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HMS Ursa (R22)
HMS Ursa 1944 IWM FL 20762.jpg
Ursa in 1944
Career (UK) RN Ensign
Name: HMS Ursa (R22)
Builder: John I. Thornycroft and Company
Laid down: 18 March 1942
Launched: 1 June 1943
Commissioned: 23 December 1943
Decommissioned: November 1966
Fate: Scrapped
General characteristics
Class & type: U-class destroyer

HMS Ursa (R22) was a U-class destroyer of the British Royal Navy that saw service during World War II. She was later converted into a Type 15 fast anti-submarine frigate, with the new pennant number F200.

Second World War Service

Ursa was first allocated to the 25th Destroyer Flotilla.[1] She served with the Home Fleet and took part in support of the Operations to invade Normandy in June 1944. In October of that year she was refitted for service in the Far East and joined the British Pacific Fleet where she served until the 1945. She then returned to the United Kingdom and paid off in 1946.

During the War Ursa was adopted by the Borough of Hendon as part of Warship Week. The plaque from this adoption is held by the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth.[2]

Post War Service

During 1953 and 1954 Ursa was converted to a Type 15 Anti-Submarine Frigate with the new pennant number F200.[3] In September 1955 at Chatham dockyard Ursa, was commissioned under the Command of Commander Powers RN. After acceptance trials, and work-up at Portland Naval Base, under Flag Officer Sea training (FOST), she then joined the Sixth Frigate Squadron, and left in November 1955, for the Royal Naval Fleet on the Mediterranean Station. Arriving at Sliema Creek Malta, in company with HMS Undine (Captain F), HMS Ulysses and HMS Urania.

On Boxing day 1955, the whole Squadron put to sea at short notice into heavy seas, where upon Ulysses lost several crew members overboard from the forecastle area (understood to be five),(IT WAS 2) of which three perished..., (2 perished)the others being rescued by a Maltese Tug. The (Seagiant.) A/B Seaman F. Burt. HMS ULYSSES. Four crew members went overboard. Two were later picked up, but two lost their lives.

HMS Ursa undertook regular anti-gun running patrols off Cyprus. Patrolling the island, in company with other member of the Squadron, trying to thwart the efforts of EOKA terrorist groups who fighting for independence from British rule. These patrols were generally of six weeks duration and then a relief.

In June/July 1956 she underwent a minor refit of approximately five weeks in Gibraltar, later going into the King George IV dry dock, with the whole Squadron, and two Mine Sweepers for maintenance.

In November 1956, with the rest of the Squadron, Ursa formed part of the Royal Navy's force used during the Suez Operation. This was an Anglo-French-Israeli campaign to recapture the 'Suez Canal'. Ursa was initially attached to the Carrier Force providing Anti-Submarine Sreening, and crash destroyer duties for HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark. Leaving the Carrier Force by night to refuel. Towards the end of the Suez Campaign, she was transferred to providing Anti-Submarine Screening and protection for the Tanker force.

She decommissioned in April 1957 at Chatham Dockyard.

Towards the end of her service, she completed a refit in Malta in 1961 prior to the Royal Navy's relinquishment of the shipyard, commissioning in November of that year under the command of Commander Sam Brooks, DSO and Bar, DSC and Bar, RN. She spent the first half of 1962 in the Mediterranean, returning to the UK in June 1962. In January 1963, while on exercises near Ailsa Craig in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland, in support of the submarine service, she collided with the destroyer HMS Battleaxe. HMS Ursa suffered a damaged bow, while HMS Battleaxe suffered more consequentially, being struck athwartships. HMS Ursa returned to Devonport, where she was fitted with a new bow (with a stylish rake of a few more degrees than that of her original one) while HMS Battleaxe was decommissioned and scrapped.

Ursa continued in service until placed in reserve in 1966. She was subsequently sold for scrapping and arrived at Cashmore's in Newport in 1967.[4]

References

  1. [1]
  2. Warship Weeks: Adopting Naval Vessels in World War Two | Royal Naval Museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
  3. Marriot, Leo, 1983. Royal Navy Frigates 1945-1983, Ian Allen Ltd, p38
  4. Marriot, Leo, 1983. Royal Navy Frigates 1945-1983, Ian Allen Ltd, p38

Publications

External links



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