The Loftsman
Leith Shipyards

A history of the Ships built at the Henry Robb Shipyard in Leith, Scotland. Also a testimony to the men who built the Ships and to all who sailed in them.
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Home Ships Built in Leith 1939 to 1945 HMS STAFFA - Yard No 324 - Isle Class Armed Trawler - Royal Navy - Built 1942

Leith Shipyards

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HMS STAFFA - Yard No 324 - Isle Class Armed Trawler - Royal Navy - Built 1942


 HMS STAFFA (T-159) Isle Class  
Owners   Royal Navy
Registered     Keel Laid    22/08/1941
Type of Ship    Isle Class Armed Trawler Launched    15/06/1942
      Commissioned    31/08/1942
Ship Details          
Length Overall    164' 0" Launch Details    
Length B.P.    150' 0" Weather    
Beam    27' 6" Time to Water    
Depth Mld     14' 6"      
Draught    11' 1"      
G.R.T.    463 tons      
Complement     40 Officers and Men      
Engines    1 triple expansion reciprocating engine, producing 850 ihp      
Props    1      
Speed    12 knots      
Armament     1 x 12 pdr Gun, 3 to 4 20 mm Orlikon AA Guns, 30 depth charges      
Other known names        
Current Status   Sold to the Italian Navy 1946 (Fate unknown)    
Content on will be added as and when available. 


(Photo credit unknown)

Ships History

Once a ship had been built and launched she then had to be out-fitted, and then complete sea trials
before being handed over to her new owners, in the case of a ship for the Royal Navy this meant she also had to be commissioned as fit for purpose, once commissioned she was then considered ready for action and would take her place in the fleet.

 HMS STAFFA was an order for an armed trawler of the Isle Class, another of the little unsung ships of the Royal Navy that were to carry out sterling work with little recognition for this dangerous work.

She was primarily used in the mine sweeping and close escort work and she survived the war.

HMS STAFFA was part of a mine sweeping flotilla (along with HMS SKYE) working in the dangerous waters of the Meditterianen and in particular the coastal waters of Greece, where the germans had laid thousands of mines.

In 1946 HMS STAFFA was regarded as surplus to requirments for the Royal Navy and she was sold on to the Italian navy, no doubt to continue with her mine sweeping duties and perhaps as a trainning ship also, her fate is unclear at this time, so should you or someone you know have any information on what happened to this fine little ship after being sold to the Italian Navy then please get in touch with the website so we can update her story.


We try here to give as full an account of her history as time and research permits, if you know of missing info
or you have any photographs of her, then please get in touch and we shall update her story as we go along.

Tales from the Ship

Here you will find the stories from the men and women who sailed on the ships, what was it really like to be working on a ship in a raging sea and in the pitch dark of night, the real stories some funny some sad, some good and some bad.

Dedicated to all the brave men and women who sailed the vessels from the Leith Shipyards.

Should you know of anyone who may have sailed on her, then please feel free to get in touch so that we can add the story here.

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0 #4 Tony Brett 2014-05-24 14:41
Dear Sirs, I served in Staffa's sister ship the Tiree and am keen on making a model of her, do you by some miracle have line drawings of an Isles class trawler in your archives? I would love to get a look at them if you have.
Further to my earlier email When sold to the Italians she was given the Pennant No RD304.
Best Regards
Tony Brett
0 #3 Tony Brett 2014-05-24 14:36
In 1943 Staffa became the Flagship of the CinC Mediterranean (Admiral Sir John Cunningham) for just four days. This accolade occurred because when Sir John Cunningham Visited Algiers she was the only RN Warship in Harbour. The Cinc's Flag was given to the Staffa and is noe laid up in the Church at Leiston Suffolk. Lieston Adopted the Staffa in WW2.
Best Regards
Tony Brett
0 #2 Michael Chapman 2014-01-10 16:21
My brother, (now deceased), was Denis Eric John Chapman, the wireless operator on HMS Staffa. Like most involved in wars, he spoke little about his exploits. How ever I do know that he served on it throughout its time in the Med and earlier.
0 #1 Rae shelley 2012-02-24 13:26
Hello, I have just seen some information on one of my Ancestors, (Matthew Henry Barker 1815-1839) who was apparently 'lost at Sea' (as nothing more was heard of him) when the Staffa 'foundered' when sailing from Sierra Leone to London on 8th October 1839. This cannot be the same ship - but I cannot trace another of the same name. Does anyone else know of another 'Staffa'

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