HMNZS Pukaki (F424) - Service History - As Pukaki (F424)

As Pukaki (F424)

On 15 October 1948 Pukaki sailed from Portland with three other Loch class frigates, arriving at Auckland in January 1949 to join the 11th Frigate Flotilla for patrols and exercises.

On 25 June 1950 Pukaki was placed at the disposal of the UN Forces in Korea. In August Pukaki and sister-ship Tutira arrived at Sasebo to join the UN naval command. Initially attached to Task Group 96.5 for escort duties between Japan and Korea, in September she was transferred to Task Group 90.7 to support of landings by the US 1st Marine Division at Inchon, rejoining Task Group 96.5 in October to protect minesweeping operations prior to the landings at Wonsan. In November she was relieved by HMNZS Rotoiti and returned to Auckland to refit, after which she was placed in reserve.

Recommissioned in December 1952 for service in the 11th Frigate Flotilla, Pukaki was assigned to detached service with the Royal Navy's Far East Fleet 4th Frigate Squadron based at Singapore in September 1953. In January 1954 the frigate was deployed in the Yellow Sea for trade protection and as back-up to UN forces in Korea if required. In May she was transferred to Singapore for anti-terrorist operations in the Malayan Emergency, returning to Auckland in September.

She rejoined the 4th Frigate Squadron in the Far East Fleet in June 1955, for trade protection and Korean coast guard ship duties, while also carrying out joint exercises with United States Navy ships, returning to Auckland in May 1956. In December she escorted HMNZS Endeavour during the initial stage of the journey to McMurdo Sound in Antarctica.

In 1957 and 1958 the ship was deployed as a weather reporting ship during the "Operation Grapple" nuclear tests at Christmas Island. Between 1959 and 1962 she once more joined the Far East Fleet for SEATO exercises and patrols. From 1963-1965 she supported the United States "Operation Deep Freeze" Antarctic operations.

Put into reserve in May 1965 Pukaki was sold in October. The ship was towed to Hong Kong and scrapped in January 1966.

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