WWII Frigates

The Frigate returned to the RN in the 20th century in the form of the River Class Corvette late in 1941. Although they carried the Corvette Pennent "K" they so differed from the Flower Class that the old term of Frigate was coined and stuck.

The River Class was designed with the hard won lessons of the early years of war, they were longer and broader than the Flower, designed specifically to operate in the worst the Atlantic could throw at them, to be able to escort all the way across, and to be able to turn fast, a crucial skill in fighting both U-Boats and aircraft.

The main features that defined a Frigate were: twin screws, easy to build and long range. The basic hull form of the River would be used in a large number of Anti-Submarine ships built both in Britain and abroad, the same philosophy of the Flower was employed: nothing fancy, the ship could be assembled in any moderate sized ship yard and employed reciprocating machinary instead of turbines.


The war in the Atlantic started the day the war started with the sinking of the Liner Athena, it was fought to the last day of the war. Getting a convoy through was not just about sinking U-Boats, it was as much forcing them down until the convoy got clear. In 1941 the need was for long range ships that could cruise with a convoy, sprint out and lay patterns of depth charges, kills were a bonus but most kills were done by Hunter-Killer groups and aircraft closer to the U-Boat homes. The first 20th century Frigates were born of dire necessity and owed nothing to subtlety.

 

River Class Frigate

An impressive 151 River Class ships were built between 1941 and 1944. These changed hands and were swapped about so much that it is difficult to put an exact number on how many actually flew the White Ensign, but 67 seems reasonable.

They are often known as “Commonwealth” ships due the large numbers operated by Canada, Australia, South Africa and also the Free French, Dutch and even the USA.

Designed specifically for trans Atlantic convoy escorts they saw action in some of the fiercest conflicts in that ocean. They mainly replaced the destroyers that were being used as escorts.

The ship was designed to be a cheaper and quicker to build replacement to the Black Swan Sloops. From the outset it was intended to be produced in Canada as well as Britain and it was a Canadian Officer, Vice Admiral Nelles, who was stationed in Britain, who proposed the design be designated as a Frigate.

The essential design of the River was a double Flower, twin sets of the same machinary in a larger hull, apart from range and manouverability this also allowed a greater depth charge load and better defensive armament.

Displacement: 1,370 tons, 1,830 full load
Length: 301 ft overall, Bream: 36.5 ft, Draught: 13ft
Complement: 140
Machinary: 2 Shaft 4 cyl triple expansion Reciprocating and 2 three drum admiralty boilers, 5,500 IHP (Cam, Chelmer, Ettrick, Helmsdale and Tweed were fitted with twin turbines giving 6,500 SHP)
Speed: 19 knots
(20.5 in turbine ships)
Armament: 1x 4" gun (twin on some later ships), 1 x 12 Pdr, up to 10 x 20mm guns, Hedgehog 24 load spigot mortar, 150-200 depth charges, 4 throwers and rack.

The list below covers only British built or serving ships. Some odd goings on make it difficult to assign ships, for instance some were built in Canada for the USN before the US entered the war, but were actually delivered to the RN, and yet the RN transferred a ship to the USN before they entered the war!


HMS Ballinderry, two upgrades to the Flower were put forward and accepted, the first, the River Class Frigate proved ideal, it was essentially a doubled up Flower with two engines. But the greater length restricted it to relatively larger ship yards, when the Squid entered service an attempt was made to adapt the Flower to it which was the Castle Class, but it proved inferior to an improved River Class hull which became the Loch Class. Although deliberatly built to lower than military specs the River served it's purpose well and was particularly welcomed by the Canadians who produced it in great numbers, The US bought some and donated them to Britain under Lend Lease until war with Germany seemed inevitable and they too realised the need for an Escort vessel that could be built in civilian yards.


HMS Aire, armament varied but British ships generally carried a 4" gun forward and either a 4" or a 12 Pdr aft as here. The main weapon system was the depth charges and the long low stern had been designed to provide a good delivery platform for them.

HMS Jed, the raised forward superstructure protected the gun from the ravages of the Atlantic winter seas, it shows the outdated thinking still in place, the Hedgehog was left on deck level, exposing the main ASW weapon to the elements.


Ship
Penant
Launched
Notes
Adur K269  22-8-1942 1-12-1942 To the US as Asheville, 1946 to Argentina as Hercules
Aire K262  22-4-1943 Wrecked on Bombay Reef 20 Dec 1946 after being renamed Tamar, 89 men and one dog were rescued by the former HMS Bonaventure which had served as the X craft depot ship during the war.
Annan K297  12-9-1942

