Naval History Homepage - and Site Search



by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2005

HMS ST AUSTELL BAY (K 634) - Bay-class Frigate

HMS St Austell Bay (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

return to Contents List 


LOCH Class Anti-Submarine Frigate ordered from Harland and Wolff at Belfast on 2nd February 1943 and intended to be built at Liverpool. this was later cancelled and the ship was laid down on 30th May 1944 at Belfast as Admiralty Job Number J3391 (YARD No, 1249) and was to be named LOCH LYDOCH. However .after a policy change to meet the need for anti-aircraft escorts for service in the Far East the contract was changed and completion to a revision design for the BAY Class was required. She was launched as HMS ST AUSTELL BAY in 18th November 1944 as the first Royal Navy ship to carry the name. Build was completed on 29th May 1945. See General Information . for details of design changes.


G e o g r a p h i c   D a t a

 Bay on south coast of Cornwall adjacent to town of ST AUSTELL

some 28 miles west of Plymouth.

Grid Reference: SX0650.


 H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Red., a saltire couped ragulee Gold.

(Explanation:  Ship's suggestion from the saltire used by the Town of St.  Austell


M o t t o

In omnia promptus:   'Ready  for anything'


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 5


May                        Contractor's trials.

                5th          Commissioned for trials.

                                Commanding Officer: Lieut. Commander HJ Lee DSC, Royal Navy

                29th        Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials

                                (Note: Nominated for service in East Indies for Malayan landings and the Pacific Fleet Train).


June                        On completion of trials took passage to Devonport to prepare for foreign service.

to                            (Note: Additional Oerlikon guns fitted to supplement AA defence)

July.                        Took passage to Malta to work up for operational service..


August                  Deployed as part of 33rd Escort Group, 66th Division with HM Frigates CARDIGAN BAY,

                                ST BRIDES BAY and START BAY.

                15th        Work-up suspended when Far East requirements lapsed.

                                Transferred to Gibraltar and took passage to join Gibraltar Local Flotilla


September.            Deployed with Flotilla at Gibraltar.

to                            Carried out air-sea rescue and weather reporting duties in support of US aircraft flights from

October                  Paris to Azores.


November              Returned to Malta for patrol and Fleet duties in Adriatic with Flotilla.

                                Passage to Adriatic for Guardship duties at Trieste and Pola.

                                Arrived at Trieste in severe gale conditions.


1 9 4 6


January                  Adriatic Guardship and patrol duties in continuation.

to                            R&R periods in Venice.

February                Returned to Malta for Flotilla duties.


March                    Passage to Gibraltar for refit.

                25th        Taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard Gibraltar.


April                       Under refit




June                        Carried out harbour trials

                29th        Carried out post refit sea trials.


July                         On completion took passage to resume Flotilla duties in Malta.


August                  Flotilla re-designated 5th Escort Flotilla.

                16th        Deployed in Aegean based at Phaleron Bay for Patrol in support of military.

                                Took Rear Admiral Talbot and Head of Military Mission (Lt Gen Clark) to Timos.

                                Damaged in collision after anchor dragged at Times.

                                Returned to Piraeus after call at Spetsai and repaired damage.

                                Greek Naval unrest evident.

                26th        Return passage to Malta.


September             Deployed in Adriatic for patrol and Guardship duties at Pola.

                                New Commanding Officer:  Commander M E Hardy RN.


October                  Following visits to Naples, and Savona went to Civitta Vechia

                                (Note: In a tragic accident one seaman was killed and others injured.

                                Italian port guards fired on a lorry leaving docks area without

                                any authorising pass.

                                Funeral attended by local civic authorities amid much distress within the community.)

                27th        After HM Destroyers SAUMAREZ and VOLAGE were mined in Corfu Straits on

                                26th October took part in increased surveillance activities by Fleet units from Malta.


November              Deployed with Flotilla in Malta.



                4th          Deployed for surveillance and interception of ships carrying illegal immigrants to Palestine

                to            (Haifa Patrol).

                29th        Based at Famagusta.

                30th        Returned to Malta.


1 9 4 7


January                  Nominated for further Haifa Patrol and took passage to Famagusta

                24th        Haifa Patrol in continuation.

                                (Note: Among ships intercepted were ss FLYING ENTERPRISE and EMPIRE WELCOME.

                                (Later this ship achieved fame when wrecked in English Channel).

