Halcyon Class Minesweepers HMS Niger 1941
 
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HMS   Niger

HMS Niger

Date of Arrival

Place

Date of Departure

Orders, Remarks etc

1.3.41

By 1 March 1941 NIGER was back in service, minesweeping in the Channel with the 1st Flotilla.

2.3.41

Humber

2.3.41

 

4.3.41

Harwich

8.3.41

 

10.3.41

Harwich

26.3.41

 

13.3.41 Newhaven 14.3.41 Arrived 1106, sailed 0915 (14th) in company with Bramble, Britomart, Hebe, Sharpshooter and Speedy (Source Peter Mason)
16.3.41 Newhaven 18.3.41 Arrived 1700, sailed 0658 (18th) in company with Bramble, Hebe, Seagull and Speedy (Source Peter Mason)
20.3.41 Newhaven 21.3.41 Arrived 1616 in company with Bramble, Seagull, Sharpshooter and Speedy, sailed 1319 (21st) in company with Bramble, Seagull and Sharpshooter (Source Peter Mason)
25.3.41 Newhaven 26.3.41 Arrived 1525 in company with Bramble, Hebe, Seagull and Sharpshooter, sailed 1431 (26th) in company with Bramble, Hebe, Seagull, Sharpshooter and Speedy (Source Peter Mason)

27.3.41

Harwich

4.4.41

 

Apr 41

In April Cdr. J.M.Bayley was appointed to the ship and NIGER was reallocated to convoy escort duties in the Western Approaches (and later on with the Home Fleet), a tribute to the versatility of the Class.

5.4.41

Harwich

7.4.41

 

9.4.41

Aberdeen

10.4.41

 

10.4.41

Scapa

11.4.41

 

13.4.41

Clyde

18.4.41

Headed for Iceland with Speedwell for escort tasks on the 'North Atlantic Run'. Between 18 April and early July she escorted Convoys OB311, HX120, OB319, HX130, OB338 and HX133 on the 'N. Atlantic Run'.

23.4.41

Convoy OBS11. A request was made to the SO Escort for Speedwell and NIGER to proceed forthwith to Iceland to refuel, and on receipt of his approval we left the convoy.

There was an easterly gale blowing at the time and squalls of Force 9 were experienced in the fjord. In ships of this class making a lot of leeway, the navigation of this fjord requires the utmost caution, as the wind comes down the ravine and takes the ship without any warning, particularly at night as in our case. Both ships were secured alongside the oiler at 0300/24 and refuelling commenced. . On arrival there, NIGER also reported her gyro compass out of order, and the fact that she was unable to transmit on her asdic. A signal was sent to HMS Bulldog that Speedwell and NIGER would rejoin the convoy at 1200/25.

24.4.41

1400 repairs being completed, NIGER and Speedwell proceeded in company.

1500 when at Lat 60.40N, Long 20.42'W a signal was received from C in C W A instructing us to meet SS Kaimata in Lat 60.30'N, 22.26'W at 0600/25 and escort her to Liverpool. In view of the possibility of meeting her before dark that night, the ships altered course and met her at Lat 60.52'N Long 24.18'W at 2330.

27.4.41

When in Lat 56.55'N Long 10.18'W at 1723/27 a signal reporting an enemy submarine was received from C in C W A and as the position given was nearly on our course of 127˚ distance 36 miles.  At 20.35 a contact was made in Lat 56.44'N Long 9.29'W and Speedwell investigated for 1 hours without result, one depth charge being dropped in the position. In the meantime NIGER and Kaimata had been instructed to alter course to 140˚ at 1900.

28.4.41

On approaching North Channel NIGER reported that in addition to her Gyro compass being out of order, she was having condenser trouble. In view of both ships requiring to be fitted with R/T, and having a number of minor repairs to be done, permission was requested to proceed to Greenock on completion of our escort duties before going to Stornoway. It was assumed the R/T stores would be awaiting our arrival there, as the work of fitting was commenced before we sailed. A signal with this request was sent at 0659/28. 

At 0800 HMS Hussar was met with the SO of D Group on board taking passage to Stornoway to rejoin NIGER on her arrival there. NIGER was despatched to close Hussar to enable her Captain to transfer if he wished in view of the probability of the ship returning to Greenock before going to Stornoway. At 0902 a signal was received from NIGER that the SO of the group had transferred and was proceeding to Stornoway in company with Hussar.
 

?

Stornoway

9.5.41

 

?

Iceland

15.5.41

 

19.5.41

Loch Ewe

?

