HMS Dainty (D108)

HMS Dainty was a Daring-class destroyer of the British Royal Navy. Ordered in 1945, she was built by J. Samuel White at their Isle of Wight shipyard, being launched in 1950 and completed in 1953.

Fore view of HMS Dainty, 22 October 1964.
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Dainty
Ordered: 24 January 1945
Builder: J. Samuel White
Laid down: 17 December 1945
Launched: 16 August 1950
Commissioned: 26 February 1953
Identification: Pennant number: D108
Fate: Sold for breaking, 1 January 1971
General characteristics
Class and type: Daring-class destroyer
  • Standard: 2,830 tons
  • Full load: 3,820 tons
Length: 390 ft (120 m)
Beam: 53 ft (16 m)
Draught: 13.6 ft (4.1 m)
Installed power: 54,000 shp (40 MW)
  • 2 × Foster Wheeler boilers 650 psi (4.5 MPa), 850 °F (454 °C))
  • 2 × Parsons steam turbines
  • 2 × shafts
Speed: 30 knots (56 km/h)
Range: 4,400 nautical miles (8,100 km) at 20 knots (37 km/h)
Complement: Approximately 300
Sensors and
processing systems:

She spent the initial years of her service alternating between the Mediterranean Sea and British waters, before undergoing modifications between 1958 and 1959 and again between 1962 and 1964. After further service, including spells in the West Indies and Far East, she was decommissioned in 1969 and sold for scrap in 1971.


Dainty was one of eight Daring-class destroyers ordered on 24 January 1945, with a total of 16 ships ordered for the Royal Navy by the end of February that year.[1] Eight of the 16 Darings were cancelled in December 1945, before they were laid down, but construction of the remaining eight ships continued, while three more were built by Australia.[2][3]

The ship was laid down at J. Samuel White's Cowes, Isle of Wight shipyard on 17 December 1945 and was launched on 16 August 1950 and completed on 26 February 1953.[1]


Dainty was 390 feet 0 inches (118.87 m) long overall, 375 feet 0 inches (114.30 m) at the waterline and 366 feet 0 inches (111.56 m) between perpendiculars. She had a beam of 43 feet 0 inches (13.11 m) and a draught of 13 feet 0 inches (3.96 m) deep load. Displacement was 2,610 long tons (2,650 t) standard and 3,350 long tons (3,400 t) deep load.[4] The ship was of all-welded construction, and aluminium was used for internal bulkheads, in one of the first uses of this material in Royal Navy ships.[3] Two Foster-Wheeler boilers supplied steam at 650 pounds per square inch (4,500 kPa) and 850 °F (454 °C) to two seats of Parsons double-reduction geared steam turbines, which in turn drove two propeller shafts. The machinery was rated at 54,000 shaft horsepower (40,000 kW), giving a maximum speed of 34 knots (39 mph; 63 km/h).[5] The machinery was laid out in the unit arrangement, with two machinery spaces, each holding a boiler and turbine, separated by an empty compartment so that a single hit by hostile fire could not completely disable the ship.[6] Dainty was one of four ships of the class that were built with Direct current (DC) electrical equipment, with the other four ships having more modern Alternating Current (AC) electrics.[7] 618 tons of oil fuel were carried, sufficient to give a range of 4,400 nautical miles (5,100 mi; 8,100 km) at 20 knots (23 mph; 37 km/h).[8]

The ship was armed with three twin QF 4.5-inch (113 mm) Mark VI dual purpose gun mounts, with a close-in anti-aircraft armament of three twin Bofors 40 mm mounts, with two stabilised STAAG mounts and one simpler, non-stabilised Mark V (or "Utility") mount. Two quintuple mounts for 21-inch (533 mm) torpedoes were carried, while anti-submarine armament consisted of a Squid anti-submarine mortar with 30 charges.[3][4] 38 inch (9.5 mm) thick splinter armour was provided for the bridge, gun turrets and turret rings, while 14 inch (6.4 mm) plating protected cable runs.[7] The ship was fitted with a Type 293Q air/surface search radar on the foremast together with a Type 274 navigation radar and a Type 291 air warning radar on the ship's mainmast. A Mark 6 director, incorporating a Type 275 radar, was mounted on the roof of the ship's bridge.[3] Dainty had a crew of 286 officers and other ranks.[8][9]


