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Postby shipstamps » Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:15 pm

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Built as a destroyer by the Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard, Hingham, Mass., for the USA navy.
21 December 1943 launched under the name "HOTHAM" (DE-574), Buckley class.
Displacement 1.400 tons full load 1.720., dim. 306 x 37 x 9.5ft. (draught).
Turbo-electric powered 12.000 shp. Two shafts, speed 24 knots.
Armament 3 - 3 inch, 2 - 40mm AA., 6 - 20mm AA., 3 - 21 inch torpedo tubes. Crew 186.

She was designated for transfer to the U.K. under the Lend Lease scheme.
08 Feb. 1944 commissioned by the Royal Navy and renamed HMS "BAHAMAS" ( K503).

She was used as an escort destroyer by the Royal Navy and made one return voyage to North Russia.
She sailed with convoy JW 62 ( 31 ships) from Loch Ewe on 29 Nov. 1944, the convoy arrived without any loss on 7 Dec. in the Kola Inlet. She returned with convoy RA 62 (29 ships) which sailed from Kola Inlet on 10 Dec. 1944. The escort ships sailed before the convoy to attack the assembled U-boats of which one ("U-387") was sunk. She left the convoy on 17 or 18 Dec. One ship of the convoy was lost ("FORT ROMAINE").
After the war she was retained by the British for experiments with gas turbine propulsion. 25 April 1952 returned to the US Government, and simultaneously transferred to the British under the Mutual Defence Assistance Program. An other source gives returned June 1946 to the US navy. Feb. 1956, the partially stripped vessel was returned to US custody, her powerplant was sold to the Netherlands.

Bahamas 2001 50c sg?, scott ?

Sources: Dictionary of American Fighting Ships. Convoys to Russia 1941-1945 by Bob Ruegg and Arnold Hague. Jane's Fighting ships of World War II. British Escort Ships by H.T. Lenton.
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