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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 1998

HMS MORECAMBE BAY (F 624) - Bay-class Frigate

HMS St Brides Bay, sister-ship (Navy Photos/Mark Teadham, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 

LOCH-Class Anti-Submarine Frigate ordered on 19th January 1943 from W Pickersgill of Sunderland and to be named LOCH.HEILEN.  Orders were placed with several other shipyards for LOCH Class ships at the same time. However in late 1943 this order was changed for construction of a new design of Anti-Aircraft Frigate (BAY Class - See General Information). The ship was laid down on 30th April 1944 as Admiralty Job No J4802 (Yard No 266) and was launched as HMS MORECAMBE BAY on 1st Nov. 1944.Tne ceremony was carried out by Miss Mary Berry, whose father was the managing director of a Teeside engineering firm and a former Royal Navy Officer. No previous RN ship had borne this name. Work was suspended after the end of hostilities in the Far East and a new contract to complete her build was placed with J S White at Cowes. She was commissioned on 22nd February 1949.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r


KOREA 1950 - 53


H e r a l d i c  D a t a


Badge: On a Field White,  White 4 pallets wavy blue.

a red rose barbed and seeded proper.

Explanation: Morecambe Bay is at junction of four rivers represented by the

'pallets wavy blue' and the red rose is the County emblem of Lancashire).


M a n n i n g    D i v i s i on




S u m m a r y   o f   S e r v i c e


(for more ship information, go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search



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                1st           Launched and fitting out commenced


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January                  Fitting out in continuation




September             Work suspended and ship Laid up in builder’s yard.




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                                Laid-up until contract placed for completion with JS White at Cowes

                                Ship taken under tow to Cowes.


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                                Fitting out continued


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January                  Contractor's trials.


February                Contractors sea trials

                22nd        Commissioned for trials with reduced complement.

                                (Note: Due to demobilisation of wartime conscripts and reservists there was a significant

                                shortfall in personnel.)

                                Commanding Officer: Lieut Commander K R S Leadley RN.

                                Acceptance trials


March                    On completion of trials remained at Portsmouth.



                1st           Carried out exercises with HM Minesweeper WELFARE.

                4th          Embarked ammunition

                7th          DG Ranging at Portland.

                16th        Open to visitors.


May                        Giving leave at Portsmouth.

to                            Waiting to complete to allowed complement for foreign service

July                         Open to visitors including employees from local firms, Sea Cadets and schoolchildren.



                15th        Commissioned for Far East service

                                Commanding Officer, Commander CCB Mackenzie, Royal Navy.

                23rd        Prepared for foreign service at Portland.



                1st           Passage to Heysham for official visit.

                3rd          At Heysham.

                to            Open to visitors.

                8th          (Note: Outstanding hospitality accorded including presentation of silverware and a civic


                9th          Passage to Malta for work-up.

                26th        Commenced work-up and carried out routine docking.



                6th          Work-up with Mediterranean Fleet ships

                to            (Note: This included bombardments and Night Encounter exercises

                20th        Inspection by Flag Officer (Destroyers), Mediterranean Fleet.

                21st        Took passage to Singapore

                28th        Called at Port Sudan.



                1st           At Aden.

                15th        Passage from Colombo to Singapore.

                21st         Joined 4th Frigate Flotilla.

                24th        Deployed for patrol and anti-terrorist operations on West coast of Malaya.

                28th        Assisted with fire-fighting in mv REBEVERETT at Port Swettenham.


December              Deployed for Patrol duties with Motor Launches.

                7th          Live bombardment exercise with AUSTER aircraft for spotting fall of shot

                12th        Deployed for patrol off Singapore.

                13th        Transferred to East coast of Malaya for patrol

                                Interrogation party embarked.

                                R&R period at Pulau Tioman.

                21st         Resumed patrol off West Coast of Malaya.

                23rd        At Penang for Xmas.


1 9 5 0


January                  Deployed in Port Dickson area in continuation.

                                (Note: Patrols were carried out patrol with Motor Launches and Police Launch.)

                7th          Rest period and training in Singapore.

                21st         Passage to Hong Kong for Fleet exercises.

