HMS Defender (D114)

HMS Defender was a Daring-class destroyer of the Royal Navy.

HMS Defender leaving Malta
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Defender
Ordered: 16 February 1945
Builder: Alexander Stephen and Sons[1]
Laid down: 22 March 1949
Launched: 27 July 1950[1]
Commissioned: 5 December 1952
Identification: Pennant number: D114
  • Fendendo vince
  • ("By defence I conquer")
  • Listed for disposal 1969
  • Used for target practice and sold to James A White & Co, Inverkeithing 10 May 1972 for breaking up.
  • On a Field Red, a fencing buckler and rapier Silver and Gold
General characteristics
Class and type: Daring-class destroyer
Displacement: 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)
Propulsion: 2 Foster Wheeler boilers (650 psi, 850 °F), Parsons steam turbines, 2 shafts, 54,000 shp (40 MW)
Speed: 30 knots (56 km/h)
Range: 4,400 nmi (8,100 km) at 20 kn (37 km/h)
Complement: Approximately 300
Sensors and
processing systems:

Built as yard number 609 [1] at Alexander Stephen and Sons, and originally intended to be named Dogstar, she was launched on 27 July 1950. After a career which saw her involved in the Korean War and conflicts in Malaya, Cyprus, Suez and Aden, she was listed for disposal in 1969, and was used for target practice in the Forth.[1] She was sold to James A White & Co Ltd, Inverkeithing, Fife for breaking in 1972.[2]


In 1953 Defender took part in the Fleet Review to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.[3] She had commissioned for the Far East during 1953 and 1954 and operated with US Navy in Japanese waters during October 1953, taking part in the Korean War.[4]

In 1954 she located the wreck of the battleship Prince of Wales in position 3°33.6′N 104°28.7′E. Taking part in the Malay Emergency, Defender carried out a coastal bombardment on the Johor coast, following which she steamed up the Johor River for 9 miles (14 km) reminding any hostile watchers of the Royal Navy presence.[5] At some time between 1955 and 1958 she took part in operations against the terrorist organisation EOKA in Cyprus.

On 19 July 1956 she brought Faisal II of Iraq across the Channel to Dover for a 3-day state visit to the UK.[6] Later the same year she served as escort to the Royal Yacht at Stockholm and Copenhagen and around the Baltic Sea. The ship was diverted to the Mediterranean and proceeded to Suez, where she took part in the hostilities. In 1958 she conducted her first refit, losing her after torpedo tubes in the process and by July 1959 she was back in the Mediterranean - Able Seaman James Simpson of Defender is buried at Kalkara Naval Cemetery in Malta.[7]

From 1963 to 1965 Defender was refitted for the second and last time, losing the forward torpedo tubes and gaining the Type 903 fire-control radar. In 1966 she was deployed to St Vincent in the Caribbean as a precaution during a period of anticipated political unrest.[8] The next year she was east of Suez again, providing anti-submarine cover for the task force withdrawal from Aden, and then remaining in the Far East until 1969.

Decommissioning and disposal

In 1969 Defender decommissioned and was listed for disposal. She spent her last days in the Firth of Forth as a target ship before being sold for breaking.

Commanding officers

19531953Captain R F T Stannard OBE DSC RN
19541955Captain Joseph Charles Cameron Henley RN (later Rear Admiral Sir Joseph Henley KCVO CB)
19561958Captain P G Sharp RN
19581958Lieutenant Commander C L Jordan RN
19591960Captain Geoffrey Harry Carew-Hunt RN (later Rear Admiral Carew-Hunt CB)
19651966Commander J R S Gerard-Pearse RN
19661967Commander JD Straker RN
19671970Commander G M F Vallings RN (later Vice Admiral Sir George Vallings KCB)


  1. "HMS Defender at Shipping Times - Clydebuilt Database". Archived from the original on 2 May 2005. Retrieved 31 May 2015.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  2. "HMS Defender". Retrieved 20 May 2008.
  3. Souvenir Programme, Coronation Review of the Fleet, Spithead, 15th June 1953, HMSO, Gale and Polden
  4. "Hired Military Transport". Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  5. Kennedy, 2004.
  6. "Archive footage - ITN Source". Retrieved 20 May 2008.
  7. "Malta Memorials". Retrieved 20 May 2008.
  8. Mason, Geoffrey B. (2007). "Chronology, Part 3 - 1961-70". Retrieved 31 May 2015.


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