HMNZS Hickleton (M1131)

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History
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Hickleton (M1131)
Builder: John I Thornycroft, Southampton
Launched: 26 January 1955
New Zealand
Name: HMNZS Hickleton (M1131)
Commissioned: 10 April 1965
Decommissioned: December 1966
Argentina
Name: ARA Neuquen (M1)
Acquired: 1967
Decommissioned: 1996
General characteristics
Displacement: 440 tons
Length: 153 ft
Beam: 28.9 ft
Draught: 8.2 ft
Propulsion: 2 x Paxman Deltic 18A-7A diesel engines @ 3,000 bhp (2,200 kW)
Speed: Cruise 13 knots (24 km/h) on one engine. Max 16 knots (30 km/h) on both
Range: 2,500 nautical miles (4,600 km) at 12 knots (22 km/h)
Complement: 32 men
Armament:
  • 1 x Bofors 40mm gun
  • 2 × 20 mm (2 × 1) - increased for NZ service

HMNZS Hickleton (M1131) was a Ton class minesweeper that operated in the Royal Navy and the Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN). She was named after a small village near Doncaster.

Built for the Royal Navy by John I Thornycroft of Southampton, the minesweeper was launched on 26 January 1955 and later commissioned as HMS Hickleton

She was commissioned into the RNZN in 1965 and decommissioned in 1966. After leaving New Zealand service, she was transferred to the Argentine Navy and renamed ARA Neuquen (M1).

Operational history[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]

New Zealand[edit]

Early in 1965, Indonesia was employing a policy of confrontation against Malaysia. New Zealand agreed to assist Malaysia by deploying two Royal Navy minesweepers then in reserve at Singapore. These were commissioned into the RNZN on 10 April 1965 and joined the Royal Navy's 11th Minesweeping squadron (also Ton class), taking part in anti-infiltration patrols in Malaysian waters.

In her first year Hickleton, together with her sister ship Santon, carried out 200 patrols, with 20 incidents involving intruding Indonesians, often taking as prisoners those aboard the intercepted craft.

By the time the Indonesian confrontation policy ended in August 1966 Santon had steamed 62,000 miles. Following the withdrawal of Commonwealth ships from the anti-infiltration patrols, the RNZN crew took her back to England, where she paid off in reserve at Portsmouth.

Argentina[edit]

The ship was subsequently sold to Argentina and renamed Neuquen (M1). She was decommissioned in 1996.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • McDougall, R J (1989) New Zealand Naval Vessels. Page 83-84. Government Printing Office. ISBN 978-0-477-01399-4
  • Wright, Gerry (2006) A Kiwi on our Funnel: The story of HMNZ Ships Hickleton and Santon, Zenith Print and Design. ISBN 0-473-10822-4