                30th        Took part in Fleet exercise.


February                Local Exercises at Hong Kong.

                14th        Diverted from local bombardment exercise at Hong Kong to carry out search with

                                HM Frigate WHITESAND BAY for crashed aircraft.

                                (Note: This was abandoned after 4 hours.)

                25th        Deployed for patrol off Yangtse estuary and for Guardship.

                                (Note: Maintained for protection of British flagged mercantiles.)




                1st           Yangtse Guardship duty in continuation.

                to            Assisted ss EMPIRE MOUNTAIN detained by 2 Chinese Nationalist gunboats TAI CHOU

                18th        and YANG SHOU.

                19th        On relief by HM Destroyer CHARITY took passage to Hong Kong.



                1st           Taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard, Hong Kong.


May                        Under refit.

                12th        On completion of post refit trials carried out local exercises with HM Cruiser BELFAST

                                and HM Destroyer CONSORT.

                15th        Took part in Flotilla exercises at Hong Kong.

                31st         Passage to Singapore with HM Frigates MOUNTS BAY and CARDIGAN BAY



                6th          Arrived at Singapore and nominated for anti-terrorist patrol duties.

                8th          Deployed of east coast of Malaya with Aircraft and MFV.

                to            Interrogation party embarked.

                16th        Regent of Pahang visited.

                19th        Deployed in continuation for duty on west coast of Malaya,

                to            Royal Marines embarked

                30th        Provided support for military operations near Port Swettenham

                                (Note: Royal Marines and naval search party landed.

                                Bombarded terrorist positions.


July                         Johore Strait Patrol with HM Motor Launch 3507

to                            Visited Pungga.

August                  Aircraft attacks made on shore positions at Babi Kerchk.

                                Deployed at Penang in continuation with R&R at Lankawi

                                (Note: After outbreak of war in Korea nominated for deployment with UN naval Task Force based

                                at Sasebo, Japan.)


September             Passage to Sasebo for duty with UN in Korea.


October                  Deployed for bombardment and patrol duties off W coast of Korea with RN snips.

                                (Note: These included HM Frigates MOUNTS BAY, PUKAKI (RNZN) and TUTIRA (RNZN).

                                Took part in bombardment at Inchon.


November              Deployed with Task Group 95.13-and in charge of Minesweeping operations off west coast.


December              Deployed in support of evacuation of Inchon with CTG 95-12

                                New Commanding Office: Commander J J E Famol DSC Royal Navy appointed.


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January                  On relief by HM Frigate ST BRIDES BAY took passage to Hong Kong.


February                Resumed duties with Flotilla.


March                    Yangtse Patrol and Flotilla exercises in continuation.

to                            (Note: At time of research Ship's Deck Log not available at PRO.

May                        This restriction may have been due to deployment in war operations.)


June                        Detached for 2nd Operational Tour with UN off Korea.

                                Took passage to Sasebo to join UN naval forces.

                                Supported Korean Commando raids in Haeju and Chojin area with CTG 95.12


July                         Attached to US Navy Task Group 95.12 to assist in bombardment off east coast of

                                Korea in support of military operations.

                                (Note: Congratulatory signal from Commander US 7th Fleet (Vice Admiral HW Martin, USN)

                                for train-wrecking successes).

                                On completion transferred to RN Task Group on west coast.

                                Deployed in Han River operations with HM Frigates CARDIGAN BAY and MOUNTS BAY

                                in support of military operations to ensure access to Seoul.)


August                  Carried out shore bombardment in Han River


September             On relief from UN duties took passage to rejoin Flotilla


October                  Deployed at Singapore for anti-terrorist patrol duties

to                            Under refit at Singapore..



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January                  Re-commissioned for further service with Flotilla in Far East.

                                On completion of post refit trials deployed for shakedown prior to further detached service with

                                UN off Korea.

                                Carried out Malacca Strait patrol and support of anti-terrorist military operations.


February                Passage to Sasebo for 3rd Operational UN Tour.

                                Deployed in with CTG 95.22 in Sonjin and Chojin area off east coast.


March                    Sustained slight damage by shore battery fire.

