Ambuscade Service History

Ship Database > HMS Ambuscade (F172) > Ambuscade Service History
Date To Details Comments
January 1973 Launched Yarrows Scotstoun shipyard by Lady Griffin * * wife of the Controller of the Navy
5th Sept 1975 Formally commissioned at Devonport
Aug-75 Mid 1976 Sea Trials
May-76 Gibraltar
Jul-76 Portland FOST workup
Jul-76 2 days visit to Jersey
Aug-76 Devonport
Sep-76 Exercise Northern Wedding Escort of HMS Ark Royal ; Norwegian Sea to Arctic Circle. (No visits)
Nov-76 Jan-77 Southampton for Gearbox change
At the start of 1977 F172 was in Southampton dry-dock having repairs done to the main shafts. Apart from the duty watch the crew were billeted in DAEDALUS and bussed to and from the ship each day.
Shakedown activities off the south coast before sailing for to join STANAVFORLANT
17th Mar 77 29th Mar Den Helder During the stay we had a local bar named after the ship and took part in various sports competitions with other squadron ships. I also recall we played rugby against a Den Helder side that comprised mostly ex-pats working in the Dutch gas & oil industry. Other ships of the squadron included NNS OSLO, USS MILLER, KOLN, CNS MARGAREE, NLNS …… (Flagship), PNS Almirante GIEGO COUTINHO (?)
2nd Apr 4th Apr Kristiansand Everywhere was closed on Sunday!
7th Apr 12th Apr Hamburg Excellent run ashore. Well beaten by the local St Pauli district rugby team.
On sailing we tagged the Russians who were exercising off North Norway – got our Blue Nose
1st May Anchored of Unst -Shetlands Lads went ashore to use landline telephone to home. Some conned Chinese laundryman that there was a large casino on Unst. He was not too pleased on arriving ashore with his case of money to find just a postoffice at Haroldswick!!
7th May 11th May Bremen Crew discovered that 5p pieces could act as German 1 Mark pieces in the local telephones!!!
12th May 19th May Wilhelmshaven
22nd May 23rd May Lista Fjord (at anchor) Wardroom took barge for run ashore (sight seeing!!). RN Photographer joined us to take shots for RN promotion material while we sailed through various fjords.
25th May Frederickshaven  postal deliveries & banking
27th May 30th May Oslo  Becks Beer and Acquivit (schnaps/liquor)
3rd June Hardanger Fjord photo opportunities and Navex in confined waters
1st June 3rd June Bergen 
4th June 6th June Narvik  the ‘can man’, Frank, managed to swap our Watneys light ale (Urgh!!) for crates of Becks and that the Wardroom managed to get some great wine off a neighbouring French ship
9th-10th June at sea off Lofoten Islands . Disengaged from the squadron so that we could celebrate Queen’s Jubilee day. We held a ‘Village Green’ party on the flightdeck that included: tug-o-war, apple bobbing, fancy dress parade, fancy hat competition, BBQ, and sods opera. It was freezing on deck but we had plenty to do & drink to keep us warm. Fancy dress was won two stokers dressed as Robinson Crusoe and Man Friday while the hat competition was won by the Chief of the Flight with a hat built like a castle (when he pulled a cord the queen appeared on a veranda and waved – brilliant).
11th June Tromso (at sea) – we passed under the harbour bridge but didn’t go alongside
13th June 23rd June Rosyth  USS Miller left to be replaced by
USS Richard E Byrd
30th June St. Johns not planned but Junior Seaman Tingle had suspected appendicitis. Great Wardroom party with local nurses and trip to ‘hole-in-the-wall’ bar.
7th July 11th July Roosevelt Roads Very very hot – lots of limers drunk by gangway party. On sailing we went to do live shoots at Vieques Island and take part in major exercise with US Fleet. In San Juan played cricket against ex-pats – played in park opposite the ‘Black Angus’ house of ill repute.
(Puerto Rico)
20th Jul 23rd Jul Charleston South Carolina  Good run ashore….
25th Jul 13th Aug Norfolk Virginia  carried out engine change (I think it was the Tynes) had lots of banyans at Virginia Beach. Won the squadron Sports Trophy (included beating the yanks at Basketball). Went to sing-along at the US Marine base at Little Creek. Held ships company dance in the NCOs mess at Breezy Point (in the Norfolk Naval Base) with live band lots to drink and lots of local nurses etc. On sailing we refuelled and munitioned at Jamestown before an another large exercise.
