HMS Liverpool is on its way to be broken up at a Turkish scrap yard. The Type 42 destroyer, nicknamed “Crazy Red Chicken” after her red Liver Bird badge, was built by Cammell Laird in 1982 and after 30 years’ service was finally laid up at Portsmouth Naval Dockyard, on March 30 2012.
The Liverpool Echo reports that during service the destroyer spent time in the Falkland Islands for six months after the war with Argentina in 1982 and she helped evacuate the Caribbean island of Montserrat after a volcanic eruption in 1995.
She took part in the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and made the headlines in 2011, during the Libyan civil war, where she became the first Royal Navy ship to be fired on since the Falklands.
Her final visit to the River Mersey was on February 29-March 4, 2012, before a final sail past her Lairds birthplace. Her bell is preserved in Our Lady & St Nicholas’ sailors’ church, Chapel Street, Liverpool.
HMS Liverpool was sold to Leyal Ship Recycling, Aliaga, near Izmir, Turkey, where the former Birkenhead Historic Warship, HMS Plymouth, is being dismantled.
HMS Liverpool was sold as part of a deal which included her sister ship HMS Manchester. They were both decommissioned to make way for the Royal Navy’s six new Type 45 (or Daring) class destroyers.
Mike Critchley, Warship World magazine publisher, who was involved in managing the former Historic Warships Museum, at Birkenhead, said: “In spite of millions spent on upgrades, Liverpool’s an old ship now, but has certainly done her stuff for Queen and country.
“Technology has raced on in the last 30 years and Liverpool and her 12 sisters have been replaced by the new super-ship Type 45s. But there’s only six of them, so they can only be in half the places geographically.
“This means the demise of HMS Liverpool and her class is a national issue. We are an island nation importing 95% of our needs and we don’t live in a safe world and having a properly equipped Navy is the insurance price we pay for what we need to live.”