The life of D57 (R57)

Non Est Utilitas Equum Mortem Flagellant
(It’s no use flogging a dead horse)

During Warship Week in February 1942, Esher raised £1,192,000 which helped to build a warship, ‘HMS Cossack’.

Battle Honours
Baltic 1855
Witu 1890
Dover Patrol 1914-1919
Narvik 1940
Norway 1940
Atlantic 1940-1941
Bismarck Action 1941
Malta Convoys 1941

(Details as known at April 2017)
Laid down by Messrs Vickers Armstrong in High Walker Yard at Newcastle on Tyne on 18 March 1943. (Yard no. 63)

Launched 10th May 1944
Completed 4 September 1945

Standard displacement -1730 tons
Fully loaded seagoing displacement – 2550 tons
Length 362 ft 9 inches
Beam 35 ft 8 inches
Draught 15 ft 10 inches
2 x Parsons marine Steam Turbines – S. H. P 40,000 for 33 knots

4 x 4.5 guns QF. In 1951 one was removed and replaced by a 40mm Bofors
(Became 7 in 6 mountings)
6 x 40mm Bofors
4 x 21 inch torpedo tubes
4 x Depth charge throwers

Complement Peace War
Officers 15 15
Ratings 213 248

On page 1 can be seen a Latin motto and its translation with below it the ship’s badge. Mystery surrounds each of these. The Lords of the Admiralty, not known for their sense of humour, are unlikely to have approved of such a tongue-in-cheek motto for one of the Royal Navy fleet. So, where did it come from?

The official Admiralty art for the ship’s badge shows a horseman with a white coat or smock, as would be suitable for a Cossack on the steppes of Russia. It is assumed that this would have been the badge would have been when the ship was commissioned in 1945. However, what is certain is that at some point the colour of the rider’s coat/smock changed from white to red. This would appear to signify the political change in Russia from White Russian to Communist red.

Scuttlebut has it that both of these things occurred later in 1945 when the ship was in the Far East. The war in Europe had ended before COSSACK left the UK. The war with Japan had ended at the beginning of September 1945 and by the time that COSSACK arrived on the Far East Station some demobilisation had begun back in the U.K. For many “hostilities only” personnel, both officers and men, this was a sore point. There they were, far from home and, for many, after a long and arduous war, they had to sit it out and wait for reliefs to be organised and trooped out to take their places.
As far as the motto is concerned it is of no great significance. It had no official standing and was probably just a Wardroom jape reflecting the current situation at that time. The change of colour on the ship’s badge would have had to have had some sort of official recognition. The badge in that form appears to have remained in use in COSSACK from 1945 until the ship was finally paid off in 1959. So there the mystery remains.


Winter Trials off Newcastle
Malta for further trials


22 August 1945 Commissioned as R57 (Pennant number changed after VJ Day to D57. Armed at Chatham.

4 September 1945. Completed. Nominated for service with 6th Destroyer Flotilla, British Pacific Fleet as Senior Officer’s Ship

10 September 1945 The Tyne

11 September 1945 Arrived at the Nore for docking

3 October 1945 Arrived at Portland

14 October 1945 Weymouth

15 October 1945 Departed Portland

18 October 1945 Arrived at Gibraltar

20 October 1945 Departed Gibraltar

23 October 1945 Arrived at Malta

14 December 1945 Departed Malta

18 December 1945 Arrived at Port Said

19 December 1945 Departed Port Said

23 December 1945 Arrived at Aden (No departure date) with COMRT and HOWE.
The engineering officer Commander Aleu called for volunteers to go around the Royal Navy ships in the harbour singing carols.  Each ship they went to they sang carols and were invited on board for a drink.  Finally, being very happy they decided to go on board a battleship which was the Admirals flagship. They decided to go up the red carpeted gangway reserved for the admiral.  A young ensign was on guard at the top and seeing the very happy sailors coming towards him called out the marines who rushed to the top of the gangway armed to the teeth.  The happy carolers decided it was time to do an about turn and went back to HMS Cossack. (Scott Walker)


2 January 1946 Arrived at Colombo

4 January 1946 Departed Colombo

7 January 1946 Colombo to Singapore

8 January 1946 Malacca Straits. Arrived at Singapore

11 January1946 Departed Singapore

12 January 1946 Singapore to Labuan

13 January 1946 Approaching Labuan

15 January 1946 Labuan to Hong Kong

17 January 1946 Approaching Hong Kong

23 January 1946 Arrived at Hong Kong

25 January 1946 Left Hong Kong

26 January 1946 Hong Kong to Yokohama

28 January 1946 Approaching Yokohama

30 January 1946 Arrived at Tokyo?

14 March 1946 Yokohama to Kure

17 March 1946 Ship’s Company travelled by train from Kure to Hiroshima. (No warning on the effects of radiation were given)

26 March 1946 Approaching Kagoshima

31 March 1946 Kagoshima to Kure

4 April 1946 Kure to Yokohama

1 May 1946 Yokohama to Shanghai (after three months in Japan)

2 May 1946 Approaching Shanghai

5 May 1946 Left Shanghai

6 May 1946 Shanghai to Hong Kong

7 May 1946 Approaching Hong Kong

28 May 1946 Hong Kong to Singapore after a week of exercises.

30 May 1946 0520 exchanged identities with VINDEX

1 June 1946 Approaching Singapore

3 June 1946 Crossing the equator

4 June 1946 Singapore to Fremantle and south of the line

9 June 1946 One day out from Fremantle

10th June 1946. Fremantle / Perth

1 July 1946 Fremantle to Geraldton

6 July 1946 Geraldton to Tarakan

11 July 1946 Approaching Tarakan

13 July 1946 Tarakan to Hong Kong

17 July 1946 Dodging typhoons off Hong Kong

18 July 1946 Somewhere near the Paracels

19 July 1946 Returning to Hong Kong

26 July 1946 Hong Kong to Shanghai

28 July 1946 Off Shanghai – more typhoons

13 August 1946 Shanghai to Chingwantao

13 September 1946 Komatsushima to Obama

20 September 1946 Obama to Yokohama

26 September 1946 Exercising off Shikoku

29 September 1946 Returning to Yokohama

2 October 1946 Yokohama to Hong Kong

6 October 1946 Approaching Hong Kong and exercising

11 October 1946 Off Hong Kong (About to refit)

13 November 1946 Hong Kong

31 December 1946 Dry Dock Hong Kong


Rescue of “Tai Tong”

Hong Kong

1 January 1947 Tokio

2 January 1947 Mirs Bay

26 January 1947 Nagasaki

29 January 1947 Tokyo

14 February 1947 Nagoya

20 February 1947 Iwakuni

22 February 1947 Kure

5 March 1947 Arrived Shanghai at 1000 hours with BELFAST and COMET for an informal visit. Moored in the French Bund.

8 March 1947 US Admiral W.A. Kitts hosts officers of COSSACK and COMET

17 March 1947 Tsingtoa

23 March 1947 Sesabo

29 March 1947 Kure

3 April 1947 Sesabo

5 April 1947 Takiako

9 April 1947 Sesabo

14 April 1947 Hong Kong

25 April1947 Mirs Bay

26 April 1947 Hong Kong

20 May 1947 Singapore

28 May 1947 Johore

29 May 1947 Mersing (Malaya)

30 May 1947 Kluantoa

1 June 1947 Singapore

7 June 1947 Hong Kong

16 July 1947 Chernulpho

17 July 1947 Seaul

22 July 1947 Fusum

28 July 1947 Kure

8 August 1947 Yokahama

16 August 1947 Sesabo

22 August 1947 Tomiewan

24 August 1947 Kure

29 August 1947 Iwakune

30 August 1947 Hiro

4 September 1947 Kagaskima

6 September 1947 Sesabo

7 September 1947 Tomiewan

13 September 1947 Sesabo

15 September 1947 Tomiewan

20 September 1947 Sesabo

27 September 1947 Hong Kong

?? Plover Cove

?? Quantan (Malaya)

?? Hong Kong (HMS TAMAR)

?? Tokyo Bay

?? Kure (Japan)

?? Yokasuka

?? Shimonaseki Strait

?? Chemulpo (Korea)

?? Pusan (Korea) – Played Korean team at football. Lost 11 – 0

?? Sasebo (Japan)

?? Gotto Islands

?? Kure

?? Hong Kong


January 1948 Hong Kong

Mirs Bay

February 1948 Hong Kong dockyard for repairs to engines.

June 1948 Fleet rifle competition. Came 2nd in the Small Ships Rifle Cup. Small Ship winner of the Team Tile competition.

June 1948 Visited Sasebo and Kure in company with HMS Jamaica.

