Introduction to Summary of Service 1949 to 1965
(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. Acknowledgment is 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 her
deployment on hydrographic survey duties. Some place names
may not be those in current use.
OWEN spent most of her service in the Persian Gulf and Indian
Ocean, but her greatest contributions may have been made in the Antarctic Area
H. M. S. O
W E N
( A 3 1 1 )
(Ex-LOCH MUICK: Ex-THURSO BAY)
Original build order placed
with Hall Russell at Aberdeen on 2nd May 1943 for an Anti-submarine Frigate to
be named HMS LOCH MUICK (i). Laid down on 30th
September 1944 but the name was changed in 1944 and the ship was launched
as HMS THURSO BAY as the ship build
specification had been changed to suit use as an
Anti-aircraft Frigate. The contract was suspended and
the ship was laid-up in the build yard pending a decision on future requirements. In September
1947 it was announced that she was to be completed for use as a Survey Ship by HM Dockyard Chatham as part of
the 1947/48 Build Programme. After tow to Chatham conversion work began early
in 1948 and on 15th September 1947 she was re-named HMS OWEN. Build was
completed on 23rd September 1949.
Notes on conversion
Extensive alterations were made
during the period ship was at Chatham. These included:
Provision of additional accommodation
needed for chart preparation.
Fitting of additional facilities for
stowage and handling of survey launches.
Installation of Radar equipment suitable
for survey work instead of Type 293 used in AA Frigates.
on quarterdeck for dealing with sweeping and measuring gear essential for survey work.
No armament was provided as conventional
for survey ships.
In common with the other four
Ex LOCH Class frigate hulls converted into survey ships the name chosen was
that of a notable British hydrographer. William
Fitzwilliam Owen (1775 - 1858) who began his survey work after active
service including The Battle of the
Glorious First of June in 1794. He is particularly known for his surveys in
both Canadian and West African waters.
Chatham till centralised.
H e r a l d i c D a t a
Badge: On a Field barry wavy of
8 white and blue. A stag's head erased White,
the antlers Red, gorged with a
Naval Crown gold.
S u m m a r y o f S e r v i c e
First Commission 1949 - 50.
Commissioned: 2nd August 1949
Commanding Officer: Commander
(Appointed 25th July 1949)
(Promoted Captain from 31/12/49)
Accepted into service on 22
(Note: Complement of 11 Officers and 147 ratings.)
Inspected by The Hydrographer of the Navy on 21st September 1949 after
trials defects rectified.
Work-up included search for
obstructions in Sound of Barra instead of planned St.
Kilda survey (September).
Passage to Persian Gulf
(October - November)
Towed MFV 1513 for transfer to
Iranian Navy at Khorramsha
Carried out Small survey task in Bay of Biscay.
(Note: Weather conditions reduced speed of tow.
MFV was damaged at Aden during
transfer from tug before departure for Persian Gulf
MFV repair delayed departure (December).
First Persian Gulf Survey
(January - March 1950)
Joined HMS DALRYMPLE in
northern Gulf and approaches to Sitra, Bahrein (January - March 1950)
Detached party with Jeep
vehicles landed by raft at Dohar.
Tide-watching camp established
at Jezirat Fuwairat.
(Note: Social exchanges at Dohar including 'mutton grab' with Sheik of Qatar)
Passage to Mediterranean (April
Embarked Area Superintendent of the Imperial War British Graves
Commission War at Basra and an RAF Party
for visit to Socotra (May).
(Note: The Cemetery on the island had
been despoiled by Aden(?) and remains had to be transferred to Aden in
six coffins for re-interment.)
Mediterranean (May - October)
Morphon Bay RAF Bombing Range, North coast of Cyprus.
(Note: Stoker died in hospital
after fall ashore and was buried locally (August) )
Refit in Malta (August - September).
Completion delayed by machinery
defects - shaft wear.
Annual Inspection before departure.
Passage to Persian Gulf
Carried out Oceanographic
observations South of Crete
Persian Gulf in continuation (January - April).
Resumed survey off Bahrain
December 1950 - February 1951)
At Basra for Christmas.
Board of Inquiry at Bahrain
into death of Telegraphist found hanging in
compartment on board (Apri|D
Passage to Eastern
Mediterranean (April - May)
Called at Sharjah
(Note: Boiler defect at Aden restricted speed
to 10 knots until further examination in Malta
Mediterranean continuation (May
Survey and clearance of wrecks
and other wartime obstructions in Tripoli and Tobruk harbours to facilitate use
for supply of UK and US bases in
At Malta for boiler examination
Passage to UK to refit at Sheerness and
Carried out Sounding work
between Pantellaria - Malta and later off Ushant.
Second Commission 1951 - 53
Commanding Officer: Commander CRK Roe, DSC, RN (/10/51)
Passage to Persian Gulf (November).
Magnetic Variation readings
recorded off Cape Bon.
Embarked passengers in Malta
for Port Said
Carried out Soundings work and Shoal Examinations
Strait of Gubal
in Suez Canal
NW of Jebel Arrail
in Red Sea (November)
Between Aden -
Persian Gulf continuation
(December 1951 - March 1952)
Surveyed Jezirat Daiyinah
and Jazirat Ardhana areas.
Discussed future joint
activities with HMS DALRYMPLE on arrival at Bahrain
Survey carried out in area
south of Qatar including Daz Island.
Tidal party landed at Daz Island.
(Note: Petty Officer evacuated
to UK for medical attention after serious accident whilst operating
hoist survey motor boat
Christmas at Basra with HM
Sloop WILD GOOSE with Senior Naval Officer Persian Gulf embarked).
and other adverse weather conditions planned work completed by both Survey
Detached parties landed at Arzanah and Zarqua.
Triangulation areas used by both ships.
Passage to Mediterranean (April
Shoal fixed at Peshwa, Port Sudan and new reef found.
Carried out survey of NE approaches to Port Sudan.
Detached party landed for
triangulation work for continuation of work at Gubal.
Mediterranean continuation (May
Obstruction sweeping carried
out in Tobruk Harbour in conjunction with Italian
(Note: 80 wrecks found.
HM Boom Defence Vessel BARKELL was
also engaged in removal work.
Detached party landed for local
Ship sounding carried out in
approaches to Benghazi.
Tripoli harbour entrance
including least depth measurement of wrecks
Mark erected on Fifla Firing Range for Position fixing after refit.
Refit and Docking Period in Malta (July - August 1952).
Detached parties had been left
in Suez area and near Aqaba.
Carried out anti-submarine
trials with HM Submarine (TOKEN)
Annual Inspection (September)
Passage to Persian Gulf
Carried out Gravity survey off
Malta with Cambridge University Scientists embarked.
Tobruk area work continuation
including sweep of area and visit by HM King Idris.
Soundings work and survey at Gubal continued.
Recovered Aqaba and Fayid parties Shoal examination in Gulf of Qnan.
