Summary of Service 1950 to 1964.
(for more ship information,
Naval History Homepage
and type name in Site Search
The enclosed details are primarily based upon the Reports
Proceedings and also details from documents in the Naval Historical Branch,
Ministry of Defence. Acknowledgement made to the Keeper of Public Records,
Public Records Office who arranged for access to the Reports held in Taunton at
the Hydrographic Office.
Whilst the information contained in this Summary is not intended
to be completely comprehensive it sets out to be be representative of the career of this ship during
its deployment on hydrographic survey duties. Some
place names in the various Islands in the Pacific Ocean are not those in
current use and the some of Groups of Islands have also been re-identified (
e.g., The Gilbert and Ellice Islands now known as Kiribati and Tuvalu.)
H. M. S. C O O K ( K 6
3 8 )
LOCH CLASS Frigate ordered on 25th January 1943 from Pickersgill at Sunderland to be named LOCH MOCHRUM
but changed in 1944 to an AA
Frigate The ship was laid down as Job
Number 4813 (Yard Number 269) on 30th November 1944 and launched on 24th
September 1945 as HMS PEGWELL BAY. After launch the contract was terminated and
she was towed to Devonport for completion by HM Dockyard for use as a Survey
Ship. during fitting out. Before completion on 20th
July 1950 the name was again changed to HMS COOK. In common with the other four
Ex LOCH Class frigate hulls converted into survey ships the name chosen was
that of the best known British hydrographer. James
Cook (1728 - 1779)
Conversion began in February
1948 and completed in July 1950. No armament fitted and changes made to provide
additional accommodation and office space for hydrographic work. More boats and associated handling
facilities were fitted together with a radar suitable
for survey work (Type 972). Pennant Number for visual signalling purposes
changed to A307.
H e r a l d i c D a t a
Badge: On a Field Blue
, impaled a hemisphere White between an
estoile in chief
and in base Gold.
Explanation: From the arms of Captain James Cook).
M a n n i n
Devonport till centralised
First Commission 1950 – 51
Commissioned for trials: 6 June 1950
Commanding Officer: Lieut. Cdr J. Pryor (01/01/50)
Under Care and Maintenance at Devonport with reduced complement.
Carried out Local survey tasks (August 1950 - January 1951)
Stored for sea service
(Note: Additional complement
joined from HM Survey Ship SEAGULL (February).
Commissioned for service: 27 March 1951.
Commanding Officer: Captain K St. B. Collins, QBE, DSC )
(Later Rear Admiral CB, OBE, DSC and Hydrographer of the Navy 1955 - 60).
Home Waters deployment 1951-52
Relieved Halcyon-Class Minesweeper SEAGULL employed on survey work since 1945.
Diverted to join CTF26 in search for wreckage of submarine AFFRAY
in English Channel. (April
- June 1951).
Visited by Hydrographer
in Portsmouth when released from search and then resumed survey work in Dublin Bay.
detached party in Gunna Sound to prepare for survey tasks in
Carried out Oceanographic
soundings and sampling between Scapa Flow and Spitzbergen.
University expedition embarked and
landed on Spitzbergen.
Machinery condenser defects delayed continuation of sampling work on return
Collected expedition and paid
visit to capital of Spitzbergen, LONGEARBYENN
Landed expedition at Gourock and carried out oceanographic programme
Resumed West coast of Scotland
survey in conjunction with survey ML's and detached parties.
Intermediate R&R visits at
(Note: Areas surveyed included
Loch Maddy and The Minches.
Severe gales caused many interruptions and
defect in windlass caused loss of anchor –which was
recovered later after repair work at Greenock
(October - November).
Returned to Plymouth 2 December. 1952
Second Commission 1952 - 53.
Commissioned: March 1952
Commanding Officer: Captain EHB Baker, DSC (03/03/52)
West Coast of Scotland Survey Continuation (1952-3).
Based at Portree,
Isle of Skye with detached party employed on coastlining
(Note: Unseasonable weather
made it necessary to seek shelter sought on several occasions between
May and August.
Carried out Planned work which included check on newly established
DECCA Navigation Chain for Western Aproaches -
(Note: Radio signals too
erratic for hydrographic use.
A recommendation was made that
survey snips should carry a portable system instead of using
Hydrographer embarked at Mallalg for 3 day visit before transfer to FRANKLIN
Anchor dragged whilst
sheltering from gales of over 70 knots in Loch Dunvegan
Returned to area after winter
refit period and Annual Inspection in Devonport (Dec
1952 - April 1953)
Diverted from wreck location
and least depth sweeping in Bristol Channel for search and rescue of crew of
missing FIREFLY aircraft
was.called off after 24 hours (April)
Continued Hebrides Survey in
Loch Shell area (May)
Attended Coronation Review at
Spithead and was Host Ship for Hydrographer's
Prepared for foreign
Service at Plymouth on completion.