                                Transferred to RN Task Group for service on west coast of Korea.


April                       Deployed with RN Task Group for patrol duties and gunfire support.

                                (Note: 11 volunteers served ashore with British army unit).

                                On relief took passage to Hong Kong to resume Flotilla duties.


May                        Deployed at Hong Kong

                                Visited Macao and took part in local area exercises and patrols.


June                        Flotilla deployment in continuation.

to                            Commander JAH Hamer OBE RN appointed.

July                         Nominated for 4th Operational Tour with UN off Korea.


August                  Passage to Sasebo to rejoin UN Command.


September             Deployed off west coast of Korea for island patrols and support. Han River area bombardment.


October                  East coast deployment in continuation.

                                First Sea Lord (Admiral R. McGrigor) visited at Yong Pyong Do.


November              On relief took passage to Hong Kong.


December              Deployed at Hong Kong with Flotilla and carried out patrol duties.


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January                  Hong Kong deployment in continuation.

                                Patrols in Tolo Harbour and Junk Bay.

                                Carried out search for missing aircraft in Swatow Bay.



February                Hong Kong local patrol duties in continuation.

to                            Passage from Hong Kong to Singapore for military support patrols duties.

March                    Deployed off west coast of Malaya.


April                       Nominated for further detached duties with UN off Korea

                                Passage to rejoin UN naval forces off Korea.


May                        Commenced 5th UN Operational Tour.

                                Under fire in Chodo area with US Navy Landing Ship.

                                Counter-fire provided by US Battleship USS NEW JERSEY.


June                        UN support duties off west coast of Korean continuation.

                                Provided Guard for rededication of War Grave cemetery at Kobe.

                                West coast patrol and bombardment.


July                         Bombarded enemy positions on Chodo Island.


August                  On relief took passage to Hong Kong for refit.

                                (Statistical Data:   185 days under UN Command,

                                84,300 miles steamed, 15,200 tons fuel used.)


September             Under refit at Hong Kong.

                26th        On completion commenced post refit trials.



                13th        Joined in Flotilla exercises at Hang Kong

                17th        Funnel deck found to be corroded and split.

                                Taken in hand for repair

                19th        Resumed Flotilla exercises.

                23rd        Took passage to Sasebo to resume UN duties.

                31st         Deployed as west coast Guardship as Pangyong Do.



                1st           Carried out patrol and gunfire support duties.



                16th        Passage to Kure for R&R.

                25th        Passage to Area NAN on west coast to relieve HM Australian Destroyer TOBRUK.

                27th        Commenced Patrol and Guardship duties at Pangyoung Do.


December              UN duties in continuation.

                9th          Relieved by HM Destroyer COMUS and took passage to Kure.

                                (Note: During this period Signalman G. C. Gates died ashore at Kure on 4th December.)

                14th        Passage from Kure to Hong Kong.

                                (Note: Carried out surveillance of Chinese Nationalist warships in Formosa Strait).

                22nd       Arrived at Hong Kong for Fleet exercises.

                29th        Deployed for Flotilla exercises with HM Frigates CARDIGAN BAY, MOUNTS BAY and

                                ST BRIDES BAY.


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                4th          Carried out anti-submarine exercise with HM Submarine THOROUGH during passage

                                to Singapore

                13th        Deployed for patrol on west coast of Malay with Interpreter

                to            Liaison officer embarked. In conjunction with Police launch.

                23rd        Bombarded shore positions on 16th January.

                                (Note: Malayan RNVR personnel also on board for sea experience.

                                Part of counter insurgency operation and prevention of activities by terrorists from


                24th        Deployed at Singapore for patrol in Malacca Straits.



                1st           Passage to Penang for visit by Flag Officer, Malayan Area.

                9th          Passage to Singapore on completion of visit and towed Motor Launch.

                15th        Took part in Fleet Exercise SONATA in Gulf of Thailand.

                to            (Note: Serials included convoy Screening, Anti-submarine operations,, Tow, Night Encounter,

                25th        and Replenishment with provision of RAF reconnaissance).

                26th        Detached with HMS MOUNTS BAY and took passage to Hong Kong.