1944 to Canada as Annan then USN as Natchez then Denmark 1945

Annan K404  29-12-1943 1944 to Canada as Annan
Avon K97  19-6-1943 To Portugal 1949
Awe K526  28-12-1943 To Portugal 1949
Ballinderry K255  7-12-1942 Scrapped 1961 
Bann K256  29-12-1942 To India 1945 as Tir, scrapped 1979 
Barle K298  26-9-1942 Built in Canada for USN, supplied to RN under Lend Lease, returned to US in 1946
Braid K263  30-11-1943 Free French Navy as L'Aventure
Cam K264  31-7-1943 Scrapped 1945 
Chelmer K221  27-3-1943 Torpedoed 11 Dec 1943, damaged beyond repair, scrapped 1957
Cuckmere K299  24-10-1942 Built in Canada for the USN but supplied to RN under lend lease, torpedoed 11 Dec 1943, damaged beyond repair, returned to the US in 1946 after being welded back together.
Dart K21  10-10-1942 Scrapped 1957 
Derg K257  7-1-1943 Scrapped 1960 
Deveron K265  12-10-1942 1945 To India as Dhanush, 1948 to Pakistan  as Zulfiquar, scrapped 1983
Dovey K523  14-10-1943 Originally named Lambourne, scrapped 1955 ?? 
Ettrick K254  5-2-1943 1944 To Canada as Ettrick, scrapped 1953
Evenlode K300  9-11-1942 Built in Canada for the USN, supplied to RN under lend lease, returned 1946
Exe K92  19-3-1942 Scrapped 1956 
Fal K266  9-11-1942 To Burma 1948 as Mayu, sunk 1979 
Findhorn K301  5-12-1942 Built in Canada for the USN, supplied to RN under lend lease, returned 1946
Frome K267  1-6-1943 1944 To Free French as L'Escarmouche
Glenarm K258  8-3-1943 Feb 1944 renamed Strule, Sep 1944 To Free French as Croix de Lorraine
Halladale K417 28-1-1944  Sold 1949 
Helford K252  6-2-1943 Scrapped 1956 
Helmsdale K253  5-6-1943 Scrapped 1956 
Inver K302  15-12-1942 Built in Canada for the USN, supplied to RN under lend lease, returned 1946
Itchen K227  29-7-1942 Sunk 23 Sep 1943
Jed K235  30-7-1942  Scrapped 1957 
Kale K241  24-6-1942 Scrapped 1957 
Lagan K259  28-7-1942 Torpedoed 20 Sep 1943, damaged beyond repair, scrapped 1946
Lochy K365  30-10-1943 Scrapped 1956 
Lossie K303  29-4-1943 Built in Canada for the USN, supplied to RN under lend lease, returned 1946 
Meon K269  4-8-1943 To Canada as Meon
Monnow K441  4-12-1943 1944 To Canada as Monnow, 1945 to Denmark
Mourne K261  24-9-1942 Sunk 15 June 1944
Moyola K260 27-8-1942  1944 To Free French as Tonkinois
Nadder K392  15-9-1943 1944 to India as Shamsher, 1948 to Pakistan, sunk 1960  
Nene K270  9-12-1942 1944 To Canada as Nene, scrapped 1955
Ness K219  30-7-1942 Scrapped 1956 
Nith K25  24-9-1942 Damaged by pilotless plane (Mistel) during D Day operations. 1948 to Egypt as the Domiat and sunk by HMS Newfoundland during the Suez Crises.
Odzani K356  19-5-1943 Scrapped 1957 
Parret K304  29-4-1943 Built in Canada for the USN, supplied to RN under lend lease, returned 1946
Plym K271  4-2-1943 Harbour Training 1948, scrapped 1952 
Ribble K251  23-4-1943 To the Netherlands as Johan Mautis van Nassau
Ribble K525  10-11-1943 To Canada as Ribble
Rother K224  20-11-1941 Scrapped 1955 
Shiel K305  26-5-1943 Built in Canada for the USN, supplied to RN under lend lease, returned 1946 
Spey K246  18-12-1943 1948 to Egypt 
Swale K217  11-9-1943 To South Africa as Swale, Scrapped 1955
Taff K637  11-9-1943  Scrapped 1957
Tavy K272  3-4-1943 Scrapped 1955 
Tay K232  18-3-1943 Scrapped 1956 
Tees K293  20-5-1943 Scrapped 1955 
Teme K458  11-11-1943 1944 To Canada as Teme damaged beyond repair 29/3/1945, scrapped 1946
Test K239  30-5-1942 1946 to India as Neza, scrapped 1955 
Teviot K222  12-10-1942 1945 To South Africa as Teviot, returned to RN 1946, Scrapped 1955
Torridge K292  16-8-1943 1944 To Free French as La Surprise
Towy K294  4-3-1943 Scrapped 1956 
Trent K243  10-10-1942 1946 to India as Kukri, 1951 Indian Navy Survey vessel Investigator
Tweed K250  24-11-1942 Sunk 7 Jan 1944
Usk K295  3-4-1943 1948 to Egypt, scuttled 1956 
Waveney K248  30-4-1942 Scrapped 1957 
Wear K230 1-6-1942 Scrapped 1957
Windrush K370 18-6-1943 1944 To Free French as La Decouverte
Wye K371 16-8-1943  Scrapped 1955

Colony Class Frigate

One British built and one Canadian built River were loaned to the US Navy and the USN started their own building program, copying not only the design but the use of civilian yards. These were the Tacoma Class ships and designated Gunboats (PG) the Frigate designation (PF) was not adopted by the USN until 1943 and then only to ships slated for the RN. Most were crewed by Coast Guard personnel, they were found to be uncomfortably hot in warmer waters, of the 96 built 21 were loaned to the RN and later 28 to the Soviet Navy. It is not known what the American though of the British renaming them the Colony Class!

The main differences were a pole mast as opposed to Tripod on the British version and three 3" guns. Delivery was delayed due to inherent problems with the engines fitted and Destroyer Escorts built in military yards outstripped Frigate construction, most did not become available until 1944 so the class played little part in the Battle of the Atlantic and were loaned to allies for the invasion of Japan.

