Ship: HMS Bildeston
Pennant No: M1110
Laid Down: 18th May 1951
Completed: 28th April 1953
Built By: D S Doig Ltd, Grimsby
Time to Build: 23 months
Commissioned: 28th April 1953 for Vernon Training Squadron (VTS) based Portsmouth
Years Fully Operational: 24 – First TON to be declared operational (August 1953)

Outline of Operational Career:

  • May 1953 Joined Vernon Training Squadron
  • 1954 Refit Portsmouth correcting major defects found in the first operational Ton
  • 1954 Joined the 50th MSS (Trials) based at Port Edgar
  • 1958-68 Reserve at Hythe, fully arked then major refit
  • 1 Nov 68 Commissioned for 1st MCM Squadron, remaining operational at Rosyth for the next 15 years
  • 1968-86 Operations, exercises and visits
  • 1 Jan 84 Transferred to new 3rd MCM Squadron at Rosyth

Significant Events:

  • Sept 53 Exercise MARINER - the first NATO Exercise involving a Ton Class ship.
  • Sept 69 Visit to Gothenburg - Crw boarded MV 'Cooranga', adrift and a danger to shipping in hurricane force winds, and secured her safety.
  • 28 Jun 77 Silver Jubilee Review at Spithead

Paid Off: Dec 1986
Disposal: Sold to Pounds Breakers, Portsmouth 20th July 1988 then sold on to Spanish Shipbreakers