Monday, May 23rd 2011 - 15:47 UTC

Final trip for HMS Gloucester after Falklands’ duties and Saxon Warrior exercise

Veteran warship HMS Gloucester, the Fighting G, which spent most of her last twelve months in South Atlantic duties in the Falklands and South Georgia, returned to Portsmouth for the last time Monday 23.

The Type 42 destroyer Fighting G, a common sight in the South Atlantic

The 29 year-old Type 42 destroyer holds the record for the first successful engagement of a missile by another missile in combat at sea during the Gulf War. She is being decommissioned next month as the Royal Navy’s fleet of ageing Type 42s is gradually being phased out to make way for the new hi-tech Type 45 destroyers.

HMS Gloucester – which has clocked up 787,928 miles during service across the globe, marked her final entry to the Naval Base in traditional fashion by flying a decommissioning pennant. She has just paid a farewell visit to her affiliated namesake city and was returning from Exercise Saxon Warrior involving Royal Navy, French, Spanish warships and a United States carrier force in war games off the south-west coast of the UK.

Her Commanding Officer, Commander David George, said: “I cannot express how proud I am of the ship. She came in for the last time having given the cream of the US Navy a run for their money in one of the biggest exercises off the south coast for years.

“It was a very emotional final entry for the very best of ships, but she is 29 years old and with more than 750,000 miles under belt, there are more capable Type 45 destroyers now taking the stage and Gloucester’s time has come to bow out with dignity.”

HMS Gloucester was built by Vosper Thornycroft in Southampton and launched on November 2 1982 by the Duchess of Gloucester. At 463ft long the ship was the longest vessel built at the shipyard since the Second World War.

Nicknamed the Fighting G, Gloucester’s most notable action came in January 1991 when she was escorting the American battleship USS Missouri close to the Kuwaiti coast during the Gulf War.

As the Missouri came under attack by an Iraqi Seersucker missile, Gloucester fired a salvo of Sea Darts to knock it from the sky in what proved to be the first validated, successful missile versus missile strike of its kind.

Gloucester’s Lynx helicopter was also in the thick of action during the war, attacking seven Iraqi naval ships with its Sea Skua missiles.

The ship saw action of a different kind during the Israel-Lebanon conflict of 2006. She was the first Royal Navy vessel to evacuate British nationals from Beirut, making three trips taking Britons to safety in Cyprus.

And the ship made the headlines again in 2010 during her final overseas deployment with a £4 million drug bust. She intercepted the yacht Tortuga in the mid-Atlantic, smuggling £4 million of cocaine, on passage to the Falkland Islands.

On South Atlantic patrol HMS Gloucester’s activities ranged from conducting photographic conservation surveys for the British Antarctic Survey in South Georgia to representing the UK at the Expo Naval trade fair in Valparaiso, Chile – an exhibition of defense technology.

The majority of her time was spent patrolling the Falkland Islands where she exercised with the Army and the RAF’s Falklands-based Typhoon fighter aircraft to hone her skills at working in a tri-service environment.

The Duchess of Gloucester was among more than 1,000 friends and family to welcome the ship home from the seven-month South Atlantic mission last March.

29 comments Feed

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1 briton (#) May 23rd, 2011 - 10:47 pm Report abuse
Another great ship to be proud of
but will be replaced by an even more powerfull ship,
we pitty the argentine , sitting all alone in port,
2 Martin_Fierro (#) May 24th, 2011 - 06:19 am Report abuse
Whatever... they're lucky we only had 5 Exocets otherwise this piece of junk would be at the bottom of the sea in Malvinas.

Old news.
3 Rhaurie-Craughwell (#) May 24th, 2011 - 07:58 am Report abuse
You would have struggled to sink a ship which was built 5 months after you lost the war Martin...Jeezuz your numb in the head :)
4 Martin_Fierro (#) May 24th, 2011 - 08:06 am Report abuse
Easy mistake to make I guess... looks just like the other pieces of garbage laying at the bottom of the sea. ;-)
5 Frank (#) May 24th, 2011 - 08:56 am Report abuse
Easy mistake to make if you a/ are stupid b/ don't read the article c/ refer back to a and b.....
6 stick up your junta (#) May 24th, 2011 - 09:07 am Report abuse
looks just like the other pieces of garbage laying at the bottom of the sea. ;-)

No, the Belgrano was much bigger
7 Rhaurie-Craughwell (#) May 24th, 2011 - 09:09 am Report abuse
So Argentina was defeated by gay soldiers and pieces of Garbage....You're not actively trying to paint the Argentine armed forces in a positive light are you Martin?
8 WestisBest (#) May 24th, 2011 - 09:51 am Report abuse
If you had such a 'piece of garbage' she would be your pride and joy, the cream of the Argie.....ahem...snigger....'navy'.....but in the Royal Navy she's about to be decomissioned and replaced, read into that what you will.
9 Frank (#) May 24th, 2011 - 10:01 am Report abuse
The most modern major units in the RG fleet ( the aptly named 'Brown' class ) are only two years younger than Gloucester.... says it all really...