July- Hong Kong – (one week)


Iwakuni – Exercises with the Americans

Kure (4 days)

Ominato ( Fleet Regatta) (Won Wardroom Whaler race) (Came third in the Fleet Open Whaler race)





Hong Kong


25 February 1949 Nanking

26 February 1949 Resumed patrol on the Yangtse River to relieve another destroyer which had been tied up at a pontoon alongside a disused cement and gas factory about 6 miles from Nanking

14 March 1949 Sailed from the Yangtze River for Shanghai and Nanking

15 March 1949 Captain R.T.White DSO RN appointed Captain. Until 28 August 1950

March 1949 Nanking (12/13 March Ships Company presented “Bring on the Dancing Girls” (See separate programme)

March 1949 Exercises at Woosung

27 March 1949 Hong Kong

4 April 1949 Hong Kong – refit

12 April 1949 Hong Kong – Floating dock

9 May 1949 Passage to Yangtse

Developed serious evaporator problems stemming from the refit which severely restricted ability to make fresh water. Ship was damaged during an attempt in a gale to replenish the water supply from BELFAST. Returned to Hong Kong for repairs

June 1949 Sailed North in company of JAMAICA

30 July 1949 At buoy in Sasebo harbour. Made steam in 3 hours and proceeded to meet AMETHYST about 1100 hours after her escape down the Yangtze River. Escorted AMETHYST as she had a damaged engine room.

Recollection of PO Norman Buck

We were on our way back to Whampoa entrance and at the end of August HMS Amethyst managed to escape the Chinese. Having secretly got fuel for her engines and wrapped the cable in cloths soaked oil to keep the noise down, she slipped away without being seen. It was a cold night and no moon. HMS Cossack was inside the entrance waiting for her. It was about 0300 when I was told to get my hawsers out on the quarterdeck in case she broke down and had to be towed. She didn’t have much oil or engine power.

The Chinese were alerted before Amethyst got to the entrance and they had 9-inch guns on the forts. I stood on the quarterdeck and watched the Chinese sink one of their own ferries crossing the river. It was set alight and eventually sank. We escorted Amethyst back to Hong Kong with a cruiser joining us. It was quite a scene with all ships and their sirens greeting her. What a sight! I felt very proud to be British. Amethyst’s ship’s company all got 11 days leave.

1 August 1949

HMS AMETHYST crossing astern of HMS COSSACK

August 1949 Whampoa Entrance




30 September 1949 Hong Kong


Task Force CTG 95
Korean One (Blockade Group)
Rear Admiral W.G. Andrews RN

HMS Belfast CL HMCS Cayuga DD
HMS Kenya CL HMCS Sioux DD
HMS Jamaica CL HMCS Athabaskan DD
HMS Cossack DD HMAS Warramunga DD
HMS Consort DD HnethMS Evertsen DD

1 – 11 January 1950 Hong Kong

11 January 1950 Left Hong Kong

14 – 28 January 1950 Yangtse Patrol. Stood by SS ETHEL MOLER

29 January 1950 Amoy

8 – 27 February 1950 Hong Kong and Flotilla Exercise

3 March 1950 Subie Bay

4 – 9 March Anglo-US Exercises

12 – 16 March 1950 Sandakan, North Borneo

21 March 1950 Hong Kong

3 April 1950 Hong Kong

9 April 1950 Easter Sunday Noon. Arrived Ominato, Honshu Island. Japan. Task to convert a derelict Japanese airfield into a summer base for the Fleet. The survey party were muffled to the eyebrows in greatcoats and scarves.

10 April 1950 The Mayor called on the Captain of COSSACK at 0930. This was reciprocated in the afternoon with the naval party arriving in a vegetable lorry as the Naval transport had gone astray. Certain officers were dispensed hospitality of green tea, saki and dressed crab served by the employees of one of the town’s houses of pleasure. (The one owned by the mayor).

Work had started on clearing the airfield and it was found that the best method was to set fire to the tinder dry growth and then tow the ships bottom line between two jeeps over the ground. COSSACK then claimed to be the only destroyer in commission with a burnished bottom-line! Once the ground was cleared the work or preparing the pitches resembled the process of a sausage machine. Into one end you put a PTI and a few sailors and some lime wash and from the other end emerged a football pitch.

A water supply was traced and eventually turned on. The problem there after was to make the water appear only where it was wanted. It had the most disconcerting habit of turning up and flooding the most unexpected places.

The Electrical Officer, with much enterprise and after blowing up several main roads with beehives of plastic explosive discovered several thousand volts inside the airfield area and traced them to the vicinity of the canteen. Then after much haggling persuaded the local electricians to provide a 220 V supply to the canteen. More haggling was carried out by the Engineering Officer who finally persuaded the locals to provide water to ships at a cost of £7.10.0 a trip instead of the original quoted figure of £20. This haggling was fitted in between periods of grass burning, grass extinguishing, tree hacking and back breaking work which eventually produced
The ship’s company produced three football pitches (two grass), two concrete hockey pitches, a nine-hole golf course, a cricket pitch mowed and roped off and a rifle range with 200, 300 and 500 yard firing points. A super-austerity canteen was in being and BLACK SWAN had the job of landing 1000 cases of beer from GREEN RANGER by boat in a heavy swell and rain.

25 April 1950 Sailed from Ominato

28 – 29 April 1950 Kure

1- 2 May 1950 Yangtse Patrol

5 – 14 May 1950 Amoy Patrol

12 May 1950 (Friday) SS ETHEL MOLER incident. Seized back from the Chinese Nationalists and returned to Hong Kong on the 13th under a boarding party led by Lt Cdr R.T. Ridgeway

17 – 19 May 1950 Kure

Whilst on patrol off Amoy COSSACK sighted in the early morning a light merchant vessel in the vicinity of Chapel Islands. Closing to identify the vessel it was found to be the SS ETHEL MOLLER (564 tons) who had been captured by the Chinese nationalists three months previous. Painted on her side were the Chinese characters meaning – “To live again on Resurrection Day”. The boarding party were piped away and within a few minutes fourteen men who had been specially drilled for the occasion were crammed in the whaler hurriedly adjusting their equipment and all the more excited than nervous. In the whaler the boarding officers gave their instructions as to where each man had to go. Two positions in particular had to be taken in control immediately on boarding – the bridge and the engine room.
Lining the MOLLER’s rails were many well-armed Nationalist soldiers stood watching whilst the boarding party clambered up the ship’s side. They offered no resistance but then COSSACK was close by with all guns trained. In less than a minute everything was under control. Captain Waites, the Master and his crew were very pleased to see the boarding party as they had had a pretty rough time during the three months the ship was in the Nationalist’s hands.
It was learnt that there were onboard 150 soldiers, 2 generals, 12 Chinese women and 4 children. There was also 3 boxes of silver bullion.. The job of disarming the soldiers was soon under way. Rifles, bayonets, hand grenades and revolvers were locked away in an after compartment under guard. The boxes of silver were placed on the bridge.
Meanwhile signals were flashing between ETHEL MOLLER and COSSACK and the whaler returned to the MOLLER bringing Lt Cdr H.J. Bartlett and the steaming party with provisions, including a jar of rum. The whaler also brought COSSACK’s medical Officer (Surgeon Lt R. Morgan RN) to attend the four men who were wounded when the MOLLER left Tungsang harbour under Communist fire at midnight on inspecting the filthy conditions forward were the wounded lay very soon found better accommodation for them by putting them in the compartments occupied by the generals and their wives who reluctantly transferred themselves elsewhere. With their wounds dressed all were left comfortable, except one with serious head injuries. Lt Cdr Bartlett and the steaming party took charge and the ETHELL MOLLER got under weigh and headed south for Hong Kong escorted by COSSACK. During the late afternoon HMS Whitsand Bay took over escort and COSSACK returned to her patrol.
The Chinese were pleased as punch they had got their bunks back from the soldiers and the Chef proudly ordered them out of his galley, his enthusiasm was so much affected that he set fire to the galley funnel twice when he turned up the oil. Another happy member was theCchief Steward who calculated that his wife in Hong Kong should be “having a baby at any time now”.
The steaming party settled down into two watches. Rum was ‘issued in the correct fashion and at the proper time. The meals were as good as could be expected.
For the night it was decided that only women and children would sleep in No 1 hold, all the soldiers, except the generals bedded down on the rice sacks in No 2 hold so as to be kept under supervision from the bridge. Arrangements were also made for a quick “black out” should there be retaliation from Nationalists planes.
At approximately 2000 a plane was heard circling around the ship and the ship was darkened. This happened twice before information from WHITSAND BAY that the aircraft was from Kai Tak exercising with BELFAST.
The night passed uneventfully and the following morning preparations were made for entering Hong Kong. After having an early dinner the steaming Party with bayonets fixed were stationed at vantage points all over the ship and at 1210 Saturday May 13th the ETHEL MOLLER entered into her home port.

Press launches were the first to greet her, taking pictures as she headed for the quarantine anchorage in Kowloon Bay where the police and health authorities came onboard and took over responsibility.
At 1315 the Navy (with half a jar of rum) left the steamer in a police launch to board HMS Alacrity leaving Lt Cdr Bartlett to attend the Inquiry etc. Almost immediately ALACARITY sailed and the following day the steaming party were transferred back to COSSACK ending an interesting, sometimes exciting and much publicised episode.