Commanding Officer: Commander RH Cornell, DSC (29/06/53)
West African Coast Survey (July to September 1953).
Passage investigations included
seabed profile off Fowey and inconclusive checks on movements of water
Experiments carried out using
Kite apparatus for magnetic field measurements but these were unsuccessful. Carried out
planned survey areas included Takoradi,
Accra, and Sekondi.
Detached parties landed for coastlining, marking and tidal measurements
(Note: Shore parties lived in
Bungalow leased fron a UK contractor.
Work co-ordinated with concurrent
Swell conditions off shore made
boat soundings difficult but manageable except when visibility was
by local mists. Trials using Radar reflectors for fixing and range measurements
to be a useful asset to survey work. Sports
fixtures during R&R periods at Takoradi.
Excess rust and mould increased
maintenance load on ships company depleted by shore
Carried out two day survey at Sekondi
followed by a final call at Takoradi.
Made Soundings and Shoal
examination off the Canary Islands,
Bathythermograph work carried
out on return passage
(Note Passengers embarked at
UK Waters Survey (October - November 1953; April - November 1954).
Work on West coast continued.
Soundings in St. Ives followed by oceanographic measurements
across Irish Sea entrance.
Seabed samples obtained hourly
until corer became defective (again).
Boat survey and tidal
observations in Heysham Bay (ML 3516 assisted but
(Note: Propeller fouled by wire
whilst berthed and ship moved away from quay (November)
Isle of Arran measured mile
checked with Taut Wire gear and attended by AEW scientists.
Local survey undertaken by
detached party during Winter lay-up.
Resumed UK West Coast survey work (April - July 1954).
R&R in Stornoway
and refuelled at Londonderry.
Scientific investigations in St Brides Bay with London University
Shoal examination carried out
with HM Survey Ship VIDAL in Bishops Rock area.
(Note: Transferred 2 Depth Charge Throwers to Bar Lightship
for use in Liverpool as collection boxes.
(Weight 15 Cwt
Tidewatching and boat survey parties
detached in Hebrides.
Ship continued sounding in The Minches with delays caused by heavy rain and gales.
Hydrographer's three day visit included
Repeat of Arran measurements (July).
(Note: Swiss lady in difficulty whilst swimming in Plymouth harbour rescued by line (July).
Carried out Core
sampling and local survey by detached party in Padstow
survey completed (September)
Carried out extensive sweeping using Sonar
outfits and two boat sweep techniques in Sound of Harris
interruptions by gales (September).)
Sweeping trials in Loch Long and Loch Fyne (September)
Firth of Lone survey - weekends in Oban (October)
Took part in Armistice Day ceremonies at
Special survey of Liverpool Bay for local
port authority on return passage (November)
Third Commission 1955 - 56
Commissioned: March 1955
Commanding Officer: Lieut.
Cdr. PJD Hayter (07/03/55)
Period (December 1954 - March 1955).
Two Range DECCA Survey System fitted
(Note: Master Station and large aerial unit
installed on board
Storage facilities provided for the
associated two Slave Stations.
A series of meetings attended by
Admiralty specialist and manufacturer was held to plan acceptance trials.
Sites were selected on Bristol
Channel coast for the Slave Station
Range DECCA Trials (March - May 1955).
Ship based at Barry.
(Note: Position visually fixed from selected shore
positions to confirm the position determined by the radio signals.
Initial delays due to lack of
cooling for power supply generators and damp conditions affected operation of
defect in ship's windlass and poor visibility caused further delays.
Equipment performance at distances
up to 40 miles from land was unsatisfactory
to Plymouth in late April.
trials during May also unsuccessful.
All the equipment returned to manufacturer
Repeat Trials planned for September during
programmed survey work in the NW Approaches.
UK West Coast Survey Continuation Work (1955 - 56).
Carried out Arran Mile measurements using
Taut Wire gear
Firth of Lorne and Loch Fyne
work commenced by detached parties for boat sounding and tidal measurements.
Reconnaissance work to identify suitable
sites for Slave Stations needed for repeat Two Range DECCA trials (June)
Stations set up on Gavellach Island and on Isle of
Hill (July - August)
Two Range DECCA System calibration and
repeat trials carried out (September - October).
Overall performance satisfactory and
results 'exceeded all expectations'
recommended to ship and slave equipment to improve reliability.
Wreck of CATO fixed in Bristol Channel with
assistance from HM Trawler STEEPHOLM (November).
wreck sweeping off Welsh coast.
Tide pole set at Pembroke Dock (April 1956)
Slave Stations established on Ulster coast
and at Machrinhanish on Mull of Kintyre.
Detached party landed on Islay to set up
tidal measurement equipment (April).
Annual Inspection at Londonderry (May).
UK West Coast
Survey Continuation Work (1955 - 56).
North Channel and islands work continued
(May - November).
