Allied Warships

HMS Menestheus (M 93)

Minelayer of the Auxiliary minelayers class

NavyThe Royal Navy
ClassAuxiliary minelayers 
PennantM 93 
Built byCaledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd. (Dundee, Scotland, U.K.). 
Laid down 
Launched6 Aug 1929 
Commissioned22 Jun 1940 
End service 

Completed as merchantile in December 1929
Requisitioned by the Admiralty on 14 December 1939.
Displacement: 7494 tons.
Lenght: 460 feet
Machinery: 2 Shafts, Diesel engine, BHP 4480 = 15.5 knots.
Armament: 2 4" AA guns (2x1), 2 2pdr AA (2x1) 4 .5" AA (2x2), 410 mines.

Became an amenties ship in 1944 for service with the British Pacific Fleet. 

Commands listed for HMS Menestheus (M 93)

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1Capt. Wiliam Howard Dennis Friedberger, RN15 Apr 194012 Feb 1941
2Capt. John Stuart Crawford, DSO, RN12 Feb 194115 Jan 1942
3Capt. (retired) Rudolph Henry Fane de Salis, DSC, OBE, RN15 Jan 1942late 1943
4A A Ferguson, RNRlate 19435 Nov 1944
5A/Capt. (retired) Henry Freston Nash, RN5 Nov 1944early 1945

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Notable events involving Menestheus include:

5 May 1941
HMS Manchester (Capt. H.A. Packer, RN), HMS Edinburgh (Capt. C.M. Blackman, DSO, RN) and HMS Birmingham (Capt. A.C.G. Madden, RN) went to sea to act as cover force for the auxiliary minelayers HMS Agamemnon (Capt. (Retd. ) F. Ratsey, RN), HMS Menestheus (Capt. J.S. Crawford, DSO, RN), HMS Port Quebec (Capt. (Retd.) E.C. Watson, RN) and the destroyers HMS Intrepid (Cdr. R.C. Gordon, DSO, RN), HMS Impulsive (Lt.Cdr. W.S. Thomas, DSC, RN), HMS St. Marys (Lt. K.H.J.L. Phibbs, RN) and HMS Brighton (Cdr. (Retd.) C.W.V.T.S. Lepper, RN) that were to lay minefield SN 9A.

After the minelay had been completed the three cruisers were joined by the destroyers HMS Somali (Capt. C. Caslon, RN), HMS Bedouin (Cdr. J.A. McCoy, DSO, RN), HMS Eskimo (Lt.Cdr. E.G. Le Geyt, RN) and HMAS Nestor (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN) and they started to search for a German weather reporting vessel. On the 7th they succeeded in capturing the German weather vessel M√ľnchen off Iceland. HMS Somali was able to recover an Enigma machine and important documents from this ship. (1)

29 May 1942
HMS Manchester (Capt. H. Drew, DSC, RN) conducted exercises off Scapa Flow. Upon completion of these exercises she departed together with the escort destroyer HMS Wilton (Lt. A.P. Northey, DSC, RN) to cover a minelaying force made up of the cruiser minelayer HMS Adventure (Capt. N.V. Grace, RN), the auxiliary minelayers HMS Southern Prince, HMS Agamemnon (Capt. (Retd.) F. Ratsey, RN), HMS Port Quebec (A/Capt. (Retd.) V. Hammersley-Heenan, RN) and HMS Menestheus (Capt.(Retd.) R.H.F. de Salis, DSC and Bar, OBE, RN) and their escorts the destroyers HMS St. Marys (Lt.Cdr. K.H.J.L. Phibbs, RN), HMS Newark (Lt.Cdr. D.F. Townsend, RN) and HMS Saladin (Lt.Cdr. G.V. Legassick, RNR) that were to undertake minelaying operation SN 72. (2)


  1. ADM 53/114624
  2. ADM 53/116226 + ADM 199/427

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

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