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Royal Navy post-World War 2

 

CHRONOLOGY, Part 3 - 1961-70
by Geoffrey B Mason, Lieutenant Commander, RN (Rtd) (c) 2007

Tribal-class frigate HMS Ashanti - see Ships 1961  (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)

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(for more ship information, go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search)

 

 

1 9 6 1

 

 

Administration

 

Portland Spy Case.

 

'ROMER'  Committee Report on Naval security published (June).

 

Department of Naval Security set up.

 

Manpower of 100,000 with recruiting target of 7,500.

 

200 ships in operational service and about the same number held in Reserve.

 

110 ships transferred to Commonwealth countries since 1945.

 

Speculation over replacement of aging carriers continued after First Lord statement.

 

Costs of modernisation and the poor selections still under criticism. Examples HMS SWIFTSURE and HMS GRAVELINES

 

Delays in start of refits and modernisations HMS TRIUMPH, HMS CAMBRIAN and HMS MULL OF KINTYRE

 

Empress State Building under construction in Fulham to replace Queen Anne's Mansions

 

Commons Select Committee reported costs of Admiralty organisation but Fleet strength reduced

 

Hydrographic Department completed tidal survey work on SW England coasts.

 

Officers

 

* RNC Dartmouth History articles.

 

Admirals total of 83 to be reduced to 72 by 1962 with 144 major warships in service

 

Direct recruitment of university graduates into Engineering Branch announced.

 

Ratings

 

Re-engagement level 63% (12 year) and 40% (7 years).

 

Junior entries expected to represent about a third of new intake.

 

Centralised Drafting System improvements becoming evident but shortages continue to present anomalies.

 

Proposal to reintroduce Warrant Rank turned down.

 

Introduction of joint messes for WRNS and RN ratings in shore establishments to be investigated.

 

Control Artificer (Weapons) Branch of ratings established.

 

Ships

 

SONAR Type 193 in production following its satisfactory development TRIALS in HMS SHOULTON  (See 1959).

 

Fleet Maintenance Units set up in the three Home Dockyards and in Malta.

 

First centralised air conditioning plants in use in frigate to replace individual units.

 

Ship/Ship variant of SEASLUG Guided Weapon System to be developed after completion of final trials in  HMS GIRDLENESS.

 

Two more GM Destroyers to be ordered.

 

HMS ASHANTI commissioned and first frigate designed to operate a helicopter, but not  an outstanding success.

 

Trials of new propulsion equipment revealed various problem and delayed deployment of TRIBAL Class in Middle East.

 

* BRITANNIA article (July).

 

HMS EAGLE to be fitted with new Action Data System to assist in processing information

 

Fleet deployment of HMS LION delayed by gunnery and propulsion machinery problems.  6" armament to be modified.

 

Conversion of HMS MANXMAN for use as support ship in hand.

 

HMS ST BRIDES BAY paid off after 16 years continuous overseas service

 

HMS TRIUMPH conversion for use as a maintenance ship not yet begun.

 

HMS RECLAIM carried out experimental work to check decompression tables.

 

HMS VICTORIOUS spent 222 delays at sea out of 333 on return to Britain having steamed 63,000 miles.

 

HMS FALMOUTH involved in collision with an RFA (December, in English Channel).

 

Submarines

 

Study of possibility of use of POLARIS nuclear weapon in submarines being studied.

 

HMS FINWHALE carried out 28 day patrol, some of which was under the Arctic Icecap. HMS AMPHION used as Communications Link to FOSM.

 

Modernisation of HMS MAIDSTONE for support of nuclear submarines in hand.

 

US submarine tender USS PROTEUS arrived in Holy Loch for support of US Navy POLARIS submarines,

 

Naval Aviation

 

BUCCANEER Aircraft Trials Unit formed.

 

Deck Landing Projector Sight (DPLS) and Height Indicator (HILO) to replace Mirror Sight. HILO trials carried out in HMS ALBION for 10 months.

 

Home Station

 

A/S Frigate Squadron to be based at Londonderry. HMS UNDAUNTED as Capt (F)

 

Nore Command, established in 1752, closed with civic ceremony at Chatham.

 

RN Hospital closed but RN Barracks had been in use since 1958 as Supply School previously as HMS CERES (Ex DEMETRIUS) at Wetherby.

 

First two CASTLE Class frigates turned over to Air Ministry for use as Weather Ships.

 

RN Minewatching Service to be expanded to assist in convoy assembly during wartime.

 

Torpedo Range at Stokes Boy closed.

 

Two ratings from HMS JUTLAND in court in Dunfermline for walking across Catwalk of new Forth Road Bridge.

 

HMS CARRON carried out Foul Weather trials in Atlantic including use of new Life Raft and survival suits.

 

HMS RECLAIM carried out experimental deep diving trials to check accuracy of decompression tables

 

HMS TROUBRIDGE and HMS WOTTON escorted trawler into Aberdeen after incident with Danish frigate off Faeroes.

 

Foreign Stations

 

Coastal Minesweepers carried out minesweeping operations off Borneo coasts because of the amount of shipping  associated with export of new timber trade cargoes.

 

Increase in naval deployments in Far East to counter Indonesian threat and increase in piracy.

 

Labuan proposed as base for RN after new Malaysian Federation formed.

 

Extensive RN deployments carried out to assist defence of Kuwait against threatened invasion by Iraq  Operation VANTAGE. Value of RFA support and use of Commando Carrier clearly established.

 

Requirement to provide patrols off Borneo to suppress piracy fully recognised

 

Sales cruise by HMS LION and other ships including RFA's visited South American ports

 

Underground fuel depot being built in Malta for NATO use.

 

HMS BULWARK took part in Anglo-US amphibious exercise in North Borneo.

 

HMS CENTAUR and HMS VICTORIOUS provided help after flooding in Kenya.

 

HMS LEOPARD visited Luanda, and later sent to Tristan da Cunha after volcanic eruption.

 

HMS Frigates LOCH ALVIE, LOCH FYNE and LOCH RUTHVEN (right - Navy Photos/Bryan Woodford) assisted with major fire fighting on board  ss DARA in Persian Gulf

 

HMS OWEN landed party on Martin Vaz (SE of Rio de Janeiro) during Atlantic oceanographic survey

 

HMS RHYL diverted to stand-by at Goa after Indian invasion.

 

HMS ROTHESAY and HMS ULSTER deployed to follow 'hijacked' Portuguese liner SANTA MARIA in Caribbean.

 

*HMS ST ANGELO article.

 

HMS STUBBINGTON and SEA SALVOR towed Norwegian tanker BERGEHUS to Malta after explosion

 

HMS TROUBRIDGE, HMS LONDONDERRY and HMS VIDAL assisted in relief work in Belize after hurricane.

 

HMS VICTORIOUS visited Simons Town.

 

 


 

 

1 9 6 2

 

 

Administration

 

Amphibious Warfare Headquarters to be replaced by Joint Services Staff.

 

Closures announced included Royal Victualling Yard at Deptford, London

 

CANMORE Committee criticised the under utilisation of troopships and the unnecessary build of two more.

 

Manpower 100,000.

 

Recruiting requirement 7,900. Last year 25% were school leavers.

 

Re-engagements (12 year) 65%

 

Manning shortages evident in some ships in Home waters.

 

37,000 serving afloat out of total trained manpower of 86,970.

 

New Pay Code introduced but payable in two annual instalments.

 

RFA capability increased by addition of modem tankers and cargo ships.

 

SABA equipment available for shallow water divers.

 

SEA DART Surface/Air anti-aircraft missile development announced.

 

Vassall spy trial.

 

Officers

 

Low power nuclear reactor to be fitted at RNC Greenwich.

 

Seamen Branch Supplementary List requirement for 1961 met.

 

Shortage of Medical and Instructor Officers because of ending of National Service.

 

Shortfall in Britannia Royal Naval Collage entry due to the higher educational standard now required.

 

Ratings

 

Punishment scales for leave breaking increased.

 

Senior ratings permitted to rejoin for additional 5 years within 3 years of date of completion of service.

 

Ships

 

First Amphibious Assault Ship ordered.

 

Four BATTLE Class destroyers to be modified for use as radar pickets and fitted with SEACAT missiles.

 

Malicious damaged reported in HMS EAGLE, HMS ASHANTI and HMS CARRON.

 

Requirement for new Fleet Aircraft Carrier forecast.

 

New Test Tank completed at Admiralty Experimental Establishment, Haslar, Gosport for future research involving metals.

 

HMS ALBION commissioned as Commando Carrier.

 

HMS ASHANTI defective gas turbine blades made necessary return from demonstration visits to USA and Canada. Hull strengthening also found to be required in this new Class of Frigate.

 

HMS BELFAST and HMS BERMUDA Paid-off.

 

New GW Destroyer HMS DEVONSHIRE carried out first SEASLUG firings from an operational ship.

 

Conversion of HMS TRIUMPH for use a Maintenance Support Ship still not started.

 

Submarines

 

Action Data Automation System to be introduced.

 

Final stages of installation of Nuclear Plant being completed at Dounreay.

 

Plan to sell WW2 HMS SERAPH to USA failed. This submarine had taken US General to meeting in Algeria before allied landings in North Africa.

 

POLARIS Agreement signed in Bermuda to enable missiles to be obtained from US Navy.

 

HMS DREADNOUGHT (right - NavyP hotos/David Downey) to be fitted with Inertial Navigation System (SINS). Sea trials of SINS to begin in December.

 

HMS TIPTOE carried cut Free Ascent Escape Trials from depth of 260 feet off Malta.

 

HMS VALIANT, first British designed nuclear submarine laid down (January).

 

HMS WARSPITE second Fleet submarine ordered.

 

Naval Aviation

 

Anti-submarine version of WESSEX helicopter to be introduced for use in Carriers and GM Destroyers.

 

HMS HARRIER, Air Direction and Meteorology School at Kete, Pembroke closed.

 

Helicopter from HMS HERMES crashed off Wales killing Lord Windlesham and an RAF officer.

 

Queen's Commendation awarded to SCIMITAR pilot who landed safely on HMS HERMES after bird had shattered the canopy of aircraft.

 

Study of Vertical Take-off and Landing aircraft (VTDL) in hand. without any commitment for RN use.

 

Troop carrying version of WESSEX to be used in Commando Carriers.

 

1,000 BULLPUP missiles to be bought from USA for use in BUCCANEER aircraft.