Persian Gulf continuation
(November 1952 - March 1953)
Joined HMS DALRYMPLE for combined task in Daiyanah
and Aldanah areas.
(Note: Weather prevented boat
work. East of Qatar in area Aldhana to Yaz )
Tidal party at Kial Bazri.
Overlap of survey work
Christmas at Basrah with HM Sloop WILD
At Bahrain for CinC East Indies visit in HM Cruiser CEYLON (January 1953)
Triangulation work repeated
with DALRYMPLE and visits paid to local ports.
(Note: During this period
increase in loss of Marks by theft was noted).
Visited Umm Said and embarked
Political Resident for return to Bahrain
Took part in Demonstration for Trucial Coast rulers with HMS
CEYLON and HMS WILD GOOSE.
(Note: Weather conditions prevented RAF participation.
Tidal Party rescued dhow crew
on completion of planned work
Passage to Mediterranean (April
HUMPHREY GALE (on Charter to British Army) to to Bahrain
Carried out Soundings work off Perim and
Zuquair Island at at Suez
during passage from Bahrain.
and later in Red Sea,
Mediterranean in continuation (May
Carried out survey work North coast of Cyprus and soundings SW of Paphos.
Landed detached party with Jeeps at Famagusta.
Attended Coronation Day celebrations at Kyrenia
with ‘Open Day’ and Floodlighting.
Completed section to Cape Plakoti
Carried out Repeat sweep of
obstructions at Tobruk
Co-ordinates of Fifla Island established for future use as Firing Range.
Passage to UK for refit at
Chatham and re-commissioning (July)
Magnetic observations and shoal
made in Mediterranean.
Hydrographer embarked at Plymouth for final
Passage to Chatham for refit.
Third Commission 1953 - 55
Re-commissioned: August 1953
Commanding Officer: Lieut. Cdr JTK Paisley (02/11/53)
Refit at Chatham (July -
Meeting with Anglo-Iranian Oil Company to discuss factors
affecting surveying in Persian Gulf.
Completion delayed by machinery
(Note: Two deserters one of
whom was apprehended.)
Carried out special radar trial using RACON radar Beacon in Thames
Estuary during sea trials.
Passage to Persian Gulf (November - December)
Annual inspection in Malta.
(Note: Soldiers embarked for
passage to Canal Zone did not find the trip (or the daily rum issue) very
Diverted to Port Sudan to land two suspected
Met HMS DALRYMPLE off Das Island for briefing.
Persian Gulf in continuation (December 1953 - March 1954)
Area covered - Creagh Shoal to Bu Tini in N.
approaches to Bahrain.
Commanding Officer: Lieut.
Commander HR Hatfield
(Promoted Commander: 31/12/54)
Severe weather delayed
establishment of Tide camp at Bu Tini
R&R at Umm Said.
Deployed for survey at Yaz and in Zirko area on completion.
(Note: Aerial reconnaissance by Captain in an RAF Anson
aircraft nearly ended in disaster when wheel failed to
lockdown prior to landing. (.March)
Took passage to Aden for Special Duty,
Royal Visit (April 1954)
Deployed as Guardship.
HM Cruiser NEWFOUNDLAND with CinC East Indies, Indian and Pakistani escort ships were
also present. for
attendance when HM Queen Elizabeth II,
embarked in ss GOTHIC visited the Colony whilst on
High temperature of sea-water required careful operation of refrigeration
Firework display nearly ended in
disaster when 'ready use' stock was ignited by 'rogue' firework.
Passage to Mediterranean (May)
Diverted to evacuate medical emergency from Esthers
Lighthouse to Suez.
(Note: This received little
recognition by Egyptian authorities.)
Mediterranean in continuation
(May - October)
Towed Lighter to Famagusta
Deployed for survey
off North coast of Cyprus (May - June)
Detached party landed to
establish Cyprus - Turkish mainland link.
Some delays due to poor
Collected Army Survey Team at Fayid for
land survey in isolated part of Canal Zone.
Shoal examination at Bir Odeid.
R&R with 42 Field Survey
Regiment at their Fayid Base May).
Returned to Cyprus (June)
Took part in Queen's Birthday
celebrations included ‘Open Days‘at Ayos Philos and Kyrenia.
(Note: Sporting and Regatta
Events marred by disciplinary
offence resulting in the subsequent Court Martial of an Officer who was then
Sailing from Kyrenia delayed by sabotage
of steering engine.
Refit and Fair Chart
preparation at Malta (June - October)
Flag of FO Malta worn for 1 day on his arrival in Malta (August).
Diverted during sea trial to search for wrecked WYVERN aircraft.
Commanding Officer: Lieut. Commander JSN Pryor, RN (09/10/54).
(Promoted Commander: 31/121/54)
Passage to Bahrein
Carried out Magnetic and Oceanographic observations.
Called at Socotra for cow
required by Government Experimental Farm at Bahrein
(Note: .Animal embarked from whaler and spent voyage on F'csle.
This animal was required as a mate
for a Socotran bull landed from HMS WILD GOOSE in
would not mate with other breeds.
Doctor landed and held clinic.
Called at Salalah for fodder.
Spent three days at Sir Abu Nu
'Air island off Qatar to fix position prior to use as site
for DECCA Navigator
System GREEN Slave Station.
Persian Gulf in continuation
(November 1954 - March 1955)
Eastern Approaches to Bahrein and Sitra ship work
Tide watching camp established at Sitra
with use of MFV from Bahrein
Experimental Decca Chain under tested (December 1954 - January
DECCA receivers available on loan for use on board.
Christmas at Basra.
(Note: Petty Officer received
serious injury to his right foot during operation of Taut Wire Measuring
Emergency hospital attention was
unable to prevent amputation.
Board of Inquiry chaired by Senior
Naval Officer Persian Gulf
Diverted to search for RAF Anson aircraft which had crashed in the
area (18-21 January).
(Note: Position marked,
No survivors found but two bodies
recovered next day.)
Wreckage located by A/S equipment
Temporary repair to Port main
engine defect restricted speed.
Carried out Hallul area survey.
DECCA Chain equipment used.
Special authority obtained to
use Mercator Projection Charts. (February – Marclh)
Tidal parties landed at Hallul and Mabarras.
Shoal investigation by ship and
Proposal to take part in visit
by Turkish Navy to Bahrein cancelled
R&R periods in Abu Dhabi.
Work delayed by loss of Beacons
due to thieving
(Note: Losses reported to Ruler
and some later recovered.)
DECCA accuracy trials in Daz - Zarquar area completed.
(Note: Some interference by
weather conditions noted. )
First use of Canteen in HMS
JUFAIR at Bahrein for ships (April)
Passage to UK (April 1955)
Shoal examinations carried out in Strait
of Hormuz and off Spanish coast
Russian Floating Docks sighted
travelling south in Red Sea.
