HMS Protector (A146)
HMS Protector in 1952, prior to be being refitted for Antarctic service
|Builder:||Yarrow Shipbuilders, Glasgow|
|Laid down:||August 1935|
|Launched:||20 August 1936|
|Commissioned:||30 December 1936|
|Reclassified:||Antarctic patrol ship in 1955|
|Fate:||Sold 10 February 1970 for breaking up|
|Displacement:||2,900 tons as net layer
3,450 tons as ice patrol ship
|Length:||346 ft (105 m)|
|Beam:||50 ft (15 m)|
|Draught:||16 ft (4.9 m)|
|Propulsion:||Four Admiralty 3-drum boilers
Two British Thomson-Houston geared turbines
|Armament:||Twin 4" gun mounting
Twin Oerlikon mountings
Hotchkiss 3-pdr saluting gun
|Aircraft carried:||Two Westland Whirlwind helicopters|
Protector was laid down as a fast net layer by Yarrow Shipbuilders in Glasgow in August 1935, launched in August 1936 and commissioned on 30 December 1936. Her sister ship, HMS Guardian, was built in 1932 and scrapped in 1962.
She served in the South Atlantic and in the Norwegian Campaign during World War II before being hit by an aerial torpedo in the Mediterranean. She was towed to Bombay and repaired before returning to Britain after the end of hostilities.
After time in the fleet reserve as a training ship she was refitted as an ice patrol ship in Devonport, with a rudimentary hangar and flight deck for two Westland Whirlwind helicopters. She made her first Antarctic patrol in the winter of 1955/56, serving the Falklands and the British Antarctic Survey bases. She returned to the Antarctic 13 more times in her career.
During her patrols she rescued the passengers and crew of the icebound MV Theron, including Sir Edmund Hillary and Dr Vivian Fuchs. In 1957, she rescued the passengers of the RRS Shackleton, which struck an iceberg and had to perform emergency repairs to keep from sinking.
- Souvenir Programme, Coronation Review of the Fleet, Spithead, 15th June 1953, HMSO, Gale and Polden
- "HMS Protector Association". Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 28 September 2013. (new site)
- "Antarctic Ship Aided; Scientists Taken Off British Vessel Damaged by Floe". The New York Times. 2 December 1957. p. 6. Retrieved 15 March 2011. (subscription required (. ))