Wednesday, March 2, 2011

HMS Manchester decommissioned

Fond farewell to HMS Manchester

A History and Honour news article

28 Feb 11

The end of HMS Manchester's 30-year Royal Navy career was officially marked in a formal ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Base last week.

Sailors on parade

Sailors on parade at HMS Manchester's decommissioning ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Base
[Picture: LA(Phot) Kyle Heller, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011]

The Type 42 destroyer - a veteran of the first Gulf War - has clocked up over 860,000 nautical miles (1.6 million kilometres) in operations across the world. She is being decommissioned as the ageing fleet of Type 42s makes way for the new, highly-capable Type 45 destroyers.

The decommissioning service was conducted by a former chaplain of HMS Manchester, Father Mike Wagstaff, with musical accompaniment provided by the Royal Marines School of Music.

The Commanding Officer of HMS Manchester, Commander Rex Cox, said:

"It is with mixed emotions that we approach HMS Manchester's decommissioning. On the one hand there is sadness at the retirement of a very special ship that has made an impression on everyone who has had the good fortune to serve on her.

"On the other hand there is great pride in a destroyer that has served the Navy with distinction and is now ready to pass on the baton to the next generation - the Type 45s.

Sailors on parade

Members of HMS Manchester's ship's company at her decommissioning ceremony in Portsmouth
[Picture: LA(Phot) Kyle Heller, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011]

"It is the people however that have made this great ship what she is and each and every one of them has made their contribution over the years. It has been an immense privilege and enormous fun to be the last Commanding Officer of the 'Busy Bee' and to command such a cracking ship's company."...

Read the rest here.

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