 

HMS VICTORIOUS carried out 'Cross Deck' operations with French aircraft carrier CLEMENCEAU.

 

Home Waters

 

International mine clearance operations planned to start in 1963 after two mercantiles had been mined off Dutch coast.

 

HMS ARK ROYAL ran aground during entry into Devonport.

 

HMS BATTLEAXE had to be scrapped after collision with HMS URSA in Clyde estuary.

 

Burst steam pipe in HMS CENTAUR caused 5 fatalities.

 

RFA GREEN RANGER ran aground in Bristol Channel and became a totallLoss.

 

HMS GIRDLENESS transferred to Reserve Fleet at Rosyth for use as Living Ship. SEASLUG Guided Missile trials could be carried out in HMS DEVONSHIRE.

 

HMS REPTON sent to escort Russian surveillance ship away from NATO Exercise in Channel.

 

HMS SHOULTON minehunting equipment used to locate crashed aircraft in Moray Firth and North Sea.

 

HMS UNICORN (Hulk) used as RNVR Headquarters Ship at Dundee towed away to breakers.

 

Foreign Stations

 

Management of Malta Dockyard by CH Bailey found not to be commercially viable.

 

Deployments made by Far East Stations ships after Confrontation began with Indonesia (KONFRONTASI). HMS MARYTON, HMS CHAWTON, HMS LOCH INSH and HMS CAESAR deployed against piracy off Borneo.

 

Expansion of Far East Fleet continued and Joint Services Command set up at Singapore.

 

Frigates of Dartmouth Training Squadron including HMS TROUBRIDGE provided aid to the civil authorities during General Strike and rioting in British Guiana.

 

Support facilities in Malta to be reduced to Forward Supply only.

 

RN Wireless Station (HMS MAURITIUS) opened in Mauritius as replacement for Ceylon facilities.

 

Russian build-up of missiles In Cuba.

 

HMS ALBION involved in collision with tug at Aden killing two of the tug crew.

 

HMS COOK reported record depth sounding in Mindanao Trench. (Note: This was later found to be in error.)

 

HMS LOCH FADA sent to Maldives after political unrest. Relieved by HMS CASSANDRA.

 

HMS LOCH RUTHVEN seized dhow carrying ammunition and a rebel leader off Oman

 

HMS LION and HMS LONDONDERRY diverted to assist Italian liner BIANCA when she caught fire off Granada. HMS LONDONDERRY towed mercantile clear of harbour entrance.

 

HMS OWEN completed Antarctic survey and took part in International Oceanographic Year investigations in Indian Ocean.

 

 

 


 

 

1963

 

 

Administration

 

Chief Staff Officer (Technical) introduced for service on staff of CinC Home Fleet. This officer would be responsible for all matters associated with Engineering.

 

Civilian engineers in Royal Dockyards and in Admiralty Departments to be known generically as The Naval Engineering Service (RNES)

 

Individual Class Authorities for types of ship replaced by The Ship Maintenance Authority.

 

Combined Ministry of Defence proposed to be established from 1964 to replace Admiralty, War Office and Air Ministry.

 

Director of Fleet Maintenance appointed in Admiralty at Flag Rank.

 

Evaluation trial to be carried out on Australian designed anti-submarine weapon (IKARA).

 

Maintenance Scheme (‘Guinea Pig’) introduced and trial to be carried out in selected ships. HMS LOWESTOFT waesone of those selected.

 

'Hard Tack' biscuits removed from Victualling Stores List as part of emergency or action rations.

 

Impact of POLARIS Programme Manning requirements on distribution of naval manpower resulted in offer of extension of existing 22 Year Engagements.

 

Manpower intake target 7,000. 53% of ratings serving at sea. Recruiting and retention continues to present problems.

 

NATO proposal to try  'Multi-national Manning’ of a surface ship agreed. Later, ships of different NATO navies were deployed as a Task Force.

 

Navy Works Department in Royal Dockyards abolished and replaced by Ministry of Public Building and Works.

 

The ‘Profumo’ affair.

 

RN Careers Service to replace Recruiting Service.

 

RN Mission to Libya established and training of personnel in UK provided

 

Royal Navy Examination Service (RNXS) replaced the RN Mine Watching Servioe.

 

Routine Orders ('Pipes') no longer in use in some ships.

 

Security arrangements intensified.  All ships and Establishments to have a Security Officer

 

Title ASDIC for underwater detection equipment officially replaced by SONAR. This title has been used in US Navy for many years.

 

Officers

 

Instructor Branch to allow recruitment of suitably qualified ratings.

 

Medical Scholarships introduced to attract doctors whilst training.

 

Recruitment of Electrical Officers by Direct Entry of Graduates from Industry began.

 

Shortfall in Britannia RNC entries announced, although less then in 1961-2.

 

Supplementary List Fixed Wing aircrew and Electrical Branch requirements not being met.

 

Ratings

 

Drafting problems due to POLARIS requirements recognised

 

Retirement after 32 years service with increased pension announced.

 

Use of Crossed Flags Badge for Signal Branch ratings discontinued.

 

53% ratings now serving at sea.

 

Ships

 

Boiler flash-back in HMS LION injured three ratings.

 

Coastal Minesweepers to be deployed in Persian Gulf and four to be kept at Aden in Reserve.

 

Escort Squadrons composed of destroyers and frigates introduced.

 

First Landing Ship (Logistics) LSL SIR LANCELOT launched (right - sister ship, now RFA SIR PERCIVALE at the time of the 1982 Falklands War. No enlargement) .

 

Modern, commercial design communications equipment (COMIST) using new techniques introduced.

 

Possible sabotage reported in HMS DIAMOND.

(For some of the possible background to these incidents - see "Some Aspects of Officer/Rating Relationships in the Royal Navy 1941-1972")

HMS BARROSA involved in boarding incident off Borneo.

 

HMS BLAKE placed in reserve after refit. Reason other than lack of manpower is obscure

 

HMS CENTAUR deployed as relief for HMS ARK ROYAL East of Suez without planned period in Hone waters.

 

Search for missing French submarine by HMS CENTAUR called off when sighted by RAF aircraft.

 

HMS RECLAIM to be fitted with De-compression Chamber to allow diving operations down to 1,000 feet. Deep diving trials carried out off Canary Islands.

 

HMS TIGER weapon maintenance allowed to run down because of intended refit.

 

HMS LOWESTOFT and HMS BERWICK demonstrated RN anti-submarlne procedures to US Navy.

 

Five Fast Patrol Boats paid-off leaving only HMS BRAVE BORDERER and HMS BRAVE SWORDSMAN in service

 

Submarines

 

Building of Royal Navy Armaments Depot (RNAD) at Coulport and Submarine Base for POLARIS submarines in Faslane announced.

 

 Chief Polaris Executive appointed to ensure submarine build and weapon support programme is met on time and within budget. 1,700 personnel with support facilities would be deployed in Clyde by 1968. POLARIS submarines to have six torpedo tubes with hydroplanes to be fitted on bow structure. Two separate crews to be used for these submarines and refits carried out at Rosyth.

 

Build programmes for new Fleet submarines delayed by priority given to POLARIS acceptance into service.

 

US Navy AUTEC Range in Bahamas to be used by RN submarines.

 

HMS GRAMPUS and HMS PORPOISE carried out further operations under Arctic ice pack. See 1961

 

HMS VALIANT launched at Barrow.

 

HMS WARSPITE laid down at Barrow.

 

Naval Aviation

 

Assistance provided by helicopters for rescue work after UK blizzards.

 

Build of replacement Fleet aircraft carrier CVA1 announced, and to have VTOL capability.

 

First VTOL aircraft deck landing trials in HMS ARK ROYAL

 

Provision of Flotation gear for helicopters subject to production delays.

 

Selection of PHANTOM aircraft instead of P1154 for future naval use subject to dispute.

 

Poor delivery rate of helicopters. Promise of availability of WESSEX V in 1963 for use in KONFRONTASI operations not achieved

 

RNAS Abbotsinch closure as a Repair Facility.  Still to be used as accommodation for ships refitting at Rosyth.

 

Safety system using red lighting for illumination of aircraft carrier superstructure to be introduced.

 

Trials on new aircraft Ejector Seat carried out

 

WASP Helicopter not available for HMS LEANDER.

 

WESSEX 5 Helicopter not available for HMS CENTAUR on completion of refit.

 

Home Waters

 

 

Inshore Minesweepers brought forward from Reserve for auxiliary tasks including use by RNXS Mine Clearance.

 

Operations CLEAR ROAD and CABLE WAY carried out with other NATO minesweepers in North Sea

 

11 RNR Division Minesweepers also deployed.

 

HMS BELFAST brought forward for service and used to take cadets and other trainees to Gibraltar.

 

Foreign Stations

 

Coastal Minesweepers deployed operationally in Persian Gulf.

 

Extensive salvage work carried out by HMS BARBAIN, HMS BARFOIL and HMS DUCHESS to re-float British mercantile in eastern approaches to Singapore harbour.

 

KONFRONTASI operations against Indonesian infiltration increasingly involved RN.

 

HMS HAMPSHIRE relieved HMS LION.

 

HMS ALBION sent from Singapore to collect helicopters from Tobruk.

 

HMS ALBION assisted in flood relief in addition to KONFRONTASI tasks.

 

HMS BARBAIN ordered to leave Indonesian territorial waters when on passage to assist grounded Indian mercantile.

 

HMS LONDONDERRY and HMS WHIRLWIND deployed in Bahamas area to deter anti-Castro activities.

 

HMS CENTAUR diverted on passage to Far East to assist in rescue of survivors from the Greek cruise liner LANCONIA which had sunk after catching fire near Madeira.

 

HMS COOK extensively damaged after grounding on coral reef in Gilbert Islands. Taken in hand locally for extensive repair work.

 

HMS OWEN took part investigations in Indian Ocean as part of International Oceanographic Year.

 

 

 


 

 

1 9 6 4

 

 

Administration

 

Accommodation improvement still not fully implemented.

 

American emphasis in NATO Council about British role in Far East.

 

Supply of Arms to South Africa ended.

 

Critical Path Analysis Procedures (PERT) to be used in future ship Royal Dockyard refits as used for POLARIS.

 

Parliamentary Committee criticised lack of air-conditioning in HMS BAROSSA despite the fact that she had been recently modernised.