Tidal stream measurements and checks at
Castle Bay, Barra for planned Royal visit (May)
Checks made on Scottish commercial DECCA
Chain and period of oceanographic work (August)
Visited Bergen with civil and naval
Wreath laid at
British War Grave cemetery.
Mile survey at Anglesea by Detached Party (October -
and sounding work carried out off SW Ireland (November).
Anglesey work continued with detached party
during refit period.
Fourth Commission 1957 - 59
Commissioned: 13 March 1957
Commanding Officer: Commander HR Hatfield (07/02/57)
on board after sea trials (February).
visited ship at sea prior to departure on 18 March for foreign
to Pacific Survey area (March - June).
Damage to upper deck equipment including Liferafts by heavy weather in SW Approaches.
Shoal examination and oceanographic work during passage to
central Pacific via Azores, West Indies and Panama.
Medical emergency when the First Lieutenant (Lieut. Cdr. J.
Raton) accidentally spilled ammonia on his face (May)
(Note: Air-lift requested from USN to ensure early hospital
Patient initially transferred to ss CITY OF OXFORD inward bound for Panama and later to a US
Colon hospital later reported no
permanent damage to eyes and would rejoin ship after completion of treatment Periods
at High speed during this emergency made significant demands on fuel.
Planned economies included use of Quarterdeck awning as a sail !
Joined other RN ships off Maiden Island for
Dress Rehearsal of Test.
Present for explosion of a megaton weapon
dropped from an aircraft on 15 May.
Personnel not essentially required
assembled on F'xle and wore anti-flash gear.
Some sounding work was carried out before
sailing for Samoa.
Islands Survey 1957-8.
Shoal examinations before arrival in Fiji on 6 June.
(Note: Formal welcoming ceremony and preliminary discussion held
on seasons work.)
RNZAF provided aircraft for aerial reconnaissance of Natewa Bay and Vuya Passage area.
publicity after incident during practice for Queen's Birthday Parade when
Petty Officer accidentally
fell into water near ship.
relations established with local community leaders and Fijian RNVR.
Carried out Self Maintenance Period at
Oceanographic measurements and sampling during passage and on
return to Suva (June - July).
Survey work in Fiji area based at Natewa
Assisted by Fijian RNVR vessel VTTI
(ML3555) in Vuya Passage south of Vanua Lew.
(Note: This proved of restricted value and was later
discontinued (July to November 1957).
Detached parties landed for tidal measurements and establishment
R&R periods personnel enjoyed traditional ceremonies including presentation
(Tambuas) with Kava refreshment and dancing exhibitions with choral
Ship open to
visitors and sporting exchanges arranged.
cinema shows ashore - later a standard feature with Children's parties.
annual Hibiscus Festival at Suva also attended by 4 USN ships and
ORSOVA with tourists.
Entry of float
"Mrs Hibiscus" drawn by ship's Landrover
won a prize for 'most amusing entry' (August).
Carried out Preliminary examination of Tarawa in Gilbert Islands
for 1958 work (November 1957)
Annual inspection at Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand. (November).
Interim Refit at RNZN Dockyard, Auckland (December 1957 to March
(Note: Local Navy League members arranged accommodation on sheep
farms for ships company
CinC FES on board (March).
Magnetometer arrived for use on passages, supervised by UK scientist
Local contact with NZ research team established programme of
work to be undertaken
Departure delayed by collision with Calliope Dock Jetty at
Auckland and by delivery of new power supply generators for 2 Range DECCA.
Sailed for Solomon Islands via Suva; Fiji on 17 March 1958 with
two RNZN sporting trophies
(Note: This was specially allowed to be carried off Station by
Commodore Goff-Davies who was an Ex LOCH Class captain).
There were 2 absentees on leaving but 1 was recovered later.
Islands Survey (March - July).
Survey programme agreed on arrival. First since HM Ships PINGUIN (Circa 1895) and SEALARK (1907).
(Note: Many triangulation marks from 1947
US survey had not survived.
Recent increase in manganese export trade made present tasks
additionally important and positions of some
islands were found to be incorrect.
Detached parties landed at Honiara and Gizo.
Ship carried out soundings, Taut Wire
measurements, Reef Fixing and sweeping work, in Gizo
Strait and New Georgia Sound.
observations made at Gizo in Garden of High
Whilst at Honiara for Queen's Birthday Parade embarked High Commissioner
for day at sea.
During passage to Port Moresby to refuel, Packlington Reef inspected and leak in Lower Naval Store
On return paid first RN visit to Mono
(Treasury Islands) for 12 years.
(Note: Position found 4.50 miles east of
Unconventional football match and cinema landed.
75% of population (100) came on board when 'open to visitors' (June).
New Proton Magnetometer proved efficient and economic if carefully
Significant magnetic field strength changes noted in areas with 'sea-
Facilities for R&R at Honiara not outstandingly suitable for
personnel in survey ships which spent many
days actively employed at sea
contacts with Europeans.
