Myngs (El Qahar)

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HMS Myngs at The Red Sea Wreck Project

The HMS Myngs originally began life as a 1,830 GRT Destroyer of the British Navy. She was built at the Naval Yard of Armstrong Whitworth, High Walker Yard No. 53, Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle, UK. The ship’s keel was laid 27 May 1942, she was launched 31 May 1943, and completed 23 June 1944 as Flotilla Leader. She was 110.6 meters in length, 10.9 meters in beam, and 3.1 meters in beam. Propulsion was provided by 2-Admirality 3-drum boilers, Parsons single-reduction turbines which generated 40,000 hp connected to a single shaft for a maximum speed of 32 knots.

Armament consisted of: 4 x 4.7-inch guns (119 mm), 2 x 40 mm flak batteries, 6 x 20 mm flak batteries, and 8 x 21-inch topedo tubes.

 

Shortly after commissioning 23 June 1944, the ship deployed to Scapa Flow where in August the ship was selected for mine-laying operations where she, and other RN ships, laid mines along the Norwegian coast duringOperation Offspring. Participated in Operation Goodwood on 15 August and provided destroyer screening for air attacks on the German battleship Tirpitz at Altenford (Operation canceled on 20 August due to foul weather condtions). Deployed again on the 22nd and 24th of August for additional attacks on the Tirpitz which were unsuccessful.

From 11-13 September, participated in minelaying operations south of Vosko Island (Operation Begonia) and then returned to Scapa Flow. Deployed again October 13th through 15th as part of “Force 9” to conduct minelaying operations and shipping attacks at Ristos Island, Aarumsund, Ramsosund, and Fro Havet (Operation Lycidas), returning to Scapa Flow on the 16th. Deployed again on 12 November for screening duties as part of “Force 2” to attack German Convoy KS357 off of Listerfjord (Operation Counterblast).

On 01 January 1945 the Myngs deployed as part of a convoy escort group for Russian Convoy JW63, arriving safely at Kola on the 8th. Joined returning Convoy RA63 on 11 January, arriving at Loch Ewe on the 12th. On 10 February 1945, joined “Force 1” for screening duties as part of Operation Selenium to provide cover for “Force 2” in conducting attacks on shipping. However, no ships were sighted during the operation. On the 21st, deployed with “Force 4” to provide screening for “Force 3” which was conducting minesweeping and minelaying operations (Operations Shred and Groundsheet). Joined Convoy RA64 from 25 February until being detached on the 27th, and then rejoining the home fleet
Joined Russian convoy JW65 on 12 March as part of an ocean escort group. The group was under U-boat attack on the 20th of March losing a merchant vessel and the HMS Lapwing. Detached from the group upon arrival at Kola Inlet and departed on the 23rd with convoy RA65, detaching from the convoy on the 30th and rejoined the home fleet.

From April to May continued deployment with the home fleet until being transferred to the 4th Destroyer Flotilla in June in support of reoccupation operations and general fleet duties until the end of the war, at which time the HMS Myngs attended VE-Day celebrations at Woolwich, London.

The HMS Myngs remained in service after the war and was transferred to the 3rd Escort Flotilla in August of 1948. Located in Portland, the 3rd Escort Flotilla was renamed the 2nd Training Flotilla in 1949 and the ship was used for training duties until September 1954 when she was transferred to Reserve status pending conversion to a Type 15 ASW Frigate. The conversion never occurred and the ship was put up for sale.

The ship was finally sold to Egypt in 1955 and was refitted at J.S. White at Cowes prior to transfer to the Egyptian Navy. The ship was renamed EL Qahar and departed for Egypt on 28 August 1956. She returned to Cowes for overhaul again from May 1963 until July 1964, when she returned to Egypt. In 1969-70 the ship’s electronic systems were upgraded with Russian equipment, after which she returned to her base at Port Berenice.

HMS Myngs at The Red Sea Wreck Project
While at anchor at Ras Banas near Port Berenice on 16 May 1970, the ship was attacked by an Israeli air wing consisting of French-built Dassault Mirage aircraft. The El Qahar was able to fend off multiple attacks while at the same time taking direct hits from the attacking aircraft. The ship, suffering severe battle damage, eventually sank by the stern and came to rest on a coral reef on the sea bed with only her bow remaining above water.

Diving Information

This wreck is relatively new in terms of being able to dive on it and very few people have been able to dive there, its exact location being a close-held secret. However, it looks to be a very interesting dive site. The bow and forward gun are just above the surface of the water, with the stern laying at around 21-22 meters. When the ship sank it came to rest on a large rock and ledge with the ship being held in place by its starboard anchor. The ship still has live ordnance onboard, including a round that is still in the breech of one of the guns! Penetration is possible for many parts of the wreck as well. Located at 21 meters, the propeller is impressive as it was designed to move the ship as high speeds. It is possible to swim underneath the stern section of the hull at 27 meters as well. The sonar dome which was blown off during the battle in which she was sunk and is lying on the seabed beneath the ship. The entire wreck shows the signs of the battle damage which sank her. Much of the wreck is covered by soft corals and there is a wide variety of marine life as well such as groupers, barracuda, bannerfish, etc.

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Lee has been in the marketing industry for the last 15 years and now specializes in teaching marketing techniques to people in the scuba diving industry. He is founder of Dive Media Solutions which, in addition to providing complete marketing, media, communications and IT solutions exclusively for the scuba diving industry, also produces The Scuba News. You can connect with Lee via Twitter by following @DiveMedia

1 Comment

  1. kevin francescon on

    you can see the wreck on google earth just copy paste Port Berenice. the reason why its a secret is because it looks like its near a military base.

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