In May 1951 COSSACK intercepted SS Ethel Moller carrying a cargo of rubber and escorted her towards Singapore – her master – Captain Waites!

Boarding party

Lt Cdr. T .G. Ridgeway RN
Surgeon Lt R. Morgan RN
S. M. Baker. AL
POSM Fahey J
Elect. Harrop F
L/Seaman Kingland F
ERA Knights H
EM Kermeen J
PO Orchard C
SM Reid D
SBA Sharp E
AB Smith L.G
L/Seaman Stevens D
L/Signalman N

Steaming Party
Lt Cdr H.J. Barlett DSC.RN
SM Baker A
Mech 3 Bristow C
Elect Harrop F
AB Haywood B
AB Luke A.C
CPO SM marsh W
AB McDowell R.
OD McGuffie J
PO Orchard C
SM Reid D
AB Smith L G
Tel Sawyer E.
OD Todd A
OD Warrener

17 – 19 May 1950 Kure

20 – 24 May 1950 Kagoshima Carried out a survey of the port.

25 May 1950 Kure. No 2 boiler Room flooded

5 June 1950 Kure

25 June 1950 (Sunday) North Korea invades South Korea. COSSACK at Ominato. Sailed at 1630.

27 June 1950 2300 COSSACK with TRIUMPH and JAMAICA approaching Kure. Cossack refuelled and provisioned at RAN dockyard at Kure and joined JAMAICA, CONSORT, HMAS SHOALHAVEN, RFA WAVE CONQUEROR and the carrier TRIUMPH. (West Korean Support Group (CTG 968)) 32o25’N 133o15’E – East of the Bungo Channel at 0600

24 – 28 June 1950 Yangste Patrol (26 June 1950 Korean War started)

In late June, 1950, the U.S.S. ROCHESTER joined the Carrier Task Force. The ROCHESTER was under the command of Captain Edward L. Woodyard and proceeded to Korean waters. The ROCHESTER was ordered to the West Coast of Korea, carrying the flag of Vice Admiral Struble and operated with TG77.1
Support Force ( RADM W. G. Andrewes, R.N.) consisting of cruiser’s U.S.S. ROCHESTER [CA 124], Capt. E. Woodyard in command, and H.M.S. BELFAST, Capt. Sir Aubrey St. Clair – Foc in command.

The screening destroyers were TG77.2 comprising of SHELTON, EVERSOLE, FLETCHER, RADFORD,MADDOX, S.N. MOORE, BRUSH, TAUSSIG, H.M.S. COSSACK, H.M.S. CONSORT. The Fast Carrier Group TG 77.4 (RADM J. M. Hoskins, U.S.N ) consisted of the U.S.S VALLEY FORGE and H.M.S.TRIUMPH.
COSACK was allocated to T.U. 96.8.1 with BELFAST and CONSORT under Rear Admiral Andrews

28 – 29 June 1950 Kure

1 – 2 July 1950 Okinawa Exercises

5-8 July 1950 Sasebo

8 July 1950 Shelled by shore batteries at Pyongyang-Do

9 July 1950 0600 In company with BELFAST and CONSORT inaugurated the blockade of the West coast of Korea

8 –14 July 1950 Pusan to pick up a South Korean liaison team which was spread between the ships, then to West Coast Korea. (TG 775). The passage north of Quelpart Island apart from bad weather, was uneventful.

10 July 1950 Off Inchon and a sweep was made sufficiently far in to sight both the main channel and the Flying Fish Channel, and to explore the islands off the entrance. A few junks were engaged n fishing, but that was all, so the force stood to seaward and then shaped course for to the northward to intercept any ships on passage from Chinnampo to Inchon. Nothing was sighted: it seemed as though the see had been swept clear of anything larger than small fishing vessels. On arrival south of the Techong islands the COSSACK was detached to pass inside the group. Still nothing was sighted and as soon as the COSSACK rejoined a cast was taken to the west-south-west and later to the north to cover the comparatively narrow waters (about 100 miles) between Choppeki Point and the Shantung promontory. During the night the routes between Dairen and Chinnampo were covered by a sweep extending north to 38o 40’ 123o 40’ W. On several occasions they were deceived by radar “gremlins” and more than once increased speed and made for a shadow that broke up and vanished. No shipping was encountered

10 July 1950 Dawn found T.U. 96.8.1 off the Techong islands and a sweep was made to the entrance to Inchon. A few junks were questioned but no shipping was met with and the task force turned north again passing the Techong group, this time sending CONSORT inside. Again nothing was sighted so they proceeded to the entrance to Chinnampo. The southern limit of the entrance is well marked, but to the north are endless shoals and shallows, the port lying over 20 miles up a narrow and torturous approach. That night much the same movements as the night before were carried out in order to cross the possible northern shipping routes and to be off Choppeki Point at dawn.

12 July 1950 0600 COSSACK detached to pass inside the Techong islands and was fired on by shore batteries at Penyond Do. A short but hot engagement ensured in which COSSACK silenced two guns at ranges of 5000 to 8000 yards firing about 140 rounds. Ten or more enemy shells fell within 200 yards of the ship but she remained undamaged. Course was resumed towards the entrance to Inchon. As its outlying islands were approached from the north-west, a good deal of air activity was noticed over the land within about 25 miles. After standing to the south for an hour or so, course was altered to the northward and during the afternoon the approaches to the Seoul River were examined after which the usual sweep to the north -west was undertaken. About midnight a signal was received which reported that the crew of a B29 had bailed out near Poromu (37o 40’N 126o 10’ E) and that a flying-boat was being sent to search the area at 0900 and would like support. Poromu lies in the estuary of the Seoul River; shoals and mud banks run some 30 miles to seaward of it and the last survey of the area had been made some 68 years previously. The force remained to seaward of the shoals.

13 July 1950 1030 As nothing had been heard about the B-29 COSSACK had been ordered to approach Poromu cautiously in the hope that survivors might be making their escape by junk or sampan, when the flying-boat made contact and reported that a thorough search had revealed nothing. The search was abandoned and course set southward to meet Captain Salter’s group which took over the patrol in the afternoon (All but three of air crew were later picked up by Captain Salter’s force)

14 July 1950 1015. Arrived at Sasebo

17 –1950 Pusan then East Coast Kores with BELFAST. Met up with the US destroyers MANSFIELD and de HAVEN.

18 July 1950 COSSACK fired at the harbour installations at Sokcho (38o 13’ N) a small North Korean Naval Base. Then proceeding south both ships bombarded harbour installations at the former south Korean Naval Base at Mokko (37o 31’ N).

Google Earth 2016
In the afternoon COSSACK and de HAVEB were detached from the force as being required for the West Coast patrol.

19 July 1950 Bombarded targets of opportunity.

26 July 1950 Sasebo

2 August 1950 Bombardment of Mokpo by HMS Cossack and COCKADE to create a division in the rear of the North Korean forces which were thrusting towards Pusan from the westward. Fire was opened at 0820 and continued for a couple of hours by which time 1000 rounds of 4.5 inch ammunition had been expended. Fires were started in the factory area, oil tanks and refinery, railway sidings and rolling stock were damaged. There was no opposition from the shore. With the bombardment completed the sips turned northward and joined Admiral Andrews. BELFAST and COSSACK then steered for Sasebo.

3 August 1950 That afternoon a signal was received from Admiral Joy ordering a bombardment of Inchon by two cruisers on 5 August. This allowed very little time for preparation. Speed was increased and immediately on arrival at Sasebo the next morning the Fleet Gunnery Officer and Fleet Communications Officer set off for Tokyo by air for an intelligence briefing. Several ships arrived to swell the fleet including HMS Alert (Cdr Brooks) which was to take over from BELFAST who was returning to the UK in a few days.

4 August 1950 The two staff officers arrived back in the afternoon. Belfast then sailed with COSSACK and CHARITY for Inchon being joined by the KENYA the next morning.

5 August 1950 Inchon lies some 118 miles to the westward of Seol on the east bank of the estuary of the River Salee which joins the River Han, or Seoul River about 20 miles further north. Many islands, rocks and shoals extend to seaward some 40 miles to the west and south westward. Tidal streams of about three knots increasing to as much as 6 knots in the narrower passages could be expected. Several channels lead through the shoals. After careful consideration the north-western or Flying Fish Channel was chosen as most suitable. It was decided to start the bombardment about an hour after high water which was due to occur at 1032 with a rise of about 25 feet. The fleet would be supported by two P-2V (NEPTUNE) aircraft for spotting and two Corsairs from the USS Sicily to give air cover. Several islands had been reported as occupied by the communists. Targets were school buildings being used as barracks, an electric power station, oil tanks and storage; a truck park etc. 0745 communications were established with the KENYA and the aircraft at 38o 11’ N 13o 13’E. the ships progressed at 18 knots on a flood tide and an hour later reached the selected bombardment position close to Kitachoshis about 11 miles south of Inchon. COSSACK stood by to deal with any interference with the bombarding ships from the shore. The bombardment lasted an hour and three quarters. After which BELFAST, COSSACK and CHARITY sailed for Sasebo.

