HMS Ashanti (F117)

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HMS Ashanti
History
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Ashanti
Builder: Yarrow Shipbuilders
Laid down: 15 January 1958
Launched: 9 March 1959
Commissioned: 23 November 1961
Reclassified: Harbour Training Ship 1981
Homeport: Devonport
Identification: Pennant number F117
Motto: Kum apim, apim beba':'Kill a thousand, a thousand will come
Fate: Sunk as target 1988
Badge: On a Field barry wavy of six Blue and White a porcupine Gold.
General characteristics
Class and type: Tribal-class frigate
Service record
Operations:
Awards: 1967: General Service Medal, South Arabian Clasp

HMS Ashanti was a Tribal-class frigate of the Royal Navy. She was named after the Ashanti people, an ethnic group located in Ghana. The frigate was sunk as a target in 1988.

Ashanti was built by Yarrow, of Scotstoun, at a cost of £5,315,000 and was the first commissioned Royal Navy warship to be equipped with combined steam and gas (COSAG) engines.[1] She was launched on 9 March 1959 and commissioned on 23 November 1961.[2]

Operational Service[edit]

In 1962 malicious damage was reported aboard Ashanti.[3]

Ashanti deployed to the Caribbean for trials in 1962. There, in early October, the ship suffered a failure in her COSAG engines, forcing the frigate's return to Britain.[4] Subsequent tests discovered that the COSAG's machinery was defective, which caused blade fracturing in the gas turbine.[5] Hull strengthening also found to be required [3]

Westland Wasp HAS.1 helicopter of 829 Naval Air Squadron based on HMS Ashanti in 1967.

Ashanti was also used to trial the Westland Wasp helicopter, prior to its introduction to active service in 1964.[citation needed] The frigate conducted operations in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea for 10 months in 1963.[6] In May 1965, Ashanti suffered minor damage in a collision with the Russian cargo ship Farab in the port of Mombassa, Kenya.[7]

In 1966/67 Ashanti was deployed on the Beira Patrol. During that time she also spent a month in Aden having a gas turbine refit whilst some of the crew were seconded to the army as Britain withdrew from Aden. Given the Six-Day War, the Suez Canal being blocked, indecisiveness about whether to clear mines from the Gulf of Aqaba Ashanti headed home via the Cape of Good Hope, stopping off at Simon's Town.[citation needed]

In 1969 Ashanti embarked a Royal Marines Commando detachment at Bermuda during a Black Power Conference.[3]

In 1970, Ashanti deployed on Beira Patrol, which was designed to prevent oil reaching landlocked Rhodesia via the Portuguese colony of Mozambique.[citation needed] The following year Ashanti was present at the Royal Navy's withdrawal from Malta. In 1974, while returning to Britain from the Caribbean, Ashanti suffered two fatalities when a large wave struck the frigate. The ship was just four hours out of Bermuda on her way back to the UK when hit by the wave. One was lost at sea, while the other suffered injuries and died aboard the frigate. The ship returned to Bermuda to disembark the body, and for repairs to the upper deck structure. Premature reports by Bermudian radio stations sent invalid signals to UK and it was reported on national TV news channels that Ashanti had been sunk and lost at sea.

Three sailors, Timothy J Burton, David Little and James Wardle, died in 1977 from carbon monoxide poisoning after a fire broke out in a boiler room.[8][9]

Ashanti was returned to service in 1978 following a repair and refit, and finally placed in reserve and became a Harbour Training Ship. She was sunk as a target in 1988 by the submarines Sceptre and Spartan.[citation needed]

Commanding officers[edit]

From To Captain
1965 1967 Commander R S McCrum RN
1967 1970 Commander R Compton-Hall RN
1970 1972 Captain Parker RN
1972 1974 Commander RN Blair RN
1976 1978 Commander Rhodes (Dusty)
1978 1979 Commander J J Blackham RN

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Second £7M. Assault Ship For The Navy". The Times (55326): Col A, p. 5. 27 February 1962.
  2. ^ Gardiner, Robert & Chesneau, Roger (1995), p. 518.
  3. ^ a b c Mason, Geoffrey B. (2007). "Chronology, Part 3 - 1961-70". naval-history.net. Retrieved 9 June 2015. 
  4. ^ "£5M. Frigate Breaks Down On Trials". The Times (55513): Col E, p. 4. 4 October 1962.
  5. ^ "Warship's Dual Propulsion Units Faulty". The Times (55598): Col F, p. 4. 14 January 1963.
  6. ^ "News in Brief". The Times (55884): Col E, p. 5. 14 December 1963.
  7. ^ "News in Brief". The Times (56318): Col A, p 12. 11 May 1965.
  8. ^ "Royal Navy casualties, killed and died, 1970-79". www.naval-history.net. Retrieved 2017-01-15. 
  9. ^ "Unscrewing of nut led to fatal fire in warship". The Times (59960): Col C, p. 5. 24 March 1977.

Publications[edit]