25th Aug 28th Aug Bermuda  Squadron tied up at US port while we went alongside in HMS MALABAR. Fantastic island with great beaches.
29th Aug 5th Sep 77 Halifax  Nova Scotia 10 Cooks & Stewards took part in exped to Kejimkujik National Park (bigger than Wales!!).
DED Devonport .Tyne engines uprated to RM1C (first ship so fitted). Cdr Mike Gretton took command”.
Devonport (Unscheduled return) Olympus engine change
31-May Helecoptor Cruiser HMS Blake
Frigates HMS Ambuscade,Hermoine, Juno, Leander
Nuclear Submarine Conqueror
Support ships RFA Tidespring, Green Rover, Stromness, Resurgent
Sailed for Group 7 Deployment to the Western Atlantic and Pacific via the Panama Canalwith HMS Blake & 5th Frigate Squadron
Brest (Brittany) visits either side of French Naval exercise Suroit
24-Jun Bermuda met with Amazon in Hamilton
Cartagena (Colombia )
09-Jul Panama Canal 7 hour transit (50 miles)
20-Jul 17-Aug Long Beach Los Angeles Long Beach outboard of Leander. Devonport FMG flew out and we carried out an AMP everyone had
San Diego Gearbox repair
Sept Nanaimo Vancouver Island BC
Esquimalt -Victoria Canada
Oct San Francisco
Acapulco towed Leander from Acapulco to the Panama canal
Panama Canal
25-Nov 27-Nov Nassau
29-Nov South Caicos
Chagaramas Trinidad
Nov Key West (overnight stop) Rodman Naval Base
Devonport for Christmas
05-Mar Sailed from Devonport to Scotland
Liverpool For ‘Grand National’
09-Mar Faslane Naval Base Clyde Nubian parked her bow on Ambuscade flightdeck
visit to Yarrow Shipbuilders in the Clyde
13-Mar 07-Apr ‘Perisher running’ in Clyde areas Target for Submarine Comander training
Rosyth Navy Days
DED Devenport Nubian damage repaired and Mohawk then parked her bow on the flightdeck
JMC off Iceland with Bulwark
01-Jun 06-Jun Malmo With Hermoine, Juno & Nubian
07-Jun 11-Jun Oslo With Hermoine-Nubian escorted to Copenhagen by Juno with Oil leak
18-Jun 06-Jul Fleet Contingency Ship duties Escorting Soviet Navy Etc
30-Jun 02-Jul Douglas , Isle of Man
03-Jul 05-Jul Guernsey
21-Aug 01-Sep ‘Perisher running’ in Clyde areas Allongside Faslane 27th Aug when Lord Mountbatten was killed
06-Sep 10-Sep Antwerp
Sailed for West Indies Guardship
27-Oct 31-Oct Grand Cayman for ‘Pirate Week’
09-Nov 13-Nov La Guaira Venezuela
17-Nov 20-Nov Tortola Virgin Islands
home of ‘Pussers Rum’
14-Nov 16-Nov San Juan Porto Rico
22-Nov 26-Nov Nassau
07-Dec back home to Devonport
? Liverpool
26-Jan 27-Jan O’Porto Portugal Leixões harbour
1980 Jan-81 Major refit at Devonport 150,000 miles steamed
1980 23rd Jan 1981 Refit at Devonport Refitted with new EW, Torpedo tubes & for Lynx Helecoptor
. . followed by Flag Officer Sea Training at Portland
. Sept Antwerp
12th Oct . Portland
19th Oct sailed for Armilla Patrol with HMS Glamorgan & RFA ?
