1954 to 1983    

R08 HMS Bulwark

UK Royal Navy

Flight Deck: B
Call Sign: GKYD
Shipyard: Harland and Wolff
See Also: L Albion class L15


History of UK HMS Bulwark R08

1945-may-10Laid downLaid down Yard No. 1281
1954-oct-29CommissionedCommissioned aka The Rusty B
1956-aug-13DeploymentDeployment MT Grand Harbour / il-Port il-Kbir / Valletta Arrived in Malta, covertly preparing for Op Musketeer. SAR Flt equipped with Dragonfly HR.3 WP502 / 983, WG720 / 984 & WG750 / 985.
1956-nov-01DeploymentDeployment Nile Delta Port Said Operation Musketeer Participated in Suez Canal fixed wing operations.
1956-decRefitRefit Refit at HMD Portsmouth, which included a flight deck magnetic loop communications system, until c Apr 1957
1957-jul-25Port VisitPort Visit FR Cherbourg to Cherbourg in company with HMS Salisbury, until 30 Jul.
1957-aug-28AircraftAircraft embarked Whirlwind HAS.7 of 845 Squadron, until 21 Oct.
1958-jan-17DeploymentDeployment departed 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-08AircraftAircraft YE Aden 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.
1958-sep-13DeploymentDeployment Strait of Hormuz (SN) assisted with recovery of mv Melika which had caught fire in the Straits of Hormuz after colliding with another oil tanker. Taken under tow by Bulwark and made for Muscat, escorted by Type 41 frigate HMS Puma.
1958-novRefitRefit Commando Carrier refit until 1960 at HMD Devonport, converted to first UK Commando Carrier and recommissioned on 19 Jan 1960
1960-mar-14DeploymentDeployment SG Sembawang naval base departed for Far East with 42 Commando and sixteen Whirlwind HAS.7 of 848 NAS embarked. Routed via the Mediterranean, Aden and Colombo, disembarking in Singapore on 30 May 1960.
1961-apr-19DeploymentDeployment departed for Hong Kong 19 Apr and embarked 825 NAS (transferring in from HMS Victorious air group).
1961-may-26AircraftAircraft MY Off Sipadan Island Accident Lost 848 Sq Whirlwind XM683 / T-B, when it ditched 1 nm from carrier while operating off Borneo
1961-jun-29DeploymentDeployment Airborne insertion Operation Vantage sailed with 42 Commando Royal Marines 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.
1961-nov-21AircraftAircraft HK Hong Kong Port Accident lost 848 Sq Whirlwind HAS.7 XN301 / M-B when it ditched during a formation landing.
1962-janDeploymentDeployment AU Cervantes Islands Exercise Tombstone amphibious assault in Cervantes area, with 42 Commando Royal Marines and 848 NAS.
1962-mar-27Port VisitPort Visit SG Sembawang naval base arrived at Singapore for 3 week maintenance period.
1962-aprAircraftAircraft embarked 815 NAS Wessex HAS.1, for first of type familiarisation
1962-jul-24DeploymentDeployment MY Pulau Tioman South China Sea Exercise FOTEX 62 participated in Exercise FOTEX 62 with Far East Fleet, RAN and RNZN
1962-octPort VisitPort Visit visited Kuwait in Persian Gulf
1962-decRefitRefit refit at HMD Devonport for full conversion from Whirlwind to Wessex operation, until Dec 1963
1964-janAircraftAircraft embarked 706 Sq B Flt and 43 Commando Royal Marines to work up with Wessex HAS.1 after refit. Culminated in Exercise Sandfly 2 assault on Libyan coast.
1964-mar-02AircraftAircraft 1st Scouts for Far East Konfrontasi Landed on 16x Scout AH.1 from Middle Wallop destined for various Flights in the Far East, plus 10 Flight which had been reassigned from 651 Sq to 656 Sq (already in theatre). Arrived at Singapore during Apr.
1964-aprDeploymentDeployment Gulf of Aden relieved HMS Albion off Aden, as the Far East station carrier
1965-feb-25DeploymentDeployment MY Labuan Konfrontasi departed Singapore with RAF 230 Squadron Whirlwinds for transport from Seletar to Labuan and arrived 10 Mar.
