Allied Warships

HMS Polruan (J 97)

Minesweeper of the Bangor class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeMinesweeper
ClassBangor 
PennantJ 97 
ModTurbine engined 
Built byAilsa Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. (Troon, Scotland) 
Ordered21 Jul 1939 
Laid down6 Nov 1939 
Launched18 Jul 1940 
Commissioned9 May 1941 
End service 1950 
History

HMS Polruan was named after and adopted by the village of Polruan on the other side of the Harbour to Fowey in South East Cornwall. The Parish Council at the time were given a picture of the ship, a picture of her launch and a ships plaque which are currently still exhibited in the Reading Room in West Street, Polruan. The ships plaque is a parrot holding a trident.

HMS Polruan is not listed as active unit in the April 1945 Navy List

Decommissioned in early 1950.
Scrapped at Sunderland in June 1950.

 

Commands listed for HMS Polruan (J 97)

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CommanderFromTo
1Lt.Cdr. (retired) John Spencer Landers, RNRApr 1941Feb 1943
2Lt. Charles David Sampson, RNVRFeb 1943early 1945

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Notable events involving Polruan include:


28 May 1941
HMS L 26 (Lt. M.B. St. John, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Polruan (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J.S. Landers, RNR) and HMIS Jumna (Cdr. W.R. Shewring, RIN). (1)

29 May 1941
HMS L 26 (Lt. M.B. St. John, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS Polruan (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J.S. Landers, RNR) and HMIS Jumna (Cdr. W.R. Shewring, RIN). (1)

20 Jan 1943
HMS P 211 (Cdr. B. Bryant, DSC, RN) departed Algiers for her 8th war patrol (also 8th in the Mediterranean). She was ordered to patrol off Naples, Italy.

Before proceeding on patrol A/S exercises were carried out with the British M/S trawlers HMS Juliet (Lt. L.B. Moffatt, RNR) and HMS Cava (T/Lt. R.L. Petty-Major, RNVR) and later with HMS Polruan (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) J.S. Landers, RNR) and HMS Brixham (Lt. G.A. Simmers, DSC, RNR). (2)

11 Jun 1943

Operation Corkscrew.

Capture of Pantellaria and Lampedusa.

From Sfax, ' Convoy A ' sailed for the landings on Pantelleria. This convoy was made up the headquarters ship HMS Largs (Cdr. E.A. Divers, OBE, RNR, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral R.R. McGregor, RN), landing ships HMS Princess Beatrix (Cdr.(Retd.) T.B. Brunton, DSC, RN) and HMS Queen Emma (Capt.(Retd.) G.L.D. Gibbs, DSO and Bar, RN). They were escorted by the escort destroyers HMS Eggesford (Lt.Cdr. D.W. Austin, RN), HMS Lauderdale (Lt. G.D. Pound, DSC, RN) and HMS Whaddon (Lt.Cdr. J.B. Palmer, RN).

From Sousse, departed ' Convoy B ' and ' Convoy C '.
' Convoy B ' was made up of the landing ship HMS Royal Ulsterman (Lt.Cdr. W.R.K. Clark, DSC, RD RNR), 20 LCI(L)'s and 2 ML's. They were escorted by the escort destroyers HMS Lamerton (Lt.Cdr. C.R. Purse, DSC and Bar, RN) and HMS Wheatland (Lt.Cdr. R.deL. Brooke, DSO, DSC and Bar, RN).
' Convoy C ' was made up of landing ship HMS Misoa (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Grace, DSC, RD, RNR), gunboat HMS Aphis ( Lt.Cdr. F.Y. Bethell, RN), and 21 LCI(L)'s, 4 LCF's and 2 ML's. They were escorted by the minesweepers HMS Clacton (A/Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) L.S. Shaw, RNR), HMS Polruan (Lt. C.D. Sampson, RNVR), HMS Rhyl (Cdr. L.J.S. Ede, DSO, RN), HMS Stornoway (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.R. Fraser, RNR) and the M/S trawlers HMS Hoy (T/Lt. G.H. McNair, MBE, RNVR), HMS Inchcolm (Skr. A.C. Whitcombe, RNR), HMS Mull (T/Lt. R.R. Simpson, RNR) and HMS Rysa (T/Lt. J.H. Cooper, RNVR).

From Malta departed the bombardment / cover force which was made up of the light cruisers HMS Aurora (Commodore W.G. Agnew, CB, RN), HMS Newfoundland (Capt. W.R. Slayter, DSC, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral C.H.J. Harcourt, CBE, RN), HMS Orion (Capt. G.C.P. Menzies, RN), HMS Penelope (Capt. G.D. Belben, DSC, AM, RN) and the destroyers HMS Laforey (Capt. R.M.J. Hutton, DSO, RN), HMS Lookout (Lt.Cdr. A.G. Forman, DSC, RN), HMS Loyal (Lt.Cdr. H.E.F. Tweedie, DSC, RN), HMS Jervis (Capt. A.F. Pugsley, DSO, RN), HMS Nubian (Cdr. D.E. Holland-Martin, DSC, RN) and HMS Tartar (Cdr. St.J.R.J. Tyrwhitt, DSC, RN), HMS Troubridge (Capt. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN) and RHS Vasilissa Olga (Lt.Cdr. G. Blessas).

Eight motor torpedo boats and / or motor gun boats were also set to patrol in the area.

All forces sailed on 10 June to be off Pantellaria on 11 June 1944.

A final bombardment was then carried out and also aircraft from North African air bases carried out attacks. The island surrendered shortly before noon without further fighting. Rear-Admiral McGregor transferred his flag to HMS Tartar. HMS Largs, landing ships, landing craft and escorts were then ordered to proceed to Sousse.

The cruisers and fleet destroyers then proceeded to Lampedusa. Bombandment of that island commenced at 2245/11 and continued throughout the 12th. Also air bombardments were carried out. The island surrendered in the evening.

Weather was to bad to land at Lampion Island but the island appeared to be uninhabited.

The surrender of Linosa Island was accepted by HMS Nubian.

The forces that were still at sea were then dispersed. (3)

Sources

  1. ADM 173/16800
  2. ADM 199/1839
  3. ADM 199/639

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


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