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:

30 Jul 1942

Convoy WS 21.

This convoy was assembled off Oversay on 30 July 1942.

It was made up of the following (troop) transports; Antenor (British, 11174 GRT, built 1925), Aorangi (British, 17491 GRT, built 1924), Circassia (British, 11136 GRT, built 1937), Curacao (Dutch, 8269 GRT, built 1930), James Lykes (American, 6760 GRT, built 1940), Largs Bay (British, 14182 GRT, built 1921), Maloja (British, 20914 GRT, built 1923), Narkunda (British, 16227 GRT, built 1920), Rangitiki (British, 16698 GRT, built 1928), Samaria (British, 19597 GRT, built 1921), Tamaroa (British, 12405 GRT, built 1922) and Volendam (Dutch, 15434 GRT, built 1922).

On assembly the convoy was escorted by the heavy cruiser HMS Hawkins (Capt. G.A. French, RN), armed merchant cruiser HMS Ranpura (Capt.(Retd.) H.T.M. Pawsey, RN), destroyers HMS Keppel (Cdr. J.E. Broome, RN), HMS Salisbury (Lt.Cdr. H.M.R. Crichton, RN), HMS Petard (Lt.Cdr. M. Thornton, DSC, RN) and the escort destroyers HMS Bicester (Lt.Cdr. S.W.F. Bennetts, RN), HMS Bramham (Lt. E.F. Baines, RN), HMS Lamerton (Lt.Cdr. C.R. Purse, DSC, RN), HMS Ledbury (Lt.Cdr. R.P. Hill, RN) and HMS Wilton (Lt. A.P. Northey, RN) and HMS Catterick (Lt. A. Tyson, RN).

Around 0625A/31, in position 55°24'N, 11°55'W, in very thick fog, HMS Lamerton collided with the merchant vessel Almenara (British, 1851 GRT, built 1922) from convoy HG 86. HMS Lamerton was then detached to Liverpool where she was then taken in hand for repairs.

On 1 August 1942, HMS Bicester and HMS Ledbury fuelled from HMS Hawkins. Both destroyer again fuelled (topped off) from HMS Hawkins on 2 August.

Around 2100Z/1, in position 49°30'N, 20°50'W, HMS Petard and HMS Catterick were detached to the Azores to fuel.

Around 1830Z/2, HMS Bramham and HMS Wilton were detached to return to the U.K.

Around 0600Z/4, in position 37°32'N, 23°42'W, HMS Petard and HMS Catterick rejoined the convoy coming from the Azores.

Around 0800Z/4, in position 37°20'N, 23°35'W, HMS Keppel, HMS Salisbury, HMS Bicester and HMS Ledbury were detached to Gibraltar.

Around 1100Z/10, the destroyer HMS Velox (Lt. G.B. Barstow, RN) joined the convoy.

The convoy arrived at Freetown in the afternoon of 10 August 1942.


The convoy departed Freetown on 15 August 1942.

The folling (troop) transports; Erria (British, 8786 GRT, built 1932), Lookout (Panamanian (former Danish Anna Maersk, 5339 GRT, built 1932) and Silverwalnut (British, 6770 GRT, built 1930) had joined the convoy which otherwise was made up of the same ships that had departed the U.K.

The convoy was now escorted by HMS Hawkins, HMS Petard and HMS Catterick.

Around 1330Z/18, in position 06°29'S, 13°28'W, the transports American Press (American, 6778 GRT, built 1941), China Mail (American, 8616 GRT, built 1942), joined the convoy coming from Ascension.

Around 1000Z/19, in position 10°37'S, 10°10'W, HMS Ranpura joined the convoy coming from Takoradi.

Around 0700Z/20, in position 12°38'S, 07°07'W, HMS Catterick parted company with the convoy to fuel at St. Helena. She rejoined the convoy around 0700Z/21 in position 16°30'S, 02°35'W.

Around 2359Z/20, in position 15°10'S, 04°30'W, the Erria parted company with the convoy to proceed to St. Helena.

Around 0700Z/21, in position 16°30'S, 02°35'W, HMS Petard parted company with the convoy to fuel at St. Helena. She rejoined the convoy around 0700Z/22 in position 19°15'S, 00°20'E.