 

Manpower strength of 98,000 to be increased to 103,000 because of impact of POLARIS.

 

Intake in 1963-64: 7,500 with target of 8,000.

 

Re-engagements 59% (12 Year) and 53% (9 Year).

 

Ministry of Defence reorganisation implemented. Three Service Boards replaced. Admiralty Board Title adopted instead of Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty. Defence Council Instructions (Navy) – “DCI (RN)” replaced Admiralty Fleet Orders (“AFO.”) Foul Anchor Flag of Admiralty hauled down in Whitehall on 31st March.

 

Build of New Guided Missile frigate first suggested. (Note: Later “BRISTOL” Class Destroyers introduced.)

 

Ships in Commission: 180. No. of Admirals 77.

 

SOSUS System to be laid in Atlantic by US Navy.

 

UK Married Quarters 90% below requirement

 

UK contribution to Mixed Manning of NATO ships planned to embark in USS CLAUDE V RICKETTS. Pay comparisons made and eventually Treasury approval was given to an Allowance. Later RN ships were deployed as part of a NATO Standing Force.)

 

12 Mile Fishing Limit introduced for UK.

 

170 Shore Establishments closed or role reduced since 1955.

 

Officers

 

Severe shortfall of Officer Entry partially due to requirement for two GCE "A" Levels.

 

Short Service aircrew officers encouraged to sign for further period.

 

Some 'Arts' Degree Graduates to be accepted and 100 Flying Scholarships to be awarded.

 

Ratings

 

Increased intake of Artificer Apprentices to cater for future needs.

 

Manning of a new Escort Squadron abandoned because of shortages. Poor Re-engagement of senior technical ratings was a major reason.

 

Royal Fleet Reserve Regulations changed.

 

Some improvements in ship amenities reported in new ships.

 

Ships

 

HMS BLAKE to be converted for use to carry Commandos using helicopters for transfer to shore.

 

HMS COOK (right - Navy Photos) returned to UK to Pay-off after damage due to grounding in Gilbert Islands.

 

HMS DIAMOND and HMS DUCHESS collided in Channel.

 

HMS DUCHESS loaned to RAN to replace HMAS VOYAGER which had been lost in collision.

 

Build of new design HYDRA Class Coastal Survey Ships announced. Commercial build LLOYDS standards to be applied.

 

 HMS ISIS, RNR Minesweeper visited Paris.

 

HMS LION and HMS LOWESTOFT collided in Firth of Forth during departure after Royal opening of Forth Road Bridge.

 

HMS LOFOTEN commissioned for Anti-submarine Helicopter Training use.

 

HMS PROTECTOR to be replaced as Ice Patrol Ship.

 

HMS RELENTLESS hit by 0.22 bullet during departure from Cork after visit.

 

HMS VICTORIOUS recommissioned at Singapore.

 

HMS VIDAL wearing Flag of Hydrographer of the Navy visited Leningrad.

 

ALGERINE Class Minesweeper HMS ACUTE held in Reserve used for Underwater Shock trials.

 

Submarines

 

Approval given for order of some equipment for fifth POLARIS submarine.

 

Problems at Dounreay delayed sea trials in HMS VALIANT.

 

Training of first RN POLARIS Crews began in USA. Later these will be carried out at Faslane.

 

HMS RESOLUTION first POLARIS submarine laid down.(*February)

 

HMS RENOWN laid down (June). New techniques using ultrasonic principals to be used to check Pressure Hull welding.

 

Underwater escape tests carried cut in Loch Fyne from HMS ORPHEUS at depth of 200 feet using new equipment.

 

HMS OTTER and HMS NARWHAL completed patrols under Arctic ice-pack.

 

Naval Aviation

 

50th Anniversary of the formation of The Royal Navy Air Service celebrated attended by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. Deliveries of SEA VIXEN and WESSEX V began. .Both to have guided missile capability. Delivery for new ships slow.

 

Restriction in helicopter flying time made in Hone waters because of shortage of spares

 

Extensive use of helicopters in support of KONFRONTASI military operations in Borneo. GANNET aircraft from HMS VICTORIOUS also used for radar surveillance

 

Modernisation of HMS EAGLE cost £31M, an overspend of £12M.

 

PHANTOM/P1154 selection problems not resolved.

 

BUCCANEER aircraft design problem evident after engine failure.

 

Helicopter Support Ship HMS ENGADINE ordered.    

 

Home Waters

 

12 mile Fishing Limit Agreement signed and included exclusive use by British vessels of the first six miles. Fishery Protection Squadron activities increased to avoid clashes with Polish and East German trawlers.

 

NATO Annual exercise TEAM WORK included 64 RN ships (Destroyers and below.)

 

Only 10% of required number of Married Quarters available.

 

HMS DIAMOND and HMS SALISBURY in collision in Channel when steaming close together.

 

HMS MALCOLM embarked scientist for survey around new volcano off Iceland,

 

HMS LONDON paid visit to Capital.

 

Foreign Stations

 

Service Families offered flights to Singapore on Charter aircraft at 'reduced’ cost of £96. (This expense unlikely to be very attractive.)

 

Habitability of ships criticised by Parliamentary Committee.

 

Increased involvement by RN, RAN and RNZN in Borneo KONFRONTASI support. Naval Party KILO formed for Inshore patrol. Guardship provided at Tawau. Several Incidents involving Coastal Minesweepers. Far East Fleet strength stronger than at any time since 1953. Patrols Instituted in Malacca Straits to intercept Indonesian infiltration craft

 

‘Unaccompanied’ foreign service to be kept to 12 months maximum separation.

 

HMS ANZIO involved in attempt to tow tanker ESSO NORWAY in Indian Ocean.

 

HMS AUSONIA and HMS SURPRISE withdrawn from Malta.

 

HMS BULWARK to relieve HMS ALBION in Far East and to be refitted.

 

Banyan Party seized by Chinese near Hong Kong but later released.

 

HMS VICTORIOUS, HMS CAESAR and HMS CAVENDISH visited Australia. On return passage joined by HMS HAMPSHIRE, HMS BERWICK and HMS DIDO passed through Sunda Strait together which caused some concern in Indonesia.

 

HMS CENTAUR and other ships diverted to Zanzibar after Sultan deposed.  Later ships were deployed at Dar-es-Salaam and also supported military operations in Aden.

 

HMS ROTHESAY and HMS WHIRLWIND deployed for patrol off Bahamas to intercept illegal traffic from Cuba.

 

 

 


 

 

1 9 6 5

 

 

Administration

 

Joint Anti-submarine School at Londonderry closed.

 

Required manpower strength of 91,078 to increase to 93,550 by Aprl 1966. 75% of entry under 17and 9,000 a year needed.

 

Mixed national manning experiment of NATO warships failed. Multi-national MATCHMAKER Squadron to be formed with HMS LEANDER as the RN contribution.

 

MOD Committee set up to examine the most efficient and economic use of aircraft.

 

Naval strength required to maintain an ‘East of Suez’ presence questioned in Parliament.

 

New Pay Review arrangement proposed including consideration of an "X” Factor.  “X” Factor to take account of armed service restrictions.  17% increase needed but 3% offered.

 

Part of IKARA weapon development work to be done in UK.

 

RN Volunteer Supplementary Reserve (RNVSR) to be disbanded.

 

Saturation Diving Display given to Press.

 

Unified Intelligence Staff to be created within Ministry of Defence with all three armed services represented

 

Officers

 

10% of RN aircrew resigned Commissions because of uncertainty about the future of Naval Aviation.

 

15% shortage of Electrical officers admitted in Parliament.

 

Britannia RN College Cadet annual entry of 229 met requirement for first time since 1957.

 

Difficulty in getting sufficient pilots for Fixed Wing and Helicopter aircraft. 68 Plying Scholarships awarded and 100 available this year. Intensive Recruiting campaign launched.

 

Four officers accepted for Degree courses at Cambridge University. University Cadetships Scheme to be started to improve Graduate intake.

 

Ratings

 

New entry requirement still not met.  1,000 shortfall.

 

Re-engagements still insufficient. Separation quoted as main cause.  Bonus payments for skilled ratings in view of 19% Shortage

 

Bridging Loan Scheme introduced to assist House purchase.  1,000 'Maisonette' type Married Quarters to be built in Gosport

 

Sick Berth Attendant rating title to be changed to Medical Attendant or Medical Technician.

 

Ships

 

Boiler Room fire in HMS ARK ROYAL at Singapore.

 

Coastal Minesweepers used to deal with oil pollution from tanker following collision near Beachy Head.

 

Enquiry into defects delayed completion of HMS HAMPSHIRE refit.

 

HMS FEARLESS (right - MOD. No enlargement) commissioned and Amphibious Warfare Squadron to be disbanded.

 

HMS INTREPID build completion delayed by need to transfer shipyard labour to liner QUEEN ELIZABETH.

 

HMS RECLAIM carried out underwater workshop trials off Toulon.

 

HMS TRIUMPH commissioned for use as Maintenance Ship at Singapore.  Modernisation costs £10.25M.  Some equipment not ready for use.         Early sailing to take up service incurred significant expenses.

 

Submarines

 

HM Dockyard Chatham to be developed for refit of nuclear 'Hunter-Killer' submarines.

 

Commanding Officers for the two crews in HMS RESOLUTION appointed.

 

First RN POLARIS patrol to be in 1968.  Other three nuclear submarines to be ready at 6 month intervals. Fifth POLARIS build cancelled.  Dounreay problems resolved and plant 'critical'

 

Further Escape trials carried out at 500 feet depth by HMS ORPHEUS off Malta.

 

Manually powered Carbon Dioxide Absorption Unit being developed for emergency use

 

Build completion of HMS VALIANT, first all British nuclear submarines, delayed by further problems.  Two months added to existing 12 month overrun.

 

First nuclear powered Fleet submarine HMS CHURCHILL ordered.

 

HMS DREADNOUGHT bulkhead cracks discovered.  Refit date brought forward.

 

RN officer appointed to advise British Delegation in USA during talks on allied nuclear forces.

 

Naval Aviation

 

Aircrew shortage 20%.

 

HMS ARK ROYAL to operate BUCCANEER aircraft on completion of refit. BUCCANEER aircraft flew non-step from Newfoundland to Lossiemouth.

 

First WESSEX V helicopters taken to Far East in HMS ALBION.