                                Frigates deployed for this unpalatable task were fitted with special protective screens

                                to deflect missiles thrown from ships boarded).


February                Haifa Patrol in continuation.


March                    Nominated for special operation

                                Took passage to Aden

                                Deployed with HM Frigate WIDEMOUTH BAY at Men and assisted with escort of AFD22

                                and AFD35 under tow to Malta by seven tugs (Operation SNOW WHITE)


April                       Operation SNOW WHITE in continuation.



                17th        On completion of SNOW WHITE carried out Boiler cleaning in Malta.


June                        Deployed at Piraeus for Haifa Patrol.


July                         Deployed for patrol and Guardship duties in Adriatic.



                7th          Returned to Malta.

                18th        Passage to Trieste for Adriatic patrol and Guardship duties at Pola.


September             Deployed for Haifa Patrol.


October                  Under refit in Malta.




1 9 4 8


January                  Deployed on Haifa Patrol in eastern Mediterranean.

to                            (See above Note).

April                       Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes changed to F634


May                        Maintenance and routine docking on return to Malta


June                        Resumed Flotilla duties and took part in Fleet Visits and Exercise programme.

to                            Deployed in Aegean for Haifa patrol duties.




November              Eastern Mediterranean duties with Flotilla in continuation.

                                Visited Mykoni, Rhodes, Leros, Santorin and Suda Bay.

                18th        Passage to Malta from Phaleron Bay.

                24th        Took part in Flotilla exercises.


December              Flotilla deployment in continuation.


1 9 4 9



                9th          Passage to Famagusta for duties in eastern Mediterranean.

                18th        Return passage to Malta with HM Frigate ST BRIDES BAY.

                25th        Took part in Flotilla exercises.



                12th        Passage to Port Said with HM Sloop PEACOCK.

                18th        Deployed as Guardship at Aqaba.

                23rd        Local dignitary embarked for firing demonstration.



                1st           Took passage to Famagusta from Aqaba.

                4th          Deployed in eastern Mediterranean.

                12th        Passage to Port Said.

                24th        Took passage from Port Said for Malta with HMS PEACOCK.

                25th        Diverted to Famagusta for tow of Landing Craft (Tank).

                29th        Passage to Malta with landing craft in tow.


April                       New Commanding Officer: Commander NJ Scarlett-Streatfield

                4th          Arrived in Malta and resumed Flotilla duties.

                20th        Took part in Flotilla exercises till 30th April.



                4th          Took part in Flotilla and Fleet exercises.

                16th        Passage to Phaleron Bay for patrol and visits programme.

                18th        Visited Volos, Salonika and Lemnos.




June        1st           Eastern Mediterranean patrol and visits in continuation.

                to            Visited Piraeus, Syros, Mykonis, Navarino, Sada Bay and Fhaleron Bay.


                18th        Passage to Malta from Navarino.

                20th        Met HM Frigate MOUNTS BAY for exercises before entry into Malta,

                21st         Resumed Flotilla duties.



                4th          Passage to Navarino.

                8th          Took part in Mediterranean Fleet exercises.

                14th        Passage to Malta after Fleet Regatta.

                                On arrival took passage to Gibraltar.

                19th        Taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard, Gibraltar.


August                  Under refit.

                1st           Routine docking.

                                Ships company visited Malaga.


September             Carried out post refit trials.

                14th        Passage to Tangiers for visit.

                22nd       Returned to Gibraltar for repair of defects.

                                On completion took passage to Aranci Bay to rejoin Flotilla.

                28th        Visited Bone with HM Sloops PEACOCK AND MERMAID.



                4th          Visited Bizerta with HM Sloops PELICAN, MAGPIE and MERMAID.

                                Berthed in French Naval Base.

                10th        Passage to Malta with HMS PELICAN and carried out exercises

                12th        Returned to Malta.


November              Flotilla exercises in continuation at Malta.

                29th        Beam Stores Replenishment at Sea trials with HM Royal Fleet Auxiliary BULAWAYO.

                                (Note: This trial included 'alongside' replenishment for stores.

                                Beam refuelling was not carried cut.



                2nd         Took part in Exercise SWIFT with Flotilla including HMS VERYAN BAY, HMS MERMAID

                                and HM Frigate SURPRISE.

                4th          Passage to Trieste for Adriatic patrol and Guardship duty.

                13th        Original Deck Log for November lost overboard in bad weather.

                16th        Visited Venice.

                19th        Return passage to Malta.


