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

HMS LOCH RUTHVEN (K 645) - Loch-class Frigate including Convoy Escort Movements

HMS Loch Ruthven (Navy Photos/Bryan Woodford, click to enlarge)

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LOCH-Class Twin Screw Frigate ordered from Charles Hill, Bristol on 25th January 1943 and laid down as Job Number J494 (Yard No 298 ) on 4th January 1944. The ship was launched by the Duchess of Beaufort on  3rd June 1944 and was the 1st RN ship to bear the name. Build completion date was 6th October 1944. This ship was adopted by the civil community of Hornchurch, Essex  to replace HM Destroyer HURRICANE which was lost on 24th December 1943 and which had been adopted after a successful WARSHIP WEEK National Savings campaign in March 1942


G e o g r a p h i c   D a t a

Inland Loch in Inverness east of Caledonian Canal

Grid Reference: NH6127


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s




H e r a l d i c   D a t a

Badge: On a Field barry wavy of six White and Blue, in front of

three sprigs of yew, one in Pale and two in Saltire, fructed

Proper, a cinque foil White.

(Explanation: Based on the Arms and Badge of the Lovat family who used to

own land in the vicinity.)


M o t t o

Persto et praest: 'I preserve and I excel'



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


September             Contractors trials and commissioning for service in 2nd Escort Group.

                                Commanding Officer: Lieut. Commander R T Horan RNR.



                6th          Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials

                7th          Carried out sea trials in Bristol Channel

                                Passage to Tobermory on completion of trials and storing.

                8th          Commenced work-up for operational service at Tobermory.

                27th        Joined 2nd Escort Group at Liverpool for service as Senior Officers ship.

                                Commander D E G Wemyss DSO, DSC RN joined as Senior Officer.

                                (Note: Commander Wemyss had relieved the famous Captain FJ Walker who died in

                                service earlier in 1944. This Group had an unrivalled reputation.)



                4th          Deployed with Group for anti-submarine operations in NW Approaches


December              Anti-submarine operations in continuation.


1 9 4 5


January                  Transferred with ships of Group for support of convoys in English Channel.

                                Deployed in Channel based at Plymouth


February                Took part in operations during which U327 and U1018 were Group assisted by a US Navy

                                LIBERATOR aircraft, in defence of Convoy BTC81

                                For details see U-BOATS DESTROYED by P Kemp and HITLERíS U-BOAT WAR by

                                C Blair.


March                    SW Approaches and Channel deployment in continuation.

                                Shared credit with HMS WILD GOOSE for the sinking of U683 off Lands End in position

                                49.52N, 06.31W.

                                There were no survivors. See above references,


April                       Deployed in NW Approaches and Irish Sea.


May                        Nominated for foreign service.

                5th          Taken in hand for refit by build shipyard prior to service


June                        Under refit.

                                (Note: Ventilation system modified and additional 20mm Oerlikon mountings fitted to

                                improve defence against close range air attack.

                30th        Sailed to join Eastern Fleet.



                17th        At Aden after call at Gibraltar.

                23rd        Arrived at Colombo for briefing.



                25th        At Bombay.


September             Deployed for escort of military convoys for landings in Malaya.

                                (Operation ZIPPER - For details see THE FORGOTTEN FLEET by J. Winton ,

                                WAR WITH JAPAN and for information about all mercantiles and warships taking part

                                BRITISH INVASION FLEETS by J de Winser.)

                                (Note: This operation had been delayed several times due to problems in implementing the

                                PYTHON Scheme for the repatriation of long serving personnel in SEAC and the

                                insistence of the USA. See reference

                                On release from ZIPPER took passage to Singapore

                11th        Deployed for Shipping Control duties at Singapore.

                13th        Nominated for escort duties and support of military operations in East Indies.


October                  Deployed for escort of ships taking PoW and internees from Java and Sumatra to

                                Singapore. See SEAGULLS IN MY BELFRY by C C Anderson.

                4th          At Batavia.


November              Escort and support duties in continuation.

                15th        At Bangkok.


December              Escorted convoys from Batavia and Semarang.

                22nd       Deployed at Singapore.


