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by Geoffrey B Mason, Lieutenant Commander, RN (Rtd) (c) 2005

HMS LOCH ARKAIG (K 603) - Loch-class Frigate

HMS Loch Arkaig (Navy Photos/Bob Hanley, click to enlarge)

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LOCH-Class Twin Screw Fast Frigate ordered on 2nd February 1943 from Caledon SB, at Dundee and laid down on  as Job Number 1st November 1943 as Job Number  11849 (Yard Number 421). The ship was launched on 7th June 1944 as the 1st Royal Navy ship to carry this name. Build was completed on 17th November 1945. Turbine machinery was fitted for main propulsion.


G e o g r a p h i c   D a t a

Inland Lake in Inland lake in Inverness north of Fort William

Grid Reference 075915


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 Field per fess wavy Blue and Black, five arrows in Saltire,

points uppermost White.

(Explanation: The arrows are taken from The Arms on the Cameron of Lochiel

whose family owned estates round the Loch.)



R e c o r d   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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November              Contractors Trials

                1st           Commissioned for service in Home Fleet.

                                Lieutenant Commander P U Usherwood  Royal Navy in command.)

                                (Note: Additional work to improve hull stiffening was to be undertaken in commercial shipyard

                                in Clyde was be carried out before ship was deployed in service.)

                17th        Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials.

                                On completion of trials and storing took passage to Clyde for shipyard work


December              Under modification to hull structure.

                                Lieutenant Commander C P Adams, RN appointed in command.


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January                  On completion of shipyard work carried out calibration of SQUID Anti-submarine mortar and

                                Direction Finding Outfits FH4 and FM11.


February                Passage to Londonderry to join Flotilla.

                                Deployed with Flotilla for participation in Operation DEADLIGHT (2).

                                (Note: Operation DEADLIGHT (2) was the destruction of German submarines which had been

                                surrendered in May 1945. These were assembled in various ports in the Clyde area and

                                sunk in NW Approaches. Some were sunk by SHARK projectiles and SQUID Mortar


                16th        Sank U975 by SQUID and SHARK firings.

                19th        Sank U3514 by SQUID and SHARK firings.


March                    Carried out training duties for anti-submarine personnel and Flotilla duties.




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                                Deployment at Londonderry for training duties and took part in Home Fleet exercises

                                Attended Royal Review of Fleet in Clyde

                                Lieutenant Commander CF Parker appointed in command.


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                                Londonderry training duties and Home Flee exercises in continuation


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January                  Flotilla training duties in continuation.

                                Nominated for operation to assess the performance of radio equipment performance in

                                northern latitudes (Operation RUSTY)



                16th        Deployed with HM Light Fleet Carrier VENGEANCE, HM Destroyers ST KITTS and

                                GABBARD for RUSTY.

                                Passage to area centred at 42N 5E to carry out trials.

                28th        Return passage to Londonderry on completion of RUSTY.


March                    Resumed Training duties at Londonderry and Home Fleet exercises.




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January                  Londonderry training duties in continuation.

to                            Took part in Flag Officer Submarines Summer War Exercises and Home Fleet visits.

August                  Lieutenant Commander M F de Halpert DSC RN appointed in command.

                                Programme including Haugensund and Nordheimsund in Norway during visits programme.

                                Selected for pilot study to assess current refit and docking cycles.

                                (Note: These were subsequently amended to provide an eight month period between docking.

                                Propeller shaft alignment to be checked during docking periods.)

                                Nominated for transfer to 6th Frigate Flotilla Home Fleet, after refit.


September             Taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard Chatham

to                            Joined Flotilla after post refit trials



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January                  Deployed with Flotilla and took part in search for HM Submarine lost in English Channel.




May                        Flotilla deployment with Home Fleet in continuation including exercises and visits




November              Docked for repair of damage after collision with HM Frigate LOCH ALVIE at Gibraltar.

to                            Visited Lisbon with HM Frigates LOCH ALVIE and ST AUSTELL BAY during return passage

December              to UK. Nominated for reduction to Reserve status.


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                                Paid off and de-stored. On completion of reduction to Reserve laid-up at Hartlepool.


F i n a l   P h a s e


HMS LOCH ARKAIG was damaged in collision with Norwegian mercantile ss OCEAN SWELL in November 1952 but without major damage. The ship remained in Reserve until 1957 when placed in the Disposal List and in April 1958 was placed on the Sales List and de-equipped.. Sold to BISCO in 1959 for demolition by J J King at Gateshead she arrived in tow at the breakerís yard on 28th January 1960.


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revised 15/12/10
further editing and formatting is required