Displacement 1,430 tons, 2,415 full load
Length 304 ft overall,, Beam: 37ft 6", Draft: 13ft 9"
Range: 9,500 miles at 12 knots
Complement: 180 (214 wartime)
Speed: 20 knots
Armament: 3x 3" guns, 4 x 40mm AA, 9 x 20mm, Hedgehog, 8 depth charge throwers, 2 racks,
number carried unknown.

All 21 may have been built at Walsh-Kaiser Emergency Ship Yard in Providence, Rhode Island, a yard built just for the war effort and which was closed down after the war. Dates given are Delivery, building and launch dates are not supplied on the Walsh-Kaiser records so it is possible they were actually built elsewhere and Walsh-Kaiser only acted as the point of delivery. Walsh-Kaiser notes only that they were delivered to Britain in 1944 so the delivery date may refer to either date of delivery to Walsh-Kaiser or delivery to the RN.

The aquirement of these ships, which were outdated by British standards in 1944, may seem odd in retrospect; but it was a widely held belief in the Admiralty that the Germans were planning a return in force to the Atlantic using their new high speed U-Boats, however in the event the invasion of France and the bombing of U-Boat construction yards prevented the renewed assault on the convoys. Their arrival also released more capable ships from convoy duty to protecting the invasion.

 


HMS Caicos, the Colony Class mounted three 3" guns, two to the bow and the engines and fittings were to American standards, but otherwise there was little difference between the River and the Colony.


HMS Seychelles, between the funnel and the aft 3" are the tubs for the twin 40mm AA guns. The ships were not regarded by the Americans as suitable for the Pacific theatre of operations, unfairly comparing their performance to Escort Destroyers (DEs), those not loaned to Britain and Russia were manned by Coastguard personnel and used as coastal anti-submarine patrols on the Atlantic shore.

Ship
Penant
Delivery
Notes
Hallowel / Anguilla PF72 / K500 15-10-1943 Returned 1946, scrapped 1949
Hammond / Antigua PF73 / K501 4-11-1943 Returned 1946, scrapped 1947
Hargood / Ascension PF74 / K502 24-11-1943 Returned 1946, scrapped 1947
Hotham / Bahamas PF75 / K503 6-12-1943 Returned 1946, scrapped 1947
Halsted / Barbados PF76 / K504 18-12-1943 Returned 1946, scrapped 1947
Hannam / Caicos PF77 / K505 31-12-1943 Returned 1946, sold to Argentina as Santisima Trinidad, renamed Comodoro Augusto Laserre, scrapped 1970
Harland / Cayman PF78 / K506 20-1-1944 Returned 1946, scrapped 1947
Harnam / Dominica PF79 / K507 25-1-1944 Returned 1946, scrapped 1947
Harvey / Gold Coast PF80 / K584 5-2-1944 Renamed Labuan, returned 1946, scrapped 1947
Holmes / Hong Kong PF81 / K585 12-8-1944 Renamed Tobago, returned 1946, sold to Egypt 1947, scuttled in Suez Crises 1956
Hornby / Montserrat PF82 / K586 31-8-1944 Returned 1946, scrapped 1947
Hoste / Nyasaland PF83 / K587 31-7-1944 Returned 1946, scrapped 1947
Howett / Papua PF84 / K588 25-7-1944 Returned 1946, sold to Egypt 1947, scuttled in Suez Crises 1956
Pilford / Pitcairn PF85 / K589 6-7-1944 Returned 1946, scrapped 1947
Pasley / St Helena PF86 / K589 19-2-1944 Returned 1946, scrapped 1947
Patton / Sarawak PF87 / K590 18-7-1944 Returned 1946, scrapped 1947
Pearl / Seychelles PF88 / K592 27-6-1944 Returned 1946, scrapped 1947
Phillimore / Sierra Leone PF89 / K593 16-3-1944 Renamed Perim, returned 1946, scrapped 1947
Popham / Somaliland PF90 / K594 24-6-1944 Returned 1946, scrapped 1947
Peyton / Tortola PF91 / K595 15-5-1944 Returned 1946, scrapped 1947
Prowse / Zanzibar PF92 / K596 21-6-1944 Returned 1946, scrapped 1947

Captain Class Frigate

In 1941 with the U-Boat war very much going against Britain the US were asked if they could produce an economic deep ocean anti-submarine ship. Work had already taken place on these lines, based on studies of British Escort ships in service and construction began late in 1941, the ships were designated British Destroyer Escorts (BDE), the RN classed them as Frigates and ordered fifty at once, followed by another one hundred.

However before the first was delivered the US found itself at war and in urgent need of their own escorts. The BDE became the Evarts Class (DE) and with reluctance 1 in 5 were released to the RN. The Evarts were diesel powered, the first such major ships in the RN, a second class were steam turbine driven, the Buckley Class, but the RN kept the same Class name, a total of 78 were delivered to the RN, a total of 563 were completed, with many more cancelled at the war's end.

The Captain Class cost about half that of a fleet destroyer and remained in demand throughout the war, the USN took delivery of a total of six sub classes, but only the Evarts and Buckley were delivered to the RN.

