Allied Warships

HMS Port Napier (M 32)

Minelayer of the Auxiliary minelayers class

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeMinelayer
ClassAuxiliary minelayers 
PennantM 32 
Built bySwan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. (Wallsend-on-Tyne, U.K.) 
Ordered 
Laid down 
Launched23 Apr 1940 
Commissioned12 Jun 1940 
Lost27 Nov 1940 
History

Requisitioned by the Admiralty while building in June 1940.
Displacement: 9847 tons.
Lenght: 503.5 feet
Machinery: Two shafts, Diesel engine, BHP 7500 = 16.5 knots.
Armament: 2 4" AA guns (2x1), 2 2 pdr AA (2x1), 4 20mm AA (4x1), 550 mines.

Burned out at Loch Alsh on 27 November 1940 

Commands listed for HMS Port Napier (M 32)

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CommanderFromTo
1Capt. (retired) John Norman Tait, DSC, RN1 May 194027 Nov 1940

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Notable events involving Port Napier include:


17 Aug 1940
The auxiliary minelayers Menestheus (Capt. W.H.D. Friedberger, RN), Port Napier (Capt.(Retd.) J.N. Tait, CBE, DSC, RN), Port Quebec (Capt.(Retd.) E.C. Watson, RN), Southern Prince (A/Capt. E.M.C. Barraclough, RN) departed Port ZA (Loch Alsh) for minelaying mission SN 12.

They were escorted by the AA cruiser HMS Cairo (Capt. P.V. McLaughlin, RN) and the destroyers HMS Inglefield (Capt. P. Todd, DSO, RN), HMS Firedrake (Lt.Cdr. S.H. Norris, DSC, RN), HMS Javelin (Cdr. A.F. Pugsley, RN) and HMS Jaguar (Lt.Cdr. J.F.W. Hine, RN).

HMS Firedrake was relieved by HMS Echo (Cdr. S.H.K. Spurgeon, DSO, RAN) on the 18th (she had sailed from Scapa Flow at 1030/18) after which HMS Firedrake proceeded to Scapa Flow.

The auxiliary minelayers returned to Port ZA shortly before 0100/19 escorted by HMS Inglefield and HMS Echo. HMS Javelin and HMS Jaguar proceeded to Scapa Flow where they arrived at 0630/19. (1)

11 Sep 1940
At 0730/11, the auxiliary minelayers Menestheus (Capt. W.H.D. Friedberger, RN), Port Napier (Capt.(Retd.) J.N. Tait, CBE, DSC, RN), Port Quebec (Capt.(Retd.) E.C. Watson, RN), Southern Prince (A/Capt. E.M.C. Barraclough, RN) departed Port ZA (Loch Alsh) for minelaying mission SN 41.

They were escorted by the destroyers HMS Jackal (Cdr. C.L. Firth, MVO, RN), HMS Electra (Lt.Cdr. S.A. Buss, MVO, RN), HMS Versatile (Cdr.(Retd.) J.H. Jauncey, RN) and HMS Vimy (Lt.Cdr. D.J.B. Jewitt, RN).

They returned to Port ZA at 1300/12. (1)

Sources

  1. ADM 199/376 + ADM 199/378

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


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