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HMS Caicos was a Colony-class frigate of the United Kingdom that served during World War II. She was originally ordered by the United States Navy as the Tacoma-class patrol frigate USS Hannam and was transferred to the Royal Navy prior to completion.

HMS Caicos (K505)
HMS Caicos on 27 March 1945.
United States
Name: USS Hannam
Namesake: British name assigned in anticipation of ship's transfer to United Kingdom
Reclassified: Patrol frigate, PF-77, 15 April 1943
Builder: Walsh-Kaiser Company, Providence, Rhode Island
Laid down: 23 April 1943[1]
Renamed: Caicos, 1943
Namesake: The Caicos Islands
Launched: 6 September 1943
Commissioned: never
Identification: PG-185
Fate: Transferred to United Kingdom 31 December 1943
Acquired: Returned by United Kingdom 12 December 1945
  • Sold for scrapping June 1946
  • Scrapping cancelled
  • Resold to Argentina 6 July 1947
United Kingdom
Class and type: Colony-class frigate
Name: HMS Caicos
Namesake: The Caicos Islands
Acquired: 31 December 1943
Commissioned: 31 December 1943[1] or 2 January 1944[2]
Decommissioned: 1945[3]
Identification: K505
Fate: Returned to United States 12 December 1945
Name: ARA Trinidad
Namesake: ARA Santísima Trinidad, an Argentine brigantine which saw prominent action in 1815–1816 during the Argentine War of Independence.[4]
Acquired: 6 July 1947
Commissioned: 1948
Identification: P-34
Renamed: ARA Santísima Trinidad (P-34) 3 October 1950
Namesake: ARA Santísima Trinidad of 1815–1816
Decommissioned: Placed in reserve 1961–1962
Honours and
Battle honor, 8 December 1960
Renamed: Comodoro Augusto Laserre (Q-9) 1963
Namesake: Augusto Lasserre (1826–1906), Argentine Navy officer
Reclassified: Buque de Investigacion (survey vessel) 1963
Recommissioned: 27 January 1964
Renamed: Comodoro Augusto Lasserre (Q-9) 1964
Namesake: Corrected spelling of "Augusto Lasserre"
Struck: 20 February 1969
Decommissioned: March 1969
Fate: Sold for scrapping 1971
General characteristics
Class and type: none
  • 1,430 tons standard
  • 2,415 tons deep load
  • 285.5 ft (87.0 m) (waterline)
  • 304.0 ft (92.7 m) (overall)
Beam: 37.5 ft (11.4 m)
Draught: 13.75 ft (4.19 m)
Propulsion: Triple expansion, 2 × 3-drum type boilers, 2 shafts5,500 ihp (4,100 kW)
  • 20.3 knots (37.6 km/h) (on first trials),
  • 19 knots (35 km/h) (by 1963)
  • 7,800 nmi (14,400 km) at 12 knots (22 km/h)
  • 700 tons oil
  • 175 as frigate
  • 100 as survey vessel
  • 2 × 105 mm (4.1 inch) L45 Bofors DP guns,
  • 8 × 40 mm AA guns (2×2, 4×1),
  • 1 × Hedgehog,
  • 6 × Depth charge throwers, 2 Tracks

After her return to U.S. Navy custody, she was sold to Argentina and served in the Argentine Navy (Armada de la Republica Argentina) as a frigate under the names ARA Trinidad (P-34) and ARA Santísima Trinidad (P-34) from 1948 to 1962. After a refit she then served as a survey ship as ARA Augusto Lasserre (Q-9) from 1963 to 1969.