 

PHANTOM aircraft order for RN confirmed as 60 aircraft. Some fallacious opinion voiced that RAF use of this type would obviate need for deployment of Carrier East of Suez.

 

RNAS Halfar, Malta turned over to RAF.

 

Shortage of WESSEX spares due to take over of Napier Company by Rolls Royce. HMS BULWARK and HMS KENT both affected.

 

Home Waters

 

Royal Review in Clyde.

 

Increased Plenary Protection Squadron activity in Irish Sea.

 

Minesweepers in Home waters Paid-off to provide crews for Coastal Minesweepers in Far East.

 

Foreign Stations

 

Patrol of Bahamas now permanent feature. HMS DIAMOND involved in rescue work and interceptions.

 

Beira Patrol instituted off East African coast after Rhodesian Unilateral Declaration of Independence

 

Flag Officer, Flotillas appointment merged with CinC Mediterranean.

 

Frigates and Amphibious Squadron ships diverted from exercise to take troops to Bahrein.

 

Increased RN involvement at Aden. HMS EAGLE, HMS LOWESTOFT and two RFA sent from Mediterranean.

 

KONFRONTASI operations in Borneo continued with heavy RN participation. Two officers killed and 11 ratings injured. Honours awarded to RN personal. Bomb exploded on Liberian mercantile OCEANIC PRIDE in Singapore Roads. HMS WILKESTON intercepted craft which my have been used. Curfew imposed on movements and boom laid to improve safety of ships against attack by small craft. Naval Party KILO disbanded when duty taken over by Malaysian Police. Hovercraft used for transport and patrol duties. Patrol mileage exceeded 1,000,000. 1,400 raiders captured.

 

No ship deployed on South Atlantic and South Africa Station.

 

RNR Coastal Minesweepers sent to West Indies for eight weeks to carry cut patrol duty.

 

Singapore dockyard rundown commenced. Proposal made to set up base at Fremantle, Australia in place of Singapore facilities.

 

USA to set up base at Diego Garcia in Indian Ocean after visit in 1964.

 

HMS ALBION diverted to pick up Russian seaman from tanker and take him to Seychelles. Later, ship went to Mombasa in case of political unrest.

 

HMS BASTION officer rescued some of crew from disabled Dhow in Persian Gulf.

 

HMS EAGLE provided patrol of air apace over Tanzania because of Rhodesian threat after UDI

 

HMS HARTLAND POINT replaced HMS WOODBRIDGE HAVEN at Singapore as Minesweeper Support Ship.

 

HMS PROTECTOR gave assistance at Valpariso after earthquake in Peru.

 

HMS ROTHESAY and HMS WHIRLWIND stood by in Bermuda to provide aid after industrial unrest.

 

 

 


 

 

1 9 6 6

 

 

Administration

 

CinC Home Fleet Title abolished.

 

Closure of Naval Propellant factory at Caerwent impending.

 

Parliamentary query about cost of deploying RAF aircraft in Zambia compared with use of an Aircraft Carrier.

 

Discussions with Australia regarding replacement of Singapore Base continued.

 

Dutch involvement in development of “3D” radar ended.

 

Defence Communications Network to be set up to meet needs of all three services.

 

F111 use in new aircraft carrier controversy fuelled by Defence White Paper

 

First RN Equipment Exhibition held.

 

Exhibition of Furniture and Fittings used in Warships held at Portsmouth by Director of Naval Equipment.

 

First Sea Lord, Admiral David Luce, resigned over aircraft carrier policy.

 

Future Fleet Working Party reported cancellation of 5th POLARIS submarine was needed to ensure availability of Funds. Manpower increase: 98,326 to 99,570 by 1967.

 

Future responsibility for all procurement of food and for moorings taken over by MOD (Navy).

 

New Pay Code introduced and some Pension arrangements improved.

 

Naval Presentation Team formed to improve Public Relations and recruiting. 1st UK tour begun.

 

MOD directives consequent on Rhodesian UDI issued but not appreciated by those at sea.

 

Research and Development investigations in hand for use of Satellite Communications (SATCOMS). Automatic Fire Control for main armament and Underwater Noise. Trials on Satellite Communications equipment (SCOT) carried out by HMS WAKEFUL with UK Station at Christchuroh, Hampshire. Security risk exposed by training of Indian Navy officers.

 

Officers

 

Aircrew in ships deployed 'East of Suez' to be given Home Leave half-way through tours.

 

Aircrew resignations increasing due to lack of confidence in future of navel aviation. 18 RAF pilots chosen for transfer. Supplementary List aircrew extending service to be paid £3,000 Bounty

 

Special Duties List Officer pensions to be the same as that for equivalent rank in General List.

 

No further resignations to be accepted except on medical grounds.

 

Ratings

 

Re-engagement and recruiting numbers still in decline. Only 49% of those completing 12 year service re-engaged but 65% required. Figures for 9 Year Engagements were 50% required but only 21% attained. Intelligence standards for new recruits for Seaman Branch reduced. Interest Free Loans for House Purchase made available. Re-engagement Bounty for completion of 22 years pensionable service doubled to £750. Shortfall in artificer apprentice intake acute.

 

Privilege of drinking the ‘Loyal Toast’ whilst seated extended to Chief and Petty Officers.

 

Separation Allowance introduced for those away from their families for over 12 months.

 

Pay for those promoted to Special Duties list altered to overcome anomalies and improve the incentive for promotion of young ratings.

 

Training between 15 and 16 to cease because of raising of school leaving age to 16.

 

Ships

 

Build Contracts for future destroyers and frigates only to be awarded to Yarrow, Thornycroft and Vickers shipyards

 

Hovercraft minesweeping trials unsatisfactory.

 

Cost over-run of Type 42 destroyer Build Programme unofficially recognised.

 

First Type 82 Destroyer to be named HMS BRISTOL ordered.

 

Glass reinforced Plastic (GRP) to be used during build of future Coastal Minesweepers.

 

Type 14 Frigate HMS EXMOUTH to be converted for trials of new Gas Turbine propulsion equipment.

 

HMS INTREPID planned commissioning date not achieved.

 

Naval Aviation

 

HMS ARK ROYAL to operate PHANTOM and BUCCANEER aircraft after refit but not to be have the new CDS Radar Display or Action Data System equipment.

 

Design of new Aircraft Carrier CVA1 published prematurely. Later cancellation caused much disquiet in the naval service at all levels. Future of Fixed Wing flying now at greater risk.

 

Extensive use of ship-borne helicopters in Borneo continued.

 

Crashed BUCCANEER aircraft from HMS VICTORIOUS recovered from Channel at depth of 360 feet. Pilot of SEA VIXEN awarded George Medal for attempt to release his Observer before aircraft hit the sea.

 

New type of BUCCANEER aircraft carried out endurance trials with use of 'in flight’ refuelling.

 

Trials of WESSEX III Helicopter for use in GM destroyers.

 

Problems encountered by WESSEX V Helicopters when used in cold weather conditions.

 

VTOL aircraft, trial carried out in HMS BULWARK.

 

Submarines

 

Faslane Base POLARIS training School opened and given publicity in National Press.

 

Delayed announcement of explosion in HMS RORQUAL with 2 fatalities and other casualties

 

First fatal accident during use of Escape Tower in HMS DOLPHIN at Gosport.

 

HMS FORTH to be redeployed at Singapore after modernisation.

 

Habitability of "A" Class submarines in Far East admitted as being unsatisfactory.

 

Hair-line cracks in HIS DREADNOUGHT and HMS RESOLUTION rectified at a cost of£150K.

 

Last OBERON class expected to be in service by 1967.

 

Mark 24 Torpedo not to be ready for another six years due to problems encountered during R&D trials.

 

Slough Compass Observatory to be enlarged to meet requirements for use of Satellite communications equipment (SINS).

 

Second nuclear powered Fleet Submarine HMS CONQUEROR ordered.

 

Home Waters

 

Assistance provided to locate sunken German submarine in North Sea.

 

Salvage operation for wreck of SHACKLETON aircraft in Moray Firth. 95% recovered.

 

Squadron System for identifying groups of same type of destroyer or frigate abandoned.

 

Fire on board HMS BLAKE (right - Navy Photos) during refit.

 

HMS DEVONSHIRE with CinC Home Fleet embarked visited Leningrad.

 

INVINCIBLE Class announced as the replacement for TIGER Class cruisers.

 

HMS TIGER used for UDI conference at Gibraltar.

 

Foreign Stations

 

Argentine party landed in Falklands.

 

Beira patrol requirements continued including extensive use of RFAs. HMS EAGLE had spent 77 days continuously at sea when relieved by HMS ARK ROYAL. .HMS PLYMOUTH spent 42 days continuously under way. HMS BERWICK and HMS PLYMOUTH intercepted tankers.

 

HMS CARYSFORT deployed in Seychelles during labour dispute and relieved by HMS MOHAWK.

 

RNAS SEMBAWANG still in use at Singapore.

 

RNAS facility at Naga Ket, Borneo given name of RNAS TAUARI (local bird).

 

KONFRONTASI support continued until October when Malaya and Indonesia agreed a Settlement. 70 ships deployed in Far East. Guardshlp retained at Tawau. HMS DARTINGTON fired on by shore batteries whilst escorting Malayan craft. Piracy problems continued throughout year. HMS DEVONSHIRE and HMAS DERWENT rescued crew of Panamanian ship which had sunk off Sibu.

 

HMS DIDO assisted in putting down mutiny on British mercantile SUDBURY HILL in Gulf of Aden.

 

West Indies patrol activities continued on reduced scale in order to provide ships for Beira patrol. HMS ROTHESAY and HMS URSA involved in rescue work. HMS ZEST landed party to help restore electrical power during strike in Bahamas. HMS DEFENDER deployed at St Vincent as a precaution during period when political unrest anticipated.

 

HMS CALTON found British weapons intended for delivery to friendly Arab states on board Dhow intercepted during patrol in Arabian Sea.

 

 

 


 

 

1 9 6 7

 

 

Administration

 

Costs for HMS FIFE and HMS GLAMORGAN caused further controversy about build contracts.

 

Defence Sales Organisation established.

 

Defence Review implied further reductions in spending despite extent of current deployments. Some families overseas brought home to save foreign exchange costs.

 

TEMPLAR Committee reported on Joint Service aircraft and missile procurement and maintenance.

 

Civil post of First Lord of the Admiralty abolished.

