HMS Owen (K640)

HMS Owen was a Bay-class frigate built for the Royal Navy during World War 2.

United Kingdom
Name: HMS Owen
Namesake: William Fitzwilliam Owen
Ordered: 2 May 1943
Builder: Hall, Russell & Company
Laid down: 30 September 1944
Launched: 19 October 1945
Commissioned: 2 August 1949
Decommissioned: 14 October 1965
  • Loch Muick
  • Thurso Bay
Identification: pennant number K640
Fate: Scrapped 15 July 1970
General characteristics
Class and type: Bay-class frigate
  • 1,600 long tons (1,626 t) standard
  • 2,530 long tons (2,571 t) full
Length: 307 ft (94 m) o/a
Beam: 38 ft 7 in (11.76 m)
Draught: 12 ft 9 in (3.89 m)
Installed power:
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Range: 9,500 nmi (17,600 km; 10,900 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
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

Design and description

Owen was converted into a survey vessel while still under construction. She displaced 1,600 long tons (1,600 t) at standard load and 2,420 long tons (2,460 t) at deep load. The ship had an overall length of 307 feet (93.6 m), a beam of 38 feet 7 inches (11.8 m) and a draught of 12 feet 9 inches (3.9 m).[1] She was powered by two vertical triple-expansion steam engines, each driving one shaft, using steam provided by two Admiralty three-drum boilers. The engines produced a total of 5,500 shaft horsepower (4,100 kW) and gave a maximum speed of 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph). Owen carried a maximum of 580 long tons (590 t) of fuel oil that gave her a range of 10,000 nautical miles (19,000 km; 12,000 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph). The ship's complement was 133 officers and ratings.[2]

The survey ships were armed only with four 3-pounder saluting guns.[2]

Construction and career

She was named for the explorer and naval officer William Fitzwilliam Owen. She was originally laid down as the Loch-class vessel Loch Muick, and re-ordered as Thurso Bay while building. She was completed as Owen, modified for use as a survey vessel for dealing with the large numbers of uncharted wrecks and mines around the British Isles as a result of World War II. For this purpose she was fitted for minesweeping.[3]


  1. Chesneau, p. 61
  2. Lenton, p. 293
  3. Mason, Geoffrey B. (2003). Gordon Smith (ed.). "HMS Owen - ex-Loch-class Frigate, Survey Ship". Retrieved 7 May 2015.


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