HMS Pincher (J 294)
Minesweeper of the Algerine class
|Navy||The Royal Navy|
|Built by||Harland & Wolff Ltd. (Belfast, Northern Ireland)|
|Ordered||30 Apr 1942|
|Laid down||11 Jan 1943|
|Launched||19 Aug 1943|
|Commissioned||12 Nov 1943|
Scrapped on 7 March 1962.
Commands listed for HMS Pincher (J 294)
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|1||Lt.Cdr. Thomas Fraser, DSC, RD, RNR||1 Oct 1943||28 Mar 1944|
|2||T/A/Lt.Cdr. Charles Benjamin Blake, RNVR||28 Mar 1944||Oct 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
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)
- ADM 173/17764
- ADM 173/18021
- ADM 173/18697
- ADM 199/1457
- Personal communication
ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.