R08 HMS Bulwark

Royal Navy




1954 to 1983    


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Flight Deck: B
Call Sign: GKYD
See Also: L Albion class L15


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1945-may-10Laid down
1948-jun-22Launched
1954-oct-29Commissionedaka The Rusty B
1956-nov-1DeploymentNile Delta Port Said Operation Musketeer Participated in Suez Canal fixed wing operations.
1957-jul-25Port Visitto Cherbourg in company with HMS Salisbury, until 30 Jul.
1957-aug-28Aircraftembarked Whirlwind HAS.7 of 845 Squadron, until 21 Oct.
1958-jan-17Deploymentdeparted Portland for 2nd commission deployment, having embarked 845 Squadron with its second batch of brand new Whirlwind HAS.7 on 10 Jan. After initial visits to eastern Atlantic and Caribbean, arrived Singapore on 28 Apr. The return leg completed at HMNB Portsmouth in Nov 1958.
1958-sep-8AircraftAden Harbour Accident 845 NAS Whirlwind XL833/390/A suffered engine failure while storing the ship and ditched in Aden inner harbour, 8 Sep. Airframe recovered but jettisoned next day.
1959Refituntil 1960 at HMD Devonport, converted to first UK Commando Carrier and recommissioned on 19 Jan 1960
1961-apr-19Deploymentdeparted for Hong Kong 19 Apr and embarked 825 NAS (transferring in from HMS Victorious air group).
1961-jun-29DeploymentAirborne insertion Operation Vantage sailed with 42 Royal Marines Commando embarked, from Karachi to support Kuwait against possible Iraqi invasion. 42 CDO was airlifted into Kuwait on 1 Jul by Whirlwinds of embarked 848 NAS. HMS Bulwark withdrew on 21 Jul.
1962Refitconverted from Whirlwind to Wessex operation
1962-mar-27Port VisitSembawang naval base arrived at Singapore for 3 week maintenance period.
1962-jul-24DeploymentPulau Tioman South China Sea Exercise FOTEX 62 participated in Exercise FOTEX 62 with Far East Fleet, RAN and RNZN
1965-feb-25DeploymentLabuan Konfrontasi departed Singapore with RAF 230 Squadron Whirlwinds for transport from Seletar to Labuan.
1967-mar-9Deploymentsailed from Singapore in company with HMS Fearless for assault exercise off Penang.
1967-mayDeploymentfollowing Cultural Revolution in China, reinforced (40 Commando RM embarked) Hong Kong after rioting began. Departed 12 Jun 1967.
1967-decDeploymentuntil mid Jan 1968, part of Task Force 318 to cover the British withdrawal from Aden during Operation Magister.
1969-may-17AircraftAccident 845 NAS Wessex HU.5 XT774/F-B crashed on deck, off Cyprus
1972-janDeploymentMalta withdrawal 3 months, during dispute with Maltese government over bases
1972-may-19Deploymentdeparted HMNB Portsmouth for a 2 month WESTLANT deployment, with 845 Squadron and 41 Commando Royal Marines embarked and to re-establish 41 CDO in its Maltese base. Returned to HMNB Devonport on 17 Jul 1972.
1972-novDeploymentparticipated in Exercise Corsica 72 off W coast of Corsica with HMS Ark Royal, HMS Fearless, and HMS Intrepid.
1973-febPort Visitto Charleston, SC.
1973-apr-19Aircraftembarked 16 Wessex HU.5 of 848 NAS at HMNB Devonport, prior to the ship departing for Malta
1976withdrawn from Service into Reserve
1976-jan-16AircraftAccident 848 NAS Wessex HU.5 XT758/VB-B w/o 16 Jan 1976 when ditched and sank SW of Azores
1977Refituntil 1979, conversion to also operate Anti-Submarine helicopters alongside Commando role
1980-janAircraftembarked 2 airframe Flight from 846 NAS, (including XT451/VL-B) for exercise in the western Atlantic, until early Apr 1980
1981-marDecommissionedinto reserve
1984-aprFate: scrappedCairnryan, Dumfries Breakers Yard sold for scrap.

Specifications    

    from Modified Centaur class
1037crew
600troops
23300light (tn)
27700full load (tn)
224.90length (m)
27.40beam (m)
6.70draught (m)
29.50max speed (knots)
4Naval Gun single 40 mm
2Naval Gun twin 40 mm
1Naval Radar air direction radar Type 277
1Naval Radar air search radar Type 960

Aircraft    

    Typical Max
Royal Navy Westland whirlwind 016
Royal Navy Westland wessex 016
Royal Marines Westland sioux 02
Royal Marines SNIA SA341B Gazelle AH.1 06
Royal Marines Westland scout 03
Royal Navy Westland sea king 04
Royal Navy Westland wasp 11

The Max option implies only aircraft of this model onboard    

Builder    

Harland and Wolff, Belfast


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