HMS Bigbury Bay (K606)

HMS Bigbury Bay was a Bay-class anti-aircraft frigate of the British Royal Navy, named for Bigbury Bay in Devon.

HMS Bigbury Bay in 1945
History
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Bigbury Bay
Namesake: Bigbury Bay, Devon
Builder: Hall, Russell & Company, Aberdeen
Laid down: 30 March 1944
Launched: 16 November 1944
Commissioned: 10 July 1945
Homeport: HMNB Portsmouth, Hampshire
Identification: pennant number K606
Fate: Sold on 12 May 1959 to Portugal.
Badge: On a Field Per fess Red and Black, a gridiron Gold
Portugal
Name: NRP Pacheco Pereira
Namesake: Duarte Pacheco Pereira
Acquired: 12 May 1959
Fate: Sold for breaking up, 6 July 1970.
General characteristics
Class and type: Bay-class anti-aircraft frigate
Displacement: 1,600 tons standard, 2,530 tons full
Length:
  • 286 ft (87 m) p/p
  • 307 ft 3 in (93.65 m) o/a
Beam: 38 ft 6 in (11.73 m)
Draught: 12 ft 9 in (3.89 m)
Propulsion: 2 × Admiralty 3-drum boilers, 2 shafts, 4-cylinder vertical triple expansion reciprocating engines, 5,500 ihp (4,100 kW)
Range: 724 tons oil fuel, 9,500 nmi (17,600 km) at 12 knots (22 km/h)
Complement: 157
Armament:

The ship was originally ordered on 19 January 1943 as a Loch-class frigate to be named Loch Carloway, but the order was changed before construction began. She was laid down on 30 May 1944 as Job Number J11825 by Hall Russell at Aberdeen, launched on 16 November 1944, and completed on 12 July 1945 with the pennant number K606.[1]

Service history

Following sea trials Bigbury Bay was prepared for service with the British Pacific Fleet. Based at Hong Kong from December 1945, she carried out patrols of the Chinese coast, refitting at Sydney, Australia, in mid-1946, then taking part in exercises with ships of the United States Navy around Japan.[1]

In February 1947 she was transferred to the Mediterranean Fleet, stationed at Haifa with the 5th Frigate Flotilla to carry out patrols to intercept ships bringing illegal Jewish immigrants to Palestine.[1]

In March 1948 Bigbury Bay left the Mediterranean for the West Indies, where she would remain for the next nine years, making regular return trips to Portsmouth to refit, as well as three tours of duty as guard ship at the Falkland Islands. As part of the West Indies Squadron she made visits to ports along the coast of the southern United States, Central and South America, including an unusual trip up the Amazon River to Manaos in 1951, and rounding Cape Horn in late 1954 to visit Chile and Peru before transiting the Panama Canal to return to Bermuda. In 1956 she provided the Colour guard at the laying-up of the Queen's Colour in the Cathedral at Hamilton, Bermuda at the closure of the North America and West Indies Station, and also provided the Guard at Hamilton during the meeting between Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower the following year.

In early 1957, Bigbury Bay visited Havana, Cuba,[2] the last British warship to do so until the visit of the destroyer Manchester on 15 November 2010.[3] In May Bigbury Bay visited Jamestown, Virginia to join the celebrations marking the 350th anniversary of the founding of the colony.[1]

Bigbury Bay returned to the UK in June to refit, and in November 1957 was attached to the South Atlantic Station based at Simon's Town, South Africa, taking part in fleet exercises and making visits to ports along the coasts of East and West Africa.[1]

Following the revolution in Iraq in July 1958 the ship was transferred to the Mediterranean and sailed to Aden for patrol duty in the Red Sea, and carried out Guard ship duty at Aqaba. In November she returned to the UK and was put into Reserve.[1]

Bigbury Bay was sold to Portugal on 12 May 1959 and renamed NRP Pacheco Pereira.[4] The ship remained active in the Portuguese Navy until sold for breaking-up on 6 July 1970.[1]

Commanding officers

FromToCaptain
19451946Lieutenant-Commander G P D Hall RN
19471948Lieutenant-Commander H Hutchinson RN
19481949Lieutenant-Commander G R P Goodden RN
19541955Commander H C Martell RN
19561957Captain G E Hunt RN

References

  1. Mason, Geoffrey B. (2001). Gordon Smith (ed.). "HMS Bigbury Bay, frigate". naval-history.net. Retrieved 1 October 2010.
  2. Dornan, Peter (2010). Diving Stations: The story of Captain George Hunt DSO* DSC* RN. Barnsley, South Yorkshire: Pen & Sword Books Ltd. p. 164. ISBN 9781848843219.
  3. "British warship steams into Cuba". NBC News. Reuters. 15 November 2010. Archived from the original on 18 November 2010. Retrieved 5 May 2015.
  4. Blackman, Raymond V B (ed.). Jane's Fighting Ships 1963-4. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co. Ltd. p. 207.

Publications

Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) [1969]. Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8.

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