March                    At Hong Kong for maintenance.

                6th          New Commanding Officer:  Commander A C Tupper DSC RN joined.

                18th        Deployed for Formosa Strait patrol.

                to            Escorted ss INCHISLAY on passage from Shanghai to Hong Kong.



April                       Self refit period in Hong Kong.

                20th        Re-commissioned for service in Far East.

                29th        On completion carried out Pearl River patrol.


May                        Deployed at Hong Kong.

                8th          Carried out Formosa Strait patrol.

                18th        Exercised with ships of Squadron off Hong Kong.

                31st         Took passage to Sasebo for UN duties.



                13th        Deployed off west coast of Korea for patrol and Guardship

                28th        Took passage to Kure on relief.



                4th          Carried cut surveillance of Chinese Nationalist warships in Formosa Strait during passage from

                                Kure to Hong Kong.

                11th        Passage from Hong Kong to Singapore for refit.

                28th        Taken in hand for refit. Crew transferred to HMS TERROR.


August                  Under refit.

                                Nominated for transfer to America and West Indies Station after refit in UK.

                                To visit ports in USA and central America during return passage.

                                (Note: This was part of a policy change to reduce length of foreign commissions.



                9th          Post refit trials.

                11th        Carried out Shakedown cruise off Singapore.

                22nd        Took passage to Hong Kong.

                27th        At Hong Kong for 1st Sea Lord's visit.



                1st           Took passage to join USA via Yokosuka, Japan and Panama.

                7th          At Yokosuka.

                9th          Passage to Pearl Harbour.

                23rd        At Pearl Harbour.

                29th        Took passage to San Francisco after call at Hilo, Hawaii.


November              Pacific Passage.

                8th          At San Francisco

                12th        Two ratings injured in road traffic accident on Oakland Bridge.

                                One later died in hospital EM 1st Class R VENN, P/MX924369).

                16th        Took passage to Los Angeles.

                17th        At Long Beach US Navy Base, Los Angeles.

                22nd       Took passage to San Diego

                                At San Diego

                29th        Took passage to Acapulco

                                (Note: The remaining visits were the first to be paid by a British warship for many years

                                giving a unique opportunity for shore excursions.)

                                The Ship was opened to visitors and much generous hospitality was offered to

                                all of the ship's company.



                4th          At Acapulco.

                7th          Took passage to San Jose, Guatemala.

                9th          At San Jose.

              13th          Took passage to La Libertad, El Salvador.

              17th          Passage from La Libertad to Balboa, Panama.

              20th          Took passage to Kingston, Jamaica after transit of Panama Canal.

              23rd          Arrived at Kingston.


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January                  Joined HM Cruisers SUPERB and QUEBEC (RCN), HM Frigates BIGBURY BAY,

                                BURGHEAD BAY with other NATO warships for exercises.

                                At short notice for steam due to hurricane warnings.

                21st        Took passage to Portsmouth with four Army personnel embarked for return to UK.

                27th        Experienced heavy weather during passage.

                                Sailing dinghy lost overboard.



                2nd         Arrived at Portsmouth

                17th        Taken in hand for refit.


March                    Under refit including period in dry dock





                11th        New ship's company joined and accommodated in RN Barracks.


June                        Under refit



                29th        Ship's company moved on board.

                31st         Commissioned for service on America and West Indies Station.

                                Commanding Officer: Commander T C Meyrick RN.



                5th          Carried out post refit trials Post refit trials



                20th        Commenced work-up at Portland and weapon calibrations

                31st         Passage to Portsmouth.


September             Prepared for foreign service

                19th        Took passage to Bermuda.

                30th        At Bermuda.



                22nd       Passage to Grenada.

                28th        Embarked Governor for passage to Carricoa, St Georges.

                31st         Passage to Trinidad.



                1st           At Port of Spain.

                3rd          Sailed to carry out Visits Programme with calls at Bridgetown, Barbados, St Lucia, Barbuda and


                18th        Took passage from Tortola for Kingston, Jamaica.

                27th        Passage to Guantanamo for exercises with HM Cruiser KENYA and US Navy ships.



