Allied Warships

HMS Barhill (Z 225)

Boom defence vessel of the Bar class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeBoom defence vessel
PennantZ 225 
Built byFerguson Shipbuilders. Ltd. (Port Glasgow, Scotland) 
Laid down23 Apr 1942 
Launched26 Nov 1942 
Commissioned16 Feb 1943 
End service 


We don't have any commands listed for HMS Barhill (Z 225)

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Notable events involving Barhill include:

Took part in Operation "Elba Isle. Laid all the moorings for RFA Sea Salvor during operations to recover the wreckage of Comet aircraft G-ALYP from the sea south of Elba. Multiple moorings were laid in depths of up to 90 fathoms (540 feet)-the deepest that any moorings had been laid up to that time. I was privileged to be captain of the ship during this period. (1)

I am John Hili My father Carmelo Hili was a stoker petty officer on Barhill when it was stationed in Malta. This is to show that Barhill at one time was stationed in Malta. (1)

I was privileged to command HMS Barhill for two and a half years just prior to leaving the Royal Navy. The most memorable event during my time in the ship was our participation in the salvage of BOAC Comet aircraft(G-ALYP) which crashed south of Elba in 1954. We spent 3 months in the search area and laid numerous moorings for the salvage vessel RFA Sea Salvor. Some of these moorings were laid in depths of more than 90 fathoms (540 Feet), the deepest moorings that had ever been laid up to that time. I subsequently left the Navy as a victim of the first great post-war defence cut, and transferred to the Royal Air Force Marine Branch, where I served until my retirement in 1979. My son was christened on board the ship in 1955, the ship's bell being used as the font I was allowed to purchase the bell when the ship was broken up, and it is still in my possession (1)

21 Jan 1954
As a lieutenant in the Royal Navy, I commanded HMS Barhill from September 1953 until May 1956. On 21st January 1954 we sailed from Malta to take part in the search for and recovery of the De Havilland Comet aircraft G-ALYP which had crashed into the sea off the island of Elba. We spent the next 11 weeks laying moorings, to which the salvage vessel RFA Sea Salvor secured in order to search for and recover wreckage of the aircraft, using a diving chamber and underwater television. During this period, Barhill was called upon to lay 12 six-point, moorings in various locations south of the island and in depths of water of up to 90 fathoms, which was the deepest that moorings had been laid up to that time. She also ferried some of the heaviest pieces of wreckage to Leghorn, Italy, for onward overland transportation to the Aircraft Research Establishment at Farnborough, England. On completion of the operation, we recovered all the moorings and returned to Malta, arriving on 11th April 1954. (1)


  1. Personal communication

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