1 9 4 6


January                  Singapore deployment for escort and support duties in continuation.


February                Nominated for return to UK to Pay-Off and to reduce to Reserve status.

                13th        Took passage to Trincomalee.

                17th        Arrived at Trincomalee after towing disabled MMS19 to Port Blair, Andamans.

                22nd       Passage to Amherst

                23rd        At Amhurst

                27th        Sailed from Trincomalee for UK


March                    New Commanding Officer appointed: Lieutenant Commander M J S Phillips.

                                Passage in Red Sea.


April                       Passage to Portsmouth with call at Gibraltar.

                                Paid-Off on arrival at Portsmouth and commenced reduction..


May                        De-stored and reduced to Reserve status at Portsmouth

June                        On completion laid-up at Portsmouth


July                         Laid-up at Portsmouth.




1 9 4 7    t o    1 9 5 0


                                Laid-up at Portsmouth.


1 9 5 1


                                Approved to be modernised (June).

                                Refit at Portsmouth transferred to Devonport

                                (Note: This was because of work on HM Aircraft Carrier VICTORIOUS.)

                                Commencement of modernisation delayed due to work on HM Battleship VANGUARD.)


1 9 5 2


                                Taken hand for modernisation but completion delayed.

                                Nominated for service in 3rd Training Flotilla as relief for HMS LOCH TRALAIG.


1 9 5 3


January                  Under refit




March                    Carried out post refit harbour and sea trials.



                24th        Commissioned for service with 3rd Training Flotilla with reduced complement.

                                Commanding Officer: Lieutenant Commander R AW Pool RN

                                (Note: A survivor from HMS REPULSE)


May                        Shakedown and prepared for operational service


June                        Attended Coronation Review of the Fleet by HM Queen Elizabeth II.



                18th        Sailed from Portsmouth to join Flotilla.

                20th        Joined 3rd Training Flotilla at Londonderry


August                  Deployed for training duties with Flotilla.

to                            Visited Cairn Ryan (November)



1 9 5 4


                                Training duties with Flotilla in continuation.

                                Visited Rothesay (January).

                                Under refit at Rosyth (September - November).


1 9 5 5


                                Training duties with Flotilla in continuation.

                                Damaged in collision with ss HECLA in Manchester Snip Canal during visit.

                                Nominated for transfer to Reserve on relief (July)

                                After refit to be Stand-By ship for Persian Gulf service (November)

                                Returned to Portsmouth on relief by HM Frigate TYRIAN.


1 9 5 6


                                Reduced to Operational Reserve status (February).

                                Towed to Gibraltar for refit including Semi-tropicalisation (April)

                                During refit selected to relieve HMS LOCH INSH in Persian Gulf (December)


1 9 5 7


January                  Under refit .





                                Commissioned for trials.

                6th          Took passage to UK after post refit trials.


April                       Prepared for operational service.

                16th        Commissioned for General Service with Royal Marines Detachment.

                                Commanding Officer: Commander W B Smith RN.


May                        Deployed for Shakedown


June                       Carried out work-up for operational service at Portland.


July.                        On completion deployed at Portsmouth.


August                  Sailed for service in Persian Gulf


September             Deployed at Bahrain for patrol duties.


October                  Bahrain service in continuation.


November              During patrol off Omani coast visited Muscat

                                Embarked stores and Medical supplies for Dubai after cyclone.


December              Carried out patrol in northern Gulf area and visited Bushire.

                                Xmas period at Mina-al-Amadi (Port of Kuwait).


1 9 5 8


January                  Bahrain deployment in continuation.


February                Passage to Karachi for routine docking.


March                    On completion resumed duties at Bahrain.


April                       Deployed at Bahrain

                                (Note: Corporal Alan Francis Hedges RM killed during detached duty in Oman with

                                RM Detachment against rebels.)


May                        Sailed from Bahrain for Aden.

                                (Note: During commission over 200 Dhows were intercepted and searched for arms and supplies

                                intended for insurgents.)


June                        Deployed for visits to East African ports.

                                (Note: Visits included Mombasa.

                                Sailed for Aden before return to UK to re-commission


July                         Passage in Red Sea.