23rd Oct 26th Oct Gibtaltar
29th Oct Sailed through Medina Straights
30th Oct 2nd Nov Corfu
5th Nov . Port Said / Suez canal
7th Nov 9th Nov Anchored off Aqaba Jordan Petra visit
25th Nov . Towed GLAMORGAN to Muscat Glamorgan returned to UK after hitting a rock (see Dits)
28th Nov. 1st Dec Baharain
. 1st Dec Started Patrol
19th Dec crossed equator
21st Dec 11th Jan Mombasa Kenya Christmas/New Year
Armilla Patrol 81-82
21st Dec ’81 11th Jan Mombassa, Kenya Christmas/New Year
4th Jan New Skipper CDR Peter Mosse Replaced Cdr Bryan Burns
15th Jan Sailed Past Socotra
27th Jan 1st Feb Karachi Pakistan
5th Feb entered Red Sea
7th Feb MV Aris fire/salvage Red Sea See Photographs
10th Feb 15/18 th ? Haifa Israel
22nd Feb 23rd Feb Gibralter
25th Feb Anchored off Plymouth Sound ‘Channel night’
26th Feb Plymouth DevonPort Dockyard
9th Apr Sailed for Gibraltar but returned to Plymouth
10th Apr Sailed for Gibraltar Large amount of amunition on board to replace ordinance taken by ships heading South
13th Ap 19th Apr Gibraltar
23rd Apr 26th Apr Gibraltar
26th Gibralter Sailed for minesweeper escort but returned to Gib
Falklands Campaign
3rd May Depart Gibraltar for Assension Island
4th May HMS SHEFFIELD hit by Exocet 
9th May cross equator
10th May start defence watches 50% of ship on duty at all times
11th May 13th May Assension Island Sailed with HMS Antelope
16th May R/V with British tanker Esk Unable to fuel because of problem with fuel rig after Antelope RAS. Antelope goes on alone as we wait for MV Tay to repair rig. Last time we see Antelope afloat
17th May finally re-fuel at 13:00 and head south
21st May HMS ARDENT sunk Falkland Sound
22nd May Joined the task force
23rd May slight collision with RFA Tidepool when she manoeuvered across Ambuscade when she prepared to refuel
24th May 02:50 Action Stations for suspected Torpedo attack HMS ANTELOPE sunk San Carlos.
25th May Outside Electronic Warfare picket ship of Task Force .Detected excocet attack and fired chaffe during the Exocet attack that sunk MV ATLANTIC CONVEYOR 
HMS COVENTRY lost in air raid
30th May First Naval Gunfire Support (NGS) mission Fired 58 rounds in region of Port Stanley airfield
7th Jun NGS with HMS ARROW 
8th Jun SIR GALAHAD lost Fitzroy Settlement
9th Jun Tug repair area to sort out engine problems
14th Jun NGS with HMS ACTIVE,YARMOUTH and AVENGER 228 rounds fired
15th Jun Argentine Forces surrender White flag over Port Stanley
27th Jun 30th Jun Alongside STENA SEASPREAD  repairs
3rd Jul Ended defence watches after 52 days
4th Jul Port Stanley Embark Scots Guards
Embark 42 Commando (25 of whom are billeted in Seaman’s mess-73 people in space for 48!) set course North -homeward bound!!
15th Jul Assension Island Disembark 42 Commando
16th Jul Crossed Equator
18th July Diverted to Dakar Senegal Disembark  crew member with Appendicitis
23th Jul Anchor in Plymouth Sound
24th Jul Tie up in Devonport Fantastic welcome !
13th Sep 16th Sep Sail local areas
22nd Sep Sailed north to West coast of Scotland
24th Sep 27th Sep Helensburgh -Faslane
27th Sep 10th Oct Local exercises with submarines
15th Oct Portland
22nd Oct Plymouth
25th Oct ? Sailed for Portland
11th Nov Sailed north to West coast of Scotland
22nd Nov Helensburgh -Faslane
? Nov 1st Dec Liverpool
2nd Dec Plymouth
17th Jan Sailed for Portland
21st Jan 24th Jan Portsmouth
27th Jan 28th Feb Plymouth
GULF/FAR EAST Deployment
28th Mar Sailed from Plymouth
4th March 7th March Gibraltar
10th March 12th March Rhodes
13th March Suez
19th March 21st March Republique De Djibouti (Horn of Africa)
28th March 31st March Cochin India
7th April 10th April Bahrein
12th April 16th April Doha Qatar
27th April oops! collided with USS Dale
2nd May 9th June Bombay (now Mumbai) For Repairs + 1 week hol in Goa)
13th June Colombo (Sri Lanka) (for Refuelling -Exit Soviet ships!
17th June Lumut Malaysia
19th June 23rd June Singapore
24th June 23rd June Penang Malaysia
29th June 2nd July Jakarta Java
8th July 11th July Colombo Sri Lanka
18th July Republique De Djbuti
25th July Suez
30th July 31st July Gibraltar
3rd August Plymouth !!