Around 0800B/26, in position 33°45'S, 16°32'E, the 'Capetown Section', made up of the American Press, Antenor, Aorangi, China Mail, Curacoa, James Lykes, Lookout, Maloya and Silverwalnut parted company. They were escorted by HMS Hawkins, HMS Petard and HMS Catterick. The 'Capetown Section', including HMS Hawkins arrived at its destination around 1530B/27. HMS Petard and HMS Catterick continued on to Simonstown where they arrived later the same day. The remaining ships of the convoy formed the 'Durban Section'.

Around 15300B/26, in position 34°34'S, 17°31'E, the armed merchant cruiser HMS Corfu (Capt.(Retd.) J.P. Landon, RN) joined the 'Durban Section' of the convoy.

Around 1000B/29, in position 33°03'S, 29°33'E, the corvettes HMS Amaranthus (T/Lt. W.S. Thomson, RNR) and HMS Thyme (Lt. H. Roach, RNR) joined the convoy.

The 'Durban Section' arrived at its destination around 0900C/30. HMS Corfu did not enter Durban but proceeded to East London where she arrived around 0900B/31. The corvettes also did not enter but proceeded westwards to make rendezvous with the 'Capetown Section' of the convoy.


The 'Capetown Section' of the convoy, made up of the same ships that had arrived there but now joined by the transport Bantam (Dutch, 9312 GRT, built 1939) departed Capetown around 0930B/30. They were escorted by HMS Hawkins.

In the morning of 2 September HMS Amaranthus and HMS Thyme joined.

Around 1100C/3, the 'Durban Section' joined off the end of the Durban swept channel. The 'Durban Section' was made up of the Samaria and the Volendam. It was escorted by HMS Ranpura and HMS Petard. The corvettes then parted company.

Around 1100D/9, in position 14°09'S, 52°26'E, HMS Petard parted company to refuel at Diego Suarez. She rejoined around 1300D/10 in position 09°01'S, 52°23'E.

Around 1430D/10, the convoy was split up with convoy WS 21A proceeding towards Aden and convoy WS 21B proceeding towards Bombay / Persian Gulf.


Convoy WS 21A was made up of the Aorangi, Bantam, James Lykes, Lookout, Samaria and Silverwalnut. Escort was HMS Ranpura and HMS Petard.

Around 0600D/15, the destroyer HMS Hero (Lt. W. Scott, RN) joined the convoy in position 12°30'N, 50°58'E.

Around 1900D/15, the destroyer escort HMS Tetcott (Lt.Cdr. H.R. Rycroft, RN) joined the convoy in position 12°18'N, 48°28'E.

Around 1200C/15, the convoy arrived at Aden.


Convoy WS 21B was made up of the Antenor, Curacao and Majola for Bombay and the American Press and China Mail for the Persian Gulf. HMS Volendam which was to proceed to Kilindini / Mombasa, was also with this convoy. Convoy WS 21B was escorted by HMS Hawkins.

Around 0700D/11, the light cruiser HMS Enterprise (Capt. G.E.M. O’Donnell, DSO, RN) joined. HMS Hawkins and the Volendam then parted company and proceeded to Kilindini / Mombasa where they arrived around 0930C/13.

Around 1300EF/18, the American Press and China Mail parted company to proceed to the Persian Gulf. To escort them there the minesweeper HMIS Punjab (T/Lt. C.T. Hyde, RINVR) had just joined.

The remainder of convoy WS 21B arrived at Bombay around 1100FG on 19 September 1942. (1)

2 Dec 1942

Convoy AB 4.

This convoy departed Aden on 2 December 1942.

It was made up of the following (troop) transports; Islami (British, 5879 GRT, built 1934), Jalagopal (British, 5284 GRT, built 1911), Karoa (British, 7009 GRT, built 1915), Talma (British, 10000 GRT, built 1923) and Varela (British, 4651 GRT, built 1914).

On departure from Aden the convoy was escorted by the armed merchant cruiser HMS Ranchi (Capt.(Retd.) J.M. Alleyne, DSO, DSC, RN) and the minesweeper HMIS Punjab (T/Lt. C.T. Hyde, RINVR).

The convoy arrived at Bombay on 9 December 1942.

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. (2)


  1. ADM 199/1211
  2. ADM 199/1457

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

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