Black Swan Class Sloops
Individual Specification
Name Pennant Builder Completed Fate
Black Swan class
Black Swan U57 Yarrow 27/1/40 Scrapped 1956
Erne U18 Yarrow 3/11/39 To Germany 1957 as Graf Spee, scrapped 1967
Flamingo U03 Furness 26/4/41 To RNVR 1949 as Wessex, sold 1965
Ibis U99 Furness 30/8/41 Torpedoed by Italian bombers off Algeirs, 10/11/42
Modified Black Swan class
Actaeon U07 Thornycroft 24/7/46 To Germany 1957 as Hipper, scrapped 1967
Alacrity U60 Denny 13/4/45 Scrapped 1956
Amethyst U16 Stephens 2/11/43 Scrapped 1957
Chanticleer U05 Denny 29/3/43 Torpedoed U515, written off & hulked, scrapped 1946
Crane U23 Denny 10/5/43 Scrapped 1965
Cygnet U38 Cammell Laird 1/12/42 Scrapped 1956
Hart U58 Stephen 12/12/43 To Germany 1957 as Scheer, scrapped 1971
Hind U39 Denny 11/4/44 Scrapped 1958
Kite U87 Cammell Laird 1/3/43 Torpedoed U344 off of Greenland, 21/8/44
Lapwing U62 Scotts 21/3/43 Torpedoed U968 off of Kola Inlet, 20/3/45
Lark U11 Scotts 10/44/43 Torpedoed U968 off of Kola Inlet, 17/2/45, beached, stripped & abandoned
Magpie U82 Thornycroft 30/8/43 Scrapped 1959
Mermaid U30 Denny 12/5/44 To Germany 1957 as Scharnhorst, scrapped 1990
Modeste U42 Chatham RDY 3/9/45 Scrapped 1961
Neriede U64 Chatham RDY 3/5/46 Scrapped 1958
Opposum U33 Denny 16/6/45 Scrapped 1960
Peacock U96 Thornycroft 10/5/44 Scrapped 1958
Pheasant U49 Yarrow 12/5/43 Scrapped 1963
Redpole U69 Yarrow 24/6/43 Scrapped 1960
Snipe U20 Denny 9/9/46 Scrapped 1960
Sparrow U71 Denny 16/12/46 Scrapped 1958
Starling U66 Fairfield 1/4/43 Scrapped 1965
Whimbrel U29 Yarrow 13/1/43 To Egypt 1949 as Farouq, scrapped 1956
Wild Goose U45 Yarrow 11/3/43 Scrapped 1956
Woodcock U90 Fairfield 29/5/43 Scrapped 1955
Woodpecker U08 Thornycroft 14/12/42 Torpedoed by U256, foundred under tow off of Scilly Isles 27/10/44
Wren U28 Thornycroft 4/2/43 Scrapped 1956

This class was the climax of the design pattern initiated with the "Bittern" class, and the principle change was the replacing of the quarterdeck 4" gun with a quad pom-pom to improve close in air defence.
The early pair of ships, the Black Swan and Flamingo were launched with tripod masts fore and aft and a quad machine-gun on either side amidships. These were soon replced by single 20mm Oerlikons, and a Hedgehog mortar was placed on the shelter deck, and the mainmast was replaced with a lattice mast forward with SW type 271 RDF and AW type 286. AR type 285 was fitted to a HA.DCT.
The second pair were completed like the Black Swan and Flamingo were modified.
Soon, in all but the war loss Ibis, additional single 20mm cannons were added in the wings, and to replace the amidships single with powered twins, and the foremast was replaced by a lattice mast carrying SW 291 RDF.
These four originals were followed by the "Modified" type, although the additional equipment carried and stresses on the hulls of this type made them not as succesful or popular than their forebearers. Nevertheless, in escort groups containing an escort carrier and some frigates, they roved the Atlantic to bolster convoys needing support, and had, by 1944, the U-boats on the run, in conjunction with RAF long range planes and the overshadowed and unglamarous convoy escorts.
The main difference was the omitting of the pom-pom for a uniform AA armament of 20mm cannnons; two single in the wings and two twins in both the amidships and quarterdeck tubs. However, wartime shortages led to the adoption of anything that was available; see tables below. Postwar completions had 40mm Bofors in the wings, and no quarterdeck guns.
A lattice foremast carried AW type 291 and SW type 271 RDF, replacing a planned fore and aft tripod layout.
The main additional load was 110 DC's aft, and hard driven in the North Atlantic, deck and hull cracking became apparent, and the welds became loose. No solution could be found, there was no time to lay them up and fix the hulls, and they carried on. Fortunately, they were far too expensive and complex for mass production, and the bulk of escorts were made up of the simple, reliable and effective corvettes, frigates and escort destroyers.
They are remembered as the "capital ships" of the escort fleet, and for some reason, hlaf way through the clas, the newly adopted bird name pattern was dropped for traditional small ship names.

Displacement & Dimensions
  Black Swan Modified Black Swan
Displacement 1300 tons 1475 tons
Length 299½' 299½'
Beam 38' 38'
Draught 8½' 9½'


Performance & Propulsion
    Speed Black Swan Modified Black Swan
Boilers 2 Admiralty 3-drum boilers 19.25 kts 20 kts
Machinery 2 x Parsons geared steam turbines @ 3300 hp 4300 hp


Armament & Complement
Complement 192 officers & ratings
  Black Swan Modified Black Swan
  • Gun
    • 3 x 2 x 4" AA
    • 1 x 4 x 2pdr pom-pom AA
    • 2 x 4 x 0.5" MG AA later;
    • 2 x 1 x 20mm Oerlikon AA later;
    • 4 x 1 x 20mm Oerlikon AA later;
    • 2 x 2 x, 2 x 1 x 20mm Oerlikon AA
  • ASW
    • DC lobbers & Rails
    • Hedgehog DC launcher
  • Gun
    • 3 x 2 x 4" DP
    • 4 x 2 x 20mm Oerlikon AA
    • 2 x 1 x 20mm Oerlikon AA
  • ASW
    • 8 DC lobbers & 2 DC rails
    • Hedgehog DC launcher
    • 110 DC's
Modified Black Swan Light AA Armament
Wild Goose
  • 2 x 2 x 20mm Oerlikon AA
  • 2 x 1 x 20mm Oerlikon AA
  • 2 x 2 x 20mm Oerlikon AA
  • 4 x 1 x 20mm Oerlikon AA
  • 4 x 2 x 20mm Oerlikon AA
  • 4 x 1 x 20mm Oerlikon AA
  • 2 x 4 x 2pdr pom-pom AA
  • 4 x 1 x 20mm Oerlikon AA
  • 2 x 4 x 2pdr pom-pom AA
  • 2 x 2 x 20mm Oerlikon AA
  • 2 x 1 x 20mm Oerlikon AA
  • 2 x 4 x 2pdr pom-pom AA
  • 4 x 2 x 20mm Oerlikon AA
  • 2 x 1 x 20mm Oerlikon AA
All, Later
  • 2 x 2 x 40mm Bofors AA
  • 2 x 2 x 20mm Oerlikon AA
  • 2 x 1 x 20mm Oerlikon AA
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