on the 'monkey's island' whilst I, as navigator, was at a lower level at the chart table. The captain had recently acquired one of the new‑fangled electric razors and was describing to me their efficacy. 'Feel the smoothness of my chin,' said he as he bent down towards me. I was perforce obliged to comply, and as my fingers touched his face I saw beyond him the leading signalman, who had joined the ship that very weekend, mounting the ladder onto the open bridge. His jaw dropped and, wide‑eyed, he turned about on the ladder and descended out of sight. Presumably he was off to the mess deck to enquire as to what sort of a ship he had joined where the officers stroked each other, before breakfast!

Source: No Day Too Long, G S Ritchie
 

 

Date of Arrival Place Date of Departure Orders, Remarks etc

5.5.39

Portishead

9.5.39

 

12.5.39

Portishead

15.5.39

 

19.5.39

Portishead

22.5.39

 

26.5.39

Portishead

30.5.39

 

2.6.39

Portishead

5.6.39

 

9.6.39

Portishead

12.6.39

 

16.6.39

Portishead

19.6.39

 

23.6.39

Portishead

26.6.39

 

30.6.39

Portishead

3.7.39

 

7.7.39

Milford Haven

10.7.39

 

14.7.39

Pembroke Dock

17.7.39

 

17.7.39

Milford Haven

20.7.39

 

21.7.39

Portsmouth

26.7.39

Sailing postponed from 25/7 to 26/7 owing to damaged section of diesel dynamo.

28.7.39

Guernsey

?

 

5.8.39

Portsmouth

21.8.39

23.8 To proceed to Home Port and convert for minesweeping duties

 

 

 

D of D 28/8 taken in hand 25/8 for conversion to M/S

 

 

 

30.8 Completes end Sept 1939 (approx). Ready for sea 24 hours after completion of trials.

 

 

 

D of D 1/9

 

 

 

D of D 4/9 completes 28.9.39

 

 

 

D of D 11/9 date of completion uncertain

 

 

 

14/9 JASON to be employed as Anti Submarine vessel not minesweeping vessel. Minesweeping gear should be loaded and depth charges embarked as soon as possible. Dates when she will be ready for service to be reported.

 

 

 

D of D 22/9 Taken in hand 25.8 for fitting depth charge arrangements. Completes 30/9

 

 

 

D of D 2/10 Completed 30/9 Ex Director

D of D 6/10 completed 6/10

7.10.39

Plymouth

9.10.39

7/10 from A C Western Approaches. JASON is to sail for the Clyde at 1000 Monday 9/10 for 'Tribune' trial. On completion of trial JASON is to join 1st A/S striking force at Belfast.

10.10.39

Clyde (Greenock)

18.10.39

Escort dredger 'Dragon' on passage to Oban as far as ?? Island.12/10 Grounded at Row Point, minor damage.

You are to proceed to Ardrossan arriving there 18/10 On arrival complete with fuel and sail for Belfast at 0630 tomorrow 19/10

18.10.39

Ardrossan

19.10.39

D of D 16/10. Taken in hand 13/10 for repairs.

D of D 19/10 Completed 17/10

3.11.39

Belfast

19.11.39

 

 

Clyde

12.12.39

 

12.12.39

Belfast

18.12.39

For boiler cleaning. C in C Portsmouth 19/12 - HMS JASON changed her status from surveying to patrol Vessel 15/9

30.12.39

Clyde

16.1.40

For Liverpool

15/1 Rendezvous with 'Tedworth'

     

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This site was last updated 17 Januar 2012