Allied Warships

HMS Pelican (L 86 / U 86)

Sloop of the Egret class

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantL 86 / U 86 
Built byThornycroft (Southampton, U.K.) 
Ordered19 Mar 1937 
Laid down7 Sep 1937 
Launched12 Sep 1938 
Commissioned2 Mar 1939 
End service 

Scrapped 29 November 1958.


Commands listed for HMS Pelican (L 86 / U 86)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

1Cdr. Lennox Albert Knox Boswell, RN20 Jan 1939Jan 1941

2Cdr. Gerald Vaughan Gladstone, RN16 Sep 1941Nov 1942
3Cdr. James Gordon Gould, RNNov 19422 Apr 1943
4Cdr. Godfrey Noel Brewer, RN2 Apr 194327 Aug 1943
5Cdr. John Stanley Dalison, DSO, RN8 Sep 1943May 1944
6Lt. Charles Edward Sheen, DSC, RNMay 1944Dec 1945

You can help improve our commands section
Click here to Submit events/comments/updates for this vessel.
Please use this if you spot mistakes or want to improve this ships page.

Notable events involving Pelican include:

22 Apr 1940
The anti-aircraft sloop HMS Pelican (Cdr. L.A.K. Boswell, D.S.O., RN), while on her way to the Romsdal Fjord carrying the personnel of the Naval Base party for Molde, was crippled by a German Ju-87 (Stuka) dive bomber. She was hit aft, setting off her depth charges. Pelican was towed to Lerwick and then to Chatham for repairs that lasted until early December 1940. (1)

11 Jul 1942
German U-boat U-136 was sunk in the Atlantic west of Madeira, Portugal, in position 33°30'N, 22°52'W by the Free French destroyer Leopard (Lt.Cdr. Richard), the British frigate HMS Spey (Cdr. H.G. Boys-Smith, DSO and Bar, RNR) and the British sloop HMS Pelican (Cdr. G.V. Gladstone, RN).

6 May 1943
German U-boat U-438 was sunk in the North Atlantic north-east of Newfoundland, in approximate position 52°00'N, 45°10'W, by depth charges from the British sloop HMS Pelican (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN).

14 Jun 1943
German U-boat U-334 was sunk in the North Atlantic south-west of Iceland, in position 58°16'N, 28°20'W, by depth charges from the British frigate HMS Jed (Lt.Cdr. H.C. Freaker, DSO, RNR) and the British sloop HMS Pelican (Cdr. G.N. Brewer, RN).

23 Aug 1943
On the 23th August 1943 the 40th Escort Group (Cdr. Dallison), consisting of the sloops HMS Landguard, HMS Bideford, HMS Hastings and the frigates HMS Exe, HMS Moyola and HMS Waveney were deployed on a U-boat hunt off Cape Ortegal. The whole operation was covered by the British light cruiser HMS Bermuda.

On the 25th August the Canadian 5th Support Group (Cdr. Tweed), consisting of the British frigates HMS Nene, HMS Tweed and the Canadian corvettes HMCS Calgary, HMCS Edmundston and HMCS Snowberry were deployed to relieve the 40th Escort Group. While this was in progress the ships were attacked at 1415 hrs by 14 Dornier Do-217's and 7 Ju-88's. with the new German weapon, the Henschel Glider Bombs, (the "Hs293 A-1"). Designed by the German Professor Herbert Wagner. HMS Landguard and HMS Bideford were the first of the Allied and R.N. ships to be attacked and damaged by them. This being the first time of their being brought into action against Allied ships. Several sailors were injured on HMS Bideford and one sailor was killed.

Another two days later on the 27th August 1943 the Canadian 5th Support group was relieved by the 1st Support group (Cdr. Brewer) consisting of the sloops HMS Pelican, HMS Egret and the frigates HMS Jed, HMS Rother, HMS Spey and HMS Evenlode. Also the covering cruiser HMS Bermuda was relieved by the Canadian destroyer HMCS Athabaskan and the British destroyer HMS Grenville. These ships were also attacked by the Germans. This time with 18 Dornier Do-217?s also carrying Henschel Glider Bombs. HMCS Athabaskan was heavily damaged and HMS Egret was sunk with the loss of 194 of her crew. After this loss the U-boat hunt was blown off.

13 Apr 1944
HMS H 28 (Lt. A.S. Melville-Ross, DSC, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Lough Foyle with HMCS Bittersweet (T/A/Lt.Cdr. F.B. Brooks-Hill, RCNVR), HMCS Napanee (T/Lt. S. Henderson, RCNR), HMCS Saskatchewan (T/Lt.Cdr. A.H. Easton, DSC, RCNR), HMCS Prince Rupert (T/Lt.Cdr. R.W. Draney, RCNR), HMS Bickerton (Cdr. D.G.F.W. MacIntyre, DSO and 2 Bars, RN) and HMS Kempthorne (Lt.Cdr. A. Brown, RD, RNR) (2)

14 Apr 1944
German U-boat U-448 in the North Atlantic north-east of the Azores, in position 46°22'N, 19°35'W, by depth charges from the Canadian frigate HMCS Swansea (A/Cdr. C.A. King, DSO, DSC, RCNR) and the British sloop HMS Pelican (Cdr. J.S. Dalison, DSO, RN).


  1. Personal communication
  2. ADM 173/18472

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

Return to the Allied Warships section