That evening a report of 300 junks being sighted to the westward of Inchon was received and COSSACK was detached to strengthen KENYA’s patrol. It was in fact an innocent fishing fleet.

6 August 1950 Bombardment of Mokpo by HMS Cossack, CHARITY, KENYA, EVERTSEN (Dutch).

7/8 August 1950 HMS Cossack in company with COCKADE search for US Corsair pilot off Port of Inchon (Picked up by COCKADE)

10 – 11 August 1950 Sasebo

16 August 1950 Hong Kong for refit

Captain V.C. Begg appointed Captain (September 1950 – March 1951)

Navigating officer Lt Cdr (N) Aldington
September 1950 Hong Kong

12 September 1950 Task Force 95 under Rear Admiral W. G. Allan E. Smith USN – USS Dixie (AD-14)

CTG 95.1 Korean One (Blockade Group) – Rear Admiral W. G. Andrews RN

HMS Belfast
HMCS Cayuga
HMS Kenya
HMCS Sioux
HMS Jamaica
HMCS Athabaskan
HMS Cossack
HMCS Warramunga
HMS Consort
HMNS Evertsen
HMS Cockade

Other task forces were designated CTG 95.2 (Blockade) CTG 95.5 (Escorts)
CTG 95.6 (Minesweepers) CTG 95.7 (Republic of Korean Forces.)

1 October 1950 (Sunday) Hong Kong. Wind force 1 ENE Temperature 88F.
0118 Guard boat hailed.
0800. Duty part employed cleaning up decks
1000. Fire parties exercised
1030 Secure

3 October 1950 (Tuesday) Hong Kong. Wind E to NW force 4 decreasing to 1 at noon then increasing to 3. Temperature 80 to 87 F
0415. HMS Comus entered harbour and secured to No 7 Buoy.
0750. Hands employed refitting ship and preparing to shift berth.
0805. 2nd Starboard to breakfast.
0930 Both watches employed refitting ship.
1850. Slipped from West arm and secured to No 8 buoy.

4 October 1950 (Wednesday) Wind NW force 3 increasing to 4 at noon then to 6 at 1600. Temperature 81 F.
0730. 2nd Port employed refitting ship.
0930. 2nd Port relieved for breakfast.1st Starboard employed refitting ship.

5 October 1950 (Thursday) Wind NW to N. force 7 decreasing to 5. Temperature 71 to 79 F.
0755. 1st Starboard employed refitting ship.
1315 . Received supplies from COMUS.

6 October 1950 (Friday) Hong Kong. Wind North force 5 decreasing to 2. Temperature 70 to 74 F.
0755 1st Starboard watch employed refitting ship.
0815 Both watches refitting ship.
1035 Commenced movement by tugs
1050 Secured starboard side to on West Arm East

23 October 1950 Refit completed

28 October 1950 Sailed from Honk Kong

31 October 1950 Sasebo

4 November1950 Sasebo

7 November 1950 MOUNTS BAY secures alongside COSSACK in Sasebo

4 – 8 November 1950 Exercises off Sasebo

8 – 22 November 1950 West Coast of Korea

28 November 1950 Arrive Kure

1 – 4 December 1950 Sasebo

4-15 December 1950 Air cover for the Task Group in company of CONCORD, CONSTANCE, THESEUS. T.E 95.11 on way to Sasebo

15-16 December 1950 0700 left Sasebo. Very bad weather encountered on the way north with gale force winds dead ahead. Winds of 55 knots gusting 60 knots over the deck were encountered and speed was reduced to 10 knots.

17 December 1950. Arrived at operating area to the westward of Inchon with wind still at gale force with heavy snow showers.

24 December 1950. Increased enemy activity noticed

17-27 December 1950 West Coast Korea screening HMS THESEUS

28 December 1950 Kure


5 January 1951 Kure

6-17 January 1951 West Coast Korea screening HMS THESEUS

17-25 January 1951 Sasebo

25 January 1951 West Coast Korea screening HMS THESEUS T.E.95.11

3 February 1951 Left the area of operations for Kure

5-12 February 1951 Kure

13 February 1951 Yokosuka

13-17 February 1951 Yokosuka for A/S exercise. HMS CONSTANCE adrift in snowstorm.

18-22 February 1951 Sasebo

22/2 – 7/3 1951 West Coast Korea. Bombarded FANKOCHI area and off Choda Island. Ship surrounded by ice. Temperature-12F. COSSACK fired 530 rounds of 4.5 inch shell.

7-13 March 1951 Kure

13-24 March 1951 West coast Korea. Bombarded off Choda Island

28 March 1951 Arrived Hong Kong for half -yearly refit.

April 1951 Hong Kong

16 May 1951 Refit complete. To sea for exercise.

18-23 May 1951. Intercepted SS NANCY MOLLER carrying a cargo of rubber off Hainan and escorted her towards Singapore. Her master – Captain Waites

29 May 1951 Sasebo

4 June 1951 Sasebo

4-16 June 1951 West Coast Korea. Bombarded off Choda

16-18 June1951 Sasebo

19 June 1951 HMS Cossack relieved HMNS Van Galen (D803)

18-23 June 1951 West coast Korea screening USS SICILY. Other ships involved were HMAS Warramung, HMAS Anzac, HMCS Cayuga, HMCS Huron, HMCS Athabaskan, HMCS Sioux, HMSC Aramunga, USS Hawkins, USS Fiske, USS Bradford, USS Cunningham, USS Cony, USS Conway, USS Rendova, USS Renshaw, USS Brown, USS U.M. Moore, USS Perkins, USS Kidd, USS Naifeh, USS Wedderburn, USS Orleck, RFA Green Ranger, RFA Wave Chief, RFA Wave Premier, HMCS Nootk, HMS Mounts Bay, HMS St Brides Bay, HMS White Sands Bay, HMS Cardigan, HMS Glory, HMS Consort, HMS Constance, HMS Murchison, HMS Comus, HMNZ Rotoiti, HMNS Val Galen (DD803)

Enroute to Sasebo Japan with HMS Glory

23-28 June 1951 Sasebo for an ‘AVAGO’ – a pentathlon between ships.
May have been 16/18 June 1951

1-4 July 1951 A/S exercise off Hong Kong

4-16 July 1951 Self maintenance period at Hong Kong

18-30 July 1951 Okinawa and A/S ‘Hunter Killer’ exercise with US Navy

31 July 1951 Yokosuka

2-4 August 1951 Sasebo

4 August 1951 West Coast Korea screening USS SICILY. Enroute to Korean War Zone with USS Sicily and HMS Charity. Conducted AA firing exercise and battle problems using aircraft from USS Sicily.

6 August 1951 On Bugatti Patrol

16-23 August 1951 Kure

24 August 1951 COSSACK straddled by a shore battery whilst entering harbour to take over in the channel between Yo do and Ung do. Battery believed to be on Hodo Pando.

24/8 to 4/9 1951 East Coast Korea. Straddled by shore battery at Wonsan. Bombarded Wonsan, Songjin and Chongjin firing 1063 rounds 4.5 ammunition. Yang Do landing. Operational area Latitude 37° 30’ N Longitude 124° 30’ E

After 48 hours at Wonson COSSACK was sent north to take charge of T.E. 95 .22 until relieved on 3 September. During this time she supervised the establishment of a R.o.K. Marine garrison on the island of Yang do, 15 miles to the north of Songjin, whence some covert activities had been carried out. The usual harassing bombardments were carried out day and night. Both the CONSORT and the COSSACK obtained the services of spotting aircraft from T.F. 77 on a number of occasions.

4-9 September 1951 Sasbo

10 September 1951 COSSACK relieves BELFAST as C.T.E.95.12

17 September 1951 COSSACK and BELFAST off the entrance to the Rivers Yalu and Chorusan. COSSACK was detached to bombard a gun position on the Chorusan peninsula. Fire was opened on both BELFAST and COSSACK but was speedily silenced. No enemy positions had been attacked by UN ships’ gunfire so far north on the west coast.

20 September 1951 LEOPARD reports about 200 Chinese Communists had ejected friendly forces from the island of Wolto (39o 42’ N 124o 35’ E) west of Chorasan Peninsula. COSSACK proceeded at once to the position and bombarded the island and positions on the adjacent mainland.

20-24 September 1951 West Coast Korea. Bombarded Haeju, Choppeki, Choda area and Yala Estuary. Escorted UNICORN back to Sasebo

24-30 September 1951 Kure

1 October 1951 COS SACK takes over C.T.E. 95.12 and for some days, apart from the ships in the Han Estuary, was the only ship in the element.

3 October 1951 She bombarded in the Choda area and patrolled in the Haeju-Hwanghae – Inchon area.

4 October 1951 Joined by HMS Amethyst.

6 October 1951. Joined by HMS Ceylon. HMS Alert joined for a few days to carry out bombardments before leaving on the 11 October.