Shore Cinema shows in isolated
communities a great attraction.
out Shoal examination work on passage to Port Moresby.
(Note: Reception in this small community
quite remarkable and due recognition of the efforts made by the Returned
Serviceman's League (Australian equivalent of
the Royal British Legion) was made by the CinC FES).
to Hong Kong with Paying-off Pennant flown on departure from Port Moresby (14
Royal Marines Band greeted ship on arrival
(Note: Due to delay in air transport
re-commissioning deferred and volunteers steamed ship to Hong Kong arriving
on 7 August
Refit at Hong Kong (August - November).
Hull Corrosion area found smaller than
expected. Boiler tubes replaced without delay in completion.
All survey boats were refitted after very
extensive use in previous year.
(Note: Plan to provide crew for MFV 1540
intended for use at Honiara cancelled by Commodore Hong Kong when
vessel flooded soon after departure for Leyte.
21 October 1958
satisfactory but some defects in electronic gear remained (November).
Ship's cat failed to re-join and found in HMS ST BRIDES BAY.
to New Britain (November).
Shoal and reef examinations on east coast
reported by USS BENHAM in 1944 found to extend from 1500 fathoms to 21 fathoms.
Second reef found 5 miles NW of its charted position and new name
proposed "Unexpected Bank"
Carried out examination of Philippines
Trench for 11 hours with depths over 4,500 fathoms measured
Solomon Islands survey Continuation
(November 1958 - February 1959).
Shoal Examination in New Ireland area at
LIHRI and BUKA Islands.
party with boat at BINA Harbour and ship work at FUI Bay, Malaita
found of recent volcanic activity in BUKA area with deep water and shoals
Cat rejoined at Honiara.
fracture of windlass shaft.
(Note: Two hours needed to anchored
weighed using boat winch and improvised tackle
Repaired later at Port Moresby.
work at BINA considered very necessary and worth maximum effort possible.
(Note: Special written request received
from local headman at village of Arabala on island of
Villagers were allowed on board and Doctor visited local Mission
SW Pacific survey Continuation (November
1958 - February 1959).
at Port Moresby with superlative hospitality once again.
invitations for Children's Party on Xmas Day and also to Cinema show.
New shallow water area south of Guadalcanal
found on New Year's Day.
(Note: This was identified provisionally as
‘New Year Bank’ and surveyed later (January 1959).
Weather conditions during depressions reminiscent of those in Atlantic.
Increase in defect load noted, particularly distiller pump, and problems
with boilers and generators.
Water rationing necessary.
Damp conditions considered primary causeof increased defect load. and
delay in obtaining spares
Fleet Boilermaker visited ship at Port Moresby.
Increase in malaria cases noted and attention paid to correct use of Paludrine.
Collected Detached Parties who had
completed work at Bina Harbour (February)
(Note: Cinema performance and Doctor visit at
Bina before leaving.
Briefed District Commissioner at Malaita on
navigational features affecting Royal visit
Sailed for Sydney to exchange Captain and
surveying teams joining by air from UK.
Shoal examinations on passage. Selfridge
(Note: This was originally reported by USS
Kelso Bank delineated and 24 fathom least
reception on arrival at Sydney with much interest in ship's cat (3 March).
Officer: Commander JSN Prior (12/2/59)
of Hydrographic Officers at Sydney (March).
Outstanding repair work carried out and
liaison with RAN Hydrographic authorities and civil
scientists relating to
in South Pacific area.
for Repair (April).
Whilst on passage to Fiji diverted to
Auckland because of Main Engine defect and hull leak.
Advance party sent by air to Labasa to prepare for survey of approaches.
corrosion discovered during docking.
DED extended and Station Leave granted.
On completion of repair sailed for surveys
in Fiji Islands(May)
(Note: Five absentees on sailing.
Fijian Area Survey (May – July 1959)
Shoal examination and Oceanographic Station
work on passage.
welcoming ceremony an arrival (See later).
lighter reduced time taken for survey work in Labasa
identification needed because of use by 8,000 ton merchant vessels collecting
Passage south of the island of Vanua Levu surveyed
Boiler defect due to distorted tubes
limited power available.
delayed also by weather and E/S defect.)
Attended Queen's Birthday Parade at Labasa and provided Gun Salute (June).
SMP at Suva third hole discovered in Engine Room - repaired by Shallow Water
Survey of Passage between Ovalau Island and Viti Levu completed (July).
at Levuka. Weekends spent at Levuka and Suva.
demonstration to local Survey Department at Suva.
(Note: During this period an increase in
malaria cases was again noted.
Detached Party sent ahead by RNZAF aircraft
to start survey at Betio Anchorage, Tarawa.
Islands Surveys (August to November 1959).
visit by RN ship to Tarawa in recent years.
(Note: Anchored off Betio.
