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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2005

HMS CONTEST (R 12) - Co-class Destroyer

HMS Cossack, sister ship (Navy Photos/Gerry Wright, click to enlarge)

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G e n e r a l     I n f o r m a t i o n


The tenth RN warship ship to bear the name which dates from 1797 and was previously used by a destroyer lost in 1917. The ship was ordered in July 1942 with 7 other destroyers of the 13th Emergency Flotilla. She was laid down by J S White of Cowes, IoW on 1st November 1943 and was first RN destroyer to be of all welded construction. Special arrangements were made at the builder's yard for this new procedure including provision of new workshops, a revision of drawing office practices and radiological examination of welded structures. When launched on 16th December 1944, 95% of the hull construction was complete. Among the various factors which delayed completion were late delivery of the gunnery Director and the need for additional weight compensation because of fit of additional equipment. Build was completed on 9th November 1945 and the ship carried out the usual series of Acceptance trials before being fully commissioned for service.


The Co-Class of Fleet Destroyers to which the ship belonged displaced 1,825 tons and dimensions of 363 feet length overall, a beam of 36 feet with a draught of 11 feet. The turbine machinery had a shaft horsepower of 40,000 driving twin screws to give a speed of almost 32 knots on trials in 1945.


The armament as designed comprised four single 4.5in guns for use against surface and air targets; 20mm and 40mm Close Range AA guns; 2 quadruple 21in torpedo tube mountings for attacks against surface ships; 2 Depth Charge rails for Anti-submarine use. Extensive changes were made during post war refits during which the two after 4.5in guns and the torpedo tubes were removed. An Anti-submarine Mortar was fitted instead.


Special Note


HMS CONTEST replaced HM Destroyer ACHATES as the warship adopted by the civil community of Halesowen, then in Worcestershire.


B a t t l e    H o n o u r s




H e r a l d i c D a t a

Badge: On a Field Blue, on a mount Proper, two Cocks combatant Gold.



(for more ship information, go to Naval History Homepage and type name in Site Search)



1 9 4 5


January     Under construction.

to                (Note: Completion delayed by arrival of new design Gunnery Director.)



P o s t   W a r   N o t e s


After commissioning in 1946 HMS CONTEST served with the 6th Destroyer Flotilla in the Far East and also in Home Waters. She was placed in Reserve after the Defence Review in 1957 and later placed on the Disposal List. Sold to BISCO for demolition by T W Ward the ship arrived at the Breakers yard in Grays, Essex on 2nd February I960.


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