9 October 1951 Covered by COSSACK 800 guerrillas landed on the eastern side of Sinmi do (8 miles long by four miles wide) to fight the Communists. COSSACK remained until daylight when success seemed assured and she left for Sasebo.

10-14 October 1951 West Coast Korea. Bombarded Haeju, Choppeki and Yalu areas. Supported invasion of Sinmi Do. Fired on by shore batteries. Received two oxen for services rendered.

14 October 1951 Rode out Typhoon RUTH at Sasebo

17 October 1951 Sailed for Hong Kong flying paying off pendant.

6 November 1951 Chinese launch attack against Donkey 13 on Tan-do.  Tan-do falls.  Survivors retreat to T’an-do.

8 November 1951 Chinese invade and take T’an-do.

11 November 1951 CCRAK deploys its first Tactical Liaison Office team to US infantry division. Mission – dispatching and retrieving agents through front line positions. Later TLOs will conduct long range patrols behind enemy lines.

15 November 1951 Chinese take Ae-do.

24 November 1951 Chinese take Sohwa-do

30 November 1951 Chinese land on Taehwa-do. Vicious fighting between Donkey 15, supported with naval gunfire from HMS Cossack, fails to stop landing.

24 December 1951 Hong Kong.

Statistics for 1950 – 1951 commission
Steamed 88,000 miles at an average speed of 13.9 knots
Used 19000 tons of fuel whilst under way for 65000 hours
Steam was on the engines for 890 days and the propeller turned nearly 51 million revolutions.
4168 rounds of 4.5 inch and 2400 rounds of Bofor were fired at the enemy in 171 separate bombardments
There were 30 occasions of oiling and 115 transfers at sea.


17 January – 10 February 1952 Hong Kong and area

Captain W.A. Adair takes command until May 1953

13- 15 February 1952 Sasebo

15 February 1952 West Coast Korea Patrol

16 February 1952 Yellow Sea. The marine Corsairs landed on Bairoko on 11 February 1952 and the escort carrier, in company with escorts HMS Charity (D.29) and HMS Cossack (D.57), took up position in the Yellow Sea on the 16th. For the next nine days, Bairoko launched Corsair fighters for patrol sweeps and targets-of-opportunity strikes between the Yesong and Taedong Rivers in Korea. During the 121 combat sorties flown in this period, her planes bombed and strafed communist-held bridges, enemy gun positions, and supply vehicles. The warship returned to Sasebo on 25 February for fuel, ammunition, and provisions. (source WWW.)

23 February 1952 COSSACK detached from task force to carry out night patrol assignment in the Paengnyong-Do Kirin-Do area.

24 February 1952 Cossack with HMS Charity and USS Bairoko (with VMF-312 embarked) departed operational area for Sasebo. Japan

25 February 1952 Enroute Sasebo. Carries out anti aircraft firing practice in area GEORGE. Arrived Sasebo.

27 February 1952 West Coast Korean Patrol

16 March 1952 Kure
25 March 1952 East Coast Korean Patrol – Captain Adair. Ship gained a reputation for” train bagging” – Three trains and for winging four others in three consecutive nights.
9 April 1952 Sasebo
15 April 1952 West Coast Korean Patrol
1 May 1952 Kure
12 – 14 May 1952 Sasebo and area – Exercises
14-29 May 1952 West Coast Korean Patrol
29-30 May 1952 Sasebo
2 – 7 June 1952 Hong Kong
7 June 1952 SS Incharron incident – on rocks of Min River on the coast of Formosa. Towed INCHARRON for two days at 14 knots to Lyemum pass
10 June – 12 July 1952 Hong Kong and area for exercises
16 -25 July 1952 Yokosuka
25-31 July 1952 Hunter Killer Exercises
31 July 1952 Kobe
4-28 August 1952 Hong Kong Self refit
2-4 September 1952 Sasebo
4 September 1952 Sasebo/ Korean coast. TE 95.11 consisted of USS Sicily and screen – HMS Cossack, HMCS Nootka and USS Marsh to operate in the vicinity of 37°30N 124°30E with the task of enforcing blockade of West Coast of Korea south of latitude 39°35’N to prevent ingress or egress, mining or supply and re-enforcement by sea.
5 September 1952 COSSACK joined the task force late afternoon
6 September 1952 1730 COSSACK detached for night patrol
7 September 1952 0900 CCOSSACK rejoined USS Sicily
13 September 1952 Escorted USS Sicily south enroute to Sasebo Japan.
14-21 September 1952 Kure
21 September – 9 October West Coast Korean patrol
10 October 1952 Vice Admiral Brisco, The Prime Minister of Japan and the First Sea Lord arrived by air at Iwakuni and were met by Rear Admiral Clifford before taking passage to Kure in COSSACK
10-20 October 1952 Kure
20 October – 11 November West Coast Korean Patrol
22nd October 1952 

HMAS CONDAMINE – Collision with HMS Cossack

(From Peter Harrison)

We were just going back on patrol after re-fuelling at the tanker further south and had picked up the mail for the other ships of the task element.   CONDAMINE was going south in the opposite direction from us and as we had her mail our skipper, the senior officer, told them to come up on a parallel course for a jackstay transfer.   In our skipper’s view it was poor seamanship and they misjudged the turning circle, her bow going straight in to our starboard side, cutting right in to one of the after messdecks.

Extract from a letter received by Bill Womack from an oppo in CONDAMINE
“You will recall that I mentioned earlier about getting some shoring timber, which came in useful at a later stage. This was the occasion when we met HMS COSSACK who had some mail for us. In going alongside for a heaving line transfer, the wind caught us and we bumped COSSACK, damaging our bow. COSSACK threatened to open up on us if we tried it again and consequently, we got the mail some time later from a tanker. Anyway, as a result of the damage to our bow, my ignorance of damage control came to the fore and with the assistance of Stoker John McHugh, I proceeded up into the cordage locker to plug up the hole. We used a bale of rags and wooden pad that I had fabricated to plug the hole and I told the Stoker to go down to the ship’s office and bring a couple of lengths of the shoring timber. The Executive Officer, who was crowding the available space and who would have done a better job than the bale of rags, said and I quote;” What are you going to do with those?” To which I replied: “I am going to cut them up and shore the bale and pad into place.” “You can’t do that” he said and to my reply of “Why not?” he informed me that he had had them cleaned up for Captain’s rounds on the following Saturday. That was when I spoke a series of four letter words that I had picked up along the way. The shoring was cut up and did the job until we returned to Kure when repairs were carried out by the dockyard.”

11-16 November 1952 Sasebo
16 November – 4 December West Coast Korean patrol
17 November 1952, The duties of Commander Task Unit 95.12.1 were turned over to Captain (D) 8th Destroyer Squadron in HMS COSSACK.
4-16 December 1952 Kure
16 December – 1 January 1953 West coast Korean Patrol
24 December 1952 Choda area where enemy guns had fired about 500 rounds at Choda and Sok the previous day. COSSACK, CONSORT and CONSTANCE silenced the enemy guns.
25 December 1952. Admiral Clifford remarked that the generous gift by the Daily Mail of a bottle of beer, 20 cigarettes and a bar of chocolate to each officer and man in the forward area was much appreciated.


1-3 January 1953 Sasebo

6 January 1953 Hong Kong refit

10 January 1953 Start of refit

23 March 1953 Make and mend and sports meeting

25 March 1953 186 members of the ship’s company were present at the Inter Part Athletics at Boundary Street to see the Quarter Deck carry off the Blood Shield closely followed by the Engine Room Department

6 April – 4 May Hong Kong and area for Exercises

25 /26 April 1953 End of work up. Entertained Army on board

4 May 1953 Harbour Hong Kong

5 May 1953 COSSACK with HMCS Crusader and US ships Southland and Thomas carried out screening duty of HMS Glory on her 25th and last patrol which ended on 14 May 1953

7 -8 May 1953 Sasebo

8-31 May1953 West coast Korean Patrol. From 21 May screening HMS Ocean with COCKADE, HMCS Crusader and US ships Higbee and Taylor

31 May – 4 June Sasebo. Coronation Day was celebrated on 2 June. Typhoon warning.
4-6 June 1953 A/S Exercises in Sasebo area
7 June 1953 East Coast Korean Patrol
8 June 1953 COSSACK relieved HMCS Haida and had to supervise an evacuation at Yang do with persistent fog present. As the Island Defence Commander had no crypo system the ship landed one officer and a communication rating with a Fleet Code, signal lantern and a portable wireless set. This proved to be valuable over the next few days. R.o.K. L.S.S.L. 109 and some CCRAK craft were allocated for the evacuation. The latter running true to form in their dislike of disclosing their movements.
12 June 1953. COSSACK was informed the CCRAK Arlene would arrive at Yang do at 1800 that day, from Yo do (Wonsan). Later this was amended to the 13th. Not being sighted that day enquiries led to a reply that she would sail at 0830 and arrive at 2130. At 1600 COSSACK proceeded to the southwest in an attempt to contact her before dark. There was thick fog but a vessel was soon picked up by radar which proved to be another CCRAK ship – the Sea Turtle – also on her way to Yang do. Nothing had been known about this ship. The COSSACK searched some 45 45 miles to the southwest but failed to find the elusive Arlene. Eventually USS Wiltsie reported at 0130 on the 14th that she had picked up the crew of the ARLENE. They had abandoned ship after running ashore at 2115 on 12th June – some nine hours before she had left Yo do! This discrepancy has never been cleared up.

