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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2004

HMS MOUNTS BAY (F 627) - Bay-class Frigate

HMS Mounts Bay (Navy Photos/Bob Hanley, click to enlarge) return to Contents List 

LOCH Class Anti-Submarine Frigate ordered on 25th January 1943 from W. Pickersgill of Sunderland and to be named LOCH KILBIRNIE. Orders were placed with several other shipyards for this Class of Frigate at the same time. However in late 1943 the contract was changed for construction of a new design of Anti-Aircraft Frigate (BAY Class - See General Information). The ship was laid down on 23rd October 1944 and was launched as HMS MOUNTS BAY on 8th June 1945. No previous RN warship had borne this name. Work was suspended in 1946 and a new contract to complete her build was placed with John I Thornycroft. The ship was transferred to Woolston, Southampton on 20th March 1946. Her build was completed on 11th April 1949.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r


KOREA  1950 - 53


M a n n i n g   D i v i s i o n

 Chatham till  Centralised


S p e c i a l   N o t e

Research Notes for the period 1949 to February 1953 are not at present available.



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


1 9 5 0    t o    1 9 5 2


                                Commissioned for service in 4th Frigate Flotilla.

                                After Acceptance Trials and work-up in Home waters took passage to join Flotilla in Far East.

                                On arrival deployed with United Nations Task Force based at Sasebo Japan with other

                                Commonwealth warships off Korea in support of military operations in Korean waters.

                                Routine maintenance and R&R periods spent at Kure, Japan

                                Deployed for Squadron duties including patrols to protect British flagged mercantiles trading

                                between ports in China and South Chine Sea.

                                When not deployed off Korea carried out patrols off Malayan coast in support of British

                                anti-terrorist operations.

                                Took part in Squadron and Fleet exercises and visits to ports in Far East.

                                Docking and refits carried out in Hong Kong and Singapore

                                Ship re-commissioned on Station in 1952.


1 9 5 3    t o    1 9 5 4


Commanding Officer

Captain A F P Lewis RN (Senior Officer 4th Frigate Flotilla.)


1 9 5 3


January                  Deployed at Hong Kong for Flotilla duties

to                            Passage to Sasebo for service with UN Naval Forces for patrol and support of military operations

May                        off west coast of to Korea.

                                (Note: This was the sixth Operational Tour and included bombardment of shore positions.)


June                        Visited Tokyo with HMAS ANZAC for Coronation Day. Passage to Hong Kong for refit

                                (Note: Statistics: 88,000 miles steamed, 15,300 tons Fuel used.)


July                         Under refit by HM Dockyard Hong Kong. August

                6th          Carried out Basin Trials.

                15th        Carried out Full Power Trials.

                20th        Deployed for Anti-submarine exercises with US Navy submarine.

                22nd       Squadron Pulling Regatta.

                                (Note: Annual Inspection was carried out later this month.)


September             Deployed at Hong Kong for exercises.

                                (Note: Typhoon warning in force early in month.)

                                Exercises included Bombardment support, tow of HM Destroyer CONCORD and

                                Anti­submarine procedures with SUNDERLAND aircraft.)

                19th        Took passage from Hong Kong to Sasebo.

                                (Note: Korean war armistice was signed on 27th July but UN Task Force operations were

                                continued including RN deployments based at Sasebo with R&R at Kure.)

                24th        At Sasebo and disembarked passengers.

                                (Note: Carried cut exercises with HM Sloop OPOSSUM on passage.)

                25th        Took passage from Sasebo to carry out exercises with US navy submarine.

                                (Note: Other RN ships involved included HM Frigate ST BRIDES BAY, WHITESAND BAY

                                and HM Australian Frigate HMAS CULGOA.)

                30th        New Commanding Officer Captain FN Elliott, RN appointed as Senior Officer 4th Frigate



October                  Visited Yokosuka, Japan on completion of exercises

                2nd         Took passage from Yokosuka to Sasebo.

                5th          Deployed for exercises based at Sasebo.

                12th        On completion of exercises took passage for UN duties off west coast of Korea.

                14th        Deployed as Guardship at Taechong Do.

                20th        Return passage to Sasebo.

                22nd       At Sasebo.

                24th        Took passage from Sasebo to Hong Kong.

                29th        Arrived at Hong Kong

                                (Note:  During passage escorted ss  INCHARRAN through Mim Kiang Channel.).


November              Resumed Squadron duties on completion of UN detachment.

                1st            Captain Elliot joined.

                5th          Sailed from Hong Kong for Formosa Strait patrol.

                8th          Deployed for patrol

.               to            (Note: Ship anchored during, daylight)

.               11th        Escorted ss INCHARRAN to sea after leaving estuary.)

                12th        Return passage to Hong Kong.

                13th        Deployed at Hong Kong.

                to            (Note: Korean and UN Service Campaign Medals were distributed.)

                30th        Carried out Squadron exercises in Junk Bay.

                                Visited by Flag Officer 2nd in Command, Far East Station.).



                1st           Deployed at Hong Kong with ships of Squadron.

                to            (Note: Sea Exercises included Replenishment, Gunnery firings, Anti- submarine

                11th        procedures with HM Submarine TIPTOE and aircraft tracking.

