Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Richard Bulkeley
(AM: displacement 550; length 150-; beam 22-; draft 14-6-; speed 10.5 knots; complement 25; class (R.N.) Mersey)

A member of the crew of H.M.S. Victory or Royal Sovereign at the time of Trafalgar.

Richard Bulkeley was launched 21 August 1917 by Cochrane & Sons, Selby, England, as a wooden patrol and antisubmarine vessel for the Royal Navy. She was acquired 31 May 1919 on loan for U.S. Navy service as a minesweeper and commissioned the same day, Lt. Michael J. Wilkinson in command.

Richard Bulkeley served as flagship of Comdr. Frank L. King, commander of a minesweeper flotilla engaged in clearing the Northern Mine Barrage laid during World War I to block German submarine routes to the Atlantic. While underway on a sweeping operation in the North Sea 12 July 1919, Richard Bulkeley's sweeping gear caught a mine which suddenly exploded. The ship sank with the loss of seven men, including Commander King, whose name was given to a destroyer (DD-242) then under construction in the United States.


29 September 2005