12 – 15 June 1953 Train busting near Songjin
22-30 June 1953 Kure
30 June – 15 July West Coast Korean Patrol During the first three weeks of July a considerable number of bombardments were carried out by UN forces including COSSACK who on 13 July approached to within 2800 yards of the gun caves on the north of Wolsa-ri pensinesula at first light. Complete surprise was achieved and major damage was inflicted

Early in July 1953, a US LST on a cargo lifting mission on the West Coast of Korea, struck an underwater object causing herself considerable damage. As the LST was some distance from any known obstruction, HMS Cossack was asked by the Senior Officer present to investigate the grounding. After a conference with the officers of the LST to establish the exact position of the accident, the Squadron Navigating Officer directed a sweeping operation. This was carried out by securing one end of the ships bottom line to our motor boat, and the other end to a US DUKW, then dragging the line along the sea bed until its progress was impeded through fouling an object. In this way, two obstructions were found and buoyed, and 28 it was decided that they should be investigated more closely by the diving team of HMS Cossack. Mirabile dictu, they were given the second motor boat and carte blanche. The first obstruction was dived on by Mr King – and proved to be a rocky ledge about 40 feet wide. This was further surveyed by POSM Bond, who could find no signs of violent contact with a ship, after which the diving boat was moved to the second obstruction. By this time, it was getting dark, but there was just time and enough light for PO Bond to establish that it was an ancient wreck. The tidal stream in these parts runs at a fair pace – some 5 knots – and diving is practicable only about 30 minutes either side of slack water. The party called it a day and, about 2030, returned to the ship to prepare for the morrow. Meanwhile, Cossack’s “Historical Research Unit” – consisting of anyone who could be spared for the job – had been searching through the archives carried on board, and had discovered that a Japanese inter-island freighter of 400 tons had been sunk in the vicinity of our “underwater obstruction “in 1943, and, to the delight of the TAS party and divers, permission was given to destroy the wreck with explosives. At daylight the next day, the divers went away to survey the wreck. L. Sea. Kay, AB Kendall and TAS8, dived on the wreck which was lying in five and a half fathoms, the limit for the equipment in use. It was barely recognisable as a ship, being broken in two and lying on its side, but the divers were able to walk along the longitudinal frames and could see sufficient to enable them to lay the explosive. Multitudes of fish – codling, starfish, oddfish, and one octopus – caused considerable speculation as to the weight of the haul to be expected. A wire pennant was shackled to the wreck and after dinner the wreck disposal team, consisting of Mr King, CPO Bone, LS Howe, ABs Lane, Dunn, Leach and the Squadron TAS Officer, went away with a depth charge hanging over the stern of the motorboat and most of the Chief Buffer’s caboosh lying in the stern sheets. The fitting and lowering of the depth charge was accomplished by 29 seven bells and, proceeding dead slow, the motorboat then headed inshore paying out the firing cable which was taken to a small rocky island about two and a half cables away. After warning the ship by “walkie-talkie” which had been used throughout to keep the ship informed of progress and after telling a large South Korean naval vessel what to expect, the “Big Lift” was fired by the Commissioned Gunner TAS. A noble BANG! The water had hardly subsided before the boat was manned again and headed out to recover the pickings. ABs Crawford and Lane between them picked up 80 pounds of codling, one eel, two poisonous fish, together with the remnants of two moorings, whilst SM Johnstone, the “driver” of the motorboat drove it like a dodgem, as it was manoeuvred towards each prize. By this stage in the operation, the oxygen bottles were running out of lbs. per sq. inch and although it was possible to recharge them again later the opportunity to survey the results of the explosion itself never came. However, a US minesweeper swept over the area, at our request, and confirmed that no obstruction existed. All this was done within sight and sound of the Korean coast and well behind the Communist’s front line but the only comment our sailors made was “Not such a good haul of fish is it?”
16 July 1953 R.o.K. L.S.S. L. arrived and loaded promptly with civilians and stores and sailed in company with three CCRAK motor-sampans and a R.o.K. Marine fishing boat
July 1953 Inter-mess tug of war
July 1953 Tolo Harbour
July 1953 Assisted a US L.S.T. that had gone aground on the west coast of Korea

25 July 1953 Departed for Kure Japan (Korean truce signed 27 July)
During the Korean War COSSACK used 29,500 tons of fuel and steamed 92,300 miles.

25 July -8 August Kure

9-10 August 1953 Sasebo

10-14 August 1953 Karatsu

15-18 August 1953 Sasebo

18-23 August 1953 Formosa Straits patrol

23-27 August 1953 Hong Kong

29 August 1953 Left Hong Kong for Singapore / Malay States and Borneo

1-5 September 1953 Singapore

6-7 September 1953 Port Swettenham

8 September 1953 Port Dickson

9 September 1953 Mallacca

10-12 September 1953 Singapore

14-16 September 1953 Kuching

17-22 September 1953 Jesselton

23-25 September 1953 Tawau

26-28 September1953 Sandakan

28-29 September1953 Kudat

30 September – 2 October Labuan

8 October -11 November Hong Kong – self refit

13 November 1953 Pulling Regatta Junk Bay, Hong Kong

13-19 November 1953 Hong Kong Area Squadron Exercises

19 November -10 December Hong Kong. Whampoa refit

15 December 1953 Sasebo

16-20 December 1953 Kure

22-28 December 1953 Yokosuka Japan. Sub Lt Woods as victualling officer purchased the food for the Xmas meal from the US Navy Logistics Base to enable a good Christmas meal.

29-29 December 1953 Primary ASW in Yokosuka area

30-31 December 1953 HUC Exercises – Used new Allied Tactical Publication (ATP1) and the Allied Naval Signal Book (ACP175)

Statistics for the period 12 November 1951 to 31 January 1954

Steamed 64,752 miles. 1951- NIL 1952- 30,038 miles 1953 – 26,714 miles

Used 19,059 tons of fuel oil costing £141,616.
Used 3,064,320 gallons of water for domestic purposes
Spent 38.5% of the commission at sea
Spent 224 days patrolling off the Korean coast
Spent 367 days under United Nations command
Fired 4,541 rounds of 4.5inch, 1082 rounds of starshell, 9,519 rounds of bofor


1-5 January 1954 HUK Exercises

5- 8 January 1954 Okinawa – HUC wash up

8-14 January 1954 Formosa Straits Patrol

14 January 1954 Hong Kong – Exercise Farmyard

14 – 31 January 1954 Hong Kong Area

31 January – 5 February Squadron exercises and with HMAS Sydney

8 – 10 February 1954 Admiral’s Inspection

14 – 20 February 1954 Exercise Sonata

February Decommissioned

22 February – 9 October Singapore. Modernisation and refit

25 April WRAC Foundation Day HMS Terror

13 May 1954 Leave stopped for a few hours over concerns about students disturbance

June 1954 Refitting in Singapore (Accommodated in HMS Terror)
New funnel and anti submarine mortars fitted amongst other things

7 July 1954 Singapore for RN Championships. Cossack wins the Squadron Athletic Championships for the second time in 1954.

1 August 1954 Start trials and exercises

27 August 1954 Re-commissioned

October 1954 Various short sea trials

9- 10 October 1954 Exercise ‘Touchjudge’ – Singapore Roads

11-12 October 1954 Redang Island

12-13 October 1954 Trengannu.

14 October 1954 Tioman Island.

16 – 21 October 1954 Singapore. Trials and exercises plus calibrations.

21 – 25 October 1954 Singapore Naval Base

29 October – 7 November 1954 Hong Kong. Typhoon Pamela

10 November 1954 Sasebo

11-12 November 1954 Chinhae

13 November 1954 Kure

19 – 22 November 1954 Yokosuka

22 –25 November 1954 Primary A.S.W. in Sangami Bay

26 November – 2 December 1954 HUK exercises

2 December 1954 On way to Hong Kong

4 December1954 – 26 January 1955 Hong Kong. Army Liaison visits to Castle Peak Bay and Tolo. Fleet Regatta. Sea Exercises

Sea Mileage for 1954 -7900 miles – 740 tons of fuel oil – 515 tons of water
Over 1,000,000 Yen spent.


