The latest HMS Glasgow was launched on 14th April 1976 at Swan Hunter Shipbuilders at Wallsend and commissioned in October 1979 to become the 6th and last Batch 1 Type 42 Destroyer in the Fleet.
The name HMS Glasgow stretches back to 1707 and 8 ships have held it to date. From the earliest days their task has been the defence of our islands and the seaways of our merchant fleets. So why not visit our history page and discover the proud tradition that is continued in today's HMS Glasgow
The eighth and current Glasgow was commissioned in 1979 and was the first warship to enter the South Atlantic Exclusion Zone in May 1982. She was hit by a bomb on the 12 May that luckily passed through the aft engine room without exploding or causing injury.
Since then she has maintained significant support to the fleet with a number of deployments, the most notable in East Timor in 1999 where she proved a powerful political presence during the crisis.
Ship's Motto: Memor Es Tourum (Be mindful of your ancestors)
The First Glasgow
In 1696 the 'Royal Mary' was launched for the Scots Navy. She displaced 284 tons and was armed with twenty-four guns. Her 115 men defended the coast, protecting convoys from French privateers up and down the East Coast. Following the union of England and Scotland, the Scots ships were absorbed into the Royal Navy in 1707. As there was already a "Royal Mary" within the Royal Navy, the Scots ship was renamed "Glasgow".
The Second Glasgow
The second ship was launched in May 1745. She was 112 feet long with twenty-two nine-pounder guns. She was involved in preventing the French rescuing the defeated Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1746. Unfortunately her maintenance was neglected and by 1756 she had been sold for scrap.
The Third Glasgow
The third HMS Glasgow, launched in 1757 saw plenty of action against both the French and Americans, being responsible for battle honours in Lagos during 1759 and later in Havana during 1762. During the American War of Independence she met an American squadron of some seven ships and, single handed, fought a night battle lasting four hours, severely damaging two ships before outrunning the rest. She was unfortunately lost in 1779 while anchored off Jamaica when a drunken steward caused a fire. The crew began to jettison the gunpowder as the town nearby could have been seriously damaged if the magazine blew up. They were assisted by the young Captain of HMS Badger, Commander Nelson, whose crew helped prevent damage to the town.
The Fourth Glasgow
The fourth HMS Glasgow was built in 1814 and was armed with twenty-eight twenty-four pounder guns. She was built as one of forty ships to counter the large and powerful United States frigates. The war soon ended, but not before the Glasgow was rated as one of the best gunnery ships in the Navy. In 1816 she took part in the bombardment of the Bay of Algiers for which she received a Battle Honour.
The Fifth Glasgow
Steam power had been introduced into the Royal Navy before the fourth HMS Glasgow was decommissioned, and the appearance of a French ironclad ship in 1858 effectively rendered the wooden ships obsolete overnight. However, extensive stocks of ship building timber meant that the fifth HMS Glasgow was one of many to be still built of wood. She was launched in 1861 with a displacement of 3000 tons. In addition to her engine, she had a full suite of sails giving both speed (up to 13 knots) and endurance. Despite being made of wood, she now carried breech loading rifled guns. She only saw only one deployment, as Flagship in the East Indies from 1871-1875.
The Sixth Glasgow
The sixth HMS Glasgow was launched on the Clyde at Govan in 1909 and was a light cruiser of 4800 tons, capable of around 26 knots. In the South Atlantic in November 1914, she saw action when, with the cruisers Good Hope and Monmouth, she engaged the superior force of the new heavy cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, with 3 light cruisers supporting. Having inflicted damage on the enemy, Glasgow escaped with very little damage considering that an estimated 600 shells were fired at her. Later near the Falkland Islands, in company with the cruisers Invincible and Inflexible, the battle with Admiral Von Spee was resumed on terms that were rather more equal. The victory was convincing with HMS Glasgow sinking a light cruiser. Another, the Dresden escaped this particular battle, only to be later found and sunk by the Glasgow. After the war Glasgow served briefly as a Stokers' training ship before being paid off in 1922 and scrapped in 1927.
The Seventh Glasgow
The seventh HMS Glasgow was again built on the Clyde, and commissioning in September 1937. She displaced 11000 tons with a top speed of 32 knots. She was part of the home fleet, and escorted their majesties the King and Queen to Canada in 1939. She also took a large quantity of gold to Fort Knox as an emergency reserve.
In the Spring of 1940 she again carried treasure and gold, being transferred from Norway when the King and Queen of Norway were given passage to the North of their country. HMS Glasgow was then employed as a convoy escort in the Mediterranean Sea and she took part in the famous Fleet Air Arm raid that crippled the Italian Fleet at Taranto.
December 1940 saw her damaged by torpedoes that put two of her four shafts out of action. This limited her ability to be tasked and it was not until 1942 that she was properly repaired. In 1943 with the cruiser Enterprise, she fought a three-hour battle with 11 enemy destroyers of which three were sunk and four damaged with accurate gunfire.
On 'D' day, HMS Glasgow led a US Force toward the beaches, providing naval gunfire support to the landing parties.
After the end of the war, she took on Flagship duties of Commander in Chief Fleet East Indies; in 1948 the Flagship of the American and West Indies Station and in 1951 she became the Flagship of the Commander in Chief Mediterranean, Admiral the Earl Mountbatten of Burma.
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