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

HMS LOCH DUNVEGAN (K 425) - Loch-class Frigate including Convoy Escort Movements

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

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Twin Screw Fast Frigate ordered on 19th January 1943 from Charles Hill of Bristol and laid down on 29th September 1943 as Yard No 453 (Admiralty Job No 453). The ship was launched on 25th March 1944 by Mrs G Luckwell, wife of the Yard Manager, and was the first RN ship to carry this name. She -was completed on 25th June 1944 in 274 days which was faster than the time taken for the prototype LOCH FADA built by John Brown at Clydebank. This new type of frigate had been adopted by the civil community of Edmonton then in the County of Middlesex and now part of the Greater London Borough of Enfield after a WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in March 1942. Although this shipyard had previously built FLOWER Class Corvettes and RIVER Class Frigates this ship was the first of this Class builtt in Bristol and using more extensive prefabrication. See General Information.


G e o g r a p h i c   D a t a

Grid Reference: NG2153

Sea Loch on NW coast of the Island of Skye


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s


ARCTIC 1944 - NORTH SEA  1945


H e r a l d i c  D a t a

Badge: On a Field Blue, two springs of juniper in saltire, leaved and fructed proper.

(Explanation   The Loch is in the country of the McLeods of Harris.

The Badge is based on that of the Harris McLeods.)


M a n n i n g   D i v i s i o n




D e t a i l s   o f   W a r  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 4


June                        Contractors trials and commissioned for service

                                Commanding Officer: Commander E Wheeler RNR.

                                Nominated for service in 10th Escort Group.

                25th        Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials

                30th        On completion of trials and storing took passage to Tobermory


July                         Carried out work-up for operational service.


August                  Passage to Clyde to prepare for convoy defence duty.

                                Allocated for detached service with 20th Escort Group

                12th        Sustained structural damage after collision with HM Destroyer BULLDOG in Gourock Bay

                                (Note: HMS BULLDOG was badly damaged and under repair at Ardrossan for some time.)

                15th        Joined 20th Escort Group at Loch Ewe for-Russian convoy defence.

                                Deployed with HM Destroyers KEPPEL, WHITEHALL, HM Sloops CYGNET, KITE.

                                MERMAID, PEACOCK and five FLOWER Glass Corvettes for escort of Russian Convoy

                                JW59 during passage to Kola Inlet.

                                (Notes: For details of all Russian Convoy operations see CONVOYS TO RUSSIA by RA

                                Ruegg ARCTIC CONVOYS by J Woodman, THE RUSSIAN CONVOYS by B Schoefield

                                CONVOY ! by P Kemp and HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR BY c Blair.

                                The Russian battleship ARCHANGELSK (Ex HMS ROYAL SOVEREIGN was also part

                                of this convoy together with 12 Russian Torpedo Boats being transferred to the Soviet

                                Navy and manned by Russian crews.)

                24th        Took part in sinking of U354 in position 72.49N 30.41E with HM Sloops MERMAID and

                                PEACOCK, HM Destroyer KEPPEL AND AIRCRAFT from HM Escort Carrier VINDEX which

                                made the initial sighting of the submarine. There were no survivors.

                                See above references).

                                (Note: HM Cruiser JAMAICA, HM Escort Aircraft Carriers STRIKER and VINDEX were also

                                part of the escort for JW59.).

                25th        Detached from Convoy JW59 after arrival in Kola Inlet.

                28th        Joined escort for returning Convoy RA59A with same ships



                4th          Detached from return Convoy RA59A after arrival at Loch Ewe

                                (Note: This convoy arrived without loss mainly due to the extensive anti-submarine

                                operations by aircraft from HMS STRIKER, HMS VINDEX and the vigilance

                                of the escorts, which were responsible for sinking U394 on 1st September

                                See above references.)

                5th          Joined allocated Escort Group at Londonderry.

                                Deployed with HM Frigates HELMSDALE. BRAITHWAITE, BAYTUN and FOLEY

                                for defence of North Atlantic convoys and anti-submarine search operations.


October                  Atlantic and coastal convoy defence in continuation

to                            (For details of weapons and tactics used see SEEK AND STRIKE by W Hackmann.

November              During this period German SCHNORKEL fitted U-Boats were being progressively


                                Nominated for refit



                11th        Taken in hand for refit and repair of machinery defects in Tyne commercial shipyard.


1 9 4 5


January                  On completion of post refit trials rejoined Group and continued convoy defence.

                                Deployed with Flotilla based at Scapa Flow for anti-submarine SW Approaches.

                                (Note: Particular attention was paid to routes used by U-Boats for entry to coastal waters.)


February                Deployed in NW Approaches.

                14th        Took part in the sinking of U989 with HM Frigates LOCH ECK, BAYNTUN and

                                BRAITHWAITE. There were no survivors. (See U-BOATS DESTROYED.)