Called at Fayid for meeting with RE Team
carrying out land survey in Cyprus.
(Note: Fraudulent Plot uncovered.
Possible attempt by unknown persons
in Malta to defraud the Crown was foiled on arrival when Paymaster
hand over Egyptian money brought from Port Said as a result of receipt of
signal purporting to be
from CinC Mediterranean. This was found to be a deliberate
Paid off in Chatham for refit and re-commissioning
Fourth Commission 1955 –56
Commanding Officer: Lieut..Commander JSN Pryor, RN
Refit Period (May – September
Reception in HM Survey Ship VIDAL for Vice Admiral Day, Hydrographer of the Navy.
(Note: Tragic death by natural
causes of Supply Officer on board.
Some improvements to accommodation
made by addition of new design kit lockers.
Refit period extended to make good
defects in Cold/Cool Room and repair of machinery defects
Passage to Persian Gulf
(September – October)
Anchoring check off Deal and near miss with merchant ship.
Unsatisfactory incident with Police in Malta. and ship’ officer left ashore to attend Court.
Annual Inspection in Malta.
Programme of soundings Between
Port Said and Straits of Hormuz completed.
Unable to recover Starboard
anchor when in Strait of Gubalin near Suez
(Note: Temporary replacement obtained at Aden).
Carried out Shoal investigation off Qnani
coast as instructed.
Reinvestigation of Hormuz Shoal
(Note: Least depth established
as nine fathoms).
Persian Gulf in continuation
(October 1955 – February 1956)
South Persian Gulf surveys
including Qatar area and Bahrein.
(Note: This was in view of
anticipated increase in use of large oil tankers and construction of new jetty
for use by RN frigates).
Dredged entrance channel swept
and checked for visit by CinC East Indies in HM
Detached party left at Bahrain
for local soundings work.
Survey between Creagh Shell and Bu Tini
continued with detached party at Zarqa.
During visit to Abu Dhabi some
of the Beacons stolen during previous work were returned
(Note: All Beacons in future to
be marked with Notices in Arabic.)
at Abu Dhabi.
Commenced sounding at new
frigate berths at Khor Kaliyah
prior to dredging.
At Basrah for Christmas period.
(Note: Tour of oilfields
Delay experienced in return due to
Trucial Coast Islands coast-lining work (January – February).
Sketch survey Las Hat Islets – Khor Dhuwehin;and
Jebel Odaid – Khor Dhuwein completed.
Detached party left at Bahrein for tidal work and soundings.
Passage to UK (February – March
Calls made at Mukalla for brief local survey and medical visit to Socotra
at same time.
Shoal Examinations off Aden and
in Straits of Gubal.
Tobruk local survey task extended
because of King Idris birthday celebrations.
Weather in SW approaches
prevented embarkation of Hydrographer at Devonport
for return to Chatham.
Home Waters Deployment (April –
6900 visitors on board during Chatham Navy Days.
DECCA Navigator System Receiver
equipment (QM9)) fitted.
Fire in Officers Galley causing damage to equipment.
(Note: Deep Fat Fryer
electrical power supply not isolated when galley staff left compartment.)
Carried out North Sea Wreck Survey and Clearance operations
including Galloper Bank and North Foreland areas.
sites nominated and 14 of the 24 listed wrecks were located and swept with five
more not listed also located.
Week-end visits to Ostend and
During this period the ashes of
an RNVR Commander were scattered off Burnham on
A Trinity House representative
was embarked for 3 week study of hydrographic survey
Refit at Sheerness (June -
Installation of 2 RANGE DECCA System.
(Note: Provision of this equipment considerably enhanced
survey facilities available.
It comprised a Master radio
transmitting unit fitted on board with new permanent mast stepped at forward
Additionally two portable Slave
transmitter Stations were provided for use ashore during survey work.
The equipment allowed measurements
to be made when out of sight of land and more importantly in poor
visibility when optical instruments cannot be
During the refit period ships staff set up
the two Slave Stations with their 100 ft masts on the Isle of Sheppey
to become familiar with the system.
A new design Echo Sounding Outfit
(Kelvin Hughes MS2626J) was also fitted.
Captain reported a very high standard of
quality of work had been achieved by Sheerness Dockyard.
Fifth Commission 1956- 51
Re-commissioned: July 1956
Commanding Officer: Commander GPD Hall, DSC, RN (09/07/56)
(Later Rear Admiral, CB, DSC and Hydrographer
Completion delayed by repair to
stern tube bearing bushes, damage to propeller during moves of ship and post
defects found during sea trials
Work completed on 30 August.
Carried out 2 Range DECCA
system trials (31 August)
(Note: Equipment found to be
satisfactory out to 90 miles from land.
standard being 70 miles).
Yacht NAIAD off Westcliffe (1 September)
Completed Calibration trials of GREEN Slave which had been
transferred to Felixstowe. (13 September)
North Sea Survey (September)
Completed after delay due to
generator defect at GREEN Slave 19 September)
Passage to West Africa
Dr JDH Wiseman, MA PhD of
British Museum embarked for trial of new design Core Sampling equipment.
Sailed from Plymouth on completion of D/F calibration.
(Note: Effect of new mast structure noted on operation of
Direction Finding outfit (25 September)
Trials on 2 Range DECCA using
special Slave Station at Stevenage held lock to nearly 400 miles.
New Echo Sounder equipment
found unsatisfactory during initial use off Ushant but improved with experience
Winch defects caused delays in
core sampling work in Iberian Basin.
sample was obtained from over 2 mile depth and showed new design better than earlier 'Cambridge' type).
Under repair at Gibraltar.
Winch modifications improved
its use for coring work.
Shoal examination carried out
Further sounding, water
sampling and magnetic variation work carried out.
Search for peak or bank
reported by Argentina not confirmed.
West African Coast Survey (October - December).
East coast Nigeria work carried
out in conjunction with local survey authorities and Shell Company.
Calls at Freetown and Takoradi for
(Note: Much press interest at Takoradi. )
Shore reconnaissance suggested
landing of parties and tide watching may prove difficult
Helicopter assistance provided by
Shell Company and special techniques devised for this work.
proved invaluable for transport inshore to support detached parties.)
Tide watching party landed at Akzi
Ship work began from western
Oceanic observations carried
out for Nigerian Fisheries Department.
Tide watching party landed at
R&R at Lagos.
Provided facilities for crew of
HM Trawler FOULNESS (Coal burning ISLES Class.) which was boiler cleaning at Takoradi.
Ship sounding with help from
Nigerian Navy vessels.
Taut Wire measurement with
Beacons and ship sounding made in Bonny River estuary(
Extensive soundings and Beacon
work were less comprehensive than desired due to unreliability of local
inclement weather and
poor quality of exiting data.
(Note: Shell Company help was outstanding particularly with
placing of Marks.)
Passage to Durban (December
Diverted to assist HMS FOULNESS
(2nd time) by lending stores so the
ship could proceed.