 

20.5.41

Aberdeen

28.5.41

28/5 From C in C Western Approaches: On arrival at Stornoway NIGER is to fuel and await further orders

?

Stornoway

29.5.41

 

29.5.41

Aultbea

30.5.41

30/5 Hazard to proceed to Aultbea forthwith to join NIGER escorting three tankers to Iceland

3.6.41

Iceland

?

 

8.6.41

Stornoway

?

 

15.6.41

CONVOY HX130 Local escorts (at Rendezvous - 05:00 on June 15, in 60 36N 25 58W): included HMS NIGER and HMS Speedwell.

Moderate gale sprang up on 16th June, necessitating some ships to heave to to secure deck cargo. As regards enemy activity, voyage was uneventful

18.6.41

Stornoway

?

 

?

Oban

22.6.41

 

23.6.41

On 23 June ten U‑boats closed HX133 south of Greenland while there were only four escort ships present. The U‑boat' W/T traffic revealed their presence and the Admiralty ordered escorts from two outward‑bound convoys to go to the aid of HX133. 13 escorts were eventually pitted against the ten U‑boats. Between 24 and 29 June five merchant ships were sunk (and one of the outward‑bound convoys which supplied the reinforcements also lost two merchant ships). Convoy HX133 was not further attacked however, because U.556 was sunk by CELANDINE, GLADIOLUS and NASTURTIUM on 27 June and U.651 was sunk by MALC0LM, SCIMITAR, SPEEDWELL, ARABIS and VIOLET on 29 June.

Ruegg

27.6.41

CONVOY HX133
Local Escort
- No. 8 Escort Group joined in 60 22N 26 50W at 17:00 on 27/6 and included HMS NIGER, and HMS Speedwell.

2.7.41

Aberdeen

8.7.41

 

?

Stornoway

11.7.41

 

12.7.41

Stornoway

13.7.41

On 12 July NIGER was 'required for special service with SALAMANDER & HALCYON'. She proceeded to Stornoway and Aberdeen to collect her minesweeping gear, and on to Scapa Flow, routed through a position in which a U‑boat had been sighted.

?

Aberdeen

28.7.41

15/7 Taken in hand, completes 22/7

23/7 HMS Niger and HMS Salamander sailed having completed a very urgent refit. A signal was received from the Admiralty expressing appreciation for the celerity with which the work had been carried out. (Source: War Diary, Aberdeen)

24.7.41

Scapa

?

1/8 NIGER can be taken in hand by Messrs Caledon of Dundee for examination of port stern tube for alignment, completes 23/9.

 

In late July NIGER departed Scapa for Iceland where she spent part of August providing antisubmarine protection for the port of Seidisfjord. SALAMANDER, HARRIER and HALCYON had similar tasks. Thereafter NIGER sailed down to Dundee for repairs which took nearly two months to effect.

Ruegg

?

Dundee

22.12.41

26/9 From N O i/c Belfast: NIGER to sail for Belfast at request of C in C Home Fleet

28/9 From Dundee: Completes 28/9 ex trials

29/9 From C in C Rosyth: NIGER is to be sailed for Scapa 2/10 to make passage in daylight

In late September she and BRAMBLE were detailed as escorts for the Arctic Convoy PQ2, but on 1 October the N.0 in Charge Dundee reported that her trials were not satisfactory.

1/10 From N O i/c Dundee: NIGER will not be able to sail for some time.

3/10 NIGER sailed for Scapa as ordered, but after six hours steaming she had to reverse course for Dundee with more overheating.

9/10 From N O i/c Dundee: NIGER docked in East Graving Dock

10/10 Completion date of repairs estimated 22/10

8/11 Completes 19/11

21/11 From Admiralty: Urgent request for firm date on which vessel will be ready for sea assuming trials have proved satisfactory

25/11 Vessel undocked, completed 15/12

17/12 If satisfactory trials completed, ship will be ready to sail 21/12 

It was 21 December before she was pronounced fit to sail, but three days later she was '....out of action for five months .... requested for Royal Dockyard for thorough investigation and repair.' In fact she was ready for sea by early February 1942.

23.12.41

Scapa

27.12.41

24/12 From R A D: In view of unsatisfactory running of shaft NIGER is not fit for service and it is therefore proposed to sail NIGER to Dundee for investigation and further repairs

27/12 Request NIGER be sailed for Dundee as soon as possible

28.12.41

Dundee

?

29/12 Cdr A J Cubison, DSC, was appointed in command

     

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This site was last updated 17 Januar 2012