Allied Warships

HMS Pincher (J 294)

Minesweeper of the Algerine class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeMinesweeper
ClassAlgerine 
PennantJ 294 
ModTurbine engined 
Built byHarland & Wolff Ltd. (Belfast, Northern Ireland) 
Ordered30 Apr 1942 
Laid down11 Jan 1943 
Launched19 Aug 1943 
Commissioned12 Nov 1943 
End service 
History

Scrapped on 7 March 1962.

 

Commands listed for HMS Pincher (J 294)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. Thomas Fraser, DSC, RD, RNR1 Oct 194328 Mar 1944
2T/A/Lt.Cdr. Charles Benjamin Blake, RNVR28 Mar 1944Oct 1945

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Notable events involving Pincher include:


28 Nov 1943
HMS H 28 (Lt. J.W. Kelly, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Bugloss (T/Lt. A.J. Anderson, RNVR), HMS Burdock (T/Lt. F.R.M. Greasley, RNR) and HMS Pincher (Lt.Cdr. T. Fraser, DSC, RD, RNR). (1)

28 Nov 1943
HMS Sealion (Lt. N.J. Coe, DSC, RNR) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Pincher (Lt.Cdr. T. Fraser, DSC, RD, RNR), HMS Bugloss (T/Lt. A.J. Anderson, RNVR) and HMS Burdock (T/Lt. F.R.M. Greasley, RNR). (2)

18 Apr 1944
After a few days of trials off Sheerness HMS Seraph (Lt. T. Russell-Walling, RN) departed that port for Portland. She was escorted by HMS Pincher (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.B. Blake, RNVR) until 0915/19 when HMS En Avant (T/Skr. W. Bradshaw, RNR) took over the escort. (3)

19 Feb 1945
German U-boat U-300 was badly damaged in the Strait of Gibraltar, in position 35°54'N, 05°43'W, by depth charges from the British armed yacht HMS Evadne (A/T/Lt.Cdr. N.H. Richards, RNR). The U-boat was subsequently sunk by gunfire from the British minesweepers HMS Recruit (A/Cdr. A.E. Doran, DSC, RN) and HMS Pincher (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.B. Blake, RNVR) on 22 February.

22 Feb 1945
German U-boat U-300 was sunk in the North Atlantic west of Cadiz, in position 36°29'N, 08°20'W, by gunfire from the British minesweepers HMS Recruit (A/Cdr. A.E. Doran, DSC, RN) and HMS Pincher (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.B. Blake, RNVR), after being badly damaged by depth charges from the British armed yacht HMS Evadne (A/T/Lt.Cdr. N.H. Richards, RNR) on 19 February.

19 Jul 1945

Operation Livery.

Sweeping of mines off Phuket; bombardment and air strikes directed against appropriate targets.

'Force 63' departed Trincomalee on 19 July 1945. It was made up of the following warships; battleship HMS Nelson (Capt. C. Caslon, CBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice Admiral H.C.T. Walker, CB, RN), heavy cruiser HMS Sussex (Capt. A.F. de Salis, DSO, RN), escort carriers HMS Ameer (Cdr. P.D.H.R. Pelly, DSO, RN), HMS Empress (Capt. J.R.S. Brown, RN), destroyers HMS Rotherham (Capt. H.W. Biggs, DSO and Bar, RN), HMS Racehorse (Cdr. J.J. Casement, DSC, RN), HMS Raider (Lt.Cdr. J.C. Cartwright, DSC, RN), HMS Paladin (Lt. H.R. Hewlett, RN) and the minesweepers HMS Pincher (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.B. Blake, RNVR), HMS Plucky (T/A/Lt.Cdr. G. Wallis, RNVR), HMS Squirrel (Lt. M. Buist, RN), HMS Rifleman (Lt. C.L. Carroll, DSC, RNR), HMS Vestal (Lt.Cdr. C.W. Porter, DSC, RN), HMIS Punjab(Lt. A.V. Baker, RIN) and HMS Deccan as attached danlayers.

The force passed through Sombrero Channel during the night of 22/23 July 1945 and arrived off Phuket in the morning of 24 July.

The area which had been given first priority was cleared of mines of as a result of operations carried out of 24th, 25th, and 26th July. A total of 24 mines were swept.

During the minesweeping operations HMS Squirrel was mined and damaged forward. Two and a half hours after hitting the mine she took a heavy list and therefore had to be sunk by our own forces. Seven ratings were lost with the ship.

In strikes against targets on the Kraa Isthumus, our aircraft achieved commendable results. Three small ships were destroyed and eleven others strafed in the Singora area, while fifteen locomotives were put out of action and rolling stock strafed on the railway system between Bandon and Dhungsong. A camp at Huatsei was bombed. One Sungei Patani airfield six grounded aircraft were destroyed, three left burning and two others hit. In all these operations only one Hellcat fighter was lost.

On 26 July 1945 attacks by enemy suicide aircraft were launched against units of 'Force 63'. One of these aircraft was shot down in flames by HMS Ameer and two were shot down by HMS Sussex. HMS Vestal was hit by a suicide aircraft, caught fire and had to be sunk by our own forces. Fifteen ratings were lost with the ship. Another enemy suicide aircraft bounced on the water and hit the side of HMS Sussex which sustained some hull damage above the waterline, but remained fully operational.

'Force 63' left the area of operation p.m. on 26 July and returned to Trincomalee where it arrived on 30 July. (4)

3 Sep 1953
HMS Pincher arrived in Grand Harbour Malta. She had been engaged on Mediterranean hydrographical survey work. (5)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/17764
  2. ADM 173/18021
  3. ADM 173/18697
  4. ADM 199/1457
  5. Personal communication

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.


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