1 9 5 0



                11th        Took part in Fleet exercises including AA Firings, anti0submarine procedures, convoy defence

                to            and abeam replenishment




                2nd         Passage to Port Said with HMS MAGPIE.

                8th          Passage from Suez Canal to Aqaba.

                9th          Relieved HM Destroyer CHIVALROUS as Guardship at Aqaba.



                6th          Took passage to Malta on relief at Aqaba.

                12th        On arrival in Malta docked for refit period.

                23rd        Undocked for special duty.

                26th        Deployed in Gulf of Genoa for Air-Sea Rescue duty during Royal Flight taking HRH Princess

                                Elizabeth to Malta.


April                       Completed refit.

                4th          Resumed Flotilla duties.

                to            Took part in Flotilla and Fleet exercises.

                26th        Detached from 5th Frigate Flotilla for loan service with Royal New Zealand Navy.

                                (Note: HMS VERYAN BAY and HMS ST AUSTELL BAY were exchanged with HMNZS

                                HAWEA and HMNZS TAUPO for 6 months).

                                Took passage with HMS VERYAN BAY for Auckland, New Zealand.



                2nd         Called at Massawa in Red Sea.

                10th        Aden.

                23rd        At Trincomalee.

                27th        Took -passage from Trincomalee to Cocos Islands.

                                HMS VERYAN BAY detached.

                30th        Crossing the Line ceremony.



                2nd         At Cocos Islands.

                5th          Passage from Cocos to Freemantle.

                10th        Rendezvous with HMS VERYAN BAY.

                12th        At Fremantle.

                23rd        At Hobart. Open to visitors and exchanged calls with civic authorities.

                26th        Took passage to Auckland with HMS VERYAN BAY.



                3rd          Arrived at Auckland and joined 11th Frigate Flotilla, RNZN.

                15th        Passage to Port Lyttleton and Wellington.

                24th        Returned to Auckland from Wellington.

                                Took part in exercises with HMNZ Cruiser BELLONA and HMS VERYAN BAY.



                7th          Deployed with RNZN ships for exercises in Haukari Gulf.

                                HM Submarine THOROUGH was deployed for anti-submarine serials.

                15th        On completion took passage to Auckland with call at Port Fitzroy.

                23rd        Sailed for South Pacific patrol with passengers and stores.

                25th        At Raoul, Sunday Island in Kermadec Group.

                26th        Passage from Raoul to Friendly Islands with call at Nuie Island.



                1st           Crossed International Date Line and date not used.

                2nd         Arrived at Nukualofi, Tonga.

                                Official calls exchanged with Prime Minister

.                               Open to visitors.

                5th          Took passage to Auckland with call at Raoul.

                9th          Arrived at Auckland.

                11th        Passage to Dunedin with calls at Napier and Wellington.

                18th        Arrived at Dunedin and embarked stores for Macquarie Island.

                22nd       Took passage to Macquarie Island in Southern Ocean (Position 54.23S, 159.26E)

                25th        Disembarked stores and sailed for return passage to Auckland via west coast.

                to            Calls made at Supper Cove (Dusky Sound) and Milford Sound.




                1st           At Westport.

                                Open to visitors.

                4th          Resumed passage to Auckland with call at Whangaroa.

                10th        Arrived at Auckland.

                11th        Took part in exercises with HMS VERYAN BAY off Port Fitzroy.

                20th        On completion of exercises at Auckland to prepare for return passage with HMS VERYAN BAY

                to            Embarked one Ton of cyanide for disposal on passage.

                28th        Took passage to Cairns.

                30th        Dumped poisonous material in Pacific Ocean during passage.



                1st           Passage to Cairns, Queensland, Australia.

                7th          Sailed for Singapore with call at Darwin.

                14th        Exercised with aircraft during passage.

                22nd       Arrived at Singapore.

                26th        Took passage to Trincomalee.



                3rd          Arrived at Trincomalee.

                                CinC East Indies visited ship.

                8th          Sailed for Malta from Trincomalee with HM Boom Defence Vessel BARLANE.

                18th        At Aden.

                20th        Passage to Suez with call at Port Sudan. HMS BARLANE in tow.

                29th        Tow slipped for canal transit.

                30th        Passage to Malta towing HMS BARLANE.


1 9 5 1



                4th          Arrived in Malta and rejoined Flotilla,

                7th          Captain transferred to hospital.