1965-mar-15DeploymentDeployment Exercise FOTEX 65 Exercise FOTEX 65 Exercising off Singapore in multi-national Naval Force
1965-octRefitRefit refit in UK, until c Mar 1966
1966-augDeploymentDeployment Red Sea relieved HMS Albion in Red Sea, as the Far East station carrier
1967-mar-09DeploymentDeployment sailed from Singapore in company with HMS Fearless for assault exercise off Penang.
1967-mayDeploymentDeployment following Cultural Revolution in China, reinforced (40 Commando RM embarked) Hong Kong after rioting began. Departed 12 Jun 1967.
1967-octDeploymentDeployment Gulf of Aden Recommissioned in Singapore with new Ships Company, flown out from UK to support British withdrawl from Aden. Embarked a Royal Marine Commando unit as a contingency against a disruptive withdrawl, until c Apr 1968
1967-decDeploymentDeployment until mid Jan 1968, part of Task Force 318 to cover the British withdrawal from Aden during Operation Magister.
1968-augRefitRefit refit at HMD Portsmouth. Ships Company took accommodation in HMS Centaur until c Feb 1969.
1969-may-17AircraftAircraft Accident 845 NAS Wessex HU.5 XT774/F-B crashed on deck, off Cyprus
1970-janDeploymentDeployment Deployed as Far East staion carrier, with 848 NAS embarked and left Singapore that Jun without a relief, leaving the Far East without a continuous amphibious capability. Returned to UK with 848 NAS by end Jul 1970.
1970-augRefitRefit refit until c Apr 1971
1970-aug-29 HMD Devonport Navy Days 1970 present (in refit) at Plymouth Navy Days 1970.
1971-mayDeploymentDeployment Departed UK for the Baltic Sea with 845 NAS embarked. Returned to UK from Mediterranean in Nov 1971 for boiler repairs.
1971-aug-28Port VisitPort Visit HMD Devonport Navy Days 1971 Ship open to visitors at Plymouth Navy Days 1971.
1972-janDeploymentDeployment MT Grand Harbour / il-Port il-Kbir / Valletta Malta withdrawal 3 months, during dispute with Maltese government over bases
1972-may-19DeploymentDeployment departed 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-novDeploymentDeployment participated in Exercise Corsica 72 off W coast of Corsica with HMS Ark Royal, HMS Fearless, and HMS Intrepid.
1973-febPort VisitPort Visit to Charleston, SC.
1973-apr-19AircraftAircraft embarked 16 Wessex HU.5 of 848 NAS at HMNB Devonport, prior to the ship departing for Malta
1973-may-05AircraftAircraft Accident Sioux AH.1 XT503 collided with part of ship on take off, ditched and sank while operating off Cyprus as 3 CBAS / Z.
1974-mar-08RefitRefit Refit at HMD Devonport, until early Feb 1975
1975-marPort VisitPort Visit MT Grand Harbour / il-Port il-Kbir / Valletta Deployment to Gib. Malta.
1976-jan-16AircraftAircraft Accident 848 NAS Wessex HU.5 XT758/VB-B w/o 16 Jan 1976 when ditched and sank SW of Azores
1976-may withdrawn from Service, into Reserve
1978-mar-20RefitRefit Refit until c Jan1979, to cover delays in bringing Invincible class to service. Conversion at HMD Portsmouth to operate Anti-Submarine helicopters alongside those in the Commando role.
1980-janAircraftAircraft embarked 2 airframe Flight from 846 NAS, (including XT451/VL-B) for exercise in the western Atlantic, until early Apr 1980
1981-marDecommissionedDecommissioned into reserve
1984-aprFate: scrappedFate: scrapped Cairnryan Breakers Yard sold for scrap.

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Modified Centaur class
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

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UK Royal Navy Westland Wasp 11


UK Harland and Wolff, Belfast

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