The Loftsman
Leith Shipyards

A history of the Ships built at the Henry Robb Shipyard in Leith, Scotland. Also a testimony to the men who built the Ships and to all who sailed in them.
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Home Ships Built in Leith 1939 to 1945 HMS LOCH ACHANALT - Yard No 342 - Loch Class Frigate - Royal Navy - Built 1943

Leith Shipyards

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HMS LOCH ACHANALT - Yard No 342 - Loch Class Frigate - Royal Navy - Built 1943


Owners   Royal Navy
Registered     Keel Laid    14/09/1943
Type of Ship    Loch Class Frigate Launched    23/03/1944
      Commissioned    11/08/1944
Ship Details          
Length Overall    307' 02 Launch Details    
Length B.P.    286' 0" Weather    
Beam    38' 6" Time to Water    
Depth Mld     17' 9"      
Draught    12' 0"      
G.R.T.    1891 tons      
Complement     103 Officers and Men      
Engines   Triple expansion engine, producing 5500 ihp      
Props    2      
Speed    19.5 knots      
Armament     1 x 4in, 4 x 2 pounder, 6 x 20mm AA, 2 squids, depth charges.      
Other known names   HMNZS PUKAKI    
Current Status   Broken up in 1966    
Content on will HMS LOCH ACHANALT / HMNZS PUKAKI will be added as and when available. 
HMS LOCH ACHANALT on trials in the Firth of Forth
Ships History

Once a ship had been built and launched she then had to be out-fitted, and then complete sea trials
before being handed over to her new owners, in the case of a ship for the Royal Navy this meant she also had to be commissioned as fit for purpose, once commissioned she was then considered ready for action and would take her place in the fleet.

 HMS LOCH ACHANALT was the first of the new "Loch Class" Frigates launched and built at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb during World War II.

She was loaned to the Royal Canadian Navy to form part of the 6th Canadian Escort Group, for Atlantic convoy duty and while working in tandem with H.M.S.Annan she was credited with the sinking of U-1006.

H.M.C.S. Loch Achanalt was returned to the Royal Navy and was sold to New Zealand in 1947 along with six other "Loch Class" frigates and she was renamed HMNZS PUKAKI.

Her battle honours with the Royal Navy included the English Channel 1945

She was to have a long service history will serving with the New Zealand Navy, and she was to see action again during the Korean War 1950-53 where she was one of the ships providing cover for the of landings by US 1st Marine Division at Inchon.

During 1954 she was also involved in the Malaya during the anti-terrorist operations.

She was also involved during a deployment with HM Frigate OPOSSUM and carried out bombardment on terrorist positions on the west coast of Malaya with support from Army aircraft.

 She also deployed to the British nuclear tests at Christmas Island - Operation Grapple - as a weather ship in 1957 to 1958, and later as a combination weather/radar picket/rescue ship during Operation Deep Freeze, operating to the edge of the Antarctic pack ice between 1964 and 1965.  This operation was to take a lot out of the old hulls and on return from her second deployment to this frozen part of the ocean she was sold for scrap in 1965 and broken up at the start of 1966. 

So for an old short term war fix she was to outlast a lot of more well known ships of her time, with service and actions with 3 different naval forces for a total of around 22 years.


We try here to give as full an account of her history as time and research permits, if you know of missing info
or you have any photographs of her, then please get in touch and we shall update her story as we go along.




(photo credit unknown)


Tales from the Ship

Here you will find the stories from the men and women who sailed on the ships, what was it really like to be working on a ship in a raging sea and in the pitch dark of night, the real stories some funny some sad, some good and some bad.

Dedicated to all the brave men and women who sailed the vessels from the Leith Shipyards.

Should you know of anyone who may have sailed on her, then please feel free to get in touch so that we can add the story here.



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-1 #1 David Mark 2013-02-08 07:32
My Father AV (Tom) Mark was on the advance party for the Loch Achanalt and served as a Stoker till decomishoning. I would love to hear or read anything about his time on this ship.
David Mark

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