HMS Duncan F-80
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2.
June 10, 2018

I also served on HMS Duncan from December 1966 until August 1967, I remember well my time on the “drunken Duncan” and the events Don has talked of. We left Londonderry for Gibraltar and hit a force 10 in the Irish Sea, when transiting the overhead walkway from the stokers mess for the night watch the ship hit a huge wave and drove me backwards through the safety railings it was only the toggle on my jacket which snagged saving me from going over the side, I thought I was a goner until our LME of the watch grabbed me and pulled me up to the gangway, his first words were - have you still got the tin of soup!! The most terrifying event of my 15 years in the RN.

Duncans trip to the Med and stay in Malta was almost like a summer holiday! Until the six day war kicked off and the U.S. 6th fleet and half of our serviceable RN ships decended on Grand Harbour, totally changed almost overnight what had been a great experience. On return to the UK I quickly left Duncan for HMS Protector and Antartica, but very fond memories of Duncan, Rosyth, Derry and our Med trip. After 51 years I am going back to Malta this Month to revisit Grand Harbour and see the changes around what was the Royal Navy base.

Jeff Little


1.
Dec. 10, 2010

I served on HMS Duncan from November 1966 to December 1967 when we were flag ship for FOSNI (Flag Officer Scotland & Northern Ireland) based at Rosyth. One memorable event was sailing past the Inner Hebrides, Mallaig and Armidale through the Kyle of Lochalsh to Broadford Bay, Isle of Skye. We anchored there for the weekend and enjoyed a good run ashore in the Broadford Hotel where we sang the ships adopted theme song Edelweiss from The Sound of Music. We also contributed to the local economy by drinking the locally distilled single malt whisky Taliskar. The ship became to be known as “The Drunken Duncan”.

We continued exercises in the area before visiting Londonderry for three or four days just a year before the start of ‘The Troubles”. We later went on exercises in the Mediterranean and it was during this period that the Six Day War occurred between Israel and the Arab nations. ‘Duncan' together with HMS ‘Whitby' was stationed off the coast of Libya in order stand by to repatriate any UK citizens. I remember our trip to Malta where I left some of my cartoons of the ‘Duncan Rats‘ in the bars we visited. We also visited Gibraltar where I had been shore based at HMS ‘Rooke' 1964 – 1966. I remember the date of our visit very well as I received a telegram that my son had been born that day, November 7th 1967.

We then headed back to the UK taking part in anti submarine exercises. During the exercise a Shackleton aircraft of 201 Squadron RAF based at Kinloss crashed into the sea 200 miles off the Cornish coast on November 19th 1967. Duncan and other ships were sent to the area of the crash to search for survivors. Two survived, nine were killed, and some of whom were recovered by our sea boats crew. R.I.P. I left HMS Duncan shortly after that unfortunate incident.

Don Morrison





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