On Friday 13th November 1987, the only Type 82 Class Destroyer in service with the Royal Navy – HMS BRISTOL D 23 entered Grand Harbour, Malta for the first time as part of the Dartmouth Training Squadron berthing at Crucifix Wharf together with HMS ROTHESAY F 107( Had 1 x Wasp HAS.1 helicopter with serial XT785/462 from 829 Naval Air Squadron) and HMS EURYALUS F 15 ( Had 1 x Wasp HAS.1 helicopter with serial XT791/433 from 829 Naval Air Squadron).
HMS BRISTOL D 23 as the mother ship was berthed starboard side alongside the wharf.
Originally intended as the first of a class of large destroyers to escort the CVA-01 aircraft carriers which was proposed UK aircraft carrier to replace HMS VICTORIOUS and HMS ARK ROYAL and projected to come into service in the early 1970s she turned out to be a unique ship: the rest of the class were cancelled with the CVA-01 carriers in the 1966 Strategic Defence Review.
During the Falklands War in 1982 she was suitable for use as a flagship as she was large enough to embark the extra staff members necessary for this role and served as the Royal Navy flagship during the 1981 Ocean Safari exercise. After a short refit, during which the mortar well was plated over to allow the landing of large helicopters on the quarterdeck, she joined the Royal Navy task force in the South Atlantic in the 1982 Falklands War and led her group of reinforcement ships south and then joined the carrier battle group, Task Group 317.8. On 22nd May she fired two Sea Dart missiles at spurious radar returns caused by interference with similar radars fitted on ships within the group.
Following a long career she was converted into a training ship in 1987 of which in November 34 years ago she entered Grand Harbour, Malta for the first time as part of the Dartmouth Training Squadron. The squadron left on Monday 16th November.
Paid off after 47 Years of Naval Service was published during November 2020 – https://maltashipnews.com/2020/11/02/naval-news-hms-bristol-d-23-paid-off-after-47-years-of-service-28-10-2020/
Watermarked Photos are by Capt. Lawrence Dalli otherwise stated. NO PHOTOS can be used or manipulated without our permission. © All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos – www.maltashipphotos.com
Published – Monday 22nd November, 2021.