P-class sloop

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TWCMS B9663-w.jpg
Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums Service image of 1:48 scale model P-class sloop HMS P23
Class overview
Name: P class
Operators:  Royal Navy
In service: 1916-1921
Planned: 64
Completed: 64 (including 20 as PC-class Q-ships)
Lost: 3
General characteristics [1]
Displacement: 613 long tons (623 t)
Length: 244 ft 6 in (74.52 m) o.a.
Beam: 23 ft 9 in (7.24 m)
Draught: 8 ft (2.4 m)
Installed power: 3,500 shp (2,600 kW)
Propulsion:
  • 2 × steam turbines
  • 2 × cylindrical boilers
  • 2 × screws
Speed: 20 knots (23 mph; 37 km/h)
Range: Oil fuel
Complement: 50 - 54 men
Armament: (As designed):

The P class, nominally described as "patrol boats", was in effect a class of coastal sloops. Twenty-four ships to this design were ordered in May 1915 (numbered P.11 to P.34) and another thirty between February and June 1916 (numbered P.35 to P.64) under the Emergency War Programme[2] for the Royal Navy in the First World War, although ten of the latter group were in December 1916 altered on the stocks before launch for use as decoy Q-ships and were renumbered as PC-class sloops. None were named, although in 1925 P.38 was given the name Spey.

These vessels were designed to replace destroyers in coastal operations, but had twin screws, a very low freeboard, ram bows of hardened steel, a sharply cutaway funnel and a small turning circle. Clearly seen as the linear descendants of the late 19th century steam torpedo boats and coastal destroyers, many were actually fitted with the 14 in torpedo tubes removed from old torpedo boats.

With the survival of a builder's diary by William Bartram, full details of the sea trials of P.23 on 21 June 1916 exist. She worked up to 21.8 knots (40.4 km/h). Bartram's commissioned a model from Sunderland model maker C Crawford & Sons and this model, in the collections of Sunderland Museum and Heritage Service, is stored in the model store of Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums Service at the Discovery Museum.

PC class sloops[edit]

Ten of these ships were completed as Q-ships, with their numbers being altered by the addition of a "C" after the "P". These were termed the PC class sloops. A further batch of ten ships were ordered in 1917 (PC.65 to PC.70 in January, and PC.71 to PC.74 in June) as PC class sloops. These were built to resemble small merchant vessels for use as decoy (Q) ships, and were alternatively known as "PQ" boats. Again, none were named, although in 1925 PC.73 was given the name Dart, while PC.55 and PC.69 were named Baluchi and Pathan respectively upon transfer to the Royal Indian Navy in May 1922.

The PC-class sloops were completed with slight enlargement from the standard P-class sloops. They were 247 ft (overall) long and 25½ ft in breadth, although they had similar machinery. Displacement varied from 682 tons in PC.42, PC.43, PC.44, PC.51, PC.55 and PC.56 to 694 tons in PC.60 to PC.63 and in PC.65 to PC.74. They carried one 4-inch and two 12-pounder guns, and no torpedo tubes.

Ships[edit]