October Trawler collision Brixham harbour
9th October Fairlie (West coast of Scotland)
12th October Loch Boisdale Outer Hebrides
West Indies Guardship
3rd Dec 5th Dec Bermuda
8th Dec 10th Dec Key West Florida Keys
12th Dec Half Moon Key off Belize (Banyan)
15th Dec 19th Dec Vera Cruz Mexico
22nd Dec 4th Jan St Petersburg Florida for Christmas
From To Place Comments
22nd Dec 6th Jan St Petersburg Florida USA
6th Jan 9th Jan Freeport Bahamas
12th Jan 13th Jan Belize rain, rain, rain!
17th Jan & 20th Jan Roosevelt Rhodes US base Puerto Rico
22nd Jan . Anguilla
31st Jan . Porta Delgada Azores
3rd Feb 13th Feb. Gibralter
20-Apr 29-Apr Gibralter
6th May 9th May Rouen
8th Jun 11th Jun Lowestoft
22-Jun 1st Jul Gibraltar
28th Jul 30th Jul Swanage
10th 16th Gibraltar
17th Aug 20th Aug Lisbon
Oct-84 1986 Major Refit at Devonport Exocet added & hull strengthened 289,500 miles steamed
Oct-86 Mar-87 5 Month Falklands Guardship duties in South Atlantic
Ascension Island
December South Georgia
December Christmas at Mare Harbour
Dec 31st New Year’s Eve at Port Stanley
Oct-86 Mar-87 …5 Month guardship duties in South Atlantic
01-Jan-87 Port Stanley Falkland Islands for New Year
Willimington Delaware USA
20th March Devonport Plymouth
West Indies Guardship
1st 9th Passage to Bermuda
9th 11th Bermuda
14th 20th Miami (Tragically, we lost two shipmates in a civvy boating accident)
28th 30th Nassau
6th 9th Key West
12th 25th Galveston Texas SMP
28th 3rd June Belize
6th 10th Ocho Rios Jamaica
11th 14th Grand Cayman
16th 20th Cartagena
24th 27th Tortola Virgin Islands
30th 4th July Willemsted (Curraco)
Banyan in Grenadines
7th 10th Port of Spain (Trinidad)
13th 18th Bridgetown (Barbados)
20th 26th La Guiara (Venezuela)
2nd 7th Free Port (Bahamas)
11th 17th Bermuda handover to HMS ACTIVE
17th 26th Passage to UK
10th 14th Portland PWO training
21st 24th Portsmouth
28th 1st Nov Birkenhead (Liverpool)
4th 14th Gibraltar
21st 25th Portland PWO training
DEVONPORT Drydock -Maintenance
. Portland
September Gibralter Gun firings
Feburary Falklands Guard Ship
St Helena Fueling stops
Banyan off Bequia small island in the Grenadines
St Lucia
Wilmington Delaware USA
July Devonport
October Oporto
January Birkenhead .
January Oslo Funeral of King of Norway
February Devonport / Sea Trials
March Sailed for West Indies Guardship duties
March Azores
March Bermuda
March Miami Escorted Royal Yacht Britannia
March Tampa (Florida) 2-weeks
April Norfolk Virginia
April Bermuda Queen’s Birthday
April Belize
May Colombia
May Monserrat
June Dominican Republic
June Grand Cayman
June St Croix
June St Thomas
June St Vincent
June Grenada
June St Marteen
July Miami
July Tortola
July Bermuda
August Handed over to HMS ARROW
8th August Devonport
November Birkenhead Liverpool
Christmas at home
Jan Feb Portland Workup
Feb JMC Norway areas
March Hamburg
April May Devonport
June SOUTH ATLANTIC deployment
Gibraltar 8 hour stopover
Dakar – Senegal 6 hour stopover
Banjul – Gambia 4 days
Abidjan – Ivory Coast 4 days
July Ascension Island Refuel stop
22nd July started Falkland Patrol
August On Patrol
September South Georgia
Punta Arenas – Chile 5 days
October handed over to HMS AMAZON
November Maceio – Brazil 4 days
St Lucia 5 days
November December Barbados 2 weeks’ RnR
December Azores Refuel stop