Magnetic variation survey not
Emergency diversion to Saldahana,
East African Waters Survey
(January - April 1957)
Christmas at Durban after call at Cape Town.
Investigation of Shoals, Banks and Reefs in Mozambique Channel
using radar with beacons.
New seamount discovered and
core sample taken.
Discussed Pemba Island survey work at Zanzibar with local authorities.
Preliminary work established
that complete survey would be needed as insufficient earlier data was available.
Extensive clearance work was
required before sounding work could be started.
Four detached parties were in
use with 3 boats.
Fuelling and R&R in Mombasa.
Hospitable welcome at Zanzibar with social exchanges.
Favourable weather assisted
completion of planned tasks on schedule.
Shoal examinations and checks
on Mozambique Channel work during return passage to Durban (March).
Passage to Monaco via Cape of
Good Hope (April).
Called at Durban and first all
night leave given for 3 months.
(Note: Rough passage to Cape Town caused damage to boats
and vehicle on deck.)
examinations made in Cape area.
Met whaling fleet and later
collided with whale.
Searched for Desaix Shoal 60 miles SW of Freetown using radar and
Delineated 100 fathom line
between Freetown and Cape Verde and carried out shoal examination off Cape Barbos.
Sighted Arend-Roland Comet off Canaries.
Unsuccessful sampling at
(Note: Cambridge-type corer
Diverted to Barcelona for medical emergency - appendicitis case.
International Hydrographic Conference at Monaco (May)
Hydrographer of the Navy entertained
delegates to lunch on board.
Social exchanges and ship
Sea demonstration of Two Range Decca equipment, Track Plotter and
Kelvin Hughes Echo Sounder.
(Note: 'Outward Bound’ parties landed for cycle trip to Genoa and
on foot to Grasse.
Visit judged a great success.
Passage to UK (May)
Admiralty Acceptance Trials of
Kelvin Hughes Deep Echo Sounder Type MS26 J
Carried out planned shoal examinations: Majorca - Ibiza, NW
Gettysburg Bank and N of Cape Finnistere.
Core sampling in Iberian Basin not successful
Met at Chatham with RM Band in attendance.
Sixth Commission 1957- 59
Commissioned: 9 July 1957
Commanding Officer: Commander GPD Hall, DSC, RN (09/07/56)
Promoted Captain: 31/12/61)
Refit and fair chart
preparation at Sheerness (June - September)
12F version of 2 Range DECCA fitted in lieu
of 6F version.
Prepared for installation of Decca Track Plotter Unit.
Trials with Slave units sited
Modified Echo Sounder MS26J with
Carried out Demonstration of
Charts and Hydrographic survey boat work.
Annual Inspection not
satisfactory due to extension of refit caused by defects found on trials.
Hydrographer visited ship at Sheerness.
Passage to Indian Ocean
(September - November)
Soundings and core sampling undertaken.
Trials of modified E/S.
Carried out Local survey in Gibraltar harbour
(Note: Work affected by high
incidence of 'Asian flu’.
Some patients landed to RNSQ.
Track Plotter equipment and 2
Range DECCA generators transferred from HMS VIDAL.
Special task carried out at proposed
Beacon site NW Bizerta (November)
Continuation of earlier 100 fathom line checks.
Shoal investigation in Aegean
Sea and Greek Archipelago.
Discussed future joint survey work in Seychelles with 42 Field
Survey Regiment RE at Limassol.
International Geophysical Year
(IGY) activities (November 1957 - April 1958)
Cooperative measurements at Stations in
Straits of Bab-el-Mandab (November)
Water sampling, bathythermograph measurements, Plankton hauls and
(Note: Results were later compared with records made 25
Some weather delays experienced.)
Mahra Coast Survey in conjunction
with RE detachment (December)
(Note: Objective: To link
overall triangulation of South Coast Arabian survey geodetically with earlier land
surveys by Army personnel.
RE party landed at Mukalla for shore work, with protection from local military
Ship work on Hadhramat and Mahra coasts.
Passage to Seychelles via Mombasa
Detached party landed at Pemba
to continue the work commenced in early 1957
Survey of route from Mombasa to Port Victoria.
Joint Survey in Seychelles area
with RE Unit (January - March)
2 Range DECCA Slaves sited at
Bird Island (RED) and Silhouette Island (GREEN)
(Note: Performance satisfactory to 70 miles range.)
equipment in extensive use.
essential for conduct of shore operations.
Area sounded covered 1,200 Square
Miles and took 54 days.
Diverted to Maldives to act as
communications link for the High Commissioner during local political
discussions (April 1958).
Passage to UK (May)
Pemba party rejoined in Aden
after taking passage in RFA WAVE PREMIER (May)
Refit at Chatham (June -
Passage to Persian Gulf
(October - November 1958)
Embarked RE detachment at Malta
for Oman coast survey (October)
Continuation of Oceanographic Station work for IGY in Bab-el-Mandab (See above).
Survey of SE coast of Oman in anticipation of future use of area
by large capacity oil tankers.
Assistance provided by RE unit
for land survey (November 1958)
Persian Gulf in continuation (December 1958 - March 1959).
Bahrein approaches; Hallul - Dalma Island (Umm Said area).
Tide watching camp at Jebel Ghaga.
Returned to Sitra to land Petty Officer
diagnosed as having Mening-Encephalitis.
Some delay caused by local
frontier dispute between Abu Dhabi and Qatar.
R&R at Unn Said
.Annual Inspection with HM
Frigates LOCH INSH and LOCH ALVIE as consorts (January)
Commanding Officer: Commander C R K Roe ( 7/01/59)
Exceptionally strong Shamal with 70 knot winds - dragged despite 2 anchors but
Diverted to join RAF aircraft and USS STRONG in search for dhows
(Note: Landed 13 survivors transferred
from USS STRONG. Lighter taken in
Some damage to survey motor boat.
Visited Das Island in use by Abu Dhabi oil rig AEMA ENTERPRISE.
Completed Odaid work.
anchor from HMS LOCH RUTHVEN in Sitra
Passage to Gibraltar for
Extended Refit (May).
Refixed derelict oil rig south of Hallul
Called at Aden and Malta with soundings on passage.
Overhauled Yacht BORER BEE on
passage with RN crew on passage from Singapore to UK
100 fathom line continuation
work in Mediterranean.
Paid off for Extended Refit on 31 May 1959.
Extended refit at Gibraltar
(June 1959 to May 1960).
Commencement of work other than
preparation was delayed until September.
(Note: Considerable importance was placed on satisfactory
completion as little shore support
available during planned survey work in southern Ocean and Antarctica.
Full hull survey carried out which
involved removal of offices and cabins on upper decks.
Condition was found to be good and
mock-ups of new compartments prepared.
cables were returned to UK for heat testing
including realignment and replacement of tail shafts and crankshaft.
replaced by fibre glass.