Social exchanges and Cinema landed. (August)
TELLUROMETER proved most valuable for work in this survey period.
Detached Party with boats accommodated in
RNZAF Bairiki and another at Nikunau Island.
SMP at Suva with reduced party left at
survey between Abemama Island and Lagoon.
Detached Party and ship used (September -
Boat investigation made to ensure safe
During this period snip was without mail and gave no leave for 23 days in
Gilbert Islands Surveys (August to November 1959).
Attended Hibiscus Festival at
Suva and entered new design Float (October)
Returned to Gilbert & Ellice
Fixed position of Abemama Island
(Note: Result five mile different from US Chart.
Completed in November,
Painted ship with assistance from prisoners in local goal.
Carried out Sketch survey between Tamama and Nanmumanga with
shoal examination (October)
(Note: Attended Feast and dancing display (Batere)
received grass skirt.
Carried out Running
survey at Nui Island – 3.5 mile discrepancy (North of charted position).
Passage to Singapore.
Position of Alita Reef, Laughlan Island and Stewart Island
Called at Port Moresby and Rendezvous with HM Frigate LLANDAFF.
Carried out Shoal examinations in Flores Sea.
Annual Inspection carried out
before Paying off (December 1959)
Paid off at Singapore for Extended Refit on 14 December 1959.'
Sixth Commission 1961 - 62
Commissioned: 20 March 1961
Commanding Officer: Commander J Paton
During Extended Refit the changes made included:
Improved living acccomodation
with cafeteria messing Extensive work on boilers which were re-tubed
During Extended Refit in 1960 the
changes made included: (Cont.)
Installation of new variant of improved Tweo Range DECCA (LAMDA) with
equipment resited in Blacksmith's Shop.
Old site converted for use as Asian
Mess and Tailors shop.
Original radar (Type 972) replaced
by latest design for survey use (Type 979).
Incomplete delivery of items
delayed setting to work and acceptance for use.
New Echo Sounding Gear Type 771
which was supplied without operating instructions and spares
Air conditioning provided in
Chartroom, Canteen/Sick Bay and Radar Office.
Bridge Plotting Room enlarged, layout
and natural ventilation improved.
Inspection of hull showed it
seemed in excellent condition.
Particular attention was drawn by Commanding Officer to following aspects
Need to completely destore
ship with all items landed into shore custody by dockyard.
and maintenance of all Hydrographic stores and
equipment whilst not in use.
habitability in Messdecks.
Important role of naval
stores staff especially during refit periods such as
in first supply of part of 979 Radar and spares for other new equipment.
Carried out LAMBDA Equipment Trials in Malayan area (April - May
Carried out at Paula Ticman with HM
Survey Ship DAMPIER in company.
DECCA Slave Stations set up
ashore to carry out trials using new survey techniques.
(Note: Assistance provided by
848 Squadron HMS BULWARK to land and collect heavy items.
Collection also assisted by
helicopters from 825 Squadron HMS VICTORIOUS
Clearance of sites by new ships
company provided a foretaste of many future similar
including the attendant risk of injury and the need for reliable radio
for surveying or for emergency purposes.
The importance of trouble free
operation of power supply generator equipment for Slave Stations as
the earlier acceptance trials off the west coast of Scotland was again
Passage to New Hebrides (May -
Soundings were made along
proposed route for Commonwealth telephone cable in Celebes Sea.
(Note: Calls made at Miri, Borneo and Port Moresby for fuel.
Contacts made with HM Australian
Survey Ships DIAMANTINA and PALUMA.
Passage to New Hebrides (May - July).
Prior to arrival at Vila
weather conditions deteriorated.
(Note: Defects in radar and
E/S equipment not repaired due to lack of spares required and caused interruption
Hydrographic survey requirements discussed
with Condoninion authorities at Vila after official
exchange of calls.
(Note: Social and porting
exchanges during the three day visit (July).
Medical emergency during
passage to Suva for Planned maintenance period required diversion to Luganvilla,
Santo Island where operation was carried out
ashore on ME1 rating (July).
Impressive ‘Fijian’ welcome
After Maintenance Period at
Suva commenced survey programme NW of Vanau Levu.
Called at Naduri on north coast of Vanau Levu for traditional
(Note: This seemed more intense
as ship considered 'local property – as ‘HM Fijian Ship COOK’
. Presentation of two whales teeth
(TAMBUA) - usually made by swinmers, one to give
permission to anchor
other to land.
Followed by YAQONA rituals attended
by Captain and 50 others at which local 'brew' , KAVA
Dancing and singing by the local ccranunity followed in profusion.
A Turtle was then presented to the
ship but in accordance with local practice returned for the entertainers to
enjoy as a
Fijian Islands (Vanau Levu) Survey (July - September).
Detached parties landed at Malau for tidal readings and at Visoggo with boats for local soundings and coastal wo
Assistance provided by local Fijians.
