HMT Lucienne Jeanne
Wildfire III, Queenborough
Minesweeper Trawler Group 123.
A Castle Class minesweeper built at South Bank-on-Tees for World War One, the Danial Harrington was renamed Start Point and sold as a fishing vessel. Working out of France and Belgium ports she was renamed the Lucienne Jeanne.
When World War Two commenced the Lucienne Jeanne was a French Fishing Trawler. A month after the Dunkirk Evacuations the Lucienne Jeanne was seized by the Royal Navy on the 3 July 1940 in “Operation Grab”.
For a time, she operated as a minesweeper on the East Coast of England manned by a “Free French” crew. In 1941 she was transferred to Wildfire III, Queenborough, Minesweeper Trawler Group 123, manned by a Royal Navy crew.
The 24 October 1941 was a bad day for Wildfire III, Queenborough with two of her minesweeping HMS Lucienne Jeanne and HMT Emilion detonating mines and sinking in the Thames estuary. They sunk close to each other while clearing the same mine field in Barrow Deep. Mercifully there are no records of any of their crews being killed or MPK (Missing Presumed Killed). There are no records of injuries either, but explosions, violent enough to sink a minesweeper are very likely to injure many of the crew on board. The most common injury being broken legs as the vessel violently erupts beneath them, often throwing them into the sea in a dazed condition.
During 1941 more mine were swept in the Nore Command than any other year, with 1257 Ground Mines (Magnetic and Acoustic) and 28 Contact Mines being destroyed. Off the South East Coast of England, the Sheerness Sub-Command was taking the brunt of the German mining offensive.
The cargo vessels Empire Ghyll, with the loss of seven crew, and Mahseer were both sunk in the Thames Estuary on the 18 October 1941 a few days before the loss of the Lucienne Jeanne and Emilion
Watch these short minesweeping videos.
A Bad Day in December 1940: https://youtu.be/Lw2pW31qH4s
1917. The Daniel Harrington (Lucienne Jeanne) was a purpose built Castle-class, non-standard, Admiralty trawler built to be used as a Minesweeper.
1920. The Daniel Harrington (Lucienne Jeanne) was sold as the Star Point.
3 July 1940. French owned Lucienne Jeanne was seized on the 3 July in Operation Grab.
August 1940. The Lucienne Jeanne was commissioned and manned by a free French crew.
1941. Lucienne Jeanne was transferred to Wildfire III, Queenborough, Minesweeper Trawler Group 123 and manned by a Royal Navy crew.
22 June 1941. Naval Vessels in the Nore Command, Battle of the East Coast, Queenborough, (Wildfire III)
Minesweeper Trawler Group 123: Delphinus, Lucienne Jeanne.
24 October 1941. The Lucienne Jeanne detonated a mine and sunk in the Thames Estuary.
The reference book “Royal Navy Trawlers” records differently. It states the Lucienne Jeanne was “LOST. Stranded near Sheerness on 24 October.” It is probable that the Lucienne Jeanne was firstly mined and then purposely run aground to stop her sinking. (If she was simply “stranded” she would have been re-floated.)
To find out more of the Lucienne Jeanne’s movements go to DRIFTERS AND TRAWLERS.
OFFICER ON NAVY LIST July 40
Not on List
OFFICER ON NAVY LISTJune 41 Under SHIPS AND VESSELS OF THE FRENCH FLEET, COMMISSIONED AS SHIPS AND VESSELS OF HIS MAJESTY'S NAVY.
LUCIENNE JEAN. Temp. Skipper, R.N.R. T. Meadows 23 Apr 41
OFFICER ON NAVY LIST 41
Temp Skipper, R.N.R. S. E. George, 3 July 1941. (Her Skipper when she was lost.)
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Type of Vessel: Castle-class, non-standard, Admiralty trawler/Minesweeper.
Admiralty Number: 3505
Pennant: FY 1769
Other Names: Danial Harrington. Violette, Start Point,
Year Constructed: April 1917.
Built by: Smith Docks Co. Ltd. Middleborough.
Built at: South Bank-on-Tees, U.K.
Owner: The Marquis de Bourdeilles. (soc. Anon. d’ Armement Mallet, Mgre.)
Engine: 480ihp. 3 Cylinder. 12.5 21, & 35 26 (Smiths Dock Co.)
Speed: 10.5 knots.
Gross Tons: 264 gross tons, 62 Net tons.
Length: 125.5 feet.
Beam: 23.4 feet.
Depth: 9.6 feet.
Compliment: 15 men and officers, 18 with wireless.
Armament: 1 x 12 pounder WW1.
Fate: Detonated a mine and sunk in the Thames Estuary.
This is the sister Castle Class Minesweeper to the Lucienne Jeanne the John Edmond,