HMS Torquay (F43)

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HMS Torquay (F43) underway c1961.jpg
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Torquay
Ordered: 6 March 1951
Builder: Harland and Wolff
Laid down: 11 March 1953
Launched: 1 July 1954
Commissioned: 10 May 1956
Decommissioned: 23 March 1985
Identification: Pennant number: F43
Fate: Scrapped 1987
General characteristics
Class and type: Whitby-class frigate
  • 2,150 tons (2,185 tonnes)
  • 2,560 tons full load (2,600 tonnes)
  • 360 ft (109.7 m) w/l
  • 370 ft (112.8 m) o/a
Beam: 41 ft (12.5 m)
Draught: 17 ft (5.18 m)
Propulsion: Y-100 plant; 2 Babcock & Wilcox boilers, 2 English Electric steam turbines, 2 shafts, 30,000 shp (22 MW)
Speed: 30 kn (56 km/h)
Range: 370 tons oil fuel, 4,200 nmi (7,780 km) at 12 knots (22 km/h)
Complement: 152, later 225
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Radar Type 293Q target indication, later;
    • Radar Type 993
  • Radar Type 277Q height finding (later removed)
  • Radar Type 275 fire control on director Mark 6M
  • Radar Type 262 fire control on STAAG
  • Radar Type 974 navigation
  • Type 1010 Cossor Mark 10 IFF
  • Sonar Type 174 search
  • Sonar Type 162 target classification
  • Sonar Type 170 attack

HMS Torquay was a Type 12 Whitby-class frigate of the British Royal Navy. They were the first frigates to have the "V" form hull. This evolutionary design made it possible to be driven in head sea without the usual slamming which occurs with conventional destroyers of the time. Each frigate cost 3.5 million pounds and the first ship completed was Torquay in May 1956.

Operational Service[edit]

Torquay was launched by Lady Monkton on 1 July 1954, and participated in the Suez operation in 1956. In 1958 she was diverted to Tobruk following the assassination of the Iraqi Royal Family.

Between 1967–1971 Torquay was one of the frigates allocated to the Dartmouth Training Squadron and between 1972–1985 Torquay served as a navigation training ship based in Portsmouth. In 1971 the ship was refitted with a solid main mast (as opposed to a lattice mast) and a large training navigation room was built where the forward set of triple-barrelled mortars used to be located (leaving one set of mortars). She was also fitted to undertake trials of CAAIS (Computer Assisted Action Information System). Torquay attended the 1977 Silver Jubilee Fleet Review off Spithead when she was part of the 2nd Frigate Squadron.[1]

Replaced by the Leander-class frigate Juno as the navigation training vessel for the Royal Navy, Torquay paid off on 23 March 1985. At the time she was the longest serving ship of her class and the oldest frigate in the fleet. She was sold for scrap in 1987 and left Portsmouth on 1 July 1987 to be broken up in Barcelona, Spain.

Commanding officers[edit]

From To Captain
1957 1959 Captain Edward M Usherwood DSC RN
1959 1959 Commander B H G M Baynham RN
1962 1962 Peter Berger RN
1964 Commander Martineau
1965 1966 Commander J B Rumble RN
1966 1967 Captain Ronald W Forrest RN
1967 1968 Commander M E Barrow RN
1972 1973 Lieutenant Commander BW Turner RN
1973 1974 Lieutenant Commander JAA McCoy RN
1977 1977 Lieutenant Commander M H Rhodes RN
1978 1979 Lieutenant Commander G B Webb RN
? ? Fabian Malbon
? ? John McAnally
? ? Rodney Preece


  1. ^ Official Souvenir Programme, 1977. Silver Jubilee Fleet Review, HMSO


External links[edit]

External images
Older photographs of HMS Torquay
Photograph showing the additional navigation classroom