HMS Arethusa (F38)

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HMS Arethusa
Career RN Ensign
Ordered:
Laid down: 7th September 1962
Launched: 5th November 1963
Commissioned: 24th November 1965
Decommissioned: 4th April 1989
Fate: Sunk as target 1991
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HMS Arethusa (F38) was a Leander-class frigate of the Royal Navy (RN). She was, like the rest of the Leanders, named after a figure of mythology. Arethusa was built by J.S. White & Company Shipbuilders of Cowes. Arethusa was launched on the 5th November 1963 and commissioned on the 24th November 1965.

In 1966, Arethusa deployed to the sunny climes of the Mediterranean. In 1970, Arethusa deployed to the Far East and while there, helped escort HM the Queen and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh on their South East Asian tour. In 1972, Arethusa undertook a Beira Patrol which was designed to prevent oil reaching the landlocked country of Rhodesia via the then Portuguese colony of Mozambique. The following year, Arethusa undertook a Fishery Protection Patrol during the Second Cod War, and during that patrol was rammed by the Icelandic gunboat Odin.

Later that year, Arethusa began her modernisation which included the removal of her one twin 4.5-in gun, with the Ikara anti-submarine warfare (ASW) missile system taking its place. The modernisation was completed in April 1977. In that same year, Arethusa, like many Leanders, took part in the Royal Navy's last Fleet Review so far, in celebration of HM the Queen's Silver Jubilee. Arethusa was positioned in the middle of HM ships Cleopatra and HMS Arrow. In 1979, Arethusa deployed to the Far East and Pacific.

In 1980 Arethusa underwent a refit that was completed the following year. She then joined Standing Naval Force Atlantic (STANAVFORLANT), a NATO multi-national squadron, a squadron that Arethusa saw much service in. In 1985, Arethusa was fitted with the towed array sonar. On the 4th April 1989, at Portsmouth, Arethusa decommissioned. She was eventually sunk as a target in 1991.

See HMS Arethusa for other ships of the name.


Leander-class frigate
Achilles | Ajax | Andromeda | Apollo | Arethusa | Ariadne | Argonaut | Aurora | Bacchante | Charybdis | Cleopatra | Danae | Dido | Diomede | Euryalus | Galatea | Hermione | Juno | Jupiter | Leander | Minerva | Naiad | Penelope | Phoebe | Scylla | Sirius

List of frigates of the Royal Navy
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