Ship Builder Launched[3][4] Fate
1915 batch
P.11 J. Samuel White & Company, Cowes 14 October 1915 Sold for breaking up 1 December 1921
P.12 White, Cowes 4 December 1918 Sunk in collision in the Channel 4 November 1918[5]
P.13 William Hamilton and Company, Port Glasgow 7 June 1916 Renumbered P.75 on 31 July 1917 and sold for breaking up 31 July 1923
P.14 Charles Connell and Company, Scotstoun 4 July 1916 -
P.15 Workman Clark & Company, Belfast 24 January 1916 -
P.16 Workman Clark 23 March 1916 Sold on 26 November 1921
P.17 Workman Clark 21 October 1915 Sold on 26 November 1921
P.18 A. & J. Inglis, Glasgow 20 April 1916 Sold 26 November 1921
P.19 Northumberland Shipbuilding Company, Howden on Tyne 21 February 1916 Sold 24 July 1923
P.20 Northumberland Shipbuilding 3 April 1916 Sold for breaking up in May 1923
P.21 Russell & Company, Port Glasgow 31 March 1916 Sold 26 November 1921
P.22 Caird & Company, Greenock 22 February 1916 Sold for breaking up 12 December 1923
P.23 Bartram & Sons,[2] Sunderland 5 March 1916 Sold 24 July 1923
P.24 Harland & Wolff, Govan 24 November 1915 Sold for breaking up 1 December 1921
P.25 Harland & Wolff, Govan 15 January 1916 Sold for breaking up 1 December 1921
P.26 Tyne Iron Shipbuilding Company, Newcastle upon Tyne 22 December 1915 Mined off Le Havre 10 April 1917[6]
P.27 Joseph T. Eltringham & Company, South Shields 21 December 1915 Sold 24 July 1923
P.28 Robert Thompson & Sons, Sunderland 6 March 1916 Sold 24 July 1923
P.29 William Gray & Company, West Hartlepool 6 December 1915 Sold 24 July 1923
P.30 W. Gray & Co 5 February 1916 Sold 24 July 1923
P.31 J. Readhead & Sons, South Shields 5 February 1916 Sold for breaking up 16 December 1926
P.32 W. Harkess & Sons, Middlesbrough 20 January 1916 Sold for breaking up 1 December 1921
P.33 Napier & Miller, Old Kilpatrick (Glasgow) 8 June 1916 Sold for breaking up 1 December 1921
P.34 Barclay Curle & Company, Whiteinch 22 March 1916 Sold for breaking up 1 December 1921
1916 batch
P.35 Caird & Company 29 January 1917 Sold for breaking up 15 January 1923
P.36 Eltringham 25 October 1916 Sold for breaking up in May 1923
P.37 W. Gray & Co 28 October 1916 Sold 18 February 1924
P.38 William Hamilton 10 February 1917 Sold for breaking up 7 December 1937
P.39 Inglis 1 March 1917 Sold for breaking up 6 September 1922
P.40 White, Cowes 12 July 1916 Sold for breaking up 1937
P.41 Bartram 23 March 1917 Sold for breaking up 6 September 1922
P.42 Caird & Company 7 June 1917 Renumbered PC.42 before being launched and completed as PC-class sloop. Sold for breaking up 1 December 1921
P.43 Caird & Company 14 August 1917 Renumbered PC.43 before being launched and completed as PC-class sloop. Sold for breaking up 20 January 1923
P.44 Eltringham 25 April 1917 Renumbered PC.44 before being launched and completed as PC-class sloop. Sold for breaking up 9 April 1923
P.45 W. Gray & Co 24 January 1917 Sold for breaking up 15 January 1923
P.46 Harkess 7 February 1917 Sold for breaking up 28 October 1925
P.47 Readhead 9 July 1917 Sold for breaking up 28 October 1923
P.48 Readhead 5 September 1917 Sold for breaking up May 1923
P.49 Thompson 19 April 1917 Sold for breaking up 15 January 1923
P.50 Tyne Iron 25 November 1916 Sold for breaking up 1 December 1921
P.51 Tyne Iron 25 November 1916 Renumbered PC.51 before being launched and completed as PC-class sloop. Sold for breaking up 18 January 1923,
P.52 White, Cowes 28 September 1916 Sold for breaking up May 1923
P.53 Barclay Curle 8 February 1917 Sold 18 February 1924
P.54 Barclay Curle 25 April 1917 Sold 18 February 1924
P.55 Barclay Curle 5 May 1917 Renumbered PC.55 before being launched and completed as PC-class sloop. Transferred to Royal Indian Navy February 1922, renamed Baluchi in May 1922; sold 1935
P.56 Barclay Curle 2 June 1917 Renumbered PC.56 before being launched and completed as PC-class sloop. Sold for breaking up 31 July 1923
P.57 Hamilton 6 August 1917 Sold to Egypt 21 May 1920 and renamed El Raqib
P.58 Hamilton 9 May 1918 Sold for breaking up 1 December 1921
P.59 White, Cowes 2 November 1917 Sold for breaking up 16 June 1938
P.60 Workman Clark 4 June 1917 Renumbered PC.60 before being launched and completed as PC-class sloop. Sold 18 February 1924
P.61 Workman Clark 19 June 1917 Renumbered PC.61 before being launched and completed as PC-class sloop. Sold for breaking up 9 April 1923
P.62 Harland & Wolff, Govan 7 June 1917 Renumbered PC.62 before being launched and completed as PC-class sloop. Sold for breaking up 1 December 1921.
P.63 Connell 2 October 1917 Renumbered PC.63 before being launched and completed as PC-class sloop. Sold for breaking up May 1923
P.64 Inglis 30 August 1917 Sold for breaking up 9 April 1923
1917 batch
PC.65 Eltringham 5 September 1917 Sold for breaking up 8 January 1923
PC.66 Harkess 12 February 1918 Sold for breaking up 31 July 1923
PC.67 White, Cowes 7 May 1917 Sold for breaking up 1 December 1921
PC.68 White, Cowes 29 June 1917 Sold for breaking up 1 December 1921
PC.69 Workman Clark, Belfast 11 March 1918 Transferred to Royal Indian Navy 5 August 1921, and renamed Pathan 30 May 1922; sunk by explosion off Bombay 23 June 1940[7]
PC.70 Workman Clark, Belfast 12 April 1918 Sold for breaking up 3 September 1926
PC.71 White, Cowes 18 March 1918 Sold for breaking up 28 October 1925
PC.72 White, Cowes 8 June 1918 Sold for breaking up 28 October 1925
PC.73 White, Cowes 1 August 1918 Renamed Dart in April 1925. Sold for breaking up 16 June 1938
PC.74 White, Cowes 4 October 1918 Operated as Q-ship Chatsgrove during WW2[8] (from late 1939 to July 1945). Sold for breaking up 19 July 1948

References[edit]

  • Dittmar, F. J. and J. J. Colledge. British Warships 1914–1919. Shepperton, Surrey, UK: Ian Allen, 1972. ISBN 0-7110-0380-7.
  • Gardiner, Robert and Randal Gray. Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. London: Conway Maritime Press, 1985. ISBN 0-85177-245-5.

Further reading[edit]