                                Deployed briefly at Aqaba as Guardship before resuming passage



August                  On arrival at Portsmouth Paid-Off.

                                Taken hand for refit by HM Dockyard.


September             Under refit.



                21st         Re-commissioned for service in Persian Gulf.

                                Commanding Officer: Commander R L Eveleigh DSC RN.


November              Carried out sea trials and shakedown.


December              Commenced work-up at Portland.

                                Returned to Portsmouth for Leave.


1 9 5 9


January                  Completed work-up.


February                Took passage to Persian Gulf.


March                    Deployed for patrol duties in Persian Gulf based at Bahrain.




July                         Interim docking at Karachi.


August                  On completion returned to resume patrol duties at Bahrain.


September             Bahrain deployment for patrol in continuation.




November              Took part in multi-national CENTO Exercise in Indian Ocean with HMS LOCH FYNE.


December              Deployed at Men.

1 9 6 0


January                  Passage to UK with calls at Massawa and Port Sudan.


February                On arrival at Devonport Paid off for refit.


March                    Under refit



                28th        Re-commissioned for service in Persian Gulf.

                                Commanding Officer Captain D P Law MBE, DSC RN.


May                        Carried out harbour trials on completion of dockyard work.


June                        Carried out sea trials and commenced work-up at Portland.


July                         Work-up in continuation and returned to Devonport on completion.


August                  Prepared for foreign service.

                18th        Took Passage to Aden.

                24th        At Gibraltar.



                18th        Arrived at Bahrain for patrol duties in Persian Gulf.


October                  Deployed in southern Gulf area with visits to Dubai and Muscat.

                21st         Assisted in salvage operation after fire on Norwegian tanker mv POLYANA with HM

                                Survey Ship DALRYMPLE and HM Landing Ship BASTION.

                                Took disabled ship in tow.

                                Later tow taken over by HMS DALRYMPLE.

                                (Note: Tanker had been severely damaged after an explosion which killed 15 of crew.

                                Fire-fighting parties boarded tanker which was taken to Bahrein

.                               Fires were not extinguished until 29th.

                                Salvage payments were the largest made up to that date


November              Deployed for Batina coast Dhow interception patrol.

                                (Note: Lord Carrington, Civil Lord visited ship.

                                Royal Marines Detachment were landed for Exercise MUDLARK with Sultan of

                                Oman Regiment.

                                Deployed at Kharg Island in northern Persian Gulf for Exercise KHARGEX with ships of

                                Iranian Navy.


December              Visited Bushire before resuming patrol in southern Gulf.

                                Xmas period at Mina.


1 9 6 1


January                  Passage to Karachi for routine docking.

                                (Note: HMS LOCH FADA and HMS LOCH FYNE were in company to attend visit to

                                Karachi by HM Queen Elizabeth II.

                                Taken in hand for docking and refit.

                                (Note: During period at Karachi Somali ratings were charged with smuggling of gold worth

                                £13,000 and returned to Bahrain in HMS LOCH FYNE)


February.               On completion of docking and refit joined exercises with Pakistan Navy.

                                On release from exercises took passage to Bahrain to resume duties.

                25th        Arrived at Bahrain.


March                    Deployed in northern Gulf and called at Mina-al Ahmadi on return to Bahrain

                21st         Carried out patrol in southern Gulf area.


April                       Deployed at Bahrain and exercised with HMS LOCH FYNE.

                8th          During exercises despatch to assist rescue operations after fire broke out in mv DARA

                                19 miles from Jazira Tumb (Position 25.55N, 55.13E).

                                Carried out fire-fighting operations with HMS LOCH ALVIE and HMS LOCH FYNE.

                9th          Towing attempt by HMS LOCH ALVIE failed. Weather prevented further attempt to tow.

                                After tow established with Salvage Vessel SEA SALVOR to take DARA to beach, the

                                mercantile increased list, turned over and sank.

                                (Note: Final death toll was 238.

                                As salvage failed no awards were made.

                                The British India Shipping Company did later make payments to the Welfare Funds

                                of these three LOCH Class Frigates.)

May                        Annual Inspection by Flag Officer Middle East.