In addition the community at Visoggo provided accommodation
for the party and ensured services were
available including clothes washing, provision of food, cooking and mail
collection by 'runner'.
Fijian Islands (Vanau Levu) Survey (July –
(Note: The local 'Ratu'
or Headman had fought the Japanese between 1942 and 1944. Perhaps this visit
an opportunity to make a contribution
to demonstrate his allegiance to the Crown (Little shown
These outstanding efforts by a
small community were recognised by arranging a special visit to the ship for
children and by social entertainment for the local notables.
A Cinema performance
ashore was provided.
The Captain noted in a his Report
of Proceeding that the Fijians recognise the Royal Navy
as their personal
with the Crown.
During survey around the
northern island (Vanua Levu) R&R periods were
spent at Labassa
Reduced standard of behaviour
of ships company was being influenced by a 20% element
of Junior Ratings who had
known poor records of Conduct.
Weather conditions allowed good
progress but an accident on 5 August
when an officer engaged in coastal marking
work fell and injured his back.
Emergency return made to Labassa for hospital attention to compression fracture of back and
to his spinal chord.
(Note: Casualty was evacuated to UK from Suva later.)
R&R at Malau
Survey work in Savu Savu and Tilangitha
passages completed and returned to Suva (Sept).
Preliminary work in Gilbert and Ellice Group (September).
Embarked local official for passage to Tarawa.
(Note: Stay limited to 9 days
by fuel availability)
Main effort made at Abaiang Lagoon including use of detached party.
(Note: Good relations were established with shore
communities of Beito and Bairiki.
Additional task to fix island
of Nfeiana made by party embarked in Government ship
Continuation work at Vanau Levu (October)
(Note: Need for future
alongside berthing for SMP at Suva emphasised.)
Maintenance Period at Levuka on
Ovalua Island coincided with 'Cession Day' to mark
the transfer to Britain in 1874.
(Note: Took part in parade and later Dancing Competition (‘Mekes’)
Advance Party sent for
reconnaissance of Tasman Strait between TAVEUNI and NGAMEA
Large Scale survey at Savu Savu Bay.
Note: Impressive local
Due to weather conditions
sampling and water
temperature measurement activities were unprofitable
Particpated in Remembrance Parade at
Suva before leaving Fiji.)
Passage to Auckland (November).
Carried out Harbour survey at Vila, New Hebrides.
Medical case evacuated by RNZAF
Made good weather damage to paintwork and fittings at Bay of
Islands before entry.
Docking and annual inspection
were carried out at Auckland (December)
Return Passage to Fiji (January
Hydrographic work at Vila, New Hebrides
resumed and harbour survey completed.
(Note: Divers and 70 Ton pump
assisted Swedish mv CARLA with leak.)
Continuation Survey in Fijian
Waters (February – April
LAMBDA assisted survey with
boat work in approaches to RINGGOLD CHANNEL, NE of Vanua Levu.
(Note: At Fijian Government
request in anticipation of increased Bauxite export requirements.
Green Slave Station established
Red Slave position at Ihikombia Island (North of
Group) proved unsatisfactory
as natives unfriendly.
Alternate site at Wailangilala used.
Both stations operational by 23
February but Green Slave resited at Wainunu (March).
Detached party with two boats at Wainunu
Continuation Survey in Fijian Waters (February – April 1962). (Continued)
(Note: Two calves presented by French Consul.
Mat RE party
working on blasting of reefs at Savu Savu.)
Social visit to Somo-Somo on Tavenui Island with
dancing displays and return school visit.)
Dangerous situation due to Steering
failure near Undu Point avoided by quick response to
'Full Astern' demand.
Report made "Constant state of alertness has to be
maintained in these waters "
(Note: Was this the 'Gypsies Warning' for 1 October 1963 ?)
Survey completed (700 Square
miles) and Slaves dismantled (April).
Easter spent at Levuka, Ovalau Island
(Note: Polynesian dancing display.)
Rot discovered in survey boats gave
rise to concern.
Gilbert Islands survey (May -
Detached parties landed with
boats at Tamana and Abaing
with ship sounding between islands.
Marakei Island found to be 5 miles West of charted position.
(Note: Party landed at Tamana for
local feast and dancing.
Two canoes overturned with many wet grass skirts as a result
. Rating married at Suva during
Captain addressed Fijian Society on hydrographic work in Fijian
Detached party landed at Arorae for stellar observations and ship carried out Sketch
Participated in Queens Birthday Parade.
(Note: New Union Flag presented
.Sketch Survey carried out at Maiana Island.
Passage to Singapore (June - July).
Large crowd with Police band
attended departure from Suva after 12 months duty (20 June).
All on board had good cause to
recall with pleasure the generous hospitality of the local people who had also
contributed so much to assist the work accomplished.
Called at Port Moresby for fuel
and thence via Carimati Channel
Note: Ship under surveillance
by Indonesian aircraft
Oceanographic measurements made including
magnetometer and gravimeter readings in New Hebrides area
and subsequently (July 1962).
