HMS Melton

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History
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Melton
Namesake: Melton Racecourse, Leicestershire
Builder: William Hamilton and Company
Launched: Mar 1916
Fate: Sold into civilian service in 1927
United Kingdom
Name: Queen of Thanet
Owner: New Medway Steam Packet Co.
Acquired: 1929
Fate: Requisitioned by Admiralty 1939
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Queen of Thanet
Commissioned: 1939
Decommissioned: 1946
Fate: Released back to civilian service
United Kingdom
Name:
  • Queen of Thanet (1946 - 1949)
  • Solent Queen (1949 - 1951)
Owner:
Fate: Scrapped after fire in 1951
General characteristics
Class and type: Racecourse-class minesweeper
Displacement: 810 long tons (823 t)
Length: 235 ft (72 m)
Beam:
  • 29 ft (8.8 m)
  • 58 ft (18 m) at the paddles
Draught: 6.75–7 ft (2.06–2.13 m)
Propulsion: Inclined compound. Cylindrical return tube. 1,400 hp.
Speed: 15 knots (17 mph; 28 km/h)
Range: 156 tons coal
Complement: 50–52 men
Armament: 2 × 12-pounder guns

HMS Melton was a Racecourse-class minesweeper of the Royal Navy. The Racecourse class comprised 32 paddlewheel coastal minesweeping sloops.

History[edit]

Great War[edit]

Built by William Hamilton and Company in Port Glasgow, Scotland, Melton was launched in March 1916 with the pennant number 898. As built she was equipped to operate two seaplanes but never did so. For the rest of World War I she served with the Auxiliary Patrol. Post war she was transferred to the Mine Clearance Service.[1]

Between the wars[edit]

Melton was sold to Hughes Bolckow Shipbreaking Co in 1927. She was bought by The New Medway Steam Packet Company in 1929 and converted for excursion work on the River Medway and River Thames. She was renamed Queen of Thanet. For the next twelve years she could be found working from Sheerness and Southend. Regular excursions took her to Gravesend, Margate, Clacton and Dover as well as cross-channel voyages to Calais, Boulogne and Dunkirk.[2]

World War 2[edit]

In September 1939 she was requisitioned by the Admiralty for minesweeping duties once more and commissioned as HMS Queen of Thanet, pennant number J30.[3] In May 1940 she took part in the Dunkirk evacuation rescuing 4,000 men in four trips. Of that number, 2,000 were transferred from the ex-LNER steamer Prague, after the latter had been damaged by near misses from shells and dive bombers off Gravelines.[4] For Operation Overlord in June 1944 she was stationed at Selsey as the Mulberry Despatch Control Ship. After the war she was returned in 1946 to her owners to recommence excursion work around the Thames Estuary.

Post War[edit]

In January 1949 she was sold to Red Funnel and transferred to Southampton. After refitting at Thorneycroft's yard at Northam she was commissioned in the spring as the company's second Solent Queen. For the next two years she operated excursions from Southampton in the summer. In June 1951 while slipped for survey and repair, she caught fire and was written off as a constructive loss.[5] She was scrapped by Dover Industries Ltd at Dover Eastern Docks in 1951.[6]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Conway's All The World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921
  2. ^ "New Medway PS Co". Simplon Post Cards. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  3. ^ Lenton & Colledge, Warships of World War 2, Part 4. Ian Allan.
  4. ^ Divine, David [1959], The Nine Days of Dunkirk. Pan Books
  5. ^ Adams R B, [1986] Red Funnel and Before, Kingfisher Publications.
  6. ^ http://www.dover.gov.uk/museum/stanlee_shipbreaking_yard.aspx

References[edit]

External links[edit]