 

Further MOD changes. Administrative and Equipment responsibilities altered.

 

Trial of new method of ship refitting in Royal Dockyards introduced. 'Guinea Pig’ ships selected.

 

Manpower Level 97,050 to be reduced to 88,400 by April 1971.

 

New operational control of ships introduced. Ships deployed East of Suez taken over by CinC Eastern Fleet and all others by CinC Western Fleet, Northwood.

 

Modernisation of UK Shore Establishments approved.

 

New Entries 7,100. Re-engagements down to 25%.

 

No more warship building to be done by Royal Dockyards.

 

Costs of commercial shipyard builds criticised.

 

RN Dependants Fund launched.

 

Sinking of Egyptian EILATH by Israeli missile raised questions in Parliament about RN Guided Weapon capabilities.

 

US NATO Atlantic Commander emphasised the need for RN involvement to meet his requirements.

 

US to provide satellite facilities for new UK Satellite Communications system.

 

Withdrawal from Malaysia and Singapore by mid 1970's confirmed.

 

Officers

 

Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (ACNS), John Adam resigned over missile policy.

 

CinC Portsmouth (John Hopkins) retired early.

 

Engineer officers to be eligible for CNAA Degree on completion of Diploma course at RNEC Manaadon.

 

Disappointing number of Engineering Branch cadets entering under Dartmouth and Graduate Entry Schemes.

 

Royal Defence Academy and Royal Defence College to be established in place of separate establishments.

 

Ratings

 

Discharge by Purchase rules amended to include ratings after 3 months initial training for a payment of £20.

 

Increase in numbers of aircrew qualifying for Helicopter duties.

 

Naval Drafting Authority (HMS CENTURION) to move from Haslemere to Gosport.

 

Report on Family Welfare completed.

 

Rowner Married Quarters Estate completed.

 

Re-engagement rates still decreasing. 25% (9 years), 45% (12 years).

 

* Article on unclaimed RNBT Money in NAVY NEWS.

 

* Article on Writer Branch in NAVY NEWS.

 

Ships

 

Build of Type 82.Destroyers to be discontinued after completion of HMS BRISTOL.

 

Danish ship ANITA DAN purchased to replace HMS PROTECTOR for duty in Antarctic.  Later HMS ENDEAVOUR.

 

Problems with SEASLUG II Guided Missile control equipment delayed its full acceptance into service

 

New SEAWOLF Weapon System to be fitted in new small frigates.  This was not achieved in new Type 21 Frigates.

 

HMS ARK ROYAL modernisation began and to remain in service till Mid 1970's with HMS EAGLE.

 

HMS BERWICK and HMS LOWESTOFT refitting after 7 years without major dockyard work.

 

RNXS craft HMS BIRDHAM damaged by fire off Arran.

 

HIMS DAMPIER returned to UK to Pay-off.  Part of this passage made under sail to help steady ship after she lost one of her propellers.

 

*Article in NAVY NEWS about HMS RELENTLESS.

 

HMS SLUYS bought by Iran to be modernised in UK and renamed ARTEMIZ.

 

HMS YARNTON successfully rode out Cyclone conditions in Indian Ocean.

 

HMS VICTORIOUS paid-off instead of completing refit after serious fire on board

 

HMS BULWARK deployed off West Africa as a precaution during Nigerian civil war.

 

Submarines

 

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visited Nuclear Refuelling Plant in HM Dockyard Rosyth.

 

New escape arrangements with Immersion Suits and using two Escape Hatches to be introduced.

 

Last OBERON Class HMS ONYX ordered from Chatham Dockyard.

 

HMS NEPTUNE commissioned as Clyde Submarine Base. Queens Harbour Master to be appointed to control Clyde area shipping movements.

 

Nuclear Submarine Command facility and Operator Trainer being built at Faslane.

 

HMS RENOWN launched in February and HMS REPULSE in November.

 

HMS RESOLUTION commissioned in October.

 

HMS CHURCHILL and HMS CONQUEROR Nuclear Fleet submarines laid down. Revised build instructions issued after pipe-work design problems in HMS DREADNOUGHT.

 

HMS COURAGEOUS, third Nuclear Powered Fleet submarine ordered. First batch of 5 Fleet Nuclear Powered submarines without POLARIS missile fit, generically VALIANT Class

 

HMS VALIANT completed underwater passage from Singapore to UK.

 

Naval Aviation

 

Contract negotiations in hand for purchase of two medium sized Hovercraft. Only one was purchased

 

First VTOL landing by HARRIER aircraft  (right - around the time of the 1982 Falklands War, MOD. No enlargement) on HMS BULWARK.

 

WASP Helicopter to be replaced by new design WG13. Later named LYNX.

 

WESSEX III Anti-Submarine Helicopter entered service.

 

Home Waters

 

* Article on Flag Officer Sea Training in NAVY NEWS.

 

Closure of HMS LOCHINVAR at Port Edgar forecast. Land sale problems aired in Parliament.

 

Tanker TORREY CANYON ran aground off Scillies and caused extensive pollution. Significant RN involvement in aftermath and clear-up operations.

 

Milford Haven dredging operation required for removal of shells dumped since 1890's.

 

Vosper built patrol craft chartered as no suitable RN vessel available for use during exercises.

 

HMS WARRIOR commissioned at Northwood as CinC Western Fleet headquarters.

 

Whitehall Communication facilities modernised in line with current Fleet changes.

 

Foreign Stations

 

Appointment of CinC Mediterranean abolished on 5th June.

 

Deployments increased to counter and carry out surveillance of Russian activities.

 

HMS HARDY and HMS GRAFTON deployed from Home waters.

 

HMS VICTORIOUS retained whilst on passage to Far East

 

Closure of base at Aden forecast. and use of Flag Officer Middle East to be abolished. Facilities at Mombasa improved. HMS FEARLESS took part in support of operations against rebels at Aden. Withdrawal operations at Aden commenced and to be completed in January 1968. 25 ships involved.

 

Beira patrol still being maintained. HMS MINERVA fired shot across bows of French tanker which continued passage.

 

RN RFA's supplied fuel to US warships on passage to Vietnam.

 

HMS AJAX rescued crew of RAF SHACKLETON aircraft in Indian Ocean

 

Frigate on South Africa and South Atlantic Station withdrawn.

 

HMS AMBROSE, Submarine base at Halifax, Canada closed.

 

Crest of Inshore Squadron deployed in Borneo presented to Sarawak National Museum.

 

HMS ASHTON and HMS LEVERTON rescued passengers in Greek Ferry HERAKLION.

 

Hulk of drifting tanker ESSBERGER CHEMIST sunk near the Azores by gunfire from HMS SALISBURY. Earlier attempt by torpedo fired from HMS DREADNOUGHT failed.

 

HMS BULWARK assisted flood victims in eastern Malaysia.

 

Extensive un-programmed deployments made in view of world political unrest including that at Hong Kong provided by HMS BULWARK during local strike and mainland China unrest. HMS HERMES landed troops to assist civil power in Hong Kong.

 

HMS DAMPIER visited Jakarta, Indonesia before leaving Far East after extensive hydrographic deployments

 

Accommodation at Bahrein in HMS JUFAIR to be modernised.

 

HMS LLANDAFF involved in rescue of crew of Liberian mercantile COCHTTA (sic) in Indian Ocean.

Correction and additional information with thanks to McEwen Head (22 Aug 2012) - "I intercepted the SOS at 8.15pm (local time - 300 miles west of the Seychelles) when we were on passage between Mombasa and Mahe during the night of  5th/6th July 1967. The ship in distress was the Liberian registered CONCHITA with a captain, three officer and 17 crewmen, all of whom were rescued when we arrived on the scene at about 11.15pm that evening. We stood by the Conchita overnight with a view to attempt to tow her but she sank early the next morning." 

HMS MOHAWK carried out rescue work in Caribbean.

 

HMS ZEST deployed at St Vincent during local election period as a precaution.

 

 

 


 

 

1 9 6 8

 

 

Administration

 

Cost of modernisation of HMS ARK ROYAL raised in Parliament

 

Function of Amphibious Warfare ships in NATO questioned.

 

R&D work on Glass Reinforced Plastic completed. To be used for coastal minesweepers and submarine casings

 

Logistic Support arrangements altered at MOD level.

 

Manpower target 94,900 to be reduced to 79,000 by 1973

 

Metric Charts issued.

 

New Digital Computer project for weapon control and information announced (CAAIS)

 

New Pay Code and Pensions introduced in September and back dated to 1st April. Existing pensions not included. Pay to be kept under review by National Service Pay and Pensions Board

 

Port Admiral Title to replace Admiral in main Dockyard ports

 

* Article on Redundancy Programme in NAVY NEWS.

 

RFA Tanker strength to be Increase because of reduction of shore fuel depots overseas.

 

Travelling Allowance payments to be made instead of issue of Railway Warrants

 

‘Stand-By Squadron’ for RN ships Introduced for ships held at short notice in Reserve.

 

HMS CORUNNA to be 'preserved’ in special operation.

 

Changed Programme for 16,000 redundancies to be made between 1968 and 1973 announced. Extensions of service beyond 22 years to be limited.

 

Officers

 

*Article in NAVY NEWS on Bos'n of the Yard and Master Rigger.

 

Applications for Scholarships and Reserved Cadetships fell.

 

Numbers of personnel employed in MOD(N) personnel still high despite run-down of Fleet.

 

Ratings

 

Able Seaman Robin Cloude of HMS DUNCAN convicted by court martial for passing information to USSR.

 

Artificer training period reduced by eight months.

 

Coxswain Branch abolished.

 

Leading Seaman to be qualified for appropriate 'Non-Sub’ rate before advancement.

 

New Entry requirement of 7,000 below requirement. Re-engagements 29% (9 year) and 48% (12 year)

 

New Sea/Shore ratio drafting system began.

 

*Table of Shore Billets published In NAVY NEW.

 

* Article on Revised Drafting Rules in NAVY NEWS.

 

*Article en Second Sea Lord’s Visiting Team in NAVY NEWS.

 

*Article on Welfare Working Party in NAVY NEWS.

 

Ships

 

All new construction major warships to use Gas Turbine propulsion

 

Availability record of COUNTY Class GM Destroyers raised in Parliament.

 

Problems with conventional propulsion machinery during refits admitted.

 

First Approach by National Maritime and Imperial Mar Museum to acquire HMS BELFAST.