Refit Period (August -
Commanding Officer: Lieut. Cdr. MJ Stumbles
Refit began on 20 July and new
ships company joined
(Note: 11 Junior Seaman Ratings
and Chinese Galley staff
had all joined by end August.
Defect items other than survey boats all completed by Terminal Date which was most unusual.
All trials completed by 24
Engine Room equipment results
were satisfactory but aging electronic
equipment required further attention.
Seventh Commission 1962- 64
Commissioned: 6 October 1962
Commanding Officer: Commander FW Hunt, MBE
Host to visiting Dutch Survey Ship SNELLIUS during this visit
Passage to Tarawa to Gilbert
& Ellice Islands (October - November).
Intercepted suspicious vessel off Kiadat.
Note: James Cooks’ birthday
observed on board.
Deep water sampling in Mindanao Trench for National Oceanographic
Passage to Tarawa to Gilbert
& Ellice Islands (October - November).
New measurement recorded - 6297
(Note: This reading was later
considered suspect due to use of defective equipment. - See below). Bathythermographic
work restricted after loss of thermometers.
Passage to Tarawa to Gilbert
& Ellice Islands (October - November). (Continued)
Extent of LYRA Reef determined
and variations in depth between 20 and 2000 fathoms measured.
(Note: Work continued day and
taken for British Museum.
During this task accuracy of deep
water Sounding measurements was suspect thus putting in doubt the
obtained in October for the Mindanao Trench.
Gilbert and Ellice Continuation (November 1962 - February 1963).
After arrival at Tarawa
detached parties landed at NONOUTT, KURIA and BUTARITARI.
Ship soundings as well as Gravitoneter and Magnetometer measurements made
Carried out position fixing of
(Note: Radar used extensively as TELLUROMETER not available.
Echo Sounder outfit E/S 771 not
satisfactory for deep soundings (November - December).
Christmas spent at at Suva with alongside secure berthing and workshop
Preparations made for Street
Lining during Royal visit street
(Note: Three VSO civilians embarked (2 male and 1 female)
for work on islands.
Bligh Water (Fiji) Survey continuation work (January - March
Two Range Decca Stations
established at Viti Levu and
Vanu Levu for Northern
Approaches survey work.
Navula passage in anticipation of Royal Yacht
(Note: Fijian and Indian
community welcome ceremonies at Port Ellington and Vaileka.
Over 2,000 visitors despite 8 mile
journey to ship.
Met Royal Yacht at LAUTGKA and
accompanied her to Suva.
Sailed before arrival due to delay of Royal flight.
(Note: Street lining party not
used (2 March 1963)
. VSO's landed.
Detached parties remained to
Royal Visit to New Zealand (February - March).
Attended Waitangi Day ceremony
and provided 60 ratings for crowd control.
(Note: Commodore Auckland with his Broad Pennant in HMNZ Cruiser ROYALIST was
This is an annual ceremony to
commemorate the signing of the Treaty between the Maori Chiefs
Ships illuminated (5-7
During passage to Auckland with
HM Submarine TAPIR, some exchanges of crews.
ratings went overland.
Station Leave granted during the six day stay.
Returned to Bligh Water survey on completion of self maintenance. (12 March)
Continuation of Fiji Survey
On arrival landed detached
party on Yanuda Island. Work delayed by Decca
(Note: Boatwork progressed but Motor cutter damaged on reef
Later it was salved and repaired)
Passage and Round Island Passage ship sounding and sweepingcarried
experienced with Two Range Decca equipment.
Diverted by Search and Rescue
duty NE Canton Island in Phoenix Group for Royal Flight to USA (28 March).
Shoal examination work
confirmed 1943 US data.
Embarked Bear Admiral Irving (Hydrographer)
and Mr Pascoe (Chief Civil Hydrographic Office at Port Ellington.
(Note: Visits were also paid to
Windlass and radar failures.
Passage to Suva via Vatui Ira Channel
to disembark party (6 April).
Annual Inspection and Docking at Auckland (April – May 1963).
GEMINI dinghy supplied which
later proved a valuable asset to survey work.
Return passage to Suva with NZ
ornithologist and Decca engineer embarked to investigate LAMBDA problems
Diverted to Suva for medical
case (9 June)
Bligh Water Continuation Survey (June).
Two-Boat camp re-established on Yandua
(Note: Decca investigation
resulted in only slight improvement.
Ship sounding work continued
with completion target date of mid-July.
During fuelling visit to Suva
prepared to give assistance
during South Pacific Games.
Visit extended to allow maximum
maintenance effort in view of future programme.
Embarked Mr. E.D. Stroup of Baltimore University for oceanographic
Heavy Duty Bathythermograph
Survey and Oceanographic Work in Gilbert and ELlice Group
(July - August)
Detached Party landed at Nonouti with boat for local repeat survey.