In fact they are the only major units.... titter
10 Rhaurie-Craughwell (#) May 24th, 2011 - 10:03 am Report abuse
Those ships were such pieces of Garbage....the Argentines bought several :)

Gufffaw! Martin really doesn't think very much at all :)
11 Frank (#) May 24th, 2011 - 10:25 am Report abuse
Isn't imitation the sincerest form of flattery?
”commissioning was long delayed by an improvised limpet mine attack carried out by divers of the guerrilla organization Montoneros on 22 August 1975. .......The raid was allegedly planned in imitation of Operation Frankton, a British commando attack against German shipping in Bordeaux during WWII.'

Maybe this involved Martina's phantom frogman........
12 Zethee (#) May 24th, 2011 - 12:28 pm Report abuse
No, Martins SEAL buddys are invisible to the naked eye, Not even the US government knows about them.
13 Rhaurie-Craughwell (#) May 24th, 2011 - 02:14 pm Report abuse
Yes the Royal Navy was so terrified of the 4 Plastic patrol boats and the 3 looted coastal freighters from the FIG that were the Argentines navy sole ship contribution to the conflict....that they sent in the elite of the US super inter dimensional Navy Kamikaze frogmen.....who only report to Martin...codename...Arsebandit.

Or as reality tell us.......3 of the 4 patrol boats were sunk....1 heavily damaged and the “usurped” coastal freighters were all recovered except for 1....which an over enthusiastic harrier decided to bomb to buggery.
14 Typhoon (#) May 24th, 2011 - 02:53 pm Report abuse
@4 We have lovely garbage, Martin. Just think. 1982. How many times did you pussies sink HMS Invincible? Six wasn't it? And a British submarine fires 3 WW2 vintage torpedos and the entire Argentine navy scuttles for home with its tail between its legs. Except for the one with the big unplanned holes. Glug, glug, glug!
15 Zethee (#) May 24th, 2011 - 03:27 pm Report abuse
“How many times did you pussies sink HMS Invincible? Six wasn't it?”

Four times, all four replacements were built in the dry dock off the coast of Narnia. There were some logistical problems getting all those 22,000 ton through that wardrobe.
16 Tim (#) May 24th, 2011 - 05:25 pm Report abuse
4 Martin_Fierro (#) looks just like the other pieces of garbage laying at the bottom of the sea. ;-)

Interesting remark!!!! ARA Hercules and ARA Santisima Trinidad are both Type 42 destroyers; so according to you the Argentine Navy has pieces of garbage???
17 WestisBest (#) May 24th, 2011 - 05:56 pm Report abuse
Interesting, so they do have Type 42's....and they're the best ships in the Argentine...coff...chortle...'navy', maybe you Argies should make the MOD an offer for the Fighting 'G' as you've clearly got a passion for collecting other peoples cast offs.
18 JustinKuntz (#) May 24th, 2011 - 06:35 pm Report abuse
6 times, they claimed to have sunk Vinny 6 times. They also claimed to have sunk the Canberra, kind of embarassing when it took the Argentine conscripts home.
19 Frank (#) May 24th, 2011 - 07:40 pm Report abuse
Argentina has two type 42's.... the British built one is still in service... the one cobbled together by the RGs, Santisima Trinidad, while 5 years younger than Hercules has been out of service for 12 years..... seems they can't build ships either.
20 WestisBest (#) May 24th, 2011 - 08:56 pm Report abuse
Notice how quiet this thread is....where are those bigmouth RG's Martin, Nico, Marcos et al I wonder.....
21 zethe (#) May 24th, 2011 - 09:29 pm Report abuse
“They also claimed to have sunk the Canberra, kind of embarassing when it took the Argentine conscripts home.”

Obviously the Canberra was rebuilt at sea along with the six other aircraft carriers.
22 Redhoyt (#) May 25th, 2011 - 04:45 am Report abuse
Now be fair boys .. the Argentine navy could probably manage to go up against someone ... the Swiss navy maybe :-)
23 1st Sea Lord Guns (#) May 25th, 2011 - 08:36 am Report abuse
Uruguay rejects Argentinian navy.

“No rusty cans for our corned beef” a uruguayian spokesperson said.
24 lsolde (#) May 25th, 2011 - 09:37 am Report abuse
l suppose l should be nice to them on their national day, but after all the nasty things that they have said and done l just can't bring myself to. So here it is:
1)We own the Falklands, NOT you.
2)We have ALWAYS owned the Falklands, NOT you.
3)We ALWAYS will own the Falklands,NOT you.
So get lost Argentina, we DON'T like you.
25 Artillero601 (#) May 25th, 2011 - 12:37 pm Report abuse
@24 ..“l suppose l should be nice to them on their national day”.... Thank you for remembering !!

Feliz Dia de la Patria Argentinos !!!
26 WestisBest (#) May 25th, 2011 - 12:42 pm Report abuse
Remember to fly the bunting on your (broken down) type 42 ripoff.
27 Artillero601 (#) May 25th, 2011 - 12:48 pm Report abuse
Can we have a “cease fire” today?
28 briton (#) May 25th, 2011 - 06:45 pm Report abuse
British forces day comming up.
And the world will see how its done, to see the best, parading for the best .
29 Artillero601 (#) May 25th, 2011 - 07:33 pm Report abuse
I wish I can say the same .....

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