June                        Flag Officer Middle East embarked and took passage for Flag visits.

                14th        At Mombasa

                18th        At Sar-es Salaam

                22nd       At Zanzibar

                24th        Returned to to Mombasa,

                27th.       On completion returned to Mombasa.

                                FOME Disembarked.

                                Ordered to proceed to Aden at full despatch.

                                (Note: This deployment was part of the increase in RN presence in the Persian Gulf after the

                                threat to Kuwait by Iraq (Operation VANTAGE).)


July                         Retained at Men pending arrival of HMS LOCH INSH on Station.

                3rd          Took passage to UK after HMS LOCH INSH arrived.



                4th          At Gibraltar.

                8th          Arrived at Devonport

                                Took passage to Rosyth for refit

                                Paid-Off and taken in hand by HM Dockyard,


September             Under refit

                21st         Re-commissioned for service in Persian Gulf as Senior Officer 9th Frigate Squadron.

                                Commanding Officer: Captain P S Beale RN


October                  Carried out post refit trials.


November              Carried out Shakedown during passage to Portland for work-up.


December              Work-up for operational service at Portland

.                               Returned to Portsmouth for Xmas Leave.


1 9 6 2


January                  Under repair at Portsmouth before return to work-up.

                                On completion took passage to Portland


February                Resumed Work-up.


March                    Prepared for foreign service at Portsmouth

                                Took passage to Aden.


April                       Deployed at Aden and visited Mogadicio.


May                        Passage to Bahrain and commenced Persian Gulf duties.

to                            Carried out patrol in southern Gulf and visited Lingeh and Charbarah.

June                        Deployed with HMS LOCH LOMOND and Iranian warships in Northern Persian Gulf

                                (Exercise KHARGEX)

                                On completion took passage to Karachi for routine docking.


July                         Under refit and maintenance at Karachi.


August                  Resumed Persian Gulf deployment at Bahrain.

to                            Dhow intercepted was found to be carrying arms and explosives with a rebel Qmani

September             on board.

                                Visited Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

                                Took part in Amphibious Warfare exercise (DUFFEL) with HMS BULWARK off Sharjah


October                  Southern Persian Gulf patrol and Flotilla exercises.

                                Prepared for Fleet exercises.


November              Took passage to Karachi for Exercise MIDLINK 5.

                                Deployed with other ships of Squadron in Multi-national CENTO Exercise (MIDLINK 5)


December              On completion of MIDLINK 5 took passage to Mombasa for East African visits.

                                Visited Zanzibar and Pemba.

                                Returned to Mombasa for Xrnas period.


1 9 6 3



                2nd         Passage to Aden arriving on 8th.

                11th        Flag Officer Middle East (FOME) embarked for Flag visit to Djibouti, French Somaliland.

                12th        At Djibouti returning with FOME

                14th        Took return passage to Aden..

                17th        Sailed with FOME embarked for Flag visit to Massawa.

                19th        At Massawa FOME visited Ethiopian Naval Academy. Emperor of Abyssinia present.

                22nd       Ceremonial departure from Massawa.

                23rd        Arrived at Aden.

                                FOME disembarked.

                                Sailed for visit to Berbera.

                24th        At Berbera.

                27th        Return passage to Aden.

                31st         Arrived at Aden to prepare for return passage to UK.


February                At Aden for Accession Day ceremonies.

                                (Note: US warship present.)

                8th          Took passage for Port Sudan.

                12th        At Port Sudan.

                15th        Took passage to Malta.

                18th        Transit of Canal

                22nd       At Malta



                2nd         Arrived at Devonport without stay at Gibraltar.

                12th        Paid-off and commenced destoring.


F i n a l   P h a s e


HMS LOCH RUTHVEN was put on the Disposal List and approval given for demolition in May 1963. The ship was de-equipped in 1964 and sold to BISCO in November 1966 for demolition by Davies and Ann at Plymouth. She was towed to the breakerís yard later in the year.






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








ONS 037





HX 327





HX 334





MKS 079G





HX 339





ON 289








(Note on Convoys)


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revised 20/12/10
further editing and formatting is required