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|Career (United Kingdom)|
|Builder:||John I. Thornycroft and Company|
|Laid down:||8 July 1948|
|Launched:||9 April 1951|
|Commissioned:||23 October 1952|
|Motto:||"Duci Non Trahi" (To Be Led But Not Dragged)|
|Fate:||Loaned to RAN in 1964, sold 1972|
|Acquired:||8 May 1964|
|Commissioned:||8 May 1964|
|Decommissioned:||24 October 1977|
|Reclassified:||Training ship (1974)|
|Fate:||Sold for scrap, 7 May 1980|
|Class & type:||Daring-class destroyer|
|Length:||390 ft (120 m) overall|
|Beam:||43 ft (13 m)|
|Draught:||13.6 ft (4.1 m)|
|Propulsion:||2 x Foster Wheeler boilers (650 psi, 850 °F), English Electric steam turbines, 2 shafts, 54,000 shp (40 MW)|
|Speed:||30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)|
|Range:||4,400 nautical miles (8,100 km; 5,100 mi) at 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)|
|Complement:||278 as destroyer
243 as training ship
|Armament:||6 x QF 4.5 inch /45 (113 mm) Mark V guns in 3 twin mountings UD Mark VI
4 x 40 mm /60 Bofors A/A in 2 twin mounts STAAG Mark II
2 x 40 mm /60 Bofors A/A in 1 twin mount Mark V
5x 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes in Pentard mounting
1 x Squid anti submarine mortar Mark 10
1 x Sea Cat missile system (installed later)
4 x 3-pdr saluting guns
|Notes:||Aft 4.5 inch twin mounting, torpedo tubes, and Squid mortar were removed in 1974 during conversion to training ship.
Commissioned into the Royal Navy in 1952, Duchess operated with the British Home Fleet and in the Mediterranean, was involved in the 1956 Suez Crisis, and served as part of the Far East Strategic Reserve. Following the Melbourne-Voyager collision, Duchess was loaned to the RAN in 1964 as a temporary replacement for HMAS Voyager. The destroyer was purchased by Australia in 1972, converted into a training ship over the next two years, and continued to operate with the RAN until her paying off in 1977, and her sale for scrap in 1980.
Duchess was laid down by John I. Thornycroft and Company of Woolston at Southampton on 8 July 1948.(I) She was launched on 9 April 1951 by Countess Edwina Mountbatten, and commissioned into the Royal Navy on 23 October 1952.
Duchess was initially assigned to the British Home Fleet in early 1953. In June 1953 she took part in the Fleet Review to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. In September 1954 and July 1955, the destroyer was deployed to the Mediterranean, and near the end of the year escorted the Royal Yacht Britannia during the final leg of Queen Elizabeth's and the Duke of Edinburgh's world tour. Duchess continued to operate in the Mediterranean until July 1955, and was involved in the Suez Crisis in 1956. Sometime between 1956 and 1964, the destroyer operated with the Far East Strategic Reserve.
Following the loss of the Daring-class destroyer Voyager in a collision with the aircraft carrier Melbourne on 10 February 1964, both the United Kingdom and the United States of America offered to loan ships to the RAN as a replacement; the Royal Navy offering Duchess while the United States Navy offered two Fletcher-class destroyers: US Ships The Sullivans and Twining. Duchess was accepted on a four-year loan and modernised, while two modified River-class frigates (Swan and Torrens) were constructed as permanent replacements. Duchess was acquired by the RAN on 8 May 1964, and commissioned on the same day.
Although she had been loaned to the RAN for only four years, Duchess remained in RAN service after this time, and was purchased outright by the Australian Government in 1972.
At the start of 1973, Duchess underwent a refit that removed several of her weapons and installed a classroom, for future service as a training ship. Re-entering service in August 1974, the ship performed her first training cruise in early 1975, visiting ports in south-west Australia and New Zealand. Training cruises also occurred in late 1975, 1976, and 1977.
Decommissioning and fate
In September 1977, Duchess was removed from service, and was paid off on 24 October 1977. The ship was sold for breaking up as scrap on 7 May 1980, and departed Sydney under tow for Taiwan on 9 July.
- ^(I) 8 July is the date of laying down listed by the British Ministry of Defence Naval Historical Branch. However, some sources give 2 July as the date.
- Cassells, The Destroyers, pgs 34–5, 238
- Cassells, The Destroyers, p. 34
- Cassells, The Destroyers, p. 35
- Souvenir Programme, Coronation Review of the Fleet, Spithead, 15th June 1953, HMSO, Gale and Polden
- Frame, A Cruel Legacy, pp. 21–22
- "Navy Marks 109th Birthday With Historic Changes To Battle Honours". Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original on 13 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
- "Royal Australian Navy Ship/Unit Battle Honours". Royal Australian Navy. 1 March 2010. Archived from the original on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
- Cassells, The Destroyers, p. 238
- Cassells, Vic (2000). The Destroyers: their battles and their badges. East Roseville, NSW: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7318-0893-2 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK]. OCLC 46829686.
- Frame, Tom (2005). The Cruel Legacy: the HMAS Voyager tragedy. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 1-74115-254-2 [Amazon-US | Amazon-UK]. OCLC 61213421.