 

*Article on Boom Defence Vessels in NAVY NEWS

 

First two Type 42 SEADART fitted destroyers ordered - HMS SHEFFIELD and HMS BIRMINGHAM (right - sister-ship HMS Cardiff, MOD. No enlargement). New design 4" gun being developed for use as main armament.

 

New Frigate (Type 21) to be designed by commercial contract. Originally combined RN/RAN frigate. Contract awarded to Vosper-Thornycroft and Yarrow Shipbuilders.

 

* Article on Radar Picket Ships in NAVY NEWS.

 

SEASLUG II fitting in COUNTY Class cancelled. To be replaced by SEAWOLF.

 

Aerial required for SKYNET Satellite Communications system found to be too large for fitting in small ships.  New design SCOT aerial is suitable for this purpose.

 

RAN design IKARA System to be fitted in some LEANDER Class Frigates.

 

*Articles on HMS ABDIEL, HMS INTREPID and HMS ENGADINE in NAVY NEWS.

 

HMS BULWARK returned from Far East and hurriedly redeployed for NATO Exercise POLAR EXPRESS.

 

HMS EXMOUTH conversion far Gas Turbine use completed sea trials.

 

HMS BLAKE conversion completed after long delays.

 

HMS LION to be converted to carry helicopters.

 

HMS MATAPAN taken out of Reserve and converted for use as Sonar Trials Ship.

 

Pre WW2 Coastal Minelayer HMS PLOVER Paid-off after 30 years service.

 

HMS RAPID sale to Ecuador failed. Ship to be used for Artificer training at Rosyth.

 

HMS SCYLLA launched at Devonport.

 

Bravery awards made to personnel of HMS DIANA.

 

Submarines

 

Development of Mark 24 Torpedoes delayed after trials problems. These were second series of trials after extensive redesign work.

 

Clyde Submarine Base HMS NEPTUNE opened by HM The Queen Mother.

 

New Escape equipment trials carried out from HMS ONYX at depth of 125 feet in Loch Fyne.  *Article in NAVY NEWS

 

Awards made to inventors of  'Hood’ Escape system.

 

Introduction of new Tactical missile cancelled.

 

Nuclear refitting complex for Fleet submarines opened at Chatham. Cost £4.5M

 

Submarines to be baaed at Devonport with support by HMS TYNE.

 

HMS ALLIANCE aground on Bembridge Ridge, IoW for some  days. Bravery awards made to ship’s company of HMS ALLIANCE after an explosion

 

HMS COURAGEOUS laid down.

 

HMS DREADNOUGHT first refit in hand at Rosyth.

 

HMS ODIN rescued crew of Liberian tanker SPYROS LEMOS and attempted tow.

 

HMS RESOLUTION carried out first launch of POLARIS missile by British submarine. Began first POLARIS deterrent patrol

 

HMS REVENGE launched.

 

HMS WARSPITE damaged by iceberg when submerged and escorted to Clyde by HMS DUNCAN.

 

Naval Aviation

 

BUCCANEER aircraft flew direct to Far East with 'In-flight' refuelling.

 

HARRIER aircraft operating trials carried out in HMS ARK ROYAL and HMS BULWARK.

 

Flag Officer, Aircraft Carriers replaced by Flag Officer Carriers and Amphibious Ships.

 

Plans to replace GANNET aircraft cancelled.

 

21st Anniversary of RNAS Culdrose.

 

SEA KING Helicopter to enter service in 1969.

 

Some naval PHANTOM aircraft delivered to RAF.

 

WASP Helicopters to be replaced by WG13 in mid 1970's.

 

WESSEX Helicopter gearbox modification found to be essential and costly.

 

WESSEX Helicopters involved in rescue work at Home and in Pacific.

 

Home Waters

 

Amphibious exercise carried out off Ulster coast with RUC involvement.

 

CinC Portsmouth to take over responsibility for all UK Shore Establishments.

 

Port Admiral status introduced in all major naval ports.

 

* Dartmouth Training Squadron Article in NAVY NEWS.

 

HMS DRYAD, Southwick to become School of Maritime Operations.  Replaces responsibilities of Tactical School. Ferranti design Computer controlled Tactical training simulator to be fitted for CAAIS training.

 

Fire in "A” Turret on board HMS FIFE at Portland.

 

Increased Safety Patrol recommended after loss of three British trawlers off Iceland.

 

Increase in surveillance by Russian ships in northern British waters.

 

* Article on A/S training at Londonderry in NAVY NEWS.

 

Multi-national minesweeping operation in North Sea (NEW BROOM) to extend area covered by earlier work

 

NATO Review in Forth Estuary.

 

* Article on Chatham Naval Barracks HMS PEMBROKE in NAVY NEWS.

 

NATO Exercise POLAR EXPRESS affected by availability of WESSEX V A/S Helicopters.

 

Royal visit to HMS COLLINGWOOD by HM The Queen Mother.

 

Royal Naval College Greenwich future reprieved.

 

HMS SAFEGUARD, Boom Defence Depot, Rosyth Paid-off

 

SEASLUG trials in hand but fitting restricted to later COUNTY Class.

 

Second Hovercraft to be used by Fishery Protection Squadron.

 

NATO Standing Force Atlantic (STANAVFORLANT) commissioned.  Commodore, RN appointed as first Commander.

 

75th Anniversary of attack on Zeebrugge attended by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

 

HMS CHICHESTER deployed for Fishery Protection duties and accused by USSR of spying.on Soviet naval  exercises.

 

HMS HARDY and HMS PENELOPE diverted to carry out search for bodies and wreckage after crash of an Aer Lingus VISCOUNT aircraft off Rosslare. Salvage work carried out later by HMS CLARBESTON, HMS INVERMORISTON, HMS SHOULTON, , HMS RECLAIM, HMS BELTON, HMS DUNCAN. HMS KEPPEL, HMS CHILCOMPTON, HMS GALATEA and HMS ARETHUSA.

 

Foreign Stations

 

Beira patrol continued.

 

Closure of Suez Canal made necessary an increase of use of Simons Town for calls by ships returning from service in the Far East. HMS WOOLASTON delayed in South Africa by defect repair when on return passage from Singapore. Future use of this facility in question because of embargo on supply of arms to South Africa.

 

Dartmouth Training Squadron ships deployed for search in Mediterranean for Israeli submarine DAKAR

 

Explosives clearance work carried out in Malta and at Penang.

 

Increase in Russian naval deployments noted in Mediterranean and East of Suez.

 

NATO Maritime Air Command set up in Mediterranean.

 

RFA and Coastal Minesweeper took stores to Sicily after earthquake.

 

Naval Base at Singapore transferred to local government on 8th December. Management to be carried out by UK Company. Withdrawal from Singapore deferred till end of 1971.

 

HMS CAMBRIAN landed party at Rodriguez, in Indian Ocean to deal with armed rebellion.

 

HMS CARYSORT attended signing of Friendship Treaty with Tonga.

 

HMS DECOY escorted Hong Kong ship to Gibraltar at Masters request after unrest.

 

HMS DIANA assisted in fire-fighting in Spanish Tanker BAHIA GATIDAMA off Crete. Awards to some of ship's company announced later.

 

HMS ENDURANCE carried out first Antarctic patrol and assisted crew of civil aircraft.

 

HMS FEARLESS and HMS KENT used at Gibraltar during UDI negotiations.

 

HMS FISKERTON forced to shelter in lee of RFA DERWENTDALE during heavy weather whilst on passage from Singapore.

 

* Article on Mauritius W/T Station (HMS MAURITIUS) in NAVY NEWS.

 

*Article on role of RN Office in Washington DC (HMS SAKER) in NAVY NEWS.

 

* Article on HMS PROTECTOR in NAVY NEWS

 

Royal Navy Fleet Club in Malta closed after 61 years.

 

 

 


 

 

1 9 6 9

 

 

Administration

 

American company contracted to review future refitting arrangements in Royal Dockyards.

 

Duty Free landing regulations altered to conform to civil requirements.

 

Future of aircraft carriers and Fixed Wing flying in RN subject to much comment.

 

Home Command introduced to replace Portsmouth and Plymouth Commands.

 

House Purchase loans increased to £1,250 for officers and £750 for ratings or 15% of Purchase Price. To be deducted from Terminal Grant payable on release.

 

'Lead Yard' concept for refits proposed for nominated Royal Dockyards.

 

Majority of MOD (Navy) offices moved from Admiralty Building to new Main Building in Whitehall.

 

Manpower 91,769.

 

Re-engagements 2,700 without significant change. 37% (9 year) ; 51% (12 year); 80% Artificer Apprentices. Significant shortage of Artificers.  Intake requirements not met.  Officers 80% and Ratings 70%.  Grave Situation recognised as requiring remedial action.

 

Mark 31 anti-submarine torpedo development still in hand.  Later cancelled.

 

Mess-deck layout alterations in ships made to allow more space for recreation

 

New Pay Code introduced with increase in allowances and pensions, except those for officers widows.

 

Charges to be made for food and accommodation provided for by men receiving Ration allowance.

 

"X" Factor Pay increment to be introduced in 1970 to compensate for restrictions of service.

 

Number of Royal Marines Bands halved.

 

Reduced Manning standards introduced for some ships for trial period, including HMS NAIAD and HMS EAGLE.

 

Review for Royal Dockyards completed and labour reductions to be cut.

 

Chief Executive (Dockyards) appointed.

 

Separate Service Ministers replaced by Parliamentary Secretaries to cover aspects of MOD responsibility for all three Services.

 

Shortage of spares due to financial constraints affecting deployment of ships and aircraft.

 

Trials at NCRE showed further strengthening needed for planned use of GRP for structure.

 

UK withdrew from Joint '3D’ radar development with Netherlands.

 

Work of Hydrographic Research Centre into Thermal Layers received publicity.

 

Officers

 

RNEC Manadon training course for Engineer Officers recognised as being of Honours Degree standard.

 

Advanced nuclear course recognised as M.Sc status.

 

RNR officers in Merchant Navy no longer liable to be called up in an emergency.

 

 Second annual entry to Britannia Royal Naval College introduced. 28 University Scholarships awarded.

 

Ratings

 

* Article on Drafting Preference Form in NAVY NEWS.

 

Fortnightly payments reintroduced for ratings.

 

Four Year Engagements introduced instead of Nine if preferred but with lower pay.

