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HMS Saintes (D84)
HMS Saintes.jpg
HMS Saintes
Career Royal Navy Ensign
Name: HMS Saintes
Ordered: 1942
Builder: Hawthorn Leslie and Company
Laid down: 8 June 1943
Launched: 19 July 1944
Commissioned: 27 September 1946
Decommissioned: May 1962
Fate: Broken up at Cairn Ryan 1972
General characteristics
Tons burthen: 2,325 tons
Length: 379 ft (116 m)
Beam: 40.25 ft (12.27 m)
Draught: 13 ft (4.0 m)
Propulsion: 2-shaft geared turbines
50,000 shp
Speed: 32+ knots
Complement: 247
Armament: Final configuration:
4.5" (2 twin Mk4 turrets)
40/60 mm Bofors (5 single Mk7, 2 twin Mk5)
8 21" torpedo tubes (2 x 4)
1 triple barrel "Squid" depth charge mortar

HMS Saintes (D84) was a 1942 Battle-class fleet destroyer of the Royal Navy (RN), she and 15 sister ships being ordered under the 1942 defence estimates. She was named after the Battle of the Saintes, a Royal Navy victory over a French fleet intending to invade Jamaica in 1782. So far she has been the only ship of the Royal Navy to bear the name. Saintes was built by Hawthorn Leslie and Company on the Tyne. She was launched on the on 19 July 1944 and commissioned on the on 27 September 1946.

When Saintes first commissioned in 1946 she joined the 5th destroyer flotilla and was used to trial the new 4.5" Mk 6 twin turret which became the standard destroyer main armament until well into the 1970s.

Saintes paid off on completion of the trials and was refitted with the conventional main armament of the class. In 1949, Saintes recommissioned into the 3rd Destroyer Flotilla and deployed to the Mediterranean where she took over as Captain (D)3, the senior officer in command of the flotilla.

In 1954, whilst still in the Mediterranean, Saintes came to the assistance of the Empire Windrush, which had suffered an engine room explosion and fire whilst carrying troops and their families home from the Far East. Saintes took charge of the rescue operation and put fire and towing parties aboard and attempted to tow the ship to Gibraltar but Empire Windrush foundered whilst under tow. Apart from the four engine room staff killed in the original explosion all crew and passengers were rescued unharmed.

Saintes remained Captain (D)3 until she went for a major refit in 1956 at Rosyth when her crew transferred to her sister ship HMS Armada. On completion of her refit in 1958, Saintes again took over as Captain (D)3, this time as part of a General Service commission spending a part of the time with the Home Fleet and part of the time with the Mediterranean Fleet. In 1960, Saintes recommissioned with the 1st Destroyer Squadron, again having spells with the Home and Mediterranean Fleets

Saintes finally paid off in May 1962 at Devonport. She was then towed to Rosyth by a towing crew of volunteers from her last commission. At Rosyth she became the training ship for Artificer Apprentices from HMS Caledonia. Her armament was mothballed but her engines were kept in full working order by the trainees.

Saintes was broken up at Cairn Ryan in 1972, the last of the Royal Navy's 1942 Battle-class fleet destroyers.

Commanding officers[]

From To Captain
1947 1948
1953 1953
1960 1960 Commander M J Porter RN



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