Allied Warships

HMS Abeille IV (W 94)

Rescue Tug

NavyThe Royal Navy
TypeRescue Tug
Class[No specific class] 
PennantW 94 
Built byCochrane & Sons Shipbuilders Ltd. (Selby, U.K.) 
Laid down 
Launched 1939 
Commissioned3 Jul 1940 
End service 
HistoryDisplacement: 327 tons.


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Notable events involving Abeille IV include:

11 May 1944
At 2120 hours (zone -2), HMS Seraph (Lt. T. Russell-Walling, RN), lost depth control as 'A' tank suddenly flooded, and hit bottom at 498 feet. Damage was severe, there were several leaks, her main motors were flooded and she was unable to dive. It took almost four hours to effect repairs and several attempts were undertaken before Seraph finally surfaced. Contact with Coastal Command aircraft was established at 0500/12 and a message was passed to her to relay as Seraph's own W/T set was out of action.

At 2020/12 contact was made with a USAAF Liberator and another message was passed to this aircraft requesting assistance and an escort.

As of the early morning hours of the 13th aircraft remained with Seraph until the 3rd Escort Group arrived with the frigates HMS Domett (T/A/Lt.Cdr. S. Gordon, RNVR) and HMS Berry (T/A/Lt.Cdr. C.S. Pirie, RNVR). The 3rd Escort Group however left after about 1 hour but later returned. The trawler HMS Neave (T/Lt. T. Ross, RNVR) and and tug HMS Abeille IV arrived during the day and relieved the two frigates. (1)


  1. ADM 173/18698

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

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