Have just been reading e mails from ex Scorpion ratings I served in her in 1962 & whilst I remember going through the Black Sea to Trabzon I have no memory of the hospitality of those Americans. I do recall however we were challenged to a game of football there. It was only after we had been trounced 8-0 it came to light we had been playing the city side who were at that time in the 3rd Div. of the Turkish league!!

Tony Middleton (REM)


I served on the Scorpion from 1947 to 1949/50
I was a radar plot merchant also bouyjumper as amongst other things
I was in no.4 mess fxl.and during that time theLimbo and Stags were fitted
the X guns were removed and a ten ft high screen fitted to hide this secret weapon.
one saterday morning the ships company were mustered on the jetty
to sighn th secrets act then a train came along with this thing covered by a tarp.
which the dockies stripped off and hoisted it up in the air before swinging it inborard
then the whistle blew and all the dockies whent home
thie secret weapon was left swinging in the breeze all weekend
for all the visitors to see.
on monday morning they all came back and swung it inboard behind the screens
I belong to the Surface Warship Association and have built a1.72 scale working model
off the Scorpion.
I would like to hear from any old crew members from that period if there is any left apary 
from me I am now 83yrs

Colin Watson



In response to the very interesting article by Stanley R Bradshaw.
I was a young bunting tosser straight out of training joined in Gib, enjoyed Cape Verde laying in wait….and then Icelandic Patrol.
Fantastic memories of my first ship. wish I could remember the name of the Yeoman.
Went on then to the Bulwark . Chichester. etc.
Slinger Wood


My father 'Bill' Wotton served on HMS Scorpion from February 1943 to October 1944 during the Arctic convoys and was involved during the battle and sinking of Scharnhorst in December 1943. He was a Supply PO and I remember him telling me that he had to supply clothing to the 30 Scharnhorst survivors that Scorpion rescued. I also remember dad telling me how the crew had to chip off the ice on the upper deck to prevent the ship becoming top-heavy and rolling over. Sadly my father died in 1987 aged 66. Maybe Eric Turner was on Scorpion at the same time as my father.


Mike Wotton


I was Cpl in the 1st prince of wales own Scorpion was in for refit, we took 5 of the crew on to our ration strength for the time she was in refit, and became good friends,
Being crew had at that time no passports, we with tales of all the BAD goings on in LA Lina and to further army navy relations took 3 or 4 of Scorpion sailors on borrowed passports days of Franco if caught to think  we would out still in gaol.
At sea trials to return our hospitably we the soldiers had 2 days at sea photo enclosed
Great time many years ago still remembered with affection
Me second from left.
Michael Holliday

Ali Erogul

I'm a football researher writing you from Tukey.
I have read in a newspapers article, that HMS Scorpion visited Trabzon, a Turkish city in the Black Sea coast, in 1963.
The crew of the warship played football against a Turkish club!
I'm looking for further information, abaout this issue. Anecdotes, memories or photos.
If somebody can help me it will be great.
Thanks in advance.


Hello.  Am considering myself fortunate on coming across comments about my first sea going draft on the web and would like to add details about my time aboard.

I joined in 1950 as a Boy Telegraphist fresh out of Ganges.  The Captains name was Mallinson but I think it was C.U.D.E. Portland who was really in control with his legions of scientists.  The Limbo idea had just  been fitted and was undergoing intensive trials.  They first started off by Scorpion being tied up alongside the remaining Mulberry at Portland and lobbing the dummy concrete projectiles into the foreshore just where the air strip is now located.  When it had been decided on what strength the explosive propellant should be we steamed up to the north of Scotland and the trials continued there.

 Areas favoured were around the islands of Raasay and Rona. In company with us, housing the 'Boffins and scientific apparatus was a commercial vessel called Lasso with black hull, white superstructure  and yellow funnel.  In time gone by I have tried to find out more about this vessel but without success. Every day there would be live firings at differing depths and angles. Whilst in flight the projectiles would shed their compression rings and if they were ranged to pass overhead these rings would festoon the mast head which Boy Tells were detailed to retrieve from time to time !