                                (Note: First Lieutenant, Lt Cdr. J L Rathbone may have taken command).

                9th          Took passage to Gibraltar for refit.

                12th        Taken in hand for refit.


February                Under refit.



                1st           Carried out post refit trials.

                9th          Took passage from Gibraltar to Devonport with HM Frigate LOCH INSH.

                                Took part in Exercise STINKING FISH with Home Fleet ships on passage..

                15th        At Devonport preparing for service in 7th Frigate Flotilla, Home Fleet.



                9th          Re-commissioned.

                                Commanding Officer: Captain DC Ingram, CBE, DSC Royal Navy

                                Senior Officer, 7th Frigate Flotilla.

                17th        Deployed with Home Fleet ships in search for missing submarine HMS AFFRAY.

                19th        Called at Portland en passage from search area to return to Devonport.

                25th        Return passage to Portland for work-up.


May                        Work-up in continuation.

                16th        Passage to Londonderry for anti-submarine exercises.

                22nd       On completion passage to Fleetwood for official visit.

                                Open to visitors.

                                Calls exchanged with civic authorities.

                27th        Took passage to join Home Fleet Convoy exercise in SW Approaches.

                                (Note: Phase 7 of Exercise PROGRESS.

                                Other ships taking part included HM Cruiser SWIFTSURE, HM Destroyer AGINCOURT

                                and HMS VERYAN BAY).



                7th          On completion of PROGRESS visited Cherbourg with HMS VERYAN BAY.

                9th          Sailed from Cherbourg for visit to St Austell Bay.

                                Open to visitors whilst at anchor.

                12th        On completion resumed Home Fleet exercise after call at Devonport.

                to            Deployed as Plane Guard and screen for HM Light Fleer Aircraft Carrier VENGEANCE

                16th        during convoy defence exercise in Irish Sea with HMS VERYAN BAY.

                                (Note: Other ships taking part included HM Destroyers BATTLEAXE, BROADSWORD and

                                HM Sloop STARLING).

                17th        Took part in search for submarine off Loch Fyne with HMS VERYAN BAY.

                                (Note: Sonobuoys were used during this exercise).

                20th        Passage to Portland with HMS VERYAN BAY.

                21st         Carried out Weapon trials and Ranging at Portland.

                25th        Joined Home Fleet Convoy Defence in North Sea and Channel (Exercise VELOX).

                30th        Visited Swanage and open to visitors.



                6th          Passage to Dartmouth and remained till 9th.

                                Open to visitors.

                10th        At Hastings and anchored off shore.

                                Open to Visitors.

                17th        Passage to Liverpool.

                19th        Joined other Home Fleet ships for visit to Liverpool.

                                Open to visitors.

                25th        Took passage to Devonport.


August                  Leave period and took part in NAVY DAYS.



                4th          Passage to Portland for further weapon trials.

                8th          Took part in exercises with Home Fleet ships during passage to Kristiansund.

                11th        At Kristiansund with Home Fleet ships.

                                Anchored off shore.

                                Calls exchanged with civic authorities.

                14th        Carried out exercise with submarine of Royal Norwegian Navy.

                16th        Took part in NATO Exercise NORSEMAN with Home Fleet ships.

                20th        On completion visited Horten.

                22nd       Passage to Oslo.

                22nd       At Oslo

                                Open to visitors.

                24th        Passage to Invergordon with HM Frigate LOCH ALVIE.

                27th        Carried out exercises at Invergordon with HM Frigates LOCH ARKAIG and LOCH ALVIE.



                1st           Passage from Invergordon to Londonderry for Fleet exercises.

                11th        Took part in Home Fleet convoy defence Exercises ASSESS and GIBBON in Atlantic.

                19th        Arrived at Gibraltar for further exercises.


November              At Gibraltar and deployed for Fleet and Flotilla exercises.

                31st         Took passage to Lisbon


December              At Lisbon for visit.

                3rd          Took passage to Plymouth with RFA FORT DUNVEGAN.

                6th          Arrived Plymouth.


1 9 5 2



                17th        Passage to Portland for daily exercise programme with other frigates.


February                Portland deployment in continuation.

                                (Note: Exercises included period in Irish Sea and NW Approaches.)


March                    Nominated for service in America and West Indies.

                1st           Passage from Rothesay to Plymouth.

                3rd          Prepared for foreign service and leave period.

                to            Routine docking and essential repairs.



April                       At Devonport,

                                Refit and preparation in continuation.