                1st           Took part in joint exercises.

                9th          Returned to Kingston with HMS KENYA.

                12th        Resumed joint RN/USN exercises.

                18th        Took passage to Bermuda.

                21st         At Bermuda.


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                9th          Took passage to Kingston, Jamaica with HM Frigate ST AUSTELL BAY.

                13th        HMS ST AUSTELL BAY detached.

                14th        Embarked Governor Designate, British Honduras at Kingston for passage to Belize.

                17th        Governor disembarked.

                20th        Commenced Visits Programme to Bluefields, Nicaragua, Colon and Bocas del Tore, Panama



                4th          Passage to Kingston from Bocas del Toro.

                10th        Took passage from Kingston to Georgetown, Grand Cayman,

                18th        Sailed from Georgetown for programmed visit to USA ports in Gulf of Mexico.

                22nd       At Brownsville, Texas. 5,000 visitors recorded in Deck Log.



                1st           At Corpus Christi, Texas. 1,630 visitors recorded in Deck Log

                8th          At Mobile, Alabama.

                16th        At Tampa, Florida.

                                Unarmed party marched in local procession.

                                Variety Show by USO was broadcast from ship.

                22nd       Return passage from Tampa to Bermuda.

                28th        Arrived at Bermuda.


April                       Took part in Military Tattoo at Hamilton during stay in Bermuda.

                                Carried out local exercise with HMS ST AUSTELL BAY.



                2nd         Took passage to Norfolk, Virginia with HMS ST AUSTELL BAY.

                5th          At Norfolk, Va.

                10th        Visited Baltimore after passage up Chesapeake River with HMS ST AUSTELL BAY.

                15th        Took passage to Savannah, Georgia.

                18th        At Savannah, Ga.

                22nd       Took passage to Bermuda.

                23rd        Met HMS ST AUSTELL BAY and carried out joint exercises

                25th        Arrived at Bermuda


June                        At Bermuda for Annual Inspection.

                                (Note: Sea Serials with HMS ST AUSTELL BAY.)

                11th        Took part in Exercise HOURGLASS with HM Frigates ST AUSTELL BAY, WAKEFUL,

                                ROEBUCK and WHIRLWIND.

                                (Note: This was a major international assembly including ships of Home Fleet, Canadian and

                                Dutch warships.)

                                Exercise included anti-submarine serials with RN and US Navy submarines.

                27th        On completion returned to Bermuda.

                                (Note: Provided first aid party after fire in Canteen ashore)


July                         Prepared for patrol and visits programme to Caribbean ports.

                9th          Sailed for Antigua from Bermuda.

                14th        At Antigua.

                                Provided English Harbour working party.

                19th        At Barbados, Windward Islands

                25th        At Trinidad with HMS BIGBURY BAY.

                30th        Passage to Paramaribo, capital of Dutch Guiana



                1st           At Paramaribo.

                6th          Passage to Demerara via Mackenzie River (Essequibo).

                10th        At Demerara

                13th        Passage to Puerto Rico with call at Pointe a Pitre, Guadaloupe for fuel.

                18th        At San Juan, Puerto Rico.

                                Exchanged calls with US naval authorities.

                23rd        Took passage to Bermuda.

                26th        Arrived at Bermuda.

                                Prepared for return passage to Pay-off in UK.



                1st           Took passage to Portsmouth with HMS ST AUSTELL BAY.

                8th          Detached. Arrived at Portsmouth.

                12th        Arrived at Portsmouth


F i n a l   P h a s e


HMS MORECAMBE BAY Paid off on 19th November 1956 and was laid up in Reserve at Portsmouth. Later she was transferred to Barrow and placed on the Disposal List. On 9th May 1961 this frigate was sold to Portugal and renamed DOM FRANCESCO DE ALMEIDA. Following a refit by John I Thornycroft at Woolston, Southampton she was handed over to the Portuguese Navy on 3rd August 1961 and served in until September 1970 when she was demolished. Her RN service was especially notable as she spent most of it on foreign service which included periods with the United Nations naval Task Groups during the Korean War and visits to west coast of North America.


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