HMS Forth (A187)

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HMS Forth FL10203.jpg
United Kingdom
NameHMS Forth
BuilderJohn Brown & Company, Clydebank, Scotland[1]
Laid down30 June 1937[1]
Launched11 August 1938[1]
Commissioned14 May 1939[1]
Decommissioned1 January 1979[2]
RenamedHMS Defiance, 15 February 1972–21 April 1978[3]
FateSold for scrapping, 25 July 1985[1]
General characteristics
Class and typeMaidstone-class submarine depot ship[1]
Displacement8,900 long tons (9,043 t)
Length497 ft (151 m)
Beam73 ft (22 m)
Speed17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph)
Complement1,167 men

HMS Forth, pennant number F04 later A187, was a submarine depot ship.

Forth was completed in 1939. She served at bases in Scotland including Holy Loch on the Clyde and at Halifax in Canada during the Second World War.[4]

During the war Forth was adopted by Stirlingshire as part of Warship Week. The plaque from this adoption is held by the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth.[5][6]

During her stay in Malta in the 1950s she was moored on the east side of Msida creek. In 1953 she took part in the Fleet Review to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.[7] She left Malta in 1960.

She was modified to support the Royal Navy's nuclear-powered submarines at H.M.Dockyard Chatham between 1962 and 1966.[8]

She arrived in Singapore in mid-1966 to relieve HMS Medway (former landing craft tank HMS LCT 1109) as depot ship of the 7th Submarine Squadron. She left Singapore to return to the United Kingdom on 31 March 1971.[9]

In 1968, HMS Forth transported the first hovercraft (a small two or three seater) to Australia.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "HMS Forth (F 04)". Guðmundur Helgason. Retrieved 22 April 2009.
  2. ^ "HMS Forth". Naval History. Flixco. Retrieved 22 April 2009.
  3. ^ "Royal Naval Torpedo School, HMS Defiance". The Encyclopaedia of Plymouth History. Plymouthdata. 24 November 2003. Archived from the original on 26 February 2009. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  4. ^ "HMS Forth". Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Warship Weeks: Adopting Naval Vessels in World War Two". Royal Naval Museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. 2011. Archived from the original on 7 February 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  6. ^ "HMS Forth Plaque". Memorials and Monuments in Portsmouth. 2010. Archived from the original on 10 April 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  7. ^ Souvenir Programme, Coronation Review of the Fleet, Spithead, 15th June 1953, HMSO, Gale and Polden
  8. ^ Lenton, H.T. (1966). Warships of the British and Commonwealth Navies. London: Ian Allan.
  9. ^ "HMS Forth". Retrieved 1 December 2015.

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