HMS Bickerton (K466)
|Builder:||Bethlehem-Hingham Shipyard Inc., Hingham, Massachusetts|
|Laid down:||3 May 1943|
|Fate:||Transferred to Royal Navy|
|Namesake:||Sir Richard Bickerton|
|Launched:||26 July 1943|
|Commissioned:||17 October 1943|
|Identification:||Pennant number K466|
|Fate:||Scuttled 22 August 1944|
|Class and type:||Captain-class frigate|
|Displacement:||1,800 long tons (1,800 t) (fully loaded)|
|Length:||306 ft (93 m) (overall)|
|Beam:||36 ft 6 in (11.13 m)|
|Draught:||11 ft (3.4 m) (fully loaded)|
|Speed:||24 knots (44 km/h; 28 mph)|
|Range:||5,500 nmi (10,200 km; 6,300 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)|
|Complement:||Typically between 170-180|
HMS Bickerton was a Captain-class frigate of the Buckley type during World War II. Named after Sir Richard Bickerton commander of HMS Terrible at the First Battle of Ushant during the American Revolutionary War.
Originally this ship was provisionally given the name USS Eisele (this name was reassigned to DE-34) however the delivery was diverted to the Royal Navy before launch. The Commanding Officers were Lieutenant EM Thorpe RN and Commander D. MacIntyre, (Senior Officer 5th Escort Group).
Construction and career
On 6 May 1944, the German submarine U-765 was sunk in the North Atlantic — in position — by depth charges from Bickerton, operating alongside two Fairey Swordfish (No. 825 Squadron) of the escort carrier Vindex and frigates Bligh and Aylmer. Of the crew of U-765, 37 died and 11 survived.
Bickerton was escorting the second group of escort carriers (Trumpeter and Nabob) from the Home Fleet (under Admiral Moore), which covered the convoy JW-59 and launched further attacks (Operation Goodwood) on the German battleship Tirpitz in Altenfjord. Before the group was able to launch an attack on Tirpitz, U-354 encountered them on her search for the convoy northwest of the North Cape in the Barents Sea. At about 01:00 on 22 August, U-354 badly damaged Nabob with a pattern-running FAT torpedo spread. The U-boat then tried to sink her at 01:22 with a GNAT homing torpedo, which struck Bickerton. She was subsequently scuttled by a torpedo from Vigilant at position Coordinates: .
- Collingwood, Donald (1998). The Captain Class Frigates in the Second World War. Leo Cooper. ISBN 0-85052-615-9.
- Franklin, Bruce Hampton (1999). The Buckley-Class Destroyer Escorts. Chatham Publishing. ISBN 1-86176-118-X.
- Niestle, Axel (1998). German U-Boat Losses During World War II. United States Naval Institute. ISBN 1-55750-641-8.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.