                1st           New Commanding Officer: Captain The Earl Cairns RN joined.

                                (Later HM Marshall of the Diplomatic Corps, Rear Admiral, GCVO).

                19th        Carried out sea trials and shakedown cruise.

                21st         At Portland for weapon trials and firings.

                                Carried out Anti-submarine exercises with HM Frigate BIGBURY BAY.



                3rd          On completion of exercises returned to Devonport.

                4th          Took passage to join Flotilla at Bermuda.

                15th        Arrived at Bermuda.

                                Prepared for duty as Guardship in Falklands as relief for HMS VERYAN BAY.

                                Embarked Royal Marines for passage to Port Stanley.

                25th        Took passage to Trinidad.



                2nd         Sailed from Trinidad to Falklands with call at Rio de Janeiro.

                                (Note: Met HMS VERYAN BAY at Rio de Janeiro).

                24th        Arrived at Port Stanley and disembarked Royal Marines.



                10th        Deployed for patrol and took stores to mv PHILOMEL

                                (Note: 7 gallons of rum reported lost in bilges !).

                13th        Returned to Port Stanley.

                15th        Deployed for patrol with calls at San Carlos and Ajax Bay.

                20th        Salvaged converted trawler GOLDEN CHANCE wrecked in Falkland Sound.

                                (Note: The 85 ton vessel owned by Colonial Development Corporation of Port Stanley)

                22nd       Returned to Port Stanley.



                1st           Deployed for patrol with calls at Darwin, Goose Green, San Carlos and Bonner Bay.

                6th          Returned to Port Stanley.

                14th        Passage to Speedwell Sound.

                16th        After arrival at Port Stanley returned to Speedwell Sound. to assist HMS PROTECTOR

                                which had propulsion problems.

                17th        Took HMS PROTECTOR in tow to Port Stanley.

                28th        Deployed for patrol with calls at Fox Bay and Albermarle.


October                  Patrol in continuation.

                6th          Returned to Port Stanley after calls at Weddell Island., New Island. and Hill Cove.

                13th        Visited Blanco Bay for 4in weapon firings.

                14th        At Port Stanley.

                to            Royal Marines with stores and baggage embarked.

                24th        Prepared for return passage to Bermuda via west coast of South America.

                25th        Took passage to Puerto Matt, Chile.

                30th        At Chilean Naval Base, Puerto Maitt.



                3rd          Took passage to Valparaiso, Chile and anchored off shore.

                5th          Met HM Cruiser SHEFFIELD at Valparaiso.

                                Royal Marines disembarked.

                                Took passage to Antofagasta, Chile.

                8th          Began official visit to Antofagasta Naval Base.

                                Exchanged calls with naval and civil authorities.

                                Open to visitors.

                12th        Took passage to Callao, Peru.

                15th        Anchored off shore at Callao. Illuminated ship.

                19th        Took passage to Kingston, Jamaica via Panama Canal and call at Ecuador.

                25th        Transit of Panama Canal.

                28th        Refuelled in Kingston and took passage to Nassau.

                30th        At Nassau to carry out hydrographic survey task



                2nd         Survey duty at Cay Sal. R&R Party landed.

                6th          Returned to Nassau.

                7th          Passage to Bermuda.

                10th        Met HM Cruiser SUPERB for gunnery firings.

                11th        At Bermuda.

                                (Note: Wireless Office key lost overboard and recovered by diver).


1 9 5 3



                1st           At Bermuda.

                to            (Note: Board of Inquiry re cable cutting occurrence on HMS BIGBURY BAY


                12th        Took passage for visits to Caribbean ports. HMS BIGBURY BAY in company

                                Carried cut exercises with HMS SUPERB.

                16th        HMS BIGBURY BAY detached to assist mv CENTURION.

                19th        At Kingston for fuel and took passage to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

                22nd       At San Juan.

                26th        Passage to Trinidad.

                28th        At Trinidad.



                2nd         Took passage to Port of Spain and searched unsuccessfully for Darien Rock using

                                sonar equipment.

                4th          At Port of Spain.

                6th          Paid visit to Georgetown, British Guiana

                11th        Took passage to Grenada.

                13th        At St Georges, Grenada.

                                Official exchange of calls with Administrator.

                17th        Took passage to Barbados.

                18th        At Barbados with HM Cruiser DEVONSHIRE (Cadet Training ship) and HM Frigate ENARD

                                BAY for visit by HRH Princess Margaret on 20th.