Bridge Plotting Room redesigned for, but not with Radar Type 979 display equipment.
Type 162 Bottom Search Sonar installed
and new Dome fitted for Type 128 Sonar
Electrical wiring completely
Cafeteria Messing with improved
Galley facilities and also a Laundry were provided.
Trials were completed off
Gibraltar by 7 June 1960.
(Note: No machinery alignment
problems reported during Full Power Trial.)
Seventh Commission 1960 - 62
16 May 1960
Officer: Commander G PD Hall, DSC (15/05/60).
(Promoted Captain: 31/12/61)
(Later Rear Admiral, CB, DSC and Hydrographer
Home Waters Deployment (June
Liaison Visits to Spain and
(Note: Discussions held with Spanish Institute of Hydrography at Cadiz for three days were an unqualified
Call at Lisbon to further existing
liaison with Portuguese Directorate of Hydography and
400th anniversary of death of Prince Henry the Navigator.
Planned work on Atlantic coasts made
these visits particularly important.
Local survey at Dartmouth and visits by RNC BRITANNIA cadets and
New DECCA LAMBDA Equipment
installed at Devonport
Carried Admiralty Acceptance Trial. of LAMBDA) in NW Approaches.
Slave stations sited on the
islands of Islay (GREEN) and Tiree
Stanton Bank area with rough weather and long hours.
(Note: Although initially
affected by bad weather equipment was found to be satisfactory (July - August).
Carried out Trials of Echo Sounder MS26J in
depths up to 1,000 fathoms off Sound of Inistrahull
R&R at Oban
and Moll with visit to lona.
LAMBDA equipment recovered
before return to Devonport.
Preparations for South Atlantic
New precision depth recorder
fitted by ship's staff.
Radar Type 979 set to work by
Embarked four scientists with their equipment and stores.
Carried out setting up and calibration of instruments for use at
(Rear Admiral EG Irving) visited ship (Sept.1960).
Atlantic Survey (September - October)
Core examinations at 8
Stations on Continental Shelf.
Water sampling and PISA tube
Carried out search for ridge in Azores area.
work in Terceira and San Miguel in the Azores using
radar and beacons.
Delayed by major defect in Port
Main Engine and diverted for repair at Gibraltar (October 1960).
Repair Period at Gibraltar.
Advance party and support
stores transferred to HMS PROTECTOR for passage to South Georgia.
(Note: Numbers had to be reduced because of space
Control framework to be established
and tide-watching commenced.
Funeral of Chief Petty Officer who died on board from natural causes.
Replacement item from HM Aircraft Carrier VICTORIOUS transferred
by helicopter after completion repair work.
Underwater camera was lost during tests using a dockyard lighter
when a cable parted
took part in special radio programme on RN co-operation with scientific work.
Precision Depth Recorder received from UK
(Note: This later proved unserviceable at sea).
AUWE assistance requested.
Completed Azores tasks.
Shoal investigation South of
Magnetic variation swing and
traverses made using E/S.
Atlantic Oceanographic work
(October 1960 - January 1961)
Continued Mid-Atlantic Ridge investigation at 23 Stations (November)
Rift Valley delineated.
Core sampling (Deepest from
Water sampling and
Bathythermograph measurements made
Seabed sampling taken in
Check made on Nares Deep and Puerto Rica Trench.
Inter-Island sea passages in
West Indies area surveyed (November)
Shoal examinations, position
fixing and least depth measurements
Calls at Antigua, St. Lucia,
Port of Spain and Trinidad
Depth Recorder operation
satisfactory after attention by ships staff
Readings made at Stations
Eastward along 10 Degrees North Latitude line.)
Atlantic Ridge programme.
Parties landed on St. Pauls Rocks with prior Brazilian Government approval
Samples of rock and flora
Certificate of visit provided
with names of ship's company and newspapers
(Note: Last RN visit (HMS
CHALLENGER 1872 - 6) had also left mementos (November)
Oceanographic records made at Stations on passage to Recife.
Underwater camera in use.
Refuelled from RFA because of
high cost of fuel locally.
Collected Brazilian Navy
Liaison Officer at Recife
Carried out Sketch survey and
examination of off-shore banks at Martin Vaz ESE of
Rio de Janeiro.
(Note: Landed party for one day.
Ship and boat
Bottom samples obtained.
Defect in No 2 Boiler due to
Planned tasks carried out using
Repair arranged at Simons Town
Davis Bank survey completed.
Visited Brazilian Navy Hydrographic organisation at Rio de Janeiro (December)
Oceanic Stations observations
made on passage to Montevideo.
Soundings, magnetic variation
and temperature measurements, with water and bottom sampling taken.
(Note: To date continuous E/S records covered 10,600 miles
of track using 27 Sheets.
At Montevideo for Christmas
(Note: Visit very successful
and included many official and social engagements.
Local statue of Sir Winston
Churchill cleaned of tar coating (by plain clothes party)
Visits exchanged with Argentinian Hydrographic
authorities at Buenos Aires.
Arrangements made to call on return
passage in April 1961.
No British Survey Ship had been in
this area since HMS BEAGLE in 1825.)
Oceanographic Stations work continued
during passage to Tristan da Cunha (January 1961)
Seamount discovered and one
core sample taken frcm 2726 fathoms.
Local survey at Tristan da Cuhna (January 1961)
Sounding of anchorage by two
Shore parties landed by
Longboat because of local conditions.
Medical Officer (Surgeon Lieut.
RS MacKinnon) left ashore and to rejoin ship at Gough Island.
Passage to Simonstown
Delineated Inaccessible and
Core sample taken in Cape Deep was 8 feet 1
Repair work at Simonstown (January)
(Note: Boiler tubes replaced and Board of Enquiry
by CinC South Atlantic and South America.
Discussions with scientists from
Cape University about 1962 International Indian Ocean work.
Customary social and sporting
exchanges were enjoyed by all.
Passage to South Georgia
Called at Gough Island to
collect the Medical Officer.
Encountered icebergs and much
fog which enforced reduced speed
South Georgia Survey (February
Recovered detached party after
their 4 month absence.
Coastlining and topographic work completed
(Note: Problems experienced
with tent ventilation but resolved.
29 day tidal record and
geodetic control points observations.
Teal captured for donation to Slimbridge Centre
Boat sounding work commenced.
Called at Administrator at Grytviken
(Note: Birmingham university scientist Duncan Carse ('Dick Barton' of 1947 fame) landed with 10 tons of
after delay due to stormy conditions.
His camp was later overwhelmed by
tidal wave and he was lucky to be rescued.)
Near disaster collision between
ship and large iceberg avoided by good fortune.
Base camp set up on Bird Island
at Jordans Cove.
Four Surveying Officers and 20 ratings with 3 Survey Boats in use.
Party experienced and accepted
both deprivation and discomfort in extreme conditions.