The USN ships carried torpedoes, but these were not fitted on the RN ships to make room for extra depth charges. The living conditions on the ships also came as something of a culture shock to the RN with dining halls, bunks, laundries and countless other luxuries. These were ruthlessly ripped out, more bewilderingly so was the excellent gyro compasses, replaced with standard magnetic ones and the superb 20mm AA gun mountings were replaced with the inferior British model.

Even so, accomodation on the ships was far superior to RN ships, and went in no small way to force the changes in living conditions that gripped the RN post war. More on that elsewhere.

The ships were prefabricated and assembled at the shipyard for fitting out (this technique was observed with great interest by the RN). The original design speed of 24 knots was lost when demand for the V12 General Motors diesels rocketed with the outbreak of war for the US. The fit was reduced from eight to four, dropping speed down to 19 knots, while this was acceptable to the British the American Navy were not happy, they regarded the ship as a pocket destroyer, not a convoy escort. To overcome this the Buckley Class were fitted with a Steam plant which needed the length and beam increased, but the speed was brought back up to 24 knots.

The ships were not good sea keepers, they rolled hard and heavy, apart from the discomfort this has a very big effect on the ship as a weapon platform. The pre-fabrication of the ships was to have a big impact on future Escort development in the RN, and the deisel system would be toyed with again, but the hull design was not used in further ship building, instead the River would be developed further.

Evarts (Captain Class Type 1):

Length: 289.5 ft overall, Beam: 35 ft, Draught: 9 ft fully loaded
Displacement: 1,360 tons fully loaded.
Range: 5,000 miles at 15 knots with 126 tons of fuel
Speed: 19 knots
Armament: 3 x 3" guns, 7 x 20mm Oerlikon (some carried an extra 20mm or 40mm twin ), Hedgehog, four depth charge throwers, four sets of rails at the stern, British models carried ready use rails in place of torpedoes and a load of over 200 charges in total.
Type SL radar on all, SA air radar on some, 128D or 144 sonar in retractable dome.

Buckley (Captain Class Type 2):

Length: 306 ft overall, Beam: 36.5 ft, Draught: 11 ft overall
Displacement: 1,800 tons fully loaded
Range: 5,500 miles at 15 knots with 350 tons of fuel
Speed: 24 knots
Weapon and sensor fit as per the Evarts.

 


HMS Tyler, the hull form of the American ships differed markedly from British designs in that the bow raked gradually down to the stern, British ships usually had a step down amidships.



HMS Essington, down the waists are double height depth charge stowages which were fited in place of torpedo tubes on the US version. The aft 3" gun has an AA unit mounted over it, this varied between a twin 20mm and a twin 40mm.



USS Buckley, the torpedo tubes cab be seen between the funnel and the aft AA gun mount.



HMS Hargood, showing the smooth hull lines of the US designed and built ship. The small destroyers were in huge demand with all the allies.

Ship
Penant
Launched
Notes
Bayntum BDE1 / K310 27-6-1942 1945 returned to the US, sold for scrap 1947
Bazeley

