HMS Liverpool was a Type 42
destroyer of the Royal Navy. She was built by Cammell Laird in
Birkenhead and launched on 25 September 1980 by Lady Strathcona,
wife of Euan Howard, the then Minister of State for Defence.
Liverpool was the last Type 42 Batch 2 in service.
Liverpool was taken up by the Royal Navy in April 1982 from
Cammell Laird. After an accelerated trials period sailed for the
South Atlantic in early June 1982. Though Liverpool did not see
active service in the Falklands Conflict, she remained on
station for the next six months before returning to the UK. In
1987 "Liverpool" was off the North coast of Russia monitoring
and data collecting Soviet Naval missile and weapons firings.
She then visited Holland. 1988 saw "Liverpool" undertake a DED
in Rosyth, when she was fitted with the Phalanx weapons system.
1989 saw her deploy to the Persian Gulf for Operation ARMILLA,
as she did again 1990 and 1993. There then followed a period
with the NATO Standing Force in the Mediterranean.
After the eruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano in 1995, the
destroyer played a vital role in the evacuation of
Montserrations to nearby islands as part of an effort which saw
7,000 people leave the island for places such as Antigua and
Barbuda (a 30-mile (48 km) distance, which was impossible by
aircraft at the time due to the destruction of the Blackburne
Liverpool fired what is believed to be the first salvo of Sea
Dart missiles in well over a decade, along with possibly the
second only salvo ever. The firing took place approximately 250
miles (400 km) south-west of the Isles of Scilly on 8 September
2002, against a sea skimming target to demonstrate the
effectiveness of the Sea Dart missile and Liverpool's systems
following a 12-month refit at Rosyth Dockyard.
She was part of Naval Task Group 03 (NTG03), intended to take
part in exercises in the Far East as part of the Five Power
Defence Arrangement. The task force was, instead, sent to the
Persian Gulf where they took part in the 2003 Iraq War.
In 2005, Liverpool was sent to the Caribbean, where her duties
included patrols to crack down on drug smuggling. In 2008, 18
sailors onboard tested positive for cocaine in a routine drug
She entered refit in 2009. On returning to service in 2010,
Liverpool acted as an escort to fleet flagship Ark Royal's task
group during a four-month deployment to the United States and
Canada as part of Exercise Auriga.
In late March 2011, Liverpool was ordered to the Mediterranean
to relieve Type 22 frigate Cumberland as the Royal Navy's
contribution to Operation Unified Protector, NATO's naval
blockade of Libya during the country's civil war.
On 18 April, she intercepted the vessel MV Setubal Express
heading for Tripoli, conducting a boarding party search with her
own boarding party and finding trucks of potential use to the
Gaddafi regime. The merchant vessel was ordered to divert to
Salerno in Italy.
On 12 May 2011, while engaged in surveillance operations off the
coast of the rebel-held Libyan city of Misrata, Liverpool came
under fire from a shore battery, making her the first Royal Navy
warship to be deliberately targeted since the Falklands War.
Liverpool had been tasked with other NATO warships, to intercept
small, high-speed inflatable craft spotted approaching the port
of Misrata, the type which had been used previously to lay mines
in the Port of Misrata. Libyan rocket artillery on the coast
fired an inaccurate salvo of rockets at Liverpool. Liverpool
returned fire with her 4.5 inch main gun, silencing the shore
battery, in the Royal Navy's first use of the weapon since the
2003 invasion of Iraq.
On 28 June 2011, Liverpool used her main gun to fire warning
shots at pro-Gaddafi maritime forces moving along Libya's
Mediterranean coast just west of the city of Misrata, amid
concerns a threat was posed to civilians due to recent repeated
attempts to mine the harbour. After initially ignoring the first
shell, a further three were fired and the vessels were forced to
return to their port of departure.
On the morning of 3 August 2011, several rockets were fired at
Liverpool. She returned fire with her 4.5 inch main gun. The
attack came after the ship had fired a barrage of illumination
rounds in support of an air attack on the stronghold of Zliten.
On 16 August 2011, Liverpool was involved in the most intense
shore-bombardment of the war. Liverpool had been tasked by a
patrol aircraft to fire illumination rounds over the city of
Zlitan. While conducting this mission, Liverpool came under fire
from a Loyalist shore-battery. Liverpool responded by firing
three rounds from her 4.5 inch gun, silencing the battery. Later
on the same day, a patrol aircraft spotted a large pro-Gaddafi
vehicle convoy carrying weapons and ammunition. Liverpool fired
54 shells from her 4.5 inch gun at the convoy, destroying or
severely damaging many of the vehicles. During the ensuing chaos
on the ground, NATO aircraft destroyed the remainder of the
Liverpool returned from Operation Unified Protector on 7
November 2011, entering Portsmouth Harbour after more than seven
months of operations off Libya. She had fired over 200 rounds
from her main gun during the conflict.
On 7 February 2012 Liverpool escorted a Russian task group
centred on the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov from the
Channel, off south-west England, to the seas off south-west
Ireland. The task group of two warships and five support ships
were making their way home to the Northern and Baltic Fleets of
the Russian Navy.
In March 2012 Liverpool took part in Exercise 'Cold Response', a
NATO winter war games exercise being conducted in northern
Norway, where she acted as an escort to the helicopter carrier
HMS Illustrious and the amphibious assault ship HMS Bulwark.
The ship made her final visit to the city of Liverpool on 29
February 2012 where on Saturday 3 March and Sunday 4 March 2012,
the general public were invited on deck to look around the ship.
She was formally decommissioned on 30 March 2012.
1981-1983 Captain Peter F Grenier RN
1983-1985 Captain P B Rowe RN
1985-1986 Captain Michael D Bracelin RN
1986-1988 Commander Stephen J Meyer RN
1988 - 1989 Commander D G Snelson RN
1989- 1990 Commander W Hocking RN
1993-1995 Captain Laurie Hopkins RN
1995-1997 Captain Roger Ainsley RN
1997–1998 Captain David Snelson RN
1998–1999 Captain Philip Wilcocks, CB DSC RN
2001-2003 Commander Martin Ewence RN OBE
2003-2005 Commander Gerry Northwood RN OBE
2007-2009 Commander Craig Wood
Commander Ollie Hutchinson
2011–2012 Captain Colin 'Big Red' Williams