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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 1997

HMS PORLOCK BAY (K 650) - Bay-class Frigate

HMS Porlock Bay (Navy Photo, click to enlarge)

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BAY  Class Anti-aircraft Frigate ordered from Charles Hill at Bristol in 1944 in place of  a LOCH Class Frigate to be named LOCH SEAFORTH which had been cancelled on 27th November 1943. The change was made because of a need for frigates of this type for deployment in the Far East where the main threat was of attacks by by aircraft. The prefabricated hull structure was identical with the LOCH Class but the weapon fit differed (See General Information). The ship was laid down on 22nd November 1944 as Job No 602 (Yard No. 302). She was launched on 14th June 1945 and the first Royal Navy ship to carry this name. Her Build was completed on 8th March 1946 and she was the last warship to be built by this shipyard.


G e o g r a p h i c   D a t a

Location:  Small  bay on the north coast of Somerset, 4 miles west of Minehead.

Grid  Reference:   SS8848.


H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Note: Two Badges are known to have been used. 

The original   'unofficial'  one was replaced  in  1953.


Original Badge

On a rock proper, an Eagle rising argent, wings azure.

        Explanation: Arms of BLATHWAYT family, the local squires.

Motto Virtute et Veritate: 'Virtue and truth'


Officially Approved Badge

On a Field quarterly Gold and Red in base berry wavy of four white and blue,

An oak tree  fructed proper

Explanation: Oak tree alludes to the oak jug manufactured in the town of Porlock

and peculiar to the area  The quarterly gold and red field is from

the arms of Sir Simon FitzRoger who helped to build Porlock

Church in the 13th century


M a n n i n g   D i v i s i o n




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 4 6


February                Contractor's trials.

                8th          Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials

                14th        Commissioned for service on the America and West Indies Station.

                                Commanding Officer: Lieutenant DL Davenport, Royal Navy

                                (Later Rear Admiral, CB, OBE).


March                    Formal visit to City of Bristol.

                                Ranging and weapon equipment trials at Portland


April                       Work-up for operational service at Portland.

                                (Note: During work-up ship visited Porlock and ship's company accorded generous hospitality.).


May                        On completion of work-up attached to Plymouth Local Flotilla

to                            (Note: Departure to West Indies delayed by post-war manning problems).



July                         Prepared for foreign service.

                22nd       Sailed for Bermuda with HM Frigate PADSTOW BAY.


August                  After call at Azores sailed for Bermuda with a disabled Landing Craft (Headquarters) 50 in tow.

                                During disengagement of tow on arrival ship involved in collision with the landing craft and

                                sustained damage to forward structure.

                                Taken in hand for repair in drydock and could not sail with Squadron for Autumn Programme of

                                visits to US ports.

                                (Note: This vessel was being returned to US Navy after Lease-Lend).


September             After repair prepared for programmed duty in Newfoundland and visits in Canada.

                3rd          Sailed for St John's.

                7th          Arrived at St Johns for stay during National Convention on political future of the Colony.

                13th        Embarked HE Governor of Newfoundland, Sir Gordon Macdonald at Argentia to carry out an

                                official tour of isolated fishing settlements on south coast.

                26th        Disembarked HE at Port Aux Basques on completion of tour.

                31st         After visit to Halifax began programme of visits to ports on northern coast of Newfoundland

                                including St. Anthony and Corner Brook.



                10th        Visited mainland port including Bagotville, Quebec and Charlottetown.

                15th        At Quebec.

                21st         Passage to Halifax via Sydney, Cape Breton.



                3rd          Carried cut exercises with RCN ships at Halifax.

                7th          Passage to Bermuda with call at Saint John, New Brunswick.

                14th        Arrived at Bermuda.

                                Taken in hand for maintenance and refit by HM Dockyard Bermuda.


December              Under refit.

                                (Note: As a result of alteration in policy relating to the command of independent frigates on

                                foreign stations Commander F J Twiss assumed command. This was his first sea

                                command. On retirement as Admiral Sir Frank Twiss, KCB, KCVO, DSC he

                                became Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod).

                                On completion resumed duties with Squadron at Bermuda.

                31st         Sailed for patrol and visits to ports in Caribbean.


1 9 4 7


January                  Took part in exercise with ships of America and West Indies Squadron.

to                            On completion took passage to Vera Cruz with call at Kingston, Jamaica

March.                   Visited Galveston, Mobile, Key West and Nassau.

                                Returned to Bermuda.


April                       Deployed at Bermuda.





                27th        Took part in exercises with Squadron.



                1st           Passage to Nassau with Squadron.

                3rd          Took part in official visits by HE the Governor of the Bahamas to the Turks and Caicos Islands

                to            as well as others in the Bahamas.


                14th        Detached at Nassau on return and took passage to Kingston, Jamaica for visits to ports in West


               21st         Whilst at Kingston despatched to Belize, British Honduras after Guatemalan threat to colony.

                24th        Remained in Honduras sea area.




August                  Emergency support duty in continuation without direct involvement.

                7th          Returned to Kingston.

                9th          Resumed visits and patrol programme.

                                Took passage to Aruba with call in Colombia at Barranquilla.

                18th        Passage to Trinidad from Aruba to refuel.

                25th        At Trinidad.



                1st           Took passage for Georgetown, British Guiana with calls at Tobago and Barbados.

                12th        At Georgetown.

                                Early termination of commission announced.

                                (Note: This decision was made because of economic measures which necessitated a reduction

                                in naval commitments.

                                The West Indies are was considered to be politically safe and was therefore vulnerable

                                to such cuts.)

                19th        Passage to Miami, Florida with call at Santiago, Cuba.


October                  At Miami.

                4th          Took passage to Bermuda.

                7th          Arrived at Bermuda after stormy passage in hurricane conditions.

                16th        On completion of weather damage repair took passage to Devonport


November              Passage to Devonport

3rd          Arrived at Devonport.


December              Nominated for service with Fishery Protection Squadron.


1 9 4 8


January                  Deployed in Home waters for Fishery Protection

to.                           Nominated for Reduction to Reserve.



1 9 4 9


January                  Reduced to Reserve status at Devonport.


February                Laid up at Devonport in Reserve Fleet.

                                (Note: Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to F650.


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


HMS PORLOCK BAY remained in Reserve until 1962, during which period she was refitted twice. Placed on the Sales List she was sold to Finland for use as a training ship and renamed MATTI KURKI. The ship was deployed in this role until 1975 when she was removed from the active list and sold for demolition in September that year.


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