Allied Warships

HMS Plym (K 271)

Frigate of the River class

NavyThe Royal Navy
PennantK 271 
Built bySmiths Dock Co., Ltd. (South Bank-on-Tees, U.K.) 
Ordered24 Jan 1942 
Laid down1 Aug 1942 
Launched4 Feb 1943 
Commissioned16 May 1943 
End service 

Expended (vapourised) on 3 October 1952 in the first British atomic-bomb test at Trimouille Island, Monte Bello, Australia.


Commands listed for HMS Plym (K 271)

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and that we only list Commanding Officers for the duration of the Second World War.

1T/A/Lt.Cdr. Alan Foxall, RNR15 Mar 1943Aug 1945
2Lt.Cdr. Robert Stevenson Miller, DSC, RNRAug 1945Mar 1946

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Notable events involving Plym include:

9 Oct 1943
On 9 October 1943, convoy WS-33 arrived in South Africa from the UK with reinforcements for service in Burma, the convoy consisted of 4 ships. The British frigates HMS Bann, HMS Plym, HMS Teviot and HMS Trent were responsible for providing the Anti-Submarine escort on the last leg of the passage. (1)

13 Dec 1943

Convoy AB 24.

This convoy departed Aden on 13 December 1943.

[The exact composition of this convoy is not clear to us for the moment and will require furter research.]

The repair ship HMS Resource (Capt.(Retd.) D.B. O’Connell, RN), tank landing ship Boxer (Lt.Cdr. G.B Herbert-Jones, RNR) and the tug HMS Aimwell were also part of this convoy.

On departure from Aden this convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMS Roebuck (Cdr. J.T. Lean, DSO, RN), HMAS Quiberon (Cdr. G.S. Stewart, RAN), HMS Quality (Lt.Cdr. G.L. Farnfield, DSO, RN) and the frigates HMS Derg (Lt. E.J. Binfield, DSC, RNR) and HMS Kale (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Houchen, OBE, RD, RNR).

Around 1200DE/15, the destroyer HMAS Nepal (Cdr. F.B. Morris, RAN) joined and commenced fuelling from HMS Recource.

Around 1700DE/15, the escort carrier HMS Battler (A/Capt. F.M.R. Stephenson, RN), destroyers HMS Rotherham (Capt. F.S.W. de Winton, RN), HMS Rapid (Lt.Cdr. M.W. Tomkinson, DSC and Bar, RN) and frigate HMS Plym (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A. Foxall, RNR) made rendezvous with the convoy. They came from Bombay which they had departed, together with HMAS Nepal around 1500FG/12. HMS Rapid had joined the Battler group around 1415DE/15 having departed Colombo on 12 December 1943. HMS Plym actually did not join the convoy but proceeded independently to Aden where she arrived on 17 December 1943. HMAS Nepal proceeded to Kilindini where she arrived on 19 December 1943 escorting the troop transport Arundel Castle (British, 19118 GRT, built 1921) which she must have picked up at some point. HMS Battler, HMS Rotherham, HMS Rapid, HMS Roebuck, HMS Derg and HMS Kale arrived at Bombay with part of the convoy on 19 December 1943.

Around 1715DE/15, HMS Rescourse and the transport City of Lincoln (British, 8039 GRT, built 1938) and the destroyers HMAS Quiberon and HMS Quality parted company with the convoy. The City of Lincoln parted company with these ships around 1400FG/20 to proceed to Colombo where she arrived on 21 December 1943. HMS Rescource, HMAS Quiberon and HMS Quality arrived at Trincomalee around 1200FG/22.

15 Sep 1944

Convoy ABF 4.

This convoy departed Aden around 1500C on 15 September 1944.

This convoy was made up of the following (troop) transports;
City of Chester (British, 8520 GRT, built 1944), Felix Roussel (French, 17083 GRT, built 1930), Otranto (British, 20026 GRT, built 1925), Sarmiento (British, 8335 GRT, built 1943), Stratheden (British, 23722 GRT, built 1937), Strathmore (British, 23428 GRT, built 1935) and Umtata (British, 8141 GRT, built 1935).

On departure from Aden the convoy was escorted by the destroyers HMAS Norman (Cdr. H.J. Buchanan DSO, RAN), HMS Pathfinder (Lt.Cdr. T.F. Hallifax, RN), HMAS Quickmatch (Lt.Cdr. O.H. Becher, DSC and Bar, RAN), sloop HMIS Kistna (A/Capt. S.J. Thomson, RIN) and the frigates HMS Kale (Lt.Cdr. G.W. Houchen, OBE, RD, RNR), HMS Plym (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A. Foxall, RNR), HMS Tay (Lt.Cdr. R.E. Sherwood, RNR) and HMS Trent (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J.G. Rankin, DSC, RNR).

At 1715EF/18, the Sarmiento and Umtata were detached for Cochin and Trincomalee. They were escorted by HMAS Quickmatch.

Around 0730FG/20, ,HMAS Norman and HMS Pathfinder were detached to proceed ahead of the convoy to Bombay where they arrived around 1000FG/20.

The convoy arrived at Bombay around 1200FG/20.

22 Feb 1945

Operation Stacey

Photographic reconnaissance of Penang and the Kra Isthmus between latitudes 7°N and 10°N, and of Northern Sumatra.

On 22 February 1945, ' Force 62 ', made up of the escort carriers HMS Empress (Capt. H.A. Traill, OBE, RN, flying the flag of Vice-Admiral H.T.C. Walker, CB, RN), HMS Ameer (A/Capt. J.H. Lewes, OBE, RN), light cruiser HMS Kenya (Capt. C.L. Robertson, RN), destroyers HMS Volage (Cdr. L.G. Durlacher, OBE, RN), HMS Virago (Lt.Cdr. A.J.R. White, RN), HMS Vigilant (Lt.Cdr. L.W.L. Argles, RN) and the frigates HMS Spey (T/Lt.Cdr. A. Harrison, RNR), HMS Plym (T/A/Lt.Cdr. A. Foxall, RNR) and HMS Swale (A/Lt.Cdr. P.V. Collings, DSC, RNR).

The escorts were refuelled in the morning / early afternoon of February 24th. HMS Volage and HMS Vigilant were fuelled by HMS Kenya. fuelled HMS Virago and HMS Plym. HMS Ameer fuelled HMS Spey

A tanker force was also deployed, ' Force 61 ', which was made up of the RFA tanker Echodale (8150 GRT, built 1941) escorted by the frigate HMS Trent (T/A/Lt.Cdr. J.G. Rankin, DSC, RNR). They departed Trincomalee on 26 February 1945.

In the evening of 26 February HMS Spey was detached with defects. She joined the refuelling force.

Photographic reconnaissance of the Kra Isthmus and Penang was carried out successfully between 26th and 28th February. Three enemy aircraft were shot down by Allied fighters without loss.

Force 62 proceeded to rendezvous with the oiling force on 2 March 1945 and continue the operation.

Force 62 then proceeded to a flying off position north west of Simalur Island. On 4 March 1945 a successful photographic reconnaissance was made of the northeast coast of Sumatra, and of Niass, Simalur, and Banjak Islands.

Force 62 arrived at Trincomalee on 7 March 1945. (2)


  1. Personal communication
  2. ADM 199/1457

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.

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