 When working in tune with the ASDICS the accuracy of LIMBO was most markedly shown when working with a submerged submarine which it found on surfacing to have a dummy projectile lodged in it's conning tower.

 Steaming through the Kyle of Loch Alsh was quite a scenic event and during the weeks doing trials there were visits to Portree, Tobermory, Rothesay, Campbeltown and for some trial reason we were situated at Lochgoilshead.  This was a fortunate location because a coach tour was laid on to visit Loch Lomond. When returning South it was Summertime and there were visits made to Lyme Regis and Torquay.  Going into dry dock at Portsmouth happened two or three times during 1950.  This was mainly to carry out work on the ASDIC Dome and also to carry out repairs and modifications to the spiders web structures in place in front of the propellers which were supposed to cut down on cavitation noise.

 Spectacular incidents remembered was the practise firing of a torpedo which didn't go exactly as planned. Most of the crew were there to watch and nobody noticed that the guardrails had not been properly cleared so that when the torpedo left it's tube it collided with the stanchion which upset its control mechanism causing it to 'frolic' like a porpoise during it's run.

Another time when just having entered the breakwater at Portland it was decided to give a MMS a tow for 'exercise'.  Scorpion went astern to pick up the line, too abruptly causing a huge wave to cascade down onto the quarterdeck party causing some injuries but nobody went overboard except several hats were floating around and having to be collected.

 After 12 months onboard I became an Ordinary Telegraphist and received a draft to HMS Hornet to join MGB 5008.  Several months later I heard the sad news that the Boys divisional Officer, Lt Charles Armour, a relative of the Canadian meat packing company had committed suicide by using his service revolver.

 So, do hope that will fill some little gap and maybe there is someone out there that served at the same time and there will be a contact made.

 Cheerio, Keith Robinson, P/JX then P/SSX 864938

HMS Scorpion

Scorpion and Broadsword 1961

The two boats came into Gib in 1961 to prepare for a NATO ex. The Royal Engineers had a special relationship with the Navy since the siege of Gibraltar circa 1704. A Lucky 4 or 5 of us sqaddies were invited to spend a day on board during a NATO sub hunting ex in the Med. It turned out for us land lovers to be one of the most memorable days in our whole lives. We were signed on as crew for the day and were treated like royalty, watching every fantastic part of the ships performance ----Refuelling at sea, the engine room, boiler room, Gun drill (a 3.5 inch I believe), the Radar /Asdic control room. And then what I consider a unique experience for soldiers we were allowed by the Quartermaster to steer HM Scorpion for 20 minutes each, taking instructions from the bridge and relaying to the engine room and I can tell you the Nato craft behind us had great difficulty following our erratic course and strange alterations in speed. To anyone who helped us to be pretend sailors for a day my hearty thanks—a highlight of my life


During our time in the Med.,in 1962, we have had visits to Malaga,Barcelona,Napels Salerno, Ancona,Theselonca & Corfu.I missed the trip to Haifa as I went for my Cillick'Course, jioning back in mid Septermber whilst a short maintenanc at the other side of Manoul Island (HMS.Phenoicia),Ta'Xbiex Creek.One incident I remember, in one particular storm the ship went sideways by a large wave for a distance
Charlie Briffa


I joined the HMS Scorpion in mid-December of 1960, whilst she was on refit in Gibraltar.  We were billeted at HMS Rooke. To a certain point, I agree with Stanley Bradshaw up to Alecante.  So, we returned to Malta for the last 2 months stationed in the Mediterranean.  Halfway through March, HMS Scorpion left Malta with the rest of the 7th destroyer squadron, arriving at Chatham and not Plymouth,  having gone up to Iceland fishing Patrol paying off and recommissioning.  Our home-port became Davenport.  Again, our first deployment was fishing protection up at Iceland, being the first RN Ship to visit Reykjavik for refuelling and a short visit. 