BDE2 / K311

27-6-1942 Returned to the US 1945, sold for scrap 1946
Berry BDE3 / K312 23-11-1942 Returned to the US 1946, stricken from the list same year, fate unknown
Blackwood BDE4 / K313 23-11-1942 15-6-1944 sunk by torpedo, 57 killed
Burgess BDE12 / K347 26-1-1943 Returned to the US 1945, sold for scrapping 1946
Wintle / Capel DE266 / K470 22-4-1943 26-12-1944 sunk by torpedo, 80 killed
Dempsey / Cooke DE267 / K471 22-4-1943 Returned to the US 1946, sold for scrap 1947
Duffy / Dacres DE268 / K472 19-5-1943 Returned to the US 1946, sold for scrap same year
Eisner / Domett DE269 / K473 19-5-1943 Returned to the US 1946, sold for scrap 1947
Drury BDE46 / K316 24-7-1942 Returned to the US 1945, sold for scrap 1946
Gillette / Foley DE270 / K474 19-5-1943 Returned to the US 1945, sold for scrap 1946
O'Tool / Gardiner DE274 / K478 8-7-1943 Returned to the US 1946, sold for scrap the same year
Fleming / Garlies DE271 / K475 19-5-1943 Returned to the US 1945, sold for scrap 1947
Reybold / Goodall DE275 / K479 8-7-1943 29-4-1945 sunk by torpedo, 61 killed, last RN ship sunk in European waters during WWII, scuttled by gunfire from HMS Anguilla
George / Goodson DE276 / K480 8-7-1943 26-6-1944 torpedoed, damaged beyond repair, scrapped 1947
Herzog / Gore DE277 / K481 8-7-1943 Returned to the US 1946, sold for scrap same year
Lovering / Gould DE272 / K476 4-6-1943 1-3-1944 sunk by torpedo, 124 killed
Sanders / Grindall DE273 / K477 4-6-1943 Returned to the US 1945, sold for scrap 1946
Hoste DE521 / K566 24-9-1943 Returned to the US 1945, sold as scrap 1946
Inglis DE525 / K570 2-11-1943 Returned to the US 1946, sold for scrap 1947
Inman DE526 / K571 2-11-1943 Returned to the US 1946, sold for scrap the same year
Tisdale / Keats DE278 / K482 17-7-1943 Returned to the US 1946, scrapped the same year
Trumpeter / Kempthorne DE279 / K483 17-7-1943 1945 returned to the US, scrapped 1946
Kingsmill DE280 / K484 13-8-1943 Returned to the US 1945, sold for scrap 1947
Lawford DE516 / K514 13-8-1943 8-6-1944 hit by glider bomb during invasion and sunk, 21 killed,
Lawson DE518 / K516 13-8-1943 Returned to the US 1946, sold for scrap 1947
Loring DE520 / K565 30-8-1943 What a fine name for a ship! Returned to the US 1947 and sold for scrap
Louis DE517 / K515 13-8-1943 Returned to the US 1946, sold for scrap the same year
Manners DE523 / K568 24-9-1943 26-1-1945 torpedoed, 43 killed, damaged beyond repair, scrapped 1947
Moorsom DE522 / K567 24-9-1943 Returned to the US 1945, sold as scrap 1946
Mounsey DE524 / K569 24-9-1943 2-11-1944 torpedoed, 11 killed, rebuilt, returned to the US 1946, scrapped same year
Lindsay / Pasley DE519 / K564 30-8-1943 Returned to the US 1945, sold for scrap, date unknown
Type 2 (Buckley)
Oswald / Affleck DE71 / K462 30-6-1943 26-12-1944 torpedoed, damaged beyond repair, 9 killed. Sold to Portugese merchant navy, rebuilt and served as Nostra De La Luz from 1954 to 1970?
Hamon / Aylmer DE72 / K463 10-7-1943 Adopted by "Boy's Own Paper", 1945 returned to the US, sold for scrap 1947
McAnn / Balfour DE73 / K464 10-7-1943 Returned to US 1945, sold for scrap 1946
Bull / Bentinct DE52 / K314 3-2-1943 Returned to the US 1946, sold for scrap same year
Ebert / Bentley DE74 / K465 17-7-1943 Returned to the US 1945, sold for scrap 1947
Eisele / Bickerton DE75 / K466 26-7-1943 22-8-1944 torpedoed, 37 killed, scuttled by torpedo from the Vigilant
Liddle / Bligh DE76 / K467 31-7-1943 Yes, named after the same Captain Bligh of the Bounty! Returned to the US 1945, sold for scrap 1946
Straub / Braithwaite DE77 / K468 31-7-1943 Returned to the US 1945, scrapped, date unknown
Bullen DE78 / K469 7-8-1943 6-12-1944 sunk by torpedo, 55 killed
Donaldson / Byard DE55 / K315 6-3-1943 Returned to the US 1945, sold for scrap 1946
Byron DE79 / K508 14-8-1943 Returned to the US 1945, sold for scrap 1947
Formoe / Calder DE58 / K349 27-3-1943 Returned US 1945, sold for scrap 1948
Conn DE80 / K509 21-8-1943 Returned to the US 1945, sold for scrap 1948
Reeves / Cosby DE94 / K559 20-10-1943 Returned to the US 1946, sold for scrap same year
Cotton DE81 / K510 21-8-1943 Returned to the US 1945, sold for scrap, date unknown.
Cranstoun DE82 / K511 28-8-1943 Returned to the US 1945, sold for scrap 1947
Cubitt DE83 / K512 11-9-1943 Returned to the US 1946, sold for scrap 1947
Curzon DE84 / K513 18-9-1943 Returned to the US 1946, sold for scrap 1946
Dakins DE85 / K550 18-9-1943 25-12-1944 mined, damaged beyond repair, sold for scrap 1947
Deane DE86 / K551 25-9-1943 Returned to the US 1946, sold for scrap 1946
Lamons / Duff DE64 / K352 22-5-1943 30-11-1944 mined, 3 killed, damaged beyond repair, scrapped 1947
Thomas J Gary / Duckworth DE61 / K351 1-5-1943 Returned to the US 1945, sold for scrapping 1946
Ekins DE87 / K552 2-10-1943 15-4-1945 mined, damaged beyond repair, sold for scrap 1947
Essington DE67 / K353 19-6-1943 Returned to the US 1945, sold as scrap 1947
Fitzroy DE88 / K553 1-9-1943 Returned to the US 1946, sold for scrap same year
Reynolds / Halstead DE91 / K556 14-10-1943 11-6-1944 torpedoed, 21 killed, damaged beyond repair, sold for scrap 1947
Hargood DE573 / K582 18-dec-1943 Returned to the US 1946, sold for scrap 1947
Holmes DE574 / K581 18-12-1943 Returned to the US 1945, sold as scrap 1947
Hotham DE574 / K583 21-12-1943 Used as a power station in Singapore post war, then to Hong Kong as a station ship, returned to the US 1956 and scrapped the same year
Narborough DE569 / K578 27-11-1943 Returned to US 1946, sold for scrap same year
Redmill DE89 / K554 2-10-1943 27-4-1945 torpedoed, 24 killed, damaged beyond repair, sold for scrap 1947
Retalick DE90 / K555 9-10-1943 Returned to the US 1945, sold as scrap 1946
Riou DE92 / K557 23-10-1943 Returned to the US 1946, sold for scrap 1947
Rowley DE95 / K560 30-10-1943 Returned to the US 1945, sold for scrap 1946
Rupert DE96 / K561 31-10-1943 Returned to the US 1946, sold for scrap same year
Rutherford DE93 / K558 23-10-1943 Returned to the US 1945, sold for scrap 1946
Seymour DE98 / K563 1-11-1943 Returned to the US 1946, sold for scrap same year
Spragge DE563 / K572 16-10-1943 Returned to the US 1946, sold for scrap 1947
Stayner DE564 / K573 6-11-1943 Returned to the US 1945, sold as scrap 1947
Stockham DE97 / K562 31-10-1943 Returned to the US 1946, sold for scrap 1948
Thornborough DE565 / K574 13-11-1943 Returned to the US 1947, sold as scrap same year
Torrington DE568 / K577 27-11-1943 Returned to the US 1946, sold for scrap same year
Trollope DE566 / K575 20-11-1943 5-7-1944 torpedoed, damaged beyond repair, 65 killed, scrapped 1951
Tyler DE567 / K576 20-11-1943 Returned to the US 1945, sold for scrap 1946
Whitaker DE571 / K580 12-12-1943 1-11-1944 torpedoed, 79 crew killed, damaged beyond repair, scrapped 1944
Waldegrave DE570 / K579 4-12-1943 Returned to the US 1945, sold as scrap 1948

