xxxx-class patrol boat, HMS xxxx Charger (P1048)
The xxxx class were a class of 12 vessels built that were a natural development of the MTB 538/539 class that had served in the royal navy during the second world war. The class was intended to be an interim measure until the diesel-powered Dark-class fast patrol boats could be introduced. The xxxx class were powered by three V12 Packard 4M-2500 engines, each providing 1,500 horsepower (1,100 kW) allowing the ships in this class to acheive a respectable speed of 40 knots (74 km/h; 46 mph). This also made them the last petrol powered warships to be built for the royal navy, as all subsequent vessels would be powered by conventional diesel or turbine engines. The vessels in this class were designed to be a versitile platform that could be fitted with a wide range of weapons to forfil the role of a MGB or MTB as needed. Because of this design choice the vessels in this class had a wide range of weapons, including 40mm bofors, 4.5 in (114 mm) gun, double 20mm oerlikon mounts, 2 depth charges and two 21-inch (533 mm) torpedoes. These weapons would be equipt to each vessel on a case by base basis, resulting in a rather missmatched fleet depending on operational need, with each ship capable of carrying any two of the previously listed cannons in a wide array of configurations.
The ships in this class were ordered February and May 1951 from a number of shipyards across Britain, most of whom had built similar vessels for the Navy during WW2. Four were built by Vosper & Company, two by Thornycroft, two by Morgan Giles, of Teignmouth, two by Taylor, of Chertsey and two by McGruer & Co Ltd, of Clynder. They were launched between 1952 and 1954, with the last of the class, xxxx Forester, being launched in March 1954.
HMS xxxx Charger, was constructed by Morgan Giles Ship yard and was launched on the 12th of January 1953. The ship was built with the armament of two 21-inch torpedos, 1 40mm bofors, and a pair of depth charges. During its career the ship escorted the royal yacht on atleast one occasion, along with serving as a tender for Algerine-class minesweeper HMS LAERTES. The ship continued to serve until January of 1967, when she was deemed no longer nessassary and sold off.
Displacement: 50 long tons (51 t) (standard)
65 long tons (66 t) (deep)
Length: 75 ft 2 in (22.91 m)
Beam: 20 ft 1 in (6.12 m)
Draught: 4 ft 1 in (1.24 m)
Propulsion: 3 × V12 Packard engines producing 1,500 hp each
Speed: 40 knots (46 mph; 74 km/h)
Armament: 1× Bofors 40mm guns
2 × 21-inch torpedoes
2 x depth charges
Rear veiw of HMS xxxx Charger, ship on the left:
Photo taken from another angle, with HMS xxxx Charger, now the vessel on the right, they are part of the escort for the royal yacht:
Another Image of HMS xxxx Charger escorting the royal Yacht
Picture of HMS xxxx Charger, where she had been stripped of most of her armament:
- Motor Torpedo Boats MTB's
- https://www.morgangilesarchive.org.uk/index.php/the-vessels/admiralty/250-xxxx-charioteer (Mistitled as xxxx charioteer, but pennant numbers in the photos are for xxxx Charger)
- https://bmpt.org.uk/boat histories/xxxx Class/