(Note: Environment made work very dangerous. Colossal
breakers with wave heights up to 40 feet.
1 survey boat lost in Bird Strait
(fortunately without any casualties).
Special precautions were observed to
ensure that boats never operated individually.
South Georgia Survey (February and March) (Cont.)
Normal design service motor cutter
quite unsuitable for sounding in these particular conditions
Pinnacles to 5 or 6 fathoms depth
HMS PROTECTOR with CinC embarked visited survey area
before completion of work (30 March).
Windlass defect delayed
resumption of work after visit.
Circumnavigation of the island
(Note: Recovery of shore
parties and equipment prolonged by extreme weather conditions
On completion about 300 sq. miles
centred on Stewart Strait had been surveyed.
Three passengers embarked for
passage to Port Stanley (6 April).
Falkland Islands and passage to Buenos Aires (April).
On arrival at Port Stanley
prepared for South American visit.
Carried out limited programme to delineate 100 fathom line for Argentinian Hydrographic
Brief call for essentials at Montevideo.
(Note: Unimpressive liaison
contacts with Urugayan hydrographers..0
At Buenos Aires (April)
(Note: 6 day visit with
extensive formal ceremonial.
Many social and sporting exchanges
1,370 visitors on
showed more interested in equipment than in return of 'Islas Malvinas’
An Ex RCN RIVER Class frigate was being
acquired for conversion to survey ship).
Passage to UK via Ascension
Island and Freetown (May).
Programme of Oceanic
observations. Speed reduced to conserve fuel.
At Georgetown Ascension with Sporting and social exchanges
Carried out four oceanographic
Stations and photographic work on W. African Continental
Shelf. Taut wire measurements off Cap
Blanc and shoal examinations and measurements off Mauretania
Visit to Teneriffe
reported as a place of warmth and prosperity
Final Oceanographic Station work on Gettysburg Shoal.
Note: Beacons laid and
Coring work in
Called at Falmouth and embarked trials personnel and TV film crew.
(Note: Carried out Pre-refit
trials and filming for TV serial using replica of Drake's GOLDEN HIND)
Hydrographer joined by Helicopter for entry into Plymouth.
Entered Plymouth sound after overnight wait en 31 May 1961.
(Note: Despite problems with landing and signalling
Statistics of Commission
Magnetic Observations: 7 Oceanic
Sampling: 62 Water
Plankton Hauls: 51 Bathythermograph Dips 482
New Sea mounts Miles steamed in
examined: 10 225
days at sea: 40,660.
Refit Period at Devonport (June
Discussions with Cambridge
University scientists regarding
forthcoming work in Indian Ocean.
Dockyard work included: -
Repair of 3" crack in No 7 Oil Fuel Tank
(Note: This may have accounted for machinery shaft
Resiting Echo Sounders Type 773 and
Type 775 Display units in Bridge Plotting Room.
Gravimeter, Magnetometer and
Precision Depth Recorder equipment provided.
Deep Sea Echo Sounding Outfit and new
design DECCA Navigator Outfit QM10 fitted
Inclining Experiment required
by Admiralty carried out during routine docking
(Note: This established Low 'GM’ affecting ship stability.
60 tons of ballast added and some equipment removed
Topmast winch; Steam
Sounding Machine; MF Direction Finding Outfit and
aerial and davits;
Port Surf Boat and
davits, RNSA Dinghy, Ready –use Ammunition Locker, Slave Mast sections.
re-sited for two
Dories and two Dinghies.
The disadvantages were
accepted some scepticism as no instability had been
severe weather conditions experienced during the last year.
Completion was delayed until October
Repair of defects discovered
during post refit sea trials of propulsion machinery and: re-insulation of Cold
and Cool Room.
Passage to Aden (October)
Additional scientific personnel
Bathythermograph, Gravity and
Magnetic measurements carried out off Cyprus, in Nile Delta and during
passage through Red Sea.
New Depth Recorder and Magnetometer unsatisfactory.
Towing problems experienced
when Magnetometer Towed Body was streamed.
(Note: Magnetometer readings were found to be satisfactory
during later use when towed body was
Survey of Haycock Island off Ethiopia.
Diverted to Perim to deal with water
(Note: Fuel supply for desalination plant was replenished
by transfer of fuel by boat using Jerricans.
International Indian Ocean
Traverses in Gulf of Aden for oceanographic measurements.
(Note Earlier problems with
towed body had been resolved. See above.)
East African Coastal survey (November - December).
Survey of Lamu
harbour and approaches including Manda and Patta islands (November)
was extended because of defect in Gravimeter required for deep sea work.)
Shore parties landed.
Marking and tidal observations
at Lamu, with Four Boat party at Sheila for local
Embarked Mau-Mau detainees and police escort for passage to
Diverted for medical emergency
on return to Lamu and returned to Mombasa.
Ship sounding carried out to
limit of shore marks visibility.
.Diverted for flood relief work in Mombasa (December).
Indian Ocean Expedition
Oceanic observations continued
between African coast and Seychelles (December).
Traverses made across
Seychelles Bank for Depth and Bathythermograph measurements.
Reconnaissance parties landed
at Bird Island and Dennis Island to select sites for DECCA
Automatic Tide Gauge set up at Port Victoria.
During return trip to Mombasa Magnetometer
towed body was lost
(Note: It is presumed due to
striking an uncharted reef !!)
Kenyan Coast continuation (January 1962)
Kenya Banks Tidal observations.
Recovered Lamu parties.
Expedition Work Continuation
(January - March 1962)
Gravimeter, Magnetometer, Depth
and Taut Wire measurements on Carlsberg Ridge between African coast and
Aldebra on Carlsberg
Ridge (January 1962)
Landed detached parties on Aldebra and Agalega for geodetic
and tidal measurements (January 1962)
(Note: Special precautions taken by CinC and Seychelles authorities to
make regular checks on welfare
Taut Wire measurements made during
passage to Cosmeldo and Astove
.Ship off shore soundings work. Scientific
Liaison visit to Bombay
Passage to Maldives from Bombay with Coordinator of Expedition
Carried out survey in NW approaches to Bombay.
revealed major discrepancies in existing Charts of Maldives area.
Automatic Tide Gauge
established at Gan (February).
Detached parties with boats
landed. Salvaged damaged power cable and made Inland lagoon survey.
Passage to Mauritius via Shoals
of Capricorn (February)
Observations made across Indian
(Note: Possible drowned atoll
found by E/S and Gravimeter gradient measurements in Mauritius area)
Traverses NW of Mauritius to centre of Madagascar Basin.
Landed party at French
Meteorological Station on Tromelin Island to
establish Gravity Station
Carried out ship sounding at Agalega
with shore party landed.
Extension of Madagascar Ridge
confirmed near Cosmeldos Island.
Return Passage to Seychelles
Recovered Aldabra party after 45 day stay.
