HMS Gurkha (F122)

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HMS Gurkha (F122) during the mid-1960s
Gurkha circa. 1964-1966
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Gurkha
Builder: John I. Thornycroft & Company
Laid down: 3 November 1958
Launched: 11 July 1960
Commissioned: 13 February 1963
Decommissioned: 30 March 1984
Identification: Pennant number F122
  • Ayo Gurkhali
  • ("The Gurkhas are here!")
Fate: Sold to Indonesia 1984
Name: KRI Wilhelmus Zakarias Yohannes
Acquired: 1984
Decommissioned: 1999
Identification: 332
Status: Laid up
General characteristics
Class and type: Tribal-class frigate
Service record
Operations: Third Cod War

HMS Gurkha was a Tribal-class frigate of the Royal Navy. She was named after an ethnic group located in Nepal, and who continue to serve in the British Army.

Royal Navy service

Gurkha was built by John I. Thornycroft & Company, of Woolston, Hampshire,[1] at a cost of £4,865,000[2] She was launched on 11 July 1960 and commissioned on 13 February 1963.[1] In 1965 she was present at Portsmouth Navy Days.[3]

In 1967 she commenced her third commission and served in the Persian Gulf.[4]

In 1975, Gurkha deployed to the West Indies, where the ship performed various duties.[citation needed] In 1976, Gurkha supported Royal Navy efforts against Iceland during the Third Cod War. She sustained superficial damage on 7 May when the patrol ship Óðinn attempted to force the ship towards the British trawler Ross Ramilles, during which Óðinn collided with Gurkha.[5] In that collision Óðinn's port propeller was damaged by Gurkha's starboard stabiliser, forcing her to return to port for repairs.

Gurkha was present at the 1977 Spithead Fleet Review, held in honour of Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee. At this time she was part of the 1st Frigate Squadron.[6]

Gurkha was reduced to the reserve in 1980, being placed in the Standby Squadron. Although she had been put on the disposal list,[7] Gurkha was removed from the reserve during the Falklands War and prepared for active service.[8] Gurkha remained in home waters, fulfilling duties in the absence of ships that were operating in the South Atlantic. The following year, Gurkha became Gibraltar Guardship.[citation needed]

Indonesian Navy service

After being decommissioned in 1984, Gurkha was sold to Indonesia. She was renamed Wilhelmus Zakarias Yohannes for the national hero Wilhelmus Zakaria Johannes[9] after a radiologist and specialist in X-ray technology. The frigate was withdrawn from service in 1999 and remains laid up at Surabaya Naval Base to await scrapping.[citation needed]

Commanding officers

From To Captain
1965 1966 Commander S Salway RN
1967 1968 Commander R A S Irving RN
1971 1972 Captain D T McKeown RN
1972 1975 Captain V Howard RN
1975 1976 Commander T R Lee RN
1977 1977 Commander D H Barraclough RN
1978 1979 Commander M S Pringle RN


  1. ^ a b Gardiner, Robert & Chesneau, Roger (1995), p. 518.
  2. ^ "Missile Destroyer Cost £15m". The Times (55970): Col B, p. 6. 26 March 1964.
  3. ^ Programme, Navy Days Portsmouth, 28th-30th August 1965, p14.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Worst night so far in cod war". The Times (59699): Col C, p. 1. 8 May 1976.
  6. ^ Official Souvenir Programme, 1977. Silver Jubilee Fleet Review, HMSO
  7. ^ Hansard (26 April 1982), Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  8. ^ Hansard (27 May 1982), Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  9. ^ Colledge, J. J. & Warlow, Ben (2010), p. 171


External links

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