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HMS Abdiel in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- HMS Abdiel during the Second World War -

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HMS Abdiel

   HMS Abdiel was launched on 23rd April 1940, a Minelayer built by JS White at Cowes, Isle of Wight. She was awarded battle honours at Bay of Biscay in 1941. In May 1941 she was deployed on convoy duty with Mediterranean Fleet for Operation Tiger and supported the military defence of Crete. Later in the year she undertook support duties and troop movements from Tobruk. In December 1942 she transferred to Eastern Fleet and sailed for Trincomalee arriving on the 10th of January 1942. In Feburary she was damaged when she ran aground at Port Anson, repairs were made and in June she returned to the UK collecting a shipment of gold bullion from Cape Town enroute. This was delivered to the Clyde in July and Abdiel proceeded to the Tyne where she underwent repairs and a refit.

She resumed service in December, undertaking minelaying duties in the Mediterranean. In April 1942 she redeployed in Eastern Mediterranean for troop transport duties, in preparation for the allied landings in Sicily, which she supported later in the year. HMS Abiel was lost on the 10th of September 1942 when a mine exploded in Taranto harbour, the protective de-gaussing equipment had been switched off on arrival. The ship sank very quickly, with the loss of 48 of the ship's company and 120 of the troops. A further 120 troops and 6 crew members suffered wounds.


If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.

Those known to have sailed in

HMS Abdiel

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Anderson George Yeoman. Able Sea.
  • Oakford Eric Leonard. Able Sea. (d.10th Sept 1943)
  • Watson Joseph. Pte. (d.10th Sep 1943)

The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

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Able Sea. George Yeoman Anderson HMS Abdiel

This is my stepfather. He is now 87. Has just started talking about the War.Was on HMS Abdiel when sunk in Tarantino Bay. States many of Airbourne Div on board drowned because they jumped over with all equipment. Was picked up by tender from a warship nearby. Had been on HMS Manxman when it was torpedoed but not sunk earlier on.

F. Cummins

Able Sea. Eric Leonard Oakford HMS Abdiel (d.10th Sept 1943)

Eric Oakford would have been my uncle if he had survived the WW2. I do not have any photographs of him or much information but would like to hear from any other members that had relatives who served on the ship and who may have more information.

Garry Oakford

Pte. Joseph Watson 10th Battalion Parachute Regiment (d.10th Sep 1943)

My Uncle, Joseph Watson, took part in the amphibious landings at Taranto Harbour, Italy in September 1943. He was on board the Minelayer HMS Abdiel. Unfortunately, two ground mines detonated beneath the ship and caused it to sink within 3 minutes. My uncle lost his life, aged 20, at sea on the 10th September 1943. He was among 58 from The 1st Airborne Division who unfortunately lost their lives during Operation Slapstick.

My grandparents were devastated by the loss of their son and I don't think my Grandma ever really got over her loss. My Mum, lost her only brother, who she had some fond memories of and loved dearly. I never knew my Uncle Joe, but am very proud of him as we all are. I am trying to gather together as much information as I can about his time serving in the British Army and if anyone has information, I would be very grateful if you could share it with me. He attended Parachute Training at RAF Ringway 5th April to 16th April 1943 (course number 59), previously serving with the Royal Welch Fusiliers.

RIP Uncle Joe, we are immensely proud of you and how you served your country.

Diane Jackson

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