Loch Class Frigate

The Loch Class Frigate arrived late in the war and as such did not have as much impact as it should have done. It was a revolution in Anti Submarine Warfare, designed with bitter years of experience. Rushed into service for the anticipated last battle of the Atlantic it had an immediate impact, one ship, the Natal, detecting and destroying a U-Boat while still on sea trials.

With invasion of Europe now inevitable massive supplies were being shippied across the Atlantic ready for it, allied intelligence were painfully aware that the Germans planned to cut the link with a new breed of U-Boats which would not be vulnerable to air attack while transitting to and from patrol areas. Then too there was the spectre of a massacre off the beaches with U-Boats penetrating the invasion force screens and slaughtering troops before they could disembark their ships.

The design was based on the River still, but with changes to the hull and superstructure to allow it to be pre-fabricated much as the American Evarts Class had shown. Metal work was kept simple to allow factories not even normally associated with ship building to be able to contribute: rail and bridge foundries for instance.

76 were laid down, but many were converted on the slips to an AA version - The Bay Class - as the need shifted from ASW to AA, the rest were cancelled as the war came to an end.

The Loch was built around a new weapon: The Squid mortar, already being fitted to the Castle Class it was proving a fierce weapon in conjunction with the new sonar sets, and new magnetron based radars were coming on line, all this equipment needed space, an odd corner of the charthouse was no longer enough, equipment space had to be built into the ship.

In one major respect were the Loch Class defficient: speed. At 20 knots they were considered fast for an escort vessle, but it was not fast enough for the new submarines being constructed. Two ships: Loch Arkaig and Loch Tralaig were fitted with steam turbines but the remainder remained reciprocating engines.

Displacement: 1,435 BRT
Length: 307 ft 4" overall, Beam: 38.5 ft, Draught: 13 ft 4" full load
Speed: 20 knots, Range: 9,500 miles at 12 knots, 730 tons oil
Complement: 114
Armament: 1 x 4" gun, Quad 2 Pdr Pom-Pom, 2 twin 20mm Oerlikon or 2 single 40mm Bofors, up to 8 single 20mm Oerlikons, 1 depth charge rail, 2 throwers, 2 trible barrelled Squid 12" Mortars.

Radar type 271 or 272 was still fitted to the earlier ships, but 277 was becoming available. Sonar 144 and 147B provided search and targeting for the Mortar, for the first time providing depth information which greatly increased the chances of a kill by setting the mortars or depth charges to the correct depth rather than "best guess."

The Mortars were fixed and fired forward so the ship had to steer to aim, something that the Castle's were proving to have difficulty with, the mortars fired a pattern designed to detonate above and below the submarine and crush it with converging shock waves.


HMS Loch Killin, top of the mast is the early 271/272 radar with the distinctive lantern cupola. The forecastle has been extended further aft before breaking to the stern. The forad gun has now reversed positions with the ASW weapon, the Squids are tucked into the raised forad superstructure now out of way of heavy seas.

Loch Flynn, showing 277 radar, the quad pom-pom on the stern and much upgraded AA systems are as a result of the increasing shift of war to the Barents Sea and the Russian convoys which were subject to near constant air attack.

Loch Killisport post war, The Loch Class were the ultimate submarine hunters of WWII and their design would heavily influence post war development in the Royal Navy. Note that here the depth charges have gone, the Squid is more than enough. The 4" has been upgraded to a twin mount. This shot is a rare one in that the Squids can be seen aft of the turret, usualy they are shrouded in canvas.

Name

New Name(s)

Where Built

Launched

Pennant No.

Post War

HMS Loch Achanalt

HMNZS Pukaki Sep 1948

Henry Robb Ltd. Leith

23-Mar-1944

K424 F424

To Canada 1944 - 1945.  To New Zealand 1948. Scrapped in 1966

HMS Loch Achray

HMNZS Kaniere Sep 1948

Smith's Dock Co.Ltd. South Bank-on-Tees

07-Jul-1944

K426 F426

To New Zealand 1948.  Scrapped in 1967.

HMS Loch Alvie

None

Barclay Curle & Co. Ltd., Glasgow

14-Apr-1944

K428 F428

To Canada 1944 - 1945.  Scrapped in 1965

HMS Loch Ard

HMSAS Transvaal

Harland & Wolff Ltd., Govan, Glasgow

02-Aug-1944

K602

To South Africa, Sunk as an artificial reef in False Bay (1977?)