1961 saw our first leg with the home fleet, exercising mainly in the North Sea based at London Derry.  We had visits over to Amsterdam and Antwerp.  In March of 1962, we started our second leg of the commission in the Mediterranean Sea.  Our famous visit to Trabzon, which is the last sea port in Turkey, I quite agree with what the others have written but, the moment we left the Bospherus and entered the Black Sea, we were in company of our friends the Russians.  First thing each morning, they used to give us their 'Good morning' by asking us to switch off our radar (the big cage), wanting to know our destination.  Obviously, the further in we went into the Black Sea, our friends' presence was increased, so when coming to leave Trabzon, we found them waiting for us and they were  with us until we left the Black Sea.  Having spent 1962 in the Mediterranean waters, with having Sliema Creek, Malta as our home port, we left Malta in March of 1963 paying off to return back to Britain.  Sadly, I had missed this trip back as I had been drafted to HMS St. Angelo.

In between times, we had also visited Brest in  France which in my opinion was one of the worst places I had visited as I felt that we were not welcomed.  When on land, not even a local policeman helped to direct us back to the docks.  When I joined, Cdr. Burton, from Cork was in command.  On recommissioning, Cdr. (Dusty) Miller took over, who later on was to become the youngest flag officer of his time as Rear Admiral.  As regards to being the junior ship of the squadron (gush boat), definitely we were one of the best destroyers in the Mediterranean.  Our Junior Officer, then Sub. Lt. Mike Harris, remembering as we came back to the Mediterranean having taken the whaler plus some ratings from Gibraltar to Palma Bay, Sardegnia, where we found them waitng for us.  Sub. Lt. Harris revisited Malta whilst in command of HMS Ark Royal as Captain, having taken part in the Falklands crisis, ending his carrier as Rear Admiral.

I hope you find that this information is useful.

Best regards,

Charlie Briffa


Hello there,

            My story continues from that of Stanley Bradshaw, my time on “Scorpion” was from 30th May 1961 until two years later in May 1963 and I well remember the visit to Trabzon at the far end of the Black Sea and Ray Wyatt is right when he says that it was the first time a Royal Naval vessel had visited that port.

            We were all in the dark about what it would be like and from what I can remember there was no information given by the officers. What I do remember was that when we looked at the place on arrival it did not have the appearance of a ‘run ashore’ so we decided to sty on board and have a couple of Whitbreads. He ship arrived alongside in the forenoon (I think) and we were all in the mess at ‘Tot’ time (Tiffs Mess) starboard aft, off the aft seamen’s mess, when the Bosuns runner knocked on the door and said that there were several American Air force Sergeants looking for the ‘Chiefs Mess’. We shepherded them down to the mess and fed them a ‘tot’ each plus a few cans of Whitbread beer. After couple of hours they left and said that there would be transport coming to collect us at 19:30 to take us up to “The Peak” which was an early warning Radar Installation on top of a small mountain. When the transport arrived, a few of us took up the offer and we were taken to the NCOs Club, the only snag was that the guys who invited us were nowhere around. Eventually we urged someone to find them for us and we were led to their ‘billet’ where they were all curled up with their heads down! Once we woke them it was about a half an hour before they joined us, their explanation according to one of the them was “After a glass of that Rocket Fuel (Rum) and those tins of English beer we had had it!”

            Well, they entertained us with the usual splendid American hospitality and by the time the transport arrived to take us back at midnight, we were ready to go. This pattern was repeated each night we were there. The craziest thing was, on the day we sailed, just before the gangway was removed three or four of them rushed on board with ‘goodies’ for us Potato Chips, and other snack items but to cap it all a case with four each 40 oz bottles of Bacardi,

Bourbon Whisky and Scotch Whisky “Just to make sure you don’t have a dry trip back”. They did not know we were not allowed to have such booze in the mess, what a game we had hiding that away.

