Ordered 12.5.1933 by the British Royal Navy, her keel was laid during June
by J. Samuel White of East Cowes as their yard number 1754, she was launched
20.11.1933 and commissioned in 16.1.1934. Samuel White's builders number 1753
was ELFIN's sister ship HMS REDWING which was ordered for the torpedo school
HMS Defiance at Devonport.
The two ships were sometimes described as Tender, Special service or torpedo recovery vessel. Navy Lists from 1934 up to the outbreak of World War II show her as a Particular Service Vessel of 222t displacement Tender to the Submarine Depot at Portland. HMS ELFIN was tender to the submarine depot-ship HMS TITANIA, for the 6th Submarine Flotilla.
Particulars:Displacement: 249 tons.
World War II
During 1940 the 6th Flotilla accompanied by ELFIN moved up to Blyth, where on 20.8.1941 ELFIN was renamed NETTLE and given the Pendant number T.94. Skipper F. Dale RNR was appointed in command 12.8.1941 NETTLE was re fitted at Blyth between March and April 1942 and is shown in Pink Lists from July 1943 as serving at Rothesay. During the War the crew did some heroic stuff. For a particular brave action several crew members were rewarded.
In October 1945 shown as "Deleted for disposal" this did not take happen as she is shown in June 1946 as at Portland attending the 7th Submarine Flotilla and in January 1948 attending the 2nd Flotilla. In September 1952 in attendance on X craft (midget subs) at Portland. For sale at Portland in June 1957 she was sold 14.8.1957 to Pounds at Portsmouth. At the time of the sale, she appeared in the movie The Key with Sophia Loren, William Holden and Trevor Howard. The film came out in 1958 and the actors actually walked over her bridge deck.
A new life in Amsterdam
Soon after the film was shot, she was transported to her new owner the Amsterdam
Drydock Company (ADM).In
1958 she was transferred into into a tanker cleaning vessel under a new name:
Droogdok 18, later she was renamed H.O.M. 7 and in the eighties TCA1. In this
function she was the very last industrial steamship in the Netherlands and was
in use until as late as 1989. In that year activities stopped on board of the
once proud steamer. Worn off she had done her duties and she slowly turned into
Thanks to George Ransome and the late Gus Britton for information about the history of HMS ELFIN, and a very special Thanks to Dennis Feary, who unearthed almost everything available! All pre 1957 information is from them.