Allied Warships

HMIS Punjab (J 239)

Minesweeper of the Bathurst class

NavyThe Royal Indian Navy
PennantJ 239 
Built byMorts Dock & Enginering Co. Ltd. (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia) 
Ordered24 Jan 1941 
Laid down26 May 1941 
Launched10 Oct 1941 
Commissioned20 Mar 1942 
End service 1949 
HistoryDecommissioned in 1949.


Commands listed for HMIS Punjab (J 239)

Please note that we're still working on this section
and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1T/Lt. Charles Thomas Hyde, RINVR194229 Mar 1943
2T/Lt. Vladimir Vladimirovitch Pogoretsky, RINR31 Mar 1943late 1943
3Lt. Albert Vernon Baker, RINlate 1943early 1946

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Notable events involving Punjab include:

25 Oct 1943

Combined Convoy AB 18 / AP 50.

This combined convoy departed Aden in company on 25 October 1943.

Convoy AB 18 was made up of the following transports;
City of Lille (British, 6588 GRT, built 1928), Clan MacInnes (British, 4672 GRT, built 1920), Clement Clay (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Esperance (British, 5072 GRT, built 1923), Fort Buckingham (British, 7122 GRT, built 1943), Glenapp (British, 9503 GRT, built 1920), Heimvard (Norwegian, 4851 GRT, built 1930), Jalavihar (British, 5330 GRT, built 1911), Kohistan (British, 5884 GRT, built 1930), Kong Sverre (Norwegian, 7238 GRT, built 1941), Mahout (British, 7921 GRT, built 1925), Pasha (British, 5307 GRT, built 1919), Tjibadak (Dutch, 7083 GRT, built 1929) and William Whipple (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942).

The tug Empire Harry (British, 458 GRT, built 1943) was also part of the convoy.

The landing ship HMS Royal Scotsman (Lt.Cdr.(Emgy.) R.C. Gervers, RN), tank landing ships HMS LST 180 (?) and the cable ship HMS Bulan (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J. Donaldson-Palmer, RNR) were also part of this convoy.

On departure from Aden this convoy was escorted by the sloop HMIS Jumna (A/Cdr. I.B.W. Heanly, RIN), frigate HMS Kale (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Houchen, OBE, RD, RNR) and the corvette HMS Rockrose (T/Lt. H.J. Makepeace, RNR).

Convoy AP 50 was made up of the following transports / tankers;
A.C. Bedford (British (tanker), 9485 GRT, built 1918), Bradford City (British, 7266 GRT, built 1943), British Fidelity (British (tanker), 8465 GRT, built 1938), British Sailor (British (tanker), 5576 GRT, built 1918), Charles Henderson (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Egero (Norwegian (tanker), 7590 GRT, built 1929), Esso Baytown (American (tanker), 7991 GRT, built 1937), Harry Lane (British, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Havkong (Norwegian, 9666 GRT, built 1937), Jalapa (American, 10195 GRT, built 1943), Juan de Fuca (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Mark Twain (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Samoa (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Santa Margarita (American, 6507 GRT, built 1942) and Thomas Pollock (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943).

On departure from Aden this convoy was escorted by the minesweepers HMAS Cessnock (Lt.Cdr. T.S. Marchington, RANR(S)), HMIS Madras (Lt. S.G. Karmarkar, RINR) and HMIS Punjab (T/Lt. V.V. Pogoretsky, RINR).

The convoys were to split on reaching longtitude 56°E.

Around 1600F/31, convoy AB 18 was joined by the destroyers HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN).

Convoy AB 18 arrived at Bombay on 3 November 1943.

Convoy AP 50 arrived off Bandar Abbas on 3 November 1943.

19 Jul 1945

Operation Livery.

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. (1)


  1. ADM 199/1457

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

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