                20th        Fired 21 Gun Salute.

                24th        Took passage to Guadaloupe.

                28th        At Pointe a Pitre.

                                Calls exchanged with Governor.



                2nd         Took passage to Antigua and met HMS DEVONSHIRE and HMS ENARD BAY.

                4th          Passage to Barbuda.

                6th          Return passage to Antigua.

                9th          Took passage to Jamaica with call at Tortola.

                14th        Passage to Jamaica from Tortola.

                17th        Arrived at Kingston.

                19th        Embarked Sir Hugh Foot and Lady Foot for official visit by Governor to Grand Cayman.

                20th        At Grand Cayman. Open to visitors.

                23rd        Took passage to Nassau with Governor and Lady Foot embarked.

                31st         Religious Service on board following death of HM Queen Mary, Queen Mother.

                                Forty, One Minute Gun Salute provided

                                Governor attended.



                1st           Carried out hydrographic soundings at Green Cay.

                4th          Passage from Green Cay to Bermuda.

                7th          Arrived at Bermuda.

                11th        New Commanding Officer: Commander B C Ward, DSC* RN.

                                (Note: Board of Enquiry held on board).



                1st           Sailed from Bermuda to search for missing dinghy off Bermuda with HM Submarine

                                ANDREW and Canadian frigate.

                3rd          Dinghy found with crew.

                5th          Took passage for visit to Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Halifax Nova Scotia.

                                Exercised on passage with HMS ANDREW.

                9th          At Portsmouth, New Hampshire

                13th        Took passage to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

                15th        At Halifax.

                19th        Return passage to Bermuda

                22nd       Arrived at Bermuda.

                26th        Took part in joint RN/RCN anti-submarine exercises off Bermuda with HMS ANDREW.




June                        At Hamilton for Coronation ceremonies.

                4th          Prepared for return passage in HM Dockyard, Bermuda.

                7th          Took passage to UK with HM Frigate MORECAMBE BAY.

                18th        Arrived at Devonport to re-commission for further service in West Indies.



                7th          Taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard, Devonport.

                30th        Entered drydock.


August                  Under refit


September             Commissioned for service.

                21st         Advance party joined for new commission.


October                  Carried out harbour trials.

                26th        Commenced Sea trials.

                30th        Party of WRNS on board during sea trials.

                                Took passage to Portland for work-up.


November              Worked-up.

                11th        Took passage to Devonport to embark Royal Marines for passage to Bermuda.

                                (Note Royal Marines later landed in Falklands. See below).

                12th        Took passage to Bermuda.

                23rd        Arrived at Bermuda.

                24th        Deployed off Bermuda for Air-Sea rescue duty during Royal flight.

                25th        Provided street lining party during Royal visit.

                                (Note: Royal family were joining ss GOTHIC at Bermuda for Commonwealth tour).



                2nd         Programmed departure for Falkland Islands duty cancelled because of requirements for

                                international meeting in Bermuda.

                                (Note: President Eisenhower and M Bidault of France were attending).

                5th          Provided ceremonial guard.

                28th        Sailed from Bermuda for Falklands.


1 9 5 4



                1st           At Puerto Rico

                                Open to Visitors.

                                Exchanged calls with US Navy authorities.

                7th          At Port a Prince.

                19th        At San Salvador.

                                Exchanged calls with Brazilian naval authorities.

                23rd        At Rio de Janeiro.

                                Open to visitors.



                1st           Took passage from Rio de Janeiro to Port Stanley.

                7th          Arrived at Port Stanley to relieve HM Sloop NEREIDE.

                20th        Deployed for patrol

                24th        At Deception Island, South Shetlands.

                                Chilean warships present.



                3rd          Carried out surveillance of movements of Chilean and Argentine warships.

                                Calls made at Moon Bay, Paradise Island and Malchior Island.

                11th        Returned to Port Stanley.

                16th        Passage to South Georgia with call at Deception Island.

                17th        Machinery problem caused temporary loss of steam.

                24th        At Grytviken.

                26th        Return passage to Port Stanley.

                29th        Arrived at Port Stanley


April                       At Port Stanley.

                                Anchor watch required during frequent gales.

                                Present when new Governor arrived



                3rd          Sailed for patrol to Fox Bay.

                5th          Returned to Port Stanley.

                                (Note: During period at Port Stanley in early 1954 the Captain was married to

                                a British lady working at Port Stanley).

