HMS Boxer (F121)

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HMS Boxer.jpg
HMS Boxer when fitted out as a Fighter Direction Ship
Name: HMS Boxer
Ordered: 6 March 1941
Builder: Harland and Wolff
Yard number: 1155[1]
Launched: 12 December 1942
Completed: 1 May 1943[1]
Commissioned: 10 April 1943
Fate: Scrapped 1958
General characteristics
Type: Landing Ship, Tank Mark I
Displacement: 3,620
  • 18 knots laden to beaching draught
  • 16.5 knots at deep
Capacity: 13 Churchill Infantry tanks, 27 vehicles, 193 men
Complement: 169
Service record

HMS Boxer, pennant F121, was built as a Landing Ship, Tank (LST(1)) at Harland and Wolff. Launched in December 1942 and commissioned the following April, she saw service as part of the Allied invasion of Italy.

Design and development[edit]

HMS Boxer was the next in development of the Landing Ship, Tank following the conversion of the Maracaibo tankers into landing ships capable of carrying vehicles. The requirement was for a ship that could carry 13 Churchill tanks, 27 other vehicles and 193 men. As it was expected to have a high speed even when laden for the assault (about 18 knots) it could not have a shallow draught. This in turn meant that an extra long bow ramp had to be added. At 140 ft (43 m) this took up a lot of room inside the ship.

Boxer had only two sister ships, as plans to build more in the United States led instead to a simpler though slower design capable of similar capacity but with a much shallower draught.


In 1944, she was refitted as a "Fighter Direction Ship", for use during the Normandy landings in controlling fighter aircraft by GCI, then as an "Action Information Organisation" tender[2] (a radar training ship) in 1946. In 1953 she took part in the Fleet Review to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II,[3] was placed in reserve in 1956, and scrapped at Barrow-in-Furness in 1958.

HMS Boxer carried the writer/comedian Spike Milligan from North Africa to Italy when he served with the 56th Heavy Regiment Royal Artillery.[4]

Commanding officers[edit]

From To Captain
1953 1953 Captain H A F Hunt RN
1955 1956

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b McCluskie, Tom (2013). The Rise and Fall of Harland and Wolff. Stroud: The History Press. p. 151. ISBN 9780752488615. 
  2. ^ Navigating and Direction Officers Association
  3. ^ Souvenir Programme, Coronation Review of the Fleet, Spithead, 15th June 1953, HMSO, Gale and Polden
  4. ^ Milligan, Spike (1978) Mussolini, His Part In My Downfall, Hobbs, J. (Ed.), Harmondsworth : Penguin, 288 p., ISBN 0-14-005196-1