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HMS Gloucester (D96)
HMS Gloucester D96.jpg
HMS Gloucester
Career (UK) RN Ensign
Name: HMS Gloucester
Operator: Royal Navy
Builder: Vosper Thornycroft[1]
Laid down: 29 October 1979
Launched: 2 November 1982[1]
Sponsored by: Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester
Commissioned: 11 September 1985
Decommissioned: 30 June 2011[2]
Homeport: HMNB Portsmouth
Identification: Pennant number: D96
Deck code: GC
International callsign: GBBF[3]
Motto: Prorsum ("Onwards")
Nickname: "The Fighting G"
Fate: Awaiting disposal
Status: Decommissioned
Badge: On a Field Blue a Trident White enfiled by a horseshoe gold
File:HMS Gloucester badge.jpg
General characteristics
Class & type: Type 42 destroyer
Displacement: 5,200 tonnes
Length: 141 m (462.5 ft)
Beam: 15.2 m (50 ft)
Propulsion: COGOG (Combination of Gas or Gas) turbines, 2 shafts
2 turbines producing 36 MW
Speed: 30 knots (56 km/h)
Complement: 287
Aircraft carried:

1 x Lynx HMA8 armed with

  • 4 × anti ship missiles
  • 2 × anti submarine torpedoes

HMS Gloucester was a Batch 3 Type 42 destroyer of the Royal Navy. The ship was built by Vosper Thorneycroft at Woolston, Southampton and launched on 2 November 1982 by The Duchess of Gloucester. Gloucester was one of the modified last four of the class to be built, having a lengthened hull design giving better seakeeping qualities and greater endurance. The flight deck recognition letters worn by Gloucester were GC, and her international callsign was GBBF.

Operational history

Gloucester served in the Gulf War in 1991 under the command of Commander (later Rear Admiral) Philip Wilcocks where her most notable action was the firing of a salvo shot of Sea Dart missiles to shoot an Iraqi Silkworm missile that was threatening the USS Missouri and allied minehunters; the first successful missile vs missile engagement at sea in combat by any Navy.[1] The ship also survived attacks from two sea mines and conducted numerous boardings using her boarding party consisting of Royal Navy and Royal Marine personnel. The ship's Lynx helicopter also engaged seven Iraqi warships.[1] She spent the longest period upthreat of any coalition warship. As a result of her endeavours, her captain (Commander Philip Wilcocks) and flight commander (Lt Cdr David Livingstone) were decorated with the Distinguished Service Cross; the operations officer and flight observer were both mentioned in Despatches. After this service Gloucester was rebranded with her nickname of "The Fighting G".

During the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, Gloucester was the first Royal Navy vessel to evacuate British nationals from Beirut, berthing on 18 July 2006. She made three trips taking evacuees to Cyprus, and was the last Royal Navy ship to leave Beirut.[4] She underwent a £6 million refit at Rosyth Dockyard in Fife, Scotland, in 2007. On the morning of 26 August 2010 she intercepted the yacht Tortuga, smuggling £4 million of cocaine, during the Gloucester 's voyage out to the Falkland Islands, where she was deployed from August 2010 to early 2011.[5] On 20 September 2010 the government of Uruguay denied Gloucester access to Montevideo as a result of the Falkland Islands sovereignty dispute.[6][7]

In May 2011, she took part in Exercise Saxon Warrior.[1] As part of Saxon Warrior '11, on 21 May 2011, Carrier Strike Group 2's Truxtun and Mitscher joined the U.S. replenishment tanker Leroy Grumman and the Spanish frigate Almirante Juan de Borbón in conducting a transit exercise, with the British destroyer Gloucester and frigate Westminster acting as hostile forces.[8] This was the final deployment for Gloucester prior to its decommissioning.[9] Also, the guided-missile cruiser Gettysburg and the British destroyer Dauntless conducted joint air defense exercises (pictured).[10]


Gloucester returned to HMNB Portsmouth for the final time on 24 May 2011 and decommissioned on 30 June 2011, under the command of her last captain, Commander David George.[2]


The ship retains links with the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment and the City of Gloucester. The ship's crest features a horseshoe, part of the city's Tudor arms.

  • The Rifles
  • City of Gloucester
  • Worshipful Company of Grocers
  • Gloucester R.F.C.
  • 2nd Durrington Sea Scout Group
  • Gloucester Royal Naval Association



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "Final trip for HMS Gloucester after Falklands’ duties and Saxon Warrior exercise". MercoPress. 23 May 2011. Archived from the original on 10 January 2012. Retrieved 11 January 2012. 
  2. 2.0 2.1
  3. "Royal Navy Bridge Card, February 2009". Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  4. "Praise for UK Lebanon evacuation". BBC News. 3 August 2006. 
  5. Bowcott, Owen (30 August 2010). "Royal Navy warship intercepts yacht carrying cocaine worth £4m". The Guardian. London. 
  6. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". Infobae. 20 September 2010. 
  7. "Uruguayan gov’t bans British heading-to-Malvinas vessel from entering Montevideo’s port". Buenos Aires herald. 20 September 2010. 
  8. Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Deven B. King, USN (23 May 2011). "USS Mitscher, Truxtun Participate in Coalition Strait Transit Exercise". NNS110523-02. USS Mitscher (DDG-57) Public Affairs. Retrieved 2011-05-23. 
  9. "Final trip for HMS Gloucester after Falklands’ duties and Saxon Warrior exercise". Current Edition. MercoPress. 24 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-24. 
  10. Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Betsy Lynn Knapper, USN (24 May 2011). "Gettysburg Participates in Saxon Warrior". NNS110524-12. USS Gettysburg Public Affairs. Retrieved 2011-05-24. 

External links

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