                14th        Took part in exercises at sea with HM Patrol Vessel PROTECTOR.

                25th        Took passage for visits to ports in Uruguay.



                1st           200 mile passage up Uruguay River.

                2nd         At Fray Bentos.

                                Open to visitors

                                Provided guard at wreath laying ceremony.

                8th          At Paysandu.

                                Open to visitors

                                Provided guard at wreath laying ceremony.

                18th        Arrived at Port Stanley with stores and mail embarked before leaving Montevideo.

                30th        On relief by HM Frigate BIGBURY BAY took passage for return to Bermuda along

                                the Pacific coast of South America.

                                RM Detachment left at Port Stanley.


July                         Passage through Straits of Magellan

                2nd         At Punta Arenas, Chile.

                6th          Took passage to Valparaiso via Passo Victoria, English Narrows and Darwin Channel.

                12th        At Valparaiso for official visit to Chilean Navy.

                                (Open to visitors.)

                17th        Took passage to Callao,

                22nd       At Callao for official visit to Peruvian Navy.

                27th        Took passage to Guayaquil.

                31st         Anchored off port on arrival.



                1st           Alongside at Guayaquil.

                4th          .Took passage to Kingston, Jamaica.

                7th          Transit of Panama Canal.

                10th        At Kingston.

                16th        Passage to Bermuda.

                                Two Soldiers embarked for passage

                21st         Arrived at Bermuda.

                23rd        Board of Inquiry on board.

                                (Note: This was held after loss of ship’s pay accounting documents during passage from

                                Port Stanley.)



                7th          Took passage for calls in New England, USA.

                10th        At Bar Harbour, Maine.

                11th        Put to sea during Hurricane situation.

                12th        Returned to harbour. Open to Visitors.

                17th        At Portsmouth, New Hampshire with HMS SHEFFIELD

                                Exchanged calls with US Navy and civil authorities.

                23rd        Passage to New London, Connecticut.

                24th        At New London.

                                Calls exchanged with US Navy authorities.

                                Open to visitors.

                                Underwater fittings inspected by divers.

                29th        At New Haven, Connecticut.

                                Open to visitors.



                5th          Took passage to Bermuda.

                8th          At Bermuda.

                11th        Annual Inspection


November              Self maintenance at Bermuda.

                8th          Basin Trial.

                15th        Took passage to return to Plymouth.

                26th        Arrived at Plymouth for refit and recommissioning.

                                (Note: The First Lieutenant during this commission was John Harvey-Jones

                                Sir John  left the Navy soon afterwards to work for ICI.

                                After retiring as the Chairman of ICI he became well known as a media

                                personality. He died in January 2008)


December              Under refit by HM Dockyard, Devonport.


1 9 5 5


January                  Under refit.

                                New Commanding Officer: Commander H C J Shand DSC RN joined.


February                Under refit.


March                    Took part in Shore Landing Party Exercise WIDDECOMBE FAIR.


April                       Refit work in continuation.


May                        Commissioned for service on America and West Indies Station.

                2nd         Began sea trials.

                5th          Visited St Austell Bay and anchored offshore.

                                Open to visitors.

                9th          Sea trials abandoned due to machinery defects

                20th        Carried out Basin trial.

                28th        Open to visitors during NAVY DAYS.


June                        At Devonport.

to                            Dockyard work still in hand.

September             Open to visitors in July NAVY DAYS.


October                  Extensive machinery trials and further sea trials

                25th        Finally completed post refit trials.

                                (Note: The significant problems during this refit delayed deployment)


November              Prepared for foreign service at Devonport and Leave Period,

                5th          Shakedown prior to period of work-up and weapon trials at Portland.

                17th        Returned to Devonport prior to leaving for foreign service

                                Junior ratings joined ship.

                                Royal Marines embarked for passage.

                29th        Took passage to Bermuda via Azores.

                                Experienced rough weather at times.



                10th        Arrived at Bermuda.

                                Paintwork refurbished and underwater sonar fittings checked.


1 9 5 6



                9tth         Took Passage to Montego Bay.

                14th        Carried out exercises with HM Frigate MORECAMBE BAY.

                19th        Visited Kingston, Jamaica.

                                Calls exchanged with civil authorities and Governor.

                23rd        Took passage for visits in Caribbean.

                24th        Official visit to Dominican Navy at Cuidad Trujillo, Dominica.