HMS Loch Arkaig

None

Caledon S.B. & Eng. Co. Ltd., Dundee

07-Jun-1945

K603 F603

Scrapped in 1960

HMS Loch Boisdale

HMSAS Good Hope

Blyth SB & DD Co. Ltd.,

05-Jul-1944

K432

To South Africa, Scrapped 1978

HMS Loch Craggie

None

Harland & Wolff Ltd., Govan, Glasgow

23-May-1944

K609 F609

Scrapped 1963

HMS Loch Cree

HMSAS Natal

Swan Hunter & W. R. Ltd Wallsend

05-Jul-1944

K10

Converted to a Survey Ship for the South African Navy, sunk as a target 1972

HMS Loch Dunvegan

None

Charles Hill & Sons Ltd., Bristol

25-Mar-1944

K425 F425

Scrapped 1960

HMS Loch Eck

HMNZS Hawea Oct 1948

Smith's Dock Co Ltd South Bank on Tees

25-Apr-1944

K422 F422

To New Zealand 1948. Scrapped in 1966

HMS Loch Fada

None

John Brown & Co Ltd Clydebank

14-Dec-1943

K390 F390

Trial ship for Seawolf in 1968-69, scrapped 1970. (First and Last Loch Class Ship)

HMS Loch Fyne

None

Burntisland SB Co.Ltd Fife

24-May-1944

K429 F429

Scrapped 1970

HMS Loch Glendhu

None

Burntisland SB Co.Ltd Fife

18-Oct-1944

K619 F619

Scrapped in 1944

HMS Loch Gorm

None

Harland & Wolff Ltd., Govan

08-Jun-1944

K620 F620

Sold 1961

HMS Loch Insh

Royal Malayan Navy 1964

Henry Robb Ltd. Leith

10-May-1944

K433 F433

Malaysia 1964

HMS Loch Katrine

HMNZS Rotoiti July 1949

Henry Robb Ltd. Leith

21-Aug-1944

K625 F625

Sold to NZ 1949, scrapped 1967

HMS Loch Killin

None

Burntisland SB Co.Ltd Fife

29-Nov-1943

K391 F391

Scrapped 1960

HMS Loch Killisport

None

Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast

06-Jul-1944

K628 F628

Scrapped in 1970

HMS Loch Lomond

None

Caledon S.B. & Eng. Co. Ltd., Dundee

19-Jun-1944

K437 F437

Scrapped in 1968

HMS Loch More

None

Caledon S.B. & Eng. Co. Ltd., Dundee

03-Oct-1944

K639 F639

Scrapped in 1963

HMS Loch Morlich

HMNZS Tutira April 1949

Swan Hunter& W. R. Ltd Wallsend

25-Jan-1944

K517 F517

To Canada 1944 - 1945.  To New Zealand 1949.  Scrapped in 1961

HMS Loch Quoich

None

Blyth SB & DD Co. Ltd.,

02-Sep-1944

K434 F434

Scrapped in 1957

HMS Loch Ruthven

None

Charles Hill & Sons Ltd., Bristol

03-Jun-1944

K645 F645

Scrapped in 1966

HMS Loch Scavaig

None

Charles Hill & Sons Ltd., Bristol

09-Sep-1944

K648 F648

Scrapped in 1963

HMS Loch Shin

HMNZS Taupe Sep 1948

Swan Hunter& W. R. Ltd Wallsend

23-Feb-1944

K421 F421

To New Zealand 1948.  Scrapped in 1961

HMS Loch Tarbert

None

Ailsa SB Co. Ltd., Troon

19-Oct-1944

K431 F431

Scrapped in 1959

HMS Loch Tralaig

None

Caledon S.B. & Eng. Co. Ltd., Dundee

12-Feb-1945

K655 F655

Scrapped in 1963

HMS Loch Veyatie

None

Ailsa SB Co. Ltd., Troon

08-Oct-1945

K658 F658

Scrapped in 1965

HMS Loch Achilty

HMS St. Bride's Bay

Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast

16-Jan-45

K600 F600

Bay Conversion, scrapped 1962

HMS Loch Arklet

HMS Start Bay

Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast

15-Feb-45

K604 F604

Bay Conversion, scrapped 1958

HMS Loch Arnish

HMS Tremadoc Bay

Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast

29-Mar-45

K605 F605

Bay Conversion, scrapped 1959

HMS Loch Assynt

HMS Derby Haven

Swan Hunter& W. R. Ltd Wallsend

14-Dec-44

K438

Completed as a Depot Ship Derby Haven, sold to Iram 1949

HMS Loch Bracadale

HMS Enard Bay

Smith's Dock Co. Ltd., South Bank-on-Tees

31-Oct-44

K435 F435

Bay Conversion, scrapped 1957

HMS Loch Carloway

HMS Bigbury Bay

Hall, Russell & Co Ltd., Aberdeen

16-Nov-44

K606 F606

Bay Conversion, sold to Portugal 1959

HMS Loch Carron

HMS Gerrans Bay HMS Surprise

Smith's Dock Co. Ltd., South Bank-on-Tees

14-Mar-45

K436 F436

Bay Conversion but completed as Despatch vessel HMS Surprise instead, scrapped 1965

