HMS Tobago (K585)

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United States
Name: Holmes
Namesake: A British name assigned in anticipation of delivery of the ship to the United Kingdom
Reclassified: Patrol frigate, PF-81, 15 April 1943
Builder: Walsh-Kaiser Company, Providence, Rhode Island
Laid down: 17 August 1943[1]
Renamed: Hong Kong, 1943
Namesake: Hong Kong
Renamed: Tobago, 1943
Namesake: Tobago
Launched: 27 September 1943
Sponsored by: Mrs. D. W. Ambridge
Commissioned: never
Identification: PG-189
Fate: Transferred to the United Kingdom, 12 August 1944
Acquired: Returned by United Kingdom 13 May 1946
  • Sold for scrapping
  • Scrapping canceled
  • Resold 1950 for use as civilian passenger ship
  • Sunk as block ship 1956
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Tobago
Namesake: Tobago
Acquired: 12 August 1944
Commissioned: 12 August 1944
Decommissioned: 1945[2]
Identification: K585
Fate: Returned to United States, 13 May 1946
General characteristics
Class and type: Colony/Tacoma-class patrol frigate
Displacement: 1,264 long tons (1,284 t)
Length: 303 ft 11 in (92.63 m)
Beam: 37 ft 6 in (11.43 m)
Draft: 13 ft 8 in (4.17 m)
  • 3 × boilers
  • 2 × turbines, 5,500 shp (4,100 kW) each
  • 2 shafts
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Complement: 190

The fourth HMS Tobago (K585), ex-Hong Kong, was a Colony-class frigate of the United Kingdom which served in the Royal Navy during World War II. She originally was ordered by the United States Navy as the Tacoma-class patrol frigate USS Holmes (PF-81) and was transferred to the Royal Navy prior to completion.

Construction and acquisition[edit]

The ship, originally designated a "patrol gunboat," PG-189, was ordered by the United States Maritime Commission under a United States Navy contract as the first USS Holmes. She was reclassified as a "patrol frigate," PF-81, on 15 April 1943 and laid down by the Walsh-Kaiser Company at Providence, Rhode Island, on 17 August 1943.[1] Intended for transfer to the United Kingdom, the ship was first renamed Hong Kong and then Tobago by the British prior to launching and was launched on 27 September 1943, sponsored by Mrs. D. W. Ambridge of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Service history[edit]

Transferred to the United Kingdom under Lend-Lease on 12 August 1944, the ship served in the Royal Navy as HMS Tobago (K585) on patrol and escort duty until 1945.[2]


The United Kingdom returned Tobago to the U.S. Navy on 13 May 1946. She subsequently was sold to the Boston Metals Company of Baltimore, Maryland, for scrapping, but her scrapping was cancelled and in 1950 she was resold to Khedivial Mail Lines of Alexandria, Egypt, for use as a civilian passenger vessel. She was sunk as a blockship in the Suez Canal in 1956.


  1. ^ a b HMS Tobago (K 585)
  2. ^ a b According to HMS Tobago (K 585), Tobago' 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.

External links[edit]