Halcyon Class Minesweepers

HMS Sphinx

Sphinx 1939
Sphinx 1940
Sinking Reports
Sphinx - Crew


HMS Sphinx  Halcyon Class Minesweeper

Summary of History

HMS SPHINX (J69) was laid down at Hamilton (Port Glasgow) 17th January 1938, was launched on 7th February 1939 and was commissioned 27th July 1939 with a Chatham crew. She was temporarily attached to the Reserve Fleet for the Royal Inspection at Portland on 9th August 1939. HMS Sphinx then moved to the East Coast and at the start of the War she commenced minesweeping the coastal channels and ports.

In January 1940 HMS Sphinx moved to Scottish waters and on 21st January 1940 she rushed to the aid of the destroyer HMS Exmouth which had been torpedoed 20 miles off Wick. There were no survivors. At about 0800 on 3rd February 1940, SPHINX, Speedwell and Skipjack commenced sweeping north of Kinnaird Head. At 0912 a bomb struck the SPHINX forward. It went through the back of the T.S. , through the front of the bridge, through the forecastle deck and burst on the Mess Deck. The explosion folded the forecastle back on to the bridge and badly crippled the whole fore end of the ship. The Captain (Taylor) was killed outright on the bridge. Attempts were made to tow the ship. At about 0430 on 4th February a large wave struck the ship forward and she immediately capsized. Five officers and forty nine ratings were killed. She was the first Halcyon to be lost.

HMS Sphinx damaged by bomb - Halcyon Class Minesweeper
The last hours of HMS Sphinx (National Archives ADM 1/10785)

See also www.naval-history.net


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This site was last updated 17 Januar 2012