HMS Minerva (F45)

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15-alongside in Thorshavn Faroes April1970.jpg
HMS Minerva in April 1970
RN EnsignUnited Kingdom
Name: HMS Minerva (F45)
Operator: Royal Navy
Builder: Vickers Armstrong[1][2]
Laid down: 25 July 1963[1]
Launched: 19 December 1964[1][2]
Commissioned: 14 May 1966[1][2]
Decommissioned: March 1992
Nickname(s): "Fighting 45"[3]
Fate: Sold for scrap July 1993
General characteristics
Class and type: Leander class frigate

HMS Minerva (F45) was a Leander-class frigate of the Royal Navy.


She was built by Vickers Armstrong,[1][4] she was launched on 19 December 1964,[1][2] and commissioned on 14 May 1966.[1][2]

In 1968, Minerva deployed to the West Indies during some troubles there, operating from Bermuda. Island hopping was carried to show the"flag"; in 1970, Minerva, like many other British vessels including other Leanders, deployed on Beira Patrol, an operation designed to prevent oil from reaching the landlocked Rhodesia via Mozambique, before visiting various ports around Asia and the Pacific. The following year, Minerva deployed on her second Beira Patrol which proved relatively quiet.

In November 1972, the Prince of Wales joined Minerva, the following year, in February, Minerva, along with the Prince, deployed to the Caribbean. While there Minerva was involved in a number of exercises, including Exercise "Rum Punch" at Puerto Rico, involving British and American forces, the ship returned to the UK in November. Minerva then took part in the second cod war, in early 1973.

In 1975, Minerva returned to the Caribbean, performing a variety of duties there. Between December 1975 and March 1979, Minerva underwent modernisation, including the addition of Exocet missiles. While she was undergoing post refit trials Minerva suffered a Stbd boiler explosion which destroyed both boiler uptakes forcing her to be towed to Chatham Dockyard for repairs; in December the following year, a dockyard crane smashed into Minerva during a storm, causing damage to the ship's superstructure. In 1980, Minerva deployed to the Mediterranean where she carried out exercises with other NATO warships. While there Minerva got involved in the Cold War when she shadowed the Kiev, the nameship of a three-ship class of large aircraft carriers. In 1981, Minerva was involved in further exercises in the Persian Gulf.

In 1982 during the Falklands War Minerva was part of the 'Bristol Group' and thus joined the war rather late, not reaching the Falkland Islands until the 26 May. While there, Minerva performed a number of duties, including escort for other vessels, on June 1, 1982 her radar detected an Argentinian C-130 and vectored a flight of patrolling Sea Harriers towards it. The reconnaissance plane was intercepted and shot down.[5] Minerva suffered no damage during her deployment during the Falklands War and she returned to Devonport in September, crowds greeting her upon her return.

In November, Minerva accidentally rammed the Rothesay-class frigate Yarmouth. In late 1984, Minerva returned to the South Atlantic on a deployment that encompassed all British South Atlantic territories, a deployment which lasted into 1985; in 1986, Minerva completed a brief 3 month deployment to the Caribbean. This was followed by BOST at Portland and JMC 863, on 12 January 1987 Minerva once again deployment on Southlant as Falklands Guardship including a visit to South Georgia. She was relieved by HMS Penelope in May and returned home via the Patagonian Canal visiting Valparaiso in Chile, Lima in Peru, Panama and Florida, she returned home briefly for annual leave on 3 July before returning to sea early August on FCS duties and a further BOST. Minerva completed 330 sea days in this year. 1988 was a quieter affair with a short visit to the Med followed by refit in September 1988. In 1990 as part of the Dartmouth Training Group led by HMS Bristol, she completed deployments to the Great Lakes and a Global deployment in 1990, on her return and showing her age, HMS Minerva was laid up in March 1992, her long and eventful career finally coming to an end. The following year Minerva was sold for scrap.

Commanding officers[edit]

From To Captain
1978 1980 Captain Benjamin Bathurst RN
1987 1988 Commander Chris Hunt RN 1989 1991 Commander Christopher Clay RN
1991 1992 Commander Duncan Campbell MacGregor Fergusson RN



External links[edit]