                                (Note: Captain was awarded DSC after this action.)

                                This was part of an extensive operation to intercept U-Boats on passage



March                    Transferred to English Channel to continue operations against U-Boats concentrating

                                attacks at focal points of convoy routes.

                                Deployed in search for Spanish trawler reported by aircraft as main contact with

                                German submarine.

                                Unable to board trawler after interception and encouraged it to depart from area

                                towards Spain.


April                       Channel and Irish Sea deployment in continuation, based at Milford Haven


May                        After termination of hostilities with Germany deployed for interception of surrendering

                                U-Boats without success and rejoin Group at Londonderry.

                13th        Under repair at Londonderry.

                20th        Transferred to Rosyth Escort Force.


June                        Deployed for Air-Sea Rescue duty in Atlantic during flights of aircraft to and from USA.

to                            Supported re-occupation operations in Norway by transfer of stores and mail.



August                  Transferred to 1st Anti-Submarine Training Flotilla based at Londonderry.

                                New Commanding Officer: Commander G W McGuiness RNR appointed.


September             Deployed with Flotilla for training duties.




December              Selected for duty in Operation DEADLIGHT.

                                (Note: This was a programme for destruction of captured U-Boats in NW Approaches.

                                Submarines were to be sunk by various means including the use of anti-submarine

                                weapons, surface armament and explosive charges.)

                                Deployment cancelled after ship ran aground in Loch Foyle and sustained extensive

                                underwater damage.

                                Withdrawn from training duties.

                                Taken in hand for repair in Belfast.


1 9 4 6


January                  Under repair at Belfast.




May                        Post refit trials.


June                        Resumed Training duties at Londonderry. as part of 4th Training Flotilla.


July                         Training duties at Londonderry with Flotilla in continuation.

to                            Nominated for reduction to Reserve.



September             Transfer to Reserve delayed due to late completion cf. refit of HM Frigate LOCH TRALAIG

                                (Note: LOCH TRALAIG was to relieve ship in Flotilla.)

                                Retained in 4th Flotilla


October                  Training duties at Londonderry with Flotilla.

to                            New Commanding Officer: Lieut. Cdr V C F Clarke DSC Royal Navy appointed.



1 9 4 7


January                  Training duties at Londonderry with Flotilla in continuation.




April                       Paid off at Devonport and reduced to Reserve status..


May                        Laid up in Category A2 Reserve at Devonport.




December              Reserve Category. reduced to B2.

                                To refit before use.

                                Under repair to electrical defects at Devonport.


1 9 4 8


                                Laid up at Devonport in Reserve Fleet

                                Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes, changed to F425 to conform with introduction

                                of new identities.


1 9 4 9


January                  Taken in hand for refit in commercial shipyard at Penarth.


February                Under refit.




May                        On completion of post refit trials returned to Reserve Category B in Portsmouth


June                        Laid up at Devonport in Reserve Fleet.




1 9 5 0

January                  Laid-up at Devonport


February                Nominated for service in 2nd Frigate Flotilla after refitting.


March                    Under refit by HM Dockyard, Devonport for service.

to                            New Commanding Officer appointed: Commander R F Nicholson Royal Navy.




                1st           Commissioned for service in 2nd Frigate Flotilla, Mediterranean Fleet.

                                Departure delayed by malicious damage to steering machinery.


June                        Carried out post refit trials and worked-up for service.

                26th        Sailed to join Flotilla .in Malta towing an MFV manned by some of ship's company.


July                         After joining Flotilla took part in Flotilla exercises and visits.


August                  Visited Messina.

                                Nominated for detached duty at Aqaba.


September             Passage to Aqaba for Guardship duty.

                17th        During period as Guardship embarked HM King Abdulla of Jordan to witness weapon

                                firing and ship manoeuvres with HM Frigate LOCH SCAVAIG.


October                  Passage to Malta to resume Flotilla duties after relief at Aqaba.

                                Took part in Flotilla programme including visit to Leghorn.


November              Flotilla duties in continuation.

                                Visited Tripoli with HMS LOCH SCAVAIG.


December              Routine docking in Malta and resumed Flotilla duties on completion.


1 9 5 1


January                  Deployed with Flotilla for exercises and visited Dragonasti with HM Frigate LOCH



February                Took part in Spring Cruiser exercise and visit programme with Mediterranean Fleet.

                23rd        Withdrawn from joint exercise with US Navy ships after machinery defect.

                                Towed to Gibraltar for repair.

                24th        Arrived at Gibraltar.


March                    Planned refit in Malta transferred to Gibraltar

                                Taken in hand for refit by HM Dockyard.


April                       Under refit.

                27th        Rendered assistance after RFA BEDENHAM blew up after explosion at Gibraltar.

