Halcyon Class Minesweepers

HMS Leda

Leda Pre-War
Leda 1939
Leda 1940
Leda 1941
Leda 1942
Leda - Crew


HMS Leda (Wright & Logan 10400) - Halcyon Class Minesweeper
HMS Leda (Wright & Logan 10400)

Summary of History

HMS LEDA (J93) was laid down at Devonport on 16th November 1936, launched on 8th June 1937 and commissioned on 19th May 1938. She was initially employed as a Fisheries Protection vessel. LEDA then joined the 1st Minesweeping Flotilla and was based on the East Coast until March 1939. She then spent several weeks in May and June 1939 on patrol in and around Iceland. At the outbreak of War LEDA was in Gibraltar, returning to UK on 22nd October 1939 where she joined the 5th MSF. She was employed on minesweeping duties on the East Coast until May 1940 when she was required for the evacuation of Dunkirk. She made eight crossings (including one from Dunkirk early on 3rd June with no troops) and evacuated 2,848 personnel. She was damaged in two collisions with other ships but not seriously.  A number of ratings had to be treated for complete exhaustion.

LEDA then returned to her East Coast duties before sailing up to Scotland for the end of the year. Here she remained until 29th September 1941 when she sailed with Britomart, Hussar and Gossamer as part of the escort for PQ1 to Archangel. She remained in North Russia carrying out escort, minesweeping and various other duties until 29th December 1941 when she returned with QP4. She stayed in Scotland to be fitted out (somewhat belatedly) for arctic service. With the work completed she again sailed for North Russia with PQ15 on 26th April 1942. She again remained there carrying out local duties, including going out to help bring in the surviving ships from PQ17. LEDA left Russia on the 13th September 1942 as part of the ocean escort for the returning QP14. LEDA was positioned on the starboard bow of the convoy. She reported that her sonar had broken down. The Senior Officer ordered her to swap her station on the starboard bow with the La Malouine stationed on the convoy’s port quarter.

At 0530 on the morning of the 20th, two torpedoes from U435 (Strelow) hit LEDA, which was at the rear of the convoy. The tough little warship took an hour and a half to sink in 76º31'N, 05º32'E. Commander Wynne-Edwards, 86 of his crew and two merchant navy officers were picked up and accommodated aboard Seagull, Rathlin and Zamalek. Forty three members of the crew died.

See also www.naval-history.net


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This site was last updated 17 Januar 2012