Allied Warships

HMS Cato (J 16)

Minesweeper of the Auk class

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantJ 16 
Built byAssociated Shipbuilders (Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.) 
Ordered6 Dec 1941 
Laid down11 Apr 1942 
Launched7 Sep 1942 
Commissioned28 Jul 1943 
Lost6 Jul 1944 
Loss position49° 25'N, 0° 17'W

HMS Cato (Lt. Robert William Edward Harris, RN) was sunk off Normandy, France on 6 July 1944 by a German human torpedo (Neger).

The wreck lies in 18 meters of water in position 49º24'32"N, 00º17'14"W.


Commands listed for HMS Cato (J 16)

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and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1Lt. John Samuel Gordon-Christian, RNRMay 194327 Mar 1944
2Lt. Robert William Edward Harris, RN27 Mar 19446 Jul 1944

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Notable events involving Cato include:

Whilst searching for survivors from HMS Magic, HMS Cato was sunk. I was the Leading Wireman on duty at the time of the torpedo strike. I was badly burnt from a fire in the refrigeration department but managed to get overboard into the sea being subsequently picked up in a lifeboat and returned to England following which there was 5 months hospitalisation before return to the active list. Charles Henry Blair Ross L/WM Service No hC/77837 Age 89 (1)

2 Jun 1944
Around 1930B/2, ' Bombardment Force D ', made up of the battleships HMS Warspite (Capt. M.H.A. Kelsey, DSC, RN), HMS Ramillies (Capt. G.B. Middleton, CBE, RN), heavy cruiser HMS Frobisher (Capt. J.F.W. Mudford, RN), light cruisers HMS Mauritius (Capt. W.W. Davis, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral W.R. Patterson, CB, CVO, RN), HMS Arethusa (Capt. H. Dalrymple-Smith, RN), HMS Danae (Capt. J.R.S. Haines, RN), ORP Dragon (Kmdr.por. (Cdr.) S.T. Dzienisiewicz), destroyers HMS Saumarez (Capt. P.G.L. Cazalet, DSC, RN), HMS Swift (Lt.Cdr. J.R. Gower, RN), HNoMS Stord (Lt.Cdr. S.V. Storheill), HNoMS Svenner (Lt.Cdr. T. Holte), frigates HMS Holmes (Lt. D.B.G. Dumas, RN), HMS Rowley (Lt.Cdr. F.J.G. Jones, RD, RNR) and minesweepers HMS Catherine (A/Cdr. L.C. Windsor, RN), HMS Cato (Lt. R.W.E. Harris, RN), HMS Combatant (Lt.Cdr.(Retd.) G.L. Barwell, RN), HMS Gazelle (Lt. J.D. Sutcliffe, RN), HMS Gorgon (T/A/Lt.Cdr. F. Mugford, RNR), HMS Grecian (A/Cdr.(Emgy.) C.D.A. Irvine, RN), HMS Pique (T/Lt. W.J.C. Fuller, RNR) and HMS Steadfast (T/A/Lt.Cdr. R. Mowbray, RNR) departed the Clyde for operation Neptune, the landings in Normandy, France.


  1. Personal communication

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