Four day farewell visit to Tarawa with social exchanges.
Ship sounding at Nonouti and gravity
survey at Tabitevea using GEMINI.
Meridianal hydrographic investigation near Ocean
(Note: Part of an International exploration project to examine equatorial currents in the
central Pacific area.)
Water sampling and current readings down to 400 metres at 50 metre
undercurrents found at 200 metres.)
Ridge investigation carried out
at position between Tarawa and Mainana (August).
Bathythermograph measurements made in Mainana
- Kuria and Aranuka - Nonouti gaps.
Variation swing and soundings carried out
on passage to Ocean Island.
Carried out Seamount
investigations in Tabituea area
Special survey made to prepare
for laying of deep moorings for buoys at Ocean Island.
(Note: The work proved difficult and time consuming.)
Embarked Gilbert and Ellice Islands competitors for South Pacific
Games at Suva.
R&R period at Suva.
Provided Assistant Camp
Commandants and Timekeepers for Games
(Note: Presentation was made to
ship made for help given (August - September).
Manned and cheered ship with 17
gun slute when HE Governor left in rms ORIANA (September)
Bligh Water Continuation work
Completed sounding work for
which air photographs proved valuable.
Electrical storm affected operation of 2
Range DECCA. After SMP at Suva recommenced survey on 1
Grounding of HMS COOK at Suva 1 October 1963)
At 1737 whilst seeking a
satisfactory anchorage near Vatu - Ra ship grounded
on a coral head and was badly holed forward.
Refloated after 10 hours. Hull examination of hull
showed major flooding.
In order to carry out temporary
repair on slip at Suva, 1300 tons of equipment removed.
carried out included use of divers from HMNZS TARANAKI.
Aftermath of Grounding
Board of Enquiry convened at
Suva on 15 October.
President: Captain BE Turner,
RNZN (HMNZS ROYALIST)
Hydrographic Member - Commander J. S. N. Pryor ((H) Charge HMS DAMPIER).
Crew accommodated at RNZAF Lauthala Bay.
Repair completed and ship refloated (27 October 1963)
Ready for sea after equipment
refitted (22 November 1963).
During the non-operational
period local survey work was completed by detached parties and ship's boats at Lautoka,
At Viti Levu. help was also provided by the New Zealand
survey vessel HMZNS LACLAN which also
Slave Stations (October)
The ships saluting guns were
landed for use by Fijian Military Forces.
Farewell to Fiji (November).
Various tasks were carried out
before departure including
(Note: One of these was the provision: of assistance to US
Yacht FJORD in which had run aground at NAIRARI
Salvage awards (DCI 1077/65)
included £46 for the Captain and less than £1 for the lowest share (6/12/63)
ship sounding on approaches to Bligh Water.
Swept channel off Labassa, Vanua Levu to check
depth for safe use by manganese ore ships.
Inspection made of reef passage at Ngau.
(Note: Prior to departure from
Fiji the Vanivalu of Fiji, Ratu
George K Cakabua, QBE
presented two Fijian War Clubs
NGANDI – a Peace dub and WAKA - a
War Club) for retention by the RN Surveying Service in
of the close association of the survey ships with the islands in recent years.
A particularly strong rapport had been
established with HMS COOK which had become known locally as
HM Fijian Ship COOK.
Passage to Singapore (December).
Embarked sugar and building materials for delivery to New
stores for use at Tongoa after hurricane during November.
Called at Honiara, British Solomons
(Note: A geologist was embarked
for New Georgia and investigated volcanic eruptions in Blanche
Core samples were obtained.
Shore survey was carried out at
the end of telecommunications cable in NE New Guinea at Madang.
Called at Manus for fuel.
at sea followed by refuelling again at Labuan.
New Year at sea.
Arrived Singapore on 3 January
(Note: At a Court Martial held
at Singapore on 10/11 January. Captain found Guilty of hazarding and stranding
Commanding Officer: Lt. Cdr M J Stumbles
Passage to UK.
Sailed for Gan on 12 January.
Indonesian Gunboat approached
in Strait but left when Royal Malayan Navy Motor Launch appeared.
New Captain joined ship at Gan
Commanding Officer: Commander RAG Nesbit
Commendations for services
after Grounding were promulgated during this period: -
Chief Shipwright JF Norris and
Leading Seaman DJ Wilkinson
Replenished at sea after leaving Gan on
Called at Aden, Malta and Gibraltar.
F i n
a l P h a s e
On arrival in Home Waters on 24
February 1964 the Hydrographer of the Navy embarked
the ship wore his flag for
its return to Devonport Dockyard
for the last time.
HMS COOK was withdrawn from service and Paid
off on 1st May 1954. The ship was placed in Reserve and destored. She was put on the Disposal List and in 1968 sold to
BISCO for demolition. In April that year she was towed to Zeebrugge for