HMS Mounts Bay (K627)

HMS Mounts Bay was a Bay-class anti-aircraft frigate of the British Royal Navy, named after Mount's Bay in Cornwall. In commission from 1949 until 1960, she saw active service in the Korean War, and was sold to Portugal in 1961 to serve as NRP Vasco da Gama until 1971.

United Kingdom
Name: HMS Mounts Bay
Namesake: Mount's Bay
Builder: William Pickersgill & Sons Ltd., South Bank, Middlesbrough
Laid down: 23 October 1944
Launched: 8 June 1945
Commissioned: 11 April 1949
Decommissioned: May 1960
Identification: pennant number K627
Honours and
Korea 1950-53
Fate: Sold to Portugal, 1961
Name: NRP Vasco da Gama
Namesake: Vasco da Gama
Acquired: 1961
Identification: F478
Fate: Scrapped 1971
General characteristics
Class and type: Bay-class frigate
  • 1,600 long tons (1,626 t) standard
  • 2,530 long tons (2,571 t) full
  • 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)
Speed: 19.5 knots (36.1 km/h; 22.4 mph)
Range: 724 tons oil fuel, 9,500 nmi (17,600 km) at 12 knots (22 km/h)
Complement: 157
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Type 285 fire control radar
  • Type 291 air warning radar
  • Type 276 target indication radar
  • High Frequency Direction Finder (HF/DF)
  • IFF transponder


The ship was originally ordered from William Pickersgill & Sons Ltd. of South Bank, Middlesbrough, on 25 January 1943 as the Loch-class frigate Loch Kilburnie. However, in late 1943 the contract was changed, and the ship was laid down on 23 October 1944 to a revised design as a Bay class. She was launched as Mounts Bay on 8 June 1945, but work on the ship was then suspended. Finally, on 20 March 1946, the ship was transferred to the shipyard of John I. Thornycroft & Company at Woolston, Southampton where she was completed on 11 April 1949.[1]

Service history

Mounts Bay was commissioned for service, and after sea trials and training she sailed to the Far East to join the 4th Frigate Flotilla. From 1950 to 1953 she was part of the United Nations Task Force based at Sasebo, Japan, with other Commonwealth warships in support of military operations in Korean waters, spending routine maintenance and rest periods at Kure, Japan. She was also deployed for Squadron duties, including patrols to protect British merchant ships trading between ports in China and the South China Sea. When not deployed off Korea she carried out patrols off Malayan coast in support of British anti-insurgent operations, and took part in Squadron and Fleet exercises and visits to ports in the Far East. After the Korean War armistice was signed on 27 July 1953, the UN Task Force operations continued, and Mounts Bay was deployed as a guardship into 1954. In September of that year she returned to the UK to refit and then served in the West Indies in 1955, in the South Atlantic in 1957, and then returned to Far East.

Decommissioning and disposal

In May 1960 the ship was decommissioned and put into Reserve at Portsmouth. Placed on the Disposal List in 1961 she was sold to Portugal.[1] She was modernized by John I Thornycroft in Southampton, before being commissioned by the Portuguese Navy on the 3 August 1961.[2]


  1. Mason, Geoffrey B. (2004). Gordon Smith (ed.). "HMS Mounts Bay, frigate". Retrieved 7 December 2010.
  2. Blackman, Raymond V B (ed.). Jane's Fighting Ships 1963-4. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co. Ltd. p. 207.


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