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Sunday, 23 May 2010

H.M.S. Hazel

Ship No 299

Was an order for an Armed Trawler of the Tree Class, to also undertake minesweeping duty?
She was 150 feet length overall with a beam of 27 feet and 6 inches and draught of 14 feet and 6 inches; she was laid down on 16th August 1939 and launched from the shipyard 5 months later on 27th December 1939.

“The strength and endurance of the Tree Class Anti-Submarine Trawlers were exemplified by H.M.S. “Hazel” during her eleven months service in northern waters.

She was unlucky during this commission – unlucky in two ways. Whatever convoy she escorted on any route, she ran into no enemy, but plenty of bad weather. Even on her way home she ran into gales and one of her boats was stove in. But she with-stood everything and always returned safely to her base.

Once the ship was kept pinned to a quay by a gale for three days, and on another occasion, when a big merchant ship alongside was blown out of harbour, the crew of “Hazel” stayed up all night in a successful effort to hold the ship to her buoy.

The gale blew a house down and broke windows all over the town.

The ship’s Commanding Officer was the lieut.-Commander R. Dwyer, R.N.R. and he frequently drove the ship through 30 feet seas “It was like being on a gigantic scenic railway” he said”. (For more on Leith Built Ships on War Service)

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