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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2003

HMS START BAY (K 604) - Bay-class Frigate

HMS Start Bay (Navy Photos/Mark Teadham, click to enlarge)

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BAY Class Anti-Aircraft Frigate initially ordered on 6th March 1943 for build as a LOCH Class Anti-submarine Frigate, but for which the ordered was changed in 1944. Originally to have been named LOCH ARKLET she was laid down on 31st August 1944 and launched as START BAY by Harland and Wolff at Belfast on 15th February 1945. First RN ship to carry this name she was completed on 6th September 1945 after the end of hostilities with Japan.


G e o g r a p h i c   L o c a t i o n

Grid Reference: SX8444. Bay 6 miles south of Dartmouth, Devon


B a t t l e  H o n o u r s



H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field Gold, in base barry wavy of 4 Blue and white, 3 piles conjoined in base Red.

Explanation: From the Arms of Sir Guy de Bryan KG, standard bearer to Edward III at Calais.

The tower of the collegiate Chantry founded by Sir Guy is near Slapton on Start Bay.


M a n n i n g   P o r t




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


February                Contractors Trials and commissioned for trials.

                                (Note: Ship was intended to join the Pacific Fleet and to prepare for foreign service

                                Commanding Officer: Lieut. Cdr. R C Dumas.

                15th        Build Completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.


June                        On completion of trials including weapons completed storing for service.


July                         Took passage to Portsmouth.


August                  Deployed at Portsmouth.

                20th        Intended for service with British Pacific Fleet was changed and allocated for service

                                in 66th Division of Escorts, Mediterranean Fleet



                6th          On completion of trials. weapon testing, storing and calibrations took passage to

                                Tobermory to work-up for operational service.


October                  Passage to Portsmouth on completion of work-up and prepared for foreign service.


November              Sailed for Malta to join 66th Division.

                                Detached at Gibraltar and deployed for local patrol duties.


December              Gibraltar deployment in continuation.


1 9 4 6


January                  Passage to Malta and took part in training exercises with ships of Destroyer Command.


February                Carried out patrol duties in western Mediterranean with visits to Gibraltar and Catania.

                16th        Passage to Malta.


March                    Deployed in Malta.

                                Nominated for Guardship duty at Trieste.

                                (Note: Trieste was being used by allied forces including army units as a forward base.)

                7th          At Catania, Sicily


April                       Passage to Trieste for Guardship duty.

                12th        Arrived at Trieste for support as required and carried out local patrol and exercises in


May                        Guardship duty in continuation.

                                (Note: Carried out patrol and support of military garrison as required.)

June                        Adriatic deployment

                18th        Visited Pola on the Adriatic coast of Italy


July                         Return passage to Trieste

                1st           At Trieste.

                8th          Returned to Malta.

                21st         Embarked British troops in Malta for passage to Piraeus.

                25th        At Piraeus.

                                Carried out patrol in eastern Mediterranean for interception of ships taking illegal

                                immigrants to Palestine. See Naval Staff History Record published in 2002.)



                1st           Visited Syros in the Greek Cyclades.

                22nd       Visited Khios.

                                On relief took passage to Malta.


September             Joined newly formed 5th Frigate Flotilla, Mediterranean Fleet based in Malta.

                                Carried out further interception patrol.

                26th        Visited Nauphlia, Greece.

                28th        Visited Cape Arnauti

                30th        Nominated for return to UK and to reduce to Reserve status.



                6th          Passage from Cape Arnauti to Famagusta, Cyprus

                8th          Passage to Limassol.

                12th        Arrived in Malta to prepare for passage to UK.

                16th        Sailed from Malta to Pay-off

                26th        Sailed from Gibraltar for Portsmouth

                30th        Arrived at Portsmouth


November              Paid-off and destored prior to reduction to Reserve status


December              Accepted into Reserve Fleet at Portsmouth.


F i n a l   P h a s e


HMS START BAY remained in Reserve until 1958 during which time she refitted at Southampton in 1948 and her armament was preserved with other upper deck equipment . The ship was brought forward to attend the Coronation Review at Spithead in 1953 as part of the Reserve Fleet. However her armament equipment was not restored for use. Following this duty she carried out visits to ports and communities on the south coast and in Wales. Her Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes had been changed to F604 in May 1948. She then returned to lay-up in the Reserve Fleet at  Portsmouth and did not recommission for full service. Placed on the Disposal List in 1958 as part of the reduction in the number of ships required to be kept in reserve. This frigate was sold to BISCO for breaking-up by J Cashmore and arrived in tow at the breakerís yard in Newport, Glamorgan  on 22nd July 1958.


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revised 29/5/11
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