26 January 1955- 14 February 1955 Hong Kong – Self refit.

15 – 21 February 1955 Hong Kong Area. Sea Exercises

26 February 1955 to 1 March 1955 Yokosuka Japan

1 – 2 March 1955 Primary ASW in Sangami Bay

3 March 1955 HUK Exercises

9 – 13 March 1955 Okinawa

17 – 19 March 1955 Kure Japan

19 – 23 March 1955 West Korean Patrol

23 – 25 March 1955 Chinhae

26 March – 7 April 1955 Kure

8 – 11 April 1955 Sasebo Japan. Admiral’s Inspection. F.O.2. FES

16 – 29 April 1955 Hong Kong Squadron Sea Exercises

April. Trenggnau

28 May 1955. Timor Sea

17 June 1955 Singapore

25 June 1955 Commissioning Service

28 June1955 On way to Pulau Tioman.

29 June – 4 July 1955 Pulau Tioman.

4 – 6 July 1955 Singapore

7-8 July 1955 West Coast of Maylaya

9-11 July 1955 Port Swettenham

11 July 1955 Bombarded a communist terrorist stronghold.

11-14 July 1955 West Coast Malaya

15 July 1955 Bombardment, SW Johore

16-24 July 1955 Singapore Roads for refit

25 July to 14 October1955 Refitting at Singapore

14 October 1955 Moved back onboard from HMS TERROR

16-21 October 1955 Post refit trials

22 October 1955 Departed for Hong Kong

26 October 1955 Hong Kong. Fleet sports, Regattas and Sea exercises

7 November 1955 Junk Bay

28 November 1955 Sailed with CONSORT and an American Task Force for HUK

3 December 1955 Buckner Bay, Okinawa

4 December 1955 Sailed for Kure, Japan.

6 December 1955 Arrived Kure

12 December 1955 Left Kure via the Inland Sea and arrived at the Isle of Uchino Umi. (The first visit by a British warship for 25 years)

13 December 1955 Night encounter and fuelling exercise with NEWFOUNDLAND

14 December 1955 Berthed alongside the US Quartermasters Depot in Tokyo

18 December 1955 Fuelled at Yokosuka and set sail for Hong Kong

23 December 1955 Alongside COCKADE at the SSMB. Hong Kong

25 December 1955 Alongside

27 December 1955 Dry dock at Taikoo for new port propeller damaged during November and a patch over the hole on the starboard side.

31 December 1955 Alongside SSMB


1 – 15 January 1956 Cleaning and painting

16 – 27 January 1956 Exercises. Sailed with FO TWO for a week’s exercises – Eightsome Reel

28 January 1956 Hong Kong

1 February 1956 Alongside preparing for inspection

10 February 1956 FO Twos Inspection

26 –27 February 1956 Telok Juara, Pulau Tioman

28 February 1956 Singapore

1 March 1956 Completion of FO Two’s inspection

5 March 1956 Singapore Roads

6 March 1956 Sailed with squadron for Exercise Welcome. Met with ALBION and CETAUR in the Indian Ocean for three days of exercises.

11 March 1956 Singapore

14 March 1956 Pulau Aur for submarine exercises.

15-19 March 1956 Further exercises with the French carrier LAFAYETTE.

19 March 1956 Hong Kong

21 March 1956 Sailed for the Defence of Hong Kong Exercise – Sea Dragon

26 March 1956 Exercise Monsoon

4 April 1956 Naval Base Singapore

18 April 1956 Sailed for Saigon on diplomatic mission

20 April 1956 Mekong River to Saigon. During the evening the President of Saigon visited COSSACK.

21 April 1956 HM The Queen’s Birthday. Played the Vietnamese Navy at football and attended a reception given by the British Ambassador

22 April 1956 Morning Prayers. PM open to visitors and had to prevent over 10,000 persons form trying to get on board at the same time. Disaster averted with fire hoses and a heavily armed riot squad.

23 April 1956 Departed Saigon

25 April 1956 Singapore

6 May 1956 Indonesian Islands and Java Sea. Crossed the line at 0912Z

7 May 1956 ‘Crossing the Line’ ceremony

8 May 1956 Sunda Straits

12 May 1956 Fremantle

17 May 1956 Left to rendezvous with COMUS

21 May 1956 Fremantle

25 May 1956 Departed for Montebello

27 May 1956 Exmouth Gulf at Long Island. Swimming and fishing

28 May 1956 Montebello Acting as weather ship for early H bomb test

30 May 1956 Departed Montebello

1-5 June 1956 Mosaic Patrol

3 June 1956 Sea anchor exercise resulted in loss of a bath and a lower boom.

4 June 1956 Onslow for fuel then despatched to collect seaman with serious diabetes from CONSORT.

7 June 1956 Onslow

8 June 1956 Departed for Bali

9 June 1956 Bali

10 June 1956 Benoa

13 June 1956 Tandjoeng Priok

16 June 1956 Departed for Singapore

18 June 1956 Singapore to refuel and re provision

22 June 1956 Hong Kong

2 to 6 July 1956 Exercising off Hong Kong.

6-14 July 1956 Hong Kong

18 July 1956 Passed Changi streaming paying off pendant.

De-ammunitioned and removed all items in preparation for dockyard to take over.

6 August 1956 In dockyard hands


1 June 1957 New crew boarded. Re-commissioned

Pulau Tiomin

Hong Kong

Typhoon Wendy – HMS Cossack was moored fore and aft to buoys as she had no boilers lit. HMS Dalrymple was similarly moored ahead of COSSACK. Being in refit she had no crew onboard and broke free. Fortunately tugs managed secure her before she hit COSSACK




Christmas Isle


21 October 1957 Suva , Fiji

8 November 1957 At sea off London Anchorage on route to Fanning Island to collect the recordings of Operation Grapple the British Nuclear Test. Dispatched to intercept an intruder to the test area. It was the 10,000 ton Chinese merchant ship SS Effie bound for Panama with her master unaware of the restricted area.

Extract form deck log. 1210 Assumed DC state 1
1215 State 1A Co 010 speed 22 ½ knots. One boiler banked. All hands between decks except those in protective clothing. Entered possible contamination area.

The ventilation was shut down as was one boiler. The engine room and boiler room were manned by personnel in protective clothing who were changed every30 minutes to avoid heat stress
1320 Reverted to State 4. Open up ventilation. Clear of contamination area.

1330 A/C 318 degrees

The shut down boiler was then flashed up and slowly bought back on line

1414 Increased speed to 28 knots
1550 increased speed to 29 knots
1915 Arrived off Fanning Island

The following is remembered by Patrick Gaffney.

H.M.S. Cossack slipped out of Hong Kong harbour under the cover of darkness one October night in1957. There were no waving well-wishers or pretty women from the girlie bars, just Dockyard mateys to let go the berthing lines. The ship had been darkened, the only lights switched on being the masthead, Port and Starboard navigation lights. We had provisioned ship and embarked a handful of civilians who brought with them several large wooden crates.

After several days at sea, we were somewhere in the Pacific, the Captain mustered the ships company on the upper deck and informed us of our mission. We were to assist the scientific people in monitoring and measuring the fallout from the Hydrogen bomb which would be detonated some miles off Christmas Islands. He went on to explain that the fallout would be minimal, but this may be difficult to achieve considering this detonation would be one thousand times more powerful than the Atom Bombs dropped over
Hiroshima and Nagasaki twelve years previously.

We started our patrol to keep all shipping out of the area. Constantly refuelling, and replenishing at sea, whilst the “Boffins” unpacked their wooden crates and installed their instruments in various locations on the upper deck.
All ships intercepted complied with our request to alter course and leave, until two days before the test a Japanese fishing vessel carrying anti-nuclear protesters adamantly refused to leave. The Captain ordered the guns crew to man the guns and had them trained, almost at point blank range upon the fishing vessel. The skipper of the vessel then turned around his ship and disappeared over the horizon. November 8th. 1957, “Operation Grapple” It was a gorgeous bright sunny day without a whisper of a cloud in sight Not a breath of wind was present and the sea was so flat it resembled a shimmering plate of glass. The silence on deck was broken when over the ships tannoy we could clearly hear the pilots voice,” approaching target area” . Fire hoses
fixed vertically to the ships superstructure sprang to life spraying fountains of water in every direction .We were dressed in No.8s working rig, anti-flash hood and gloves which we always wore when firing the guns. We also wore anti-glare goggles specifically for this occasion.

The R.A.F Valiant bomber carrying the fifteen feet long cylindrical 5 ton H bomb, after reaching its maximum flying height of 45,000feet had now reached the target area, the Cossack being three miles away.
The Boffins were hunched over their instruments anxiously twisting dials and knobs with nervous hands. Over the Tannoy we heard “Bomb gone”
We waited, in the eerie silence, tensed with nervous anticipation whilst the bomb plunged downward to the prescribed height for detonation. Cossack maintained course and speed. Then came the flash, of such brilliance it outshone the sun, and the sky seemed not to exist. In quick order a blast of intense heat that almost sucked the air out of our lungs. We clung to the
storm rail, the ships plates vibrating underfoot. Then came wave after wave of rolling thunder increasing in volume and intensity with each passing second. It was as if a supernatural thunderstorm had gone out of control. Even in the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean this barrage of sound would take several
minutes to dissipate. Cossack moved slowly but resolutely forward.
The sea had been sucked upwards and vaporised into super-heated steam. Ahead of the ship we could see a huge column that would form the stalk of the mushroom. We craned our neck upwards and saw a raging inferno, angry flames shooting upward and outwards raging through black billowing smoke. Rumbling claps of thunder enveloped the ship. The sky had gone dark except for the flames shooting towards the heavens. It was as if hell was hanging suspended 5000 feet in the air. It was a staggering, terrifying spectacle almost beyond human comprehension. .Cossack maintained course and speed and slowly moved from under the mushroom. Looking astern we saw a huge column of white vapour, several thousand feet high. Reaching its zenith it began spilling over forming a gigantic white dome atop the stalk of the mushroom.

