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by Lt Cdr Geoffrey B Mason RN (Rtd) (c) 2003

HMS BARROSA (I 68) -  Battle-class Destroyer

HMS Barrosa (Navy Photos/Mark Teadham, click to enlarge)

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1943 BATTLE-Class destroyer ordered from John Brown at Clydebank on 10th March 1943 and laid down on 28th December that year. The ship was launched on 17th January 1945 and given this name which commemorates 1811 British victory in the Peninsular War. It was first sued for a 5th Rate built at Deptford in 1912 and last used for a 3rd Class Cruiser built at Portsmouth in 1889. Her build as the 4th RN warship to bear the name was completed on 14th February 1947 having been delayed by late delivery of fire control equipment due to design changes made since the original order.


B a t t l e   H o n o u r s


BENIN 1897 - SOUTH AFRICA 1899-1901


H e r a l d i c     D a t a

Badge: On a Field Red, within a wreath of palm Gold, a dappled grey horse’s head,

erased regardant Proper, gorged with a band Black charged with a rose

between two escallops Gold.


M o t t o

Tout bien ou rien: “All good or nothing”



S u m m a r y   o f   S e r v i c e


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



 1 9 4 7


February         Build completion and commenced Acceptance Trials

                         Nominated for service in 4th Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet.


March             On completion of trials and work-up deployed with Flotilla in Home waters.




October           Placed in Care and maintenance because of manning crisis




1 9 4 8


January           Complement rejoined ship and deployed for shakedown




November        Deployed with Flotilla for Home Fleet duties




 1 9 4 9


                           Home Fleet deployment including Fleet and Flotilla exercises and Fleet visits programme.


1 9 5 0


January                Home Fleet deployment in continuation

to                           Nominated for reduction to Reserve



April                      Paid-off and reduced to Reserve status


May                       Laid-up in Reserve




1 9 5 1  to  1 9 5 2


                                Laid-up in Reserve


1 9 5 3


                                Recommissioned and rejoined 4th Flotilla for Home Fleet duties

                                Replaced HMS JUTLAND.


1 9 5 4  to  1 9 5 8


                                Home Fleet duties in continuation

                                Transferred to General Service Commission in 1954

                                Deployed in Mediterranean December 1954 to October 1955


1 9 5 9


                                Involved in  collision with sister destroyer HMS CORUNNA in Bay of Biscay on 15th March.

                                Paid off into Dockyard Control for repair

                                Selected for conversion into Radar Picket


1 9 6 0  to  1 9 6 1


                                Under conversion by HM Dockyard, Devonport

                                Completion and Re-commissioning forecast for March 1962


1 9 6 2


                                Recommissioned in April and nominated for service in the 8th Destroyer Squadron, Far East Station.

                                 Passage to Singapore on completion of Post Refit trials and work-up for operational service.

                                 Deployed with Squadron based at Singapore.


1 9 6 3   to   1 9 6 5


                                 Deployed in Far East with Squadron

                                 Took part in support operations to military defence of Borneo  against incursions by Indonesian forces.

                                 In February 1963 whilst carrying out patrol intercepted craft suspected of piracy.

                                 During subsequent chase by ships whaler shots were fired and one of  the whaler’s crew was mortally


                                  In addition to these KONFRONTASI operations ship carried out Fleet and SEATO exercises as well as

                                  visits to ports in the Far east. Dockyard Refits and maintenance support was

                                  provided at Singapore and Hong Kong.


1 9 6 6


                                 Returned to UK and deployed in Home waters


 1 9 6 7


                                 Nominated for further service in Far East with 24th  Escort Squadron.

                                 Whilst in Home waters ship was deployed as part of the extensive clean-up operations after the

                                 tanker TORREY CANYON ran aground off

                                  the Scillies on 18th March.

                                 Passage to Singapore September.


1 9 6 8


                                 Returned to UK for Home waters service in July

                                 Nominated for reduction to Reserve

                                 Paid-off and reduced to Reserve status in December.


1 9 6 9   to   1 9 7 0


                                  Laid-up at Plymouth


1 9 7 1


                                 Transferred to Portsmouth to lay-up with Reserve Fleet.



Final Note


HMS BARROSA was placed on the Disposal List by 1978 and sold to BISCO for demolition at Blyth by Hughes Bolcow. She arrived in tow at the shipbreakers on 2nd August that year to be broken-up.


Special Note


This record is not intended to be comprehensive and it is suggested that further information may be available through the Fourth Destroyer Flotilla Association.  The recommended contact is:  Terry Parker, 54C Cheriton Road, FOLKESTONE,  CT20  2DD


It is suggested the name Eric Smith be referred to as the source. Mr Smith served in the Flotilla and believes more information may be available through Mr Parker.


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revised 12/8/11
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