                                (Note: This ship was unloading explosives when a barge loaded with depth charges

                                caught fire. The resultant explosion killed eighteen people and many were

                                injured together with damage to dockside buildings).


May                        On completion of post refit trials took passage to Malta to resume duty in the 2nd Frigate


                                When entering Mellehia to paint ship before commencing Flotilla duty grounded.

                                Sustained extensive underwater damage included loss of propeller blades.

                                (Note: The Commanding Officer was subsequently court-martialled and 'dismissed' his ship.)


June                        Under repair.

to                            (Note: During this period some of the ship's company were sent to provide part of

July                         the crew for HM Landing Ship (Infantry) being taken out of the Reserve Fleet in Malta

                                for service at Basra after Iran demanded that the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company be



August                  Carried out harbour and sea trials


September             On completion rejoined Flotilla.

                                After arrival in Sliema Creek the ship was involved in a series of collisions.

                                (Note: This did little to recover any of this ship's poor reputation as one of the other ships

                                involved was HM Destroyer SAINTES, the Leader of the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla and

                                commanded by a Captain, Royal Navy.)


October                  Deployed with Flotilla in Malta.


November              Prepared to recommission in Malta.

                                (Note: The ship had only been in commission for 18 months as opposed to 30 months, the

                                normal at that time for a foreign commission. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the

                                change was made in an attempt to re-establish her somewhat tarnished image !).

                21st         Re-commissioned in Malta for service in 2nd Frigate Flotilla.

                                New Commanding Officer: Commander R N Rycroft Royal Navy.

                                Rejoined HM Sloop MERMAID (Senior Officer), HM Frigate LOCH SCAVAIG and HM Sloop

                                MAGPIE (commanded by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh) in Flotilla.


 December             Resumed Flotilla duties after maintenance period.


1 9 5 2


January                  Deployed as Guardship at Port Said during Egyptian threats to nationalise the Suez


                                Provided shore landing parties in support of military.

February                Port Said duties in continuation.

                27th        Took passage to Benghazi to resume Flotilla duties.



                11th        Sailed from Benghazi to take part in Mediterranean Fleet exercises.


April                       Fleet deployment with Flotilla in continuation.

                5th          Visited Algiers.

                                Returned to Malta.


May                        Flotilla duties in continuation and visited Messina.


June                        Took part in Mediterranean Fleet Summer Cruiser exercise and visits programme

                                with Flotilla.

                21st         Visited Corfu for 7 days.


July                         Fleet programme duties in continuation.

                3rd          Visited Dragonasti.

                14th        At Navarino with HM Frigate LOCH LOMOND during Fleet Regatta.

                20th        Returned to Malta.


August                  Nominated for return to UK to be reduced to Reserve status.

                                (Note: This decision had been made in view of the planned availability of faster

                                anti-submarine frigates the being converted from Fleet Destroyers.

                                HM Destroyers ROCKET and RELENTLESS were the prototypes).

                                Flotilla duties in continuation at Malta.


September             Deployed at Port Said as Guardship.


October                  Prepared for return passage to UK.


November              Paid-off and de-stored

to                            Began reduction to Reserve status



1 9 5 3


January                  Reduction to Reserve at Devonport.

to                            Accepted into Reserve.

March                    (Note: Although recommended for modernisation by Flag Officer Commanding Reserve Fleet

                                this proposal was not implemented. The earlier groundings and defect rate associated

                                with machinery may have influenced the decision not to do extensive work in the ship).


April                       Laid-up at Devonport




1 9 5 4


January                  Nominated for refit by HM Dockyard Devonport to ensure Reserve Category I status.


February                Under repair and refit.




May                        Laid-up in Reserve at Devonport.




1 9 5 5


January                  Selected for refit by Charles Hill at Bristol

to                            Prepared for tow and refit.



March                    Taken in hand for refit at Bristol. Under refit


April                       Under refit




December              Commissioned for post refit sea trials.


1 9 5 6


January                  On completion of trials Paid off and returned to Bristol shipyard for provision of

                                dehumidification equipment to protect the weapon mountings from weather

damage whilst laid up in Reserve.


February                Preservation work in progress.

to April


May                        On completion prepared for tow to Penarth.


June                        Laid up in Reserve Fleet at Penarth.

to December


F i n a l    P h a s e


HMS LOCH DUNVEGAN remained in Supplementary Reserve at Penarth until 1960 when she was put on the Disposal List. Sold to BISCO for demolition by T W Ward at Briton Ferry where the ship arrived under tow at the breakerís yard on 24th August 1960.






by Don Kindell

These convoy lists have not been cross-checked with the text above

Date convoy sailed

Joined convoy as escort

Convoy No.

Left convoy

Date convoy arrived








JW 059





RA 059A





DS 057





SD 057





ONS 034





ONS 035





HX 342





TBC 107





OS 124KM








(Note on Convoys)


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