Unknown at the time, the 1.8 Megaton explosion was 80 per cent larger than anticipated, and detonated much closer to sea level than planned.
As the ship moved steadily away the mushroom gradually diminished in size, and the noise abated. I remember looking up to the bridge and the flag deck just below and saw crew members and nuclear experts clapping and cheering. The Captain ordered the crew members who had been on the upper deck to go through the showers. We formed a naked chain, and as we passed through the showers we were greeted by a “Boffin” who waved a Geiger counter wand over us and announced “Clear”

We continued to steam out of the test area and headed across the South China Sea turning to starboard up the Straits of Malacca to be in a position off the coast of Kuala Lumpur on the western side of Malaysia to assist the Army in flushing out Communist Terrorists by bombarding their jungle hideouts, but that is another story, for another time.

A nuclear explosion of this magnitude vaulted Britain into super power status and allowed them to sit at the head table with the other two super powers, the United States of America, and Russia. It changed the course of history, and H.M.S. Cossack was part of that.

The following view is from Ken Satterthwaite

On the day of the test we were mustered on the upper deck to witness the explosion. I remember we were just in shorts and sandals and before the actual explosion went off we were told to sit down and cover our eyes with our hands. After the “Mushroom “ we were the ordered down below and closed down to NBCD state 1. Only the Officer of the Watch was on the open bridge and the prewetting party was on the upper deck, all suitably attired. There was no air conditioning and it was stifling below deck.

8 /9 November 1957 Christmas Isle


6 December 1957 Manus

18 December 1957 San Eduardo to assist a tanker that had run aground. (It sorted it self out)

21 December 1957 Lei-U-Mun Narrows

Hong Kong

Australia – Albany – Freemantle – Perth



Palou Tiomin


February – Crossing the Line – the weather was rough!

16 June 1958 Commissioning Service Mombasa

June 1958 Malacca Straits

Paluau Tioman

Palau Aur

Palau Redan

16 July 1958 Diverted to Persian Gulf

21 July 1958 Arrived at Trincomalee but was refused permission to
enter harbour. Anchored off shore and after a day and a half the RFA ARNDALE was allowed in the harbour to refuel and restore COSSACK although there was little to be had. Breakfast according to one member was a cup of tea and a Woodbine!

27 July – 15 August 1958 Bahrain. The passage from Trincomalee was made in
very bad weather which caused a life raft and survival pack to be washed overboard.

18-25 August 1958 Karachi, Parkistan. Sitra jetty. The nearest naval base
was HMS Jufair some 18 miles away. The canteen there had no glass windows – just holes in the walls and the air conditioning was fighting a losing battle. Life onboard was miserable and additional fans were bought to ease the unbearable heat. The chefs in the galley suffered in the unbearable heat and the quality of the food became less than desirable. As soon as HMS Cavalier arrived the COSSACK could sail for Singapore

26 – 30 August 1958 Dhow patrol and search for missing tug

31 August – 4 September 1958 Bahrein and Halul Island

5 September 1958 Sailed for Singapore

16 September1958 Singapore for refit. Stores, doors, hatches and the three
gun mountings were removed and the dockyard workers invaded the ship. The ship’s company were accommodated ashore in HMS Terror. Tropical routine was worked which meant the crew finished at 1200.

15 December 1958 Ship’s Company returned onboard. Christmas was spent
onboard with the Australian wife of the First Lt carrying out rounds on that day.


2 – 7 January 1959 At sea with the Royal Australian Navy and the New Zealand Navy.

8 January 1959 Departed Singapore for Darwin

9 January 1959 Crossing the Line Ceremony

12 January 1959 Dawin. Sailed for Honiara. Solomen Isles

17 January 1959 Rendezvous with ALBION. Sailed for Auckland

23- 28 January 1959 Auckand, New Zealand

30 January – 3 February 1959 Nelson. New Zealand

6 – 11 February 1959 Hobart, Tasmania

13 – 26 February 1959 Sydney

4 – 9 March 1959 Adelaide

On leaving harbour HMSA Voyager led on down the river with HMS Cossack in company to rendezvous with the fleet. Later joined with ALBION, MELBOURNE, ROYALIST, CHICHESTER, CHEVIOT, RELIANT, RESURGENT and OLNA. The Bight was quite tame and it was a pleasant passage.

14 – 17 March 1959 Fremantle

“On the morning of Saturday, March 14, when the Fleet entered Fremantle, we were given a real Western Australian welcome. Trips into the country had been arranged, parties had been organised and sporting fixtures planned. The weather has been wonderful and much time been spent on the beaches of North Cottesloe and Scarborough.”

26 March – 2 April 1959 Singapore. FOTEX begins

VOYAGER departed Singapore on 2nd April 1959, in company with the cruiser, HMS Ceylon. Also in company were HM ships NEWFOUNDLAND, CHEVIOT, COSSACK, CARDIGAN BAY, ST. BRIDES BAY, ALERT, and HMA ships QUIBERON and QUEENBOROUGH. The ships took part in Exercise FOTEX, a weapon training period designed to provide an opportunity for Commonwealth ships on the Far East Station to work up their weapon efficiency prior to Exercise Sea Demon.

4 – 6 April 1959 Paulau Tioman

6 April 1959 Rendered medical assistance to US Submarine Caiman

8 – 13 April 1959 FOTEX

14 – 27 April 1959 SEA DEMON

28 – 30 May 1959 Manila

2 May 1959 Hong Kong

9 May 1959 Departed for Inchon and Tokyo

13 – 16 May 1959 Inchon. South Korea

19 – 25 May 1959 Tokyo

25 May 1959 On leaving Tokyo on 25th May 1959 COSSACK was to spend 21 of the next 27days at sea. Her stay in Hong Kong was for just a weekend before sailing for North Borneo to join in Exercise Saddle Up. This was a landing
exercise with American and British troops being landed from American landing craft under covering fire provided by British, Australian and American ships.

The five day visit to Kudat in North Borneo on completion of the exercise was marred by the death of Able Seaman Brennan who fell overboard from a local craft whilst returning to the ship from a shore visit and was drowned. His body was not recovered until two days later. COSSACK sailed from Kudat on 14th June 1959 and Able Seaman Brennan was buried at sea with full naval honours.”

20 May – 2 June 1959 Hong Kong

5 – 10 June 1959 SADDLE UP

11 – 14 June 1959 Kudat. North Borneo

14 June 1959 Burial at sea of Able Seaman Brennan who was drowned during the trip from shore to ship at Kadat

14 June 1959 Departed Kadet

17 June 1959 Sea Inspection

20 June – 13 July 1959 Self refit

14 July 1959 Harbour Inspection

16 July 1959 Penang. Malaya

20 – 21 July 1959 Singapore

25 July – 8 August 1959 Hong Kong

12 – 27 August 1959 Singapore

31 August – 1 October 1959 Hong Kong

3 – 4 October 1959 Philippines

6 – 9 October 1959 Exercises

17 – 21 October 1959 Bangkok

6 November 1959 Singapore Roads

11 November 1959 Colombo. Ceylon

18 November 1959 Aden

22 – 23 November 1959 Suez

26 – 30 November 1959 Malta

3 – 5 December 1959 Gibraltar. On the way across the Bay of Biscay there was Force 9 winds which resulted in Stoker Rees spending 29 continuous hours in the engine room. The motorboat was torn from its davits and washed into the sea. The seaboat behind the motorboat was crushed with only one side remaining on the davit. Paint was stripped from the hull.

8 December 1959. Arrived Devonport after 15 continuous years in the Far East. The admiral of the port sent a message that said” That’s how a destroyer should look like”. COSSACK had steamed 440,000 miles over 14 years.

Most of her ship’s company then left the ship and she was put into the Reserve Fleet, the few that remained with her for de-storing, etc were transferred to the books of HMS Bellerephon, the HQ ship of the Reserve Fleet, Devonport


1960 Placed on Disposal List and sold to BISCO

1961 Sold to West of Scotland Shipbreaking Co

1 March 1961 Arrived at Troon for scraping

Reference sources

Google Earth

Members of the HMS Cossack Association.

Members of the ship’s Company

Naval Staff History – British Commonwealth Naval Operations Korea 1950-53 published 1967.

Relatives of the Ship’s Company

The National Archives – various extracts

The World Wide Web.