Construction and acquisitionEdit

Originally designated a "patrol gunboat", she was ordered by the United States Maritime Commission under a U.S. Navy contract as Type S2-S2-AQ1 hull number 1659 and named USS Hannam.[5] She was reclassified as a "patrol frigate", PF-77, on 15 April 1943 and laid down by the Walsh-Kaiser Company[6] at Providence, Rhode Island, on 23 April 1943.[1] Intended for transfer to the Royal Navy, the ship was renamed Caicos by the British before being launched on 6 September 1943.[citation needed]

Service historyEdit

Royal Navy, World War II, 1943–1945Edit

Transferred to the United Kingdom under Lend-Lease on 31 December 1943,[6] the ship was commissioned in the Royal Navy as HMS Caicos (K505) – sources claim that she was partially funded by the Turks and Caicos Islands colony, after part of which she was named[2] – on either 31 December 1943[1] or 2 January 1944.[2]

Uniquely among all World War II frigates,[1] Caicos was fitted to perform aircraft direction duties. The Royal Navy originally intended to send her to the Indian Ocean, but instead assigned her to duty in the North Sea, where she attempted to detect German V-1 flying bombs during their flights toward targets in Great Britain.[1][7] Two members of her crew died during her war service.[8]

Disposal and transfer to ArgentinaEdit

The United Kingdom returned Caicos to the U.S. Navy on 12 December 1945.[9] The U.S. Navy then transferred her for disposal to the U.S. Maritime Commission, which sold her in June 1946 to the N. B. Wolcott firm of New York City for scrapping. However the plans to scrap her were cancelled and she was resold to Argentina on 6 July 1947. Thus, although many Tacoma-class patrol frigates served in foreign navies after completing their U.S. Navy service, Caicos became the only Colony-class frigate to serve in another navy after completing her British service.[10]

Argentine Navy, 1947–1970Edit

Frigate, 1948–1960Edit

The ship was incorporated into the Argentine Navy on 4 August 1947, and assigned the name ARA Trinidad (P-34) in memory of ARA Santísima Trinidad, an Argentine Navy brigantine of 1815–1816 that saw action in the Argentine War of Independence. Commander (S)[11] D. Rodolfo A. Muzzio initiated a campaign to assign the full name Santísima Trinidad to her, and she became ARA Santísima Trinidad (P-34) on 3 October 1950.[12]

Santísima Trinidad served as part of the Frigate Force of the Sea Fleet from 1948 until 1960. During this time she operated in the South Atlantic Ocean, participating in annual fleet exercises, especially the antisubmarine warfare exercises she was designed for. In 1948–1949 she participated in the 11th Antarctic Campaign. In 1959, she participated in Operation Neptune II, and received a battle honour[13] from Vicario General Castrense and Cardenal D. Antonio Caggiano on 8 December 1960.[why?] She then went into reserve from 1961 to 1962.[12]

Photographic evidence indicates[original research?] that in Argentine service her original 3-inch (76 mm)/50 caliber guns were replaced by three 105 mm (4 in) L45 Bofors dual-purpose guns in shielded mounts; Argentina took delivery of 38 of these guns beginning in 1945. Probably around the time of her conversion to a survey ship (see below) the 20mm Oerlikon mounts around the forward superstructure were landed in favor of four single 40 mm Bofors and the aft 105 mm gun was landed.[according to whom?] According to Janes Fighting Ships, her armament in Argentine service as Santísima Trinidad consisted of two 105 mm (4.1 in) guns, eight 40 mm antiaircraft guns, 1 Hedgehog antisubmarine mortar, and six depth charge throwers.[9] Conway's states that she had four 47 mm antiaircraft guns instead of eight 40 mm antiaircraft guns.[14]

Survey ship, 1963–1969Edit

Starting in 1962, Río Santiago Shipyard (AFNE) converted Santísima Trinidad into a survey ship.[15] The conversion included disarming her, installing eight specialised cabinets, nine probe basins, and a helicopter landing platform, as well as a general refit.[15] She was reclassified as a survey vessel (in Spanish Buque de Investigacion) and renamed ARA Comodoro Augusto Lasserre (Q-9),[9][15] There was a spelling error in the original decree, which called her "Laserre" instead of "Lasserre"; this was corrected in 1964.[15]

She was recommissioned as a survey ship on 27 January 1964.[15] She undertook hydrographic surveys each year from 1964 to 1968. In 1968 she ran aground near Lion Island (Isla Leones) in the Palmer Archipelago during a storm. After she was refloated, she was inspected at Puerto Belgrano, and it was recommended that she be taken out of service. She was struck from the navy list on 20 February 1969. Her decommissioning ceremony was in March 1969,[15] and she was sold for scrapping in 1971.[12][14][15]