            The ship spent two or three months on Iceland patrol during which she was nearly capsized when a freak wave hit the Starboard side and nearly rolled the ship over. Very scary.

            All in all quite a good ship, with a good crew but a miserable Captain, Commander “Make & Mends Miller” like there was none.

Hope this of interest,

J.W.(George) Sexton.

Ex Mech 1


Hello to whomever can help,
My husband's late father Peter S Richardson (1914 - 1969) was a Gunner (two stripes - not sure this meant equiv of Corporal or not)on board HMS Scorpion on the Arctic Convoys and was at the Battle whereby the Scharnhorst was sunk. We remember him clearly telling us that HMS York was over the horizon when the other Destroyers finished of this German Mammoth.  Are the any surviving men that remember him Pete's middle name was Selwyn, reason that I am trying to research his War Service history and not knowing his RN WWII service number is proving difficult as one can imagine.  I know he was on or at HMS Obdurate ow nothing of this base/ship. Pete was on the Murmansk runs and also in the Channel (not sure if Dunkirk rescue or D Day) he was among a volunteer group that went ashore to rescue a high ranking officer when he fell into a crater and severely cut open his face just below eye level and his fellow volunteers got him to a german lady doctor who stitched him up under duress of being killed if she made a fatal error. Pete was twiced ditched into the Arctic his boat having been sunk beneath him plus he did one tour aboard a Submarine but requested and was granted transfer back to ships and it was reported that the very next outing this submarine went on it went missing with all crew.     IS THERE ANYONE OUT THERE THAT CAN VERIFY ANY OF THIS.  Please email to  Thank you very much your info will be appreciated.

HMS Scorpion
Soapy Watson


My name is Colin Watson, I served on Scorpion from 1947 to 1951 in No.4 mess up the front end
I was a radar and plot merchant and the skipper was Cmdr.A Hezlet, the first Lt.had a Large beard and drove an open tourer
I belong to the S.W.A. Surface Warship Association which is national and international
We build scale models of Warships old ones and later ones
I have built the Scorpion 1.72 scale with the guns,radar,asdic,morse signals working.
We exhibit all over the country and Germany
I would like to be in touch with any crew especially that era.
my email

cheers mates its tot time 

Tom Walmsley

My wifes farther did is name is John  miller porter we have a photo off him on the ship H.M.S SCORPION. we are trying to fined out what other ships he served on.


Hi There
Just read your site re scorpion
My father was on this ship during its engagement with the Sharnhorst in the battle of the north cape .He was a forward gunner, and helped rescue some of the german sailors from that ship after it had sunk.He stole one of the sailors caps and although my father died some years ago the cap is still in our family.
He served on the scorpion for several years and made many trips to Murmansk and Arkangel.
Steve Christopher

Denise Vincent

My Father did his National Service on Scorpion, and often mentions that his Skipper was an ex-submariner, which made Scorpion a ‘must sink’ exercise target for all his Skipper’s former colleagues still on subs.  Dad spent most of his time aboard as Jimmy The Ones Flunky, and after the Weapon class failed to prove its worth as an anti-submarine class in major exercises, had a very nice tour up the coast of the UK stopping off at holiday resorts and showing the flag.  Is there any way I can put him in touch with any of his former shipmates? 
Ray Vincent.


