HMS Duncan F-80
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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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Page published Dec. 9, 2010