HMAS Snipe

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History
United Kingdom
Name: Alcaston
Builder: John I. Thornycroft and Company
Launched: 4 September 1952
Fate: Sold to Australia
Australia
Name: Snipe
Acquired: 1961
Commissioned: 11 September 1962
Decommissioned: 3 June 1983
Honours and
awards:
  • Battle honours:
  • Malaysia 1964–66
Fate: Decommissioned
General characteristics
Class and type: Ton-class minesweeper
Displacement: 440 tons
Length: 152 ft (46 m)
Beam: 28 ft (8.5 m)
Draught: 8 ft (2.4 m)
Propulsion: Originally Mirrlees diesel, later Napier Deltic, producing 3,000 shp (2,200 kW) on each of two shafts
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Complement: 33
Armament:

HMAS Snipe (M1102) (formerly HMS Alcaston) was a Ton-class minesweeper which served in the Royal Navy (RN) and Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

Construction[edit]

The ship was constructed by John I. Thornycroft and Company at Southampton and launched on 4 September 1952.

Operational history[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]

The ship was completed on 16 December 1952, and commissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS Alcaston, being allocated the pennant number M.1102.[1] Alcaston served with the 104th Mine Sweeping Squadron, and in November 1956 took part in Operation Musketeer, the Anglo-French attack on the Suez Canal.[2] In 1961 she was sold to Australia along with five other Ton-class minesweepers.[3]

Australia[edit]

Following her sale, the ship was refitted with her engines replaced by Napier Deltic diesel engines, stabilisers being fitted and air conditioning added to better suit the ship for Australian service.[2][3] The ship recommissioned as HMAS Snipe on 11 September 1962.[3]

In September 1963, Snipe took part in Operation Gardening, a large scale operation by Australian minesweepers to clear magnetic mines laid during the Second World War in the approaches to Tonolei harbour, Bouganville.[4] On 10 February 1964, the aircraft carrier Melbourne and destroyer Voyager collided, sinking Voyager. Snipe took part in search for survivors from Voyager.[4][5] During the mid-1960s, Snipe was one of several ships operating in support of the Malaysian government during the Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation. This service was later recognised with the battle honour "Malaysia 1964–66".[6][7] Her first tour took place between May 1964 and January 1965,[4][8] with a second tour lasting from September 1965 to August 1966. On 16 December that year, Snipe was paid off into reserve.[4]

Snipe remained in RAN service until her decommissioning on 3 June 1983.

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Worth 1986, p. 76.
  2. ^ a b Worth 1986, p. 79.
  3. ^ a b c Blackman 1971, p. 23.
  4. ^ a b c d "HMAS Snipe". Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 10 July 2016. 
  5. ^ "Naval Ships Collide: Voyager Sunk". The Canberra Times. 11 February 1964. p. 1. 
  6. ^ "Navy Marks 109th Birthday With Historic Changes To Battle Honours". Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  7. ^ "Royal Australian Navy Ship/Unit Battle Honours" (PDF). Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012. 
  8. ^ "Minesweepers return home". The Canberra Times. 29 January 1965. p. 7. 

Sources[edit]

  • Blackman, Raymond V. B. (1971). Jane's Fighting Ships 1971–72. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co. Ltd. ISBN 0-354-00096-9. 
  • Worth, Jack (1986). British Warships Since 1945: Part 4: Minesweepers. Liskeard, UK: Maritime Books. ISBN 0-907771-12-2.