In reply to Nancy Anderson re the visit of HMS Scorpion to Trabzon 1962-63. I was an Electrical Mechanic on the Scorpion at that time and although I only have a vague recollection of the hat swapping incident, I can certainly confirm that we tried very hard to drink the US base dry on our evening visits, and I would like to express our gratitude to the Americans'  for being such good hosts at that time. Indeed Trabzon seemed to be at the back of nowhere and only important for playing host to the US base and it's early warning system installed up a mountain above the town. The base personnel were kind enough to send the ships company an open invitation and provide buses to transport our thirsty off duty crew up the mountain and back to the ship each evening of our short visit; and I guess we made the best of a most welcoming reception from personnel at the base club. Many of us were young, on our first ship and good at enjoyment, ( I was about 19 or 20 ). The Scorpion was probably the first British war ship to visit Trabzon in modern history?? or ever even!, but I feel sure that all the crew will recall being there, and all the US personnel will recall the occasion with some mirth.

Ray Wyatt
PM 982879


My partners grandfather served on the HMS Scorpion during the war and wanted to know if any crew had survived his name is
Eric Turner


Hi Broadsword Webmaster.
I served on HMS Scorpion during Exercise Mariner (1953) as a Radio electrical Mechanic. My memories of her include the attempted rescue of the crew of a fishing trawler name of "Hasset" (unsuccessful being almost joining the trawler on the rocks) We put in at Stonehaven afterwards & were treated very well by the public of the town. During Exercise Mariner Scorpion was rolled on her side by a huge wave & reported sunk. HMS Diamond was in collision with the cruiser Swiftsure (32 casualties). We were confined to hammocks unless on duty for three days. Scorpion attempted a R.A.S. from the American Battleship Iowa but the fuel hose became detached from Scorpion's deck fitting with disastrous results. Scorpion struck an iceberg & damaged her asdic dome, it was said that we struck the worst weather that many three badge AB's had ever seen. HMS Eagle was dipping her bows. This was my first time ever aboard a Destroyer but certanly not the last. I hope this information is of interest.
Denis Broadbent. P/mx


In the late 1950s HMS Scorpion was brought out of reserve along with her three sister ships and refurbished - the original midships torpedoes were replaced by a new mess for the radar specialists as part of a conversion to Radar Picket Destroyers with surface to air radar capable of 200 mile range. See photo of Crossbow who succeeded her in the Med in 1961. These ships were intended to operate 200 miles ahead of the main fleet thereby providing a maximum of 400 mile warning of impending air attack - assuming of course that they survived the first wave etc.  In 1960-61 the "new and improved" Scorpion and Broadsword were stationed in Malta as part of the 7th Destroyer Squadron.  Her skipper, a newly promoted Commander, was the junior skipper in the fleet and hence she was the canteen boat - a 33kt top speed in her speed trials also helped.  During a jackstay transfer exercise with Captain "D's" destroyer while under the "watchful" eye of the Jimmy, Lt. Commander H. W. Drax, ( a relative -son or nephew? of another noted Drax of war time note) she failed to maintain station and proceeded to tear the Jackstay pillars out of the deck causing the loss of the other destroyer's jackstay equipment and lifelines as they were swept over the stern.  In the November 1960 after completing her tour of duty in the Mediterranean she underwent a 3-month refit in Gibraltar followed by a "call to action" in the Cape Verde Islands in an international attempt to apprehend a group of hi-jackers (probably the first of the modern day hijacking trend) who had taken over a Portuguese cruise ship off the Caribbean.  Along with a Spanish cruiser, three Portuguese destroyers and a British frigate she spent a pleasant two weeks at anchor in St. Vincent waiting for the pirates to reach the mid-point of the Atlantic.  Fortunately the pirates surrendered to authorities and she went un-blooded als no medals awarded.  This was followed by a  brief visit to Alicante, Spain where unfortunately she lost a member of her crew due to an accident while preparing to give a film show to children of the local orphanage. She returned to Gibraltar overnight in an impressive 10 hours - check the distance. In the spring of 1961 she returned to Plymouth, her home port, and after the usual leave for her crew  was assigned to the Icelandic Fishery Patrol duties approximately 35 days.  She returned to Plymouth in April-May and decommissioned. 

Hope this gives a little more information
Best regards
Stanley R. Bradshaw Scorpion 1960-061