 

Increase of interest(70%) reported for 5th and 6th term of Five years Re-engagement.

 

* Article about Married Quarters Rules in NAVY NEWS.

 

Naval Families Guide reprinted.

 

New WRNS Block opened in RN Barracks, Devonport.

 

*Article in NAVY NEWS on accommodation in HMS OSPREY, Portland

 

Pension Increase on sliding scale to be introduced, dependant on retirement age.

 

Re-engagement Grant payments ended.

 

Recruitment problems still severe. 5,000 New Entries.

 

Reduction in numbers of re-engagements by experienced tradesmen.

 

Royal Naval Detention Quarters routines altered and less severe.

 

*Article en Seaman Branch in NAVY NEWS.

 

Psychological and educational standards for entry reduced

 

New Entries to Shipwright Branch to be trained as Mechanical Engineering Artificers. Branch first introduced in 1868.

 

Ships

 

British trawler claimed to have found wreck of HM Armed Merchant Cruiser RAWALPINDI sunk in 1939.

 

Fast Patrol Boats Ordered from Vosper-Thornycroft croft for training against attack by high speed craft.

 

Future deliveries of ships after completion to be made in Home Ports for final Acceptance

 

Completion of refits in Royal Dockyard being delayed by labour shortages.

 

Planning details for the new 'Through Deck Cruiser' concept announced.

 

First Type 21 Frigate HMS AMAZON ordered from Vosper Thornycroft. Initial drawings included SEAWOLF but this was never achieved.

 

HMS ANTRIM (right - during the 1982 Falklands War, Bob Shackleton) and HMS NORFOLK planned to be operational by 1970. This was never achieved.

 

HMS BLACKWOOD and HMS CROSSBOW to be deployed as training tenders for ratings from HMS SULTAN (Engineers) and HMS COLLINGWOOD (Electrical) Schools.

 

HMS BLAKE conversion delayed.

 

Ship's Bell from HMS CHEQUERS given to Prime Minister for use at Chequers residence.

 

HMS DITTISHAM and HMS FLINTHAM, training tenders for HMS GANGES visited Basle, Switzerland. First RN visit.

 

HMS FEARLESS used at Lagos by Prime Minister for meeting with Nigerian leaders.

 

HMS MAIDSTONE and HMS HARTLAND POINT to be used at Belfast with HMS RAME HEAD used at Londonderry.

 

HMS MANXMAN to be used for sea training of Engineer officers.

 

HMS WOOTTON deployed for interception of gun runners off Ulster

 

HMS INTREPID to be deployed for trials of SATCOM equipment during passage to Far East. SKYNET 5 Communications Satellite was launched in December.

 

Submarines

 

US Navy carried out trial using mew British Escape Suit.

 

British divers used US Deep Diving System allowing for long periods down to 500 feet.

 

Last RN submarine of 4th Flotilla left Sydney after service with RAN for A/S training.

 

Mark 24 Torpedo production transferred to Plessey and MOD Project Controller appointed.

 

RN Torpedo Factory at Alexandria, near Glasgow closed.

 

Marker trials carried cut by HMS ANDREW in Irish Sea with HMS VERULAM as consort.

 

No more nuclear submarines to be built at Birkenhead by Cammell Laird.

 

Psychological problems in POLARIS submarine crews under discussion.

 

Projected new Submarine Depot Ship (AS01) cancelled.

 

Consideration being given to use of new missile based on French MARTEL. Later, US HARPOON system selected.

 

RN formally took over responsibility for maintaining British Nuclear Deterrent on 1st July.

 

* Article on Submarine Service in NAVY NEWS.

 

Underwater Test Platform ship (HMS CRYSTAL) ordered.

 

HMS CONQUEROR launched at Birkenhead.

 

HMS DREADNOUGHT completed nuclear refuelling at Rosyth. Special precautions observed when Reactor removed.

 

HMS RENOWN (3rd POLARIS submarine) accepted. Involved in collision with coastal steamer in Mull of Kintyre. Lack of information about movement criticised. Results of Missile Firing Trials commended by US Navy.

 

HMS REVENGE (last POLARIS submarine) accepted. Involved in collision with HMS RESOLUTION at Faslane.

 

HMS SWIFTSURE, Fleet nuclear Submarine laid down.

 

* Article on HMS WARSPITE in NAVY NEWS.

 

Naval Aviation

 

First SEA KING Helicopters delivered.

 

Trials of Helicopter refuelling whilst hovering carried out with HMS ROTHESAY.

 

PHANTOM aircrew carried out deck landing training on US Carrier USS SARATOGA in Mediterranean. No RN carrier was available.

 

RNAS ARBROATH to be used for Commando Training.

 

RNAS Lossiemouth to be turned over to RAF.

 

RNAS Brawdy, Pembroke to be closed.

 

RN/RAF controversy over provision of air cover for Fleet given Press publicity.

 

Trans-Atlantic Air Race won by Naval PHANTOM. Air refuelling rendezvous controlled by HMS NUBIAN.

 

WASP Helicopter from HMS PLYMOUTH used to demonstrate AS12 Guided Missile

 

Home Waters

 

CinC Naval Home Command established.

 

HMS COCHRANE recommissioned at Rosyth as a Shore establishment. Replaced HMS GIRDLENESS and DUNCANSBY HEAD.

 

HMS DRYAD and HMS SULTAN Schools to be extended to met new training requirements.

 

HMS HECLA visited Rockall to re-affirm British sovereignty.

 

Libyan trainees at HMS SULTAN involved in disturbances over feeding arrangements

 

NATO Fleet Review in Solent by HM The Queen to commemorate 20th Anniversary of founding.

 

Joint Anti-Submarine School at Londonderry moved to RAF Turnhouse, Edinburgh.

 

HMS SEA EAGLE transferred to Army.

 

HMS LLANDAFF attended Investiture of HRH The Prince of Wales at Caernarvon.

 

HMS PENELOPE and HMS SCYLLA carried cut investigation into propeller cavitation noise.

 

RN Tactical School at Woolwich to move to HMS DRYAD, School of Maritime Operations at Southwick.

 

Royal Review in Torbay, during which Queens Colour was presented to Western Fleet.

 

Russian warships continued their significant presence.

 

HMS SOBERTON, HMS LETTERSTON, HMS WASPERTON and HMS BELTON of Fishery Protection Squadron involved in arrests for illegal fishing offences in UK waters.

 

HMS ST VINCENT, training establishment at Gosport and opened in 193,7 to be closed in April

 

Trials of use of helicopter for Fishery Protection carried out in Thames estuary.

 

Unexploded bomb removed from wreck off St Heller, Channel Islands.

 

Foreign Stations

 

*Article on HMS AFRIKANDER, Naval establishment at Simons Town in NAVY NEWS.

 

HMS ARLINGHAM rammed by Spanish Customs launch near Gibraltar. Subject of later formal complaint.

 

HMS ASHANTI and HMS MOHAWK embarked RM Commando detachment at Bermuda during a Black Power Conference.

 

HMS BARRAGE and HMS BARNARD, last coal burning ships in RN Paid-off.

 

HMS BULWARK and HMS ESKIMO took part in exercise off Gibraltar.

 

HMS DIAMOND shadowed Russian Task Group off Gibraltar and recovered bodies of two sailors from a tanker.

 

HMS MINERVA stood by at Montserrat for use if required during local unrest.

 

HMS EAGLE relieved HMS BULWARK in Mediterranean. No aircraft carrier deployed East of Suez.

 

HMS HYDRA took part in International Global Atmospheric Research Programme in Atlantic.

 

HMS JAGUAR provided medical aid at Astove, Seychelles.

 

'Jenny' of Hong Kong 'Side Party' fame received 'unofficial' Bar to her Long Service Medal.

 

HMS ROTHESAY and HMS MINERVA landed Royal Marines at St Vincent and Anguilla after local unrest.

 

'On call' NATO Standing Force to be introduced in Mediterranean.

 

Parliamentary question about British contribution to Naval presence in Hong Kong.

 

HMS LAYBURN, last RN ship in Malta. Remaining Coastal Minesweepers put in Reserve at Gibraltar.

 

RFA ENNERDALE assisted South African destroyer during rescue work in South Atlantic.

 

* Article In NAVY NEWS on Royal visit to Brazil.

 

Sales cruise carried out to South American ports to attract purchase of British warships

 

Temporary build up of RN ships in Gibraltar during UN discussions about return of Gibraltar to Spain.

 

HMS VIDAL visited Basra and experienced some diplomatic problems.

 

 

 


 

 

1 9 7 0

 

 

Administration

 

 

 

All Pay Accounting and Ratings Drafting records to be computerised

 

Continuous Service scheme for ships in place of fixed dates for each commission to begin in 1971.

 

Death of Admiral Micheal Le Fanu who had retired on medical grounds when First Sea Lord. A dynamic and forthright officer who will be sadly missed.

 

Details of modernisation of Devonport and Portsmouth Dockyards announced.

 

Building of three covered refit docks at Devonport approved.

 

Grievances from servicemen now to be allowed as for other Government employees.

 

First promotion to Admiral rank of an Engineering Branch officer.

 

French EXOCET missile system to be introduced into RN use.

 

Increase in demands on Hydrographic Department due to use of large tankers and deep diving submarines

 

Military Salary including X Factor introduced. Rise of 9% for males and 1% for females. Promise made for pay to be reviewed every two years.

 

Commutation paid on retirement to be subject to payment of interest as it regarded as a loan. This caused apprehension and some disquiet.

 

Redundancies since 1965 totalled 2,180 on 1st January.

 

Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service (RMAS) established and to include the larger vessels of the Port Auxiliary. New design of ensign for RMAS introduced.

 

Changes in training of Royal Marines announced.

 

SKYNET Satellite Communications System in HMS INTREPID used to carry out tests.

 

Supplementary Statement on Defence Policy issued after change of Government in October.

 

Requirements for Training Establishments to be rationalised (See below in Home Waters Section.)

 

Review of uniforms carried out.

 

University Naval Units established at Liverpool and Southampton.

 

Officers

 

 

Ceiling age requirement for University Graduates raised in numbers from 20 to 100.

 

Dartmouth Entry intake of 129 still below required level.

 

'In Service' Degree for Executive and Supply Branch officers being discussed with London University.

 

Minimum Seniority limits for entry into Promotion Zones for Captain and Commander lowered.

