HMS Grafton was one of a dozen Blackwood-class frigate (also known as the Type 14 class) of second-rate anti-submarine frigates built for the Royal Navy in the 1950s.
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The Blackwood class displaced 1,180 long tons (1,200 t) at standard load and 1,456 long tons (1,479 t) at deep load. They had an overall length of 310 feet (94.5 m), a beam of 33 feet (10.1 m) and a draught of 15 feet (4.6 m). The ships were powered by one English Electric geared steam turbine that drove the single propeller shaft, using steam provided by two Babcock & Wilcox boilers. The turbine developed a total of 15,000 shaft horsepower (11,000 kW) and gave a maximum speed of 27 knots (50 km/h; 31 mph). The Blackwoods had a range of 4,500 nautical miles (8,300 km; 5,200 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph). Their complement was 140 officers and ratings.
A member of the Nepean Blue Mountains
Sub-Section who served on the Grafton
The ships were armed with three Bofors 40 mm guns in single mounts. The mount on the quarterdeck was later removed as it was unusable in heavy seas. They were equipped with two triple-barrelled Limbo Mark 10 anti-submarine mortars. The Blackwood-class ships had the same sonar suite as the larger Whitby-class frigates where the Limbo mortars were controlled by three sonars, the Type 174 search set, Type 162 target-classification set and the Type 170 'pencil beam' targeting set to determine the bearing and depth of the target.
Construction and career
Grafton was launched by Lady Grantham, wife of Admiral Sir Guy Grantham, who was Commander-in-Chief Portsmouth. She was first commissioned in January 1957, serving with the 2nd Frigate Squadron based at Portland Harbour until March 1963, when the ship started a refit at Portsmouth Dockyard. Following this refit, Grafton joined the 20th Frigate Squadron based at Londonderry Port in Northern Ireland, being based there until April 1969, when she was paid off.
She attended Portsmouth Navy Days in 1967 and again in 1968. Grafton was broken up at Inverkeithing from December 1971