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HMS Flint Castle (K383)

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Flint Castle
United Kingdom
NameFlint Castle
NamesakeFlint Castle
Ordered19 January 1943
BuilderHenry Robb, Leith, Scotland
Laid down20 April 1943
Launched1 September 1943
Completed31 December 1943
Out of serviceMarch 1956
IdentificationPennant number: K383
Honours and
Atlantic 1944–45
FateSold for scrap, 1956
General characteristics (as built)
Class and typeCastle-class corvette
Length252 ft (76.8 m)
Beam33 ft (10.1 m)
Draught14 ft (4.3 m)
Installed power
Propulsion2 shafts, 2 geared steam turbines
Speed16.5 knots (30.6 km/h; 19.0 mph)
Range6,500 nmi (12,000 km; 7,500 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Sensors and
processing systems

HMS Flint Castle (K383) was one of 44 Castle-class corvettes built for the Royal Navy during World War II. Completed at the end of 1943, the ship ran aground while training in January 1944. After repairs were completed the following month, she was briefly assigned to the 39th Escort Group for convoy escort duties in the Atlantic Ocean. Flint Castle was transferred to Escort Group B2 in March and screened convoys to and from Gibraltar until September. That month, she joined Escort Group B3 to escort convoys between Canada and Britain and continued to do so until the end of the war in May 1945. The ship then became an anti-submarine training ship in Rosyth and Campbeltown, Scotland, before moving to Portland at the beginning of 1947. Flint Castle remained there until she was taken out of service in March 1956 and broken up beginning in July 1958.

Design and description


The Castle-class corvette was a stretched version of the preceding Flower class, enlarged to improve seakeeping and to accommodate modern weapons. The ships displaced 1,010 long tons (1,030 t) at standard load and 1,510 long tons (1,530 t) at deep load. The ships had an overall length of 252 feet (76.8 m), a beam of 36 feet 9 inches (11.2 m) and a deep draught of 14 feet (4.3 m). They were powered by two 4-cylinder triple-expansion steam engines, each driving one propeller shaft, using steam provided by two Admiralty three-drum boilers. The engines developed a total of 2,880 indicated horsepower (2,150 kW) and gave a maximum speed of 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h; 19.0 mph). The Castles carried a maximum of 480 long tons (490 t) of fuel oil that gave them a range of 6,500 nautical miles (12,000 km; 7,500 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph). The ships' complement was 99 officers and ratings.[1]

The Castle-class ships were equipped with a single QF 4-inch (102 mm) Mk XVI gun forward, but their primary weapon was their single three-barrel Squid anti-submarine mortar. This was backed up by one depth charge rail and two throwers for 15 depth charges. The ships were fitted with two twin and a pair of single mounts for 20-millimeter (0.8 in) Oerlikon light AA guns.[2] Provision was made for a further four single mounts if needed. They were equipped with Type 145Q and Type 147B ASDIC sets to detect submarines by reflections from sound waves beamed into the water. A Type 272 search radar and a HF/DF radio direction finder rounded out the Castles' sensor suite.[3]

Construction and career


Flint Castle, the only ship of her name to serve in the Royal Navy,[4] was ordered on 19 January 1943 and laid down by Henry Robb at their shipyard in Leith, Scotland on 20 April. The ship was launched on 1 September and completed on 31 December. She was damaged by an accidental explosion alongside Barrage Vessel BV 42 on 22 December 1943 and one man killed on each vessel. BV 42 sank.[5][6]

She arrived at Tobermory, Mull, Scotland, on 12 January 1944 to begin training at the Royal Navy's Anti-Submarine Training School, HMS Western Isles. Flint Castle ran aground while training on 18 January and was refloated. She arrived at Belfast, Northern Ireland, the following day to begin repairs that lasted until 9 February. The ship was then assigned to the 39th Escort Group and escorted one Atlantic convoy in mid-March before being transferred to the Liverpool-based Escort Group B2 to escort convoys to and from Gibraltar.[7] In September 1944, Flint Castle was assigned to Escort Group B3, which protected convoys sailing between St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, and Britain. The ship was refitted in Cardiff, Wales, in January–March 1945 and rejoined her group in Liverpool in April.

She was assigned to Rosyth Command in June as an anti-submarine training ship and visited ports in Norway and Germany over the next several months. Flint Castle was transferred to the Rosyth Escort Force in June 1946, which was employed as a training unit; it was redesignated as the Basic Anti-Submarine Training Flotilla in September. The unit was then transferred to Portland and used a variety of names before settling on the Second Training Squadron in January 1952.[8] On 15 June 1953, she took part in the Fleet Review held at Spithead to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.[9] The ship was used to portray a German anti-submarine vessel in the 1955 film The Cockleshell Heroes.[10]

Flint Castle was taken out of service in March 1956 at Devonport Dockyard, until her demolition began, starting on 10 July 1958 at Faslane. While her service was uneventful, Flint Castle was awarded the battle honour of Atlantic 1944–45.[8]


  1. ^ Lenton, p. 297
  2. ^ Chesneau, p. 63; Lenton, p. 297
  3. ^ Goodwin, p. 3
  4. ^ Colledge, p. 128
  5. ^ "British vessels lost at sea in World War 2 including storeships, tankers, oilers, net layers, tenders etc".
  6. ^ Grave information in Seafield Cemetery where the two are buried
  7. ^ Goodwin, pp. 155–56
  8. ^ a b Goodwin, pp. 155–60
  9. ^ Souvenir Programme, Coronation Review of the Fleet, Spithead, 15th June 1953, HMSO, Gale and Polden
  10. ^ "HMS Flint Castle (K 383)". uboat.net. Retrieved 25 April 2016.