 

Prince Charles to enter Britannia Royal Naval College in 1971.

 

Redundancy programme in hand but some selections proved premature as retention needed.

 

Shortage of Supplementary List officers.

 

Title of Bos'n for Seaman Special Duties Seamen officers abolished.

 

Ratings

 

Institute of City and Guilds recognised advancement course for ratings in the Seaman and Communications Branches.

 

Disturbance Allowance paid to cover costs when moving home improved.

 

DONALDSON Report on Service Conditions adopted.

 

Ratings under age of 18 on entry can be released after 3 years service.

 

Proposed 5 years for Artificers rejected.

 

4 Year Engagement period for all ratings to be allowed after 1971.

 

‘On the Job' training introduced as a Trial in some ships.

 

Rum Ration abolished en 31 July.  'Sailors 'Tot' Fund set up

 

Slight increase in Intake but numbers still 50% below requirement.

 

33% Re-engagements (9 Year) and 59% (12 Year)

 

Terms of Regular Engagements altered. Release with 18 months notice allowed after completion of 10 years service. Three Grades of Pay introduced to recognise professional and other skills for some Ratings

 

 'Trickle' drafting for ships instead of fixed date recommissioning to begin in January 1971.

 

Warrant Rank introduced for Senior Ratings on 30th September. Rank of  'Fleet Chief' introduced to equate with Army and RAF Warrant Officers. (Note: These did not equate with the Warrant Rank abolished in 1948)

 

Ships

 

HMS ANDROMEDA assisted RMAS Tug SAMSONIA after machinery breakdown during gale in Pentland Firth whilst towing HM LSI STALKER.

 

HMS ARK ROYAL recommissioned in presence of HM The Queen Mother. PHANTOM aircraft modifications and CAAIS equipment fitted during refit. No defensive armament. Ship to remain in service till late 1970's. First 'Hot Air’ Balloon ascent from RN Carrier

 

COUNTY Class GM destroyer propulsion plant problems reported. HMS FIFE returned to UK from Malta after fire.

 

HMS EAGLE completed refit, and to operate SEA VIXEN and BUCCANEER aircraft till paying off in 1972. Grounding of ship on entering Devonport resulted in several courts martial.

 

Controversy about deployment of aircraft carriers East of Suez continued.

 

HMS EXMOUTH not available for gas turbine machinery trials because of spares and labour problems.

 

Extensive surveillance carried out on Russian ships in NW Approaches.

 

HMS FEARLESS to join Dartmouth Training Squadron instead of HMS MOHAWK.

 

 15 Coastal Minesweepers to be converted for use as Mine Hunters.

 

HMS HERMES to be converted for use as a Commando Carrier.

 

Drawings for INVINCIBLE Class Aircraft carriers completed but order for first ship delayed.

 

Proposed conversion of HMS LION to carry helicopters no longer to be carried out.

 

HMS MATAPAN conversion for use as Sonar Trials ship in hand at Portsmouth.

 

HMS MANXMAN and HMS CENTAUR (right - earlier in her career with Seahawks lined up, Navy Photos/TerryHeaps) scrapped.

 

HMS TORQUAY to replace HMS MANXMAN and HMS ULSTER for training duties.

 

Negotiations for build of first Coastal Minesweeper using GRP in hand. HMS WILTON to be first ship.

 

HMS NORFOLK fitted with EXOCET French missile and carried out trials on French firing range at Toulon.

 

R&D trials carried out in ASWE Portsdown during design work for new aerials. These were to involve simulation of sea conditions.

 

SEASLUG missile still not ready for operational use although fitted in last four COUNTY Class GM destroyers. Test Launch from HMS GLAMORGAN in Cardigan Bay on Aberporth Range failed. .Missile landed ashore

 

High Speed Launch TENACITY borrowed from Vosper-Thornycroft due to late delivery of FPB on order.

 

Submarines

 

Battery explosion in HMS AURIGA with injuries to 10 of crew.

 

CHEVALINE Multi-warhead missile project work to improve POLARIS missile capability began.

 

HMS CHURCHILL laid down in 1967 finally commissioned in July. Labour difficulties blamed.

 

HMS CONQUEROR gearbox oil found to be contaminated. Sabotage by labour force suspected.

 

HMS COURAGEOUS launched.

 

Delays in completion of new submarines and torpedoes revealed in Parliamentary White paper.  Only seven new submarines will be in service by 1972 instead of 17. Mark 24 Torpedo Programme still unsatisfactory. Special management system to be set up.  Design defect in Mark 8 Torpedo warheads made necessary special repair programme.

 

HMS DREADNOUGHT refit completion delayed by pipe work layout and corrosion problems

 

MARTELL weapon to be developed for RN use.

 

Nuclear Deterrent responsibility absorbing over 3,000 servicemen.

 

HMS OBERON visited Simons Town for 12 days.  First official visit for 6 years.

 

Free Ascent Trials carried out by HMS OSIRIS under way in Mediterranean from 600 feet.

 

HMS RESOLUTION commenced first refit at Rosyth

 

HMS REVENGE joined Fleet.

 

Trades Unions expressed concern about precautions during nuclear submarine refitting

 

Investigation being carried out by Y-ARD Ltd into use of electrical drive for auxiliary machinery in nuclear  submarines instead of steam drive.

 

World record for 'simulated depth’ endurance set up using oxy-helium Breathing Mixture.

 

Naval Aviation

 

Air Force Cross awarded to PHANTOM pilot who saved his aircraft after damage in flight.

 

Fixed wing flying and need for aircraft carriers still under Public pressure.

 

RNAY (RN Aircraft Yard) Fleetlands, Gosport to be responsible for repair of all Service Hovercraft.

 

RN to service all marine craft.

 

Flag Officer, Naval Aircraft moved from Lee on Solent to Yeovilton.

 

Trials on HARRIER aircraft carried cut in HMS EAGLE and HMS ARK ROYAL. Press forecast earliest 'in-service' date as 1980.

 

Hovercraft BH7 trials at Lee on Solent to establish value for use as Fast Patrol Boat and as an Assault craft.

 

New Anti-submarine Helicopter Station established at Prestwick, Ayr.

 

Record flight by SEA KING from Lands End to John o'Groats.

 

Planned redundancy for 3,000 ratings withdrawn.

 

RNAS SEMBAWANG closed at Singapore with the end of Fixed Wing flying.

 

Spares shortages for WASP Helicopters admitted.

 

VTOL terminology replaced by VSTOL.

 

WASP operating trials carried cut in HMS PHOEBE to assess improvement in procedures.

 

WG13 (LYNX) Helicopter began manufacturer's trials.

 

Home Waters

 

HMS ARK ROYAL visited Oslo and had other high-publicity Press coverage.

 

HMS DRYAD computerised Tactical Trainer being installed.

 

Fire-fighting and rescue of survivors carried out from tanker PACIFIC GLORY off Isle of Wight. HMS ANDROMEDA and HMS ZULU took part.

 

Increased Fishery Protection deployments to enforce new 12 Mile limit. HMS BELTON and HMS KEDLESTON made successful interceptions.

 

HMS IVESTON crew courts martial held after 'mutinous' conduct at Ullapool.

 

Surveillance of Russian ships by HMS LONDONDERRY, HMS HECATE, HMS HECLA and HMS SOBERTON.

 

No suitable RFA ships available to take RM Commando for exercise in Norway. Chartered ship proved to be an unsatisfactory substitute.

 

Only four Technical Training Establishments to be used in future - HMS COLLINGWOOD (Electrical and Weapons), HMS DRYAD (Radar operators), HMS SULTAN (Marine Engineering), HMS EXCELLENT (Gunnery). Air Engineering School at Grail to move to Lee on Solent. HMS DAUNTLESS (WRNS), HMS VERNON (Torpedo School), HMS ROYAL ARTHUR (Leadership) and HMS CALEDONIA (Artificer Training) all to be closed.

 

RN patrols active to prevent arms smuggling into Ulster.

 

Russian visit to Rosyth presented problems related to use of RN radar in Forth area.

 

Salvage of coaster ST BRANDON in Bristol Channel carried out by HMS CAVALIER.

 

HMS WOTTON survived Storm Force weather conditions off Orkneys.

 

Foreign Stations

 

HMS BULWARK ‘Triad’ members in Chinese catering staff caused problems.

 

Beira patrol maintained at cost of £2.5M annually.

 

No RN fleet Aircraft Carrier available for Exercise BERSATU PADU in Indian Ocean in June. HMAS MELBOURNE took part. HMS BLAKE was withdrawn because of boiler problems. .HMS BULWARK left after initial phase to visit Japan to take part in EXP070.

 

Increased naval strength maintained in Mediterranean.  Need for Standing NATO FORCE was now apparent but could not be implemented because of capability of Greek and Turkish ships. HMS FIFE, HMS ALBION, HMS ARK ROYAL and ships of Dartmouth Training Squadron deployed.

 

HMS INTREPID visited Mauritius with USS VALOUR.

 

Joint Defence Organisation to be set up in Malaysia after UK withdrawal from Singapore. Training to be continued in Far East.

 

Assistance provided in Pakistan after Flood damage (Operation BURLAP). HMS INTREPID, HMS HYDRA, HMS SIR GALAHAD and RFAs took part.

 

Extensive activities in West Indies included - HMS SIRIUS rescued survivors from ferry off St Kitts, deployed near Jamaica and Grand Cayman during political threats, and at San Juan, Puerto Rico during visit by Lord Mountbatten. HMS SIRIUS and HMS GRENVILLE at Bermuda during protests about visit by Prince Charles.

 

HMS GAVINGTON and HMS PUNCHESTON rescued crew of Maldavian ship in Persian Gulf.

 

HMS HERMES assisted repair work on Panamanian EARNER off Malta.

 

Protests made by Spain about exercises in Gibraltar area.

 

RFA ENNERDALE sank after hitting reef in Indian Ocean near Seychelles.

 

HMS ROTHESAY patrolled possible Splash Down area in S, Atlantic for APOLLO 13 Moon Mission.

 

RFAs deploys for transfer of stores from Libya required for planned RM exercise in Norway

 

HMS TRIUMPH assisted repair work on board Liberian tanker FAIR TRANSPORT in South China Sea

 

HMS YARNTON sent to Sharjah, Persian Gulf to enforce movement requirements during oil drilling operations.

 

 

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