On commissioning, the four ships with DC electrics, including Dainty, joined the Mediterranean Fleet, forming what would become the 2nd Destroyer Squadron.[lower-alpha 1] with the AC electric ships forming what would become the 5th Destroyer Squadron in the Home Fleet. The two squadrons regularly swapped between the Mediterranean and Home Fleets.[10][11] Dainty was laid up in reserve in 1955, but returned to active service early in 1956.[11]

On 29 April 1957 Dainty delivered emergency supplies, including 2000 blankets and 300 tents along with medical supplies and a team of doctors to the town of Fethiye in Turkey which had been badly damaged by a pair of earthquakes.[12] In 1958 Dainty was refitted at Portsmouth Dockyard, where her aft set of torpedo tubes was removed, allowing a deckhouse to be added containing additional accommodation, badly needed as the Darings' large crews meant that they were cramped.[10][13]

Dainty was commissioned following the refit on 20 January 1959, when she became part of the 2nd Destroyer Squadron as part of the Home and Mediterranean Fleets.[14] She was paid off into reserve again, along with the rest of the 2nd Squadron in January 1961.[11] She was refitted again between 1962 and 1964. The remaining set of torpedo tubes was replaced by another deckhouse, while the two STAAG Bofors mounts were replaced by simpler Mark V utility twin Bofors mounts, and the Mark 6 director was replaced by the more modern MRS3 director. These changes greatly reduced the amount of maintenance required.[10][15]

Dainty recommissioned at Portsmouth in April 1965 as a member of the 23rd Escort Squadron following the refit, serving in the Mediterranean and West Indies.[11] She was back in home waters on 31 May–1 June 1966 when she and sister ship Defender and the German frigates Karlsruhe and German frigate Braunschweig (F225) took part in ceremonies in the North Sea to mark the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Jutland.[16] Another commission in April 1967 saw her serve two years in Home, West Indian and Far East Waters.[11]


Dainty was paid off for disposal at Portsmouth on 31 July 1969.[17] Dainty was sold on 1 January 1971 and broken up at Cairnryan.[18]


  1. For a while, the Darings were not officially classified as destroyers by the Royal Navy due to their large size, but rather as 'Daring Class' ships.[3]


  1. Friedman 2008, p. 330
  2. Friedman 2008, p. 127
  3. Marriott 1989, p. 88
  4. Friedman 2008, p. 318
  5. Lenton 1970, pp. 77
  6. Friedman 2008, p. 125
  7. Lenton 1970, p. 75
  8. Marriott 1989, p. 94
  9. Blackman 1960, p. 18
  10. Marriott 1989, p. 90
  11. Critchley 1982, p. 130
  12. "Earthquake Devastation: H.M.S. Dainty Brings Relief". Navy News. June 1957. p. 9. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  13. Critchley 1982, pp. 128, 130
  14. Commissioning Book, HMS Dainty, 1960–1961, HMSO
  15. Friedman 2008, p. 255
  16. "Jutland revisited: Germany, Britain celebrate 1916 battle". The Canberra Times. 1 June 1966. p. 8. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  17. Critchley 1982, p. 16
  18. Colledge & Warlow 2006, p. 88


  • Blackman, Raymond V. B. (1960). Jane's Fighting Ships 1960–61. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co. Ltd.
  • Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) [1969]. Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8.
  • Critchley, Mike (1982). British Warships Since 1945: Part 3: Destroyers. Liskeard, UK: Maritime Books. ISBN 0-9506323-9-2.
  • Friedman, Norman (2008). British Destroyers and Frigates: The Second World War and After. Barnsley, UK: Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84832-015-4.
  • Lenton, H.T. (1970). Navies of the Second World War: British Fleet & Escort Destroyers Volume Two. London: Macdonald & Co. ISBN 0-356-03122-5.
  • Marriott, Leo (1989). Royal Navy Destroyers Since 1945. Shepperton, UK: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-1817-0.
  • McCart, Neil (2008). Daring Class Destroyers. Fan Publications. ISBN 978-1-904459-33-0.

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