HMS Seagull (J85)

HMS Seagull was a Halcyon-class minesweeper, and the first Royal Navy ship to be built entirely without rivets. She was completed on 30 March 1938.

Seagull in May 1946
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Seagull (J85)
Operator: Royal Navy
Builder: HMNB Devonport
Laid down: 15 February 1937
Launched: 28 October 1937
Commissioned: 30 May 1938
Fate: Scrapped in May/July 1956.
General characteristics
Class and type: Halcyon-class minesweeper
  • 815–835 long tons (828–848 t)
  • 1,310–1,372 long tons (1,331–1,394 t), full load
Length: 245 ft 3 in (74.75 m)
Beam: 33 ft 6 in (10.21 m)
Draught: 9 ft (2.7 m)
Propulsion: Vertical triple-expansion, 2,000 ihp
Speed: 17 knots (31 km/h)
Range: 7,200 nmi (13,330 km) at 10 knots (19 km/h)
Complement: 80

She was adopted by the civil community of Christchurch, Hampshire after a successful Warship Week National Savings campaign in February 1942

During the Second World War she helped escort 21 Arctic convoys, and participated in Operation Neptune. She was also involved in the accidental sinking of the Polish submarine ORP Jastrząb, along with HNoMS St Albans, during the passage of Arctic Convoy PQ 15. Five crewmen were killed. A court of Enquiry found that Jastrząb was 100 nautical miles (190 km) out of position, in an area where U-boats were expected to operate, and no blame could be attached to either commander.[1][2] However, other sources maintain the convoy changed its course and entered Jastrząb's patrol sector. Also that the Allied ships ignored identification marks, while on surface, and that Seagull's commander was later found guilty by the Admiralty.[3] These accounts are not reconcilable.

In late 1945 she was converted in Rotterdam to a Survey Ship. Until 1950 she operated in home waters, after which she was paid off into the reserve. She became the naval drill ship at Leith in 1955 before being scrapped by Demmelweek and Redding in Plymouth in 1956.[4]


  1. Kemp p47
  2. Hague p35
  3. Jerzy Pertek, Wielkie dni małej floty, Poznań, 1976 (Polish language, no ISBN)
  4. HMS Seagull Page

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