Commanding officersEdit

Royal NavyEdit

The commanding officers of HMS Caicos (K505) were:[16]

  • August 1943 – April 1944: Lieutenant Commander Samuel Clive Bradley, RNZNR
  • April 1944 – mid-1945: Lieutenant Commander Henry Noel Russell, DSC, RNR

Argentine NavyEdit

The commanding officers of ARA Trinidad and ARA Santisima Trinidad (P-34) were:[12]

  • 1948–49: Commander D. Raúl V. Franzini.
  • 1949–50: Commander D. Fernando V. Muro de Nadal.
  • 1950–51: Commander D. Helvio Guozden.
  • 1951–52: Commander D. Manuel A. Martínez.
  • 1952–53: Commander D. José M. Guzmán.
  • 1953: Commander D. Orlando Argento.
  • 1954: Commander D. Carlos García Favre.
  • 1955: Commander D. Alfredo Sánchez Pupulo.
  • 1956: Commander D. Jorge Aguirre Urreta.
  • 1957: Lieutenant Commander D. Roberto Ulloa.
  • 1958: Commander D. Raúl Francos.
  • 1959: Commander D. Alberto J. Oliver.
  • 1960: Commander D. Jorge Sciurano.
  • 1961–62: In reserve.[12]

The commanding officers of ARA Comodoro Lasserre (Q-9) were:[15]

  • 1962–64 (refit): Lieutenant Commander D. Horacio Gómez Beret.
  • 1964: Lieutenant Commander D. Benjamín O. Cosentino.
  • 1965: Commander D. Marcos Oliva Day.
  • 1966: Commander D. Julio A. Gómez Dávila.
  • 1967: Commander D. Carlos E. Arnold.
  • 1968–69: Commander D. Roberto M. Ornstein.

Note: Capitán de fragata is the Spanish translation of "commander", while capitán de corbeta is the Spanish translation of "lieutenant commander."


  1. ^ a b c d e f HMS Caicos (K 505)
  2. ^ a b c Times of the Islands, the International Magazine of the Turks & Caicos Islands, Summer 2007
  3. ^ According to HMS Caicos (K 505), Caicos is not listed as an active unit on the October 1945 Navy List, strongly implying that the Royal Navy decommissioned her sometime earlier that year.
  4. ^ Page 6, Janes Fighting Ships 1963–64
  5. ^ Maritime Commission Design S2-S2-AQ1, General Description
    Ship building history Walsh-Kaiser Company, Inc.
    The Leander Project – World War II Frigates
  6. ^ a b Ship building history Walsh-Kaiser Company, Inc.
  7. ^ Visit Grand Turk – History of the Turks and Caicos Islands
  8. ^ Act/Yeoman of Signals Leslie A Russell, C/JX 298130, was listed as killed on Friday, 30 June 1944, per Casualty Lists of the Royal Navy and Dominion Navies, 1922–present, researched & compiled by Don Kindell – 15–30 June 1944;
    Act/Able Seaman William A Sewell, C/JX 406285, was listed as died during war service on Friday, 23 February 1945, per Casualty Lists of the Royal Navy and Dominion Navies, 1922–present, researched & compiled by Don Kindell – February 1945
  9. ^ a b c Page 7, Janes Fighting Ships 1963–64
  10. ^ See the list of fates of Colony-class frigates and Tacoma-class patrol frigates at Gardiner, Robert, ed., Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1922-1946, New York: Mayflower Books, 1980, ISBN 0-8317-0303-2, pp. 62, 148-149, and the fates of Colony-class frigates and Tacoma-class patrol frigates listed at Navsource Patrol Frigate (PF) Index.
  11. ^ Capitan de Fragata Contador has been translated into English as "Commander(S)", the S standing for "Supply and Services". Before 26 October 1944 this rank was known in English as "Paymaster Commander".
  12. ^ a b c d e Fragata Santisima Trinidad 1948
  13. ^ Pabellón de combate has been translated as "battle honour".
  14. ^ a b Page 9, Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1947–1995.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h Historia y Arqueologia Marítima, Buque de Investigaciones A.R.A. "Comodoro Lasserre" 1963–1969 Q-9
  16. ^

External linksEdit