Depth and Magnetic observations
on Seychelles - Mauritius Ridge
Southern edge Amirante and Seychelles Banks
Radial traverses across Seychelles Bank.
At Port Victoria, Seychelles.
Collected eight 'Cocos de Mer’ trees from Praslin
(Note: These are unique to area)
Divers obtained samples of rock for
investigation of magnetic anamolies
Passage to Mombasa
Carried out Traverses across Ridge.
Disembarked scientist at Mombasa on 11 March.
Kenyan coast continuation
Off shore survey Manda Bay.
and marking by Boats and ship soundings with beacons..
Beacons noted and extempore arrangements not satisfactory.
Passage to UK (April - May)
Liaison Visit to Pakistan Hydrographic establishment at Karachi (April)
Made Geophysical traverse on
passage from Karachi to Aden
Completed outstanding work at
Haycock Island in Red Sea
Met HMS DALRYMPLE in
Mediterranean Sea for joint joint exercises (May).
Paid off for refit at Devonport
: 53,000 soundings and 75,000 miles of
Captain awarded Cuthbert-Peek Grant from
Royal Geographic Society for contributions
Eighth Commission 1962 - 63
Commissioned: 15 August 1962
Office: Commander D W Haslam (15/08/62).
Later Rear Admiral and Hydrographer of
the Navy (1975-85)
Refit at Devonport (June -
(Note: Wire falls for boats
New magnetometers and Precision
Depth Recorder fitted
Carried out searched for
submarine ALARIC in SUBSMASH exercise with HMS DALRYMPLE (August).
Hydrographer embarked from HMS DALRYMPLE
during passage to Portland for 5 day work-up (September).
Passage to rejoin International
Expedition in Indian Ocean (September - November 1962)
Gravimeter tested near Eddystone and E/S 771 operation checked at 1000 fathoms.
Planned Magnetic and
Gravimetric measurements made at selected Stations.
Made Official visit to SACLANT NATO ASW Research Centre at La
Spezia, Italy (October).
(Note: Overall impression was
that much co-ordination with other hydrographic
centres was required if collection
oceanographic data was to be done without duplication of effort.
Indian Ocean Expedition work
Magnetic measurements at specific depths in Gulf of Men.
Investigated of possible Median Valley associated with Carlsberg
Beacons and buoys laid in
preparation for later work by Royal Research Ship DISCOVERY.
Bathythermograph trials made to 900 feet using
new Deep Ruggedised Outfit
Operational visit to Bombay for
liaison with Indian Hydrographic Department
Oceanographic observations on Carlsberg Ridge during passage from
Bombay to Seychelles.
Replenished at sea from RFA WAVE SOVEREIGN.
Diverted to transfer rating to
RFA FORT DUSQUENSNE for passage to Gan for air flight
4 day Seychelles visit with
social and sporting exchanges (December)
measurements made with 2 Magnetometers towed at constant depth during passage to Mombasa.
Kenyan coast continuation
(December 1962 - March 1963)
Carried out survey between Lamua
and Manda Bay
Approaches and Manda Bay to Chiambone.
(Note: Last survey work was done between 1824 and 1825.)
Slave Station site chosen near Malindi (December)
(Note DECCA equipment found
satisfactory after not being used for 2 years.
Diverted to Gan
as Guard-ship to relieve HM Frigate BLACKPOOL (4 to 24 January 1963)
Detached Party left with 2 boats at Larou to carry
out inshore survey work.
(Note. Mail diversion found unsatisfactory.
Serious delays caused slight loss
of crew morale.
to carry out tide watching and fixing.
Local 'dummy warship' caused some hilarity as it changed its design to suit type of guardship
Returned to Lamu
on relief by HM Destroyer CAPRICE (24 January)
New sea-mount rising from 2,500
fathoms to 715 Fathoms discovered 50 miles East of Mogadishu Rise.
R&R and stores replenishment at Mombasa.
Good progress at Lamu noted.
Ship grounded at Kiwaihu, near Mombasa (26 February)
Ship soundings made in
approaches to Manda Bay
Continued Triangulation through Siyu
(Note: Survey needed to improve access for oil exploration
work and for future harbour development.)
TELLUROMETER extensively used.
made difficult by soft mangrove edge and swell conditions
at end of period.
Place names used had been obtained
from local District Commissioner.
Visited Zanzibar (March).
When SW Monsoon broke planned
work had been completed.
Extension to north including outer area ship sounding to be dealt with next season.
(Note: Increase in radical cases needing hospital treatment
Kenyan coast continuation
(December 1962 - March 1963) (Continued)
Core samples taken until corer
Defect in Boiler steam pipe.
Operational visit to Karachi
discussions and lecture to Pakistan Navy on Exploration work.
and boiler repair work.
Liberty-men numbers reduced by 50%
compared with Seychelles.)
Second Phase of Expedition
(April - May 1963).
DECCA Slave Station dismantled and
scientists rejoined at Mombasa
Observations and measurements in SW Approaches to Seychelles.
Visited Mahe visit.
(Note: Children’s Party during which electric train set
demonstration caused much confusion.
Social and sporting
Magnetic anomalies found during
series of runs over Carlsberg Ridge near Bird Island.
investigation required to establish relation to fault line.
(Note: As a result of this work
which lasted ten weeks, the Chart is now marked “OWEN Fracture Line”
Data obtained was used to prove
“Tectonic Fracture Theory”)
Echo sounding equipment
established existence of dense fish layers
(Note: These were later
exploited by Japanese.)
Second Phase of Expedition (April - May 1963).
Phase concluded with
examinations of the seabed in Gulf of Avon (May)
Trench of 3,176 fathoms found
(Note: This was named WHEATLEY
after the scientist involved.)
No median valley discovered during traverses across this part of
Gravimeter and Magnetometer profiles made over trench north of Guarafui.
Arrived at Aden with 1 Ton fuel remaining after
4,320 mile travel since leaving Karachi.
(Note: Fuel economy measures needed included use of Diesel
Generator in daytime/
Passage to UK (May - June 1963)
Diverted to Massawa to land sick rating.
Special current measurements
made using an MFV in Straits of Gibraltar (June).
(Note: The Mecavolier Current
Meter and Pisa Bottles used produced an unsatisfactory result.)
Pre-refit trials in SW Approaches.
Total mileage steamed: 38,200
since re-commissioning (June).
Refit at Devonport (July -
Hull corrosion evident and attention essential at next refit. Port tail shaft removed for examination.
Guard-ship duty at Dartmouth
Regatta with families embarked for passage (August).
Sailed with families on board to Dartmouth for duty as Guardship.
Trinity House Vessel PATRICIA. Open to visitors (TOO).
(Note: Poor weather restricted yachting events.)
Passage to Mombasa (September -
Carried out work-up for surveying.
Made continuous soundings and six Shoal
examinations in Mediterranean near Cape Bon
Vigilance at Port Said proved
(Note: Thief caught escaping
out of bathroom scuttle with a raincoat.)