                                Provided Guard at wreath laying ceremony.

                                Open to visitors.

                31st         At St Thomas, Virgin Islands.

                                Exchanged calls with US Navy authorities.

                                Open to visitors..



                3rd          At Basseterre, St Kitts for official formal visit.

                                Accession Day Royal Salute fired.

                8th          At Scarborough, Tobago.

                                Overnight leave granted to leading ratings and above.

                                Open to visitors.

                15th        Passage to Georgetown with call at Port of Spain, Trinidad.

                                (Note: HM Cruiser KENYA present at Port of Spain.).

                18th        At Georgetown, British Guiana.

                                Open to visitors

                                Talk by Captain on new centralised drafting to replace Port Divisions.

                24th        At New Amsterdam, British Guiana.

                                Open to visitors, 2,600 recorded in Deck Log.

                                (Note: Two Warrant punishments awarded including imprisonment.)



                1st           At Kingstown, St Vincent.

                                Anchored for 1 day before berthing.

                                Exchanged calls with civil authority.

                                Open to visitors. 1050 recorded in Deck Log.

                6th          At Pointe a Pitre, Grand Terre, Guadeloupe.

                                Open to visitors.

                                Refinery visit arranged.

                10th        At Punta Garden.

                                Open to visitors.

                14th        At Maracaibo, Venezuela.

                                Open to visitors, 581 recorded in Deck Log.

                                Children’s party provided.

                                Oilfield visit to La Conception arranged.

                                Provided guard for wreath laying ceremony.

                20th        Took passage to Montego Bay with call at Kingston, Jamaica for fuel.

                24th        Took passage to Bermuda

                29th        Arrived at Bermuda.


April                       At Bermuda.

                14th        Provided Ceremonial Guard at local Tattoo.

                23rd        Carried out anti-submarine exercise with HM Cruiser QUEBEC (RCN) and HM Submarine

                to            AMBUSH


                26th        Passage to Norfolk, Virginia USA and carried out further exercises

                28th        Arrived at Norfolk for joint RN/RCN/US Navy exercises.



                1st           Took part in joint exercises including convoy defence and night encounter

.               to            (Exercises NEW BROOM).

                5th          (Note: HM Canadian Aircraft Carrier MAGNIFICENT took part.

                9th          Took passage to Baltimore, Maryland with HM Frigate MORECAMBE BAY for visit.

                10th        At Baltimore after Chesapeake Bay transit.

                to            Exchanged calls with US Navy and civil authorities.

                14th        Captain interviewed on local TV.

                                Took part in Armed Forces Day Parade

                                Open to visitors. 1735 visitors recorded in Deck Log.

                                Visit to Washington, DC arranged.

                15th        Passage to Charleston, South Carolina.

                17th        At Charleston.

                22nd       Took passage to return to Bermuda with HMS MORECAMBE BAY.

                26th        At Bermuda.


June                        Provided Guard for Queen's Birthday celebration.

                                Took part in sea inspection of HMS MORECAMBE BAY off Bermuda.

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

                                ROEBUCK and WHIRLWIND.

                                (Note: Major international assembly including ships of Home Fleet, Canadian and Dutch


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

                27th        On completion returned to Bermuda.

                                Commander Shard, promoted Captain.


July                         Prepared for patrol and visits programme to USA, Newfoundland and Canada.

                9th          Commenced visit programme and carried out joint exercises with HMS MORECAMBE BAY

                                and HMS BIGBURY BAY before detaching for passage to Rhode Island

                13th        At Providence, Rhode Island USA.

                19th        At Province Town, East Rhode Island, USA

                24th        Sailed for Bar Harbour, Maine USA

                25th        At Bar Harbour.

                30th        Sailed for Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.

                31st         At Saint John



                3rd          Sailed for Gaspe, Quebec Province.

                6th          At Gaspe.

                10th        Sailed for Comerbrook, Newfoundland.

                12th        At Comerbrook.

                15th        Took passage to Plymouth to Pay-off.

                24th        Paid-off and reduced to Reserve status.


F i n a l   P h a s e


HMS ST AUSTELL BAY was laid-up in the Reserve Fleet at Plymouth until 1959 when she was placed on the Disposal List. Sold to BISCO for demolition by Shipbreaking Industries and arrived in tow at the the breakers yard at Charlestown near Rosyth on 5th July 1959.


back to Contents List
or Naval-History.Net

revised 29/5/11
further editing and formatting is required