                                HM Frigates CARDIGAN BAY, ST BRIDES BAY and WHITESAND BAY of Squadron

                                took part.)

                12th        Passage for Formosa Strait Patrol.

                13th        Patrol deployment.

                to            (Note: Investigated detainment of British ss HYDRALOCK by Chinese .

                17th        This ship was released after 16 hours negotiation.

                                Darkened during patrol.

                                Assisted passage of as YUNNAN, sa INCHWELLS and ss NIGELOCK.)

                18th        Arrived at Hong Kong on completion of patrol duties.

                29th        Took part in Squadron exercises with HM Frigates CARDIGAN BAY, MORECAMBE. BAY,

                                ST BRIDES BAY, HM Destroyers COCKADE, CONSORT and HM Sloop MODESTE.

                                (Note: Serials included Gunnery firing, convoy screening, night encounter and anti-submarine

                                procedures with HM Submarine THOROUGH.)


1 9 5 4



                1st           Hong Kong deployment in continuation.

                6th          Took passage from Hong Kong to Kure.

                                (Note: Kure was Base for Commonwealth forces deployed with UN.)

                12th        Arrived at Kure after exercises on passage.

                14th        Passage to Kure for UN patrol and Guardship off Korean west coast.

                16th        Sailed from Kure for patrol.

                18th        Relieved HM Canadian Destroyer HURON at Paenyong Do as Guardship.

                23rd        Took passage to Kure on relief as Guardshlp.

                26th        Arrived at Kure.



                4th          Sailed from Kure for Sasebo.

                                (Note: Call at Sasebo prior to surveillance duty in Formosa Strait during return to Hong Kong.)

                10th        Arrived at Hong Kong after assisting ss INCHISLAY.

                14th        Took passage from Hong Kong with Squadron and Coastal Minesweepers to South China Sea

                                for Fleet exercises.

                25th        On completion of exercises returned to Hong Kong with HMS MORECAMBE BAY and Coastal

                                Minesweepers of the Hong Kong Coastal Minesweeping Squadron.

                28th        Arrived at Hong Kong.


March                    Deployed at Hong Kong.

                8th          Annual Harbour Inspection

                9th          Annual Sea Inspection.

                16th        Taken in hand for refit period.

                                Station Leave granted.


April                       Completed docking period.

                                Deployed at Hong Kong for local duties.

                6th          Took part in local exercises

                29th        On completion of exercises resumed Local duties at Hong Kong.



                1st           Carried out Self Maintenance at Hong Kong.

                13th        Took part in local Exercises including Night Encounter and Tow.

                14th        Flag Officer's Inspection.

                18th        Took part in local exercises including military operations support.

                19th        Resumed Local Flotilla duties at Hong Kong on completion of exercises.

.               28th        Took passage for surveillance patrol in Formosa Strait.


June                        Nominated for return to UK to re-commission.

                1st           Sailed from Formosa Strait to Sasebo.

                4th          Called all at Sasebo

                                (Note: UN Task Force was administered by US Navy at Sasebo)

                                Took passage to Kure.

                5th          Arrived at Kure.

                                (Note: Open to Visitors during stay)

                15th        Took passage for UN duties.

                17th        Relieved HMS MORECAMBE BAY at Paengong Do.

                24th        Carried exercises with HMS MORECAMBE BAY off Korean west coast.

                28th        Took passage to Hong Kong on relief by HM Australian Destroyer ARUNTA.



                3rd          Arrived at Hong Kong.

                4th          Prepared for return passage to pay off in UK.

                8th          Took passage to Singapore on completion of exercises with HM Frigates WHITESAND

                                BAY and CARDIGAN BAY.

                13th        Arrived at Singapore with HMS WHITESAND BAY.

                14th        Visited by Flag Officer Malayan Area.

                15th        Took passage with HMS WHITESAND BAY to Colombo from Singapore.

                                (Note: During passage took Indonesian landing craft in tow after it had been in collision

                                in Indian Ocean.

                                Resumed passage after Indonesian patrol ship arrived with HMS WHITESAND BAY.)

                22nd       Took passage from Colombo with HMS WHITESAND BAY.



                1st           Passage from Aden.

                6th          Suez Canal transit.

                10th        Arrived at Malta to embark passengers.

                13th        Sailed with HMS WHITESAND BAY from Malta.

                20th        Sailed from Gibraltar independently.

                                (Note: HMS WHITESAND BAY sailed on 19th.)

                25th        Arrived at Sheerness.

                26th        Arrived at Chatham after de-ammunitioning.

                                Captain Elliot left ship.


September             Paid off and completed de-storing.

                                Prepared for refit prior to re-commissioning for General Service in West Indies during January 1955


N o t e s   o n   l a t e r   S e r v i c e


HMS MOUNTS BAY continued her record of service on foreign stations after being re-commissioned in 1955 and again in 1957, both in the West Indies and South Atlantic. Her final commission was for further service in the Far East. On return to Portsmouth in May 1960 the ship was placed in Reserve and not re-commissioned as planned. Placed on the Disposal List in 1961 she was sold to Portugal and renamed VASCO DA GAMA. Before Portuguese Navy service she was modernised at Woolston by John I Thornycroft. The ship remained on the Active List until 1971 when sold for demolition.


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revised 29/5/11
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