Indiscipline at Aden.
(Note: Rating charged with
striking Officer of the Day (October)
(Note: At subsequent
court-martial in Mombasa found guilty and sentenced to nine months detention.)
Kenyan coast survey
Detached parties landed with
survey motor boats for triangulation and tide watching.
International Indian Ocean Exploration (October - November).
Seismic Tests carried out in conjunction
with Royal Research Ship DISCOVERY.
(Note: Heavy duty Mark VII Depth Charges exploded at 400 feet below surface and 500 feet astern in positions
50 yards apart.
Effects recorded from sensors in
First depth charge caused flooding
in Naval Store and leak in a Fuel Tank
. After repair work
distance of explosion from ship adjusted by increasing speed.
Results achieved were judged to be
On return to Mombasa to embark more
Depth Charges trials programme delayed by machinery defects.
Repeated Seismic Tests with RRS DISCOVERY on Seychelles Bank for Geological
(Note: .Light Weight Depth Charges dropped in shallower
recorded to 106 miles range.
World record established for
length of seismic
Soundings recorded during
Kenyan Coast continuation
(November 1964 - February 1964)
Offshore work resumed and area
extended northward to cover approaches to Formosa Bay
Second DECCA Slave sited at Malindi
Tide Watching party at Kiunga near border of Somalia withdrawn because of
threatened attack by tribesmen..
Xmas and R&R at Mombasa.
(Note: Local station leave
Diverted to Zanzibar to evacuate
British citizens (January - February 1964)
(Note: Muslim Sultan had been
deposed by pro African elements.
Local situation resolved after
Later unrest in Dar-es-Salaam further delayed continuation of survey.
Joined other RN ships in area
after taking troops and stores from Mombasa
Returned to Mombasa when
situation stabilised (February)
Day and night work necessary to
make up for lost time but kept at short notice for recall.
Rejoined Task Group for brief
period and when operation cancelled recovered Slave Station.
The Earl of Oxford and Asquiith, HE Governor of Seychelles embarked at Aldabra for
visits to islands.(March)
Shoal investigations and ships
Calls at Desnoefs and Cosmeldo and Assumption Islands.
Fuelled at Diego Suarez (Malagasy) before disembarking the
Governor and party at Mahe.
(Note: Special permission was obtained for this visit
because of the presence of the Governor.
The visit had been made necessary because
planned Replenishment from an RFA vessel had been cancelled.)
turtle (Teresa) from the Governor to give to Plymouth Zoo (March)).
Final Phase of International
Indian Ocean Exploration work (April 1963)
Oceanographic work on passage to Mauritius during which lost Deep
Sub-current measurements made
and water samples obtained at 6 levels down to 150 fathoms.
Tidal gauge intended for
Mauritius site not required and set up at Rodriges.
Arrived Aden on 11 April
Carried out Vulcanological
(Note: Dr I Gass
of Leeds University scientist embarked.
Detached party landed at Perim.
Carried out scientific work in Gulf of Aden and
included TELLUROMETER fixing and vulcanological work
in Red Sea between Jabal al Tair
Recovered Perim party.
Passage to UK (April - May)
Oceanographic work carried out
off Malta at Fifla.
Hydrqgrapher embarked for entry in to
Mileage steamed 70,000 on
arrival (11th May).
Refit Period at Devonport (June
Ninth Commission (1964 - 65).
Recommissioned: 7 August 1964
Commanding Officer: Commander J.
General Service Commission for Eastern Atlantic Survey.
Visited Portsmouth to discuss
planned programme with Hydrographers in HMS VIDAL
Carried out one week work-up at Portland before
departure on 16 September
DECCA LAMBDA Survey in Eastern
Atlantic (October - December)
Slave Stations sited at Sancti Petri in Spain and at El Jabida in Morocco.
(Note: Detached parties established excellent relations
with local communities).
Local survey off Gibraltar
(Note: MFV trip arranged to
Moroccan coastal survey
(October - November)
R&R visit to Casablanca
(Note: Satisfactory social and
sporting exchanges with Royal Moroccan Navy.)
New Slave Station site S of
Cape Spartel agreed with Moroccan
at Rabat (November)
Progress slowed by weather and
some technical problems with the Lambda equipment.
Visited Cadiz (December)
(Note: Political situation relating to Spanish claim to
Gibraltar restricted reception.
Sites for Slave Stations discussed.
Hydrographer embarked before arrival at
Annual Inspection (December).
Moroccan Coast continuation
(January - May 1965)
Reactivated Slave Stations on
arrival at Gibraltar (January)
(Note: R&R to land skiing
parties in Spain and Morocco (January and February).
Returned to Gibraltar for
medical emergency (February).
Operational visit to Casablanca.
Petri Slave and transferred to new site south of Cape
Tragic suicide on board at
(Note: Board of Inquiry and
civil inquest held.)
Offshore activities continued to be affected
by weather well into March.
New site at operational by 15 March.
Detached party left at
Gibraltar for local survey after dredging work
Reconnaissance in Northern
Spain for sites required when survey area moved north (April)
Additional oceanographic work
carried out for Moroccan Fishery authorities off Casablanca (May).
Slave Station dismantled and moved
by road to Spain (May)
Official visit to Vigo for Liaison with Spanish naval authorities relating to
future work (4 to 6 June)
Lambda stations established in new sites.
NATO Hydrographic Month with Portuguese
Official visit to Lisbon with
many social exchanges (12 - 18 June)
Hydrographer of the Navy embarked for
discussions with Portuguese Hydrographer and
Joined Task Group 443.1 with Portuguese
Ships JOAO DE LISBOA and DIEGO CAO CORTE REAL
Oceanographic Cruises NE Azores
area with exchange of officers and visit to Ponta Delgardo.
Northern Spanish Coast (July -
Liaison visit to Ferrol.
(Note: Social and sporting exchanges; demonstration
Slave Stations set up and
Joint Survey programme started.
Return passage to UK
Attended Clyde Royal Review and
Sunnier Leave period at Plymouth (August - September)
(Note: At Plymouth Navy Days a
series of displays were provided on board to demonstrate
the work of the
Returned to continued survey SW
Cape Finisterre (September)
Port propeller shaft sheared
within A-Bracket and propeller lost.
(Note: No injury to engine room
Survey work terminated (15
Lambda Stations dismantled and
arrangements made for local custody.
Called at Vigo
(Note: Captain visited Madrid to review progress and
receive assurances of future
Returned to Plymouth on one shaft and arrived on 30 September.
F i n a l D i s p o s a l.
HMS OWEN Paid off 14 October
1965 and was reduced to Reserve status. She was placed on Disposal List and
sold in 1970 to BISCO for
demolition by Bolcow at Blyth.. The ship arrived in
tow at the breaker’s yard on
15 July 1970.