HMS Loch Coulside

HMS Padstow Bay

Henry Robb Ltd. Leith

24-Aug-45

K608 F608

Bay Conversion, scrapped 1959

HMS Loch Eil

HMS Herne Bay HMS Dampier

Smith's Dock Co. Ltd., South Bank-on-Tees

15-May-45

K611 A303

Bay Conversion completed as Survey vessel HMS Dampier, sold to Portugal 1966

HMS Loch Fionn

HMS Largo Bay

William Pickersgill & Sons Ltd., Sunderland

03-Oct-44

K423 F423

Bay Conversion, scrapped 1958

HMS Loch Frisa

HMS Widemouth Bay

Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast

19-Oct-44

K615 F615

Bay Conversion, scrapped 1957

HMS Loch Garasdale

HMS Wigtown Bay

Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast

26-Apr-45

K616 F616

Bay Conversion, scrapped 1959

HMS Loch Glass

HMS Luce Bay
HMS Dalrymple

William Pickersgill & Sons Ltd., Sunderland

12-Apr-45

K427 A302

Bay Conversion completed as Survey vessel HMS Dalrymple, sold to Portugal 1966

HMS Loch Harport

HMS Burghead Bay

Charles Hill & Sons Ltd., Bristol

03-Mar-45

K622 F622

Bay Conversion, sold to Portugal 1959

HMS Loch Heilen

HMS Morecambe Bay

William Pickersgill & Sons Ltd., Sunderland

01-Nov-44

K624 F624

Bay Conversion, sold to Portugal 1961

HMS Loch Kilbernie

HMS Mounts Bay

William Pickersgill & Sons Ltd., Sunderland

08-Jun-45

K627 F627

Bay Conversion, sold to Portugal 1961

HMS Loch Laxford

HMS Cardigan Bay

Henry Robb Ltd. Leith

28-Dec-44

K630 F630

Bay Conversion, scrapped 1962

HMS Loch Lubnaig

HMS Whitesand Bay

Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast

16-Dec-44

K633 F633

Bay Conversion, scrapped 1956

HMS Loch Lydoch

HMS St. Austell Bay

Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast

18-Nov-44

K634 F634

Bay Conversion, scrapped 1959

HMS Loch Maddy

HMS Carnarvon Bay

Henry Robb Ltd. Leith

15-Mar-45

K636 F636

Bay Conversion, scrapped 1959

HMS Loch Mochrom

HMS Pegwell Bay HMS Cook

William Pickersgill & Sons Ltd., Sunderland

24-Sep-45

K638 A307

Bay Conversion completed as Survey vessel HMS Cook, scrapped 1965

HMS Loch Muick

HMS Thurso Bay HMS Owen

Hall Russell & Co Ltd., Aberdeen

19-Oct-45

K640 A311

Bay Conversion completed as Survey vessel HMS Owen, scrapped 1970

HMS Loch Roan

HMS Cawsand Bay

Blyth SB & DD Co. Ltd.,

26-Feb-45

K644 F644

Bay Conversion, scrapped 1959

HMS Loch Scamadale

HMS Dundrum Bay HMS Alert

Blyth SB & DD Co. Ltd.,

10-Jul-45

K647 F647

Bay Conversion but completed as Despatch Vessel HMS Alert instead, scrapped 1971

HMS Loch Seaforth

HMS Porlock Bay

Charles Hill & Sons Ltd., Bristol

14-Jun-45

K627 F628

Bay Conversion, sold to Finland 1962

HMS Loch Swannay

HMS Veryan Bay

Charles Hill & Sons Ltd., Bristol

11-Nov-44

K651 F651

Bay Conversion, scrapped 1959

HMS Loch Torridon

HMS Woodbridge Haven

Swan Hunter& W. R. Ltd Wallsend

13-Jan-45

K654 P58

Completed as a Depot Ship, scrapped 1965

Bay Class Frigate

With victory in the North Atlantic the need for dedicated ASW Escorts was reduced but the need for Anti-Aircraft Escorts to operate both in support of the invasion of Europe and in the Pacific Theatre was urgent. Construction on the Loch Class was halted and 26 were scheduled to be converted to Anti-Aircraft Frigates.

Only 19 were completed as designed, of the remainder 2 were completed as despatch vessels, 4 as survey ships and the last was cancelled.

The Squid was removed to decrease top weight and allow two twin 4" high angle gun turrets to be fitted together with additional radar and 40mm Bofors along with the 20mm Oerlikons.

As can be seen below the basic hull shape is the same. Hedgehog and a minimal load of depth charges are carried to provide for basic Anti-Submarine defence.

These ships were never intended as massed gun batteries, that role was left to the heavier units, they were to be radar pickets, deployed in a screen to warn of incoming air attack and give time for carriers to scramble fighter cover, their armament was increased purely for defensive purposes.

Displacement: 1580 BRT
Length: 307 ft 4" overall, Beam: 38.5 ft, Draught: 13 ft 4" full load
Complement: 157
Armament: 2 twin 4" high angle guns, 2 twin 40mm Bofors, 4 x 20mm Oerlikon, Hedgehog, Depth Charges.


HMS Veryan Bay, the Bay Class were Loch Class ships with Squids swapped for upgraded AA and radar gun directors.

HMS Surprise, two Bays were completed as despatch vessels, also referred to as Station Yatchs, possibly as that included acting as a "run about" for the Admiral and his staff. But like the Sloops that preceded them their main role ended up as a Colonial gunboat.